Monday, September 28, 2015

On the Record: Ari at Four

Several years ago I started a tradition of interviewing the kids on their birthdays. Ari has just turned four and this is his second birthday interview.

By asking the children the same questions every year, we'll be able to see how their personalities and interests change (or stay the same).

What are you going to be when you grow up?
Mmm, nothing. (Pause). Garbage truck man, because I like garbage trucks.

What’s that going to be like?
Fun. I'll clean up garbage.

What are your favorite toys?
I want a stuffed animal. Woody. All of my toys.

What is your favorite food?

Who are your best friends?
Edward. What were the names of the kids where I fell down by where Grandpa exercises? (Gemma and Hannah, I respond). Yes, and Gavin. But not Riker. And Domenic at my school.

What makes you happy?
I don't really know. My special stuff, big pillow, blue blanket, chicken, bear. Everything that is mine makes me happy.

What makes you sad?
Nothing. Nothing of mine. When I was a baby I didn't have kid's toys, I had baby toys.

When you dream at night, what do you dream about?
Minecraft and my glasses. When I dream about Minecraft my glasses are in Minecraft.

What do you like to do with Daddy?
Play with him.

What do you like to do with Mama?
Push me on the swing.

What’s your favorite color?
Blue and yellow.

What’s your favorite book?
A new one.

What does Daddy do during the day?
You do your computer.

What does Mama do during the day?
Stay at home. At night you're always at a meeting.

What do you do during the day?
Go to sleep (laughs).

What do you want to learn or do before you turn five?
How to do a computer. I don't really know how to do a computer.


You can read his interview from last year here.

I've shamelessly pilfered the interview idea and the questions from my friend Lauren over at Sparkling Adventures, You can read the birthday interviews of her four darling daughters here.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

McHoliday in New Hope, PA

Our annual McMillin summer getaway was in New Hope, Pennsylvania this year. We stayed in a beautiful ten bedroom estate with a saltwater pool and spent the week relaxing with small doses of exploring sprinkled in for good measure. Some highlights...

 A dragonfly near our fishing pond.

 Stately trees surrounded the house and I loved how the light gave this trunk ripples.

 Bees visited the gardens next to the pool.

 Riker enjoys the pool.

 Sophia thinks this floating thing is okay!

Lily, much loved by all the kids, gets splashed by Edward and Riker. 

I'll be pleased if I'm as adventurous and spunky as Great Aunt Leah at 85! So glad she could join us from Colorado.

Speaking of spunk, Porter goes for stroll in the garden. 

Edward and Riker share a quick golden hour silhouetted squeeze while cousins enjoy the spacious grounds.

 Grammy, Porter and Edward take a stroll to the pond.
 Hummingbird moth in flight 

Hummingbird moth

 Another colorful garden visitor lets us experiment with macro photography.

Great Blue Heron
The last several years we've purchased matching shirts for all the kids. This year we decided to do tie dye shirts for everyone! 

 It turned into a rather epic undertaking with 24 shirts plus a few extras!

But the company made it less tedious! 

 As the sun set all the shirts were dyed and wrapped in plastic for the dye to set.

 The next day we unwrapped to rinse and marvel at our awesome creations!

 The shirts dry in the sun awaiting a final wash and a family photo.

 Our cake baker extraordinaire shares some frosting with her helpers.

Smiles and baking. 

 Riker, Edward, Ari, Sophia and Cael.


 You'll forgive me for not being able to select only one or two photos from Sophia's six month photo shoot :)
 Quite an endeavor to orchestrate this photo but I think it turned out great! What a terrific group of people! (The secret is that we're in the back row using an app on my phone to trigger the shutter!)

 Ross and Joan joined us from New York.

 Lily, Dave and Lynne

Liz and kiddos

 Brian and I

 Sisters with coordinating necklaces. Thanks to Joan for providing the beading supplies again!

What a joy it is to be able to offer the kids quality time with such an interesting and thoughtful group of people. Building quality memories one day at a time!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Bridal Veil Falls

We love taking the kids into the Cleveland Metroparks and we always have a great time exploring the wonders of the natural world. Picnics, strolls through the woods, poking around in streams and puddles - what could be more fun? This trip took us to Bridal Veil Falls and ended with a quick stop to see Thomas the Train.


  Riker took this one!

We only got to see Thomas briefly because it was the end of the day so Brian suggested that we go see where he was going to sleep that night. The train yard for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad happens to be just a few miles down the road from our house and this seemed the likely place to put up a steamy guest for the night. Sure enough, Thomas was tucked back behind the other engines and Brian and Riker got to have a good look at him! On our way out, Riker spotted the railway's mailbox and decided to write Thomas a note. In hindsight we realized we should have included an address in case the recipient wanted to make a little boy's day!