Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Lola is reading--really reading. She's quickly moved beyond sight words in the first quarter of Kindergarten and has moved on to phonics. Each week, she gets several books sent home through the reading series at school. Each builds on the last and we are so encouraged by how her reading is getting stronger by the day!

Johnny is focusing on his sight words, and has really fallen in love with books as of late. While Lola would sit on our laps and let us read to her constantly, Johnny was never all that interested. Until recently. He loves pulling books off the self and opening them up, and brining them to us so he can be read to.

He is obsessed with "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom"--it's a classic, with a repetative tale. And since they both know the alphabet so well, it's familiar. Lola can hear something once, and repeat it. She half reads/half repeats the story from memory, but Johnny doesn't care. All he knows is big sis is reading his favorite book. 


Full Circle

I was having one of those full circle moments as I ironed on Lola's insignia to her tunic and looked through old badges I earned with my own troop back in the day. My mom saves EVERYTHING, especially the sentimental stuff. As another example, Lola worked from my preschool reader I had at Noonan because they still used the same stories they used to teach me how to read 25+ years ago! Thank kind of stuff :)

There were a bunch of "fun" patches that never made it on to my sash that I got to look through last night. As I become more of a "crafter" I'm already envisioning putting my old patches on a canvas tote to make my leader bag out of.

I remember camping at Camp Palos overnight, telling ghost stories with flashlights to scare eacher.
I remember how my Dad would take me to the Father-Daugther dance every year...how he'd come to the house, all dressed up, corsage in hand, take me to the event, dance every song with me, and then take me out to a fancy dinner where I could choose anything on the menu (I always chose lobster, of course).
I remember selling calendars (and cookies, too!) to help raise funds for the troop--hmm, maybe that's where I first learned the skills that have made me a successful salesperson!

Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout.


Future Fireman

Saturday was a busy morning--I went to Bodypump, Grammy took Lola to dance and to see Meatballs 2, and Daddy, Nonna & Papa took Johnny to the FD's open house for Fire Prevention Week! He completes the whole course to earn his badge and hat. And one of the fireman told him "Buddy, you are one good looking kid. If you grow up to be a fireman, you are set with the ladies." Ha! So true. He is going to be beating them off with a stick, no doubt.


Pumpking Fest {2013}

Orland had a pumpkin fest this weekend and allowed families to take home gorgeous pumpkins at only $2/piece! The kids had fun running around the "patch" for an hour. Lola showed off her muscles picking and lifting every pumpkin she could find, Johnny loved playing follow the leader chasing after her, and Daddy even juggled a few showing off HIS strength!

In no particular order...here we are at the Patch. 


{Daisy Girl Scouts}

Over the past few weeks, a fellow Kindergarten mom from Lola's class and I have been training to be Girl Scout leaders in preparation to lead a troop of Daisies at the Academy. We had our first meeting today and it was AWESOME! The girls did so great and were very excited. It means so much to me to be able to do this with her and her classmates, as I have the fondest memories of my 4 years spent in Girl Scouting as a Brownie & Junior. 

We learned the Girl Scout Promise, and did a craft to go along with it. Next week, they will recite the promise together as a troop in order to earn the center of their Daisy flower, the blue Promise Badge:

Each petal of the above pictured flower represents part of the Girl Scout Law:

Presenting Daisy Girl Scout Troop #70798:


Vancouver 2013

John and I just got home from a wonderful anniversary (7 years!) getaway to Vancouver, British Columbia--all made possible because of those many miles and points he earned while traveling with Chase Private Client the last year and a half he was with the company. He promised me a fun vacation b/c of all that travel and as always, he wowed me :)

Thanks to Nonna & Papa, with Grammy, Mimi & Papa pitching in as well, we were able to enjoy 4 wonderful days in the Pacific Northwest. We spent 3 days in Vancouver and 1 in Seattle. Highlights included:
  • Granville Island (we shopped and ate to our hearts content)
  • Fishworks in North Vancouver (fancy, yummy dinner)
  • Capilano Suspension Bridge + Cliffwalk (wow)
  • Shopping on Robson
  • Walking Stanley Park
  • Mass with our Canadian Catholics
  • Talking the benefits of universal health care (and how much they LOVE theirs)



We're speechless when we look at him, hear him talk, listen to his laugh. There are no words for how incredible our boy is. We love you, buddy.



He's getting to be such a big boy--talking so much, more daring on the playground, starting to read his sight word books. But he'll forever be my baby boy, the one I laid in a hospital bed on best rest for a month with, the one I feel madly in love with the moment I laid eyes on--the sweet angel who God whispered "Don't give up!" to the moment he was born.

So much joy he brings...


Lola's First Day of Kindergarten

And just like that, our baby is off to Kindergarten. 


Brookfield Zoo

The St. Louis DiTores were heading back to STL a couple weekends ago, so we met up before the hit the road at Brookfield Zoo, particularly so Clark could check out the Dinasours Alive exhibit. All the kids loved it and we especially loved getting to see them. The kids get along really well, and Clark + Lola especially have a very sweet bond.

We ended up becoming members, and Mom + Dad have already taken the kids back again--this time, they got to see EVERY animal. Very proud of those two, venturing out into the Chicagoland wilderness and living to tell about it! We are really loving having them here--it's almost sureal, since we have been talking about the move up here for abotu 6 years. It was worth the wait. :)