Friday, September 30, 2016

On a Sunday

Last Sundays was one of those days that just feel perfect.

We have church at 8:30, and this would be a little crazy--getting us all fed, dressed, and out the door by 8:15--but the kids wake up early and we're used to early church by now. Ryan even took the time to make sausage, eggs, and English muffins for us! The day certainly started off on the right foot.

Reed was still not feeling 100%, and we really wanted him to make it to school on Monday since he'd missed four days of school the week before, so he and Ryan stayed home. I went to church with the little guys. They are so good at church. Sometimes I think back to when our oldest was three and marvel at how much easier it is now that our youngest is three! Primary was kind of a circus, but it always is a little crazy. The kids made up for the crazy, though, during singing time. Sr. Primary is ready for the program. One of the ways I feel the spirit is through music, and my primary kids get me every time. There's just something about this group of kids singing their testimonies that touches my soul. And after church Asher showed off the absolutely adorable Daniel and the lion's den picture he'd drawn all by himself in primary.

After church, we lunched, then started a project I've been meaning to do for YEARS. Literally. What was it? New ghost footprints! Our last set of ghost feet was made when Ashie was 1 and Reed was 3. I've meant to make a set with Lila's feet every Halloween but have never quite gotten around to it. This year, I finally did it! Their ghost feet are adorable and now I just need to buy some ribbon so I can hang them before Halloween!

I left to go on a primary visit while Lila napped, the boys quiet timed, and Ryan hammocked. When I got home, we had a glorious afternoon. We started a puzzle that we ended up working on for a few hours. We were so engrossed in our puzzle, in fact, that I forgot to start dinner! I looked up at the clock and realized that somehow it was 5:00 p.m. Luckily, I already had frozen soup defrosting on the counter. I heated the soup and threw together some biscuits to replace the bread bowls I'd been planning on.

After dinner, we went outside and built a fire in our fire pit. The weather has been ridiculous lately and we've been basking in the cooler night air. We chatted for a while around the fire, then made s'mores. We had the perfect fire for marshmallows and they were coming out as gooey perfection. Lila's face after her s'more was amazing, too. We read our scriptures around the fire (we are all the way to Mormon!) and then it was time to tuck the kids in.

Our Sunday wasn't anything spectacular, but I think that's part of what made it so perfect. I'm so grateful we set aside Sundays every week to be together as a family and to avoid the distractions of the world. I feel so blessed.

She leaned against the door and it popped open, which made her land on her bum. She laughed so hard!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Saturday We (Mostly) Survived

We went in to Saturday knowing it was going to be a busy day, but thinking we'd be fine. We were so naive.

7:00 a.m.: Ryan packs up a cooler with water bottles, snacks, and lunch while I get everyone dressed and ready.

7:50 a.m.: Leave home for the Forbuss Pancake Palooza

8:00 a.m.: See Lila's preschool teacher in the pancake line. Lila shyly says, "Hi!!!!" Then we proceed to eat pancakes, talk to our pals the Gage family, and have quite an enjoyable time!

8:40 a.m.: Leave Forbuss for the soccer field, a 20 minute drive.

9:20: Reed's first game! They lost, which was a bummer, but the snack mom gave Asher AND Lila snacks after the game, too, so we were still happy.

10:40: Asher's first game! They lost, too, but he got to try play goalie so was pretty happy. Reed ate lunch and tried to sit in the 2-ft patch of shade our wagon made. Lila spent the game playing with the Gourlie girls. (I am SO glad we have buddies on Asher's team!)

12:00: Reed's second game! Ryan, Asher, and Lila spent the first 15 minutes or so up at the playground, which was much cooler and shadier. I baked in the heat and wished for cooler weather. Reed got to play against his friends Lucas and Fiona from school and HIS TEAM WON! Yayyyyyy!

1:30: Arrive home and shower/change clothes

2:45: Leave for Reed's friend Sophia's party at Chuck E. Cheese. She invited Asher and Lila, too, because she's awesome like that. I offered to take the kids alone because Ryan does not love huge crowds or lots of noise and Chuck E. Cheese has both those things in very large quantities. The kids had a really great time at Chuck E. Cheese. Reed and Lila had never been before (Asher had been for a friend's birthday). We filled ourselves on pizza and cake and Reed hit the jackpot on a machine and got tons of tickets.

