The kids are getting more opinionated about Halloween costumes, so I was not able to coordinate a theme this year like I have in years past.
AJ is a red devil, DJ is Shimmer the genie, JJ is a shadowy monster with glowing red eyes, and MJ is Woody from Toy Story!
To end the summer, we decided to take the family on a 4 day cruise to the Bahamas. Wrangling all 4 kids on the boat proved challenging at times. Without internet or cell phones, our usual strategy of splitting the kids up while staying in close communication with each other was much tougher. Nonetheless, we had fun on some of the shore excursions exploring the islands.
After boarding at the Port of Miami
The kids watching through the window while pulling out of port
Signing the kids up for activities on the boat.
Diana wanted to keep the hat
Visiting the nature center
On the beach near Freeport
MJ passed out on the bench after the beach
Hanging out with the locals
AJ is getting his name woven into a hat
DJ enjoyed the royal kid parade on the boat
On a semi submarine in Nassau
The kids could see all the ocean creatures while staying dry
Beautiful views of fish and coral reef
From Bahamas with love!
M & M & M
On the beach building a sand castle
On the beach at Great Stirrup Cay
Boys getting ready to snorkel with stingrays!
JJ holding a stingray and MJ getting brave petting
AJ with stingray
DJ was scared but she held a starfish instead
Right before disembarking, AJ got stuck in a bathroom stall with a broken lock. They had to break the door down!
AJ and JJ will be starting 4th grade in less than 2 weeks, and MJ and DJ will be starting preschool! Stay tuned…
July is a hectic month for our household because the kids’ birthdays are so close together. AJ and JJ turned 9 this year the day after DJ and MJ turned 3. I am looking forward to the day I can get away with having one birthday celebration for all 4 kids, but in the meantime Josh feels duty bound to throw at least 2 separate parties.
This year AJ and JJ invited their 3rd grade classes over to our home for a pool party. Being that AJ and JJ are in two separate classes, the party was well attended with more than 20 kids and their parents enjoying our pool and a rented inflatable waterslide.
The following weekend we took the kids to Orlando. It was sobering to see that the parks were not as busy as they usually are this time of year, probably due to recent events in the city. The boys had pirate makeovers on Saturday, and DJ had a princess beauty appointment on Sunday. I thought I was being smart bringing her own Cinderella dress from home, but once DJ realized she wasn’t getting one of the new dresses on display in the lobby, she refused to sit down in the salon chair until I bought her a new pair of Cinderella shoes to match! DJ and MJ saw their first move in the theater, Finding Dory, and loved it. On Monday, we relaxed in the lazy river at Blizzard Beach and the older boys enjoyed the waterslides.
The weekend after that was our 2nd and final birthday celebration of the year, for DJ and MJ. Since they were born, I have been calling AJ and JJ “the boys” and DJ and MJ “the babies.” But at 3 years of age, I’m not really sure I can call them babies anymore…
Since AJ and JJ were born, we have taken family photos periodically on birthdays and holidays. With the addition of DJ and MJ, these photos have become increasingly challenging to stage because of the number of moving parts.
Last week we had our photo session and I was initially displeased because of how restless MJ was throughout the shoot. Somehow, the photographer managed to capture a couple moments of relative cooperation. Of course the beauty of our children won me over and now I love the photos.
Looking over the last few family portraits I am struck by how much the kids have grown over the last couple years!
First Portrait as Family of 6
The household continues to bustle with activity, and 2015 is flying by.
DJ and MJ are halfway through their terrible twos. They have finally graduated from cribs into toddler beds. They were so excited the first night in their new beds, they couldn’t sleep!
AJ and JJ are doing well in the 3rd grade gifted program at their school. Extracurricular activities now include Hebrew school twice a week as well as as practices and games in a training basketball league.
We just got home from a weekend trip to Orlando. We went to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom. The weather was a bit wet, but the kids had fun regardless.
DJ and Nanny Pat under the big top waiting for the Dumbo ride
MJ meets Goofy
DJ developed an obsession with Frozen just in time for our trip
DJ with Princess Anna
The castle lit up for the evening celebration
Stage show in front of the castle
Me and my princess
MJ and I enjoyed the show.
DJ also loves Minnie Mouse
AJ, JJ and Pat’s son enjoy the fireworks
Family photo. We enjoyed free cookies and hot cocoa at the party
We went to Disney Quest the following day before heading back home.