Thursday, August 17, 2017

On Saturday Night

On Saturday day, we got this crazy cool disc launcher gun thing from TJ Maxx that claimed it could send it's disc 100 feet. On Saturday night, we decided to put them claim to the test.

First of all, the weather was glorious. Turns out that nights are cooling down which I hadn't yet discovered. #hallelujah. Second of all, we didn't measure the actual distance but the gun did indeed launch the disc very far and was realllllly fun to shoot! Everyone took turns being the shooter and the catchers/chasers. We'd also brought along frisbees (Asher has recently discovered a frisbee passion) and took turns throwing those, too.

Then all of a sudden, the sprinklers turned on. Surprise!

We gathered our stuff quickly and ran off the field screaming and giggling. And I'm not quite sure how this happened, but we started throwing frisbees into the sprinklers for the kids to chase down. They thought it was hilarious. Ryan and I even took our turns chasing the frisbees into the water. We played this fetching game until they were good and drenched and only stopped because someone had to go potty.

On our way to the bathroom we passed the splash pad. The kids wanted to run through the splash pad and who was I to stop them? They were soaked anyway. So they did. They were literally dripping wet now. When they were done playing, we went to the car and wrung their shirts and shorts out before they climbed in. It was the perfect way to spend our last non-Sunday summer night before school!


I could just say "we went to the beach," then post my thousand pictures, then be on my merry way.

But we all know that I could never be that short-winded.

Truth be told, this beach trip was over a month ago and I have a terrible memory. So I won't be as long-winded as usual. (Except for the four sentences wherein I explain that I won't be long-winded.)

One of the activities at the top of the kids' lists for our California trip was a beach day. Ryan and I were only too happy to oblige. The Lukes were busy, but Grandma came along with us which made the day even better.

Highlight reel:
+Reed kept pulling seaweed out of the ocean. He kept the seaweed all in a big pile and was adorably pumped about each chunk he found. When he found a clump almost as big as him (truly), he was beyond pumped.

+We went to Free Zuma, which is where we got engaged. Awwwwwwww.

+The kids and I (but mostly I) built our most legit sand castle to date. Five minutes after the castle was finished, the kids asked if they could wreck it. I begrudgingly allowed them to. (At least they asked.) They had more fun wrecking the castle than I thought possible, so it was totally worth it.

+The kids had a crazy game they invented where if you got touched by the surf you got wounded and could only be healed by a doctor (one of them) who smeared a clump of wet sand on your injury. You could avoid the surf only by jumping over it into the water. If you ran away, you got extra injury points. You could also reverse injuries by throwing wet sand into the water. I played with them until my "injuries" took me down.

+Kent and Ruth have beach umbrellas, which were a lifesaver because after the morning clouds cleared the day got pretty hot!

+The kids all let me bury them in sand. I love digging in sand.

+The kids could have stayed all day possibly, but eventually (after many hours) we packed up. It was a good day.

Pre-Fourth of July

(Before 7.4.17)

We were pretty excited when the boys' track break lined up perfectly with the Fourth of July. Last year we had to skip going to California for the Fourth because it was right in the middle of a school week! This year, we took a nice long trip to see Grandma and Grandpa.

One thing the kids did all week long was play with Grandma's Littlest Pet Shop animals. I'm not sure who came up with this idea (probably Reed), but each kid had their own "store" where they sold pets and supplies. The kids used Monopoly money to make their transactions and at various times they each had sales they made up on their own! I was invited to come to the stores many times and I thoroughly enjoyed taking advantage of their sales. Some of my favorite signs: "Really good sale all dogs and cats $40" (Asher), "Give Mom and Lila hugs for $20 off" (Lila), "Buy 2 for $100 and get one free" (Asher), "Buy two 'all others' and get an aquatic free" (Reed--he had categories for each animal!),  "Skateboard and ramp--make an offer" (Reed). They had fun with their shops all week long!

The day after we got to CA we decided to go down to Hollywood and see the Second City family friendly comedy show. I was hoping the show would be fun but was totally blown away but just how fun it was. The show was hilarious! I laughed out loud through a lot of it. The kids loved it, too. We will be back, Second City.

We took advantage of Grandma being retired and Grandpa having a day off for the holiday to go to the California Science Center! This is our first time visiting since Ruth retired and it was so much fun to see her so much and get to do all kinds of activities with her. We had so much fun that I didn't really take many pictures. Both boys went on the climbing wall, which I think was a highlight of the day. Outside the CSC is a beautiful rose garden that we spent some time walking around in. And we stopped at Tommy's on the way home, so that wasn't bad, either.

And finally, we got to see Uncle Justin play a backyard show. 

This is what the boys were doing. What are the doing, you ask? I'm not sure, but it involved giggling and pushing their heads together. Also, WE NEEDED SWEATERS. Glorious.

