Being in the new house this summer has actually made the chaos of summer easier to handle, even though we lost our amazing shady green space.
The kids are loving the new neighborhood.
There is a constant flow of children in and out. I had to invest in an air freshener for the basement due to the smelliness of the pile of 8-10 year old boys that can usually be found down there.
Lunch time discussions of bugs and komodo dragons.
and if it's not too hot I kick them outside for a little bit. Miles and Crew have loved introducing their friends to Battle Bots.
Paying the premium for the dead end street has paid off.
Since we spend a lot of time on our front porch and we destroyed our astro dome chairs by leaving them on our deck all winter, we decided to get them recovered.
They are even more amazing now!
And we can just hose off all the popsicle stickiness the kids keep covering them in.
We have loved having a table where we can get games and 1,000 piece puzzles set up. It was an exciting day when we finally finished this puzzle.
July means lots of pool days.
We took the waterslide over to the town houses for the day.
Kids played non stop for hours, even though most of them are well past the ideal height for our little blow up slide. :)
It was so nice to be back with my people sitting in the shade, yelling at kids to calm down, and chatting. The thing I miss most is sitting in the shade with my best friends and watching our kids play. I have found I have much more time on my hands now that I am not socializing in the late afternoons like I used to. :(
Other exciting Happenings:
Playdate with Tajen.
Mall Splash Pad.
Pioneer Park Splash pad.
Bonus, it was a nice 10 degrees cooler than in the valley.
Picnic at the Library.
Giant Stag Beetle Discovery.
I finally unpacked the dressups.
Paul and I walked to dinner in the rain. Then we got to eat outside on the patio during the storm. Pretty perfect summer evening.
And so many games.
Love this little Card Shark.
We ended the month with sending Macey off to a week at Mountain Camp.
Reality always hits me in the face once July rolls around. Our no schedule, constant playing days start to take their toll. Then those 100 degree days hit and I start to get slightly overwhelmed, so we slow down our summer pace a bit.
We had a perfect, lazy 4th weekend. And it helped that Paul had a 4 day weekend to go along with it.
We took the kids to Nickel City
BYU for bowling and the book store.
The only 2 pictures I got from our firework show.
And the kids were old enough to make their own 4th of July cake this year! It turned out pretty good and was covered with lots more sprinkles than were on it when I was in charge, which made for 4 happy kids.
I start actually putting this girl down for a nap a few times a week.
There's a little more video games.
More time spent hanging around the neighborhood
Some of my favorite July Neighborhood moments:
Ruby's reunion with Izella after not seeing each other for 2 weeks.
Crew and Madden running across the grass to each other, also after not seeing each other for a few weeks. :)
Adults vs Kids Sunday night kickball game.
And Crew discovering the awesomeness that is tank tops.
July also means we spend more time in our Air Conditioned house.
Miles came into the bathroom while I was getting ready to show me this burnt toast he made and told me I should take a picture and send it to my friends.
So, there you go. You are welcome.
I still present bad decision making skills, like when I let Macey and Tajen make a Lemon Merigune Pie from her Harry Potter cookbook.
I've never even attempted a recipe that complicated.
Luckily it turned out better than I expected.
It's not like we stop playing, I just actually make sure chores get done, water is being drunk, and vegetables are being consumed.
Still lots of pool days.
And some pond days, but not as many cause it's just too dang hot.
The heat also means the kids get to stay up late so we can actually enjoy the outdoors without melting.
And we started having Mom Hikes at night. Best. Idea. Ever.
I took my first solo hiking trip with the kids.
It wasn't as bad as I had anticipated.
Other exciting July Happenings:
Macey got her braces off
it was perfect timing, the day before we left for Washington. She had big dreams of eating any candy her heart desired.
Miles gave his first talk ever in primary (not first talk attempted, just first one completed in full).
Not pictured, Miles hiding behind the podium with Paul holding the microphone while he actually gave his talk. Then he hopped up, put the microphone back in the holder and walked back to his seat. :)
4th of july
We started off the month with celebrating the 4th.
I've been wanting to do a neighborhood bike parade for years and this year I actually decided to go for it.
the kids and I of course had to paint shirts for the festivities.
The pre parade line up, listening to my extensive directions. :)
It was an absolute blast.
Everyone got so into it, which always makes it more fun.
Paul was an amazing drum major and made sure the kids kept a parade appropriate pace.
These kids could not of been cuter.
We of course had to have a post parade drink run.
On the actual 4th we took our water slide to Rensinks to play and eat.
Then it was back home to get ready for fireworkds with the neighbors.
It's always hard to pass the last hour before it's dark enough to start the real stuff.
We entertained them with the lame fountains.
The boys got all the ariels organized according their coolness factor.
And we did some dancing while waiting for the last of the light to leave.
I love the 4th of July!!!
I always get a little grumpy when July ends
, because it means school is less than a month away. So, I'm hoping that reminiscing about our July activities will help me not be sad about what's happening in 2 weeks. So, yes, this is another mammoth post. It's all I seem to be able to do these days.
We had a perfect low key 4th weekend
We started out at the Springville pond
, where upon driving there we found out the Rensinks were headed in the same direction.
Blow up animals, entertaining company, hot sun, and real sand, made for a perfect afternoon.
We thought we were alone on the actual 4th, for the first time ever, so we splurged on a blow up slide to keep us entertained.
Turns out most of our neighbors ended up being around and we were so happy to have friends to play with afterall.
