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Trip joined the kids choir at church a few months ago & has been going to practices each sunday in between services off & on. His 1st performance was at Easter & can be seen here.

For his 2nd performance, they learned “God Bless America”. Here is a video of his performance:Quinn learned the song with Trip (nice perk of having a big brother. at age 2, he is learning most things his 4 yr old brother is learning… including some math… basic addition). His performance for me is here:

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as the boys get older, they are really beginning to experiment with other modes of transportation. trip is borrowing roller skates from Ms. Chris & can move ok on them now. he also has a Razor scooter that Santa brought him last year. he is pretty amazing on it for a 4 year old (wish i had video of him on it). he had a pretty bad wipe out the other day, but it didn’t keep him from wanting to ride again.

last weekend, he kept asking me to take the training wheels of his bike. i was hesitant & referred him to his father for that request. after more than a day of asking us, chuck agreed to take off the training wheels & let him try. he was soooo shaky at first. i was nervous for him b/c our driveway is a hill & our street is a hill. our neighbors were loading their car for a picnic & offered their driveway for trip to practice riding since it is much flatter than ours. after they left, we took him over & within 10 minutes or so he was riding so much better. the next day, we took him to the church to ride in the carpeted gym. quinn fell coming in & skinned his knee. while i was trying to calm him, chuck started out walking by trip on the bike to catch him if he began to lose his balance. while quinn & i were out looking for a bandaid, trip became an expert bike rider. quinn & i walked back in the gym after being gone about 5 minutes & chuck was standing in the middle of the gym with trip doing laps around him without any assistance at all. the kid is superbly coordinated, balanced, & daring! i am so proud of him.

last, but not least…. we went to the gym again today to let trip ride his bike (it had stormed & the ground was still wet outside) & we brought quinn’s plastic scooter. he usually just straddles & walks with it instead of riding. much to my suprise, he somehow learned to ride a scooter since the last time i saw him. he puts one foot on & pushes himself with the other foot. it will probably be a little while before he is balanced enough to put his other foot on & really ride, but this is a great start!

enjoy the movie montage…..

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This post (among many) is LONG overdue. Several weeks ago, we met Chuck’s parents in Kentucky (about 1/2 way between our houses) for a weekend. They rented a “bungalow” (ie. mini log cabin). The place we stayed at was super cool. In the summertime, they have lots of things to do including a zero entry pool, iceberg blob, paddle boats, putt putt, etc. We got to play putt putt , but it was too cold for anything else. They also have a marina where lots of boats were docked. Our bungalow was right on the lake, and we got to see some boats & barges go by. The boys loved throwing rocks into the lake with Mimi & Pawpaw. Trip especially loved DRIVING the golf cart that Pawpaw rented for 1/2 a day. (He sat in Pawpaw’s lap & actually steered the golf cart all around the resort. We only went off the road a couple of times before Pawpaw straightened us back up.) Below are a few pictures from the weekend. I wish I had taken more. We had such a great time & look forward to going again soon! THANKS Charles & Sharon!

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when i was pregnant with trip, we heard about a program called Parents As Teachers thru the public school system and signed up for it thru my labor/delivery class. the following was taken from their website:

The concept for Parents as Teachers was developed in the 1970s when Missouri educators noted that
children were beginning kindergarten with varying levels of learning readiness. Research showed that
greater family involvement in children’s learning is a critical link in the child’s development of academic
skills, including reading and writing. Early childhood professionals suggested that a program to help parents
understand their role in encouraging their child’s development right from birth could help prepare children
for school and life success. Such a program, available to all families, would help level the playing field for all
children.

the program is free & is for parents with kids age 0-3 yrs. we have a parent educator who was assigned to us (who has an early childhood education degree as most of them do, but has decided not to teach while her children are young). she started coming to our house 4 times a year when trip was just 6 weeks old. she brings age appropriate games, activities, & books each time she comes. she gives us ideas of what we can work on with the kids & gives us handouts as to what they should be able to do at their age, why they do certain things, etc. there are also group meetings throughout the year, where they have fun themed activities at the early childhood center where you can come & let your kids play & learn new things. when trip was a baby, we went to an infant massage meeting. we’ve been to a “messy play” meeting where the kids got to play with things of all types of textures and most recently we went to a “garden” meeting. there are usually 25 families or so at each of them with tons of activities for them to do. at the garden one, they both got to make ladybug crafts, dig thru soil with shovels to find plastic bugs, see garden veggies up close with a magnifying glass, and plant marigold seeds in yogurt cups.

thru PAT, we also got assistance with trip’s stuttering. we talked about it a lot with melanie, our parent educator, and she assured us that a lot of kids go thru a period of stuttering between age 2 & 4 (because their minds are working/learning much faster than their mouth can speak their words), but most grow out of it on their own after a few months. after 6+ months of his speech dysfluency (the proper term), she recommended us getting him tested. thru the school system, speech therapists tested him & his dysfluency was bad enough that he qualified for speech therapy. we have been going to speech therapy once a week for just over a year (FOR FREE… well actually, they pay us mileage to bring him! they do this as an incentive for parents to get treatment before the kids get into school, or as early as possible. we’ve probably made about $270 or so this last year just for taking him to free speech therapy!!!) trip has now been stutter free for about 3 months, so they are officially dismissing him from the program this week (YEA!). without PAT, and our parent educator taking a real interest in our family, i don’t know what we would have done about getting trip the speech therapy he needed. PAT is a great program! i would recommend it to anyone who is pregnant or has kids under age 3.

below are some pics from the garden “meeting” we went to a few weeks ago.


t & q digging for plastic bugs


quinn looking at you up close!


trip checking out some real carrots


their ladybug crafts (the legs are actually tracings of their fingers)


planting marigold seeds in the yogurt cups they decorated


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so, i have been in a crazy emotional state for a while now, but it got much worse while chuck was on crutches for 3 weeks. i don’t know if it stress related or what, but i have been really irritable & angry with my boys all the time. then, i’ll end up in a puddle of tears feeling so guilty about how harsh i have been towards them. they really are great kids, but i just feel slightly out of control lately.

a couple of weeks ago, i had a really bad day. i called mama the next day & she immediately offered to fly up to help. seriously… who does that? i’ll tell you who… my Mama! she is the greatest mom in the world!! (and i’m not just saying that b/c she is the only one i’ve ever had.) my life was way less stressful this week with her around. unfortunately she had to leave today after spending a week with us. she kept the boys every day & did really cool things with them (from making cookies & crafts, to a ‘party at the park’ and nature walk, etc.) and of course, she helped me a ton around the house, too! anyway… i just had to give a shout out to Mama!

HERE’S TO YOU MAMA! I LOVE YOU MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW! IT MEANT THE WORLD TO ME FOR YOU TO COME UP HERE AT THE FIRST SIGN OF MY DISTRESS. (and sorry there were tears when you left {from Trip} and a few welling up now {from me}.) YOU’RE THE BEST & I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL YOU COME BACK!

p.s. thanks to my daddy for letting her come! love you & see you in a few weeks daddy!