AJ is FIVE!!!

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AJ is five years old!! It is hard to believe that time has gone so fast.  AJ is such a sweet, warm, sensitive boy!! He is really fun to hang out with and I am appreciating the time that I have with him this year before he starts school full-time next year.  So to celebrate his birthday, the two of us went to Chuckie Cheese (when it opened) and had a blast being the only people there and just playing game after game together!! He was thrilled to get to see Chuckie Cheese as well as he got a black angry bird!!!

We then went to Menchie’s for some frozen yogurt, AJ’s other Birthday request.  And we had a great time picking out our flavor of yogurt and toppings.  It was really fun to just sit and talk with AJ about life.  For example, he told me that his favorite colors were gold and silver (the first time that he has ever mentioned those colors to me) and that when he grows up he wants to be a fireman and an animal rescuers. Who knew???

AJ has been a real blessing to us.  He has many one liners that just make us stop and say, ‘did he really just say that?’.  AJ is typically and awesome big brother and little brother.  He has demonstrated patience, kindness and love to them and it is amazing to see.  AJ is my cuddler, who is also sweet and sensitive.  This year, it has also been really neat to see AJ growing into himself.  We have really enjoyed working with him on reading… as it is a new skill that he started working on a month or so before turning five.  And he has done so well with it!!!  But don’t be fooled, AJ LOVES to play video games.  Mario Kart, Super Mario Brothers and Angry Birds are among his favorite.  Oh, and these days I will add Sonic to the list!!!

We enjoy all of our time with AJ and look forward to the days and years to come as he continues to grow up right in front of us into a person that we are really proud of!!!  We love you, AJ!!! Happy 5th Birthday!!!!

PS:  Thanks Pam for getting a great picture of AJ for us!!!!


Pumpkin Patch

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On Sunday, we had a great family day.  We had an awesome lunch at California Pizza Kitchen and the kids got to eat for free!  Then we headed to the pumpkin patch in Davidsonville. We had never been there before, but it came highly recommended.   The kids quickly ran to the goats, who wanted nothing to do with them.  So it did not take long until we headed to the hay piles.

I ran into a teacher who I used to teach with, but the kids were getting a little impatient.  So Kaitlyn climbed into the wheel barrel and waited, patiently!!!  We walked over and each kid picked their pumpkin.  They loved walking through the fields but I was surprised at how quickly they picked their pumpkins,especially Rachael.

I will have to say that it was really fun to watch Kaitlyn pick her pumpkin.  She was very determined to carry it to the wagon, by herself.  Nate stuck by close to her just in case.  After the pumpkin was in the wagon, Kaitlyn was not far behind!

By far, AJ’s favorite part was pulling the wagon with the pumpkins back through the fields.  He loved the task and took it really seriously.  He looked like such a little man!!!

There was something very simple and peaceful about this particular pumpkin patch. It was truly a very cool pumpkin patch with a beautiful, scenic location. We continued to drive some of the back roads taking in the beauty before heading home.  What a wonderful day!!!

Team Pics…

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AJ has been playing soccer for several seasons now and it has been fun to watch.  He is getting so big!!!

We are loving AJ’s soccer team this season. Some of the boys have played together before and the coaches are awesome.  The kids are actually learning how to play soccer which is really refreshing!!!

AJ has also been really fortunate to have made some friends on his team. What is really nice about the three boys is that they push each other to play better. AJ tries harder when he plays with them and looks forward to practice as well as games.  It is a wonderful introduction to soccer!!!!

AJ has been playing pretty well this season…  I have not been able to go to that many of the games but I am looking forward to heading to more of them as the field hockey season is coming to an end.  I love watching the kids play their various sports…


Celebrating Kaitlyn’s 3rd Birthday

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I cannot believe that Kaitlyn, our baby, is three years old.  She has been such a blessing to us…

Kaitlyn is a fun loving happy little girls with LOTS of personality.  She is constantly giving a look or a goofy face that just makes you laugh!  She has a very neat imagination that is fun to watch.  There are very few times of the day that she is not playing with one of her siblings… she really tries to hang in there with the big kids.  Kaitlyn was a late talker and we are working through some speech issues.  But that is some thing that makes us really appreciate what Kaitlyn has to say even more.  The sound of her voice is so sweet and tender.  Who knew that her favorite food would be peanut butter and jelly as well as pancakes?  Kaitlyn loves to play on our iphones and our ipad.  She navigates them both exceptionally well!!!

God has blessed us with a very special little girl.

