Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Photos

From back during my parents' visit--so cute!
We celebrated my dad's 68th birthday while my parents were in town. The boys put on a magic show and M created signs and a special parade where my sister and I processed in carrying a sign (saying "We Love You") while we sang "Happy Birthday".  M finished with homemade confetti thrown on my dad.  He was quite the creative organizer--very sweet! ;)
J and his buddy, C, on Family Fun Day at preschool
Brushing the goat
Petting the bunnies--sick baby G :(
MG talking to the little pony 
The big boys and their conquest--The Loch Ness!   
A morning Memorial Day craft--pretzel/icing structures
Everyone was very focused
J made a 2D jet 
M made a fireplace with honey logs
Thankfully Baby G was on the mend and her rash was getting better--whew!
Yesterday we were totally spoiled to see some dear Princeton folk, including meeting this adorable wee cherub!  What a squish!
The girls and babies minus baby G!
The younger crew--Kellie brought her younger two and I had my younger three.  
Claire and MG, great buds after only two meetings!  Love it! 
Baby G was so lucky to see her godparents--here was a special shot with Auntie J!
Thank you, Lord, for allowing us to share in the goodness of this life!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Week's Adventures

I promise you I haven't been sitting idly over the last week of un-blogging!  Promise! ;)

My sister left on Monday and (of course!) we had to get mani/pedis before she left.  Thanks to my mom for our belated Mother's Day treat. :)  Isn't our mother good to us?  We enjoyed the relaxation and chatted the whole time.  If only she lived closer...

My parents left Thursday morning, but in the meantime, we had lots a'happening.  Baby G came down with a low grade fever Monday that slowly began rising.  By Thursday it was 105.1 (rectal) and that was enough to scare me into the doc.  She was Strep positive and had an ear infection, but by Saturday also developed an unusual rash all over her body.  Poor thing.  She must have come down with one of the following: 1) a reaction to the meds (unlikely because the rash didn't look like hives), 2) a reaction to her chicken pox vaccine given 10+ days prior, 3) scarlet fever (thanks to strep), 4) another virus on top of the strep, or 5) additional dairy allergies surfacing 2 weeks from when we started cow's milk.  Ugh!  Thankfully by yesterday, the antibiotic seemed to be doing the trick and the rash was starting to abate.  She is now eating better and I've taken her off cow's milk just to be on the safe side.  Almond milk with chocolate almond milk mixed it is a tasty treat for a 1yo and she's adapting well.  

Backing up again, on Wednesday, we had J's preschool "graduation" even though he's returning next year for pre-k.  My parents were able to stay for it, which was so nice of them, and GG was able to come from work (also so amazing thanks to his "new" job!)  J felt loved. ;)
Our quasi-graduate, who will be back for pre-k next year! ;)
J and his sweet teacher, Mrs. B.  He had a fun year and we're very excited for him to do the same pre-k program T did two years ago!
Later that night, GG and I were able to head out to a brewery event for work.  My parents covered the home front and we were able to get together with some old friends and even go out for a coffee afterward.  Thanks, Mom and Dad, for all of your help!

They were also immensely helpful as swim team started last week and M will be on the team!  Practices ran all week at 4:30pm, yet I still have some tutoring students in the works.  Having my parents around was a saving grace and M wouldn't have been able to attend without them!!  T did not make the team (he couldn't complete a length of the pool, so we were kind of expecting this), but the good news is that he'll be on the pre-team and after two weeks of lessons, can try to make the team again.  Here's to hoping I can have both boys at the same practice time... :)

Back to Thursday (see how my life is dizzying?), we had J's family fun day at preschool, which was a fun event for him and his friends.  Baby G was sick, so she stayed with me and hung out in the stroller, but MG went with Mimi to her music class.  I've been meaning to write about it for a little while--the class was a gift from us for baby G for her birthday.  We decided to have both girls attend because MG loved her first music class experience so much...  Alas, baby G had to miss, but thanks to our ever-helpful Mimi, MG had a great time and they met us later at family fun day.  Whew!  

