Eighth Year

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109th Month

Rachael's 109th Month (March '11)

9 years old! Rachael had a great time at her birthday party. She had 5 friends come on Saturday evening and Mom took them all to Olive Garden for supper. Then all the girls stayed for a sleepover. Everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves. They put on a talent show, watched movies, ate popcorn, and made lots of noise. The red velvet cheesecake birthday cake was a hit with Mom and Dad, but not the girls. Luckily, Mom had also made red velvet cupcakes.

110th Month

Rachael's 110th Month (April '11)

The Easter Bunny made his appearance once again, bringing lots of candy.

111th Month

Rachael's 111th Month (May '11)

Rachael had her very first dance recital this month—and, WOW, were we impressed! She did a fabulous job! Before the recital, she wasn’t sure she wanted to continue dancing, but now she not only wants to continue Irish dancing, but wants to do Jazz as well.

The gifted program at school put on a mock trial—The Trial of the Big Bad Wolf. Rachael got to play the part of the Wolf; Daddy took off work and served as the jury foreman. Much to Rachael’s relief, she was found not-guilty. We are sure daddy did nothing unethical to sway the jury!

112th Month

Rachael's 112th Month (June '11)

And 3rd Grade is over! Rachael is looking forward to another busy summer of birthday parties and visits with the grandparents. She spent the first week after school was over in NY with Maw Maw and Pots.

 We had several trees taken down in the backyard this month. The kids all had a great time watching the guys climb way up in the trees to cut them—they really loved feeling the ground shake when the trees finally fell.

113th Month

Rachael's 113th Month (July '11)

We got to see 4th of July fireworks twice this month—once at Mercer County Park and again at Etra Lake Park. Rachael loved them.

 Rachael spent a week in PA with Grandma and Grandpa this month—she had a great time with them seeing some sights, riding the Strasburg railroad, going to an interactive play, and riding her bike in Mt. Gretna.

 Rachael also spent several days in PA with the Pickars. She had a great time with them, going swimming, going to a garnet mine, and going to the Herr’s potato chip factory.

 Mom took the kids to see Cars 2 in the theater—enjoyed by all—especially after Mom got everyone popcorn.

114th Month

Rachael's 114th Month (August '11)

The weekend of August 27-28 saw Hurricane Irene hitting us here in NJ. Many parts of the state were flooded, but we were very fortunate—none of our trees fell, our basement stayed dry, and we never lost power. We all slept in the basement the night it hit us because there were tornado warnings. The following week we were supposed to go to the mountains in Bushkill, PA to meet Grandma Mel and Pop-Pop for a few days, but the house they had rented lost power in the storm. By Tuesday morning the power still was not back, so they came here and stayed with us for a few days before heading back to LA. We had a fun time with them—we took them to the Popcorn Park Zoo and the Jackson Jungle. Grandma Mel and Mom had some craft time with the kids. Their last night here, they decided to stay in a hotel so that we could all swim in the hotel pool—that was probably the highlight of the week for all the kids—it was actually the pool where Rachael used to take swim lessons.

 Now it’s time to gear up for a new year of school!

115th Month

Rachael's 115th Month (September '11)

And 4th Grade has begun!! Rachael is loving the new school year so far. She loves her new teacher (and so does Mom) and is making new friends. She is still in the E=mc2 gifted program and the chorus, and was also invited by the art teacher to join an art club. She is doing great academically and is enjoying all the new challenges that 4th grade is bringing. Her latest favorite books are the Little House on the Prairie books.

 Rachael is continuing her Irish dance class and has also begun a Jazz class—she is really enjoying both.

 LSU football has begun and we have continued our tradition of watching it on the deck, grilling, and glow sticks. And having Maw Maw and Pots come from NY to watch with us.

Mom took the kids to see The Smurfs in the theater.

116th Month

Rachael's 116th Month (October '11)

A new backyard addition this month—a treehouse (well, actually, a tree platform with a railing)—it is being thoroughly enjoyed by everyone, even the neighborhood kids. We wrapped the trees with Christmas lights and Rachael made a “clubhouse” flag.

Halloween weekend was busy with parties, both birthday and Halloween. Rachael dressed as a very elegant witch. The big surprise for the weekend was SNOW!! Two days before Halloween we got several inches—went trick-or-treating in the white stuff.

 

117th Month

Rachael's 117th Month (November '11)

Mom had conferences with Rachael’s teachers this month, and they had nothing but wonderful things to say about Rachael. She is great at math and reading and writing, and they see improvement in her skills every week. We could not be more proud of the wonderful student that Rachael is—she is really gaining a lot of confidence this year.

Thanksgiving was a fun-filled event, with Grandma and Grandpa and Maw Maw and Pots coming to celebrate with us.

 

118th Month

Rachael's 118th Month (December '11)

Mom and Rachael traveled to Hershey again this year to see The Nutcracker with Grandma and Grandpa. Rachael seemed to enjoy it even more this year.

 Santa was good to Rachael this year, bringing her Legos, books, and a 3DS. She learned quickly how to do stop-motion photography with her new DS, and that seems to be one of her favorite things to do with it. Rachael’s favorite gift, however, was the membership to the West Windsor pool given to the family by Grandma Mel and PopPop.

119th Months

Rachael's 119th Month (January '12)

 

120th Month

Rachael's 120th Month (February '12)

Winter is fast coming to an end, and we are amazed at how mild a winter it has been. Of course, the kids are a little disappointed that there hasn’t been any good snow to play in, but Mom and Dad are quite happy.

 

 

The 10th Birthday Cake