Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Monthly Lila Returns (?)

I started doing science experiments with the kids after school on occasion when it is too hot to ride bikes. All the kids loved the experiments, but Lila was especially pumped about them. She started asking me literally every day if I had a science re-periment for us to do.

Speaking of re-periments, Lila randomly adds "re" to the beginning of  many words. Like "re-mazing" (amazing) and "re-nnoying" (annoying) and "Re-melia" (her friend Amelia). I'm not exactly sure why she does it but it's kind of cute!

And speaking of speaking ;), Lila started speech this week! She is super excited, especially because many of the kids in her class go to speech. They are going to be working on consonant deletion to start (i.e. saying "peech" instead of "speech"). I'm really grateful that she is going to be able to do a full year of speech before Kindergarten and think speech will be so helpful for her!

I mentioned in the boys' post that they started swimming lessons. Lila also started swimming lessons and was happy to be in level one because that meant I was in the water with her! She works pretty hard at swimming lessons and has learned how to do front and back floats! She can jump in underwater and is starting to work on propelling herself forward. Her main complaint about swim lessons is that she's freezing. Sometimes she just wants to curl up in a ball against me instead of swim.

We went to the allergy doctor this month and found out that Lila is still allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. Her levels are still low but haven't really changed, so we keep avoiding nuts. Lila's seasonal allergies have been giving her a lot of trouble this fall. Usually her seasonal allergies are only problematic in the spring, but this year she's had allergy trouble on and off all summer and this past week has been pretty bad--itchy eyes, stuffy nose, red and puffy face, yuck. She is such a good sport about it, though, and has been taking medicine and handling eye drops like a champ.

Lila is starting to notice letters everywhere and has figured out most of the letter sounds! Her allergy pill has an "I" on it and every night Lila proudly tells me, "Mom! I, i!" (That's her saying the letter and making the sound. I don't know how to type that haha!) We started Phonics Pathways a month or so ago but she wasn't really ready for it. She wants to try it again, though, so I think we're going to pull it out and see how it goes this time around!

Lila's first order of business after school is to give me a hug. Her second order of business is to look inside her backpack while we walk to pick everyone else up. Her teachers pack up her backpack so it's always a fun surprise when a new paper is inside. She checks every day.

Lila recently moved up to a 16" bike and is cruising! She was up on pegs her first day on the bike and hasn't looked back at her old bike since the move. She is riding Asher's old bike--which is also Reed's old bike. It used to have Lightning McQueen stickers, but now it's just solid red. She calls her bike exclusively "Red Riding Hood." She loves being faster.

Lila loves her babies and is cute with them as ever. The other day we took Bitty Baby in a stroller with us in a stroller to school drop off, then after we were back home we took Bitty Baby on a walk in Lila's toy shopping cart around the neighborhood. Lila's current favorite stuffed animals are her Beanie Boos: Tigee (stuffed tiger), Rooster (stuffed rooster ;), and  a tiny one of shifting names (stuffed seal). She tucks them in at bed, feeds them at meal times, and includes them in play times.

And now, some funny and cute quotes (from most recent to furthest away):

"Mom, is it just like a circle with two legs on it? Is that how you draw a 'R'?"

 "My eyes are like dry watery. Like they're kind of dry and kind of watery. Like the beach." 

"Craisins are dried out raisins! I learned that at school. Actually I just learned that in my brain. I'm so smart." 

"Mommy am I ever going to get bigger than the boys?"

Lila was tired and told me, "Mom, I'm losin' it."

"Mom, we will never stop holding hands!" (like she will never get too old for it)

We had to go to a lab to get bloodwork before Lila's allergy appointment. Later, she told Ryan she had to go to the "arm doctor" and now had "owies in my pits." (pits=elbow crease).

Lila: I have been watching you and now I know how to be a big mommy girl! Sooooo many years!
Me: So many years what?
Lila: Since I've been watching you!

