What we’ve been up to

1. This little Felicity seems to think she is a big girl. She wants to do everything her sisters do, including now at not quite 14 months, sitting in a big girl chair at the table. Slow down baby girl, we aren’t quite ready for you to act so grown up yet.


2. Growing stuff in the garden.



3. Playing in the backyard.





4. Picnicking at various playgrounds and parks.




5. A day trip to the beach.






6. A trip to the aquarium.



bike riding

Getting Greta to ride a bike has been a challenge. Mostly she complains that her knee hurts when she pedals and so won’t even try (and that’s with training wheels). Once upon a time we had a balance bike, but neither Greta or Eloise really got it. They would walk as slow as possible while straddling the bike, definitely not balancing at all. So we got rid of it and moved onto bikes with training wheels last year or the year before. We had the balance bike for many years before ditching it. Anyways, she always complains about her knee and really wasn’t pedaling correctly at all. This year we were determined to get her to ride a two wheeler and we are finally making progress. I guess I shouldn’t really saw we since Matt has done pretty much all of the work. We got her a smaller bike and Matt took the pedal assembly off to make a new balance bike. She is now actually riding it while balancing! Up next we try it with pedals attached. There is still hope that she will get it this summer.


And apparently flickr changed it’s video sharing options, so until I figure out how to embed the video, you have to click on the links:



4th of July weekend

On Thursday the local farmer’s market had a parade and costume contest. The girls wanted to dress up, so we went and Greta was sorely disappointed she did not win. But we did get a full family photo since a friend was there and offered to take one. Matt just happened to be wearing blue that day (when he left for work none of the rest of us were dressed and he did not plan to match us).


Friday we decided to make a day trip to NYC. It was the first time we had taken all four kids and overall I think it went well. We took the train the whole way, next time I think we will drive closer to the city and then park and take the train the last few stops. Felicity wanted to be very loud on the train, which the other passengers probably didn’t enjoy very much.


We took the subway to Chelsea Market and explored and got some lunch to-go. Matt and I got tacos and the girls got homemade hotdogs, bacon mac and cheese, and clam chowder. We then took our lunch up to The High Line. We found a nice shady spot for lunch with a view of the Statue of Liberty.






We walked down to the southern end of The High Line and then on the way back got some ice cream. Then we walked all the way up to 30th street with some breaks along the way. Everyone was exhausted and so we took the train back home. In total we walked close to 4 miles. Not bad!





Yesterday on the actual 4th, we went on a walk around the neighborhood and did some playing outside.







We also harvested some more carrots for our lunch.


In the late afternoon we went to play mini golf. We definitely need some more practice, but everyone had fun!

first harvest

We are growing beets for the first time this year and after we got back from vacation we harvested them. I was worried we might have left them too long, but they are delicious! We will definitely be growing them again. We also are starting to get some sugar snap peas and green beans, so far just a few of each to get us started, but there are lots on the plants that will be ready soon.



This week on our picnic we checked out a fun nature center (well mainly a wooded area) with a trail and had a lovely picnic by a stream.







In other news, Beatrice had learned to pump on the swing! This is by far the earliest any of the girls have figured it out, she just turned 3.5 years old.


Vacation, part 2

Monday we were scheduled to have a beach day about an hour from my parents’ house. Greta woke up with a headache and 101.5 fever, so we opted to have her and Matt stay home and I took the other three to the beach. We met up with some of my friends from elementary school and their kids. It was a blast and the girls loved it. Felicity was so independent, just wandering the beach and water, without a care as to where I was. The other two had fun playing in the sand and water.









We even got to see a few crabs!


Both of my sisters were around during parts of our trip, so the girls were glad to spend time with their aunts. I only got a picture of one sister though. (I was not very good at getting pictures this time, there are no pictures of me, my mom, or Caroline). And a few more pool time photos.









And that’s about it for vacation. Hopefully next time we travel we have a much less sick vacation.

