Summer (the cliff's notes version)
Well this summer is definitely one for the books. So maybe my big summer agenda went out the window and instead of waking up early and doing chores like I had envisioned, we stayed in our pj's until noon. And maybe the huge stack of books we checked out at the library has sat gathering dust. And maybe we had our fair share of days when I gave into their demands for chocolate chips in a bowl with a spoon for breakfast just so I could crawl back into bed for 20 more minutes. But when it was good it was ohhhhh soooo good. Here's a snapshot of the rest of our summer, mostly compliments of my phone. Up first...we spent like 6 hours at Spencer Park one day. It's this amazing park right next to the beach but they had so much fun at the park that we didn't even make it over to the beach. The water in the paddling pool was faaa-reeezzing but it didn't stop Maddox from taking a dip. Any excuse to use that snorkel set.
They spent the majority of their time at this sand pit using the water pump to create rivers and dams and islands. They came home dirty and exhausted, just the way I think every day should end.
We found this perfect little Young sized swingset while on a walk one evening.
And then on the way home the Young family animal rescue unit was reactivated when we found a baby bird that had fallen out of it's nest. We took him home, made him a nest in a box, hand fed him fresh garden worms, played finch bird calls on the ipad next to his nest and named him Twitter. He lasted a day and half then took a turn for the worse. It was really hard on the kids, especially Kylie, but we had a nice little funeral and all decided that it's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.
We burned the remains of our Christmas tree and made s'mores. I think this could be a new tradition.
We have this great aquatic center at the park right across the street. I thought we would live there all summer long, but there are very few days that are hot enough to actually want to swim. In Arizona I had a 100 degree minimum before I would get in the pool and the temperatures here have been in the 60's to low 70's all summer long with the occasional 80 degree spikes. I know I talk so much about the weather that I'm beginning to sound like an old man in a rocker on his porch, but it really has a mind of it's own. There can be a difference of 30 degrees from one day to the next. A few Sunday's ago it was so sweltering hot and there's no air conditioning at church. I sat down next to Maddox after teaching sharing time and he put his arm around my back that was drenched in sweat then leaned over and whispered in my ear "did you pee your pants??" Then the next day we had to turn the fireplace on because they were shivering in the morning. Go figure. But we decided to go ahead and try out the pool one day. You have to pay an extra $7 for the water slides so I told them they had to go down 7 times, one time for each dollar, but after 3 they were shivering so hard that we just spent the rest of the time in the hot tub.
And this was a huge milestone for Kylie this summer. Since she is turning 12 soon they let her go to girl's camp. I was so excited for her because girl's camp was always the highlight of my summers, some of my best memories are in those cabins getting sugar highs on Fun Dips with my best friends. So I was thrilled for her, but that first night as I lay in bed listening to the wind howl outside I worried that her tent would get blown over. It didn't. I worried that it would pour on them. It did. I worried that she would get homesick. She didn't. She came home with a bag full of crafts, a list of new friends, a stronger testimony, countless memories and a huge grin on her face. She is totally acing this whole growing up thing and I'm so proud of her. But it was good to have her sleeping under the same roof again. I missed my girl. (Ryder missed her terribly too. Every once in a while he would get a panicked look and say, "Kylie's lost!" He was glad when we finally found her 3 days later.)
Every year they have the World Busker's festival where professional street performers come from all over the world to spend a week doing their thing here. It is seriously a lot of fun to go and watch. Jayden and Maddox got chosen out of the crowd to come and help for this performance and Maddox totally stole the show. He would lean over and wave to Jayden, then wave to us then back to Jayden then back to us. It was hilarious because he was doing it so innocently and unscripted, just a little boy thrilled and nervous to be on stage. The main guy was totally playing along and everyone was just eating it up. It was just one of those moments where my insides just wanted to burst open with pride for that adorable little boy that I made. I told Jason how great the festival was so we went back for a date night one evening. Within ten minutes of the first show the guy stripped down completely naked on the stage. Apparently the evening shows cater to a much more mature audience. After picking my jaw up off the floor we bought a bag of homemade donuts and ate the entire thing while walking back to the car. So in other words, the evening wasn't a complete waste. And of course any time alone with Jason is priceless, but that goes without saying.
We spent a day at the blueberry farm. Jayden has never been a fan, but the blueberry milkshakes and blueberry pancakes made him a true convert. And I loved having a freezer full of blueberries (which isn't really that hard when your freezer is 2x2ft, and that's being generous), but sadly we're already down to the last handful. Good thing the kids are anxious to go again.
I had a crazy day. Okay, so I had a lot of crazy days but there was one in particular. Trying to make dinner with Ryder crying that he pooped and Maddox crying that Jayden whipped him in his eye and chaos erupting everywhere. Everyone was almost finished eating when I finally sat down for dinner and as soon as I did Ryder knocked over my glass and spilled water all over me. I half laughed to myself and told Kylie that was the story of my life, and all of the sudden something clicked for her. For the first time she realized just how much work moms do and how unappreciated they are. She felt so bad and vowed to help out more. The next morning she woke up with the boys and let me sleep in. When I got up the house was spotless and she had a candle light breakfast waiting for me. She had this whole spa set up for me with Maddox as her assistant (they're holding up the spa menu below). She helped with all the meals and the dishes and it hasn't stop there, she has pitched in and helped so much every day since, it's been awesome.
Sometimes they all pitch in and help with dinner. I enjoy their company but I miss having a kitchen that doesn't feel crowded when it exceeds the one person limit. And Maddox still has to make a miniature version of whatever I'm making. It's cute.
We had our fair share of rainy day lego marathons, and let me tell you, spending countless hours searching through bins of legos to find that one chicken leg or zombie head can be mind numbing, but I have become quite a lego house builder extraordinaire if I do say so myself. Don't ask me to make cars or ships though, I suck at those.
We have this balcony right off our bedroom that is perfect for sleeping outside.
We spent a day at The Groynes, which is quite possibly the worst name for a park, with friends. Summer days were made for this. A barbecue next to the river while the kids played. Perfection.
And then this day was one of my favorites. It's the stuff childhoods are made of. Rope swings and swimming holes and all the goodness of a 1960's summer. To be a kid again...
Warm summer evenings...they never get old.
Jason has been wanting to take the kids to this Cave Stream Scenic Reserve. He's in the Young Men's now so when the youth had planned a trip here he let Kylie and Jayden tag along. It's this cave with water running through it and it takes about an hour to navigate through. It's pitch black and in some places the water is up to your waist, but they had the best time. Kylie said it was one of her favorite things that she's done here and Jayden agreed. What incredible experiences they're having here and I'm glad they had a dad who was willing to take them because heaven knows I wasn't volunteering. They didn't take pictures in the cave, but here they are at Castle Rock Hill that is close by it.
So yeah, I think it's fair to say we had a pretty incredible summer, this one's going to be tough to beat.
Not to be rude or anything, but....
6 hours ago