6:30: Arrive back at home and collapse on the couch. Start the BYU game.

7:30: Put the kids to bed

4:00 a.m.: Asher wakes us up. He's coughing so hard he almost throws up. We get him some water and settle him in between us. Neither of us can fall back to sleep, so we finish the BYU game.

4:45 a.m.: Realize that Asher is breathing really fast, his heart is racing, and he is on fire. Take his temperature. 104.2! Quickly consult Dr. Google and wake Asher to give him ibuprofen. He falls right back to sleep while we nervously watch him.

5:30 a.m.: Asher seems much more normal as far as breathing and heart rate are concerned. Ryan goes downstairs to try to sleep on the couch. I try to fall asleep but my knee hurts a lot and I just can't fall asleep. Pray for relief. Finally drift off around 6.

7:00 a.m.: Kids are up, so we're up, too. Ryan was going to stay home with Asher and I was going to go to church with the other kids, but as I try to walk around I feel clammy and like I got hit by a truck. Instead of church, we set up a blow up mattress, everyone gets blankies, and we spend the day watching movies, finishing reading The Witches and then watching the movie The Witches, and trying to sleep off our Saturday!

Tender mercies:
+That prayer in the middle of the night? That my knee would stop hurting enough that I could sleep? It worked.
+We didn't need to take Asher to the ER. The medicine lowered his temp to a still high but okay 101.
+Reed and Lila weren't sick and were probably so bored but they were SO GOOD. They played by themselves, didn't complain, and didn't fight.
+We woke up Monday feeling much better. I think we were literally just so exhausted we felt sick!
+Reed won a soccer game!
+Asher got to play goalie!

We have more double header Saturdays coming up, including a Saturday where both boys have double headers. Hopefully we can make it through a little more intact next time!

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Hammock

I wasn't home the afternoon the hammock came, and when I got back home I was surprised to find Ryan had already built the hammock--in our living room! He was super cozy watching college football that night.

We moved the hammock outside the next day and have used it pretty much every day since then. The boys taught Lila how to climb in by herself and she looooooves to go out to the backyard and climb in, then yell for someone to come rock her. The kids like to all grab a blankie and a pillow, then pile all three of them and all their stuff inside. If they go in the hammock without the cozy paraphenelia, they pinch the top closed and make themselves a cocoon. The weather has been glorious lately, especially at night. Ryan often has trouble sleeping at night, and a few times since we've gotten the hammock he's gone out there to relax for a while in the night and ended up falling asleep!

My favorite thing to do in the hammock is take a book and a kid or two out and cozy up together and read. Ashie was home sick from school two days this week and we spent a fair amount of time relaxing in the hammock with a stack of books. Lila heard about our hammock time and was jealous, so today she and I had a cozy reading session. A few nights ago, Ryan and the boys laid in the hammock while I read out loud to them from a chair (I drew the short straw :).

I didn't even realize I wanted a hammock until we got one. Good call, Ryan.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Monthly Reed: 93

Reed wants to be a vampire for Halloween this year! I was a little bit surprised when he told me, because I didn’t know he liked vampires—he’d never mentioned them before. But I started looking for a costume and yesterday we found a great costume on sale. I ordered it, and told him it was on his way. He didn’t seem very excited, so I asked him if he still wanted to be a vampire. He asked, “Yeah, but do you think it’s a weird costume?” He went on to explain that he thought I thought it was a weird choice! I felt so bad! I was surprised, which I told him, but he felt like I was telling him it was weird. I think I cleared up the misunderstanding, and we looked at his costume online and made plans for face makeup, so I think he’s back in the excited camp. Hopefully.