Friday was more of a "catch-our-breath" day.  Baby G was sick and pretty needy, so I mostly held my sweet girl and she napped a good bit too.

Saturday was our first "normal" Saturday in a long, long while.  No soccer, no obligations. So what did we do?  Go to Jamestown and Busch Gardens, of course!  Jamestown has been a stop on our to-see list and we had a great time.  The kids were initially reluctant, but seemed to enjoy the sights and learning about the history of the area.  I would have loved to have learned more through one of the educational videos, but alas, little ladies in a quiet, dark theater do not keep quiet.  ;)  The boys thankfully taught me a little afterward...  Here are some of the pics from our time.
MG doing her domestic duties, crushing corn meal
All the kids tried it--teaching my boys early that all tasks are to be shared! :)
Cozy T

Serious soldier, assuming the part lol
Afterward, we "swung by" Busch Gardens for an hour and a half jaunt.  Both GG and I were so pleased that we were able to make this visit so spontaneously and without much pain and effort!  These are big things for our family of 7! ;)  I have pics from that visit on our smaller camera, so I'll post those later.  Both big boys can now boast having ridden the Loch Ness roller coaster (a loop-de-loop type).  This is big, big news, especially for our M, who is always hesitant to ride but seems to be turning a corner on some of his fears.  We were so glad he seemed to enjoy himself and didn't re-visit his lunch. ;)

Have a brilliant day!  God bless!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

First Communion!

Leave it to a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful first communion weekend last weekend to completely upend my renewed blogging efforts and throw me blissfully off course! It was fantastic and most importantly, this guy felt very, very special...

Lining up before Mass.  Someone's excited!
My parents arrived on-schedule Friday and met us over at the school for the kids' field day, a fun annual gig.  It was awesome to see them for their visits are always so anticipated.  This time J projected every minute of their trip here, "Tomorrow they will be driving... Now they are getting into their car and starting to drive... now they are stopping for the night..." We were all thrilled.  But what made their arrival even more special was that they had a stowaway with them, who they had picked up at the airport on their way in... my sister!

She had secretly planned the trip and flew out to surprise all of us!  Being M's godmother, her trip was extra special and meant so much to him.  M's godfather, GG's brother, C, also flew up the following day, so we were able to spend the weekend with both of our siblings and M had both of his godparents there for his sacrament.  This was beyond special for all of us!

And in the end, everything went off without a hitch.  Most importantly our biggest guy really seemed to treasure the opportunity to receive Christ in the Eucharist.  "Jesus is with me now," he later commented.  A mama doesn't hear much sweeter words, I tell you. ;)

After processing up the aisle and waiting to be seated.
With Father Muentsch, the celebrant.  Sadly, our normal pastor was unable to be there due to surgery.
Looking so old!
A daddy, daughter moment

The best of the G clan 2013 ;)
A lucky shot with my family--not too shabby!
My boys
Afterward, we headed to GG's parents' for a celebration with two other families who also have sons who made their first communion.  It was a lovely affair and we can't thank Mimi and Papa enough for their warm hospitality.  Thank you, thank you, thank you...  Even cooler was that M also lost his other front tooth during the event!

The moms divided and conquered for the food--brunch is so much easier when done together!
M loves his Mimi and Papa so much (both of his sets of grandparents, for that matter!)  He is truly in heaven surrounded by their love and attention.  He delighted in their gift of a prayer book and $100 bill.  When finishing reading their card, he quite humorously read "Love, Mimi, Papa... and Benjamin"  lol.  He's a witty one!  Papa wanted me to be sure to record this funny aside. ;)
After initially being afraid of her unfamiliar Pappy, this little one sat happily on his lap for most of the afternoon on Sunday.  Both seemed so content and happy, it was very sweet.
A Witmer girls shot--very rare, but so special.  Thanks to both of these amazing women for putting up with my stress and our family's craziness!  Love you both so much!

