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JUNE 2003
(Click on an image to enlarge)

June 2, 2003

Today starts the first week of summer vacation.  We're so fortunate to have so many kids so close.  A neighbor and I took the crew bowling this morning, and then they played at our house this afternoon.

Some rare quiet time

Last weekend while we were at the River, Alex's fish, Baxter, finally died.  He'd been old and feeble for quite some time, so it was no surprise.  The boys wasted no time telling me they wanted a replacement - each.  So instead of having two fishbowls in two rooms, we got a full-blown fish tank.  We had to set it up several days before we could put fish in, and today they finally got to get some fish.

Feeding time at the aquarium

June 3, 2003

This morning Mark took us all out to shoot off model rockets.  It was really neat!  Patrick's rocket has two gliders that soar down separately from the rocket, and Alex's rocket has a part that separates and comes down with a helicopter-type propeller on it.  It was a little windy, so we were aiming them into the wind a little so when the parachutes opened up, they'd land right near us.  The first few tries worked beautifully.  But on the second try with Alex's, the parachute didn't open, so the wind didn't bring it back over the field and it came down right in the middle of a small lake nearby. Oops!  They managed to fish it out and keep it for parts, but poor Alex - his only other rocket ended up at the top of a tree, never to be seen again.  I'm sure Mark won't wait long to replace this one for him, though!  My three boys are really enjoying their new hobby!

Loading Patrick's on the launchpad FIVE, FOUR, THREE, TWO, ONE!!!!!  (yes, they actually count down - it's really cute)


June 7, 2003

We had a wonderful visit today with our old friends, Karen and Zim and their two boys, Justin and Tyler, and celebrated Justin's 7th birthday.  We haven't gotten together in way too long and it was wonderful to see them!  The party was all boys, and they were wild!  They played Pin the Tail on the Donkey, had a pinata, had a water balloon toss (okay - fight), and bobbed for apples.  Poor Alex doesn't have enough front teeth right now and he was the only one who couldn't get his apple!

Patch loves Justin's drums!

Bobbing for apples Patch has some chompers!

Mutt and Jeff

June 8, 2003

Patrick's soccer team finally had their end-of-season party.  We met at the public pool and swam for awhile and then the team got their trophies.  Alex is doing really well in the water, and Patrick has made huge progress.  He was kicking while I held him so his coach  brought him a kick board.  He loved it and kicked his way all over the place!

A taste of independence in the water Alex is finally comfortable swimming under water

The big trophy day!
This is Patrick's latest expression when he's getting too much attention

June 9, 2003

Mark and I enjoyed a rare day where the kids played nicely together all day!  I actually took some secret video of them in an elaborate imaginary game because they were so oblivious to everything around them.

Alex was putting away a box of supplies he brought home from his desk at school.  He had a "magic spacer" in his box - it's a tongue depressor that they use to make sure they leave enough space between words when writing.  He said that Patrick could use it from now on.  I pointed out that Patrick probably isn't ready for it yet, since Alex only started using one half way through kindergarten.  He then grabbed pencil and paper and his magic spacer and showed Patrick how to use it.  He even got out a book first to show him how the words had spaces between them.  It was incredible!

Teacher and student

June 12, 2003

A couple of weeks ago at a friend's house, the boys were introduced to a simple little spinning toy called a Bey Blade.  Alex came up to me at one point and asked how many weeks were left in his summer break.  I said eight.  He thought for a second, and then said, "Good, then I'll have a week to play with my Bey Blade this summer."  I finally figured it out - he gets $1.00 a week allowance, and a Bey Blade costs $7.00, so he had to save for seven weeks to get one and would have one week left to play with it during summer.  (They had just spent their allowance so their savings were depleted.)  Of course, Patrick decided he was saving for one, too.  They never once asked for me to get them one, and they were both very diligent and patient with their savings.  They've been exceptionally good this past week or so (no doubt because they've had Daddy's undivided attention all week), so I surprised them today with their own Bey Blades.

They're using the bowl as a "Bey Blade Arena" to have "spin offs"

June 14, 2003

We had a big dinner celebration tonight at Kobe Steakhouse with my parents to celebrate their anniversary, Fathers Day and Mark's birthday.  If you've never been there, it's really a lot of fun.  The chef cooks right at your table and he's very flamboyant and funny - the kids loved it, as did we!  (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)

On the way home, we stopped and bought Alex some stationery and he wrote his first letter when we got home.  He's still very excited about reading and writing, so I'm thrilled that he's interested in writing letters to keep up the practice.  Keep an eye on your mailbox - he's got a lot of people he wants to write to!  And he's also very much looking forward to receiving a letter in return some day, too (hint, hint).

engrossed in his letter writing

June 15, 2003


We are so fortunate to have such wonderful fathers in our lives - in all generations.  We hope all of you dads had a great day!

