Saturday, September 29, 2007

Emmaline's 1st Buddy Walk

We had the privilege of participating in the Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome today. The weather was absolutely beautiful and we had a fun time supporting other families like ours. Our team name was "Curley Crew" and we walked to honor our youngest, Emmaline and my niece, Kayla, who also has Down syndrome. Through co-workers, friends, and family we were able to raise over $1000 for the Miami Valley Down Syndrome Association. If you haven't already and would still like to contribute to this wonderful cause, please click here.

The day started off at Delco Park with breakfast (Krispy Kreme donuts) and a short program. Then everyone went down the "Walk of Achievement" to the lake. We walked around the lake and then every DS child received a medal while the other kids got bubble necklaces. After the walk, there were crafts to do and games to play. We ended the day by having lunch at LaRosa's. Everyone had a wonderful time and we look forward to walking again next year. Let us know if you want to join our team!
Our team: Papaw Kevin, Grandma Ginger, Gabrielle, Jen and Emmaline, Aunt Katie, Papaw Larry, Mimi Linda, Jacob, Cousins Gene and Rita, Cousins Floyd and Roberta (they were in town from South Carolina)

Katie and Jacob enjoy Krispy Kreme donuts

Papaw Kevin and Jacob walk together

Emmaline's Info Board on the Walk of Achievement

Emmy gives Papaw Larry a hug

Family Photo

Jen and Emmy with one of the many signs we carried

Jacob made pictures of Emmy and Kayla to carry (he drew them wearing snowsuits!)

Mimi and Emmy rest after our "long" walk

Friday, September 28, 2007

Apples, apples, apples

I made applesauce this week, so I thought I'd let the kids be crafty and paint with apples too. They had lots of fun (even if there pictures turned out mostly brown because they decided to mix the colors together)! The one pictured above is mine...didn't I do a nice job?!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Weekly Emmy Update

We met with our physical therapist this week and so far, Emmy is measuring in the 6-8 month range for her gross motor skills. For being 7-months old, she is pretty much on target. She gets better everyday at sitting on her own and loves to stand up (if you hold her hands). I've even caught her on her knees a few times.

Emmaline thinks she looks silly wearing this hat!

Check it out!

For those of you who check this blog regularly (Mom, Katie, & Emily!), make sure you see the new posts below. Even though I'm posting them today, I'm trying to keep things in order chronologically, so they will appear below this one. Hope that isn't too confusing. =)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fun in a Swing!

I know I'm a little biased, but Emmaline is a lot of fun. She has reached the stage where she is showing preferences for certain activities...her favorites being swimming, cuddling, and swinging. Emmy has the best laugh and her squeals when she likes something are music to my ears. My sister, Aunt Katie, came over to play with the kids in the backyard today and here are some highlights of Emmy's swing experience:

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Nathan turns the BIG 3-0!

Nathan turned 30 on 9/19, and we celebrated with an open house at our home today. I decided on a Superman theme because he loves the original movies and the newest one as well. Plus, he'd had a Superman cake for a b-day growing up and his mom had given me the pan, so I wanted to use it. There were lots of friends and family and lots of great food and memories to share. Here's what you missed if you weren't there:

Mom made the cake

Jacob made this poster to hang on the front door

Emmaline...our superbaby!

Thanks to the dollar bins at Target, Nathan got lots of Superman stuff: pens, a markerboard, tatoos, a knapsack, a lollipop with projector light that made the "S" symbol, and a cool wallet (that has since been passed on to Jacob)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Emmaline's 1st taste of food

Today was momentous, as Emmaline turned 7-months old and had her first taste of something other than breastmilk. The above picture sums up the experience. She was all smiles and seemed to enjoy what she was tasting (nothing beats single-grain oatmeal baby cereal with DHA!). Emmy didn't eat a whole lot, but she finished off her first meal with a burp, so we'll call it a success!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

An Answer to Prayer

I am waaaaaaay behind on my blogging and don't have time to catch you up on everything we've been doing (vacation, Nathan's b-day, etc.), but I promise I'll write more after this weekend. Even though I can't share all we've been up to right now, I had to share this amazing answer to our prayers. Emmaline went for her first hearing test in the sound booth today. After doing the test, the audiologist came in and said that Emmy doesn't need to wear her hearing aid in her right ear anymore because she now has normal hearing in it! Yeah! I was so thrilled to hear her say that. There was never any fluid in her ear, so they are not sure why she couldn't hear a few months ago and can hear fine now, but I know the answer. God healed her ear!!! Thank you so much for lifting Emmaline up in your prayers. They worked! Please keep praying that God will restore hearing in her left ear and that He will close the hole in her heart. He is capable of doing awesome things and today was an example of that.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Weekly Pic. of Emmaline

Here is Emmy's weekly pic. What a sweet baby she is!

