Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Well, school starts in two short days.  I will be the first one to say that this year, I am actually wishing the kids could stay home a little longer.  I know, I'm crazy.  I love having them home.  Really it's not the fact that after they go back to school I'll have to pick up the chores they have been doing here daily: vacuuming, dusting, dishes, clean bathrooms.  No, I will miss their help but I enjoy spending time with them.  I enjoy getting to spend one on one time with them too.  Taylor and I went shopping for his school shoes the other night and had dinner, and dessert and shopped.  It was fun.  I am taking Hannah earring shopping soon, as she "must have some earrings to wear at school." Ha.
Anyway, where was I going with this?

So we packed up the kids and the car and the chihuhua and off we went to McCall, my favorite place.  I love the mountains, the fresh air, the lake, the trees!  We had so much fun.  Mike and Hannah swam about 3 times every day at the pool in the hotel.  We rented a canoe (and figured out letting the kids have oars wasn't such a good idea), had beach time, Mike and Hannah went horseback riding while Taylor and I checked out some cool craft fairs and we all went to a paint-your-own-pottery place and created masterpieces (that was Mike's idea!), and had some really yummy ice cream.  I think we could have all stayed another night or two.    I have to say this summer has been the best in a long time, we have been playing all the time.  I look back at my summer goal list before summer and we didn't do a lot of those things!!  Me and my silly lists.  We have enjoyed time together, and that is the important thing.
Here are many photos:

creating some masterpieces         

look at that pretty butterfly
what a view
cowboy Mike
Taylor in the lake
Yeehaw! She loved riding the horse
Swim time....and yes he wears this hat in every picture
Queen of the rock

Hannah's pic of me
We took a little walk in the forest

crocodile time

But seriously, next week my dirty house, empty pantry, and unorganized clutter needs some tending to! And I need to strawberry jam before they aren't at Costco anymore!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Yesterday was Mike's birthday.  We celebrated with his selection of breakfast, lunch, and dinner and some new 20 lb. weights to add to his growing collection.
Although his birthday is a special day, this is not what I'm talking about.

This day we did the unthinkable. The very thing I've been opposing for years.

We purchased a PlayStation 3.  I have been holding off this day for several years.  There are many reasons I have a high dislike for video games: kids rotting on them and not getting enough physical exercise, kids rotting their brains, the violence and un-friendly kid aspect to many of them and the cost. Did I mention I hate most of the games?
It's one more thing for me to monitor in this age of technology geared for kids.  And I don't like it.

But I did get myself into this mess.  Back in March, I casually mentioned to Taylor that if he saved half for a game system, we would match it.  He has been pining away, but not too vocally, about not having video games to play with. I have to say, he has been pretty good about being the last child on Earth not to have a video game system (according to him).
So that kid went and worked all summer, and saved.  He did not spend a cent.  And yesterday he rounded up his rolled coins, his cash and counted it-he had half!  Mike has been socking away change and cash as well. So we counted it all out and went and bought the damn thing.  And the amount was staggering, and I don't want to think about it.  Just too much money for one un-needed thing.

We have made rules about playing time, and talked about the kind of games Taylor *will not* be playing.  We got the Move which will actually be pretty fun for family games.  So a small part of me is excited to play games together as a family, but a small part still feels like I've given in.
I lost to the mass of commericialism and video games and to the status of having yet another "thing" that we really could get by without. But there are other things I will not budge on: TV's, phones and computers in their rooms.  Just ain't gonna happen.  I'm holding out on cell phones too.

But besides all my grumbling, there was a lesson.  Taylor worked and saved and got to see what that saving did. The good ole' lesson of saving up cold, hard cash. Hannah saved and put in a small portion as well since she gets to play it.  So that is a valuable lesson. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The kids were gone one week!  We got home last Friday and they fly in today (Saturday).  As we drove away from them, I felt a little anxious.  They are with me all the time, my little flock.  I complain, I yell, I run out of patience often, but I love those sweetie pies, and I am used to herding them.  So after a long drive and getting home and unpacking and doing all that boring stuff you have to do after leaving for a week, we settled in.

And it was nice. 

Do I need to cook dinner? Nope.

Do I need to be home at any certain time?  Nope.

Is there a schedule to my day?  Well, kind of. I still had work to do and last minute clients calling. But I could leave the house for long periods of time without worrying about leaving the kids alone or when I would have to return.

I watched re-runs of the Housewives.  I ate almost an entire box of lucky charms to myself, without sharing. I did not work out.  I had espresso for lunch.  I read an entire book. I got a pedicure and bought some really expensive facial cream (I never do that).  I saw The Help (great movie) with my mom and sister.

I liked driving that thing!

Mike and I really enjoyed having time with each other.  We went golfing (that was fun!) and afterwards went to a place and had wings.  They had a great deal that night so there was lots of college kids and the place was busy.  I smiled and said, "It's a weeknight and we are out after 9:30!"  We had Mexican one night and shared a margherita,(I haven't had one of those in about 4 years),we went to dinner and a movie on a Friday night.  We shopped at the mall and browsed. We relaxed and got a little glimmer of what life would be after the kids leave home.  And I did not get panicked.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

You know things like jobs and mundane tasks (grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry) are really getting in the way of our summer around here!  Working around those things we have been to the park, enjoying more hot dogs than I would like to say, lots of swimming, camping at Red Fish and we just got back from 9! days in Nevada where we always have fun.  The kids went to the pool everyday from 1-4, we miniature golfed, ate lots, swam, went to Lake Tahoe, went bowling, I enjoyed some yummy Inn-N-Out burger, school shopping and visiting with relatives.  The kids are loving it.

To make it even more fabulous, my wonderful in-laws wanted to have the kids for a whole week!!  They fly home on Saturday and Mike and I are enjoying what feels like the DBK (days before kids).....we got home last night, woke up and said, "lets go to breakfast", then we did some errands, then we said, "lets take a nap and then watch a movie" and we did.  Nobody to check in on, we are enjoying popcorn for dinner and I could really get used to this!!  But then my sweet babies call me and I miss them like crazy.  I miss their silly laughs, their obnoxious fighting and giving them hugs and kisses.

We have one last weekend before school starts when they come home and we are going to our favorite town of McCall for a couple nights to enjoy the lake and canoeing and more swimming.  Then our life leaves the wonderful rythym of summer, and we are back to schedules, planning, homework and another phase.

But in the meantime...pass me some more ice cream!!

Here is a big spew of photos to catch up!!
First up-Camping at Red Fish Lake!  We love this place.  I have Mike agreeing to 5 nights next summer!!

Who got a sunburn on their red face??  ME!!

Getting ready for a fire.

How cute is he?  Camp site bathing.

Still cute!! Getting tickled by his big brother!

All four kids had lots of fun with Karsten's sand toys.

I love this guy, and his big hat.

Beautiful Red Fish Lake


Rendi actually sitting!! And reading!!


Our lunch time visitor

The kids with Grandma and Grandpa's pony and goat

We love lake tahoe!  It was freezing as usual

Taylor getting a tractor lesson from Grandpa

Here are some pictures Hannah took a couple weeks ago.  She LOVES the camera.

I guess this would be her favorite doll collection.

I'm excited to leave this desk and get on vacation!!

Silly kids