Lila: Asher you know how your peepee is a small hole and my peepee is a big hole? Why is that?
Asher: Because boys and girls have different body parts (good answer!)
Lila: Asher you know how sometimes we get shirts at school and girls have to change in the bathroom and boys can change outside? Why is that? Because boys and girls have different body parts?

While hiking: "I wish I had bigger legs."

"Daddy I am excited for your new job! Mommy didn't tell me to say that. It was just me." (After Ryan got a promotion) 

One day she started yelling, "I am the girl of God!"

Lila drew something and we told her good job (it was a picture of our house and super cute). She proudly responded, "I had no help!"

 An hour after Lila started eating a hamburger in the car on a roadtrip: "I'm still dealing with my meat." (like it was a trial)

Lila: You know that big name of July?
Me: Independence Day?
Lila: Yeah! I learned that at school!

Asher: Lila, you have to buckle
Lila: You don't have to treat me like a prisoner
Me: Sorry you're getting treated like a prisoner. 
Lila: What's a prisoner?

Lila was tracing circles on her legs and saying, "loading, loading, loading..." 

"It's too glass! I can't reach it!"

Lila tried on new shoes and exclaimed, "Mom both of them are too exciting for words!! They're so cute for words! Yeah I can't even say a word!"

"I'm not tired at all. I'm Lila. Who's always hungry." 

"At Mason's party his grandma like didn't even eat cake or anything. I guess she's on the challenge!" (The challenge was a healthy eating challenge Ryan and I did. Lila couldn't fathom someone not eating cake otherwise.)

Lila, holding out her arm and laying back. "Mom, I am going to cuddle you! Come fill up my arm!"

Right after Lila's birthday, Asher asked if Lila could have the Star Wars cereal. Even though that wasn't at all related to age, Lila silently held up four fingers and smiled!"

Lila: I'm hungry
Me: Nice to meet you hungry. My name is Mommy
Lila: No my name is Lila. I'm just hungry said Lila. (She said said Lila) 

One day I put Lila and McKynlee in the car then went to grab something. I came back and Lila had buckled on her own! I said, "Lila! You buckled!" And she, in a matter of fact tone, said, "Yeah. I'm four." 

Me: Are you going to be a good girl without a nap?
Lila thinks for a few minutes

"Everyone in the whole world is excited for Christmas! Even bad guys." 

Lila was climbing up a ladder and giggling. "This is going to be dangerous!"

We were watching Harry Potter and Lila grumpily remarked, "There's not even Harry in the movie!:
Me: Harry is in the movie 
Lila: Oh! I have been waiting to see Harry!

Gave me a hug and whispered in my ear "I love you so much. You are my best friend in the whole world!"

6 hours after nursery. "Mommy, you helped good in nursery!!"

Me: Lila what are we going to do with your boys?
Lila: Sell them at a garage sale!!!
(She now says this all the time.)

One day she started singing, "No tooting on this path but if you don't know you have a toot coming you can just toot it out!"

"When we go to Mcdonald's all the people will see me and say, 'That is cute person!'"

The kids made me cute footprint canvas picture one year for Mother's Day. One day Lila looked at it and asked,  "So I was 0 and Reed was 5 and Asher was 3 and Mommy and Daddy were...hundred?"

Ryan: Lila stop
Lila: can't stop won't stop!

Lila dropped her bracelet. I gave her her doll to play with instead. Then Lila said, "She's not getting it!" I looked back and she was reaching her doll down to the ground in an effort to grab her bracelet!

"I had a thought! How does santa come in if we have no chimney?" I asked what she thought and she said, "Oh I know! He just throws magic stuff at our house and it makes a crack ! Then he comes in the crack and uses hot glue to close it!"

"Hey mom! I just nursery...I go to nursery!"

"Mommy! I sleeped with my eyes closed the whole time until like 8:59. Then I woke up." 

