Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Summer 2013, come and gone

Once again, here I am trying to sum up the last three months. Summer flew by! At the beginning I was braced and ready for it all. I spent a nice chunk of time on a summer job chart which lasted for about a week and a half, maybe less. It was a huge adjustment at first having all five home all of the time. I didn't really go very many places. But, that was almost always okay because of the many things to do at home in the back yard, playing with friends, riding bikes, and heck, they always had each other and a healthy dose of imagination to make any day fun. I love that about our kids. I suppose we finally got into a groove around July-ish. In fact, looking back on my year so far, I'd have to say that January-February and July-August were my best months (at least personally, and probably for the family too). I just enjoyed the laid back pace with no schedule. I enjoyed watching the kids have fun instead of hustling them around trying to do fun things. That being said, we still did some things.

And here you go:

Swimming lessons, all standing in order (not because I asked them to). Connor screamed the whole first day but did okay after that. Not sure how much any of them learned, but whatever.
We went to the Rodeo and had a great time. Hallie was so tired though and doesn't sleep in our arms, so that was not that fun. Oh hey, they're in order again.
We dressed like a cow for Cow Appreciation Day again. In order again (they really do it on their own). I made a toga out of the extra cow fabric I had and made Jared wear ears and spots this year. There was a picture, but due to an unfortunate and unsightly appearance of a double chin, the photo did not make the blog. And yes, I even made a little cow skirt for Hallie even though she didn't get a free meal. I am that crazy.
The day before this was 7-11, so we definitely got our free Slurpees. And a few days later there was a free day at the Museum of Natural History up in Salt Lake. I love free stuff! It was a lot of fun. Oh wait, except for Connor refusing to go to the bathroom once he saw the stalls, like over and over again! Stubborn kid.

Alex, Marissa and Connor were all signed up for the neighborhood soccer again, and Alex and Marissa actually played. Connor pretty much just wore his uniform, occasionally (remember the stubborn kid from the museum?)
They played on the swing set every day...
 ...they played in the hose and with chalk (sometimes at the same time)
They spent two days making an Otter Pop Stand at the beginning of the summer and begged to do it several times. Being the lazy Scrooge that I am, I did not want to do it. #1-I didn't want to sit out in the hot sun begging for money and #2-doesn't everyone already have otter pops in their freezer? Why would they buy ours? On the very last day of summer I finally gave in and let them do it. I was amazed that anyone even bought any, but at a quarter a piece they made over $7. Not too bad. Erin manned the station while the rest of the kids ran around the neighborhood spreading the word. The things they think are fun.
This one is actually from the last week of school when Erin had business day. They all had to come up with some business where everyone bought stuff using the fake money they'd been earning all year. Erin's was Selling Goo. This is a picture of the family making it the night before. It was such an awesome thing for girls and boys in third grade, and for us. It is way fun to play with. She sold out pretty quickly.
And then there was the Fourth of July. We went up to Jared's parents' the night before and got to sleep in their camper out back. It fit our family perfectly. Then the next day we got to ride on a float in the Perry parade. That's right, be in a parade, not just watch. My kids were thrilled. Jared's dad is running for mayor so he had all of the kids and grand kids that could be there ride along throwing candy. That's quite the posterity (and not everyone was there!) It was a fun time.
Wait... they are out of order! Connor, back in line.
Here they are after the parade watching a movie with some of the cousins. Cute kids!
When we got home that night the girls passed out on the couch and the boys were watching something. I just thought this shot was so funny how they ended up.
The highlight of my summer (and the year) is always the Parade of Homes. I look forward to it every year and enjoy every minute of it. I went to the Utah Valley Parade in June and the Salt Lake Valley Parade in August. Loved it! I get so inspired by design and decor. My favorite house was a 7500 sf home built specially for a family with 10 children, 7 of which were adopted from China and all had special needs. It was amazing to feel the spirit of the family in the home. After I got home, I looked them up and realized that the mom was one of my roommates in college (just for one semester right before my mission). She amazes me with all that she has done and is doing for all these special children. Check out their blog. Amazing!

Then there was our anniversary. Eleven years! My sister-in-law offered to watch our kids, but we didn't want to leave Hallie overnight, so we spent a whole day together just doing stuff without kids! That right there is enough of a celebration. I dragged Jared to the Parade of Homes and his idea was going to a water park. That was so much more fun without kids. We actually got to stand in line together instead of take turns watching kids. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids. It was just nice to hang out with Jared like we were teenagers for a change. We ate at two of my favorite restaurants (Blue Lemon and Zupas) and got a parking ticket (but we didn't have to pay for babysitting so it pretty much evens out). That night Jared surprised me with this two tiered wedding/anniversary cake. It was all one of my neighbor's ideas. She is a master cake decorator and wanted to pay us back for watching her kids once (not even that, they were asleep and we listened for them on the baby monitor). Anyway, this was how she showed her appreciation. It was delicious and amazing. Jared and I both agree that there is nothing I could (or should) cook or bake to pay her back. That is not my talent. Maybe I could just show up on her doorstep with a refinished dresser or something. Suffice it to say that we have the best neighbors and neighborhood ever. I feel so lucky to live among them! Oh, and back to our anniversary... I am so lucky to have Jared by my side. He is a loving, understanding, supportive, hard working, talented, fun and just an all around amazing person. I couldn't have asked for a better man for me!
One more thing about our anniversary. When I was in college, a couple of roommates and I would always love to play 10 year reunion. We would pretend that we hadn't seen each other in 10 years and then we would talk about all the things that had happened in that time. We would think up some really crazy scenarios about our lives and all the people in our ward. You know, who married who, who was a drug addict, who was bald, who had three sets of triplets. It was awesome. So I decided to play 11 year reunion with Jared (since we'd been married for 11 years). What would our life be like in 11 years? There were some fun things in there. It'll be interesting to see if anything that we said will actually happen.

Goodbye summer and hello school year/schedule/cold weather...

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