Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers

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Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

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Friday, August 2, 2013

The Summer of Packing

This summer has been a little more stressful than others in the past.  There is quite a bit of change going on in my life, and I'm not really a big fan of change.  Luckily, with all of this change, things have gone very smoothly for us.

Change #1 = Teaching in a new district

After 11 years in Yorkville, I finally decided I couldn't take the drive anymore.  Kyle was tired of hearing me complain about it, so he convinced me to do something about it.  I found the courage to apply elsewhere and was lucky enough to find a position where I can teach the same grade only 20 minutes from home!

For most of the summer, our garage served as my temporary classroom.
But, now all of my supplies and materials are unpacked in my new classroom, and I am almost done setting everything up.  So far everyone has been very welcoming at my new school, and I feel comfortable with my decision to transfer.  Hopefully I will still feel this way as the year goes on!

Change #2 = Moving into a new home

Last summer, Kyle and I purchased a plot of land on which we plan to build.  We decided to try putting our house on the market this summer, thinking it would take a while to sell.  It sold in the first showing, however.  So, then we kind of had to scramble to find a rental home to move into until we build.  It was a little scary for a while worrying that I'd have no place for my girls to live, but we ended up finding a place only about 2 miles from our old house that is within the same school boundaries as our lot.  

So, more packing began!  We decided we'd take these two cuties with us!

They had a blast playing in all the boxes.  This one was a "ship".

We were lucky to be able to start moving into the rental home about a week before we closed on our old house.  Of course, the weekend before our closing was Kyle's annual golf trip!  Thankfully, my parents and brother came over to help me take several loads of toys, boxes, and other oddly shaped items over to the new house.  They were a big help, and I don't think we could have pulled off the move without their help that weekend.  Here's a picture of my helpers having dinner on our deck for the last time...

We had a garage sale and sold a lot of stuff, including our pool table and pinball machines.  The basement looked so bare, and Ozzie was pretty confused about what was going on.

The girls were confused, too, and Kyri was having a lot of anxiety about the move earlier in the summer.  That all seemed to change when she finally realized that all of her precious belongings were coming with her.  Before the movers came to move all of our furniture, the new house was pretty much just all toys.  When the girls saw this, they were in toy heaven!  Although I had the toys neatly packed in these bins, KJ and Tess just couldn't wait to unload them all.  Every time we brought another load of stuff to the new house, they would be busy playing and dressing up.
Thanks goes to Chris for helping us move loads of toys, too, and playing butterflies with the girls to keep them busy.
I think Kyri would have preferred to keep the house this furniture, just toys!

Once the movers finally did come, the place was a little chaotic that night.  Luckily, even though my house looked like it did in the picture below, Kyri was able to find her dress up box and was able to still be a princess.  Phew! : )

On the final night before we closed on our old house, we all went back over there to clean up the last bit that was left.  Our awesome neighbor, Al Stasch, came over to snap some family photos of us on our deck and in front of our house.  We're so thankful he did that for us.  Even though we were all sweaty and grungy from moving all day, we are happy he was able to capture these pics for the memories.  It makes me sad to think that Tessa won't even remember this house that she came home from the hospital to.  Kyri may not either...  Luckily we do have tons of pictures.

Now that we've been in the new house for about two weeks, we all agree that it feels like home.  I am soo amazed at how well the girls did with the change.  They didn't even skip a beat.  I made sure to set their new rooms up in the same way as their old rooms so that they would feel comfortable, and it seemed to work.  On moving day, Larry and Laurel had the girls for the whole day and evening, and they did a great job tiring them out in the pool.  The girls were exhausted when they got home and both crawled into bed without a fight and were asleep in minutes.  I was shocked at how smoothly that first night went.  And we haven't had a problem since.  Yay for flexible kids!

We are so thankful for Larry, Laurel, and my mom for helping out with the kids so much this summer.  I definitely could not have done all of the packing and unpacking that I had to do if my little "helpers" were always there.  While I wish I could have spent more time with them, it was great to hear about all of the fun they were having with their grandparents.  We are so lucky to have such a supportive family. Thanks for all of your help!  We couldn't have had such smooth transitions without you!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Finally...It's Hot Enough to Swim!!

On Thursday and Friday the weather forecast showed temperatures in the 80s with 0% chance of rain.  Donna and I decided to take all of the girls up to the lake midweek so that we didn't miss out on this great swimming weather.  I'm so glad we did, because we had a GREAT time!  All of the girls were so good, and they loved playing together.

The last couple of times that Kyle and I had been to the lake, Tessa was not really into walking in the sand, and she always wanted to just sit on a chair or towel rather than getting up and playing.  She started out this way again, but after a little while of watching her cousins have fun, she decided to join in.  The rest of the time, she got in and out of the water on her own loving both the sand and the water! All of the girls loved it, and Donna and I got to just sit back and relax!!  We have been anxiously awaiting the time when all of our babies were independent enough to play on their own at the beach so that we could just lounge!  Finally!!  : )  The first day we spent 3 hours at the beach, and the second day we spend 5 hours!  We even had the whole beach to ourselves for a while!

I'm so glad the girls had each other to play with.

  Charlie and Kyri spent almost the whole time out in the water lost in some imaginary world of dolphins.

These three alternated between the water and sand.

Snack Break!

Look at that beauty with the shades on!  Gwyneth looks like a little child model!

Even when we came back from the beach each day, they still wanted to play with water.  This water table was an excellent way for them to wash off all the sand!