At bedtime, after she'd already come of our her room 4-5 times.
Lila: I need to tell mom a question 
Ryan: No. You've lost the privilege of talking to Mom right now 
Lila: It's a girly question
Ryan: What is it?
Lila: I love you so much

"Daddy since she (mommy) does so much things for us let's get her so much presents!" (For my birthday) 

I heard Lila when I was on my way downstairs to work out early one morning. "What are the boys doing with them whole life?"

Lila noticed a freckle on her arm and excitedly told Grandma, "I'm getting dots just like mommy!" 

Lila wanted fruit snacks and Grandma said no. Lila said, "But Grandma they're like really fruity."

Lila's drawer fell out of the dresser. She told Grandma, "Oh just leave it. My Dad will fix it when he gets back." 

Lila saw a small skull with our Halloween stuff. I told her Reed painted it when he was little. Lila responded, "Oh did you measure him head?" (She thought it was a model of tiny Reed's head)

There were two starbursts and Lila had idea of how to share them: The boys could each have half and she could have her own. 

"Mommy since you didn't bring any books for your trip you could borrow some of my books! You could take a lot since they're short."

Lila was yelling to me from her room at bedtime. I went in and she said, "Mom can I show you something re-mazing?! My nail polish goed back on!" (Her nail polish had rubbed off a few fingers. It didn't really go back on it was just dark and you couldn't tell)

Lila marched down the stairs and sang, "Follow the leader! Follow the foot jammie leader!" 

Lila: I see one!
Me: Good job, Lila
Lila: Yeah cause I have a good eye. 

Lila: I can't wait until I'm a mommy
Me: What do you think will be fun about being a mommy?
Lila: Driving kids (in the car)

"I will have a baby then when they get bigger another baby then when they get bigger another baby...cause if I had a million babies they would not all fit on my lap."

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Monthly Asher Returns (?)

When we went on our anniversary cruise last year, I got way behind in blogging. And I've never quite caught up! My last monthly post was last September. I was going through my phone notes today and realized that I had a lot of funny or cute kid quotes saved that I hadn't done anything with. I was going to just do one big post of kid quotes, but it was getting a little beastly, if you know what I mean. So the only appropriate response to the long posts was to separate the funny quotes by kids, add more text about the kids in update form, and make three long posts! Right.

Asher is in first grade this year with Mrs. Stegemann. We LOVE her. She is such a great teacher, is very organized, is fantastic with classroom management, and is really great about celebrating student accomplishments. Asher was chosen as Star Student the third week of school, which was super exciting! He got to take Super Monkey and a bag of books home for the weekend and got to make a poster about himself and bring in pictures to show. Last year at school Asher often felt overlooked in his huge classroom (45 kindergartners and 2 teachers?!). This year he has really been able to shine and thrives on being recognized for the good things he does! Being Star Student so early in the year really gave him a lot of confidence, I think.

Mrs. Stegemann uses a color system for behavior. The goal is to end the day on green--that means you were on task, following directions, and had a good day. You can move down from green to yellow, orange, then red. You can also move up from green to blue, but that's not typical. To move to blue, you have to do something above and beyond expectations AND have Mrs. Stegemann see you do it. (If you do something kind and tell Mrs. Stegemann she thanks you but doesn't move your color. She wants to celebrate doing the right thing even when you think no one is watching.) Anyway, Asher has already been on blue THREE times! That's more than anyone in the class (not being braggy, just trying to emphasize that it's special). Asher earned his first blue when he found someone's work on his desk from centers and returned it to them without being asked. His second was earned by picking up a pair of headphones and putting them away after two other people walked by the headphones and just kicked them. His third blue was earned by finding Alita's book bag for her when she couldn't. She had to move down a color for not having her book bag multiple days in a row but got to move back up when Asher found it! I'm so proud of him for being kind. So far he hasn't been lower than a green. Keep up the good work, Asher

Speaking of school, let's just appreciate the fact that Asher's reading level is a 4.3. That's the level the average 4th grader reads at in the 3rd month of school. His favorite books lately are the Tacky the Penguin books, Berenstain Bears, and Mo Willems books (particularly Elephant and Piggie books). These books are part of my regular library rounds :)

Asher has started taking swimming lessons, as well, and is a natural! He is either super buoyant or just really gets how to float because he is really good at staying up. He loves swimming lessons just as much as Reed and is always super pumped when we can stay late. He's really excited to move up to the next level in our next session of swimming lessons and reminded me daily to sign up for Monday/Wednesday classes so that we could stay after to practice every time.

