Wednesday, July 1, 2015

More Summer Fun!

We've been so busy around here...but almost all of it is of the fun variety. 

I took the kids to a local farm this week.  They have a storybook forest, hayrides, and of course some animals.  We had a great morning there - here are some pictures of the fun we had. 







We have also been taking advantage of the free summer concerts.  On Wednesdays during summer there is a lunchtime concert at the lakefront.  We've gone that past couple weeks and the kids really enjoy both the music and getting to eat a picnic lunch.



After a Daddy/Daughter date night, Samantha and Daddy went out back to catch some lightning bugs.  We were nice and released them after a few minutes!


Unfortunately, our church picnic was on Saturday but they had to cancel most of the activities because of the rain.  We went for the book sale and take out dinners though. 

Chris worked hard to finish another section of the front porch railing on Sunday afternoon.  It has been unfinished for a long time and we still have three more sections to go...someday it will be done!

I'll end with a picture of Samantha playing princess dress up.  She definitely had a great time with this!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

We didn't get much work done on the house this week - just some studs cut to size for the basement walls.  Slow but steady!

I took the kids to the Baltimore Aquarium with a friend this week.  They had so much fun!  I think Josh could have stood at just one tank all day long.  Here are some pictures from our visit.






A book club meeting and birthday cookout filled our Saturday.  It's great to have fun on our weekends!

We've started a Father's Day tradition inadvertently.  Each year so far we've gone to a park for a picnic and hiking or playing.  This year we went to Patapsco.  It was very crowded but we found an out of the way spot for our picnic and then went on a walk with the kids.  It was definitely summer - hot, Hot, HOT!


This week is more very hot weather so we'll be spending a lot of time inside or at the pool.  Here are just a couple more pictures I liked from the week.



Stay cool!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Late Spring (But Feels Like Summer) Fun

We had a very busy week.  It's not quite summer yet but it's been ridiculously hot and humid here. 

Samantha went to a preschool playground play date to meet some of her new classmates.  She was of course shy but did make a couple new friends so hopefully she'll get to have more fun at the next one. 

I took Josh to a "Kanga Training" class through our Parents as Teachers program.  It was a tough workout since Josh is getting very heavy but he was so comfy during the class that he fell asleep halfway through.

I got to do a couple fun things too.  I attended a fundraiser called "Power of the Purse" and bought a couple large bags to use for library books and diapers.  I've never attended an event like this but I did have fun. 

I also got to go out to dinner with the girls.  It's been a fun monthly activity and Chris is great to watch the kids while I have some mommy time. 

The highlight of the week though was when our good friends Traci and Jim stayed for a couple days with their two daughters.  It was wonderful to see them - it had been so long!  Samantha and their daughter, Claire, got along really well.  It was wonderful to see them become fast friends.  They all left to go on vacation on Saturday morning and we hope they have a fun trip. 

We used the weekend to do some fun family activities.  It started with the "Power of the Past" event at the Farm Heritage Museum.  They had a lot of old bulldozers, buckets, and tractors running - as well as lawn mower racing.  We also toured the "before electricity" house, schoolhouse, and museum.  Here are some pictures from our visit.







 



Josh also got to try his first french fry (I think he liked it!).



We really tired him out too!


After naps, we went to the Shrine of St. Anthony for their festival.  It was a great event with activities for the kids.  They got to go on pony rides which they really enjoyed. 



There was also a scavenger hunt that took us all over the shrine grounds and at each stop Samantha got to collect a bead for a rosary bracelet.  It was a fun activity that got us to see places we wouldn't have had an opportunity to go visit. 




We didn't get much work done on the house - we enjoyed having a little break!

I'll end with a few pictures of Josh this week. 

He enjoys imitating his big sister - here with a Minnie Mouse necklace.


As well as sitting in her chair to read a good book.

 

And finally feeding himself his yogurt at breakfast (although quite a bit messier!).  


Maybe this week we'll get more work completed after having this nice break!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Summer Fun!

We had a couple lower key weeks around here.  While we continue to do work on and around the house, we've also been able to have some fun. 

House work has been limited to maintenance mostly - cutting grass, cleaning, weeding the garden, etc., etc.   A few exceptions have been installing a concrete slab area for the garbage and recycling bins, installing and painting another sheet of drywall in the laundry room, and nailing the base plate to the concrete floor in the basement.  Unfortunately, I don't really have any good pictures to show of any of these - you'll have to take my word on it!

Last weekend we attended the summer reading kickoff celebration at the library.  There were a lot of crafts and the kids really enjoyed the "enchanted garden" too. 

Almost the entire week was rainy so we spent a lot of time inside - at home and at the library.  We attended an orchestra event at the library that was wonderfully done.  At home we did a lot of blanket forts, sensory bins, and crafts.  The kids have been hard at work making crafts for Chris' aunt who is in the hospital (we hope she likes toddler/preschooler level art!). 



When the weather finally got a little less rainy, we went out to the driveway to do some sidewalk chalk painting (colored water with cornstarch).  Josh really got into it and may have decided to paint his cloth diaper too. 


Our weekend was filled with both fun and work.  I weeded most of the garden on Saturday morning and Chris did some car maintenance in the afternoon.  We went out for dinner and followed up with some frozen yogurt and washing the cars (to wear the kids out from the sugary dessert!).

Sunday after church I took the kids to the county family wellness event and Chris worked in the basement to start installing the base plates.  He needs to use a powder activated "gun" nailer to get the nails into the concrete.  It's very loud so I wanted to make sure the kids were out of the house for awhile. 

When we got home, I packed up a picnic lunch for our next fun activity of the weekend.  We went to the Belmont Manor open house.  This is a beautiful property that is now owned by the county and is mostly used for weddings, retreats, and business meetings. 

We chose a great spot for our picnic right in front of the manor house and overlooking the front of the property.  Here's a picture of Josh enjoying his sandwich.


The kids seemed to enjoy it (disregard Josh's grumpy face - it was nap time).  

 
 
The formal gardens were also very nice - the aqua garden complete with lily pads and frogs. 


The highlight for Josh though was probably the terrapin in the nature center (in the carriage house).  Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of his reaction.

This upcoming week is VERY busy.  Hopefully I'll remember to take some pictures and share next week!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Summer is Here (i.e. IT"S HOT!)


We did a lot of work this weekend.  Most of the work involved moving things from one part of our house to another so that we can tackle our last MAJOR project (yes, there are still some minor ones left too). 

The last major project is finishing the rest of the basement.  It is about 900 sq. ft that is currently a disaster.  Here's a reminder of what this part of the basement looked like when we first bought the house.


 



Yes, it was bad, confusing, and moldy.  We can only assume that they planned on this being a separate apartment (although not a legal one).  We've opened everything up and (with the exception of the bathroom) will be one large space.   

After a little demolition, we were able to install most of the foam insulation before the weekend was out.  We have to leave a few of the half studs in place because there is wiring on them currently.

 


We did have a lot of fun this weekend too.  My parents came down and we celebrated my dad's birthday on Friday.  On Saturday, we drove down to Karsyn's Karnival.  It is a carnival to raise awareness for Down syndrome.  A family friend started the carnival for her youngest daughter and it was a great event.  The kids loved the petting zoo and the pony rides in particular (even though Josh doesn't look very happy!).



I'll finish with a couple other kid pictures - Josh enjoying dinner (after playing in the pool) and Samantha with one of her huge block castles.