Monday, August 25, 2014

Earlier This Summer

I have made so secret that I have done very poorly at keeping everyone updated on what we have accomplished from our Summer Bucket List. Sadly, we completed very little this month from our list. We still have about a week before school starts to squeeze some more in. This summer I have had difficulty making the time to sit and share, mainly because my focus has been spending time with my kids.

Seems they are really sleeping in today (it's almost 10 am) and this rarely if ever happens, I'm going to use this time to write up a condensed version of what we have still to share from our completed activities.

We marked off watch fireworks on July 4th (big surprise there, huh?). This year we spent Independence Day with some friends up in Lexington. Every year she takes her kids up there and gets together with some extended family, this year she invited us to join them. Just as we were packing up to leave a new neighborhood friend invited herself and toddler to join us. Great the more the merrier, we thought. Turns out our new friend is more into complaining than being merry. The new neighbor didn't feel like following the toddler up and down the shore line so the poor toddler had to stay stuffed in the stroller fussing while the other kids played in the sand and water. Both my friend and I each took a turn walking the toddler up and down the beach, then the mother stuffed the little girl back in the stroller. It broke our hearts to see such a young free spirit having to be confined for acting like a child usually does. We gritted our teeth and put smiles on our faces and tried focusing on keeping the day light and fun for our kids. We (more accurately the kids) did some swimming in the freezing water as the weather just couldn't reach "summer time heat" levels. We walked thought the downtown stores, and sadly the candy store our friend wanted to take us to was closed for the day (this was the first time in 20+ years it wasn't open), the kids accepted the treat of ice cream cones instead. We made our way through the crowds to walk the boardwalk. With so many people so close together, I couldn't wait to get back to where our friends' family were on the quiet part of the beach. We visited with the extended family members for bit then headed back to the beach to wait for the fireworks. Watching the fireworks over the water was really neat! However the screaming toddler who had no nap who was once again confined to the stroller and the toddler's mother who kept complaining about the fireworks taking too long to start then complaining that the fireworks were lasting too long was not so neat!  All-in-all it was a live and learn kind of memory. We are grateful to our friends whom invited us to join them and would love to spend another July 4th with them. While it was an "interesting" day for us adults our kids had an absolute blast, and that's what really counts.

We have not spent nearly as much time at the nature center this year as we did last year. I think mainly because Jordan wasn't volunteering this year and we filled our days with other activities. I'm glad we added this to our list, as our activity to walk a nature trail was the only time we were out on the trails. Last summer we walked every marked trail except the longest one, so this year we walked the longest one. We picked a nice sunny day that was not too hot and humid and walked the 2.5 miles. Our goal was to hopefully see seem deer again and I really wanted to see a chipmunk before it could be scared away from our foot steps. I love looking for chipmunks because it takes very little to startle them; the boys can't get too rowdy on the path or run up ahead because they'll scare the chipmunks away. While we all walked quietly together, we still didn't manage to see one of these adorable critters. We spend about an hour after our walk at the nature center. The younger boys were excited to see the finished product of the wigwam the center started constructing last summer. They were a bit disappointed that it did not contain more Native American artifacts. Jacob also finally gathered his courage and held a snake.

We don't really have a driveway at our house that we could use sidewalk chalk on. So from the start we planned on decorating Papa and Grandma's driveway. With two huge buckets of chalk we took over their driveway. It was rather warm that day and the boys were looking forward to going swimming. We started at the bottom of the drive and each took a "block" and drew whatever we felt like, then cooled off in the pool for a bit. Most of the day progressed much the same, draw a bit then back into the pool. Seems we were using their driveway we reserved a block for each of the grandparents. Here's a look at some of our handy work.

Well, my kids decided to wake up just in time for lunch. I'll have to finished the condensed updates later.