Reed has discovered a new book series that he loves. He has always liked reading just fine, but it wasn’t really what he’d choose to do in his free time. He’d rather play legos or draw a picture, which is totally understandable, especially after a long school day. But these books he has loved to much he can hardly put them down! The first book, The Inventor’s Secret, was 352 pages. One day I looked over and realized that he only had about 30 pages left and was shocked! He’d absolutely flown threw it. We just got the second book this week and he is already several chapters in! I’m glad he has found a book series that he loves. 

Speaking of his book, this morning he told me that he bet he would like math better if he went to the school in his book. He already likes math, so I was curious why he’d like it better there. He told me that at the school in his book, they built bridges in math! I would like math better there, too. He’s told me bits and pieces of the story, but really wants me to read it—so he’s keeping the rest a secret!

And more about his book. I mentioned that Reed wants me to read it. Well, I had forgotten about that and when he finished it, I asked him to put it on the book shelf so we could remember to take it back to Grandma. He gave me a funny look and said, "Oh....okay...." and then as he put it on the shelf, "But were you going to read it?" Oops! I felt so bad! I've had a lot of foot-in-mouth moments this month with Reed, apparently. It was really sweet, though, because I could tell he really wanted me to read it but was kind of timid about asking about it...what a sweetheart. It's now on my night stand to be started ASAP. 

We were talking about countries and continents when Reed asked, "Is there a Central American ocean?" It was a good question. Later, though, he asked, "Are you going to write that down?" (Because he thought the Central American thing was really funny). I love that he wants to immortalize his funny moments. He'll also ask me to write down things that Asher and Lila say that he finds funny!

One of Lila's teachers' names is Mrs. Stouard. We thought she was Mrs. Stewart, though, and after we'd been talking about her Reed said, "I don't know why but I'm like fascinated with the name Stewart!"

Reed was reading a book and apparently came across a bad word. He told Asher he didn't think Asher should read the book and told me about it right away, too. I asked him what letter it started with because I was wondering what level of bad we were talking about and if the book could just be "edited" or needed to be donated. Reed told me it was "taking the Lord's name in vain." First, I was really proud of him for telling me right away and for knowing that it was wrong to say that word. Second, I was impressed that he knew exactly how to describe the word! FHE is working :) Asher: Bub just told me the book had a bad word so he didn't think I should read it. 

The Monthly Asher: 70

I was really worried about back to school. Last year, Asher was adamant that he did NOT want to go to preschool. His main arguments were that he didn’t know anyone there and that he already knew how to read so he wouldn’t learn anything. I realized, even then, that those same arguments would likely apply in Kindergarten but figured we would cross that bridge when we came to it. I shouldn’t have been worried. Asher has taken to school wonderfully. He wasn’t at all nervous and he has really loved it so far. He really likes his teacher and he is starting to get to know the kids in his class. I think it’s going to be a great school year!

Speaking of school, Jackson, one of Asher’s buddies also started Kindergarten this year. They are at the same school but not in the same class. They do have the same lunch, though, and have been sitting together when possible and meeting up every day on the playground at lunch to play together! I’m so glad he has a buddy to play with.

And more school. Asher’s class uses a behavior system called “Class Dojo.” They can earn points for good behavior and lose points for being off task. If they earn 10 points in one day, they get a sticker. And when they get 10 stickers, they get to take a trip to the treasure box. Earning 10 points has proven difficult so far, but yesterday Asher had his first 10-point day! When Ryan asked how Asher got so many points, Asher said, “Just for being like really good.”

Yet more school. This is a big part of our lives right now. Asher got to do Lexia for the first time yesterday. He loves watching Reed do Lexia (an online reading and phonics program) and has literally watched Reed do his lexia every time Reed has done it at home for the past two years. Asher was quite excited to finally get to start doing Lexia. On his second time on Lexia, he beat his previous high score and yelled, “MOM! It’s only my second time and I already beat my high score!” Way to go, Ashie.

Ashie is still a lover of reading and is currently on the third installment of the My Weird School Books—he made it through all of My Weird School and My Weird School Daze and is five books in to My Weirdest School. He’s also read most of the specials. It is a good thing we have a great library or we’d never be able to keep him in books!

