Labor Day Weekend we went with the Rensinks to Julianne's family cabin in Island Park, ID. It was beautiful.
And our kids are getting slightly easier to travel with, although I am always thankful for Brenden and Julianne being patient with the craziness that we bring everywhere we go.
We hung out lots at the river by their cabin.
Catching little fish, moose watching, canoeing and jumping in the water.
I tried to keep Ruby's cast as dry as possible.
They were the perfect Yellowstone tour guides and it was just heaven following along behind them as they lead us to some of their favorite spots.
The morning was super awesome. It was freezing out (low 30's), so when the steam hit the air it made all this crazy fog.
but, then the sun came out and I no longer felt like a bad mom putting all my kids in shorts.:)
The highlight for everyone was seeing all the Bison.
And of course getting to see Old Faithful.
And exploring the lodge while eating icecream and finishing up Jr. Ranger Books.
The Rensinks also took us to see Mesa Falls and we lucked out with some beautiful rainbows.
I didn't get to enjoy it too much though, because Ruby of course had to use the bathroom right when we got down to the falls. :)
Luckily Julianne and I got a pic in our matching shirts before I ran back up the trail with Ruby.
The kids favorite past time at the cabin was seeing who could hang from the beams the longest.
And I was only slightly terrified of the kids playing outside the cabin with all the wildlife around. But, once they got to a certain level of craziness inside, it was worth the risk to kick them out.
Most of my camera feed is full of pictures of Ruby and I walking to and from the school each day.
And somedays i just cannot get over her kindergarten cuteness.
Telling me she's ready for school. Sometimes I just don't know what I'm going to do when I don't have this crazy 5 year old running around.
There was a common day once this month, so Ruby actually started at the same time as the boys. She was so excited to walk to school with them and Crew told me held her hand the whole way and made sure she could find her class, since they had to lineup inside because of the rain.
He is the best big brother.
Fang and Ruby watch a show together every morning after the other kids leave.
And Ruby is still my errand buddy, which means I we still frequent sodalicious and the mall playround when she cooperates.
Ruby and Reagan also started dance.
and Ruby FINALLY let us take her training wheels off her bike and is now happily cruising around the neighborhood. And yes, we took the training wheels off while her arm was still broken. We are good parents like that.
Fang had an exciting month. He escaped through an open gate in the backyard and went to the kids' school. The principal found him wondering in the first grade hall. He didn't have his tag on (although he was microchipped). Luckily, she is nicer than me and instead of just pushing him outside, she took him into her office. She then sent a picture to all the teachers to see if any of the kids recognized him and then all the neighbor kids ran down to her it was our dog. Then as Paul and I were frantically searching for him I got a call from the school that Fang was in the principal's office.
Best day of his life so far.
Other exciting September happenings with the other kids that live at my house.
Crew had a great soccer season and scored some goals and was much more aggressive than last year. Can't wait for spring season to start.
Macey is pretty busy these days. And when she's not busy, she's hanging out with her bff Makenna.
She also captured an exciting neighborhood moment for me and even gave it a hashtag. :)
Miles caught a snake and then for the next hour took it around to show all the neighborhood kids. The snake ended up biting him (it wasn't poisonous), but paul chopped it's head off and kept it in a shoe box just in case miles broke out in some crazy rash.
Luckily, there is also some calm neighborhood afternoons too.
I also had to document how I now have to wash Raffy, Miles' special stuffed animal. Which is pretty much a rag now with a giraffe head.
One of my proudest moments of the month was when all 3 of us girls showed up to load the car for church and we were all wearing leopard print shoes.
We killed Mom Hikes this month, which also included our first annual retreat, which I will of course be blogging about later.
I even took the girls I work with at church on one of our frequented trails.
and then to Sodalicious, just like Mom Hike.
The month ended with Ruby getting her cast off.
And the primary program!
Back to School
Paul and I got back from Florida and it was pure craziness as we tried to get ready for the first day of school. We also had 3 different start dates this year.
The main stress for Macey was the locker situation at school, but after practicing for about an hour before the first day, they got it down and were ready to go.
We did our back to school dinner like always.
I just love how simple it is and that I do pretty much the same thing every year, so there's no stress involved. Especially when I get back into town the night before.
The excitement this year was these amazing pickles I found, they were the highlight of the meal. :)
There were WAY less tears than last year, it was mostly all smiles. Macey
started first since she had 7th grade
day at the Jr High.
The bus ended up being late and they missed the entire first period. Plus, Macey had some things she needed to fix on her schedule at the office when she got there. But, she handled it like a champ and got her schedule settled all on her own. This girl was more than ready to leave elementary school behind and couldn't wait to be reunited with some old friends from Suncrest.