We had a first in our family this month...stitches
!! Crew fell off a neighbors porch (a very common occurrence) and hit his chin on a drain pipe while he was with a babysitter. Due to my fair share of other head and chin wounds, I immediately saw the difference in this once and off to the doctors we went.
He was a champ and didn't cry once. The doctor told me I better put him sports.
July offered us these weird cool days
, so we took advantage by hanging out at some parks and Farm Country.
We don't usually spend anytime at parks during July, so I tried not to be grouchy about not being at the pool and enjoy it.
Crew and Liam, they are pretty much the best.
We still enjoyed plenty of sun
and we are still going strong with our weekly pool or pond trips.
And sometimes the "sand" turns out to be more muck like, but the kids never seem to mind.
We did have one very exciting pond day where we got chased away by lightening and pouring rain, but it was fun while it lasted.
My favorite pond days though involve leaving Ruby with a babysitter and catching up with old friends.
This particular day there were some people fishing and every time they caught a trout they'd call the kids over and put it in their bucket. They ended up with 5 fish or so in their little pond. Pretty much made these kids day. I love nice people!
We are still going strong with our summer movie series
too. And Miles sat through his first movie ever this month! Huge milestone.
Julianne introduced us to Utah's Natural History Museum
I can't wait to go back on a non free day. when the crowd level isn't quite so insane.
Julianne and I also had the amazing idea to get a babysitter for the 3 hardest shopping kids and bring the easier 3 with us to city creek
(plus 2 ipads). Made for a pretty great afternoon of shopping.
their favorite way to shop at Anthropology. :)
We still end up spending a good portion of our days at home
being lazy and playing with the neighborhood kids.
Macey informed me this summer there is no where she'd rather be than home.
Our good friend was diagnosed with Cancer this month, after making cards for her one morning, these girls decided they wanted to do a perler bead/lemonade stand to help raise money for her hospital bills.
I was amazed at the support of our ward and neighborhood as they came and over paid for treats, lemonade and bead creations. It was overwhelming how much money they earned and it was a good mom moment seeing these girls count up all that money and to see the complete shock in their faces when they realized how much money they
had earned for their friend. They didn't even question handing every cent over to Cindy's family, what an example these kids are to me.
On a Ruby
note. She won't stop growing and is crazier and busier than ever.
I boxed up her 6-12 month clothes for Shaunna and we have managed to give away almost all of our true baby things. While it's sad to say goodbye to the baby stage, I've found it's sort of freeing too.
Ruby loves to wrestle and get in on any action that is happening around her. Sometimes when these 2 escape in just their diapers while getting dressed, I secretly love it.
Gotta soak up these baby moments while I can.
And proof I run my AC too much at night for the basement dwelling children:
Now I've got to get back to playing, I only have a few more weeks until this one becomes a 3rd grader.
it's almost over
When Macey looked at the calendar and saw that we only have 2 weeks left of summer, she started crying. I wanted to do the same, but had to hold it together for the kids. Luckily we used our time wisely in July, so there aren't any regrets.
These 2 continue to make life crazy and unpredictable.
Crew has decided to break all childlocks in the house and is now constantly getting into the freezer, our room, the bathrooms, and any closet he desires. I have no idea how to stop it. Help.
Luckily he has mastered his scooter and happily rides around outside with the big kids.
Miles and I have not been the best of friends the last few weeks and on this particular day he was informing me that he was moving in with the Everett's because I have too many rules and make him go to bed.
He ended up deciding to stay for a few more days and give me another chance, phew.
If Macey had her way she would do art projects and bake all day.
But, when she's doing these things Miles has to be occupied in some other way, so she never gets to do it as much as she'd like.
Luckily, she loves playing with Miles too. And they spend most of their days in their own little world of Pokemon, tea parties, Littlest Petshops, Dinosaurs and Legos.
Ruby has continued her quest to be the perfect baby and is the main reason I can survive each day.
She is even extra obedient on the days I decide to clean and usually sleeps just like this while I crazily clean around her. Plus, she doesn't mess up my hard work like the others. :)
I am not the only one obsessed with this baby though, there's just something about her.
I have gotten braver about taking all four of them out in public and we've busily been checking things off our Summer Bucket List.
Although when it comes to the pool, I have found the only way to go is to get a babysitter for Crewby.
One day I was feeling particularly good, so we did our first project of the summer...bird feeders.
It was a hit. Who knows, maybe I will find it in me to do another one before school starts.
They've of course spent countless hours running around the neighborhood, as every kid in the summer should.
And my favorite part about a busy summer day, vegging out in the late afternoon.
And thanks to our favorite babysitter, I get to go out with just Paul pretty much every Saturday and enjoy the perfect summer nights.
One of the highlights of the month though was our hike to Cecret Lake in Little Cottonwood Canyon.
It was going to be about 100 degrees in Orem, so we figured we should get high up in the mountains to avoid the heat, 9750 ft to be exact.
We'd never been up Little Cottonwood Canyon before and it did not disappoint. The wildflowers were in full bloom and it took everything Macey had not to pick them all.
The kids proved to be awesome hikers once again, the only real complainer was Crew crying to get out of the backpack carrier.
Miles was overjoyed when he spotted a Beaver Dam and had to get his picture taken with it.
The highlight for all 3 of them was climbing around on the giant boulders that surrounded the lake.
And Macey has also been obsessed with touching the sky lately, so this was the perfect hike for her.
Thank you Cecret Lake for restoring my faith in the beauty of Utah Mountains!
I am slightly dreading that August is here and we will be forced to be back on a schedule in just a few short weeks! We will have to see how much more summer we can cram in before school starts.