Asher recently moved up to a 20" bike! We noticed his bike seemed a little small and when we had him try Reed's big bike out he was totally comfortable. A few days later, we were driving down the road and happened to notice two bikes in someone's garbage pile. We pulled over right as they came out and confirmed the bikes were ours if we wanted them. Both bikes were 20".  After a little doctoring from Ryan, both bikes were in fine functioning condition. The bike frame is a little taller than Reed's bike so is honestly maybe a touch tall for Asher to ride, but he was cruising the first time he tried the big bike. I'm impressed--he can't really touch the ground from the seat but he still manages to start with ease and to stop without toppling. I'm not sure I would be able to.

Asher is the early bird in the family. The days where he's not the first one awake are rare. He loves having extra time with me in the morning before anyone is up. We usually cozy up and read but sometimes we do a puzzle or play a game. He's always kind of bummed when Lila is up about the same time he is because we don't get our alone time! I love spending special time with him.

Asher is probably our most conscientious child. He is very careful with his things. He is the first one to unpack his lunchbox and hang his backpack on its hook. He always has me sign his behavior log immediately on walking in the door from school (if we forget to sign it twice he has to move down a color). He combs his hair meticulously every morning and night. Last week he misplaced his goggles and didn't have them for swim lessons. Happily, Reed found the goggles for Asher yesterday. Asher commented that it was weird that HE was the one who lost his goggles, which is so true! Usually he is the best at putting things like that away. 

Asher still loves the piano. During summer break, he was back to his old methods of at least touching the piano every time he walked past. Now that we are back in school he doesn't play quite as much. He still practices every day, though, and I often find him playing his songs again, later. He memorizes most of the songs he plays so he can really play them at any time if he wants to. He had one song he composed that we called "Asher's Theme." He played it all the time and all of us could probably hum the tune. Imagine our surprise when, after at least a month of Asher playing his song, we opened to the next song in our Technic Book and it was exactly Asher's Theme!!! It was so crazy. Asher felt pretty legit.

And now for some funny and cute things. (These go from older to newest)

Ryan was trying to burn a grape in the candle on the table. Asher asked, "Are you done with your 'experiment'?" He totally used air quotes, which was hilarious. 

"Tooting out pumpkins is technology."

Asher dropped a toy microphone at dollar tree. He tried to pick it up and five more microphones fell. His immediate response: "Mic drop!"
Reed: Soon your bruise will turn purple!
Asher, grumpily: And then Lila will love my head.
(Lila's favorite color is purple.)
Me: Asher, your eyes are beautiful
Asher: Don't you mean blue tiful?
Reed: How?
Asher: Remember? I have muscles?
In the desert we saw an egg crate mattress kind of rolled up with plants poking out of it. Asher said, "Look, there's a garbage taco!"

Jae yelled something. Asher responded, "Okay! You don't have to be so fierce about it!"
Asher, in his prayer:
Thank thee that it was field day
Thank thee that mom could come to field day
(This just made me happy)
After taking a break while hiking: "My legs feel brand new!"
"Mom do you want to know what helps me get energy? Running in a circle like 20 times!" And then he ran in a circle like 20 times.
We were at the Fresno Zoo and we saw these cute animal visors. Then Asher noticed the price and said, exasperated: "They're 8.99?! Come on!"
"Mom why are watches like a belt for your hand?"