Back to School Feast 2017

I've seen the idea for a Back to School Feast for the past few years and have thought in passing, "That would be fun," but have never acted on that thought. This year, on the Saturday before back to school, I was suddenly gripped with a passion to have a back to school feast. The next day. I feverishly planned. If you know me, you know that I do not like things that need to be planned to be last minute. I am fine with an impromptu trip to the splash pad or the aquarium, because the only prep required is filling up a water bottle and throwing a few packs of fruit snacks in my purse. But if something needs special food or decorations or extra things, I generally plan it a lot in advance and have most of the key components finished a week ahead of time.

But anyway, I really wanted this dinner to happen. And I only had Saturday afternoon to plan it. I mentioned the idea to Ryan and he was immediately on board. I scoured the internet until I found a theme I liked: "Be a Builder." I quickly put together a sign and sent it to Walgreens to print. I made a last minute trip to Wal-Mart for streamers, balloons, and pizza ingredients. I cut paper crowns while we watched a show after the kids were in bed. I showed the Back to School Feast who was boss. (Just to be clear, I was boss.)

After church on Sunday, we sent the kids upstairs to play. Whilst they were occupied, Ryan prepped dinner and I decorated. They tried to come down a few times and I'd immediately banish them to the upstairs. Sometimes it just sounded like they were coming downstairs and I'd also immediately banish them to the upstairs. And sometimes Ryan just called out, "Stay upstairs!" for no reason and the two of us would giggle.

It all came together pretty quickly--thankfully, because our curious kids were chomping at the bit to come down. We put on their crowns (that they wore for all of dinner, what?!) and invited them to have a seat. We introduced our theme, then set them to work "building" their pizzas. (It was Ryan's idea to have a dinner we could build. He is so cool.) While the pizzas cooked, we talked about what it means to be a builder. Then we each took turns adding a lego piece to a base and telling a way we could be a builder.

We had a really fun dinner and I think the kids really got the builder idea. I hope that we can put it into practice now and be builders all year long!

How did I only take one picture?! Sorry Ashie.

Los Doyers

My posts lately are allllll out of order. Maybe one day I will fix that. Today is not that day.

Ryan thought it would be fun to go to a Dodgers game while we were in California. I tend to agree with him. We invited the Lukes and Grandma and Grandpa to come with us--but we did not invite Lila. We didn't think Lila would really care about the game and would probably get bored, so I was going to stay home with her. In the end, Lila stayed home with Grandma and everyone was happy.

The weather was amazing, especially since we were coming from the surface of the sun. The game was fun--though it would have been a little more fun if a few more runs were scored ;) The peanuts and mike n' ikes we brought from the dollar store were perfection (especially when compared to the $7 bags of peanuts the stadium was selling). The splurge for the boys to get a churro was worthwhile. Zoe accidentally batting a beach ball down to the next level and subsequently getting booed was kind of hilarious. And the Dodgers won! 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

First Day 2017

And just like that we're back to school! This summer seemed particularly short, but we squeezed fun into every last day. In our 3.5 weeks off from school, we took a family + friends camping trip in northern California, had a mini family reunion in Colorado, went to two cheap summer kids' movies, went to the aquarium, went to Wet n' Wild at least 3 times, pulled off the primary temple trip and a kid craft day at the church....and probably some other stuff. Phew! This year we are transitioning to a traditional nine-month schedule. I think we are going to miss track break but love summer break next year!

Everyone is back at Forbuss again this year. Reed is in 3rd grade with Mrs. Oswald. He also gets to start GATE this year with Mrs. Cook, which he is super excited about. And, after meeting Mrs. Cook, I am possibly more excited than he is! She is awesome and full of energy and I think he's going to thrive in GATE. He had a little trouble sleeping the night before school, but had a good first day. He's got a few friends in his class from last year and found one of his best friends from last year to play with at recess.

Asher is in 1st grade with Mrs. Stegemann. He has four church friends in his class and four of his kindergarten friends in his class, which we are both excited about. One of his best buddies ever sits at his same table in class! He came home from the first day with a full report of everything they did. His teacher already had homework for me (which he thought was hilarious) and a get to know you sheet for him. He filled it out at his first opportunity (no surprise there).

Lila is in pre-k with Mrs. Cantwell and Ms. Stouard. We already love her teachers from last year and are happy to be with them again. Lila is most pumped about being in afternoon class, because that means she doesn't have to take naps any more. She literally did a happy dance when I told her about the no nap situation.

After school, we went to Wet N' Wild to celebrate the first day. The park was super empty, which made for a really fun time! We didn't have to stand in line for a tube once. The lazy river was deserted, making it super enjoyable to float in. I think we went on the Rattler (our favorite slide) four times! Reed decided he actually DOES like the Royal Flush (he's been insisting he doesn't like it all summer. Apparently he doesn't like going with an adult, but does like going with Asher. His theory is that they weigh less so are faster?) We have plans to spend a few more afternoons like this before Wet N' Wild closes for the season. Hopefully they are all just as pleasant!

 She really wanted a sitting picture. She was very proud of herself for not accidentally opening the door during her picture!

 They both loved their shirts and wanted a picture sans-chalkboard to show off the words. We all love Reed's picture because Asher refers to Reed almost exclusively as "dude."

And Jae  Jae is the one who requested the kissing picture.