Sunday, June 26, 2016

Go Stingrays!

Russell and Meredith are on a swim team this year! We're part of  local neighborhood team, but not the one in our neighborhood - one close by where several families from our church swim. It's a casual and fun team, which is not easy to find in this area. Our general area is known for having nationally-ranked schools and SUPER competitive parents/kids. We'd rather our kids just have fun and do their best :)

That was a total tangent!

Anyway, we decided that Russell was a good enough swimmer this year to be on a team. He is really improving, and it's the first sport/organized activity that he has actually wanted to do and wanted to continue doing, being the homebody that he is. And after the first week of practices, Meredith decided she wanted to try it to, so we got the okay from the team president. She's not nearly as strong of a swimmer, so she is just participating in home meets and is allowed to have a coach in the lane with her to help her.

Russell ready for his freestyle during the mock meet (the practice meet the team holds to get everyone and everything ready for real meets):

Good gracious, I had forgotten how much of a swim meet is sitting...waiting...sitting...reading...

Every "little stingray" has a "big stingray" and they give each other encouragement - and better yet, candy!

Getting ready for team pictures!

Of course we have to drag Paige along! At least her buddy from church, 4-year-old Jerome, is there to play with her :)

Meredith made fast friends with Chloe, who also goes to our church (but is in a different Sunday school class). And Chloe made fast friends with Daphne :)

It's been a really great experience! The kids are loving it. Go Stingrays!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Summer Blast at Grace Pointe

Last week was VBS (aka Summer Blast) for our church! This year's theme was "Backstage with the Bible," which was sort of a Hollywood theme. I coordinated the 3-5th grade crafts. We all had a great time!

Sunday, June 19, 2016


We went to Legoland Chicago as a family to celebrate Russell's birthday (a week early). It was a dream come true for him! He ran in so excitedly. The girls loved it too. It was perfect for their ages. I'm glad we had a coupon though - I wouldn't say it's worth the full admission price (to us anyway - but we always try not to pay full price!)

There is an awesome, detailed model of Chicago, with Soldier Field, the Bean, Navy Pier - all the major landmarks.

There were plenty of building stations!

Daphne loved it when I finally let her down in the uncrowded (and un-choking-hazarded) Duplo area.

There was a Jungle Expedition with swinging monkeys, crocodiles, and this tiger:

There was a water play area where you could design a Lego boat:

There was also a 4D Lego movie and 2 rides. We spent about 3.5 hours there. So glad we went! :)

Sunday, June 12, 2016


I didn't get too many pictures in Greensboro; I was really trying to soak in family time rather than getting out my camera. I probably should have tried to strike a better balance!

We went out to a new seafood restaurant with family on Friday night. We were there much longer than any family with lots of young children normally stays at a restaurant (2 hours or so) but all the kids did pretty well considering.

Russell was especially excited to see his second cousin Caedden; he loves babies.

We again stayed with our friends, the W family, who have a large basement (2 bedrooms, a bathroom, and a kitchen) that they use as a sort of guest house. Our kids love staying there because they love playing with Caroline, Evie, and Nathan!

On Saturday morning, we went walking with Pops and Mimi:

...and after the service and dinner on Saturday, we left a little before 5 am on Sunday morning. We're glad we went although obviously heartbroken for the occasion. It was nice to be with family, as always.

Out and About

We went to so many fun places in NC while we were there.

We got to visit a well-known children's museum with friends:

Daphne enjoyed the baby section!

We also went to the largest natural science museum in the southeast. I had never been, and it was really interesting. There were dinosaur displays, a hands-on play area, an aquarium - all kinds of stuff to explore.

We also saw a band playing at a nearby outdoor mall. It was beautiful weather, the band was good, there was a playground for the kids - it was a pretty perfect setup!

I thought about going back and adding it all to our school year calendar as extra school field trip days ;) I love how we're always learning!

Cousin Funnin'

We had a good time with Ella while we visited NC!

Paige loved Uncle Jon the best, though - she told him, "You're my best friend."

We were so glad to meet our beautiful and perfect little new niece, Ava, 2 days after she was born! Sweet baby girl!

Our kids sure love their cousins! (and so do Jason and I!)

Our Wild Paigey

This deserved its own post. It represents Paige perfectly.

Week in NC - at P and K's house

We had a nice time in NC the first week of June. We stayed with Paw Paw and Kacki for 6-ish days, then with friends in Greensboro for the weekend for Grandmother's memorial service.

Poor Jason spent much of the week traveling. He drove us all the way down on Saturday (15ish hours, including breaks), then flew to CT for work Tuesday-Thursday, then drove us to Greensboro on Friday, and drove all the way home Sunday. We're so thankful for him.

At Paw Paw and Kacki's house, Russell practiced shooting a BB gun:

Paige and Kacki read:

Meredith and the granddaughter of neighbors, Elizabeth, picked flowers:

There was lots of water fun. The water balloons lasted about 2 minutes!

(I was there :))

Looking at old pictures:

Water guns = $4 well spent! They were brought out a couple of different days.

Russell had the best time soaking Paw Paw!

But Paw Paw had a good time getting him too!

Daphne was a superstar traveler. We would never have even thought of traveling with the others at 9 months old. Daphne was excellent in the car (even though she didn't want to sleep in her car seat, she was mostly cheerful) and slept through the night everywhere we stayed. 

Next parts of our week, coming up!