Asher also started soccer this month! His buddies Ty and Landon are on his team. He really, really loves soccer so far. One of his practices was cancelled this week and he was extremely sad because he was really looking forward to practice! He’s already improving and I’m excited for his games to start. I love watching him at practice because he celebrates every victory, no matter how small, with either one fist in the air or two (depending on how excited he is). When he played goalie and blocked a goal his entire face lit up. He’s so awesome!

We took a break from piano lessons over summer break since we were out of town a few times and really just needed a little break to get our heads back in the game. For the first while, Asher was still on the piano all the time. But lately, I’ve realized that he doesn’t just play a song every time he walks by. I’m not sure if this is just him not being at home as much or what, but it kind of makes me sad! Before, the piano had a magnetic pull for him. Truthfully, that wasn’t always awesome—but I do miss it! I hope when we get back into piano mode next week he’ll rediscover his love.

Asher must have recently learned "three quarters" because lately he's been describing everything numerical as three quarters--like "My cup was like, three quarters full" or "we only had like 10 and 3/4".  It's really cute, and he's totally sincere in his usage, which is my favorite.

One day Asher the majority of his newest My Weird School book (Oh Valentine We've Lost Our Minds) out loud in the car to Reed. They were both cracking up SO HARD. It was hilarious to listen to. When we got home, Asher kept reading as we walked in the house, then the two of them sat on the couch together and Asher finished reading the book to them. This book is a chapter book so Asher was probably reading aloud for at least 45 minutes. It was SO CUTE.

Asher's dinner night! Chicken cordon bleu and apples. He liked the ham and cheese but not the chicken haha.

One day Reed asked a question about something that I didn't know the answer to. Asher didn't know the answer, either, and said, "I don't know that but I should because I've read a lot of magic treehouse books and they have like a lot of facts."

Randomly, Asher will start talking in what can best be described as a southern accent. I'm not sure where exactly he learned it or even what brings it out, but it's awesome. We call him "Southern Gooey" and all giggle along with him while he talks!

Me: Lila wouldn't give the flashlight back
Reed: Why?
Me: She's three.
Asher: Have you met her?

Asher learned how to pump on the swing! He can start from nothing and pump himself up to high swinging! Woohoo!

Asher lost two teeth this month! His missing top teeth are adorable.

The kids were watching a show upstairs when Asher came down crying. He'd pulled Ryan's tape measure out too far and the tape measure got stuck in the "out" position. He felt so bad and was so upset. We quickly reassured him that it wasn't a big deal and that we'd try to fix it, but  even if it couldn't be fixed we weren't mad or upset! We were both really proud of him for coming and telling us right away. He could have hidden the truth since he was worried about getting in trouble, but instead he told us! Way to go Ashie.

The Monthly Lila: 43

 Our office has been undergoing a major transformation. It was not really functional at all before, so we took a bunch of things out and moved other things around. Our project took a while, and Ryan’s drums and the kids’ drums were broken down to be out of the way. Last week, we finally finished, and Ryan set up his drums again. Lila has been dying for him to set up “her” drums (that literally had Reed’s name on them). One day while she napped, Ryan set up Lila’s drums as a surprise. She was extremely pleased when she woke up. They jammed immediately.

Lila is loving school so much. She has already made a friend, Kamryn, who she plays with every day at recess. She is still learning everyone’s names, and I kind of love how she refers to some people. One boy is “the baby” I think because he’s small and cried the first few days. She isn’t using “baby” in a derogatory way, more an endearing way. Another boy she calls “little Jonas” which I’m assuming I show the teachers refer to him. There’s a little girl with purple glasses who Lila says is her friend too, but Lila can’t remember her name J And she loves her teachers!

On the second day of school, Lila’s teacher sent home a new folder in Lila’s backpack. Now Lila wants to check every day in case there is something new, haha. When I go to pick her up from school, her face lights up when she sees me. She starts waving to me, then always holds up the back of her hand so I can see she earned a sticker. When she is dismissed, she sprints to me and gives me a huge hug! At drop off in the morning, she’s been telling me, “You can leave now!” then waving to me as long as she can see me while I walk away. She is having a lot of fun.

