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.
This evening we celebrated the beginning of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. Josh’s parents came over and we sang the blessings before having a meal including apples dipped in honey for a sweet year. I am proud to have mastered brisket recipe shared from a coworker. AJ and JJ loved the brisket so much they asked for second and third helpings until it was completely devoured!
A Chinese man made this brisket and the Jewish side of the family endorses it as legit
In other news, AJ and JJ have started third grade. They are matched with two teachers that work as a team this year. One teacher focuses on math, the other focuses on reading and writing. They swap classes in the afternoon, so AJ and JJ are working on the same things with the same teachers while separated through the course of the day. A wonderful benefit from this arrangement is that the boys have the same homework sent home each day. This is much less confusing for Josh and I to supervise, and all we have to do is make sure they don’t cheat off each other’s work. The school year seems to have gotten off to a sweet start!
1st day of 3rd grade. Yes, AJ is wearing a pepperoni pizza backpack