We have kind of an inside joke about Arthur Goes to Camp. Ryan read it so many times to the kids that he banned it as a bedtime joke--kind of jokingly, but also totally seriously. One night, the kids tucked Ryan and I in to be funny.
Asher brought a book for Ryan to read in the morning: Arthur Goes to Camp. Then Asher cracked up. 

"I used to think Nevada was called the Sliver State. Because you know how you can get slivers from rocks and we like live in the desert?" 

At 10 p.m. Asher commented, "it's 1,000 o' clock!" 

Asher: I carried it (milk) over to the counter when it was full, Bub
One night Asher was sick and came to sleep in our bed. Around 5 a.m. he woke up with a coughing fit and was running a fever of 101.5. He groggily said, "I'm probably not going to go to school tomorrow. Because I would be too much of a distraction."

"I love the smell of rain! It smells like yummy shampoo."

The Monthly Reed Returns (?)

When we went on our anniversary cruise last year, I got way behind in blogging. And I've never quite caught up! My last monthly post was last September. I was going through my phone notes today and realized that I had a lot of funny or cute kid quotes saved that I hadn't done anything with. I was going to just do one big post of kid quotes, but it was getting a little beastly, if you know what I mean. So the only appropriate response to the long posts was to separate the funny quotes by kids, add more text about the kids in update form, and make three long posts! Right.

So, Reed. Reed is currently in THIRD grade. Can we believe this? I can't. He's about to turn 9, which is also slightly mind blowing. Reed's teacher this year is Mrs. Oswald and we really like her so far. What Reed really loves about third grade, though, is GATE. (GATE = Gifted And Talented Education.) He gets to go to GATE with Mrs. Cook twice a week and he loves it. They just finished a unit on "puff cars." He loved building and racing the cars but was not so big a fan of writing down observations and making multiple designs and whatnot. He does love most everything about GATE, though. I love that he's having to stretch his brain and is getting to think and work creatively and on a high level.

Speaking of high levels, I might as well mention that Reed has a TENTH GRADE reading level. I'm not even joking. He reads like I did when I was his age. Maybe even more! He often spends his free time reading, loves to read in the car, reads every night in bed for 20-30 minutes, and reads in any spare minute he has in class. He has most recently read the Percy Jackson series, the Heroes of Olympus series, the Spiderwick Chronicles, and is now just about done with Series of Unfortunate Events. He has a list of books he wants to read next. It's my job to keep him in books, which is seriously tricky because of the speed at which he reads. I try to always be a few books ahead of him.

Reed also likes to share books he loves with me and makes suggestions to add to my reading list. I finished the Percy Jackson series (months after him) and am partway through Heroes of Olympus series. He has good taste in books.

Reed still loves legos and is creative as ever. He likes to build on a micro scale and at one point had built several mini nations that covered the entire lego table. Each nation was built mainly in 2-3 colors and had something it specialized in (e.g. blue and purple were an ice world). There were also many weapons (most of Reed's creations involve weapons) and moving parts that turned into other things. This kids is lego talented.

Reed is doing well on the piano. Just today we introduced sharps, which was kind of exciting! He works really hard and has improved so much! I'm also really proud of his attitude. He used to tell me nearly every week that there was no way he could play the new song I assigned because it was too hard. I'd have to convince him to work on it and by the next week he'd be playing it with ease. Now he just believes he can and works hard until his songs are perfect! I'm so proud of him.

We started swimming lessons a few weeks ago and Reed has loved it. He wants to stay after every lesson and practice what he's learned, which I think is awesome! On Tuesdays he has scouts so we can't stay after, but on Thursdays we stay and swim! Last Thursday we stayed for over an hour. He's really picking up swimming and really loves it.

