Saturday, July 25, 2015

July with side notes

I can't believe it's already the end of July!  I've attempted to update the blog several times throughout the month but my attention always seems to be needed elsewhere.  A+ for good intentions, right?

Although the days seem to run together lately, I want to take a minute to preserve some memories.  A lot of information can be gathered simply by looking at a picture but I'd like to add a few side notes for the sake of capturing my life with my littles in its entirety.

We have been spending a lot of time outside.  Doing anything, really.  Some of our most fun adventures have been had while walking a trail or visiting an empty parking lot.  Suddenly, my kids who seem to wander aimlessly whenever the TV is turned off, learn to rediscover their imaginations!  It's such a beautiful thing.  I love to hear things like, "Let's play teenagers" or "Jackson, you get to be the prince."
Side note: See how Kylie's hair is nicely styled?  It never stays that way for long.  It's hanging loosely around her face everyday approximately 2 hours after I've done it. I try because I care, OK?

In the summer months, shoes are optional.  And I'm totally fine with that.
Side note: While running around barefoot at church, Jackson caught his big toe under one of the big heavy doors.  He only cried for about 30 seconds but he's missing a good portion of his toenail now.

We usually do our fun outdoor activities in the morning and save our errands for the afternoon when it's unbearably hot. 

Side note: I used to bring along separate cups for everyone but soon realized that it's pointless.  Everybody wants to drink out of the jug. And they fight over it.  In public.  Loudly.

We've been soaking up the sun at splash pads and the pool.  Our amount of time spent there is always dependent on the boy's mood that day but we enjoy the water when we can. I'm kind of a cheapskate when it comes to our budget so I've avoided putting my kids in swim lessons, but I'm considering going for it next year.  Kylie can stay afloat but she's not as strong a swimmer as she could be and Summer is dying to learn.
Side note: I've rediscovered my love for the dollar store.  Do you know how many great organizational things you can buy there?!  The girls love that place too.  Summer actually bought that hat and was pleased as punch that she could use her own money.
 
The girls have a neighbor friend that they both adore.  We spend quite a lot of time with her and her family.  It's funny to see how she towers over them - and she's only six!

Side note: Her younger brother is only a few months older than Jackson and they are the best of friends.  He'll sometimes wander through the house calling for him hours after they've left.

Kylie has been getting a few impromptu French lessons.  She hopes to learn the language so she can communicate with people when she goes there someday. 
Side note: Kylie is an encyclopedia.  She remembers and relays the most random facts.  She spits out facts all. day. long.  "Mom, did you know your toenails grow faster in the summer?"  "Did you know that the Liberty Bell is in Pennsylvania?"  "Did you know that Madagascar isn't really purple like it is on our globe?"

Kylie just learned to {confidently} ride on a two-wheeler and we're so proud of her!  It has become her new favorite hobby.  We go outside and ride bikes a lot.
Side note: She recently had her first major fall while riding downhill.  After bandaging up her knee and elbow she got right back on her bike and took off.  Atta girl!



Side note: Summer tries to keep up with Kylie in just about everything.  Bike riding, gymnastics, drawing.  I'm trying to teach her that she has her own special talents and it's OK to be different.

We modify the bike riding a bit for Jackson.  He prefers to drag around his airplane and fill it up with rocks.
Side note: We hide that airplane in the crawl space under our stairs because he has a tendency to use it as a stool.

I have rediscovered my love for working out.  I need to sit down and set a few goals now that scheduling isn't a major conflict anymore {thanks, Josh!}.  It's been so nice to have several mornings a week where I can take off my Mom Hat for a bit.
Side note: Lately my morning workouts have consisted of Boot Camp training exercises I found online.  They are intense but I don't even mind because that "me" time in the morning is so precious.  If I'm not feeling completely dead after the workout, I'll walk around and take pictures for my photography class I'm taking.

Don't for one second think that Josh is being left out.  He was living it up the other night at a baseball game.  The weather {and seats} couldn't have been better.
Side note: Josh will soon be getting back to his studying schedule in hopes of receiving a couple more certifications for work. His evenings may not always be this free...but I hope he enjoys them while they last!

