Adventure Update #012: Release the Butterflies!

May 20th, 2019: Releasing butterflies, digging ditches, squishy toy phobias & celebrating birthdays!


I left work a little early – so Melani & I could go to the DMV to get our Enhanced Licenses – in preparation for our Niagara Falls vacation this summer. I left the car at the park near our offices that is equipped with a “free” charging station to charge the Bolt. I say “free” = because I am most certainly paying for it through my taxes! When I walked back up to the park to pick it up – this is what I saw – the Bolt had found it’s identical twin!

The Bolt & it’s twin…

We took Sophie with us to the DMV- and she got to “drive” a little after we finished there and we were waiting to pick up the other kids from school. Yes – the neighbors around the school got to hear a few honks of the horn too!

Sophie “driving” the minivan!

When we all got home we released the butterflies the kids had gotten as an Easter present! I was surprised that all 12 caterpillars successfully made the transition into full butterflies. The kids had a good time releasing them in our yard – and shockingly – none were harmed in the process! (That was a miracle – with four enthusiastic kids bouncing all around them). We thought the butterflies would be more eager to escape – seeing how they had been cooped up in their cocoons and the cage for several weeks at this point. The kids had to actually lift most of them out and encourage them to fly away.

Kids releasing the butterflies!

Friday Melani’s birthday!

My mother (Mimi the person – since Annie’s Bunny blanket is also named Mimi) came over to the house to watch the kids so Melani & I could go out to dinner to celebrate her birthday. We went to a quiet local Italian restaurant, and it was nice to just have a little alone time with Melani. We actually tried to have some adult conversation while we dined – which felt a more than a little unnatural at this point! Embarrassingly – I think that the last time just the two of us had dinner was together was almost a year ago – while the kids were in Vacation Bible School last summer. Even then – I think we may have had Sophie with us! Off limits were the subjects of cartoons, potty humor and the Baby Shark song!


Spring soccer finally started for the kids today! The fields were a little swampy – to say the least! All the kids came back with mud all over their shorts and shirts – since it tends to fly up when they run.

Gracie and Dominick are playing with the 9 – 12 year-olds. Last year Dominick was on the older side for his age group (playing as an 8 year-old – in the 7-8 year old bracket) – and was the “Big Fish” in the small pond. He dominated with 26 goals for the season. It will be interesting to see how he does this year – on the younger side for the 9 – 12 year old bracket!

Gracie and Dominick didn’t actually play on Saturday. The coaches had all the players run through various drills so they could divvy up the players in an equitable fashion – to ensure all teams were competitive – and none were stacked with all the good players. I believe the goal is to keep siblings on the same team. This would be nice for both Gracie & Dominick, since it helps bolster their confidence when they are together.

Annie did get to play – and started the season out strong with her first goal of the season! Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see her goal – since I had Gracie & Dominick with me and we did not stay for her entire game. I wish we had – but we weren’t sure they were going to play.

Annie can be aggressive, if she wants, and has good ball handling skills. I look forward to watching her gain in confidence and develop her skills further as the season progresses! See the goal tally for the kids here: Kids’ Accomplishments

Dogwood in bloom! A little past peek – but still beautiful!

In the afternoon Gracie had a play date at a friend’s house and I worked outside on my drainage ditch project. We are getting ready to get the driveway done this year – and I need to finish a drain system around that side of the house. I have about 10 more feet of pipe to connect – and then can finally scratch something else off my list!

In the evening we had a nice picnic with Mike & Donna at a local park. Beautiful & warm evening! The kids got to play around and it was great to just spend some time with our good friends (and extended family) Mike & Donna! Sophie loved the playground area – even though it was a little advanced for a 2 year old. I had to do a lot of climbing to keep up with her and keep her safe. At one point on the corkscrew slide – there were too many other kids and she decided to bail out over the side of the slide. Fortunately I was standing on part of the slide and was there to help extract here from the situation – even though I had to catch & juggle her while doing some ungraceful acrobats to do so!

Annie with the near full moon @ the park. I know it doesn’t really look like it is the moon – but it is!

To keep up with the kids latest accomplishments please click on the green button!


After church on Sunday we went over to my 97 year-old grandmother’s house to visit with her. She was not able to locate her hearing aids – so it was difficult interacting with her. Usually she tells the kids silly cat stories – but we also couldn’t find the cat picture book she uses as a canvas for her wildly creative stories.

In the afternoon Gracie had scouts and Dominick & I spent a little time digging together for the drainage around the house. Dominick is a GREAT worker – and he does so without complaining! I really enjoy working outside with all the kids and am thrilled when they are willing to lend a hand!

Sophie – with her stuffed animal audience seated in her new stadium seating style auditorium!
Sophie – creating shapes with dominoes…
Sophie’s NEW friends. From left to right: Lambchop, Honey, Tea & Crumpets, Albino Poop, Hambugler, Hot Sticky Buns, Toast, Lambchop’s Friend & Sipped Cream! Missing from the photo: Fruit Punch

Melani and the kids then went over to her mother’s house for a special birthday dinner. I stayed back at the house – to finish up the digging. I usually hate to miss any family time together – but sometime I have to try to strike a balance with getting one of these bigger home projects done.

In the evening Annie was being a stinker-bean towards Sophie. Sophie loves this little stuffed dino that Annie has – and she wanted to play with it. Annie would not let Sophie have it and Sophie was crying. I asked Annie to give it to her – and she refused. So I took the littlest one aside (Sophie) and figured we would try something new. Annie has had a real problem with these silly squishy Halloween toys in the past. We weren’t sure if she still had that irrational fear or not.

Annie’s Kryptonite! Annie has some irrational phobia with regards to these silly squishy toys!

So I gave the toys to Sophie and told her to offer them to Annie in exchange for the dinosaur stuffed animal. Sophie did so – and Annie absolutely FREAKED OUT! She was running away – and said she would give the dino to Sophie if she would just put those things away. Melani & I hadn’t laughed so hard in a long time! To Annie’s credit – she was good to her word. Sophie was confused by the entire interaction! I tried to explain the situation to her – but I don’t think she got it since they are absolutely harmless looking little squishy toys! And to think that Annie has this obsession with slime – but can’t tolerate these two toys?!?!? (Note: Melani has a phobia with clowns – so that MUST be where Annie gets it from!)

It will be interesting to see how Annie reacts to just seeing the mere picture of these squishy toys when she reads this blog post!

I hope you all have a great week – and thank you for reading!

The kids have started working on their own pages! There is not a lot on them right now – but you can check them out here:






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Blessed father of 4 wonderful children & trophy husband to 1 lovely wife. Part-time blogger, full-time nerd & aspiring Renaissance man!

Articles: 186

All constructive comments are welcome!

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