Speaking of scouts, Reed earned his wolf this month! He enjoys going to scouts every week and has been blessed with really good leaders. He also got to go to day camp for the first time this summer which he absolutely loved. He got to try out a climbing wall (he got higher than I thought he would--he did awesome!), stamp/tool leather, build a bug catcher (and actually used it to catch a baby spider at camp), and shoot all kinds of things--sling shots, compound bows, AND BB guns. 

Lately Reed has become super helpful and responsible at home. He pitches in without being asked. He helps Lila out and often reads to her. He is our go-to man in the carpool: he folds the seat up and down, arranges the car seats, helps the other kids buckle, and goes to the door to get the Whittakers every morning. He does all of this without complaining. He's really growing up and I appreciate all he does!

Now for a few funny and cute quotes from the past year:

The night we were leaving on our week-long Florida  trip I asked if the boys wanted me to read them a story or something before we left on our trip.Reed asked if we could just climb on a bed and mug and chat--so we did! It was so sweet.

"My foot started hurting again. That's so convenient before a big shopping trip."

"What did the au jus say to the human? Au jus going to eat me?"

"Knock knock
Who's there
Handsome who
Handsome fun"

Lila was trying out a new bike and Reed was so sweet cheering her on: "Lila you did so good on your bike! Can I give you a hug?" And later: "Lila you did so good! It took me like a really long time to learn how to get started and stuff." 

In December, we were driving around, trying to find a house with good lights we'd heard about. Ryan said we could follow it in like the wise men. Reed responded, "Yeah but they didn't have the convenience of riding around in the car!"

The same night, we were on a street with great decorations on houses on both sides of the car. Reed said, "Hashtag which way do we look?!"

Reed and I both read the Land of Stories and loved talking about the books. One day we were talking about some kind of injury or something and Reed said, "Mom we'd be hurt unless we had healing dragon fire right?! Hashtag Land of Stories." I loved the hashtag and the inside joke.
In December Ryan and I went to an ugly sweater party. Reed decided (jokingly) that ugly sweaters are people who are ugly who sweat.
Reed: Mom, how many watts are used during one kilowatt hour?
Me: One
Reed: Are you even paying attention?!

"Wouldn't it be crazy if in the future fish adapted to being caught by changing to look like they were trash? So when fisherman caught them the fish could just play dead and the fishermen would think the fish were trash and throw them back into the ocean."

"That's either a dog or a really freaky person!" (It was a dog.)

Ryan dozed off during show and Reed tried to tell him something. Reed realized Ryan was sleeping and asked, "Are you seriously asleep right now?!"

Reed wrapped himself in a blanket from the dryer and said, "This feels amazing! It's like being in a hot tub without being in water!"

Reed created a combo golf/soccer game in our backyard. It was super fun:

Camping Trip: Day 3 (Feat. Doris Lake)

We had to drive around the lake to the general store to get internet service, which was kind of awesome really because we were not on our phones all weekend. After some googling, we thought that  Mono Hot Springs sounded pretty interesting and decided to give it a go. We packed lunches and hit the road. The road itself was just fine for the first 20 minutes or so, but after that it was pretty much a Road of Death. At least in my eyes. The road was a curvy mountain road and was only wide enough for 1 1/4 cars to go on at a time (and not 1 1/4 cars each way. 1 1/4 cars total). Every time we'd come up to a car I'd pray for some flat meadow to pull out in, squeeze the life out of a the dash handle, and close my eyes. Happily, most of the cars we passed were courteous and would pull out if there were an opportunity. And none of our passing times came when there was literally no where to go other than a cliff or a boulder. But there was one car that I still remember clearly (2.5 months later!) who just about killed both of us. We made it through our harrowing drive, though, and arrived at the Hot Springs unscathed.

