Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Daphne's Birthday Party!

We had a fun first birthday party for Daphne on Sunday afternoon! I meant for it to be small, and then I kept inviting I'm really glad it didn't rain because I'm not sure if everyone would have fit in our house!

We invited everyone to the park in our neighborhood for an afternoon of snacks and cake and friendship! It was hot but fun!

We invited church friends, neighbors, and homeschooling friends - most of our closest friends here, and most of the most important IL people in Daphne's life :)

Some of our GPN friends, Stacy and Cindy:

Our next-door neighbor Eric, our church friend Dan, our homeschooling friend Chia:

Our awesome teen neighbors, Nick and Sophie:

Russell and Darren ran around for hours and had so much fun!

Meredith, Merideth (yep!), and Daphne! Between these girls and Sophie, we had some great babysitting help at the party!

Our food theme was "Daphne's Favorites:" blueberries, cheese, chips and guacamole, corn dog muffins, and cake/cupcakes. Simple! (We forgot the watermelon at home :( )

I made a photo booth backdrop! And props! (This is the only decor I made, because I said I was going to keep it simple - but when I get on Pinterest, I can't help myself!)

Daddy's baby girl :)

Opening her presents...

...with lots of help!

And finally, Daphne had her first taste of cake! We got her a small(ish) smash cake. She was a bit skeptical of so many people singing to her, and the fact that no one would let her touch the candle.

Oh, but the cake was love at first bite!

It was exactly how I hoped it would be. A perfect party for a perfect little one-year-old.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

First Day of Classical Conversations!

August 22 was our first day of Classical Conversations (our new-to-us homeschool community/classes for the year!) We will be going every Monday from 9 am - 1 pm.

All the kids were SO excited. I had attended the parent orientation the week prior and had gotten their class lists and class rules, so the kids knew what was expected and couldn't wait to start. It helped a lot that they each knew at least 1 friend in their class already.

Russell is in a class of 7 kids - 5 boys, 2 girls - ages 6-8 (mostly). Meredith's class also has 7 kids - 5 girls, 2 boys - ages 4-6 (mostly). Paige and Daphne are in the nursery with 4 or so other children, ages 0-4 (but mostly 2 and 3 year olds).

I have to say, CC is totally living up to my high expectations. The kids learn a lot while there - geography, math, grammar, Latin, history, art, and science, in age-appropriate ways - and they also give a presentation each week, All the families have lunch and recess together, too. The kids' tutors are wonderful, and the program is extremely well-organized. All this, plus devotions and prayer and Scripture memory to begin the day - it's pretty much everything I could ask for!

The kids, of course, love that they're getting to socialize with other homeschoolers, but they also love what they're learning.

Paige is having a wonderful time in the nursery with a new little 4-year-old friend. There is also another little girl baby about Daphne's age, whom Daphne will hopefully befriend once she gets a little more accustomed to being in the nursery without a morning nap (it's a long morning!) and without Mama ;)

Nice to have a consistent homeschooling community!

12 months old!

5 days ago, Daphne had her big first birthday! :) :(

(It's a good thing we're not going to be doing any more stickers - she hasn't kept them on for the past couple months!)

No walking for this girl yet, but she is standing on her own!

 Her language is exploding too. She says: all done, more, mama, sissy, bub-bub (brother), Jay-jee or something for Paigey, doggie, uh-oh, whoa, plus a lot more words that she has only said once! 

Her sixth tooth is on its way in (another top front-ish one).

Oh, and separation anxiety has for sure set in, although it doesn't seem to last long after I leave. (I really only leave her in the church nursery and the CC nursery).

Daphne's one year doctor's check up is next week, so we'll have to wait and see how she's growing. We can't believe she's already one!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Swim Team Banquet 2016

Russell and Meredith had their swim team banquet on Sunday! This was their first time attending any sort of banquet. They enjoyed it :)

Here they are with the rest of the 6 and under team. (I think Russell intentionally hid behind the kid in navy - he gets nervous at these types of things!)

They all got medals, and they got to keep their poster strip which has their best times written down as well as how often they dropped time. (The posters were displayed at the practices the morning after a meet.)

Their team gives each swimmer a "paper plate award." The coaches get up and say something funny/sweet/cute about each kid and gives them a silly award that identifies them that season. The kids LOVED it. (And they love their sweet friend Chloe!)

They were sad to see swim team end. We'll be back next summer!

Da Bears

We randomly figured out that the Chicago Bears training camp was this week, so we planned a little drive over there! (Kacki graciously stayed home to watch Daphne.) We went on Friday, which was named "Blue and Orange" day. We saw the Bears practice, ate hot dogs, and had fun in the Kids' Zone - all totally free! I have no Kids' Zone pics, but the kids loved it - they got their faces painted, made friendship bracelets, saw decked-out tailgating vehicles, and got balloon animals! Such a fun day.

Hoping to go back next year!

Paw Paw and Kacki's August Visit

We had a wonderful week with P and K here!

(These pictures are totally out of order for the week, but anyway...)

We all went to Giordano's for dinner one night (of course, our favorite!) and then walked on the Riverwalk a bit:

Paw Paw took a few spins with Russell at the park:

Played games:

Read books:

While they were here, Daphne learned how to pull up on the walls - she's very proud of herself :)

Such a good picture of Kacki and the kids!

They are so helpful and loving - really couldn't ask for better in-laws and it couldn't have been a better visit :) Come back soon!