Tag Archives: Patrick

Summer so far

It has been a busy summer so far. We have swam, hiked, played, traveled to Grandma and Grandpa Shannon’s house and then hiked some more.


We have a new favorite place to hike. Afton State Park is only 10 minutes from our house but we have never been there until this summer. We have been missing out!

When we are not hiking or swimming you can usually find us swinging on ropes or trying desperately to master the slackline (more on that another time).

The kids have been, for the most part, quite good. I have come to realize that they are at their most peaceful state when they are outside or exhausted. So that is my mission. Every day, all day… keep them moving, keep them outside as much as possible and make them exhausted. If they are not exhausted. We go hiking again.

Every hike, my backpack is packed with sunscreen, water, a snack, colored pencils and their sketchbook. I make them take a break along the hiking path, eat a snack, drink some water and then they have to draw in the sketchbook.

Then we hike some more.

And then when we get home if they are still have energy, we play games.

Sometimes we take a break and bake.

But then we go hiking again.

Even if they have already had bath, are in pajamas but are wound up, we wait for Dad to get home and go for a before bed hike.

It has been a fun and exhausting summer.

More photos here. 

Last Day of Preschool

Last Friday was the last day of preschool for Elise and for the rest of us. No more preschool.
We have been going to the Y preschool 3 days a week for the past 5 years straight. Michael started going to preschool there when Elise was just a few weeks old and now Elise is celebrating her last day of preschool. Time flies.

Starred Photos81*if you look closely in the reflection of the door, you can see me wearing Elise in a sling and PJ standing next to me.

And somewhere between Michael’s First and Elise’s Last day of preschool Patrick had 2 First and Last Days.

We have gone to 20 teacher conferences, 10 Holiday programs, 10 graduations, 5 First Days of School and 5 last days of school.

It was the essence of bittersweet handing in my ID card knowing that this fall I would not be using it again. All three kids (and just to be clear three is all we will have, three is the limit) have graduated preschool. I will have 3 school age kids next year!

Here are a few photos of Elise on her last day of Preschool. I threw out the teacher handout before reading that said the last day of school was Super Hero day. So while all the rest of Elise’s classmates were in Super Hero t-shirts, masks and even Halloween costumes, my kid showed up in the dress she chose herself and the tiara she insisted on accessorizing with.

First Day of Preschool 2013. Last Day of Preschool 2015.

Starred Photos82

It has been a wild, fun and exhausting ride. I think our van could drive to the Y Preschool on auto-pilot at this point.

I am so proud of Elise. She is ready for Kindergarten in the exact opposite way the boys were ready. The boys hated writing, coloring and cutting and Elise is a pro, and colors and cuts all day long. In fact TIm bought a new toner printer last year because I was printing out so many “Coloring Pages” off the internet that regular printer ink became more expensive than just buying a toner printer! The kid colors all day and she is good.

The boys went into Kindergarten knowing all their letters, shapes, number and colors. Elise… not so much. She struggles with letter and number recognition. I know she will get the eventually but she definitely has some catching up to do in this area.

The area that she is most different from the boys is maturity levels and social and classroom skills. Maybe it is a girl vs. boy thing or maybe it is just Elise vs her brothers thing but she couldn’t be more ready to be in a kindergarten classroom. She wants to learn. She is good at following directions and she is great socially with her peers.

I am going to do my best to savor this summer with her before she starts full-time school. Because we are so alike she is quick to get on my nerves but it seems like once you send your kiddos off to Kindergarten everything warps into light speed. For example…. Michael is turning 9 years old this summer and starting 3rd grade next fall… when did that happen?!

Wasn’t I just writing a blog post about Michael’s First Day of Preschool?

More photos of Elise on her last day here. 


Up the Creek

Some of the best moments at the cabin revolve around hiking in and around the creek.

There was a time when this kiddo wouldn’t look into a camera lens. He makes me so proud and so frustrated and so happy and so mad…. he is just like his siblings.


For some reason this hike was the hike that everyone decided they would jump the creek as many times as possible.


This is definitely one of those times that, if you can’t beat them… join them! If you don’t, you get stuck on the wrong side of the creek.

And then we spent over an hour helping Papa break the beaver dam.

Everyone was in on the fun.

And then it was time to head back to the cabin because the only thing that can get the kids to leave the creek is their hungry, grumbling tummys.

Many Many more photos here. I didn’t bother editing them. Sorry.