Oh how could I almost forget our plane trip back. We flew out of Valdosta, GA since plane tickets were much cheaper and it is only about 1.5 hour drive to Tallahassee. So we get there with plenty of time, board the plane on time for our 4:30 flight even though they have changed our time of departure to 30 minutes later. There were storms in Atlanta and all planes going into and out of Atlanta were grounded, so we sat. After almost 2 hours on the plane, they let us off, since they had given us a new departure time of 7:08 pm. So we got off of the plane for about 40 minutes or so. Then back on we go for a rough bouncy ride to Atlanta. Our next flight was scheduled to leave Atlanta around 7:30, but due to the grounding of planes everything was running late. Once we landed and got to our new gate, our plane was scheduled for a 9:30 departure. So we get on the plane, but alas we can’t actually leave since we are waiting on our first officer to arrive from Minneapolis and she hasn’t arrived yet. So we wait for a while. She finally arrives, and guess what, now the pilot’s day has ended and he can no longer fly the plane because he has been working for too many hours. Yay! Oh but wait we have a new pilot to fly the plane, but he won’t be in Atlanta for another hour as he is flying a plane from Houston to Atlanta. So off the plane we go to sit in the airport some more. Oh I failed to mention that we had finally gotten all 4 children asleep on the airplane and were nice and settled in for our flight to Philly. But alas we all had to get off the plane. Thankfully the flight attendants didn’t offer to help us lug our stuff and 4 sleeping children off the plane and instead stood around watching us struggle, because of course. We made a little rest area for the girls to sleep and everyone fell right back to sleep. I’m holding sleeping Felicity during the photo.


The new pilot and first officer show up and yay we get back on the plane, and everyone falls back asleep relatively fast. We finally take off about 12:30 am. We arrive in Philly about 2:10 am and get off, go potty, get our luggage. Matt and Beatrice go get the car and we all pile back in and drive home. We finally got home at 3:45 am. That was exhausting, but the children were absolute angels, not once screaming that they were woken up and really complaining. So there was our lesson to never fly through Atlanta on a summer afternoon. Hopefully I’ll remember that next time I book our plane tickets.


This summer, we went to visit my parents for our vacation. They have a pool in the back yard, so we were excited about lots of swimming! Over the course of the week, everyone went from very tentative in the water, to jumping off the diving board (even Felicity, although I don’t have a picture of her, since it required one of us to drop her off the dive and the other to catch her).







Greta made great progress swimming without any flotation device and swimming underwater. With a bit more work this summer, I think she will be swimming on her own.

At some point during the trip, the oldest three all had fevers. No idea what was going on, but we think a virus. So we didn’t get to do as much as planned. Greta and Eloise both got their haircut.



On Father’s Day we made sure to take some lovely pictures with our favorite dads who were there, Matt and my dad, granddaddy.












And I’ll be back with more later.

prayers please

Some of you know, but most of you don’t, so I figured I would update those who read here. My dad has been pretty sick since the beginning of the year. He has liver disease and needs a liver transplant. He is on the liver transplant list (it has been a long process to get that to happen), and so now he and mom are just waiting for the call. In the past few weeks he seems to be doing a bit better than before, but it is all a very fine balancing act and just when we think he might be settling into a consistent pattern we get another curve ball. If you could please keep him and my mom in your prayers that would be much appreciated. And if you happen to see him out and about he will definitely look and act quite a bit different. As with any disease/illness you learn so much when someone close to you has it. I never really knew much about liver disease, but it is pretty awful, muscle loss, fluid accumulation, memory loss, lack of appetite, weak-thin skin.

He is seeing some doctors in Jacksonville at the Mayo Clinic and also his local doctors. We will be visiting soon and doing lots of praying. Mom is taking good care of him and he is trying his best to get better. Felicity and I were just there last week and got to go to some doctors’ appointments in Jacksonville with them.


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preschool graduation, picnics and dance

Before the birthday weekend, we had a few exciting things for Eloise. First she had her end of the year preschool show/graduation thing. She did a great job singing, even though she was out sick the few days before hand and didn’t have as much time to practice.


We also went on a picnic (come join us) to some local gardens.






And Eloise had her dance group picture. The recital is this coming weekend, so I’m sure I will take some more pictures.