Monday, April 11, 2016

The rest of August

After getting home from the beach, the rest of August felt like summer was winding down and we had school prep in full gear!

The big girls helped Livy accessorize one morning. :)

The kids had all participated in the local library's summer reading program, so we went one afternoon to redeem our prizes.

The kids LOVE corn on the cob so we stopped by the farmer's market again.  Leah and Mitch had a corn on the cob eating contest.  Leah definitely won.  Those fierce eyes don't lie.

Our lot officially closed/sold at the end of July but it's never truly official until you get a picture with the sold sign.

That big, flat, empty lot is no longer empty!  It was so hard to imagine at that stage that a house would ever be on that ground.  Even though we had wrapped up our floor plan at this point, we spent many evenings out at the lot trying to figure out how far back we wanted the house to sit on the land. So many decisions that I had never even thought of and they were all hard decisions!  Where it is positioned on the lot is a permanent decision and we did not make it lightly.  With an acre, we wanted the majority of the land to be in the backyard, but wanted to split the difference a little bit and have a decent sized front yard and have the house be off the street a little ways.  But not too big of a front yard because we would use the back yard more.  Tricky, tricky.  And I have a hard time visualizing things so we measured out how wide and long and deep the house was and put wooden stakes and strings up to help us better visualize what it would look like at different spots on the lot.  We finally came to a decision, but second and third and fourth guessed it.  But ground could not be broken without this very important decision made. :)

My diaper babies!  2 under two.  Who wears the diaper best?

Jocie fell asleep during an intense session of light reading.

Our last hurrah to summer was the weekend of August 21-22.  We were invited over a year ago to go camping with good friends from Auburn, well before we knew we would be moving.  And it was before I knew I was pregnant with Jocie.  After we found out about both events, we weren't sure it was going to work out for us to go camping.  My friend Holly talked me in to going, assuring me that we could indeed camp with an infant and busy one year old.  We decided to give it a go, and we were so glad we did.  It was such a fun weekend.

We all met at Camp Zarahemla, about a 2 hour drive from us.  The individual cabins we all stayed in were located right on the lake.  Each family had a cabin and they all opened up to common play area where we gathered to eat, visit and play.

Chloe was in heaven meeting up with her dear friends from Auburn.

The lake view was beautiful!

There are canoes available to use and the big kids and dad had fun taking the canoes out for rides.

The adults had a blast just sitting and visiting for most of the time.  Catching up with friends was so fun for me, and something I needed after moving away from dear friends of 10+ years.

Olivia had a blast and loved wearing her new sweatshirt (and getting it extremely dirty).

She was covered from head to toe (literally) in dirt and grime, but she was happy.

We coordinated all the dinners and each brought something to make wonderful dinners.  Breakfast and lunches were per family.  Eating together each meal was super fun.

Olivia and Drew, just 4 months apart, had a fun time getting reacquainted after a 7 month hiatus.

I hardly saw Chloe the whole weekend- she was off playing with these girls and having the time of her life (she cried when we had to leave to go home).  She loves friends and was like me- loved seeing familiar faces of good friends that she has made close bonds with. 

Our cute little cabin at night, complete with lights!  Inside was 4 queen over queen bunkbeds (one was up in the loft area), a microwave and mini fridge and a heater/stove.  They were so cute and cozy.

We didn't want to haul 2 pack and plays with us, so we had Olivia sleep in one of the big beds, which she's never done before.  She was so tired that she fell asleep very quickly and slept soundly- for a few hours.  After that she was in bed with us for the rest of the night.  Not our most restful night but we survived. 

Ben brought his hammocks and set them up and they were a huge hit with the kids.

Leah and Lexi were so excited to be reunited with their good buddy Austin.  They went to preschool with him and were in the same primary class at church.

The kids got creative in their fun.  Here are some kids in the hammock, using popcorn as a bait for the birds.

Then Jared helped them set up a trap to catch flies.  A pot of water with bacon in it helped attract flies.  The kids loved checking to see how many flies were in there.

The kids also loved trying to catch squirrels in buckets.  They were successful a few times and when they went to peak on the squirrel and release it this time, it jumped out like a flying squirrel and startled everyone. So, so funny.

Mitch spent a few hours trying to catch a squirrel or a bird on his own by putting a piece of food under a bucket attached to a rope.  He got close a few times and was so patient to go and reset the trap over and over.

Waiting and hoping!

Dirty Olivia

21 kids!  Such a great group of kids.

Silly picture

The tween-agers

Mitch and his good buddy Jason were happy to reunite as well

The adults!  The Summers, the Fletchers, The McInelly's and the Andros'

The last night there the kid's put on all sorts of performances for us on the stage in the campground.  They even have speakers and hookups for audio so we had lots of great music. 

