Saturday, August 25, 2012

Hilton Head

Let's go back in time to the beginning of July when we went to Hilton Head.  My parents rented a big house for our family (my parents, 2 of my brothers and their families, and our family).  We rented bikes to ride to the beach and the house had its own pool in the backyard.  It was awesome!  Most mornings we would go to the beach, ride bikes, or do something else as a family.  In the afternoon, the littler ones napped and the older ones played in the pool (or played golf).  So, I have lots more pictures of Jack in the pool than the others since Patrick and Charlie napped in the afternoon.  Jack had taken a few swim lessons before our trip, but the constant exposure to swimming really improved his skills.  He could first swim across the pool by himself in Hilton Head.  He is quite the little fish.

It was fun to spend time with Uncle Michael and Aunt Kathleen.
Charlie got in the water some, but spent a lot of time watching from the sidelines.

Charlie is too young to ride in a trailer, so Patrick got to ride by himself.
We borrowed this 20" bike for Jack, which prompted a trip to the bike shop for a new, bigger bike when we got home (his bike was only 12").
We went on a dolphin cruise one morning.
This was going to be a great picture of Ingrid until someone stuck his face in front of the lens.
Fine.  I'll take a picture of both of you.
 The six grandsons wearing the shorts Nana made for them.
Thank you Nana and Papa for a great trip!!!

Jumping into the pool was a favorite activity. 
Here is a sequence of four pictures from one particular jump:
Who doesn't like to look at the pictures of themselves after they are taken?
One evening when the guys were playing golf, they stopped by the house (it backed up to the course) and let the kids ride on the golf carts.

Uncle Patrick threw some kids into the pool.
This one of my favorite pictures from the trip:

Monday, August 20, 2012

First Day of Kindergarten

Jack woke up this morning to find a welcome sign and balloons from his new school in our front yard.
After a breakfast of waffles, we took pictures on the front porch.
Aunt Margaret gave him this lunch box.
I asked him what he wanted to do when he grew up.  He said he wanted to work on a train.  I said, "So, you want to be a train engineer?" and he said yes.  After I made this sign (it says, "First day of kindergarten. I want to be a train engineer.") he told me I should add "when I am eleven" after it.  There is a small railroad nearby that has a train you can ride on and they let kids come volunteer there when they are 11 years old.
Standing in front of his classroom door:
It was pretty crowded (lots of parents and grandparents dropping their kiddos off for their first day of kindergarten), so this was the best picture I got of Jack with his teacher.
No tears from either of us as we said good-bye (or for the rest of the day).  It is hard to believe he is already in kindergarten!  We are so proud of him!
I didn't take any pictures later, but we met Daddy for ice cream after dinner to celebrate the first day of school (Jim worked late which is why he had to meet us).  I've decided that was a great tradition we should continue for years to come.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

June, part I

The month of June started with our big move into our new house!  We are very excited to have a bigger house with lots of room for the boys to run around.  The basement is finished and contains 95% of our toys.  The boys love to play down there and in our shady yard.  We took this picture one night right before Jim and I left for a Cardinals game.
After the picture, we were leaving for the game when we saw this:
A tree from our yard fell on a car in the neighbor's driveway!  Welcome to the neighborhood!

In mid-June, we went to Gulf Shores for a week with our friends Jason and Elizabeth and their boys Andrew and Evan.  Elizabeth and I left Friday morning in our minivan with the 5 boys (ages 5, 5, 2.5, 1.5, and 9 months).  It was quite a car ride!  We stopped in Tuscaloosa to stay with my friend Brooklyn for the night.  She and her husband have 3 kids ages 4.5 and younger.  It was a perfect place for us to stay - lots of room and tons of toys!  Here are the kids, lined up from youngest to oldest.
I didn't take too many pictures in Gulf Shores, but I did manage to enjoy a lot of relaxing!
I did bring my camera to LuLu's one night.  As we waited for our table, we played a ring toss game. 
Patrick used the two-hand technique. 
Jack used the stick-out-your-tongue technique.
Jason used the Elvis impersonator technique.
We also played in the sand as we waited.
There was water to play with, too!  Thank goodness - water and sand is never messy.  We wouldn't want these kids to be clean by the time they sat down to eat.
We also listened to some live music.  

Charlie had macaroni and cheese for the first time.  He loved it!
Our condo was right across the street from the beach!  There was also a pool.  The daddies took the boys to the beach one day.
One evening we walked over to get some family pictures:

We only took Charlie to the beach once.  We didn't really want him just sitting in the blazing sun and there wasn't a lot for him to do (besides eat sand).  One of us usually stayed back with Charlie (and he usually napped) and the other took the kids to the beach or pool.
We watched all 5 boys one night so Jason and Elizabeth could go on a date, and then they watch all 5 boys another night so Jim and I could go on a date!
Date night at Flora-Bama.
An attempted family picture before a trip to the pool: