Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th!

We have had a wonderful and full 4th of July weekend!

We started off with a trip to Jefferson City to visit Aunt Riri, Uncle Curt, and A & E. Little E's baptism was this weekend, and the Jeff City crowd always puts on a great 4th of July show.

B and M greatly enjoyed hanging out at Curt's parents house playing with cousin A and her friend S.

However, we parents learned a valuable lesson...this is what happens when you leave a 5-yr-old, a 4-yr-old, and a 3-yr-old alone for too long!!

It was a fun night, and the kids had a wonderful time playing together, playing in the sprinkler, and cooling off with water guns!

On Sunday morning, we celebrated E's baptism. Aaron and I were honored to be asked to be E's godparents, so we were especially delighted to be there and to participate. E was absolutely perfect through the whole thing!

Sunday afternoon we were able to see a dear old friend (the priest who married us!) in Columbia, as well as one of my oldest friends.

Then today, Aaron ran a race in our neighborhood, The Macklind Mile. We had a great time cheering for Daddy!

Finally this evening we celebrated with more family over at my cousin's house. B especially enjoyed the fireworks. M was a bit unhappy with the loud ones, but was generally ok.
Time for one family pic, and then time to head to bed!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Queen of the Scene on the Balance Beam...

That's what we have taken to calling her:) We picked a fun book from the library called "Queen of the Scene", and when M showed such skill on the balance beam, we made up our own title for her.

With 3 mornings a week free for her while B was in preschool, we decided to try a little parent/child gymnastics class to have something fun for her. Overall, it was a pleasant experience, and she definitely got to work on wonderful skills. She was pretty willing to try all of the different apparatuses and skills, though she absolutely refused to do anything with the help of the teacher, Coach Mike. She would do it for Mommy, though.

Near the end of the session, Daddy got to come visit and see a session. We got to show off her awesome uneven bar skillz, her excellent rings skillz, and her fabulous tumbling skillz:)

We enjoyed it, and now that it is finished, we will definitely miss the pretzel and lemonade that we used to always buy from a store in the mall after class, and I will miss my weekly workout!

Look What B Can Do!

He wasn't particularly convinced that he should try to take off the training wheels, but he has been riding perfectly with training wheels for ages, and last year, used a balance bike (like a regular bike but without pedals) with ease, so we figured that since he knew how to pedal and he knew how to balance, it was time to try to put the 2 together.

In late May, we found a nice evening, planned a picnic dinner for one of the local parks that is very long and very flat, and got ourselves ready.

Aaron had lots of helpers for taking off the training wheels.

B pretty much got it on his first try...he was a little aprehensive, and liked to have help getting started, but was ready for us to let go and have him just ride within a very short time period.

M was his biggest fan:), and zoomed around the park on her tricycle all evening, too.

By the end of the evening, he was taking off and zooming around the park independently. The kids and I went back the next morning to try again, and he was a bit nervous at first, but quickly got back into the swing of things, and is now an excellent bike-rider!

Go B!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Big Day:)

Today we achieved a great milestone! Sure, it is one that, down the road, will fade from the list of important achievements. However, today it is a big step for a 5-yr-old and for our family.

B graduated preschool! :) We knew he could do it!

And honestly, of course we knew he could do it, but I am still going to take a moment to bask in hitting this milestone. As a speech-therapist, I have worked throughout my career with a huge number of kids who struggle every day with mastering even the most basic of preschool concepts, and it is such a blessing for us in this family that preschool was not a struggle, but a wonderful opportunity that we could financially afford to provide, and B could benefit from and enjoy!

Two years ago, he was an anxious, shy 3-yr-old. Today, he was a beaming, happy almost-Kindergartener.

His teachers, Ms Linda and Ms Amy are excellent at what they do, and really helped him to come out of his shyness and to learn how to engage other kids and make his way socially.

This preschool class was a great group of kids, and we are so excited that a couple of his good friends are going to be going to Kindergarten with him.

It was a special treat that Aunt Riri, and cousins A and E could be with us today!

We are so proud of the little graduate. Seeing the progress he has made over the last 2 years has been wonderful. He has been able to try out a little bit of the world outside this home in a safe, supportive environment. And he is totally ready for Kindergarten, as far as skills go.

Congratulations, B!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Food for thought...

The other day, I was chatting with B's preschool teacher, and she was talking about how you can sometimes see aspects of a kid's personality in their art work. She mentioned that, if given paint and a blank peice of paper, kids who are more reserved will keep their work well inside the boudaries of the page, and will tend to keep things a little more structured. On the flip side, kids who are risk-takers tend to paint all the way to, and past, the edges of the paper, and will really fill the paper with paint.


Then, the kids were at Atrium the very next day, and came home with these paintings...

B painted this:

M, on the other hand, painted this: Please, people, leave me a comment and tell me how this is going to play out in the high school years!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Here's what we have been up to...

Instead of a post about ice or snow, I wanted to make sure to show off what we have been spending our free time working on lately!

Much to our excitement and the kids entertainment, we have started gardening at Granny and Grandpa's house:)

I have been working really hard to use more local and/or organic produce these days, and also support some of the local farmer's markets. But growing produce ourselves was also a priority. We were considering joining a community garden, but Granny suggested we just make their yard our own little community garden. It was a brilliant plan!

We have had so much fun watching the kids dig in the dirt. They have both been really interested in picking fruits and vegetable to plant, and also have been pretty helpful in the planting and watering. And Granny has been AMAZING. It is so fun to see them with her, all 3 of them enjoying this wonderful opportunity. Nothing is ready to eat yet, but hopefully we will have some good success stories this summer.

Here are some recent pics:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ice Skating

One more post left over from winter...we finally took our kiddos ice skating this year. We have been meaning to try it for years. But we just kept pushing it back for no good reason. Well, one weekend while Nana and Papa were down visiting, we just decided to go for it. The kids were not excited about the prospect at first. Both insisted that they didn't want to try and didn't want to learn EVER! We promptly ignored them, and they were honestly pretty interested by the time we got to the ice skating rink in Forest Park.

Here they are with Papa once they had gotten their skates on. Both kids were really excited about balancing on the ice skates right away! They, of course, had NO CLUE that balancing on a thick, rubber mat was 10 Xs easier than balancing on ice.

Miss M showing her balancing skills.
And Mr B showing his awesome balance!
Drumroll please...first step onto the ice!
Same for Mr. B...he's on the ice, smiling, thinking maybe this might be ok after all!
After the first few moments, their excitment about being there and mastering balancing on the rubber mats was tempered by the realization that ice skating isn't quite as easy as it looks on t.v.!

Both kids were pretty good sports, though. They went around quite a few times, either holding on to me, Aaron, Papa, or the fence...or some combination of 2 of these items/people.

The fence got a lot of love that day!

In the end, a pretty good time was had by all. I won't go so far as to call it a "favorite" activity, but there was fun to be had, and I think next year we can build on it and give it a go a little earlier in the season, and a little more often. If we are going to keep dragging these kids to Davenport several times each winter of their lives, the least we can do is equip them with some respectable ice skating skills!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


So it is FINALLY supposed to warm up a bit here. We have been wearing long sleeves and jackets all week...despite the calendar assuring me that it is May.

But in honor of the arrival of warmer weather, I wanted to post some winter pics so we could all remember how far we have come:)

Davenport often gets WONDERFUL snow. Far greater inch counts than in St. Louis. And while I think living there and dealing with it as a daily way of life could get tiresome, visiting and getting to play in deep, deep snow is just awesome. Here are some pics of one of our visits this year.

This first pic was just to show that the snow really was nearly waist-deep for M and B. Thankfully most of the Iowans are hearty and compassionate people who are quick to shovel out pathways on sidewalks, so the kids were able to get around outside just fine. But the snow was literally up to their thighs!

And the rest of the pics are just to remember the fun! Because the Davenport natives are used to the snow, and because school is rarely cancelled due to snow, all of the local school kids have plenty of time to play in the snow while they are waiting for the bus. Nana and Papa have a bus stop on their street, and the school kids made awesome tunnels in the snow that had been piled high by the snow plows. B and M had an awesome time with their Papa, exploring the tunnels and slides created by the school kids. Looks fun, right?!
You can just barely see M peeking out of the snow tunnel in this first pic.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

And I Quote...Molly turning 3!!

