Friday, August 17, 2012

Summer Time Happenings

I haven't been much of a blogger this summer, but that doesn't mean we haven't been busy. We've been super busy, and here's a little of what we've been up to.

After we got back from our Idaho trip, we pulled out our bikes for the first time this season. The babies loved the trailer! It is so fun to have kids old enough to ride their own bikes, too.

At the beginning of July, we had some new neighbors move in on our cul de sac. They have 2 young boys that are both around Mitchell's age.

He has been in heaven having boys his age to play with right next door.

The twins' hair has gotten really long lately.

I decided to try big girl braids on them for the first time one Sunday for church. They held amazingly still the whole time. I guess this means we are ready for big girl hair do's (when we have the time).

One Friday evening, we had some errands to run. We just happened upon the Apple Store on our trip and all 4 kids found the iPhones right away. All of them knew how to work them and found games on the phone right away. It is truly amazing that in this day and age, a 2 year old knows how to run an intricate gadget like this, all by herself.

On our way home from our shopping that night, we stopped at Belen Pupuseria in Auburn. Ben found this place about a month ago. It is run by a local Mormon El Salvadoranian family. Ben served his mission in El Salvador and ate pupusas on a regular basis. He said these are some of the best, most authentic pupusas he's had since his mission. They were delicious and we will be coming back here again!

At the end of July, we got to go on a date with an awesome couple from our ward.

We went go karting and it was a blast. I may or may not have come in last place, but it was fun to try this for the first time, and I was glad to not have rolled my go kart (there was one crazy girl racer who kept cutting me off and bumping my kart). Thanks for a fabulous evening, Bliss's! Lots of laughs and fun.

July 30th was National Cheesecake Day. Being a cheesecake obsessed couple, we were more than happy to buy a cheesecake and celebrate this day.

To celebrate the first day of August, we headed to Coulon Beach in Renton. We have never been here before and loved it.

It was a gorgeous day. My kids love beaches and this day was no exception. We were there for nearly 4 hours and I just sat in a beach chair and the kids entertained themselves the entire time.

It is attached to Lake Washington and it was perfect water for the twins to play in.

Chloe wanted to show me her "swimming" skills. Not bad, but good thing we have swimming lessons coming up to polish up those skills.

Such a great day. Can't wait to go back.

The next day, while Ben was in Long Island, NY on business, the kids and I decided to take a bike ride up to the shopping center nearby for dinner.

Everyone was great travelers.

We chose Subway as our dinner destination.

It was a hit. We love Subway!

Afterwards, we rode down the street to McDonald's for dessert.

The next day, August 4, we were excited to meet up with our good friends who recently moved out of our neighborhood/city. We met at a local spray park and playground and the kids had a great time.

Abigial loves little kids and is so sweet with them. She and Lexi became fast buddies.

Mitchell's best buddy Jason. He still hasn't gotten over that he moved away. He loves seeing him whenever he can.

Mitch and 2 year old Katie also hit it off and were so cute this day playing.

Later that afternoon, Ben returned home from his trip. We surprised the kids with a trip to the movie theater (which we rarely go to) to watch the newest Ice Age movie. They were so excited! Mitchell is obsessed with Ice Age!

The movie was cute and funny, and our kids are still quoting lines from it 2 weeks later.

Seattle has been having some HOT weather (high 80's, low 90's) and with no air conditioning, we have to find other ways to stay cool. The sprinklers in the yard are a fun and easy way to cool off on a hot summer afternoon (and an extra drink of water for a lawn never hurts either).

Leah found a stick and went around poking at the water.

Mitchell initiated the "stick your face in the sprinkler" game.

Of course everyone had to try it after that.

We've been running so many errands lately, trying to school shop and shop for an upcoming family wedding. All the running around, and hot weather, has worn all the kids out. I came downstairs one afternoon to find Lexi out cold on the couch with Chloe.

Last Saturday, after a long, hot day of doing yard work as a family, Ben treated all of us to a treat from the ice cream truck that comes around our neighborhood. We have never bought ice cream from him before- I'm too cheap, but mostly because I figured once we did it one time, the kids would ask for it ALL the time. Good thing they have a fun dad! They were all very sweet and grateful for the treat. It makes doing rare things more fun when you hear a chorus of "thank you's!" from your kids when you don't prompt them to say it.

Last Sunday after church, we decided to make ice cream in our ice cream camping ball. We didn't get a chance to use it last month on our camping trip, but we still had all the supplies for it.

The kids all took turns rolling it on the lawn to freeze the ice cream. The instructions say 15 minutes worth of rolling/shaking. That 15 minutes really took an hour...

But the kids loved our homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream.

For Family Home Evening the next day (Monday, August 13), we went fruit picking. Ben's coworker in Kent has a HUGE plum tree in his back yard and has more plums than he knows what to do with. We love plums and decided to take some of them off his hands.

Ben and I hardly had to pick any. With 4 little champion pickers, our buckets got full in no time.

Leah loved showing me the "baby" ones.

Our two full buckets- 43 lbs worth of plums!

Only Ben was strong enough to haul or fruit to the car.

On our way to our next fruit picking spot, we stopped off at Cave Man Kitchens in Kent. We lived in Kent for 2 years before moving to Auburn and passed this place hundreds of times (Ben drives by it on his way to work everyday). It looked like a run down, scraggly place (look at the sign!), so we never bothered trying it. We later heard it was some of the best BBQ ever.

We are glad we finally tried it- it did not disappoint.

After dinner, we stopped to pick black berries. Black berries grow all over in our area and pretty much where ever you can find some, they are free to pick.

Once again, our 4 child labor pickers were awesome.

Too bad blackberries are so hard to pick- you really have to pull to get them off the vine and the vines are so thorny. We all had scratched up fingers, hands and legs by the end.

But we got a lot of berries!

After the kids were in bed, Ben enjoyed the fruits of our labors.

Our little sunglasses obsessed girl fell asleep that same night with her sunglasses on.

The summer really has flown by- doesn't it always? We have been busy and have had lots of fun!