Monday, July 29, 2013

Out with the old.

Gone are the days of mere family survival.  We are beginning to thrive and gosh, it feels good!  Take our trip to Busch Gardens last weekend, for example.  Yes, it was hot.  Yes, we were all tired in some way, shape, or form.  But it was glorious fun for all seven of us!  Even MG and baby V got in on the action.  M and T both road coasters and swings and more coasters.  J joined in for the swings, planes, and bumper cars.  Have I mentioned how fun life is when you can enjoy it alongside your children?!  I am loving these summer experiences, almost like awakenings for our little family...
It was warm, but the baby was so sweet!
Check out that little lady, braving Elmo's ride.  Cute!
GG and the big boys braved a water ride
T and J later stood down on the bridge and got soaked!

This was V's first ever ride.  The boys and I watched while riding the big swings--we just about melted from the cuteness!
A lucky shot at lunch
Plus and Minus, riding the airplanes.  Such fun was had by all of us!
In the last week, we've also wrapped up M's swim season.  He swam at champs last Friday and dropped a second and a half in the race.  And didn't lose his goggles!!  Woo hoo!  The G cheering section was just thrilled when we saw him surface still swimming.  Yay!  When I asked him to describe the season in a word, he said, "Two words: Totally Awesome."  Love it.  What a great experience for him.

And lastly, in keeping with the theme of this post, we said goodbye to the kitchen table that was my first out-of-college purchase...
You can see we'd outgrown its capacity and then some...
Only to welcome in this beauty!  We have an extra chair, folks.  Amazing!

The table's occupants are thrilled (as are Mom and Dad! :)
Just over the weekend we've been working on J's 2-wheeled bike riding and V's two-legged walking.  Cha-cha-changes are a'foot, my friends.  Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with every breath on this journey.

God bless you on a Monday,

Friday, July 19, 2013

Boys' Day Out

Among the adventures our family has been having lately, the boys were able to head to the Marine Corps Museum today with our wonderful Mimi and Papa.  What fun!  The girls and I had a peaceful afternoon at home and are here waiting to see our little boy loves and hear about their adventures.  It is such a gift for them to be able to get out and be free of napping sisters... all while spending time with two pretty awesome grandparents!  Thank you, Mimi and Papa!
Outings are that much more fun when good food is involved
Cutie pies

This one makes me laugh!
It has been a slower week around here, which has been nice and allowed for more play and at-home peace.  The kids and I had a fun hodge podge outing on Wednesday to the gym/childcare, to get coffee and donuts, to the paint store to buy paint for our mailbox and the boys' new room colors (cool to see them get so excited about what their room will look like!  The color choices?  We'll see.  Thankfully they are just paint swatches on the wall right now...), and then a trip to the library. The big boys are getting serious about their summer reading and I got a book that I've already consumed in a sitting.  I'm horrible like that and get completely involved in books I read!  Doesn't do well for my sleep or GG communication.  Sorry hon!  It is now done and I can move on... :)   Later that day, the four oldest helped me paint the mailbox post and spruce up our house numbers with spray paint.  We also replaced the rusty box.  The finished product is something we can all be proud of--I wish I had before/after photos for you.  It looks 100% better!

Other than that, we found out later that night that M made champs in the 25 free.  He had the time cut, but we didn't know if he would make "the team" or not--they only take 2 kids per event.  The good news is he made it and can now redeem himself from our last-meet-lose-your-goggles-on-every-event catastrophe, poor guy.  New goggles and a new dive are in place and working!  The bad news is that the younger four and I have to endure another week of practices in the awful heat.  They do so well and really make the best of it, but it's safe to say we're all about ready to be done!

Tomorrow offers a morning to mid-day excursion to Busch Gardens and later M's swim banquet.  The parents v. coaches relay I talked about earlier is actually happening then. We will all get to eat together and M will feel special.  The night ends with the kids getting to swim from 8-10pm!  GG will take the littles home and I will stay with our big boy. Should be fun and we'll get some pics to share...

God bless on a Friday,

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Summery Sparkle

Swim season is coming to a close, believe it or not.  What a great experience for our little big man!
The days lately have had that kind of summer sparkle to them, mixed in with a hazy, dazy, lazy sort of feeling that you can only discover when the calendar is clear and obligations are to a minimum.  We are having the best of times, for sure.

A sampling of ice cream sandwich resulted in this fun.  Makes up for an uneventful 1st birthday!
 I spoke with my parents earlier this week and quickly apologized for my lack of posting on the blog.  "Don't worry," they assured, "We know life is busy and things are happening when you have little time to write about it."  They are so very correct in their assumptions.

Life is definitely busy and things are most certainly happening.  But all of it is set against the hazy, dazy, lazy backdrop I describe above and, thus, we are happily cruising through summer.  It is glorious!!

The kids and I had a wonderful day trip to Newport News to the Living Museum there.  We are now members and can't wait to go back...  Have I mentioned how happy the kids' love of science makes me?
Tortoise T

We walked through exhibits and around the nature trail, saw a planetarium show (mama was giddy!!), participated in the wild animal show and touch tank, and crawled through just about everything they had to offer.  


Independence Day came and went this year without much of a fuss.  But Water Country the following day made for great fun.  We've also checked peach picking and Luray Caverns off our summer list too!  The Bucket List is being conquered one adventure at a time...

Within our fun, we've also been champions of our dear friends and their outstanding daughter, Harlie, who notched her 34th surgery two weeks ago.  A case of big pneumonia after has taken a lot out of her, but she is emerging better than ever and we couldn't be more proud of our friends.  Bravo, Holton Family!
Can you spot the gray-shirted G's?  Our community is so proud of Harlie and her family!
In between we've hosted a Catholic Engaged Encounter picnic here followed by out-of-town guests.  This weekend we are busying with an EE district gathering in town.  It has been wonderfully encouraging and GG and I feel so blessed to be part of such a Christ-centered community.  God is teaching us and working in our hearts through the people there.  Tomorrow wraps up the final day and then the G's will take a collective breath before we head back into the week.

Monday night is the last swim meet--M will swim freestyle and butterfly(!) and mama will participate in the parents v. coaches relay.  Oy!  Time to squeeze back into the Speedo and see if my muscles remember how to swim.  It hasn't been that long, I suppose, but I still think the race will be a bit of a shocker to my body!

Thankfully, I am happy to report GG and I have been very committed to our summer fitness routine, rising most mornings around 5am to conquer our daily workout.  I will boast that GG has completed 5 weeks of the very rigorous Insanity program and is getting in great shape.  Anyone who knows what I'm talking about knows this workout regime is no joke.  I'm so proud of him!  He is overcoming 2 years of non-fitness inertia.  Way to go, GG!!  Now we're going to start praying against sore knees and injury...

God bless,