Friday, June 14, 2013

10 Fun Reasons It's Hard to Blog in the Summer

Is it really June 14th? Wow. I don't know how that happened. I guess it's because we've been totally PARTYING IT UP over here! Kidding, but we really are enjoying our summer. I think my favorite part of summer is the mornings. Everyone sleeps in and I can catch a few quiet moments to myself without having to drag people out of bed or make sack lunches. And I can go for a beautiful bike ride! I've been doing that almost every day. But as lazy as summer seems, it always takes more energy than I remember to keep everyone having fun and being productive without being either too lazy or too structured. And it's not always easy to do that with an age span of 5 to 15. I went to great lengths to set up what I think is a reasonable daily schedule with expectations for chores, etc. that we can all live with. I'm really trying to keep things slow this summer. Last summer was so nuts with the move, I just really want to enjoy our time together as much as possible without trying to do too much or feeling too much pressure to "accomplish" this or that.

In any case, some highlights so far have been . . .

1) Babysitting cousins one night and spending the next day outside doing the slip-n-slide, bubbles, water balloons, and whatever else kids do with water when they don't have a pool:

 (Love Rachael crossing her legs and Ty scratching his bum.)

2) Tubing the creek behind our house. I went with the three younger kids, and other than Rachael popping her tube and freaking out while I pulled her along with my finger in the hole until it was too soggy to float anymore so I pulled her up on me and my tube--FREEZING!--it was a really great time. (Don't freak out. It's super slow and shallow.) The creek isn't a loop, so we just walked home once we got to the end. I bet there's nothing like the sight of a woman and her three kids in their bathing suits carrying inner tubes along the side of a busy road. It really was worth it, though:

3) Swimming lessons for the two younger girls and going to various city pools with friends and family. (Are you getting the "water" theme here. We all think we need a pool. Donations anyone?) I finally broke down and bought the dumb "pass of all passes" but it's not being shipped to me for like 37 weeks, so we just keep going around to various city pools. I can't commit to buying a family pass at any of them even though it would be probably be more cost effective. I guess I just like to pool hop. (Because I'm easily bored. And never totally satisfied.) End of session certificate: 
Elizabeth's class got to go in the hot tub after their last lesson:
4) Planting and mulching our yard to death. Since we didn't get enough mulch delivered the first time around, I'm afraid we're going to be at it again this Saturday. I spent 6.5 ours out there last Saturday cutting, transplanting, and mulching. It's looking good, though:

5) I took the little girls to an outdoor showing of "Wreck-It Ralph" which was a total blast. Why is it so stinkin' fun to watch movies outside wrapped up in blankets? I don't know, but it is. We committed to do it at least once more this summer, but this time we're going to wear pajamas and bring CANDY:
6) Driver's Ed starts on Monday, but we've already been practicing. She has to get 40 hours in (10 at night) before getting the real deal:
7) Kate has also already been to a week of Girls Camp and now this weekend she's at Youth Conference. (Both with our church, but youth conference is with guys and girls as opposed to Girls Camp. They're staying on the UVU campus.) Here she is saying good-bye to her beloved technology before leaving for Youth Conference:
8) I've been trying to figure out a solution to Rachael's persistent throat clearing. Pretty sure it's just her tonsils/adenoids since Kate had the same thing happen at about her age and removing them took care of the same symptoms. Here she is being cute in the doctor's chair after being VERY brave (hardly moved or made a sound) when they put a little camera down her nose to look at her adenoids:
After her appointment we walked across the hall to say "hi" to this guy and the stuffed prostate and testicle I put in his stocking last Christmas. (I got quite a reaction from this on Facebook and Instagram,  as you can imagine.) 
8.5) I've been doing this with my kids since Kate was young. It's awesome! Just throw them in the tub with some watercolors and let them go crazy! It all washes away so easily: 
8.7) Snow White showed up next to me one night on the couch out of the blue:
9) Another big source of time suckage has been planning a big "Uni-Tea Party" (and other things) for the women in our new ward (congregation) so everyone can get to know each other better. We're going to be doing the tea party in this meadow behind one of the women's homes, and the other pictures are from some of the sculptures dotting the wild common space behind several of the homes in this neighborhood. It was originally established as an artist colony over 30 years ago and it's amazing how many artists still live there. These sculptures are all from the same person, and the brick building is someone's personal art studio:

We're making tons of cute, bite sized tea party food ourselves for the party, so I did a practice run of petit fours the other day. They tasted great, but you can see that I should probably get a different recipe: 
That's pretty much how I felt:
9.5) And if making petit fours for a tea party isn't enough, Elizabeth has been hand sewing her brains out lately. (I finally looked into a little class for her.) Her greatest creations this week have been for Brandon for Father's Day so I'll save those pictures for later: 
10) Play dates gone wild. Pirates:
First day of summer party for the girls in Elizabeth's class:
10) We've also been getting together with Brandon's brothers and their families for Sunday dinners and birthdays, but it was a real treat to go to BYU last night to see the opera "Pirates of Penzance" directed by the amazing Marc himself. (Who is only here for a few more weeks before returning to Texas. Boo Hoo! We hope the BYU position will eventually be open to him, but it's all up in the air right now and not even available yet). Here are the kids after a Sunday dinner: 

Dessert at a park for Marc and Chloey's birthdays which are less than a week apart:

This was her first taste of cake so we all loved waiting for and watching the reaction. Since Marc has celiac disease and all their kids suffer from various allergies, diabetes, etc., sweet Emily made these cakes out of who knows what (no flour or egg or dairy), but they were delicious:

Everyone's first opera:

So there you have it (mom)! What we've been doing and why I haven't been blogging. (And now my house is a mess and I have no dinner made. This is why Facebook and Instagram are more popular than blogging. What mom has time for this? But I still like to do it.) 

And guess what else? My "How to Keep Teens and Tweens Busy During the Summer" post is up to almost 1600 pins on Pinterest! I think that's kind of cool. And speaking of cool, here's last week's post about raising "cool" kids in response to that whole ridiculous thing with the CEO of Abercrombie. 

Time to cook, clean, and do laundry. (What I do most of the time when I'm not frolicking along the roads of my town in a bathing suit with an inner tube . . .) 

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