This year, we decided to have a lower key birthday party for Kaitlyn.  It was a fun change this year to have a Mickey Mouse party with breakfast for dinner!!  As I was looking for cakes, Kaitlyn pointed to one on the computer and said that it was ‘my birthday cake’.  And so the girls (Nicole and Pam) and I did the best we could to create the cake that Kaitlyn wanted.

Kaitlyn was really excited to be able to bounce around outside in the bounce house and was even more excited to do that with her friend, Jax.  The two of them can be so cute together!!!

The kids continued to play for a while and the adults ate dinner.  It did not take long for the kids to want to open presents. So we mixed up the order and did gifts and then presents.  It was a fun change!!!

Kaitlyn got lots of fun gifts this year; games, zoobles, polly pockets, etc.   Her favorite gift has definitely been the set of horses from Melissa and Doug.  She has also really taken to her new hat for the winter.

It was a race this year for Kaitlyn to blow out her candles and she was going to make sure that AJ did not do it first.  But it was really neat to see her smile every time anyone sang Happy Birthday to her.  She loved it!!!

Thank you to everyone that help make Kaitlyn’s Birthday such a special day for her!!!

Did I mention who wound Kaitlyn was after the party?  She played ball and ran around.  In fact, an hour after I put her to bed I heard her sweet little voice wanting some water.  Seriously…

And thank you Pam for getting the picture of Nate, Kaitlyn and I!!

Our Cabin Adventure

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I had this great idea, that our family should go camping!  And it was a great idea.  It did not match my ideal picture of what our camping weekend was going to be, but we had a wonderful time.  We headed to Jellystone Park in Hagerstown on Friday afternoon.  When we arrived we were escorted to our cabin in the woods….

We were glad to meet another family with kids as soon as we got to our site. The kids took off together into the woods behind the cabin, allowing Nate and I to unload the car (which was PACKED)!!!  Then we headed to Lazer Tag which AJ was super excited about!!! The girls were not as excited but all of us played one game.  Then Rachael, Kaitlyn and I kicked around a soccer ball while the boys played one more game.  We then headed to Candy Bar Bingo.  They were in the first round when we got there, so we only played four of the games.  Which proved to be enough because AJ would ask after every number was called if he had that number.  Luckily for us, Nate won the third game which won our family ~10 candy bars.  We headed back to the cabin from there and Nate made a fire while I made dinner for the kids.  There is nothing more fun than ending a camping day by making smores by the fire!!!

The next morning we woke up and it was not only freezing, but it was pouring as well.  The kids did not mind nearly as much as  I did. They nestled in and enjoyed watching the fire.

We eventually got ourselves together right before it stopped raining and in enough time to make it over to do the sand art necklaces.

I was set that our family was going to go for a walk on the hiking trail, and so we did.  It was absolutely beautiful!!  We saw a fun twisted tree and even some white-tailed deer.

As you can imagine, they did not stick around long when they heard our loud family coming through.  But it was just a  great walk in the woods.  Then, back to eat lunch and make another fire outside.  And if you know Nate, you can only imagine how much fun he had getting a good fire going!!  Which we enjoyed for a while, until it started pouring once again.

Luckily it stopped long enough for the kids to take part in the Halloween Parade with Yogi Bear but we quickly headed back to the cabin to get out of the costumes.

It was then that we started hanging out with our neighbors and their children.  There were 11 kids between the three families and everyone had a great time!!  The kids were soaking wet and smiling from ear to ear!!!  We headed up to the DJ later in the night and sang and danced with all of the kids!!  It was amazing how easily all of the kids went down when we finally put them to bed!!!

Sunday morning, it was still pouring.  So we got ourselves up and moving and then packed and on the road!!  Luckily one of our new neighbors had played at  the arcade and given us several hundred tickets to redeem for some toys.  So we did that and then headed on our way.

As much as it would have been great if it would not have rained SO much, we had a wonderful time together!!   We plan on going back again next fall, but hopefully without the rain!!!!

On to new adventures…

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Rachael is playing field hockey this season for the first time.  It has been really fun watching her practice and play, when it is not raining.  So far, she is really enjoying it.  The team practices once a week and has games twice a week.  Needless to say, she is keeping busy!

Rachael loves having her fan club watching, especially one of her most dedicated fans, Kaitlyn.  Kaitlyn always makes sure to go and give Rachael a hug while Rachael is waiting to play in the game.  And she is always happy to great Rachael when she is done.

But just as everything else that Rachael has been involved in this year, we are really reminded how quickly the kids are growing up!!

What do you think?

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Yes… Kaitlyn is dressing herself.  However, it always seems to be out of her drawers as oppose to the closet.  So I am getting a lot of outfits like this!!!

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