Lila wanted to go to Target after we went out to dinner. The boys did not. Lila and Daddy went--and Lila came home with three new dresses!

More school stuff. Lila always remembers what snack they had for the day and occasionally will come up with other completely random details to tell me—like that she washed her hands or somebody touched the school bus or whatever. It’s hilarious. One thing they must do a lot is sing this song: “Circle time is all done, circle time is all done.” She even does hand actions with it. Super cute. 

Lila outgrew a long beloved shirt. She was SO DEVASTATED. She was just sobbing because she loved this shirt so much and really wanted it to fit. She’s never been so upset about a shirt and I really had no idea she had been so attached to this one.

While we were driving today, Lila said: I can't wait until I'm a mommy!
Me: What do you think will be fun about being a mommy?
Lila: Driving kids!

I came in to get Lila after her nap. She said, "My favorite friend is back!" (Referring to me) Awwwwwwwww.

Lila: Can we have snow cones tonight?
Me: We'll see how the night goes.
Lila: Like if anyone doesn't hit or stab or bite? (Long pause) Because that's what bad guys do.  

We were listening to the Taylor Swift song "Welcome to New York." Lila said, "Mom this just feels like a shake your booty song!"

The kids discovered an empty bag of jelly beans on the table after my primary presidency. Lila said, "You had a jelly bean? Remember that is a cheat? Mommy got off the challenge! She had a cheat!!" It's hard to cheat with such a harsh task master :)

Lila bit Reed. Ryan asked what would happen if she bit a friend at school. She immediately said, Them would die!"

The night before school started, Dolly asked me if it was tomorrow yet because she wanted to know if it was the day she got to meet her teacher!  

We were cuddling at nap time and Lila told me, "I'm excited about this one (Clifford's Field Day, a book)--can you just go out?" This was funny to me because usually she is begging me to stay longer!

I overheard Lila talking in the shower: "Press one, dial more options or hang up."

Lila laid her head on my shoulder. I asked if she was tired. She responded, "I is not tired I is just taking a little nap!" 

Lila, swinging on her belly: "Superman to the rescue!" 

After borrowing a friends' puddle jumper, then being encouraged by a friend's big sister to float on her own with the puddle jumper, Lila got brave. She floated without holding hands. AND SHE LOVED IT. For our last few trips to wet n' wild, she has been all about the lazy river so she can show off her new independence!

Lila was sick one night and ended up sleeping in our bed. In the morning, upon waking up and seeing she's in bed with me: 
Lila: Mommy? 
Me: Hi. 
Lila: It is me! It is Lila! I is in here with you!

Lila saw her reflection in the dark screen of the iPad and started singing, "I love you so much Liiiiiiiiiila!" 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Weekend Notes

1. I wrote this ENTIRE BLOG POST and saved it in a word document because our internet was being tempermental. Today, when I located the word document, opened it up...and it was blank. Sad, sad day.

2. Ryan took the boys to a UNLV Men's Soccer game and tail gate party Friday night! The food was reportedly delicious and the game lots of fun. A nice bonus was that they ran into one of Asher's buddies and got to sit by him and his dad during the game. Ryan and the boys left at half time because Reed had a "stomach ache." The jury is still out on whether purported stomach ache was real  or invented.

3. Ryan and I got up early Saturday to finally put our garage back together. Over the past few weeks, we've pulled every single thing off our storage racks, moved it all to one side for sorting, moved it back to the other side so Ryan could replace the water heater (this was an unexpected extra step), and cleared a path in front of our storage racks so we could move things back on. Our garage has been a wreck and I've missed parking inside. Anyway, the garage is finally finished and it is GLORIOUS. Never has our garage looked so good!

4. Lila was being grumpy Saturday morning and I thought she was just tired. Then Ryan noticed she felt warm, so we took her temperature: 102. Then she threw up all over Ryan. Our plans for the day changed a bit! Ryan took Asher to the Home Depot building workshop while Lila and I cuddled to a movie. Reed decided he just wanted to stay home and play legos by himself. After a while, Lila fell asleep, so Reed and I played legos together.

