Friday, June 7, 2019


Dan and I celebrated our 16th anniverary in May by taking a road trip to North Carolina to watch the New York Islanders challenge the Carolina Hurricanes in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  We got to the Raleigh, NC area early enough to catch "Avengers: Endgame" at the movie theater and grab a quick bite to eat before the game started.  The Islanders didn't play their best and lost to the Hurricanes, but it was still a very fun day trip for the two of us.

At the Hurricanes arena

 Watching the Isles warm up 

16 years and going strong!

Dan and his brother, Tim, took our nephews (from left) Aaron, Nathan, and Benjamin to their first Norfolk Tides minor league baseball game. 

While they were at the game, Tim's wife, Dawn, came to our house with their two younger sons, Josiah and Micah.  Our girls loved having them over to to play!

The kids got to enjoy a beautiful evening playing in our back yard

 Micah and Hallie being adorable together.

We took my mom out for Italian food the day before Mother's Day to avoid the lunch rush after church on the holiday.  
We are blessed by my fun, loving, and generous mom (Nana)!  This picture was from the Chesapeake Jubilee Fair.  My mom and I took the girls for the first time this year, and Dan was able to join us later after he got off work.

On Mother's Day, we celebrated at church and then drove to Dan's parents' house for lunch.  

My girls being sweet for a picture with me girls being cranky during picture time with Grandma later in the day. Heh! Dan's mom (Grandma) is one of the most thoughtful, energetic, and giving people we know. We are blessed to have her in our lives!

 Mother's Day ended with a minor emergency when our nephew, Aaron, fell and cut his head on the edge of a table. He had a *little* help from one of his brothers. An ER visit and a few stitches later, and he was all good.  

May has been "Health Awareness Month" at my company, and several of us ran the Corporate 5K together in Norfolk. It was a good time with fun people.
The Epsilon team

My lovely coworkers, Denise, Shelly, and Mona.

We joined Tim and Dawn's family to celebrate our nephew, Micah's, 2nd birthday.

We've also made it to Busch Gardens a couple of times this month as a family, and I've taken the girls with our friends, Jenna and Elisha once.

Jenna and I with Elisha, Hallie, and Emma

Busch Gardens has water play areas for the kids all summer, so they're in their swimsuits and ready to get soaked!

They're pretending to be carousel ponies. Haha!

I love Emma's face on this ride. She's a cautious kid and says "no" to riding anything that looks remotely exciting. But we've talked her into trying a few rides and she's loved them!

Hallie, on the other hand, is ready for anything! When I even attempt to hold her steady on a ride, she tells me "I can do it by myself!" 

The girls have continued to do really well in their gymnastics classes on Saturday mornings. 

Hallie is in the yellow shirt near the center of the parachute, and Dan is in black on the left side holding the yellow edge. Parents stay with their kids at that age to keep them on track during the hour-long class.

Emma has recently graduated from the 3-5 year old basics class, and is now practicing on much larger equipment with the 6-12 year olds. The verdict is still out on whether she'll still enjoy gymnastics at this level, but it's challenging her physically and teaching her how to manage her emotions when she's expected to do things the correct way, instead of just having fun.  She's had one major meltdown so far, but we pray she'll begin to love the new structure and make some friends in her class.

We celebrated Memorial Day at our house with my parents, all-American hamburgers, and sparkers!

Hallie did a great job following instructions and loved the sparklers

Emma, however, decided to ignore our instructions and touch the hot part of the sparkler as soon as the fire went out. Curiosity burned the hand, and she wanted nothing to do with sparklers after that.

That same weekend, she also disregarded our warnings and tipped her chair back on two legs at the kitchen table. After a dramatic fall and lots of screaming from under the chair, we were relieved that she had only scraped and banged one finger. I was expecting a sprain or broken bone based on the drama. She's normally a careful kid, but I guess she's hitting the age where she needs to test the waters for herself. 

Emma had a Kindergarten graduation ceremony at school last week. They did caps and gowns, "Pomp and Circumstance," diplomas ... the whole nine yards. While it was cute and all, we wished they'd just do a regular end-of-year recital. We think they need to wait until they've really accomplished something significant before they get that kind of ceremony. Anyway...

Emma's class

Holding her Kindergarten diploma. This kid is ready for the 1st Grade!

More significant to us is the yearly Character Award that each child receives from their teacher.  StoneBridge really focuses on developing good character traits in the kids as they learn and grow academically. Emma's Character Award this year was for "Self Reliance".  Her teacher, Mrs. Boyce, could count on Emma to do her best work without standing over her, keeping her on task.  That's a blessing to a teacher.  We're proud of our hard-working, diligent girl!

These puddle-loving sisters will be at StoneBridge together next year!  We're hoping to start Hallie a couple of days a week in their 3-year-old preschool when school starts.  She has to be potty-trained before she can attend, so that will be our family's summer project. Try not to be jealous.

We're ready for summertime and sunshine!

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