I've loved listening to all the Jr. High stories, so much more entertaining than elementary school stories. Bus drama, boys that like them, the stress of remembering all their different locker numbers, and the chaos of the halls that were not represented accurately in movies they'd seen. :) Macey could not love Jr. High more.
Crew and Miles started next.First day of 2nd Grade.
All smiles for this kid until about the 3rd week of school, where he realized that 2nd grade is a lot harder than 1st. :) He's killing it though and got an amazing teacher and lots of awesome kids in his class.
He had to include Fang in his paper doll project. :) first day of 4th grade.
I tried and tried, but this kid would not cooperate for a picture. He is not one to hide his emotions. His morning was full of lots of yelling and throwing things, but we got out the door and once he saw his friends he ran right to class without me.
The day went better than these pictures predict though. He got an amazing teacher, with a few friends in his class and came home smiling.
Although we did have a massive anger explosion that night, where he ripped up all his hard earned money. This kid.
We took a picture on the 2nd day of school, it turned out much better.
I know it's going to be a good school year, even if it kills me.
Ruby and I then had our last week to ourselves before she started school.
We had lots planned. Zoo Day
with The Miners.
It was hot and busy, but a perfect way to spend one of our last days of freedom. Splash Pad
with Michelle and Lottie.
Our last breakfast Date at Chickfila
A few more lazy mornings
, just the 2 of us and Fang.Kindergarten Testing
I wasn't exactly sure how'd she do. We didn't even start working on letters and writing her name until the week before her test. Can you tell she's my 4th kid? :) I was happily surprised when she didn't do too bad (I was sitting across the room filling out paper work and spying). this was my favorite moment:
Mrs. B. : Count from 1 to 10.
Ruby: 1, 10
Mrs. B. : Say the numbers inbetween 1 and 10.
Ruby: 1, 7, 5, 2, 8..
Mrs. B. : Finish counting for me 1, 2, 3....
Ruby: 4, 5, 6, 7...
I was dying. Poor kindergarten teachers.
We had a princess movie party with Reagan.
And then in the mist of it all she BROKE HER ARM
and I didn't think it was broken, so I didn't take her in for like 4 days.
She was running in the backyard, tripped, and her hand went between our tramp hole and the tramp. She only cried for a min, so I didn't think too much about it.
That night she was still complaining, so I wrapped an ace bandage around it to make her feel better. She went right to sleep and I chalked it up to her just being dramatic.
She made me keep it wrapped during the next few days, but at night I would unwrap it when she was sleeping to see if she could remember what arm she hurt (she's crazy dramatic, so it's hard for me to trust her). She did remember and then when I spied on her sunday getting dressed for church I could see her wince when she was putting her dress on. So, the day before kindergarten started I took her in just for peace of mind, still not thinking it was broken.
Broke 2 bones in her wrist. Good thing about waiting so long is that the swelling was down and she could get her hard cast on right away.
When they were putting her cast on she looked at me and said, "This is the Best day of my entire life". She kills me.
Finally the much anticipated first day of Kindergarten
came and it was only made better by the bright pink cast she got to sport.
Pretty much the cutest, and pinkest, kindergartner around.
She was a little nervous since she didn't know anyone in her class and mad at me that I put her in AM Kindergarten, while Reagan was in PM Kindergarten with the same teacher.
She had a great first day though, made new friends, and got to have a photo shoot with Reagan before it was her turn to head off for her first day of kindergarten.
I was very successful in my 2 hours and 45 min of alone time.
I read a book and organized my pantry.
Then before I knew it, it was 12:00 and time to go pick her up.
And we still had about 2 hours together before the big kids started getting home.
While somedays I wish she was in all day kindergarten, I'm trying to soak her up as much as possible, because I know this is the end for me. Next year they will ALL be gone ALL day and I will actually have to take up some hobbies or something.
August is always full with trying to squeeze in the last of our summer fun.
This August might have been one of our craziest yet.
Bowling at BYU with the Rensinks.
Pool Days with old neighbors.
Macey planned a late night for some friends.
Water balloons on the tramp.
Miles decided he needed to earn some Money, so a lot of his August was spent weeding at neighbors' houses.
Constant neighborhood chaos.
And I snapped this pic of Ruby and her bff Reagan at church, it's rare to catch them so calm and in clean clothes and with their hair done.
and then sometimes this sign goes up because I need a break from the chaos and constant running in and out of the house. :)
And just need to soak up the laziness of summer days in my AC.
and enjoy this cuteness.
#momhike is still going strong to help me deal and better enjoy all of the above.
We even got out with some neighbor friends without kids to enjoy some soccer and good food.
A highlight of the month was having Paul's parents come into town.
We got to watch Macey's performance of Beauty and the Beast at The Scera Shell, where she was a fork.
We went fishing and caught way too many fish.
And then the main event was celebrating Navasard Day with lots of friends.
It's the ancient Armenian New Year, for those few readers that aren't familiar with the popular holiday.
