Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Catch up -- other notes from 2016 - Paddy and skating

We got a dog! We went to the Humane Society and as soon as they brought in this dog, we knew she was just right for us.  Avery even said "She's a perfect dog!" and we just love her.  Her name is Paddy, short for Paddington (as in Bear).  She is maybe 5 years old and a Catahoula Hound mix.  She is quiet and gentle, and she doesn't get up in the morning until Caleb has snuggled with her.

 During the winter, Avery and Caleb took ice skating lessons at the Brentwood rink.  They both got really good at skating! Since I love to ice skate, this makes me very happy:

catch up -- Caleb turns 6!

Caleb is in kindergarten, and he is doing amazing! He is reading everything! We had a humorous conversation as he read aloud our "We don't skinny dip, we chunky dunk" sign, and I had to explain to him what skinny dipping means and told him about when Carolyn and I went skinny dipping (well, chunky dunking) with a bunch of old ladies from church!

We celebrated his 6th birthday in October.  Since his birthday is so close to Halloween, Carolyn made vampire donuts to bring to his class at school:
I read "Green Eggs and Ham" to the kindergarteners:

We had a backyard birthday party, with an obstacle course theme.  It was a hot day, but the kids had a great time.

Playing catch up!

No posts for a long time because I've been busy.  In 2016, we went to Disney World in January:

Sadly, my father passed away later in January.  But life got better in February as we closed on our house in Rock Hill and became homeowners!  We enrolled our kids in Webster Groves schools and love the area.

In 2016, we also attended two very special weddings:
Sarah and Chica (Michigan, August 2016):

Melanie and Chris (St. Louis, December 2016) at which Caleb was the ring bearer and Avery was an usher (Carolyn officiated!):

More recent-ish updates to come soon, hopefully!

Friday, July 1, 2016

These Magic Moments

 Above: Caleb graduates from Preschool! Below, the boys enjoying our trampoline.
 I took Caleb to Great Clips, and he requested a "faux hawk."  This boy is so cool.
 Speaking of cool, here he's just building a Lego structure while wearing a bathrobe.
 We now live right by a mall, which I love.  And luckily for me, the boys like going too! At our first mall outing, the boys sat in these massage chairs, rode one of those coin-operated rides (even though Avery's legs were too long for it!) and we went to see "Finding Dory" together.  They also liked having dinner at the Food Court.

Avery is 9!!!

Every birthday that passes, I can't believe how quickly the time goes by.  Everyone says "they grow up so quickly," and my goodness it is true!

 Avery is NINE, over 5 feet tall and wears a men's shoe size 8.5 -- we can share shoes! And my feet ain't small!  It's nuts.  We tried to make a good birthday for him.  His birthday was on a Friday this year, so we took the day off of camp and work to have fun together as a family.  The day started with his first gift -- this Perry doll (above), since Avery LOVES Phineas and Ferb!

We then headed to the mall to go to Build-A-Bear, thanks to a gift card from Aunt Sarah.  Avery picked out a stuffed dog, which he named "Hudson" after his new elementary school (!).  Avery gave him "bravery" and a strawberry scent.  Also an outfit and a dog bed.  Caleb picked out an Iron Man themed teddy bear, and also made him strawberry scented.  It was fun!  We followed our trip to the mall with lunch at the Cheesecake Factory where the 4 of us could not finish the ridiculously rich chocolate cake they brought us for Avery!

 After our mall outing, we headed home to change into our swimsuits.  We just joined the local pool, and we enjoyed swimming and water slides.  It's no Indian Hills Swim Club, but it's actually really fun -- a lazy river, water slides, and even diving boards! Avery likes to jump backwards off the low dive; Caleb wants to try, but we think he's still too little.

Gogo and Grandmpa and Uncle Donnie came over for dinner and cake.  We decorated the cake with Phineas and Ferb figurines and gave Avery his other gifts: a Phineas and Ferb board game and a Ferb "build a car" toy.  Can you detect a theme?

The evening ended with a concert! I'd gotten tickets a long time ago to see Darius Rucker.  Avery said he'd like to go, so we went together.  Even though he doesn't like music, he enjoyed sitting outside on the blanket (the weather was perfect!) and having snacks.  We didn't stay for the whole concert, as it was getting late and we were tired, but we had a nice time.

Happy Birthday, Avery!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Trout Lodge weekend, April 2016

We were desperate to get away for a weekend!  So we decided to go to the YMCA Trout Lodge retreat.  Carolyn had been there before for work, but I'd never been and neither had the kids.  It was perfect! It's only 90 minutes from home, and we went during a beautiful, sunny weekend when it wasn't crowded at all.  It felt like we had the place to ourselves, and the staff all got to know us and the kids.

We did so much! Archery, tether ball, a pontoon tour, hiking, a campfire, arts and crafts, kayaking, miniature golf, and more. We returned home relaxed and happy to have spent a weekend all together as a family.




The boys got to each steer the pontoon!


"Paint War:"

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Once again, Carolyn went above and beyond to make Halloween awesome: she rocked the Trunk or Treat events at her work and at Avery's school (our van was the BEST); she nearly single-handedly hosted Avery's class party by providing snacks, crafts, and a witch's cauldron full of goodies, and, when Caleb told us that he wanted to dress up as a "transformer who really transforms," she whipped up an amazing costume out of cardboard boxes, red and blue tape, and some Velcro. He had several costumes this year! But since Avery went yet again with his iPhone t-shirt, the boys balanced each other out.

Avery's school party included a performance (!) in which Avery played the role of "Mr. Miller," married to "Mrs. Miller" (played by his teacher -- awkward!)