Today was a big day for Mark.  He flew out this afternoon to Baltimore for his first day at his new job.  Of course, today is Father's Day, but tomorrow is his birthday, so we had a little birthday celebration this afternoon before leaving for the airport.  The boys have had a difficult evening dealing with the fact that he'll be gone for a week.  Patrick has been very clear that he does not like Daddy's new job and his old one was just fine, thank you.  One of his gifts was a picture frame for him to take with him when he travels.  Here is his first set of pictures for it.

Happy birthday, Daddy! More presents!

I happened upon a kid mask and snorkel at the store today.  Who would have known what a big hit it was!

Who needs water to enjoy a mask and snorkel? Now he thinks that he can swim

June 16, 2003


The boys had their first day of summer camp today.  The theme for this week is Space, and they made spaceman helmets out of milk cartons.

Danger, Will Robinson!

June 19, 2003

Daddy's been away on a business trip this week, and we can't wait for him to get home tomorrow.  He's called every night at bedtime to tell Patrick a story to dream about and to ask Alex about his day.  Tonight he told Alex that he has some surprises for them.  Alex later came out of his room and said, "I know Daddy's bringing home surprises for us, but for me, the best surprise is he's coming home."  Awwwwwwww.

I have the most amazing thing to share.  I never thought I'd be able to say this, but as of a week ago, Patrick is medicine free!!!!!  I thought about hiring one of those banner planes, or maybe renting a bill board, but I guess the World Wide Web will have to do, since I also don't have a mountaintop nearby to shout it from!  Every time I think about it, I just sit amazed!  Although we've hoped and prayed for this, I truly never thought it would happen.

Action shots from camp - Think they're enjoying it?
He's bouncing on a mini-trampoline Patrick sure doesn't hold his feelings in!

June 20, 2003

Daddy's Home!!!!!! 

Happy Patch

June 21, 2003

Alex's first golf tournament is Monday, so he and Mark have been practicing today.  It's been very rainy, so they've had to be creative.

Practicing putting on the gray "green"

June 23, 2003

We had a very exciting day today!  Nana and Papa and Grandma all joined us for Alex's very first golf tournament.  I'm so proud of him - he was awesome!  They played 9 holes and he shot a 62.  All of the boys in his foursome were so well mannered - none of them got openly upset and they were all perfect gentlemen, despite the fact that it was well over 90 degrees outside and they played straight through lunchtime.  The first thing Alex said after the tournament was "When's the next one?"  That's my little Finster!

He looks like such a natural! Very first tee at his very first hole at his very first tournament

Three generations of Finsters Waiting his turn to putt Shaking hands at the end

Patch did NOT want to smile for the camera!


June 25, 2003

There is a place called Wonder Works on the local tourist strip that we've been wanting to check out.  The outside of the building looks like it's an upside-down building, complete with creaking sounds like it's about to crash down on you.  Inside it's got all kinds of ways to explore our world.  It was really fun!

Alex on a bed of nails B I G  bubbles!

Poor Patch had to stand in his tippy-toes to use this simulator

June 26, 2003

The boys spent the entire day playing with one of our neighbors, Anthony.  They just kept swapping from our house to theirs and played so nicely I was able to accomplish all kinds of things!

They had a very elaborate dinosaur city going on in Alex's room.  When I went to see what they were doing, the light was off and Anthony was reading the baby dinosaurs a bedtime story.  Too cute!

Imaginations at work

June 27, 2003

We headed out for the weekend for Mark's brother, Mike's, wedding.  Since Trouble's leg is causing her more and more difficulty, Becca offered to keep the dogs for us at her house so that Trouble isn't left unattended for any length of time.  Nathan is absolutely in love with Trouble, and kept talking about how well he is taking care of "his girl."

Becca also offered to drive us over to Tampa, since Mark has already been there for a couple of days on business and had the van.  She and I had the most wonderful visit during the drive while the kids watched movies in her van.  The boys and I met up with Mark at the rehearsal dinner and enjoyed getting to know Mary Beth's friends and family, as well as having our own family reunion of sorts.

Gee - ya think Boudreaux is comfortable at Becca's?

June 28, 2003



Click on the wedding bells to see the wedding pictures.

June 29, 2003

The four of us braved the heat and headed to Busch Gardens before heading for home today.  Christy and Lexie (Alex's Godmother and her daughter, who is Mark's Goddaughter) joined us.  We hit all the water rides right off the bat to get cooled off.  Troy (Alex's Godfather) was able to join us later in the day for a while.  It was great to see all of them!  Our last hurrah before we left was riding a real, loopdy loop roller coaster.  Patrick was just tall enough, which meant that Mommy had to ride, too.  They all loved it.  I'll be happy when they're old enough to ride on their own!

Alex, Lexie and Patch Enthralled by a children's show on stage
Lexie The Dragon Tamer! Alex flying his dragon