Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day, Peter!

We spent today celebrating our dads. We are so grateful that our parents live within a quick drive, and we were able to share the day with both of them. Peter had his own celebration, with a cookout and paper plate "faces" with a message written on the back. It was a messy, gloriously fun project with three kids painting, gluing, and re-creating their own features for Daddy.

Anya Rashi alternated between telling Peter "Happy Birthday!" and "Happy Fadder's Day!" She really got into the spirit of things -- as I was putting her to bed, she kept shouting, "Love you, Daddy!" and (I'm not kidding) "best Daddy ever!" She's totally right, by the way. :o)

Our day took on some extra fun, since Grandma and Grandpa L gave Aaron his birthday present a few months early -- it was a little camping tent for Aaron and Nathan to use this summer! We just HAD to set it up early . . . and because we're supposed to have some pretty good thunderstorms tonight, we just HAD to set it up in the family room. They're settling down to sleep in there right now (sort of -- it's pretty noisy for boys who are supposed to be asleep by 9:00).

Since our last post, we've had our first official baseball game, our first two really hot days . . . and the resulting first time running through the sprinkler!

Another happy "first" rolled around this week. June 19 was our first adoption anniversary! A year ago, we stood in a courtroom as a judge declared what had been true in our hearts for months . . . that Anya Rashi would forever be part of our family. We celebrated with a trip to our favorite ice cream place, where Anya Rashi's only request was for "pink" ice cream -- so Bubble Gum was the order of the day.

And on that anniversary, our heads were full of thoughts of Baby #4 . . . because our adoption anniversary was also the day our social worker visited the house for our last step in the home study process. It was unexpectedly poignant to have a major step toward our next daughter happening on the finalization date of Anya Rashi's adoption. Perhaps it's God's way of reminding us that there truly will be a new little person to celebrate at the end of all this paperwork and waiting. We are filled with anticipation thinking of her . . .

Monday, June 8, 2009

Summer comes in like a lion . . .

At last, summer is here -- though you wouldn't know it by the weather this year. It's been cold and rainy for the past three days. Aaron's and Nathan's last day of school was last Friday, which was a gorgeous day, thankfully. (Our photos are a little blurry -- we had the camera on the wrong setting for a few days, and now I can't rotate the vertical photos in our new photo program, so most of the good ones would show up sideways. Argh.)

After school ended, we went to a farewell party at a local park for some of their classmates who are moving to South Carolina. Then it was off to the library to sign up for the summer reading program, then out for a special treat: a meal out to celebrate the start of summer. The restaurant we went to has old Tilt-a-Whirl cars for booths, and the kids love it. They could serve cardboard with a side of sawdust, and our kids would still want to eat there, just to sit in the Tilt-a-Whirl seats!

Last weekend, we celebrated Peter's 40th birthday. He kicked off his birthday weekend with his three brothers by going to a Brewer game -- the tickets for their outing were my sister's gift to him. She's a big Milwaukee Brewers fan, and likes to share the love. :o)

The children and I had a big surprise for him . . . ever since the boys started taking piano lessons last fall, Peter has mentioned several times that he's always wished he knew how to play the cello. So, for his 40th birthday, the kids and I arranged to rent a cello and find a teacher. A former babysitter of ours just happens to be a cello performance student at Julliard, and is home for the summer -- perfect!

I think we had more fun working on the surprise than he even had receiving it . . . like the fun of hiding a cello in the house for two weeks before the big day!! Now every time he practices, Anya Rashi says, "Happy Birthday, Daddy!" The surprise is just as fresh for her, no matter how many days have gone by.

My present to him was time away together, something we haven't done since Anya Rashi came home (18 months ago as of June 16). We went to Chicago for the weekend and stayed with our best friends from college. They are so much fun, and we had a terrific weekend. Lots of good food, lots of laughter, and somehow it always feels like no time has gone by since our last visit. They surprised both of us on Saturday by sending us off to a day spa for a massage -- so I got to celebrate my birthday a little early!

This weekend was full of the boys' first baseball practice, having some friends over for brunch, and Aaron's and Nathan's first piano recital. I love the picture of them taken afterwards with their teacher -- their shirts are already untucked! Add to that mix the fact that Peter's summer theatre production is next weekend . . . whew! We always seem to start summer off with a flurry of activity . . . and then get into a more reasonable summer groove.

Still waiting for the groove . . . today is rainy, so we're taking care of errands, then baseball practice (maybe), and tomorrow is eye doctor appointments for my poor sons (who have inherited both my and Peter's awful eyesight), and a visit with a friend who's here from Kentucky, then Wednesday is our first official baseball game and we are watching some friends' kids . . . not sure when the "groove" is starting!