Wednesday, August 28, 2013

back to school and the end of summer

One of the things on our bucket list was build a fort on a rainy day. We had a thunderstorm last Saturday, so we built a fort and watched Wizard of Oz. It was awesome and the kids want this on the bucket list for next year.

a few randoms - Henry's fortune cookie said, "You will make a name for yourself." I find it easy to believe this will be true.

School started today. I will miss afternoons like this.

Two days before school we went to the zoo. It happened to be the worst day to visit the zoo because we had a very heavy rainstorm that morning and all the animals were "put away." We made up for it by getting Dairy Queen after. The matching shirts are to support some friends who are doing an adoption fundraiser.

Someone said this to me the other day, “The kids go to school this week; are you excited?” I responded, “No, I’m one of those weird parents who likes to be around my kids.” I like to hang out with my kids; we like the same foods, the same games, the same activities, the same movies. My kids are my jam. I hate school. Some of you are wondering why I don't homeschool my kids - I hate teaching and that's not fair to my kids because I'll make them hate learning. I wish my kids could just be ignorant - not really. but I miss them.

11th grade!

she's excited about 6th grade!

4th grade!

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Yes, this year I turned 38. I do realize that means 40 is just around the corner. I'm okay with it so far. I'm less okay with the prospect of my kids getting older. I love this stage in our lives and I'd like it to stay that way for a while. Don't get me wrong, I don't want Henry living in my basement as a stay-at-home-son when he's 38, but I like my partially independent kids that are all potty trained and can read. 

I'd like to be able to say I've learned a lot of things over the past year, but I don't know if I've learned anything at all. What resonates with me the most is the thing I've learned since I turned 8. Here goes - my birthday is 8/8. It's a pretty cool birthday and I've always liked it. In fact, I have always loved birthdays. I've always liked them so much that I wanted my family to celebrate my half birthday when I was younger. They never did, but now that I'm grown and gone, my Mom says that whenever February 8 comes around, she always thinks of me and my 1/2 birthday. I don't think that was what I was going for when I was 8, but it's nice to be thought of, so mission accomplished, right? Back to when I was younger - I loved presents. I obsessed over what I wanted and what I was going to get and what the heck was in those wrapped boxes. This really did continue into adulthood and our early years of marriage. Birthdays weren't a big deal to Phil, so he really didn't get it for a while. He did put forth a good effort after I (not so nicely) let him know how important it was, but I usually felt disappointed, as an adult and as a child because, really, aren't our expectations so much higher than reality almost 100% of the time?

I remember the birthday when all that changed. I was turning 29 (I think) and I was having a bit of a pity party on my birthday because that was the only party that was being thrown and Addy said, "aren't you excited it's your birthday!?!!!" and I gave her a pretty negative response. She then gave me a handmade card that said the sweetest things I could ever imagine a 8 year old girl saying. I immediately realized that from now on my best gifts wouldn't come wrapped and that my expectations for my kids at times would fall short of reality and that God's Grace will always exceed my expectations.

Again, Addy's card this year brought tears to my eyes. Also a text from my Mom. and the fact that Phil took half the day off just so we could all be together on MY birthday (even though I was out of town on his). and the fact that my whole family was so excited to celebrate me on this day. and that so many friends remembered me with gifts, texts, cards, and love shown. What a day. What a wonderful time in my life that I am thankful for.

The day started with Kate's homemade blueberry pancakes

Henry added a bit of flair to his

My friend, Aspen, brought over my favorite Starbucks drink

Henry got me a birthday crown

 Addy was the photographer, which means there had to be a dog photo

all I wanted to do is have a family bike ride to eat lunch and then dessert (different place) and then have a leisurely day at home. It was wonderfully perfect.

first stop - lunch!

My lunch pal

second stop - dessert!

My friend Shannon did a six days of my birthday this year; here are the six days

I blew out all the candles with one breath and even had two cakes to choose from

Friday, August 02, 2013

Fort Collins

We headed to Fort Collins to visit our friends, but the main point of the trip was to visit Colorado State University to see if that's a good choice Addy to attend in fall of 2015. Can you imagine Addy in college? It's hard for us to wrap our brains around it, but we're trying to start the brain wrapping around the concept. 

Fort Collins is a fun little town with lots to do. It's pretty flat, which makes for some fun bike riding around town. We borrowed bikes from the bike library for the time we were there and made that our main mode of transport.

stopped on the way to the park for some DQ.

Uzziah is the sweetest little guy ever. I SO could have kidnapped him. Here, ice cream makes him happy.

and when it's gone, he's sad.

Henry absolutely loved having five boys to play with. When one was busy doing something else, he would just play with another one. I think he had a lightsaber hanging from his pocket the entire time, just in case a battle was needed.

and this was the time he was nearly put on the black market. he's such a dr. jekyll/mr. hyde type kid.

we stopped at a brewery for lunch, a little corn holing, and a brew

Kate wanted to adopt Uzziah, too. He was her first diaper change and he only had a minor diaper wedgie.

rode off to Old Town, which is basically built around the University, let the kids look around in the toy store, bought some giant cookies and played in the fountains, even though it was only about 73 degrees. It's all fun and games until you have to ride your bike the 3 miles back to the house in wet clothes.

sometimes, when there are 8 kids in the house, the adults need a little quiet time and we stick the kids in front of a movie.

We visited the Discovery Museum, but managed to coordinate our visit on free day. So, pretty much the rest of Fort Collins was also there with us. The tornado tunnel was a fun thing for my kids because we have one in our mall in Minot. They always ask me to let them do it, but it's a couple dollars and since it's so windy here all the time, I always tell them just to step outside and save me the cash. Once they stepped inside this one at the museum, I'm pretty sure they realized I was right.