Summer has not been boring. From the moment Anabelle got this lovely graduation certificate and flew home on her scooter, the days have been full. We loved that the kickoff to summer started with a visit from Mike's dad and brother. Mike's brother chose wisely and joined us in the amazing Northwest ... you should take a lesson from him and join us too-unless of course you are reading this blog and I don't know you. Then, in that case, I'm sure you're happy right where you are.
Always first on my summer to-do list is a trip to the library. The library program here is very different from previous summer programs but the kids got some tickets to go ice skating. Suh-weet!
In addition, some trips to see baseball games!
Many trips to the zoo and the science center, combined with hiking, geo-caching, a trip to the water park, more visits from friends and seeing the beautiful sand dunes, chatting in deck chairs, watching the fireworks...
Trips to the dentists, losing teeth...
A Harry Potter Movie marathon complete with butterbeer and a stop by the trolley cart right at the same time as the movie (Sam asks to repeat this event many times, and requests that next time it be followed by a great feast like in the books). Thanks to my birthday and father's day being on the same day, we treated ourselves to a chinese restaurant lunch and a Toy Story 3 matinee-- this made the summer highlight list.
Next, the BIG event of the summer-- a trip to North Carolina to see family and celebrate my brother getting married! The kids did fabulously on the trip -- all managing to carry their own carry on luggage and backpack each. I brought those Pop Top things that make soda cans turn into bottles and the flight attendants happily cooperated by giving the children their own can each to avoid possible spills. Sam said one of the highlights was getting to eat a Quizno's sandwich on the trip. My son loves a good cheesesteak.
Sam made an excellent usher, although he balked when he found out that ladies would actually be TOUCHING him when he led them to their seats.
Anabelle took her job as flower girl very seriously in the chapel that honestly looked like a castle.
Katarina enjoyed being a reader and getting the best seat in the house for the wedding and getting to see her uncle and then soon-to-be aunt's facial expressions during the ceremony.
Following the wedding was an awesome dance, and before we knew it, we had one exhausted family.
The day following the wedding we were able to spend more time with family and just enjoy each other.
Anabelle engaged fellow travelers in conversation on the plane on the way home. Of course, she ignored them the entire flight until we landed then whispered to me, "Is it okay to talk to them?"
The next thing I know I hear a voice that sounds remarkably like mine say, "So are you from here?"
Passenger answers then Anabelle continues. "Oh, then what was your trip for?"
Passenger gives a little more lengthy answer, now smiling.
"Well, I went to my uncle's wedding and got to be flower girl and saw Despicable Me at a movie theater and got a mood ring from my Grandma and... "
Passenger is now grinning ear to ear as they learn which color means excited and which color means flirty-- at which point Anabelle explains that this means you smile at boys you like.
We also managed to escape for a small camping trip. Sleeping in tents. No running water. No electricity. No real bathrooms close by.
I barely lasted one night. Of course, in my defense, it partly had to do with cows making noises that seriously made me wonder what they did at night, a flock of geese holding a party, dogs trying to out bark each other, our car battery dying at 3 a.m. and thus shutting off Mike's sleep machine, and a deranged rooster that someone trained to doodle-doo in a snooze-alarm style... as in every fifteen minutes until everyone is awake in the tri-state area.
Yet, with sleep-filled eyes, I cuddled with the kids in the early morning hours in their sleeping bags (it's cold in the mountains at night!) and listened to their account of their interpretation of the 'adventures' they heard going on in the middle of the night.
Here Sam is catching a fish... I mean flipflop with his bare hands. The creek/river was ice cold from snow melt, but so fun to wade in!
We also were able to see friends on this camping trip, which really was the highlight and our families enjoyed each other during the day exploring the wilderness until Mike and I reached full zombie status and drove quickly back to our nice comfy beds.
Anabelle found a beautiful heart shaped rock.
Anabelle summed it up nicely when she said, "I don't like sleeping outside, but I like being outside... in the wild." Yep. She's my daughter.
And... we walked in the door and passed out.
And if you're wondering, even the dog has had a busy summer full with playdates, running, and more. She's worn out too.
Yes, definitely not a boring summer.