Usually we just celebrate Navasard Day with our little family by going somewhere fun and eating food. But, this year we decided to share the magic of Navasard Day with some of our friends, since we now have our very own backyard.
We had lots of good food (Cubby's and Chickfila)
An amazing balloon lady.
Blow-up water slides
it was pretty much the kids best day ever and they could not stop thanking us for weeks after. Made all the chaos and planning worth it.
It was the first time I wished our backyard was bigger so we could of invited more of our friends!!
Even post party wasn't too bad. Nothing like a good competition of seeing who can lay in a trough of ice the longest. Who says kids can't entertain themselves now days?
Then Paul and I were off to Disney World to celebrate our 16th anniversary.
Holly was left in charge of our sweet perfect children while we were gone.
The day of our actual anniversary we did Magic Kingdom. And it might have been one of my most favorite days of all time.
We rode lots of rides, ate lots of good food, reminisced about the last 17 years together, stood in lots of lines, laughed, sweated, and watched lots of parents wrestle with crying children. :)
My favorite rides of the day were The 7 dwarfs mine train, splash mountain, and space mountain
We were trying to make a heart with our arms, we did not nail it.
We even got stuck in a rain storm while waiting in a very long ride for Ariel, but it was no big deal when you don't have 4 whining children with you. We threw our ponchos on and continued on our way.
We ended the night with reservations to eat unlimited dessert and watch the amazing fireworks from The Terrace in Tomorrowland. A perfect end to a perfect day.
Day 2 we did Animal Kingdom and Hollywood.
Pandora did not disappoint and was just insane to look at.
Avatar Flight of Passage was amazing and I did not stop smiling the entire time.
My next favorite ride was Expedition Everest.
And the Safari tour was just crazy, could't believe we were still in Disney World.
We headed to Hollywood for the late afternoon and evening. Not my favorite park, but the Aerosmith Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror and our dinner reservation did make our time worth it.
Then we headed back home just in time for the first day of school.
We made the trek out to Eastern Washington for a week of camping at Lake Pearrygin.
This was the first time we had packed for this trip in our new house and let me tell you it was amazing. Normally we are drowning in the amount of crap we have to take for a week at the lake, but this year, The Great Gathering, barely got in my way.
And bonus, our car fit in the garage with the cartop carrier on top!
This was the also the first big drive we took in the new car and the DVD player was life changing.
There was still whining and crying, but nothing compared to normal.
Plus, Paul and I even had energy to eat at Denny's instead of McDonalds. Although we were questioning this decision when Miles was screaming and wouldn't get out of the car because he'd never eaten at a Denny's before and it made him feel uncomfortable. #lifewithspd
Our sweet room for the night.
Then it was Pearrygin Life for the next week.
Constant hanging out on the beach.
Miles was always on the look out for adults to share his wide range of knowledge and animal facts with.
GiGi and Teddi were quite popular the entire week and we had to keep a rotation going for the great grandkids to play games with her in her trailer.
Can't beat Pearrygin lunches in the shade with cousins.
We had a rainy morning and the kids wanted to catch the ducks that were all over our campsite. So, we caught ducks and each kid got to pet them. It was highly entertaining.
Then while we waited for the wind to pass we went into town for pizza, park, and ice cream.
Luckily, we only had one morning of non-boating weather. And the rest was pretty much perfection.
This year was filled with Sombrero riding
My afternoons were spent organizing the Sombrero rides and making sure everyone got a turn, adults included.
There seemed to be a bit of a learning curve with pulling this beast. There were quite a few crashes with lots of screaming children in the water and even hitting a buoy.
But overall The Sombrero was a huge hit.
And there was never enough time in the day for these kids to ride on it.
and Knee Boarding.
All the kids got in on the knee boarding action this year and life got much easier because they also learned how to deep water start.
Miles finally got the hang of it this year and loved it. He was always on the look out for anyone to go with him.
Notice Paul in the water helping the girls with the ropes. That's one of the great things about Pearrygin, everyone is always willing to step in and help when needed.
Adults got in on the action too.
We did our bi-annual quadruple kneeboarded with CJ and Shaunna and it always proves to be one of my favorite Pearrygin moments.
And there was of course some animal riding.
Brianne and I got to go on an evening kayak ride where she showed off her amazing rowing skills.
Lots and lots of floating. Dave brought along the crazy island from costco and it proved to be the favorite hang out while waiting for a turn behind the boat.
And of course non-stop cousin action.
Love these kids.
The ride back from Pearrygin is always an interesting one because we are extra dirty, extra tired, and extra sad.
Ruby looked like an insane wild woman on the 15 hour drive home and pretty much encompassed how we all looked and felt.
And it's not a trip to Pearrygin if someone doesn't come home with some sort of injury. This years winner was Macey with a black eye from knee boarding and sombrero riding.