Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Felicity's Fourth Birthday

Felicity was a heartbreakingly sweet three year old. The thought of her growing up at all isn't something we want to consider - can't she just stay this young, innocent, and fun forever? FOREVER? But her fourth birthday has come and gone already. And she continues to be as sweet, pleasant, and loving as ever.

She has a stuffed dachshund named Hot Dog that she carries around with her everywhere. If we ever lose that dog --- that's its own nightmare. So we put together a little "Hot Dog" party! The cupcakes and kids were covered in Hot Dogs. She loved it!
We had hot dogs and brats...because that's what you eat at a Hot Dog Party! And her family came to celebrate Felicity being four.
She opened her pile of gifts. Being the Felicity she is, each present brought out a big smile. She's just so happy to BE, so pleased with each moment!
Her older sisters supervised the gift opening and generously read her cards aloud in unison.
Then she blew out her candles from her happy perch on Uncle John's lap. He is her godfather and spoils her rotten. Or he would if there was a bone capable of being rotten in a Felicity. And she just adores him.
Four year old Felicity still naps most days. Loves her morning activities with her mom. Recently switched rooms with Vivian and now shares a bedroom with Miriam. She helps take care of Simon and gets distraught if she doesn't get to open the door to his room after his naps to welcome him. She is loving the Amanda Pig books right now. She doesn't like heights or very many vegetables or getting her hair combed. She loves to sneak around the van and "surprise" Mommy while Mommy is buckling Simon into his carseat. She loves her best friend Olivia, baths and showers, any pretend play, Bob the Builder, and driving the power wheels around the cul de sac. At her 4 year well-check everything looked good and the doctor call her "precocious".

For her birthday date with Daddy she asked to go to Cracker eat mac and cheese. And to use her birthday gift card at the store!
And then spent the gift card on something small for herself and bought her sisters gifts. This child. If only we could all be as generous and willing to see the good...

Felicity, we love you.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


A somewhat sacrilegious thing happened in March...Simon got his first Ash Wednesday cross. And darn it that was so cute Mommy could not resist taking a picture of it before he rubbed it off. 
 Simon worked really hard on being cute in March and taking terrible naps.
And on rolling and wiggling. In the picture below, he started out on the blanket on his back. Ended up off the blanket and even the blanket had moved significantly.
And he's worked those sitting muscles with the help of the Bumbo and Felicity.
The older two girls have been visiting a local art studio a few times a month to just be creative and begin to learn some techniques and materials. It has been a lot of fun for them.
March was also Spring Break and Sarah and her brother Michael going to a Journey concert.
This was fun like Sarah hadn't had in A WHILE. Dress up in your 80's garb, crimp your hair, dance til you drop. So great. The best part was Mass on Sunday. A parishioner told Sarah after Mass, "I was at the Journey concert Friday and thought, 'Wow those people up there are really getting into it.' And then I got on Facebook and said, 'That was SARAH!'" 80's Sarah, you really know how to party.

March meant Simon and Aunt Sue meeting.
Mostly, March was a difficult month because we said goodbye to our lovely Mema.
It was the most bittersweet goodbye. We were able to be with her hours before she passed to tell her we love her and say the Divine Mercy Chaplet. The last thing she ate was the Eucharist. It's odd to say, but hers is the kind of passing from this life into eternity that we can only pray to experience. There's no doubt she is resting peacefully in heaven with her Buddy, Pepa. In fact, we ask our St. Mema to pray for us often. But even knowing this, it's always hard to say goodbye, isn't it? We're just going to miss her for the rest of our lives. There's a hole that she filled so perfectly in this family that nobody else can fill. It's a silence where her stories used to be told and her anxious murmurs were whispered and her "OUCH" echoed if one of the kids stepped on her toes as they wandered the pew. Each holiday and family gathering and 8 AM Sunday Mass has that Mema-empty-spot and makes us happy for her and sad for us.
March was a missing-my-Mema Tim who took extra time to cuddle a moment longer with his four kids. Loving on your kiddos always helps!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Spring Break

March included a lovely two week Spring Break...everyone was able to stop the busy-ness that school adds to our lives and just enjoy each other. We took the opportunity to visit friends in Memphis who were the best hosts! They have two girls who sweetly shared their rooms with our girls and patiently shared their toys.

Our favorite Memphis attraction this trip was the Botanical Garden's Big Backyard. If you're within...let's say...100 miles, check this place out. The flowers were blooming, plenty of places to climb and run, dirt and sand for digging. All the things children could want! We found out Miriam out grew all her sandals from last summer when she had ugly blisters on her feet. Thank goodness for Amazon...she had new, properly fitting shoes waiting for us when we arrived home.
Flower beds...get it!?!?
One year ago we ran into these same good friends during our Spring Break Trip to St. Louis
The girls together at the St. Louis Zoo a year ago.
The girls + Simon a year later at the Memphis Zoo.
When we weren't sight-seeing the girls were zipping around the yard.
Playing on and dancing around the swing set.
Running the Power Wheels out of batteries.
Crafting while ingesting "Monkey Drinks" (kid smoothies)
More driving around in circles.
You get the idea.
Sarah and two of her lovely friends from her Xavier days
Alexis was super generous and took care of the girls so we could visit Elvis' home, Graceland. It was certainly unlike any other place we've visited. When Elvis got an idea he really ran with it. White furniture...mirrors covering the walls and tables...carved wood...300+ yards of pleated fabric on every surface...3 TVs so he could be like the president...It was really something.
AND a swingset like the one Tim grew up with (finally something normal!)
Sarah loved the paisley all over Elvis' wedding suit!
Simon was along for the trip and was preeeeetty fussy. By the time we got back to home-base, he was in full-panic-scream-mode. Turns out to be ear problems...again. We were able to get an antibiotic called down to Memphis from our doctor. Hallelujah. (This saga is not over so stay tuned.)
 Simon was also working on his skills...
His naps and grasping seemed to be improving. 

Nana generously gave the girls a dollar each before we left for our trip. They carefully planned how they wanted to spend their money at a gas station. On our trip home they each got a treat!
 We had a dinner at a brewery on the way home so Mommy and Daddy got a treat, too.
The girls watched Trolls for the first time while we were in Memphis. And then they watched it a second, third, fourth, and fifth time. Until they could recite it. When we got home we did some fun Troll projects! Miriam and Vivian made cute troll characters. Felicity made a picture of the Burgeons eating the trolls. YIKES.
Thus ends the first week of Spring Break. The second week included a kinda-feeling-better Simon who loves to cuddle with Dad.
More proof.
And a Simon who was more receptive to trying solid foods!

Mommy and the kids met up with friends at our hometown botanical gardens. It was so springy and fresh indoors. A lovely, lovely place to be!
Felicity and her bff Olivia
Strangely enough, our botanical gardens has a corpse flower blooming (named for it's decaying-flesh-scent). It was cool to see but horrible to stand next some research about this bizarre plant. You'll be AMAZED at the creativity of God all over again.

Then we ran down to Indy for a day at the Children's Museum. Thing is everyone else had this same great idea for Spring Break! To the point it wasn't even fun for the kids to be there.
We left. Went downtown for lunch and a walk along the canal. A much, much better way to spend the day!
Later in the afternoon we went back to the museum hoping the crowds had dispersed...they had! Back to playing!
We closed out the week by inviting the neighbor girl over for a day of pancakes, crafts, Barbies, and popcorn and a movie. She doesn't have any sisters so she got a taste of what it would be like to be a sister in our family.
Maybe next year we'll be able to convince the school to give us a three week break!