We celebrated Donna's birthday, and the kids were very happy to help her eat her cookie cake!

 Playing a little Connect Four

Snuggling together to listen to the V-Reader

And this picture cracks me up!  Kyri and Charlie wanted to sleep in the same bed.  When I went up there, I found them like this.  Whose legs are whose??  That's Kyri's foot over Charlie!  Poor Charlie.  Everytime I looked at these two throughout the night, Kyri was smothering her with a different limb.  Charlie didn't seem to mind, though, because they both slept through it all!

We had a successful lake trip!  We moms were very proud of ourselves for keeping all five girls happy and entertained the whole time with no problems.  I'm so glad we went!  Hopefully we'll be able to all get up there together again before winter!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Splash Parks Are So Much Fun!

My mom, Kay, Julie and I tried to take the kids to Phillips Park last week, but we only got to see a few animals before the rain started.  We'll have to go back there, because the girls loved it!  I've never been that close to a cougar before!

After the rain stopped, we went to a playground to let the kids run around a bit.  After they played for a while, we realized it was actually a splash park, too.  The kids were surprised and thrilled to run around in the water on that humid day.

Then, the next day, we discovered that there was a splash park at the place where Kyri's soccer practice is held.  Tess couldn't be happier to run through the water while we waited for Kyri!  She kept yelling, "I'm having so much fun!"

And here are some more pics of Kyri at soccer.  Kyle came home with this cute outfit for her last week.  I guess he was embarrassed about what I was sending her to practice in, so he decided she needed some more athletic clothing.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

4th of July Week

The weekend before the 4th of July, we went up to the lake and stayed until Weds., July 3rd.  The first two days were rainy, but we were able to get some fishing in the first night in between showers.  Kyri is getting better at casting, but she loses focus quickly.  So, Kyle and I would take over her pole while she searched for bugs, feathers, flowers, and other interesting things in nature.  Then, when Kyle or I got a bite, Kyri would run over to reel it in.  She loved holding the fish and releasing them into the water.  Tess wanted to hold them so badly, too, but they kept slipping out of her hands.  : )

The second day it poured the whole day/night.  So, we decided to explore Rockford and check out a museum that we'd heard about.  It was a history museum with a whole floor devoted to dinosaurs.  Of course Kyri was thrilled!  She knew the names of random dinosaurs that I'd never even heard of, and she was excited to talk to a real paleontologist who worked there.

 Back at the lake, Kyle had a thrill of his own.  He caught this large mouth bass. (Kyri calls it a big mouth bass.)  It is the biggest fish he's ever caught.

After that, he thought he was a pro!  He's still talking about it.  : )

The next few days cleared up and warmed up a bit.  Unfortunately, it was never warm enough to really enjoy swimming.  Kyri got in a couple of times, and Tess tried it out one day.  Although the temperature was in the 70s, there was a wind that made it really chilly when the girls came out of the water, so we didn't spend much time at the beach.  We did do a lot of boating, though.  My mom came up for Sunday and Monday, and Larry and Laurel came up for Sun-Tues., but unfortunately I didn't get any pictures when they were all up there.  We got to enjoy a campfire, catch fireflies, and watch the bats fly over us (another K.J. thrill).

When we got home on Wednesday, we had a busy day.  We went to look at some rental homes and finally decided on one.  For those of you who don't know, last summer we bought a lot to eventually build on.  We decided to put our house on the market this summer, and since our house sold after the first showing, we had to move quickly to find a place to live during this in between period before our house is built.  We signed on a place and will begin moving in next week.  Our closing date for the current place we're living in is the following week.  

After we signed our lease, we met up with some friends at the Taste of Lombard.  The girls had a blast going on the rides with Cooper!

The next morning, we went to Grandma Karen's annual 4th of July BBQ.  

It started with the parade.

How cute are these two??  (And could they look any less like twins???)

Tessa went from being glued to me during the sirens to racing out in front of the cars to snatch candy off the street.  I could barely contain her!  She was so excited that people were throwing candy to her!

Here she is afterwards showing off her bag of candy!

Kyle was in charge of all the cousins at the "Kids' Table".

And I barely saw K.J. the whole day.  She was so excited to play with Aubry since they hadn't seen each other in a while.

That night, we actually made it to the fireworks!  This is the first year Kyri has stayed awake long enough to go watch them.  We went and sat on our new lot to watch them, and we met our new neighbors who showed us just where to sit to get the best view.  Unfortunately, Tess was scared to death from all of the pre fireworks going on in the neighborhood, so Kyle took her back to the car and drove around with her until she fell asleep.  He said she fell asleep with her Leopard over her eyes because she was so freaked.  Kyri and I enjoyed the show, though, and I'm so happy that she lasted this year!

 The next day, we met the Riebe family at the zoo.  It was pretty hot, and since we've had such a cool summer, we weren't used to the heat.  The girls did pretty well, though, and seemed to have fun.  Tess insisted on getting a picture on the lion!

And this picture below is classic Tessa right now.  Ever since the 4th of July parade when she collected that bag of candy, she can't go anywhere without it.  It's like her new "lovey".  She brought it with to the zoo and carried it around all day, and she even has to sleep with it.  (Don't worry, I take the bag out as soon as she falls asleep so she won't suffocate!)  When she wakes up, it's the first thing she asks for.  Today she even brought it with to church.  Luckily, she doesn't try to eat candy all the time.  She just needs to hold it.  Too funny.  I hope this phase doesn't last long.  It's hard enough to keep track of the Leopard blankie!