Here’s a current blog, but old photos from the summer. Yep, I’m still playing catch-up on pics, so thanks for your patience.
Fire safety day
Miss Jessie and I taught the 3 Amigos all about fire safety on 9/29. We reviewed the basics and then did some fire drills. Jessie pumped “smoke” into their bedroom (via a fog machine she borrowed from her church), while I helped them get down low on the floor. Gabriel and Houston each made a mock 911 call to Jessie’s cell phone, telling her the emergency and his full name. (Zeke was freaked out by the smoke, so he didn’t make the practice call.)
As big bro in charge, Houston unlocked and opened the window, and the dudes crawled out to safety. They also got to hear the smoke detectors go off, practiced lots of “stop, drop and roll,” made some construction-paper fire trucks, and were treated to an awesome PowerPoint presentation of fire-safety images that Jessie made (on her own time).
“3 peas in a pod” hang out @ the farm.
Fire station tour
The fire theme continued the next day with a visit to Northeast Fire Department, which I set up as an outing for Moms Club. Only Miss Amy, Daniel and Andrew could make it, but it actually turned out great that so few kids were there ’cause the fire fighters were able to give a more relaxed and hands-on tour with just five (although, extremely excited) boys present.
After assuring Amy and me that “they really can’t break this stuff,” the kids were allowed free rein, climbing on and in every fire and EMT vehicle. They got to spray the fire hose, pull the truck horn, turn cranks, press buttons, wear a fireman’s hat, don fire-resistant gear, look at images through the heat-detection camera, stand on the front of a fire truck and more!
Then we topped things off with lunch and lots of rough-housing at a nearby park with Amy and her boys. She says that Daniel and Houston are BFFs. “He’s my buddy,” concurs Houston.
The results are in: Gabriel won the first round of the “diamonds in a jar” competition and chose going on a hike as his upcoming one-on-one time with Daddy. Our outdoor boy picked the hike over going to the comic book store or attending a high school football game. We’re proud of you, Gabe!
Haylie, Houston & Zeke play in the herbs.
And Zeke won the “dream weekend” in the mountains with Granny and Grumps. He was happy and well-behaved, they report, and only started showing signs of homesickness on Sunday. By the time we met them that day for lunch, Zeke was due for a little meltdown, I suppose, and let his contrarian attitude be known. Overall, though, Zeke did a wonderful job on his first solo outing.
Gabriel, on the other hand, was extra whiney and emotional over the weekend. Maybe being at home with constant reminders of twin bro all around was just too much to bear. And Houston really missed Zeke, regularly voicing his concern for the missing bro.
It’ll be interesting to see how different each kid handles the next separation when Gabe gets to spend the weekend at Granny’s. I know it’s healthy to let each big boy have some valuable solo time with loved ones, but they really are three peas in a pod.
Stephen and I began taking the Membership Class at church on 10/2. The six-week program teaches people who think they might want to join Westover as an official member what the church is about (i.e., doctrine essentials vs. non-essentials) and what the church has to offer (learning opportunities, theological discourse, community and global outreach, etc.)
Gabe, Zeke & Savanah reach for the ‘maters.
Our small group will have lunch with the pastor and his wife on 10/30 to allow us the opportunity to get to know them a bit better, as well as ask questions. Upon completion of the class, we will then meet with a few church elders to finally decide if we and Westover are a match. So far, so good.
Solar system day
Miss Jessie handled the execution of this themed day on 10/4. She created (again, on her own time) a beautiful poster-board chart comprised of planet cut-outs, paint, glitter and ribbon-ringed celestial bodies. After reviewing the poster and reading books on the subject, she showed the kids space pics on her laptop, and helped them each craft a “telescope” by drawing on the cardboard middle of an empty paper-towel roll and “planets” by painting cosmic landscapes onto inflated white balloons.
More fire stuff
I took the kids to the “fire fighters and fire engines” story time at the library. They so were so well-behaved for the readings, the group activities and the playtime that I thought we should eat our packed lunch outside on the lawn on this gorgeous fall day. Then the boys got busy collecting huge acorns, which they brought home to our back yard, and then climbing and sitting in a giant old tree (with Mommy’s assistance).
“I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV,” Houston explains.
Last Friday, we hit the pumpkin patch at Mount Pisgah Methodist with Moms Club, and were also treated to a visit from Auntie Merdy and Uncle Greg, who attend that church. Other than the scare of Gabriel getting way too close to the busy road to check out a traffic sign — one of his new passions — the gang had a blast picking out small pumpkins and gourds while playing amongst the rows of festive veggies and mounds of acorns.
From there, the Moms Club posse headed for my favorite park, where the kids painted and put stickers on their pumpkins, frolicked in the warm sunshine, and ate Halloween cookies and snacks. Another awesome autumn outing!
Bikes & baseball
Late last week, Houston pulled off his first trek all the way around the block without any assistance. And then he accomplished the feat again with Alyssa over the weekend. Zeke and Gabriel are making great strides with the trike. I’m sure they’ll be taking off on solo rides before we know it.
We pose w/ “pretty Pat” after the twins’ final speech therapy.
Houston confidently caught three ground balls and hit like a champ at his t-ball game on Saturday, says Daddy. His skills have come a long way in such a short period, and little bros are following close behind, especially with their throwing and aiming abilities. All that time Daddy spends playing ball with the 3 Amigos is really paying off.
Also last weekend, Stephen, the boys, Alyssa and I made a make-shift sandbox by using rip rap as the border, instead of wood. We have a surplus of the big rocks from past yard work, and I figured that if it worked for our campfire ring, why not for this project? Plus, the dudes had taken a liking to digging muddy holes in the berm of one of our backyard trees, so why not give ’em what they were craving? The sandbox is holding up pretty well thus far and the kids couldn’t be happier.
Click the top image to check out our Moms Club outing to Faucette Farms back in July; the Houston-as-doc picture to view the July gallery; and the above photo to see the August shots.