Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Happy Campers

This is our fourth camping trip. I can actually say that we are becoming campers. It's getting easier and we know the drill. It helps that we do all our meals with our friends, so we don't have to do any cooking on our own. This was our first trip to Dogtown Lake in Williams, AZ. It's about 90 minutes from our house. We went with a large group of 12 families and stayed in the group campsite. I liked it because the lake was a 2 minute walk from our camp and not right behind it. It makes me nervous to have water so close with Noah.

The weather was nice and cool the first day and the kids got right to playing.


I took the boys on a walk to the lake. That little mountain in the back is a small ski spot in the winter.






Ben kept doing bunny ears on Noah. I told him not to do it to him, so he did it to himself.




Noah and Ashlyn get along great. She is six and such a fun little girl!


We got to have a campfire! We were shocked. It's like a matchbox here. The Sedona fire is only about 30 miles from our campsite. But, since we had a designated ring and we kept it small our camp hosts said we were fine. That meant smores!!!!




Noah was helping David gather fire wood.




We shot BB guns. Such fun!


Ben couldn't hit the can, so he went for the close kill.


Same with Noah...


Then, he hit the can so good, it did a backflip!


The Dads were having a blast. Doesn't David look hot with a pink gun? Look at those eyes, that focus! So sexy!


Noah was pretending to be Olaf from Frozen.


One of the best parts of camping is the relaxing!


Here's part of our huge group just chillin'.


Alanah lost her retainer, so they had to search for it in the garbage.


One of the boys got a ladder ball stuck in a tree (don't ask) and the guys were trying to get it out.


The weather was nice and cool until the second night. It rained. About half of the families were in trailers and the other half in tents. Us tent folk, all hopped in a trailer. Dakri's had 12 people in it!


When it let up, we went to our tents and then it started back up. Luckily, we were all snug as bugs and went to bed early.

The next day was beautiful and we walked to the lake.


The lake was really low and we were in way to shallow water, but the kids just like to fish. We don't really want to catch anything.



We only had 2 poles, so Ben made his own pole with some line we found.


Noah was doing this little photo shoot and striking a pose with each click of the camera.


We went for a hike that afternoon. You can kind of see some gray smoke in the background. That's the Sedona fires.


Noah went for at lest 10 hikes and each time, he brought me back a flower. He's so sweet.


Then, an afternoon game of whiffle ball. Parents vs. Kids. Kids won, but parents let them.


Some of the kiddos.


Here's most of the kids. Some were missing too. There were 23 kids in all.


This was silly faces.


And our epic fail of a jumping photo. Well, Emily nailed it.


More relaxing...


And beautiful sunsets....


I'm wearing Ben's sasquatch hat.


It was such a great weekend and such a great way to kick off the summer!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Who Wants To Get Stupid?

We kicked off our 73 days of summer vacation with a wonderful three day long camping trip. I have a mountain of photos to sort through and a long post about all of that to come. Today feels like our first day of summer vacation since we are home. I let the kids do whatever they wanted this morning until 10:00. Then, I told them summer is fun, but it makes you stupid. Who wants to get stupid? Luckily, nobody raised their hand.

I'm asking them for 1 to 2 hours a day of their time for school work and chores. That's not too much to ask I don't think. They were all very receptive to it. Emily even wanted to grade everyone's paper when they were done. There are so many online worksheets to print for free. It's awesome. Ben and Emily did a math assignment and wrote in their composition books about our camping trip. Noah did some work on the letter A and the number 1. It's better than having them sit on the DS or tablet watching youtube videos all day long.

I usually do this every summer and then after a few weeks, I get lazy and my kids get stupid. I'm vowing to not let that happen this summer.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Noah's Preschool Graduation

Well he made it! The night was such much fun. I love watching all these little kids get dressed up and look so cute!

This was my favorite picture of him which was in his memory book.


But tonight, I tried to capture that same photo, but didn't quite get it. He makes me laugh.



Emily took this of the three of us. I need to teach her to zoom and center.

This one is a little better.


Here he is after they walked in.


You can tell he's a little freaked out.


Then, they sang. Grand Old Flag was Noah's favorite.




He got his diploma.



Then, he had to stand and wait for the other 30ish kids names to be called.


This little girl got bored and started flirting with Noah.


I'm not sure if he was impressed.


Well, maybe he is impressed, or at least surprised by something.


Oh yes, someone has a crush.


I don't think Noah feels the same.


I shed a few tears, but held up okay. Noah has one more day, a fun splash day and Emily and Ben have 2 days left. Then, we are off to go camping! What a great way to start the summer.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Let The Waterworks Begin

I thought I would be strong and I'd be happy on this day. Noah graduates preschool tonight.

