Friday, June 30, 2017

Our first camping trip, dance camp, and what's been going on with us

Another busy week at our house. I feel like I kept saying we would have a quiet summer and it's been anything but that! We kicked off our weekend with a customer appreciation event at a local business in our town. The kids enjoyed bounce houses, face painting, and a BBQ dinner.

Last weekend we went on our first camping trip for the summer. Actually, it was our first camping trip in probably 3 years. Payton had been begging to go camping and my in-laws loaned us their camper for the summer so we don't really have much of an excuse not to go.

We loaded up on Saturday morning first thing and drove a few hours to meet up with my family. We decided to combine my brother's birthday (the day before) and Riley's 2nd birthday party. It is a bit early to celebrate Riley yet but we aren't sure when we will see my family next.
We all had so much fun seeing each other, soaking up the sun, and celebrating two important people in our lives. At the end of our fun day, we decided to stick to our kids normal bed time and routine but that was a total bust. It took about 2 hours to get them to sleep and we were so exhausted. I wish I could say the silver lining was that they slept in but no way did that happen. Riley was up at 5am greeting the world with his hellos.

Despite being tired, I do love early mornings with my kids. They are normally pretty happy and eager to learn and explore. We decided to take full advantage of camping and went for a long walk with grandma while most of the camp sites were still slumbering. When we reached the river, we let the kids throw some pine cones in the water and watch them float away, much like what happens in one of their Pooh story books.
It is so beautiful to watch some of the simplest moments God grants us.

The trip was too short and we soon found ourselves saying sad goodbyes and packing up to return home. Our kids almost never sleep in the vehicle and Payton has only taken a handful of naps in the past few years, but yet we were blessed with a beautiful gift on the way home. Total Silence. For most of the trip.
It's been awhile since I have had an uninterrupted conversation in the vehicle with my husband. This time was not taken for granted.

We desperately needed a quiet day at home on Monday, but that was not the case. Payton was signed up for her first summer dance camp and it required the mornings away from home Monday through Thursday. The camp was in the next town over so I had to entertain Riley while she was dancing her day away and pack lunch for our family to eat on the way home.  This was probably the most fun I have ever seen Payton have at an extracurricular activity and Riley had a blast spending quality time with just mommy.
Payton made several art projects (including some 4th of July sandals) and worked more on her somersaults, cartwheels, and backward somersaults. She has another camp in a few weeks and she is talking about it constantly. It's an amazing journey watching her continue to learn.

Riley and I used our time to run errands, take long walks together, and we also made it to a few different parks. He was a great little helper and reminded me that he's growing up fast.

Today is Friday and our first day at home for this week. I'm not used to being gone so much. We spent the morning catching up on chores and then the kids painted outside for a bit. We had an early lunch as both kids were showing signs that they desperately needed naps/quiet time.

We continue to have some amazing things happening on our little acreage. We harvested sour cherries from our tree for the first time since moving to our house. A friend came and harvested most of it as I haven't had the time to do much. Our family is excited for what I did get though! We are also starting to get strawberries again and the kids are loving looking for them daily. Fresh eggs never seem to get old around here.

The hubby works most of this weekend and the next week so I'm hoping for at least a few quiet days at home! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Family Pictures 2017

So, it has been a bit too long since our last family pictures were taken. Like almost 2 years too long. That wouldn't be so bad if it was just my husband and me but with littles and considering how quickly they change when they are younger, we were definitely due for an update.

I really had no intention of doing pictures but was fortunate to win a free family session from a local photographer I love. She did a great job!

We are so grateful to have won this package and were given the opportunity to update our pictures around the house, which have sat unchanged circa 2015. Now... the new pictures just need to be put into the current frames.

All in good time.

Have a great week!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Staying Busy During the Summer Isn't a Problem

Last week was one of our busiest weeks we have had in a long time. Possibly ever. I have mentioned before that we aren't doing any regularly scheduled activities this summer outside of a few swimming lessons, but that hasn't slowed us down. We spent most of last week catching up with friends and getting outside.

