More snow is needed…

This week we got a good dusting of snow but we still need more in order for it to feel like winter and the holidays.  Here are some pictures from the park overlooking the city and a picture from one of the office windows at work.  Everything looks so pretty covered in white.

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Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Reading time with Vita

I’m going to start sharing the books that Vita reads so we can keep a record of her accomplishments and make sure we are not reading the same books over and over again.  Reading is the one thing she has struggled with since kindergarten.  She took speech class up until this year and it help tremendously but at the same time I think it made her focus on each and every letter and each individual sound of those letters, which doesn’t always work when reading.  There are a lot of silent letters in words!  Tonight she read  Just My Friend and Me by Mercer Mayer with very little help from me.   She had trouble with the words higher, separate and Louisville Slugger.  The best part was she understood what she was reading and was able to summarize the story at the end.  I remember reading the Mercer Mayer books when I was little.  I think I need to keep my eye out for more of these books since they usually involve a good lesson too.

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{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.- via soulemama

Ben's aunt rescued a draft horse.  It's going to be a beauty once it gains some weight.

Ben’s aunt rescued a draft horse. It’s going to be a beauty once it gains some weight.

Sunrock Farms

On Sunday while Ben and the girls were at futsal, Blackburn and I went to his friend’s birthday party at Sunrock Farms.  Despite the prediction for bad weather, the heavy rain and storms held off until after the party.  There was only a little bit of rain and the kids did not seem to mind.  Sunrock Farms is located in Wilder, KY and about 2o minutes across the Ohio River.  We were given a tour of the farm and saw lots of animals.  The kids saw pigs, goats, rabbits, a miniature pony, chickens, sheep, turkeys, alpacas and a pretty brown cow.

Sunrock Farms

Sunrock Farms

Everybody walked past this goat at the beginning of the path and completely ignored him.

Everybody walked past this goat at the beginning of the path and completely ignored her.

These pigs were very noisy because it was feeding time...very noisy!

These pigs were very noisy because it was feeding time…very noisy!

Blackburn feeding the goats.

Blackburn feeding the goats.

Blackburn and the birthday boy petting the bunny and comparing the feel of the bunny to the feel of the pigs.

Blackburn and the birthday boy petting the bunny and comparing the feel of the bunny to the feel of the pigs.

I love that he paid attention and was interested in what the farmer had to say.

I love that he paid attention and was interested in what the farmer had to say.

He didn't really want to touch these guys too much, he kind of patted them quickly and moved on.  They were only interested in food.

He didn’t really want to touch these guys too much, he kind of patted them quickly and moved on. They were only interested in food.

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I wanted to take her home with us. Look at that face.  Her name is Tootsie.

I wanted to take her home with us. Look at that face. Her name is Tootsie.

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The birthday crew.

The birthday crew.

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Milking a goat...

Milking a goat…

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We had a really good time.  I can’t wait for all of us to go and visit.  I think the girls would have just as much fun as Blackburn and I had.

Cincinnati Pops, Superheroes!

On Saturday morning we attended the Cincinnati Pops Superheroes concert at the Music Hall.  We had such a good time.  Vita and Blackburn both wore capes in honor of the event, Isabella said it wasn’t Halloween so she wasn’t dressing up.  We packed her cape in my bag in case any of her friends were in costume and she would happen to change her mind.  The kids’ school had their own section in the balcony and it was great to see all the familiar faces and friends.  Prior to the concert we went to the ballroom and visited the Family Fun Zone.  The kids made bookmarks, were given superhero stickers, had the chance to try out different instruments and listened to kids their age play instruments on stage.  All the kids were given a cute superheroes bag with a program and crayons inside.  This kept the kids busy once we found our seats and waited for the concert to begin.  Theme songs from Spiderman, Captain America, Wonderwoman, Hulk, Superman and Iron Man were performed.  It was fun to watch the kids face light up once they recognized some of the songs.

Ready to defend the city and head to the symphony.

Ready to defend the city and head to the orchestra.

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Making bookmarks at an activity table.

Making bookmarks at an activity table.

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When we purchased seats in our school's section we had to get three in one row and two seats in another row.  Vita sat with daddy.

When we purchased seats in our school’s section we had to get three in one row and two seats in another row. Vita sat with daddy.

Isabella, Blackburn and I sat together.

Isabella, Blackburn and I sat together.

Vita didn't mind because she got to sit by one of her favorite friends.

Vita didn’t mind because she got to sit by one of her favorite friends.

Blackburn was very excited to see Captain America on stage.

Blackburn was very excited to see Captain America on stage.

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Family picture via reflection

Family picture via reflection – angry Blackburn…

Lovely building mural, these have popped up all over the city and I love them.  This was taken as we were strolling through Washington Park.

Fantastic building mural, these have popped up all over the city and I love them. This was taken as we were strolling through Washington Park.

This was a great way to spend a Saturday morning and enjoy the orchestra without worrying about the kids being too loud or getting antsy midway through the show.

November Sun

Saturday was nice so after raking leaves in the front yard we headed up to the park.  Since grandma and grandpa were in town for the day they met up with us.  Light jackets were shed quickly as the kids ran around the playground and soaked up the sunshine.

Blackburn's leaf attack

Blackburn’s leaf attack

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Shortcut to the park

Shortcut to the park

I love Isabella's freckles

I love Isabella’s freckles

City of Cincinnati

City of Cincinnati

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This face!

This face!

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Tacos and life lately

Last night we made tacos.  The great thing about tacos is no one complains and everyone can eat them (Ben just makes his without meat).  We brown the hamburger, add in 2 packs of taco seasoning and in a matter of minutes we are ready to serve.  We do assembly style, bowls of ingredients on the table for each person to choose their ingredients.  Shredded cheese, lettuce, red onions, sour cream or ranch dressing and sometimes black beans and tortillas.  Each kid has their go to ingredients and they usually freak out the minute their gluten-free wrap falls apart on them.  Vita and Ben are really the only ones who have perfected the wrap.

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We have been dealing with lots of school conferences and doctor’s visits, followed by forms and phone calls.  Our oldest was recently diagnosed with ADHD.  My mind feels like it is spinning and I know eventually I am going to crash.  I’m not to the point where I can discuss or fully understand, but I did want to mention it.  It’s a part of our lives now. We just have to take a deep breath and move forward.  It is a controversial subject (there are a lot of opinions on ADHD) and one thing I will not do is medicate without trying other things first.  So at this point, we are researching all options.  I am not sure how much in the future I will share on this topic, after all Isabella is entitled to a say on how much I discuss.  Either way, we are embarking on a new journey.