I'm already crying.

No, seriously, I'm not kidding.

They sent home his memory book today. I love these memory books. They are filled with pictures and works of art the kids made throughout the year. Noah has really grown this year. For the first few months, he didn't want to leave David and I when we dropped him off. There were tears and uncertainty. As you can tell from this photo taken during the first few days of school. That's Noah on the right with his head down. He always had his head down.


Preschool was by far the best thing for him. He really flourished. As I flipped the pages of the book, I am so glad that he had this experience. His teacher is a Saint. No seriously, she should be. There is a special tier in Heaven for people like her. I won't be anywhere near that tier. She's a special lady and she taught all three of my kids. She helped mold them and shape them and taught them to love school. For her, I will always be grateful.

Here's the last photo in the book:


Do you need a tissue?

I think I'm bring a 260 count box tonight.

I'm way more emotional than I thought I would be. I don't know if it's the fact that I bought Emily her first bra this week, that we only have 3 days left of school and I'll have a fifth and third grader, or that Noah is graduating or all of it together. My kids are growing up, and there is nothing I can do about it.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Changes


My Aunt has been posting on Facebook a lot recently about her daughter graduating high school this week. Luckily, she is staying home for a few years and attending university. It's got me thinking though. The way we raise our kids and then set them out in the world is just about the worst thing I can even imagine. We have these babies. We love them and raise them and do everything for them and then 18 years later, gone.

The thought of not seeing my kids everyday feels like a knife in my heart. Dave Matthews sings a great song and some lyrics go "when the kids are old enough, we are going to teach them to fly." Well, I don't want them to fly. I want to clip their wings and keep them with me forever. Is that selfish? Did my parents think that about me when I left their home at 18 and moved in to an apartment with my best friend?

Life is always changing. Our kids are always growing; whether I want them to or not. I bought Emily her first tank top bras today. Just something to smooth out what is obviously starting to grow.

I was taking a shower this morning and she wanted to take a shower with me. When I was teaching her (again) how to properly shampoo her hair, it was hard not to notice the slight differences in her body. Very slowly things are changing. The hairs on her legs are getting darker and she is getting a few underarm hairs. I asked her if she wanted me to show her how to shave her underarms. She said, "I'm not ready for that yet."

And I couldn't agree with her more...neither am I baby girl.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Almost

We almost got a kitten yesterday. We went to get a bike for Ben from someone on craigslist and they had three kittens. 
The kids went wild. They so wanted one.
But, Emily is allergic. We used to have a cat, but Max died years ago and she seems to have developed an allergy. Would she outgrow it in a few months? A kitten can't be as bad on allergies as a big 'ol cat, right?

We made a list of pros and cons. The kids thought it could cause fights because they would all want to play with it.

We totally would have got the cat, but we asked the guy if he'd let us return him if in a few days our daughter's allergies were horrible. He said no. I just don't think it was meant to be for us right now. We are all a little sad, but the kids will get over it. Maybe another time...

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Spring Music Concerts

The final two weeks of school always seem crazy. There is officially 9 days left. Last week, we had back to back nights of music concerts. Ben's is on the K, 1 and 2 night. Em's is the 3, 4, 5 and 6 grade night. They have an awesome music teacher. He doesn't just teach them from the typical children's song book. He teaches them classics and I love it. The theme for this concert was folk music. Ben's night had a tribute to Woodie Guthrie. I didn't know who he was. David knew exactly who he was; one of the pioneers of folk music from the 30's.

Ben's first song he was completely covered up by the boy in front of him. This always happens.


Ben found his window after the first song, but then barely moved his lips.


After, I told him it was optional and we didn't HAVE to go. Then, I decided it isn't optional. We need to support our school and our great music teacher. He wanted to go, so it wasn't pulling teeth. Yet.

Emily's night traveled on in time to other folk artist like Cat Stevens and Bob Dylan. I loved her songs.


When we got there, Emily was bummed when she saw the program. She said she wanted to sing Wild World, but it wasn't on there. Apparently, they had been working on it and the teacher wasn't sure if they were ready. Last minute, he decided to go for it. I'm so glad he did. It's Emily's favorite song that they sung.


The sixth grade ended the night with Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers. Mr. Johnson is a FANTASTIC music teacher.

I got some pics of the kids before we left. Ben is crazy. I took maybe 25 photos of him and one came out.

He thought it was hysterical. I did not.


I took 5 photos of Emily. Each flawless.


It's a boy/girl thing, right?