1. What is your favorite color: “ley-yow” *still saying “yellow” in her own sweet way!
2. What is your favorite book: “Princesses” *don’t know what exactly this means…I guess it means any and all books involving princesses.
3. What is your favorite movie: “Um…a princess one”
4. What is your favorite food: “um...rice and beans” *this girl still loves her Mexican food!
5. What is your least favorite food: “Peppers”
6. What is your favorite fruit: “pear”
7. What is your favorite vegetable: “carrots”
8. What is your least favorite vegetable: “I don’t like peppers…ley-yow ones or green ones.”
9. What is your favorite t.v. Show: “Um…Mom, I TOLD you…it was the princess one!”
10. What is your favorite song: “ABC”
11. What is your favorite thing to do with Mom: “Snuggle and read books”
12. What is your favorite thing to do with Dad: “Play tickle bed and play chick hugs.” *I wasn’t sure what chick hugs were, so I asked her and she added, “Mommy, it’s a thing that you play. It’s very blackish.” *???
13. What is your favorite game to play with friends: “Um…play dog-es with Anna and Ben”
14. What is your favorite store: “Um…the cookie store”
15. What is your favorite sport: “What sport?” *I explained what a sport was, and she added, “I like gymnastics and playing soccer with Ben.”
16. What is your favorite Bible story: “Um…Mommy, I’ll go get it. It’s a big book…The ship one.” *she bought be her children’s Bible and turned to the story of Noah’s Ark.
17. What is your favorite place to go: “Mama, I like to go and get those cookies with M&M’s” *they sometimes get a cookie when we are shopping at Schnucks.
18. What is your favorite restaurant: “Um…rice and beans” * she means Lily’s, the Mexican restaurant down the street from us.
19. What is your favorite toy: “Um…playing with those flowers” *she was looking at a vase of flowers on the table.
20. What is your favorite thing to do with Ben: “Um…when Anna’s here and my birthday came, then I like to play dogs with him.”
21. What is your favorite drink: “juice and water and milk”
22. What is your favorite thing to do at school: “Uh…I like to play there with all the other kids…like all the other girls and I like to talk to all the other girls”
23. What is your favorite thing to do outside: “I like to play tricycles with these!” *On “these” she pointed to the knee pads that she happened to be wearing.
24. What do you want to be when you grow up: “A doctor and a nurse and a fighter-fighter (fire fighter) and a Mommy”
25. What can you do now that you are 3: “I can go to Atrium.”
26. Who is your best friend: “Anna and Rosie and Ellie and Alex and my favorite is Gwennie’s Mom and Gwennie is my favorite too!”
27. What is Mom's job: “Go to work and help kids.”
28. What is Dad's job: “Go to work, too.”
29. What does Mom always say: “Do not put your hands in your bottom” *Um…don’t even know what to say about this one!!
30. What does Dad always say: “Go potty in the bathroom.”
31. What is your nickname: “Molly Ruth Schiltz”
32. What makes you laugh: “When something drops, then I laugh”
33. What makes you sad: “When we go to bed and you NOT sit in the hall for 3 minutes, then that makes me cry.”
34. What are you thankful for: “God”
35. What does Mom love about you: “Giving flowers to me!”

Friday, April 15, 2011

Driving my train!

So anyone who has met Mr B pretty much any time in his entire life will confirm that this guy loves trains. His addiction fluctuates...sometimes he is "completely driven", and sometimes he is just "nearly totally dedicated". I honestly couldn't even begin to estimate the number of days that my living-room-since-becoming-a-mommy has looked like this:

I really don't mind at all. In fact, when he wants to get out the wooden trains, I love it. As he has gotten older, the "real" model train, his Lionel, and the GeoTrax, as well as a few other train systems have begun to captivate him a bit more. But when he is randomly wanting to be a little more creative with track building, we head back to the good-old wooden tracks and have fun!

Though lately, he has been getting a little more creative with his Lionel train too. Just a few weeks ago, I heard him directing a train-building mission with his favorite accomplice. They put a lot of effort into getting the set-up just right. I was doing the dishes, so I couldn't overhear exactly what they were both so serious about.
Finally, I went in to check things out, and discovered this excellent tunnel creation:

But let me be sure to say, in the interest of full clarity, that M sitting ON the red chair was somehow a VITAL part of the set up, and she was totally on board with it. He would just sit and wait patiently with the train not running if she had to get up for a moment. And she really tried hard to stay in the chair for quite some time.

Ahhh...good times!