It was a blissful weekend that both GG and I didn't want to end.  If only we had hours more to devote to the ones we love...  Thank you to our siblings and parents who made this such a memorable event.

M had a blast during "Me Week", as he called it.
Who doesn't love a weekend devoted to you and the chance to receive Jesus? ;)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

No Superwoman Here

I try to make it no secret that I muddle through this journey of motherhood right alongside you.  There are no superhuman powers for any of us.  But thankfully there is a lot of grace if you know where to look (nudge nudge Man Upstairs) ;).

I elaborate over at Building Cathedrals today:

If you haven't yet tapped into the power of the Almighty, I encourage you to take a second look.

God bless you this evening,

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Performing Arts

In keeping up with the "catching up", three Fridays ago T and his classmates presented "Kindergarten Rocks", a concert of singing, smiling, gestures, and overall 6yo cuteness.  Every parent there was so proud.  I had the honor of representing for all the G-Ville adults--GG, Mimi, and Papa were all traveling that morning, leaving the lone mama and the little girls to represent.  Unfortunately, we were all in the midst of the dreadful stomach virus, but we mustered the energy, put on a smile, and were there to cheer on our beloved T!

The night before he was insistent that we pick out his outfit and have every piece perfect--"I want to look handsome, Mommy."  Cute.  I think we succeeded, don't you? ;)
Our Dapper T, ready for school and the big show!

He was so excited to see us when we arrived...

Afterward we were lucky to get a shot with T's amazing kg teacher, Mrs. C, who also taught M and whose sons were taught in confirmation by Mimi and Papa many moons ago!  She is the best and offers me such encouragement! ;)
Here we all are, in various forms of togetherness.  I wish I would have gotten a shot with just T--oh well!!  Sick babies don't like to be put down in strollers!
If only the fun ended there...  Later that day, M, T, and J all came home from school and withered into a heap of viral illness.  It was a sad night in G-Ville, but made exponentially easier thanks to movies!  When we're sick, we're going to the dogs completely by rotting our brains too!  Just get me through it, dear Lord.  In addition to movie time, another perk to stomach viruses is that they go easy on the kitchen because nobody wants to eat.  My kitchen had a day or two breather, which it really appreciated.  It hasn't been that clean since! ha!

The older two boys unfortunately had to miss their piano recital the next day, but instead, we held one here at the house--great idea, Papa!  Mimi and Papa returned from their trip and breathed new life into our home on Saturday morning.  We needed it desperately--thank you!  They took care of us and ran out to buy various things.  The boys mustered stomach juices to eat a donut.  I "managed" a tall Americano from Sbucks--isn't coffee the wellspring of health and wellness?  ;)

The boys performed beautifully at their home recital--M even added some of his own touches that made his piece extra emotive.  Pretty cool that he's starting to sense the music and use it as a form of expression!  If only he could latch onto that for weekly practice... Both boys are disliking daily practice something fierce these days.  It is a battle and I dislike fighting it.  They know, though, its a battle that will wage on through middle school.  End. of. story.  I need to step up the consequences for whining.  But, back to the home recital.  Here we were in our (still) unfurnished piano room...

J was still in his jammies at 3pm.
Our recital crowd--a sell-out.

The sick boys, not looking too worse for the wear.  We made them get dressed for the "event".
After the recital, we celebrated the Kentucky Derby with mint juleps and some good, old betting on horses.  Mimi's horse won (legitimately) and T's horse took second in the family pool.  GG's horse was last, but he wasn't even there to choose.  We picked for him.  ;)  The kids ate a few bites of pizza and we enjoyed getting our minds off of nausea!

Thanks to Mimi extraordinaire!
This little lady was mustering an appetite that night, but didn't really rebound until days later thanks to an additional double ear infection, poor thing.  We are grateful she is back in the land of the eating and healthy!
That's all, folks!
God bless,
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