Future Cheerleader?!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Family Party at Grandma's Work

Nathan's Mom works for a company that throws a family party every year. Last year it was in July (really hot!) and had a luau theme. This year it was in September (much cooler!) and was all about the wild west. There were ponies for the kids to ride, cowboy games to play, cork guns to shoot, and lots of BBQ to eat. It was a wonderful way to end our vacation time with Nathan's parents. As we were leaving, Jacob asked, "So, where are we going next?" Obviously, he enjoyed vacation so much that he's not ready to get back to our normal "boring" life.
Papaw, Emmaline, Jacob, Grandma, and Ellie

Jacob and Ellie milk a "cow"

Ellie rides on "Cupcake"
She couldn't say it very well, so it sounded more like "Pupcake"

Jacob rides on "JT"

Their new tatoos
(or "catoos" if you're talking to Ellie)

Daddy shows them how to fire a cork gun

Check out Emmy's new 'do
It's kinda hard to see, but her hair is long enough to put into 2 pigtails now!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

The last day of our vacation was spent at the Pittsburgh Zoo. It's not as big as the ones we have at home, but we still had a great time seeing the different animals.

This picture of Jacob cracks me up. What you can't see are the graceful giraffes walking past him about 30 feet away. He can see goldfish anytime, but for some reason, they held his attention more than the giraffes he only sees at the zoo or on tv.

Happy Emmy in the stroller...this was her 2nd visit to a zoo

When Emmaline wasn't in the stroller, she was content hanging out with me in the sling.

Ellie liked riding in the stroller too!

A rare moment of sibling love with a polar bear in the background

Jacob in the Sting Ray tunnel

This Sea Lion had fun teasing the kids

We couldn't resist getting a picture of this sign. Maybe we should get one to hang in our backyard!

After the zoo, we headed home to Ohio, with a quick pitstop in West Virginia to visit the huge Cabela's store. Nathan and his dad had a good time looking at all of the guns and knives. The kids enjoyed the huge collection of "stuffed" animals (these weren't you average taxidermied ones, there were elephants and lions in addition to the commons ones). Nathan's mom and I had fun tasting fudge in the general store. There were 50 different varieties and although we were told we could try each one, we tried to use some self-control. After all, we had to save room for dinner at Cracker Barrel!
We finally pulled into our driveway around 10 pm tonight. Everyone was tired and glad to be home. What a wonderful vacation where lots of great memories were made!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Pittsburgh Children's Museum

After a long drive to Pittsburgh in the morning, we headed to the Children's Museum in the afternoon. There was so much to do and see. The highlight for Nathan and me was Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. It was nice to see our kids enjoying the show we grew up watching. Jacob got to try on Mr. Roger's sweater and Ellie liked making the trolley go back and forth on the track. They were also able to play with the puppets that made the Neighborhood of Make Believe come alive. The water area was a big hit with Jacob and Ellie. Jacob and Papaw spent lots of time connecting pipes to change the direction of water while Ellie was content to play by herself dumping bucket after bucket into a waterwheel. By the time we left, both kids were totally soaked and in need a new clothes. We headed back to the hotel to change and then enjoyed dinner at Max and Erma's.

Jacob and Ellie in King Friday and Queen Saturday's castle

Jacob and Nathan with a character from Nathan's favorite childhood movie, "The Dark Crystal"

Ellie plays in the water area

Jacob and Papaw

Emmaline gets a kiss from Daddy

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Emmy's Weekly Pic

Here is Emmaline's picture for this week. She is growing so fast!

A World Made of Chocolate!

You can't go to Hershey, PA without stopping at Hershey's Chocolate World. We saw a 3-D show, took a trolley ride to learn the history of the town (did you know that Herhey, PA doesn't really exist? It's actually called Derry Township!) and the company, and ate lots of chocolate.

Emmy with one of the many free samples we received.

Jacob, Jen, Ellie, and Nathan ready to package their very own Kisses

Ellie (foreground) and Emmaline (background) on the trolley ride.
If you ever go to Hershey, this ride is worth the money. We learned lots about the company and the man behind it. Milton Hershey was extremely generous to his employees and the children who attended his school (the school still exists today...check it out!). On the trolley ride alone, we received 3 different kinds of Kisses to try and a full-size Herhsey milk-chocolate bar.

Jacob by the fountain outside Founders Hall at the Milton Hershey School

Yes, the streetlights really look like Hershey they are at the intersection of Cocoa and Chocolate Ave.

One highlight of vacation was watching Emmaline in the pool. She loved splashing and kicking in the water and was constantly laughing and squealing with delight!