5. I taught sharing time on Sunday and the junior primary was oddly reverent. That may sound weird, but our primary is *quite* large and usually has an extremely difficult time sitting down or listening or not randomly yelling out or pushing their neighbor. I'm not sure if it was just because we were small in numbers or what, but we need to figure out how this magic happened.

6. By Sunday afternoon, Lila seemed fine. So on Monday, we decided to explore Desert Breeze Park on bikes. Turns out that they have an awesome skate park that the boys loved. After a while, we decided to go grab picnic fixings and head out to Redrock. While we drove to Redrock, I noticed Lila had some small scabs around her knee. At the picnic I noticed more, which led us to cancelling our hike plans and googling "Hand Foot and Mouth Disease" instead while we drove home...

6a. While we were driving to Desert Breeze Park, we noticed a gigantic (not joking) pit on the side of the road. We pulled over to inspect the pit (of course). We looked it up and found out that it was used for fill dirt and rock for various projects

7. Because of aforementioned hand foot and mouth, we had to miss a friend's birthday party Monday night. Lila was SO sad. To cheer everyone up a bit, we made snickerdoodles and had ice cream. The snickerdoodles were literally the best batch I've ever made--they were perfection. We also played a really fun round of Mexican Train and even made a time lapse video of ourselves doing so. Our night was redeemed!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Post Office Thoughts

Lila and I went to the post office today. We usually go out to the tiny Blue Diamond Post Office, where the Post Master is super friendly and where the line is non-existent. But, we were running errands by the Russell Post Office and I knew we could just use the automated kiosk, so we decided to brave it. We were in and out in about 10 minutes. Being at that post office reminded me both of my favorite memory there and of my least favorite memory there. So, of course, I decided that I most definitely need to record my post office memories.

Least favorite:
When we moved in to our Vegas house, the previous owner had not left a mail key for us. I tried calling the post office to see what documentation I needed to bring in to get a key, but despite multiple attempts on various days, they literally never picked up the phone. So I packed up my four year old, two year old, and two week old and went to the post office. The line was insane and literally took 45 minutes to get through. And when I finally got to the front of the line, I found out I didn't have the documentation I needed. Uggggghhhhh. I called my title company to get the right papers and found out the papers I needed were sitting in my mailbox. Haha. Thankfully, they emailed me a copy. I went back to the post office the next morning before they even opened and still had to wait in line for 30 minutes. After I turned in all my stuff, I found out I needed to come back in 10 days to get my key. More groans. When I made my third and final trip and came away with my key, I decided that I would wait and go to the post office in St. George whenever we were there so I never had to go to this one again. Then I found out about the Blue Diamond Post Office and all was well.

After the Russell Post Office installed the automated kiosk, we'd go there if we happened to be in the area but usually opted for the Blue Diamond Post Office. Anyway, one day we had been running errands and were driving to the Russell Post Office when Asher told me he had to go to the bathroom. AND IT WAS AN EMERGENCY. We were about 5 minutes away from the post office and there were literally no other businesses around. We walked into the post office to find they had no bathroom. So we rushed back to the car. We found an empty water bottle in the car and Asher proceeded to pee in the bottle. Turns out that peeing in a bottle was an ideal solution--until I worried it was going to overflow! He literally filled 3/4 of that water bottle with pee. He wasn't joking when he said he had to go potty!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

School Notes

1. When I picked Lila up from school on Thursday, she said, “How ‘bout we go to the store and get a re-prise (surprise) for me and Ree Ree and Goo Goo!” Ummmmm, sure. To the dollar store we went. She had a very hard time choosing what to get, but eventually settled on the idea of a “painting craft” which came to fruition in a cheap watercolor set for each kid. She and I have painted many times since.

2. Asher was feeling totally overlooked in class, telling me each day that other kids earned extra class dojo points or falcons while he didn’t. On Thursday, he was dejected because the teacher chose a few kids who'd been really good that week to go to the treasure chest before they earned 100 dojo points. I asked him who got to go and he explained that he didn’t even know because the bus kids left early. The next day he found out that they were awarding the treasure chest prize at school that day, not the day before. AND HE WAS ONE OF THE KIDS THEY CHOSE. He was so pumped.

