Thursday, July 6, 2017

Beginning of Summer

 Our summer so far has looked like...

Last days of school...

 Girl Scout prizes for selling so many cookies!

New found card games (war) and lots of sunshine! 

Swim lessons! (this is what the first lesson looked like pretty much the whole time...)

She finally warmed up by the end of the month, but the first lesson was rough...

And lots of fun at the pool too!

Library adventures...

And a few dramatic performances (above - a puppet show at the library and below- the "Florida Rockstars" inaugural performace!)

And a visit from our cousins and Grace basketball camp!

The kids had a blast at camp and it was a great week having Jadyn and Jordyn. Jadyn and I helped at camp for a few hours a day with June while the middle 3 kids participated in the camp fun. The kids all got along really well and it was great having the big kids around to help! I even got a few errands done while Jadyn watched June!!

We have had a busy and full summer so far! I didn't grab any pictures, but Hank also participated in Safety Town the first week of summer. June was a good month!! But hoping July brings a bit more slow days and pool days!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Grace Church Basketball

Jadyn and Jordyn came out this week for Grace church basketball camp. Our whole family had a lot of fun! Jadyn and I volunteered, with June as our sidekick and Jordyn, Lucy and Hank all particpated in the camp. The younger kids all loved the camp and it was fun for Jadyn and I to serve together - have something we could do together while helping others. Some of the days were definitely exhausting, and some days June didn't quite understand the concept of volunteering, but overall we had fun!

Having 5 kids in my care this week was definitely a lot of work - but totally feasible with the help of camp! The kids were entertained all day and I even got a little free time while Jadyn watched June and I worked out, grocery shopped, and ran errands by myself!! I could get used to having a 13 year old around!!!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Wawasee Girls Weekend + Kids!

 Ben went camping with his brothers last week. When they planned their boys only trip I texted Katy to see if we could hang out at her family's lake cabin with her and Liam while she was on maternity leave. My kids are getting older, so I figured traveling with them and vacationing alone with them was feasible and Liam was young enough to be flexible during travels!
 Overall we had a lot of fun, but it was definitely a harder trip than I had expected. The weather wasn't great, which made our activities a bit more limited and having 4 kids on the boat and only 2 adults was a bit challenging, especially when it came to water sports (hence why I have no pictures of the kids tubing!)

We made it work and every kid even had a chance to tube! Lucy loved it and even tubed behind the speed boat by her self  - I was super impressed! She went full speed and wasn't scared at all. We tried to get her to ski, but sitting in the water, waiting for the boat to start, freaked her out and she ended up not even attempting. Water sports were definitely something that would have been easier with a third adult.

The kids all slept pretty well though - including Liam! who seemed like a dream baby, and were very helpful in getting everything set up and ready. Hank seemed to be in a bit of a rascally mood (he gets that way sometimes) unfortunately, so I felt like I was having to parent him a bit more than usual and felt frustrated with the way he was acting.  I'm not sure if it was just his mood, or the fact that the weather was bad or the fact that we were in someone else's home and there was a bunch of "off-limit" things that he kept getting into, but either way I was ready to go home and get a little peace by Saturday morning!! While the kids are older and definitely easier, they are still at somewhat challenging ages and adding a baby into the mix made things even more complicated. Maybe next year will be our year!! (if Katy will have us back!)

 The girls LOVED Liam! It was so fun seeing them love on him and interact with him and made me think a lot about what a 4th baby/child would be like in our home. While I may not be able to have anymore kids of my own, we are still praying about what foster care or adoption might look like for our family so it was sweet to see what our girls might be like with another baby in the family.

 Ben's trip was a mix too - he had a great time hanging out with his brothers and dad, but they had really bad weather and ended up cutting their camping trip short to go to a hotel and kingsisland on their last day. They did fit in hiking up a mountain and white water rafting and are already talking about the possibility of doing another rafting trip next year!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Camping Birthday and Father's Day Fun

 We planned a trip to Lake Atwood for my birthday and Father's Day. What started as a day trip turned into an impromptu camping trip and boat rental! This was our family's first time camping as a family of 5 (the last time we went was when Lucy was 18 months and I was pregnant with  Hank) and we figured 1 night could be worth a shot!
 Overall we had a ton of fun on the lake and renting the boat. We decided the lake is close enough to even just take a day trip down and boat for the day. The lake has a 25 horsepower limit on motors, so no one was going super fast, but the kids had fun just cruising around and there is a whole beach and swimming area where the kids got to swim on inflatables that were in the water.

 We could get used to the boat life!

 Camping was pretty fun too, although the campsite was super crowded. We had a great site - facing the lake and right next to a playground, but it felt like we were right on top of a bunch of campers (as you can see in the below picture). This made for a bit of a noisy night (the people next to us were pretty rowdy) and not much privacy for our family time. If we go again I'd want to make sure we had more space to spread out.

 We had walking tacos and smores for dinner, played a few card games and played at the park... It was a lot of fun hanging out as a family! Since we didn't get a ton of sleep, it was nice to head back the next day, but it was definitely a lot of work to set up and break down camp for only one night!

 When we got back, we unloaded the car and since it was still Father's Day I told Ben he needed to lay on the couch and watch TV so it worked out to have a relaxing day after our busy camping trip! And we celebrated by going out for Mexican that night!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

End of School!

 Lucy's last days of school were bitter-sweet as usual! We are so proud of our little first grader - she is smart, sweet, kind and so mature... so ready for second grade. But we are also sad to see another year pass and to see our little girl get another year older. Time moves to fast these days.

We did get to do a little bit of celebrating tough. I got to go in for the last day of school for an ice cream party another mom planned and to play a few games with the kids. It's always nice to get into Lucy's classroom but it can also be tough to - sometimes it feels a bit disorganized and tough to corral the kids... the party was a bit chaotic!
 Lucy's 1st grade teacher was Miss LaCivita. Lucy really enjoyed having Miss LaCivita - she has seemed to really enjoy these younger teachers and has loved going to school each day. Overall we were pretty happy with our experience as well. I would still love to be more involved in the school than I am, but I'm still learning too... I have mixed feelings about the school right now, but I'm trying to remain thankful for what we have and the joy Lucy has from the school.

We also had an end of year party with a few of Lucy's friends. We did this last year and continued the tradition this year as well. The weather was a bit cooler this year - but we made the most of it with a bonfire and instead of cooking hot dogs on the grill, we cooked them over the campfire. It was the perfect way to celebrate the end of a great school year!