Our first order of business was finding a picnic spot, which turned out to be kind of tricky. Eventually we just settled in at and around the one picnic table by the one store. After lunch, there was some debate about where to hike and swim--the hikes we'd seen online were kind of misadvertised--but we eventually settled on Doris Lake, which was supposed to be an "easy one mile" from the store. I'm not too sure about easy and I'm less sure about one mile. Our kids did really well, but some of the younger kids were just not having it. It was kind of hot, and the hike just kept going for a lot longer than we thought it would. I was feeling kind of bad because coming to the Hot Springs had been our idea and no one seemed to be loving it. I was also still feeling pretty sick and kind of dizzy from the night before. But then, when we were about ready to turn around (because goodness knows we were not going to attempt the Road of Death in the dark), we went around a bend and there it was: a glorious mountain lake.

I've never hiked to a lake before and I will tell you that after hiking to a lake I can say that it is definitely worth the work! This lake didn't really have a beach, but we set up shop on some big boulders and were soon in the water. The water was kind of a dark orangey color (due to minerals, hopefully) and unless you were in a really shallow part you couldn't see anything underwater, which was a little disconcerting. The kids and I stayed in the shallow part and had a great time, though, There were tiny fish darting all around and we even saw a "sea serpent" (AKA water snake) that intrigued some children and thoroughly freaked out others. Nate, Ryan, and Seth did some cliff jumping and swam out to a farther boulder, but the rest of us just splashed and played in the shallow section.

There was one terrifying moment where Asher was going around the side of a boulder, lost his grip, and plunged straight under water. Thankfully Ryan and I were both right there and grabbed him quickly, but I was pretty freaked out and so grateful he was safe!

On the way down, Nate decided to hike ahead and get his truck which could transport the moms and littler kids on the last half of the hike (the half leading up to the lake was boulder covered and not passable in a car.) Our family decided that we probably didn't need a ride, so we set out before the other families. At one point, we made a wrong turn, but Reed very quickly commented that our path didn't seem familiar and we made it back to the real trail without trouble. Another tender mercy! The hike back was pretty fun (downhill hikes, man) and the boys were pumped about peeking into a dilapidated wood shed we saw.

Once we made it down the mountain, we immediately piled into cars to get back to the Road of Death. The way home was a lot better than the way there, mainly because we passed hardly any other cars. We were a little bummed that we were losing day light because we would have loved to stop at this other lake we saw.

We made it back to Huntington Lake without trouble and decided to go check out the other side of the lake before going back to camp (we weren't in charge of dinner that night, woohoo!). We found the perfect beach! We wished we had seen it the day before. Even though the day was getting chilly, the kids wanted to wade for a bit. Ryan wasn't in his suit any more, but I was--and the kids talked me into getting into the water despite the fact that it was freezing. I must love them :)  The boys took turns monkey-barring along a fallen tree that extended out over the shallow part of the lake. We all enjoyed the smoother sand where we were--the beach from the first day was super rocky. Having a little 5 family time was really nice!

Back at camp, dinner wasn't quite done--so we went down to the lake to watch the sun go down. The view was so beautiful! We had a really nice time just relaxing and taking in the beauty of the lake. (Reed might tell you otherwise. He was very antsy to get back up to camp so he could play with Seth and Kaleo.)

After dinner, more s'mores, and more talking for the adults, we settled in for our last night. Ryan, sweet husband that he is, talked me into letting him set up a spot for me in the car. I was feeling even worse than I had been the night before and he knew I'd sleep better in a more comfortable spot. We discovered that an air mattress fits just perfectly into the back of the Tahoe. And I did sleep much, much better. Our kids were up early the next morning (of course), and we were packed up and on the road early! We spent most of our day driving and were glad to sleep in soft beds again. We had a great trip with our friends and can't wait until the next time!

Asher had this stick he was super attached to that he'd peeled all the bark off. Ryan helped him sharpen the end. I think his stick became a camping shiv.

 Cool bridge on the Road of Death.

All the kids! Top row: Reed, Asher, Seth Hermansen, Makai Moffet, Ava Hermansen holding Nathan Hermansen, Kaleo Moffet holding Maraea Moffet. Bottom row: Lila, Kate Hermansen, Sarah Hermansen