Lexi and Austin danced and did gymnastic tricks.  Leah was also supposed to be part of this performance but she got cold feet last minute and wouldn't go on stage.

They performed to the song "Classic." It was so cute.

The teenage girls did a choreographed dance to "Fight Song."  It was seriously so good!

I was so impressed!

Then it was time for the parents to do the skit we had practiced.  To the tune of "Kiss the Girl" we made up our lyrics and moves.  We very  much wanted to embarrass our children and kiss in front of them.

We succeeded in embarrassing the kids, especially the older teenage boys who made loud "Gross" comments and ran out of the theater.

Chloe's group did a few skits.  I remember one of them was named "S'mores."
They were very cute.

Mitch's contribution to the talent show was telling jokes.  It was very cute and I loved that he was able to get up in front of a mixed crowd like that and do his thing.

Ben and Jared enjoying the show!

We ate breakfast in the cabin in the morning.  Cold cereal in paper bowls was how we rolled.  And we were for sure the first family awake that morning (not surprising to us or anyone else).  We kept the kids in the cabin for a bit as to not wake any of the other families with kids who sleep later.

My GAP crew!

Josie was the camp baby and got held by many different people.  I was glad for the extra helping hands to hold her when I needed to do something else.
She took a nap in a camping chair.  She was a sweetie.

I got both babies to nap in the cabin at the same time- Livy in the crib, Joce on the bed.

More hammock fun- Leah feeding Austin popcorn upside down in the hammock.

Lexi and Katie 

Ben took the kids down to canoe and fish a few times.

We celebrated our 12th year anniversary while there.  Being in sweatpants and with good friends was a great way to celebrate for me!  I love this good man and his patience and love for me. 

Our cabin in the daylight.  The circle window on top is where the loft is.

The adults played a few card games with plenty of candy and treats.

The kids also played some card games off and on.  I was so impressed with the two older teenage boys and their willingness to play games with the little kids.  They were so sweet with the kids and so patient.  It warmed my heart to see them taking the time to play with the small children when they could have been doing so many other things.  Sweet, wonderful men they are.

This baby was such a good camper!  We had such a great time. 

Mitch started showing an increase interest in helping with the babies this summer.  He asked if he could get Jocie ready for church the Sunday after we got back from camping, so Ben showed him how and helped him where needed.  I love my sweet Mitch boy.

Jocie was introduced to the Exersaucer and loved it!  Olivia was not much of a fan of it when she was little, but it keeps Jocie happy for quite some time.

I caught Olivia "nursing" one of her baby dolls one day.  Monkey-see, Monkey-do.  Lots of nursing going on at this house.

The twins got to meet their teachers the last week of August.  They got accepted into the Two Way Dual Language Program at McClintock Elementary and will be learning Spanish.  Kindergarten is taught in 90% spanish, 10% English.

The girls have different teachers but go to the same school and have recess and lunch together.  They are very excited and I am a little nervous!  Their teachers only speak Spanish to them.  The 10% of English instruction they see is by another teacher.  When we met with their teachers this day there was an interpreter present.  I am excited for when they can understand what their teacher is saying and talk back in Spanish.

Here's to a great year, girls!  I am so glad they have each other as they embark on this new journey of Dual language schooling.  They will do great! Their school is brand new this year and they get to ride a bus.

My crew with their gear for an evening walk around the neighborhood!

Mitch started soccer before school started.  He was so happy to be back in sports.  We love watching him play.

Back to school night- Chloe is excited for 5th grade!

Mitch is ready for 2nd grade!  

The big kids are at a different school than the twins.  I tried to get them wavered in to the school the twins would be going to so we could have them all at the same school, but there wasn't enough room and we were denied. I was really bummed at first, but it will all work out and be just fine.

We helped our handsome Dad celebrate his 38th birthday on August 30th.  We are lucky to have him!

The twins, Jocie and I made the newspaper the day we came in to meet their teachers.  We are famous!  We are currently doing autographs.

On Ben's birthday, Lexi started to run a fever that evening.  I didn't think much of it until right before bedtime when she told us her neck hurt as well.  A lot.  I knew that wasn't something to mess around with so we took her into an urgent care.  They ran a few tests and after following up with her pediatrician the next week we were told it was EBV- Epstein Barr Virus (one of the most common human viruses).  It can cause mono, but Lexi was tested twice for mono and both tests came back negative.  We were grateful for that.

Everyday for about a week or so she would start to run a fever mid day and be very sleepy and in a little pain, usually her neck.  Luckily it didn't interfere too much with the end of summer as she felt well most of the mornings and was able to still play.