Thursday, June 16, 2011


MIKAYLA TURNED TWO! Don and I made a May trip to Florida to celebrate Mikayla's second birthday and what fun we had.  It was non-stop party center!  Well maybe not non-stop- but a wonderful time was had by all!  We arrived on Thursday- and spent most of Friday getting ready for THE PARTY on Saturday.  Brandy had everything all planned out- and most things ordered so there really wasn't that much for us to do other than a trip to Party City- but we were delighted to be able to help even a little with the preparation.

But enough of that- and on to the party!  Sunglasses were the party favors and they were well used.


And her friends!

And of course CAKE!

And rest assured this little one LOVES PRESENTS!

This purple dinosaur was a favorite ride.

Now not all was PARTY TIME! And one of the favorite things Brandy, Mikayla and I loved to do was sit under the tree in their side yard- and most importantly I do believe that was the only place in Florida that always seemed shaded and always had a breeze- and was cool enough to sit outside in the afternoon.  So everyday we'd walk to the shade and wait for the neighbors to pay a visit.  It was a fairly big Live Oak tree and it did have acorns, but they were the size pea.  Mikayla liked to collect them.

We always took a baby!

More acorns...

And occasionally a squirrel in the tree...

And then out to eat at a great restaurant on the Bay just a short drive from Brandy and Will's home... We sat on the patio outside next to the water... Ahhhh....

Then of course there was a trip to the beach!  Mikayla really got into this sand and ocean adventure!

Note that the photographers put all risk aside to get these shots. 

A few yoga positions were also needed at various times on the beach

Those big waves were awfully scary, but sitting on the edge with mommy and daddy seemed to give some reassurance.
Even Grandma got her feet wet.
Family pic on the beach

And even a foot rub for Mommy in the surf and sand.

On our last day we started with our favorite coffee shop- and of course a cinnamon roll (have I mentioned HOW MUCH Don LOVES cinnamon rolls!)...  Who would believe that our first trip there Max ordered one roll for the whole table.  This table needs at least two or maybe three of those cinnamon rolls.

And then we were off for an adventure at the park next to the Bay...

This calm, shallow warm water was much less scary than the surf at the beach and the playground had lots of things to do.

There were even pine cones to collect

We finished our adventure by taking Mikayla for her very first haircut.  She sat absolutely still.  Brandy said she thought she was so still because we'd absolutely exhausted her with all the celebrations!

The visit of course ended too quick... But it was time to head back and pack for our next trip- to Chicago to meet Evan's parents- and then to Philadelphia to see Matthew and Sharon.  So have van, will travel!  We were off!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Spring, in between trips

This Spring has been a very busy one for us. We have put a lot of miles on the car and still have more to do this summer, but we were also pretty busy here on Wentworth. It's been a bit difficult just catching our breathe in between all the trips.  But then when we look back in pictures our life here on Wentworth takes on much more definition.  Every week that we are in town we spend a day a week with Hayes, and then one with Reeder.  Anthony comes for a visit one evening a week while Sarah goes to class. And if that isn't enough excitement this year Deseree delighted us by taking up track at Wyoming Middle School.  She was fantastic! Who would have guessed that our beautiful "couch potato" could run like the wind? Why we had never seen her do anything athletic
So mostly with photographs, we will recount our days of this Cincinnati Spring.

First, Krohn Conservatory brought in the annual butterfly show. This year they were butterflies from Brazil. I took the Kappel's for a big day!

I took Sarah and Anthony on a Thursday morning, a choice that was a bit of a mistake. As we drove up to the Conservatory, I was surprised to see the yellow school busses that were also arriving. One of the rural school districts nearby was bringing 5 big bus loads of young children at the same time we were arriving. Sometimes that happens, but we did get to experience the butterflies even though it was awfully crowded and LOUD.

Reeder had some great experiences this Spring.  First, she took Ballet through a school connected with the Cincinnati Ballet Company.  We all went down to watch the recital which was held in the same theater that the Ballet performs.  We were not allowed to take any pictures, but we did get this one post-preformance picture of Reeder with her flowers.

And she also took piano lesson this Spring!  We gave Reeder Max's old piano that Max's parents gave her over 35 years ago.  Reeder took lessons at our house from the same piano teacher that is teaching Max as well.  So Reeder had a piano recital.  Below she is performing one of her two songs she learned.

And here she is playing on Grandma Max's piano.  Her first real song she learned and the one she played at the recital is entitled "Grandma".

This year also gave Anthony and Hayes a chance to get to know each other.  Well, at first it was a little rough since two two year olds aren't really very good a sharing.  But before the Spring was over, these two had become great friends and really enjoyed spending time together.  Tuesday was our day to keep Hayes and then Tuesday night Anthony always joined us, so the overlap made just about the right amount of time for them to be together.

They helped me with Spring planting

We read books.

And feeding the fish in the ponds was always on the agenda.

Blowing bubbles also became one of their favorites.

For some reason, blowing bubbles at the fish in the pond was really special.

And of course Grandma was always the provider of things to do.

But I think their favorite thing to do came as a bit of a surprise to us.  After dinner and just before we took Hayes home, it was time for a bath.  They both had a great time in the tub and always asked when it was going to be bath time.

On our last day to keep Reeder and Hayes, we took them to the Zoo.  The animals were interesting, but the real interesting thing seemed to be the snack at the the end.  It was ice cream for Reeder and Cotton Candy for Hayes.

I did mention that Deseree ran track.  Max and I went to all of her track meets that we could.  Deseree ended up running the 4X100 relay and the 4X200 relay.  She had a great relay team that came in 2nd and 3rd in the conference in the 4X100 and 4X200 respectively.  She ended up with 5 medals for the season.  We are all looking forward to watching her run next year in high school.  Here are some action shots:

But not all of our Spring was spent with grandchildren, even though it really does seem like it was.  Our good friends the Delaney's from Oklahoma City came to visit for a long weekend.  Here are Claire and Max sharing some time on the double rocker.

And here are Claire and Oliver with Reeder.

We took them to the Cleopatra exhibit at the Museum Center.  If you get a chance to see this exhibit either here- or in other locations- you should definately go. Impressive for sure.

Of course, Max planned a dinner with Sarah and Marianne plus all the kids.

And we did have some great meals while there were here.

And finally Spring brought wild life back to our yard.  Marianne's gift of a gourd bird house finally got some use from one of our favorites birds, the Carolina Wren.  They are still on the nest, but expecting to see little ones soon.

And the deer are back again enjoying the unmowed grass of our next door neighbor's lawn.  The doe had twins this year.

And just this week a pair of Mallards thought my pond might make a good home.  I did have to chase them away since they also seemed to believe the my fish in the pond we theirs for the taking.