We have been enjoying our local park and splash pad immensely. I think the kids spent a total of 6 hours at the splash pad last week, spread out over a few days.

When we're home, we are exploring around our own house as well.

Both kids love running through the sprinkler and playing in their little pool. We continue finding blooming flowers on our land and the kids love to put together vases. A few days ago, there was a morning storm and the kids wanted to eat breakfast while the storm rolled in. It was quite beautiful!

We've managed to remember and make it to Payton's swimming lessons each week. She will probably only do about 4 sessions this year, but she is learning a lot. At her last sessions she learned to go under water and hold her breath. As scary as it was for me to watch, I couldn't be more proud of her and how much she is growing.
Over the weekend, my husband's parents came to visit and the kids enjoyed them and our town's annual celebration. We all went to the parade and shopped the downtown vendors. It was so much fun but the kids were tired and are definitely ready for a few very quiet days at home.

How has your week been?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Gymnastics Perfomance, All Things Water, and the Animal Park

It has been a few weeks since my last post and quite a bit has happened. In the past, I always have trouble keeping posts up during the summer and that seems to be the case this year. At least I'm getting the occasional posts though and I'm satisfied with that. Here are some highlights from the last few weeks:

1. Gymnastics Presentation and Celebration

Payton had her gymnastics performance and did awesome. The performance started at 5PM so we all ate a very early dinner and headed to the middle school gym. All different age groups were showcased so it took a few hours. When done, we headed out for an ice cream and cookie dessert at Payton's place of choice to celebrate the end of her gymnastics season. FYI- she chose McDonald's. We are so proud of Payton and her progress over the year.
Payton was so excited to have "fans" there to watch her. I have to tell you, we will always be her biggest fans.

2. We're All About All Things Water

So, we have been to our splash pad, swam at our public pool, ran through sprinklers, splashed in the mud puddles, walked in the lake (or beach as Payton calls it), danced in the rain, and swam in our kiddie pool already this summer. We really love any water related activity. Riley also loves the mud and Payton does not. She will avoid getting dirty at all costs. So, today, while Riley sprinted in the water puddles in our driveway, Payton chose to water plants.

Payton also started swimming lessons this week. She was so scared to go to her first class but she did so awesome once she was there. We're excited to see how much she learns.

3. Riley turns 2 this Summer

In about a month, our baby turns 2. It's so hard to believe and the time just seems to go faster and faster. Payton is so excited for his party and is already planning the desserts we will have for it. We will have a family party with my side of the family in a few weeks as we all get together for a camping trip. I'm just so excited to celebrate this little love.

4. Payton continues to take selfies and pictures daily

It's hard to keep track of my phone these days as little hands always seem to run off with it. Payton loves to take pictures and asking others to take pictures of her and I have had days where I delete 200+ pictures at a time. It's frustrating sometimes. But, sometimes, I run across a real gem.

5. Feeding the Animals

The kids really want to go to the zoo. We still haven't made it there as it is quite a ways to travel for the nearest zoo but we did take them to an animal park. Payton loved feeding the geese. They loved her and followed her around almost the whole park. Riley loved waving and blowing kisses at the donkeys. And life is never dull when you throw donuts into the mix.

6. Family Pictures

So, it has been a long time since we had family pictures done. Like almost two years. That is probably too long. I didn't even ask to get pictures done, we just happened to win a free family session. It's like the photographer knew it was long overdue for us. We spent one evening extra cleaned up and hoped that Riley would stay out of mud puddles until the pictures were done. The pressure was really on when I put him in white.
The pictures turned out fantastic and I hope to get them up here soon.

That's really all that we've been up to. We are outside every chance we get and the sun is really taking it out of us. The kids go right to bed at night and I find myself napping during their quiet time in the afternoons. This is what I love about summer though and I hope that my kids will appreciate these memories when they're older.

I hope your summer is off to a great start as well!

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