...Just a Reminder...This story builds FROM THE BOTTOM UP...so if you're joining late, be sure to catch up by reading from the beginning...Thanks.

In case you're interested, we invite you to read Kyle's Story and Dylan's Story

Become a "Follower"

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Happy Two Years to Dylan!!!

Hi again, C here - just a quick drive-by visit tonight...

Today marks TWO YEARS since Dylan joined our family!!!

Follow this link to learn more...

This picture is just a prelude to one of our next posts - about our Memorial Day trip to Michigan...much more to come.

Congratulations, Dylan!

Thanks - more soon.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Washington DC Trip

In February, we took a long weekend and visited Washington DC.  Mom was feeling a bit of cabin fever - we all were - so we decided to make the trip down 95 to visit the nation's capital.

Aunt Meg and her family were living there (they're actually moving from there to San Antonio, TX this weekend) while she did her fellowship.  So we decided to spend the weekend visiting the Smithsonian (Air & Space) on Saturday and seeing the Washington Zoo on Sunday.  We met up with Aunt Meg and her family on Sunday and had a lot of fun at the zoo - the kids really enjoyed spending the afternoon with their cousins.

We drove down on Friday night and the kids relaxed in the car with movies and video games.  But as soon as we got to the hotel, everyone got wound back up again!  We got a crib for the night but Ashley was having no parts of it... it was not pretty.  Lots of screaming (more Ashley than me!) and not a lot of sleeping.  Actually only about 2 -3 hours of sleep for each of us.  She did not want to settle down - in hindsight, she was probably more than a little spooked by the hotel, and she wasn't exactly sure what was going on.  Sleep in bed with Mom & Dad? Nope.  Try the crib again? Nah.  How about the couch in the other room?  Not what she had in mind.  Try the chair & ottoman? No, No  No.
You get the idea - many of you who are reading have been there. Be thankful that it was me and not you!

Anyway, the next morning we got up early to get a good start.  Things were going OK, and everyone seemed to want to get a good breakfast down in the buffet area.  But, unfortunately Ashley got sick at the table (now it all became clear as to why she had such a bad night!).  We got things back on track and caught a taxi for the short ride to the Air & Space Museum.  The rest of the day actually went pretty well.  The boys were really interested and engaged in all of the exhibits and things to see.

Here we are in front of one of the space capsules, touching the Moon Rock - right inside the front door  (I actually have VERY CLEAR memories of doing the exact same thing with my Dad when we visited there when we were kids back in 19??.) and checking out the U2 spy plane display.

The wide open floor plan was just what the boys needed to be able to run around a bit and stretch their legs.

The boys joined in a demonstration about paper airplanes.  They got a chance to make and fly their planes - and then participate in a contest to see whose plane flew best.  Dylan's flew a little better than Kyle's - I forget how we averted the impending meltdown - but Mom was able to keep a lid on things!

The blue line was more like a friendly suggestion than a hard and fast requirement!

We had lunch at the McDonald's inside the museum, and spent the afternoon seeing everything we could and visiting the gift shop.

Ashley was pretty sedate throughout - being so tired!

One of the cool planes we saw was a US Mail Plane.  I told the boys that their Pop-Pop used to be a Mailman a long time ago.  I think it was Kyle that asked if Pop-Pop flew a plane like that when he delivered his mail?... I went with it...and I told the boys that I think HE DID!  They were impressed.
They didn't push it so I didn't either!!

After we got done with the Museum, we had a really nice walk around the Mall.  The weather was nice (bright sun, cool but not too cold).  We had reservations for late afternoon at Legal Seafood, which was about a six block walk off the Mall.  This was a bit of a flier since everyone was tired from the museum and we weren't sure how the boys would be with hoofing it to dinner.  But they proved us wrong and walked strong & tall all the way!

Amazingly, we had one of those dinners that Lisa and I will remember for a long time.  The kids' behavior was excellent (all 3) - even after a long day of sightseeing!  They ate all their dinners, talked to us about their day and didn't get too rammy even as we had desert.  Ashley needed to sit on my lap after the meal, but that's not too unusual.  It was a really nice meal - excellent food and superb company! Thanks again everyone!

We ended up getting a good night's sleep on Saturday night.  We also had a reasonably good breakfast, and then we headed out to the Zoo.

Aunt Meg and her family (Uncle Curt, and cousins Malissa and Justin) met us at the Zoo.  Sunday did not disappoint either.  We enjoyed a really nice day, saw most of the animals, and recorded ZERO meltdowns!

