Monday, August 17, 2015

Summer Bucket List Week 11: The Last Week of Summer

This was our last week of summer vacation.  We didn't get to nearly half of all the things the kids and I wanted to see and do this year, but we have sure had a wonderful time trying to cram in as much as possible this week. Luckily we can just move the leftover items to create a great list ready to tackle next summer.  It is only 10 months away! 

Riding horses was one of the first things Molly added to our Summer Bucket List.  This Tuesday she got to ride at my cousin Wendy's house.  She loved it!  And so did her brothers.  I loved seeing Wendy and her cute kids!

They all also loved cuddling with this sweet bunny.

After we left Wendy's, we headed to see Nanie Too-Too at her new place where she is hanging out at for a few weeks while she continues to improve.  We wanted to make sure we got to see her once more on a weekday before school started.

On Wednesday we visited Reed's Gold Mine with two friends from our new neighborhood and 10 kids and two moms from Winston-Salem.  I had taken my fourth grade classes there and I was excited to bring my own children.

Much to her brother's dismay, Molly was the only one in our family who found gold.  She has asked to spend it on gifts for her family everywhere we go.  She wanted to use her gold at the ice cream truck, at Walmart, at the arcade.  She is a very generous girl.

On Thursday we spent the morning at the pool and then headed to back to school night to meet our teachers.   All of the kids' teachers seem very sweet and we are looking forward to a very positive year.

 Ever since we went to  Sports Connection with Grandpa Bud, the kids have been dying to return. Lucky for them, a friend had a birthday party there on Friday!  Our last weekday of Summer Break! Molly played on the inflatables and drove the bumper car.  The boys played laser tag and did the ropes course.  All three of them got to play arcade games, and all three of them had a wonderful time and did not want to leave.  It was a great way to celebrate the end of summer with friends.

Saturday was our neighborhood back to school breakfast that I helped host.We had over 80 people attend.  We collected school supplies for kids at our school whose families may need a little extra help.  The kids also decorated wrapping paper for Bright Blessings.    It was fun to meet new neighbors who have moved in recently and connect with neighbors who are going to be in class with our kids.

Sunday we played board games all afternoon after church and then quieted down for the last event of summer...Back to School Father's Blessings for each of the children.  For those of you not of our faith, a Father's Blessing is a special prayer that dads pray for their children while laying their hands on each child's head.  Chad asks Heavenly Father for protection for our children and to help them feel peace.  He tries to listen to the Holy Ghost tell him what to say to the children and tries to speak to them the words he feels prompted to say.  It is a beautiful and sacred experience to hear my husband ask God to help our children find friends who will be positive influences in their lives and that they will be positive influences in the lives of others.  To hear him pray that they will always remember how much God loves them and how much we love them.  To point out their special gifts and talents and encourage them to study and practice and to magnify their strengths and to turn their weaknesses into strengths.  It creates such a sweet feeling in our home.  I am grateful to be married to a man who is willing to do this for his children.  Oh how I love this man.

Good-bye summer.  I will miss you.  I will miss our field trips, our lazy pool days, spending time with friends and family, vacations, and visits to QT for 49 cent frozen drinks.  I will miss daily hour long quiet times where we all stop everything to read.  I will miss the kids' laughter in the house 24 hours a day.  This was a perfect summer.  My kids are at that magical age where they all still want to be with me all the time.  I wish I could freeze time.  Or bottle this sweetness up.  That is why I blog.  I don't want to lose these moments.  I wish I could put into words how grateful I am to have the opportunity to be a mother of these three amazing people.  I am humbled by God's Grace and His gifts to me.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Summer Bucket List Week 10: The Beach

We had a pretty low key beginning of the week.  I was recovering from food poisoning on Monday. We headed to the movies and lunch with friends on Tuesday, and spent an entire day lounging by the pool on Wednesday.

But on Thursday things got a little more exciting.  We headed to the beach to meet the Kruegers for our final big trip of the summer break.

My Aunt and Uncle have a little fishing cabin that they allowed us to stay in again.  The cabin is right on a river very close to Emerald Isle Beach.  The view is amazing! It was overcast most of the weekend, and rained off and on, and there was no hot water, but it did not dampen our fun or spirits. I don't think any of us could have enjoyed ourselves any more than we did...unless perhaps if Emily had been with us.   

 All of us enjoy it there, but Molly was especially happy to stay in the fishing cabin. "Mom, I love it, they decorated with all the fishes that I love!"  

The kids had fun swimming and playing around in our boat on the river.  It was about waist deep on them. 

Andrew kept trying to sneak up on this bird,.  He was never quite stealthy enough.

As I said, the beach was a short drive away, so we headed there a couple of times this weekend to play as well.  

We had a fun time cooking together at the cabin and spent each night playing games after the kids went to sleep. 

Saturday morning, we rented jet skis.  The kids and I had never ridden them before.  We all had a blast!   

At one point, Rachel hit a wave that knocked both her and Antonio off of the jet ski and flying in the air.  Luckily they were both okay.

Proof that I went out with Chad on the jet ski.  I loved it!

And proof that Molly went, too.  She actually got to ride three times, but she rode in front of the driver, so it was hard to see her.

Thank you Mom and Dad for a great vacation.  We love every moment we get to spend with you!