The kids have been doing really well with their chore charts.  I've been slacking on giving them their allowance {whoops!} but I'm impressed that they still follow through anyway.  Even Jackson has taken an interest in helping.
Side note: Jackson will sing "meeeee mup!" anytime he helps to clean up.  I love to hear that because he doesn't really talk a whole lot.  Josh and I recently decided to take the pacifier away because he was constantly trying to talk around it.  I hope that these rough next few days {and nights!} will be worth it and his vocabulary will grow.

We attended a friend's birthday party last night and it was SO fun.  Everyone played water kickball and then had s'mores around the campfire.  It was 11:30 by the time we got the kids in bed but it was so worth it.  We had a blast.
Side note: We have a lot of bug bites from that evening of fun.  Poor Summer is sporting a very swollen knee from an allergic reaction to those bug bites.  Ouch.

Some teenagers decided to break into all unlocked vehicles in our complex last week.  Nothing of ours was taken but some were not so lucky.
 
Side note: This is literally right outside my front door. 
 
We won't have to worry about complex break-ins for long because our biggest and best move yet is only weeks away!
Side note: One nice thing about having a husband who works in IT is the abundance of empty boxes he's able to bring home for free.

Amidst all of our busyness this month one thing is for sure: these kids are growing up fast.




Sunday, July 5, 2015

#Merica

We began our Independence Day by checking out the Carmel parade.  We saw a lot of the same stuff that we usually see each year, but we still had a great time.

 

This guy was a total show stopper.  That hair is pretty irresistible, even to complete strangers :)

For me, the best part of the parade was when the veterans rode by in classic cars while their relatives held up pictures of them from when they served.  The things those men and women saw and experienced on this country's behalf is a debt I wish I could repay.
I feel such a sense of pride whenever I see those stars and stripes.  What an amazing country we live in!  There is so much that we {myself included} tend to take for granted: abundant food and water, healthcare, homes, cars, JOBS...


 ...and the freedom to "worship how, where, or what [we] may." -Article of Faith #11
This beautiful temple is finally complete and only minutes from our home.  I can't wait to attend the open house with our friends and family later this month!
 

Words cannot express how grateful I am for our service men and women who sacrifice so much to keep this land that I love free.  God bless America!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June wrap-up

 This girl finished up her first season of softball.  She learned a lot, including various positions.

 The outfield can be a pretty uneventful place.
  #curlyhairedproblems
 

We saw the most beautiful rainbow on our way home from Michigan.
 

Our chore charts have returned.  We're still fine-tuning a few things but for the most part it's going really well.

One of my pet peeves is hearing the words "I'm bored."  These little sticks have helped tremendously.  Each color represents a certain kind of activity.  For example, green = outdoors.
 

I took the girls to see this cute movie.  We all loved it!
 

Each week we go to the library.  I love that everyone is so excited to read their books that they request to read in the car on the way home.
 

We went to a Kids Koncert in the park.  I thought Jackson would be so excited because he loves music, but he couldn't have been less interested.
 

All of the kids got sick within a few days of each other.  They had high fevers and upset tummies, but thankfully it didn't last long.
 

I'll give you one guess who knocked over our fishbowl....

 It couldn't possibly be this sweet, reverent boy who folds his arms during prayer.
 

He just might take after his oldest sister and become a lefty.
 

I was given the assignment to help with a picture of our Primary at church.  The picture will be displayed at our upcoming temple dedication.  I'm sure if anyone walked in while I was creating these large, free-handed letters they would have died laughing, but it worked!  Our picture will be one of many that will spell out the words to the children's song "I love to see the temple."

 We're gearing up for the fourth of July!


We went to the Fishers Freedom Festival where their kids tent held lots of arts and crafts.  We had gotten lots of rain the night before, but the girls still had such a great time, despite the mud.


We don't have any big plans for the holiday weekend but I have a feeling that as long as we're outside, this guy will be just fine.