3. Reed borrowed a book from "Grandma’s library" and was so entirely engrossed in reading it that he was willingly choosing to miss playing the iPad with Daddy or playing in the new hammock so he could read. This is a big deal. He just finished the book and is currently on the waiting list at the library for the second book. We looked his book up (The Inventor’s Secret) and found out it is worth 11 AR points. What?!

3a. We got a new hammock!

4. We got to school early one day so we could see the crayon version of the owl drawing Asher made in class. It was so cute!

5. We made it through our first two soccer practices on school days. I’m feeling pretty impressed with myself, honestly, because I’ve managed to get us home from school, dinner made, everyone fed, and to practice on time both nights. This week we add homework to the mix (I think). Wish me luck.

6. Asher: When will I start having homework?
Me:  Maybe this week, but I’m not sure. Do you want homework?
Asher: Yeah, because when I’m home I’m just like doing other stuff.
Me: And when you’re home you just want to be doing homework?
Asher: (Wistfully) Yeah.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Last Few Days of Summer

Last summer, we made a calendar of activities to help us take the most of our three weeks of track break. By the end, I was super exhausted and decided that next summer, I would schedule in a few play-at-home/break days. This year Meggie remembered last year Meggie's advice, but neglected to follow it. For whatever reason, it wasn't as tiring this summer and I didn't feel burned out by the end. Maybe kids getting older has even more perks than I realized? Or maybe I was just energized by the thought of everyone going to school ;) Whatever it was, we completed nearly everthing on our calendar...

And we even got a new pet! Meet Dexter Ledecky Hambly, our betta fish.

I don't have pictures of all our summer activities, but here is the highlight reel. One day, we went to the 99 cent only store,where we found a ridiculously cute Sofia the First costume. It was actually $5, but a decent enough costume that we went for it! I called a few friends and ended up picking up three more costumes for various people. After we left with our Sofia dress haul, we went to Bass Pro Shops to check out the fish, then to Goodwill to look for legos. We didn't have any luck with legos, but we did find a fun new game--Buzz Word.

Lila kind of always kills me, but she extra killed me walking out of BPS. She was so cute walking out in front of us, swaying her hips...

At home, we put on her dress, then she accessorized. She marched down the stairs yelling, "Princess Lila!!"

We spent a lot of time at Wet N' Wild! Our passes might have been our favorite thing about this summer. Our ward met there every Wednesday morning--we went for quite a few of those--and we went quite a few nights together as a family! Wet N' Wild is only open on weekends now, and closed after September, so I'm not positive how many more times we'll make it. We certainly made good use of our passes, though!

This is how Lila felt about walking over to the rainbow slides with the boys. She's not big enough for the slides, so she just had to watch:

After using a puddle jumped at the Buxtons' house last week and realizing she could float without being held on to, Lila got super brave in the water! In the lazy river, she wanted to float free (with a life jacket)--not holding hands or anything! She did great. 

Asher got a crazy bruise on his ear at Grandma's house. The pictures don't even do it justice. The day it happened, his ear was hugely swollen and bright purple. It was crazy!

Baby doll got to go to her friend Amelia's (Buh-melia to Lila) birthday party! It was her first party that was just for her and mom--the boys stayed home with Ryan. She was SO PUMPED.

Our water heater stopped heating. It needed a $450 repair. But, it's 10 years old, and we could replace it for $600--so we went that route. Ryan replaced it while Lila and I partied with Buh-melia :) The box from the water heater made for a fantastic clubhouse. We even taped boxes over the open ends to make doors!

We had our friends the Gourlies over the play. By the end, everyone was wearing a dress up!

One of our ward activities got cancelled (due to illness), so we went to the park for a picnic! Thankfully, the park has shades, so we even played for a while before we went home.

 We made Banh Mi and it was soooooooooooooooo good!

Thanks for treating us well, summer! Until next year.