Friday, July 5, 2013


We have had a great time swimming this summer and the kids have had a chance to take swim lessons from Mrs. Denise.  We have had about 6 lessons with her and both kids have made major improvements.  Emma is working hard at pointing her toes and doing small bubble kicks.  She is also working on integrating her arms, which is proving to be a challenge and diving off the side.  Mrs. Denise, who also coaches the swim team, said that Emma is ready for the 6 and under swim team.  Unfortunately, they're about ready to wrap up for the season but I think next year will be a go.  Mrs. Denise already said she'll swim breast stroke, which is a stroke she has down without much practice.  Emma has loved going off the diving board as well.

Josh has proved a little challenging with swim lessons.  At a given lesson, it is never clear how cooperative he will be.  That being said, his major challenge going in has been getting his legs up behind him so he doesn't sink in the water.  Just this past week, on the way to their lesson, Josh said he didn't want to use his shell and it all clicked.  He was swimming like crazy and multiple times swam from the steps to the ladder.  We've almost got two independent swimmers on our hands.  Josh hasn't wanted to go off the diving board yet without the shell but has loved going off this summer with it on.  He is crazy and perfecting his cannon ball! 


The private lessons have definitely done both kids so much good and I'm sure after being in the pool daily on vacation, they'll make even more strides.


As much as Josh has loved singing, he has loved singing with Emma just as much!

Josh Performs

Since VBS, Josh has had a great time singing all the songs he learned.  He has to set up his music stand so he can "read" his sheet music while he performs.

Father's Day

Since I had to leave around noon for a one week work trip, we decided to skip church on Father's Day and take Brad out to breakfast.  Before that, however, he had to open his presents.  Josh colored him a mug at school and filled it with candy.  Emma's class made tie dyed aprons and she got to write a special message on it.  Our main gift to Brad was a ticket to go see the Cardinals on July 20th.  Of course, the gift was a little selfish since Jeff also got one, which means we get to go up and spend some time with the Welch family that weekend.  After breakfast at Mimi's, we came back home and took some photos before they took me to the airport.  I guess that was the final, ultimate gift, his children for one whole week.  Fortunately VBS kicked off Father's Day night and ran through Thursday so Brad only really had to worry about feeding them one night.

Photo Bomb!

Brad's Birthday

Brad may have received one or two items for his birthday that were not a surprise this year but there were a couple that were definitely a surprise since the kids went shopping with me online.  Emma selected a Cardinals front license plate.  Unfortunately I didn't realize until after the fact that neither vehicle has mounts for a front plate.  I'm not sure what Josh thought he was choosing, maybe a flashlight, but his selection was a lens cleaner for the camera so something useful at least.  Emma decided that Brad would like a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (she definitely knows her Daddy).  I mixed things up a little and did a chocolate chip cake with some help from the kids.  With a little help from Bo and Gram who were in town, the house was decorated complete with streamers and balloons for when Brad got home and the party was on.  The one goal this year was to get some photos of the kids with Brad on his birthday.  We hope he had a great one even though he did have to work and grill his own burgers. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

River Trail

We finally got the chance to take the kids down to the river trail to ride their bikes.  Poor Josh went down for the first time right out of the parking lot.  It was a nasty little spill but he shook it off and got back on his bike.  I lost track but he probably went down about three more times at least but for the first time really riding his bike, he did great.  Emma was a little machine speeding down the trail.  We had to run after her several times.  We definitely need to get them out for some more practice.


Pinnacle Mountain

Memorial Day morning, we met Meredith and Juliana at Pinnacle Mountain for a little hiking.  While we did have to take quite a few breaks, the kids did great and it got to the point that the summit was within reach so we had them push forward.  We did also have to stop for every dog since Emma and Josh (Emma especially) are now obsessed with dogs.  They all did amazing and all three kids made it to the top for the first time.  The bad part in my mind was that we now had to get them back down the mountain, which is a little tricky for a while with all the large rocks to be navigated.  I had helped Josh on the way up so Brad suggested switching up on the way down.  I jumped at that and was glad I did because that boy even made Brad nervous coming down and there were a few points where it was just easier for Brad to carry him.  We all made it down with no injuries and then had some fun on the playground before saying goodbye.



Our first trip to Funland this year was a little frustrating for the adults but the kids enjoyed themselves.  For whatever reason, they were a bit understaffed so one guy was like the Pied Piper.  The kids would do one ride and then he would lead them all to the next.  Emma and Josh had fun with the Kolb girls and buddy Ross.  After they had their fill of rides, we rounded out the morning with some pizza!  Good way to start the weekend!