The Kids at the Playground...

Justin & Ashley & Dylan:

Aunt Meg with Malissa and Kyle:

Justin, Malissa & the Boys

Ashley's much more interested in her snack than in smiling for the camera!

I'm not sure where they found the energy, but here are the boys on the way out to the car for the trip home!

Thanks to Aunt Meg, Uncle Curt, Malissa and Justin for the fun day!!
We'll miss you guys when you go to San Antonio!!
More stories and pictures soon...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day. We are STILL HERE! Busy, but here and doing great.

Hello again...after way too long.  C here.

Sorry for the big gap in the story - we are back (we never really left, we've just been a little behind the curve in getting it all written down here).

So much ground to cover...a lot has happened over the past few weeks, uh, I mean months.
School Success (Kyle's Graduation)
The Zoo
Our Florida Vacation
The Boys on TWO Wheels
Washington DC and the National Zoo with Aunt Meg and her Family
Grandmom & Pop-Pop's (Philadelphia) 50th Wedding Anniversary
Memorial Day in Michigan with the Wedders (all of them!)
The Please Touch Museum
and so much more...

I can't catch up in one post - but we'll load up with stories and photos to try our best over the next few days/weeks.

Ashley has continued to absolutely thrive - in every way.

Here she is recently at the Please Touch Museum (a great kid's museum in Philadelphia), where we (Ashley, Kyle and Dylan) had a really fun Play Date with Sophia (Ashley's friend from School) and her Mom.  She really enjoys shopping, especially when there are kid-sized carts!

Her English has really started to improve over the past month or two and she's very good at making sure she's understood.  Her Teachers at Goddard School tell us that she really enjoys being there and has made lots of new friends, like 'Bella (Isabella) and Sophia.

I should take my camera one day when we do the afternoon pickup.  I go to Kyle's room to get him and then to Dylan's room to get him and then we all go to Ashley's room.  Every day, without fail, as soon as she's see that it's us, her face explodes with the biggest smile and she usually let's out one of her trademark screams - just makes everything else seems so unimportant!

Speaking of School...Last week was Kyle's graduation from his Kindergarten Class. The teachers did an outstanding job of organizing the event and getting the kids ready.  They sang lots of fun songs and all got their diplomas in caps & gowns. We could not be more proud of him!

Here is a quick snapshot of Kyle and his two teachers, Miss Natalie and Miss Amy...

Tomorrow is the start of "Y" Summer Camp for Kyle & Dylan.  It'll be the first time they go anywhere except Goddard School.  Mom AND Dad will be doing the drop off tomorrow to make sure they get settled with their new surroundings.  The seem like they're really looking forward to it.  A few of their Goddard School friends went last year and had a really good time (and will also be going again this year) so they'll have a few friends this year.

Kyle and Dylan will be in the same group (the "Eagles") - Dylan seems just a tad apprehensive.  Just as important, this will be the first time at Goddard School without the boys.  Her school also calls their summer session "Summer Camp" and they always include a lot of fun things on the schedule.  I'm sure she'll be fine - the Teachers at school are so good - I'm sure that they'll keep her so busy she won't even miss them.

Back to Ashley...
She's determined to keep up with her geges (big brothers), and "Monkey-Do's" everything (bad as well as good!).

Her health has been generally very good.  We've seen her CHOP doctors several times since our last post and each time, it's more encouraging.  These have been really good weeks and one or two not so good weeks.  But, for the most past, it's been "steady as she goes" and this has been fine with us.  Lisa and I still need to "help" her every few days, but it's more manageable as we've gotten Ashley into a routine.  She even helps to get things set up...I'll leave the details to your imagination, but she's very pleased with herself when she helps.

Today was a great Father's Day, to top off a fun weekend.  On Friday night, we met up with Aunt Rita, Aunt Meg, Uncle Curt, Justin and Malissa for an ice cream run at Bruester's.  Yesterday, we went to a graduation/birthday party for Malissa - she starts College this fall at Florida Gulf Coast University - and Justin - at Aunt Rita's.  The kids had a blast playing in a sprinkler that Aunt Meg picked up.  We got a chance to visit with an old friend (of mine) from grade/high school - it was fun catching up... Thanks to A.R. for a fun day.  And today, we went to Grandmom & Pop-Pop's house for dinner.  It was our official good-bye for now to Aunt Meg and her Family - she's moving on to her new assignment in San Antonio, TX.

It's time to sign off for now, but I'll leave you all with these (and a renewed literary commitment).

Signing off for now.
More to come soon.