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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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We even got to see a few crabs!

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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.

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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.

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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.

Vacation

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).

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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1st birthday pictures

As I have with the other girls, I took some pictures of Felicity in the family birthday dress. It was a busy and long day, so I didn’t get much out of her. Most of them she is sitting and the way the dress lands, she looks like a floating head, so I cropped her to make it look a little better.

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But unlike the last two babies, who were born in the winter and thus I couldn’t take 1 year old pictures outside in a short sleeved dress, Felicity got to have her picture taken outside. We have these hanging in our play room, so now I just need to decide which to print and get hers hung up as well.

Greta:
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Eloise:
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Beatrice:
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and the wall:
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birthday! birthday!

This past weekend we celebrated both Greta and Felicity’s birthdays.

We started celebrating on Friday, with a special treat at school (and a dress down day for the birthday girl).

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Greta had an entire schedule for her actual birthday on Saturday, and we tried to stick to it, but did falter a little. We started off with singing and presents in bed.

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Then waffles for breakfast, and scoot around the neighborhood to visit the neighborhood yard sales (we didn’t find much). After some lego building, we went to Red Robin for lunch (pictures haven’t been downloaded from that camera), a quick trip to BJs to pick up some party supplies and home for more lego building. I took Eloise to her dance pictures (another post) and Greta worked on her bag that our neighbors brought over to her. We rescued some bean bag chairs from the trash (they were for sale at a yard sale earlier, but had the names Amanda and Michaela, so I wasn’t going to pay for them, but for free, we will happily be Amanda and Michaela).

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The requested dinner was peanut butter and marshmallow sandwiches followed by a trip to get ice cream.

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Then home for some much needed baths.

Sunday we switched to celebrating Felicity! She seemed excited by presents just for her.

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After mass, we had more party preparations.

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After attempting to put Felicity down for a nap two times, she finally gave in on the third try, which also happened to be right at party time. She ended up sleeping through the majority of the party and I woke her up for cake time. Greta got to invite 3 friends from school to the party and since I don’t have permission from their parents, I’m not going to post many pictures here.

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We sang first to Greta, at which point everyone got confused as to what name to use, since she goes by Margaret at school and Greta everywhere else :)

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Felicity was still waking up and a bit confused by what was happening. But she ended up enjoying a little cake.

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Then she headed out to explore what she missed out while she was sleeping.

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And that’s it, birthday weekend is complete. The rain that was supposed to happen during the party, didn’t start until a few hours after the party was over. I think everyone had fun. More posts coming later today or tomorrow.

backyard fun

It is so nice to be able to enjoy the outside again. Felicity loves playing out in the backyard. The other children often go running back inside screaming about some sort of bug. Hopefully they will get used to them and enjoy being outside more.

Here are some pictures of the girls enjoying the outside before a bug came and flew near them.

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Let’s see our tulips have bloomed in the front yard and are quite lovely. It was definitely a challenge to get a picture with everyone some what happy. I tried to convince them to do a completely grumpy picture (since everyone has been so grumpy here lately), but that didn’t quite work out either. And I got some individuals, although Beatrice wouldn’t participate in that one. Oh well.

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Last week Felicity kept somehow getting a hold of this pink marker even though I was putting it out of her reach (maybe one of those sneaky big sisters was giving it to her, even though they have denied it) and gave herself some nice lipstick and nose, so she looked like baby Beatrice with her hemangioma on her nose.

Photo on 4-23-15 at 11.14 AM

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And Felicity won the front tooth race.

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We have to the canal for a walk, the wildflower preserve to explore, to our neighborhood playground and another picnic. We’ve been busy outside and loving it!

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and phew that was a lot of pictures.

outside time!

The weather has been simply wonderful here lately, so we have been spending lots of time outside. We started picnicking this week and it was lots of fun and we got to discover a new park and playground.

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I’ve realized I take way fewer pictures in the winter because the lighting in our house is just awful and makes it difficult to get pretty pictures, not to mention the clutter and mess that is always in the background of pictures taken inside our house.

Here are a few from a recent front lawn waiting for daddy to get home from work photo session.

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As you can see everyone is a little feisty towards the end of the day, tackling each other, jumping in front of each other’s pictures, making silly faces.