Saturday, June 17, 2017

Fall Activities

As we settled back into a school routine, the kids' activities started up again.  Abbey liked baking during any free time we have (which is limited).
Both girls played Park District soccer and Ben played travel soccer again this year.  Matthew, having been to a LOT of soccer games for his siblings, decided it was time to dress the part and join a team.  Although he isn't old enough yet to join a team, we did let him wear the jersey so he felt part of his siblings' teams!  Put me in Coach!
We celebrated Paul's birthday.  For his birthday, I got him tickets to a cubs game to go with friends - Dads' Day Out at the Ballpark!  He really enjoyed the game and it was on his birthday, which was fun.  So we celebrated as a family that weekend with his favorite carrot cake, made with love by his kids (and me)!
Abbey and Juliette did all of the cake decorating this time - I think they did an awesome job!

Happy Birthday Paul!
Matthew had his own classes too.  He loved his gymnastics class!

Ben played soccer for his school again this year (as well as travel club soccer).  But he loved playing for school because it was with his friends.  This year, they won the Catholic School JV Championship in an exciting shoot out!  Ben and Daniel celebrating the awesome win!
The winning team!
Juliette crossed over from Daisy Scouts to Brownies.  I continue to be one of her leaders, which is fun.
What a great group of girls!
Juj and some of her friends after her soccer game.

We love that our kids are active and involved in sports and other activities.  It definitely keeps us busy!  We are so thankful that Matthew is such an easy going and fun loving child - he loves to go along to all the games and be part of whatever his siblings are doing.  It sure makes things a lot easier that he always wants to go too!

Grandparents Day and Notre Dame Football!

In the fall, Madgie and Patch came up to be present for Grandparents' Day at school.  It is such a nice event where we all go to Mass together and then the grandparents can visit the kids' classrooms and do quick activities with them (and since they have 3 classrooms to get to, the activities really do have to be quick!).  The kids enjoy showing off their classrooms and spending the morning with their grandparents.

 This was before Mass.

After the Grandparents' Day festivities ended, we headed out to South Bend for the weekend.  We were so excited to finally bring the kids to a Notre Dame football game!  Abbey asked Santa for ND tickets last Christmas, and we were so thankful to Madgie and Patch for helping Santa get that wish granted!  We arrived on Friday afternoon with just enough time to get over to campus to walk around a little bit.
We met up with Andrew, our nephew and Godson.  He is a senior and it is hard to believe that we never made it to campus before now to visit him!  The kids were all excited to see him and see where he lived - this picture is in front of his dorm. 
 Then we walked over to the grotto.
 And we found the bench where Paul proposed to me:)
 And now we have 4 kids!
 Madgie and Patch rested on a bench with Matthew for a bit.
 We gave money to the kids to be able to light special intention candles at the Grotto.

 Then we prayed.  What a special place!
 We were pretty hungry at this point, so we paid to eat in the South Dining Hall.  The kids loved it because there were so many choices of things they loved.  We went back there a lot over the weekend and the kids, to this day, have declared it their favorite restaurant - ha!
 We tried to watch a little of the pep rally, but it was hard to see and we couldn't tell what was going on.  The kids got bored and it was getting late so we didn't stay there too long.  We headed back to the house Madgie had rented to get a good night's sleep for the big day ahead!
Finally, game day is here and Juj had the perfect outfit!
 We got up early and headed over to campus to enjoy the day.  Of course, we took the obligatory picture in front of the Golden Dome!
 Cuties enjoying campus atmosphere!

 Matthew was very excited!
 As was Juliette!
 Our whole group!
 You really can't get enough pictures in front of the Dome!
 Then we walked over to my old dorm, Breen-Phillips!
 Touchdown Jesus!

 Madgie and Patch had tickets to an exclusive tailgate, so we headed over there and had lunch.  The cheerleaders stopped by, which was very exciting!  
 Check out Abbey in the background - she wanted her picture with them but was too embarrassed to go with Juliette.  So she found a way to get in the picture!
 The timing worked out nicely because it started to rain, but the tailgate was under a huge tent.  So we ate, stayed dry, and then when it stopped raining the kids played bags and other lawn games that they had out before it was time to head into the game.  Thanks Madgie and Patch - it was an awesome tailgate!
 A quick stop at the car to put the stroller away and get our cheers ready.
 Then it was game time!  This is a very excited crew!!
 I was a little worried about how long the kids would last at the game, but they did awesome the entire time!  The weather cleared up and we had amazing seats (which turned out to be extra perfect because the people in front of us never showed up so we had some extra room!).
 Matthew was awesome!  He watched about half of the game and played with his cars for the other half (again, perfect that the people in front of us didn't show up so Matthew had somewhere to play with his cars!).
 Push ups were done for touchdowns...
 Matthew especially enjoyed doing the pushups with Daddy and Ben helping him!
 Abbey really enjoyed everything about it, which made me so happy as this was her Christmas wish!

 She enjoyed watching the game, eating the food, and walking around the stadium just taking it all in.
 These were out seats - perfect!  We could not have asked for a better circumstance for our first game.  THANK YOU MADGIE AND PATCH!!!
After the game we headed over to the JACC where we saw Patch's name on the letterman wall!
 The kids thought that was super cool!
 Just a cute shot of everyone holding hands walking into the JACC.
 It was a very awesome day and we enjoyed every aspect.  On Sunday, we headed back over to campus again before heading home.  Yes, Juliette continued to wear her cheerleading outfit!
 It was September 11th and the University had placed flags for the number of lives lost on that day.  The crazy thing is that I was at Notre Dame on that day in 2001 when it happened - a day I will never forget.  
 Madgie and I on campus by the Fr. Sorin statue.
 Madgie, Juj and I enjoying the beautiful day on a beautiful campus.
 Ha - got a quick picture of Abbey before she quite realized it and ran off!
 This one likes the camera though.
 We met up with Andrew and Jo one more time before saying goodbye.  It was so great to see them both - glad we were able to get there before they graduated!
 Then, before we left, we played a little family football on the quad, which was awesome!

 Go Matthew!!

 Awesome cheering Juj!
It was really a perfect weekend - just what we had hoped it would be for the kids (and for me as it had been probably 10 years since I had been back to campus).  THANK YOU to Madgie and Patch for making this weekend possible and for being with us to make it extra special.  This was truly a wonderful experience the kids will always remember!