Friday, April 18, 2014

Pre-Easter Celebrations

With kids, there are always a variety of celebrations before holidays. This year we've had the chance to enjoy many Easter activities with both the kids, as Parker is now old enough to understand the attraction of eggs filled with candy.

We started with our community Spring Fling a few weeks ago. They had a petting zoo, pony rides, egg hunts, cake walk, and other fun games. The kids had a blast, even if it did creep into their nap time. 

Checking out the chicks.


She had to hold every single bird at least 4 times and then show everyone else how to do it.

What do I do with these??

High-five for the Easter bunny!

Fun bus!

Next came the Easter Bonnet Parade and egg hunt at Ainsley's preschool. She picked out all the things to decorate her hat and received her first lesson on the temperature of a hot glue gun (a hand down from my grandfather, which amazingly still works)! 

The whole class

Egg hunt.

Showing off their goodies.

Last weekend the kids were at Nana and Papa's house while Eric and I spent a night in Philly. They took the kids on a train ride (their first)! It included a visit from the Easter bunny and an egg hunt.

Train museum - Parker and Papa were in heaven!

Today Ainsley and Parker both have egg hunts at Primrose, their new daycare center. On Saturday we'll participate in the annual egg hunt at a local tree nursery, and on Easter Sunday we'll finally have our own egg hunt at home - our first in the new house! What a wonderful way to celebrate the coming of spring.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Tribute to Miss Robin

Sadly, today is the kids' last day with Miss Robin. We've known since last month that she would be taking on a new job, but it's taken a while to fully come to terms with the change. We didn't tell Ainsley until last weekend - she still has a difficult concept of time and we didn't want her worrying about it too far in advance. But this week, our last three days, have been more about celebrating all the wonderful things Miss Robin has done for our family over the past (almost) 4 years.

Ainsley was just 13 months old when we 'discovered' Miss Robin, who we found through a contact at our church.

Ainsley's first Halloween at Miss Robin's home.

It was here that she met her favorite friends, Davis and McKenzie, as well as others who have come and gone over the years. Miss Robin didn't hesitate with our spunky little girl, teaching her valuable life lessons such as patience and kindness. When Ainsley was old enough, Robin encouraged us to sign her up for our church preschool. It was certainly one of the best decisions we've made regarding her education so far. She has thrived there for the past two years, with Miss Robin driving her to and from WUMP three days a week. 

Two years ago we welcomed our son Parker into our lives. Robin scooped him up at ten weeks old and brought him into her loving home. He has never known any other caregiver - he looks to Miss Robin as the best teacher in the world. 

Ainsley's favorite place to crash at Miss Robin's house after a long day of playing. 

She celebrated birthdays with special 'birthday donuts.' She taught them how to spell their names using songs, and helped Ainsley learn her address in a single day with a catchy tune. Her favorite saying, according to Ainsley, is "You get what you get, and you don't pitch a fit." The kids love making trips with her to Wal-mart and playing in the yard on sunny or snowy days. She always has a funny story to share. 

Not only has she taught the kids so many things, she has taught us too. When we first arrived on her doorstep, we were still the inexperienced first-time parents of a one-year-old. She was always happy to provide insight and advice on our child-rearing problems and issues, or even a simple prayer to relieve our stress. 

Miss Robin wasn't just a babysitter; she loved our children as her own. Of course they will transition to the new routine, and I've probably spent more time worrying about it than they will. We'll still see Miss Robin at church or vacation bible school or the store. We'll still keep up with her family on Facebook. But for the past four years she has been a constant presence in our lives - a smiling face every morning, and a hug for the kids every afternoon. I will miss her just as much as the kids will. 

Thank you, Miss Robin, for all you've done for our children and for our family. May God bless you on your next adventure, and may He always remind you of the many lives you've touched over the years. 

"Ainsley, what is your favorite thing about Miss Robin?"
"She says I'm special. I love her so much!"

As do we all...

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Ski Trip

This week was my spring break from school so we took the opportunity to schedule a family ski trip. Well, almost all the family - Parker stayed home with Nana and Papa. Ainsley, Eric and I headed off to Snowshoe in West Virginia. Ainsley had a fabulous time and wasn't scared at all. She loved ski school and made some new friends. Here are some highlights from our fantastic trip!

Taking a catnap through the mountains.

It sure is hard to sleep on these windy roads!

Finally arrived in our room! We had a great 2-bedroom condo in the middle of the village, right on the slopes!

View from our room.

Sunday night tubing!

Ready to hit the slopes!

Our little ski bunny.

Eric and I enjoyed some ski time by ourselves while Ainsley was in ski school.

Too busy waving at her friends to stay on her feet.

She's a natural!

After a long day on the slopes, we enjoyed the indoor/outdoor pools.

That's our little water bug!

What a fun adventure, and so great to have some special time with our little bug. Unfortunately she got a little car sick on the way home, driving up and down all those mountains. But some good rest did the trick and she was back to normal by the time we got home. 

Parker had such a great time being the center of attention with Nana and Papa. He played trains, trucks, and planes, and got to pick his own games to play. He sure was excited to see Ainsley when she got home, but I think he secretly enjoyed being an 'only child' for a few days. :-) 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Another Birthday Celebration

We are so lucky that our babysitter, Robin, also provides special celebrations for the kids at her house. Here are some fun pictures from Parker's birthday party with the other kids!