July is always a really busy month for us! This year was no exception! We started off the month at my parents’ to celebrate The 4th. My sister-in-law and her kids were there to help in the celebration! Each year, the kids decorate their little cars or bikes and have a parade around my parents’ front yard. It has become a fun tradition that we look forward to every year. We ended the night with s’mores, a little dancing and fireworks. Our kids never get to stay up this late, so it was tons of fun for them, but they were all super tired when the fireworks were over!
As soon as we got home from the 4th, the kids started swim lessons. They had swim lessons every day for 2 weeks. The kids loved it! They all got one-on-one time with the teacher and she really pushed them to do more than they thought that they could do! The last day of lessons, Brian was able to go and watch the kids swim … and of course, we got some pictures!
The company Brian works for, grows and processes tomatoes into paste. Brian supports a lot of the systems that are used during this 24/7 production. This means, that he works a lot of late hours. The kids and I have started our own little tradition of taking an annual “harvest vacation” to my parents’ house for a week. This gives Brian the opportunity to come and go as he needs without worrying about his family. So this year, as soon as the kids finished their swim lessons, we packed up the car with Andrew’s bike, our sleeping bags, and tons of yummy South Valley produce.
My parents have been remodeling their kitchen, so my Mom and I thought that we would initiate her new kitchen with some major food production. (My dad had to take a week off from the re-model to play with the kids, so you will notice, it is not quite done yet.)
The kids had a great time! It is just fun to explore my parents’ yard. The first day, Andrew found a pine cone, we saw a ton of little frogs, butterflies and bugs, and we even found a snake!!
It was tons of fun, and as always, the camera was never too far away!
This week we welcomed a new little cousin into our lives! Little Brooklyn Taylor came late Sunday night. She is my sister’s first baby. She is as cute as she can be! The kids and I had to make a run to Merced first thing Monday morning to meet her. The kids like anything that is “teeny-tiny” so Brooklyn is on top of their “cute” list at the moment. Andrew told me that he wants a new baby in the family as long as it stays little like Brooklyn!
A few months ago, my brother accepted a job in Oklahoma!! I am so happy for him. He loves his job and it is a perfect fit for him. But I am sad for us, because that meant that he and his family had to move. My kids ADORE their older cousins. Anytime they talk about being big, they compare themselves to their cousins.
Before my brother and his family packed up and moved East, the kids all got to spend some time together here. We just hung out together, and tried to have a little fun, since we won’t see them for a while!
We really miss our cousins … and their mom and dad … and can’t wait to see them again soon!
A few months ago, I blogged about our garden. Well, let me tell you, our garden is BEAUTIFUL!!! The garden is green, and does not have any weeds. Each morning, the kids and I go out and water, weed, and check on our garden. We have learned so much about how to tend the garden. The one thing we have not learned, however, is how to actually have anything grow on our plants!! We have picked a few zucchini that never get much bigger than the size of a large pickle. We did have one picking of sugar peas, and we enjoyed them. But then the heat wiped them out. We have had two tomatoes and a few green ones that have been green for about a month. I am still hopeful that our bounty will just be a late one! No matter the outcome, we have enjoyed our garden and the kids love watching it grow. We will definitely have a winter garden and plant another one next spring. Here is Andrew with our first tomato, he was so excited to pick it, and we cut it up and all savored our little morsel of tomato that night at dinner!
I love our little town! There are so many things to do as a family. One of the fun things that is offered here is movies in the park. Andrew and I decided to kick off our summer by going to a movie in the park. We started our evening at Superior Dairy. We shared a scoop of Cookies ‘n Cream. (If you have ever been to Superior Dairy, you know that one scoop of their ice cream would feed an entire family with some left over.) We found the perfect place on the lawn at Civic Park and enjoyed our ice cream while we waited for the movie to start. The feature film of the evening was Toy Story 3, but as the sun started to set, they were playing old Loony Tunes reruns. It was so fun to watch Andrew giggle as he watched Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam for the first time. Our movie started and we wrapped up in our blanket and watched our movie under the stars. Andrew LOVED watching his movie under the stars and I enjoyed my “date night” with my little guy.
It seems that once children reach the age of 2, milestones tend to go unnoticed at times. It is not until you are in the kitchen cleaning up the dinner dishes and your kids are getting their jammies on, that you realize, your kids are able to dress themselves. My experience is, there is not a date that you can circle on the calendar, it just happens over time.
Well, this summer, I have been watching my girls’ immaginations develop. One of my most favorite things to do is to listen to them play together. They love to sit in front of their doll house and play with their princesses; or have a tea party together; or take their baby dolls for a walk in their strollers around the house. I am often afraid to go into their room while they are playing, because I am afraid that I will interupt their play, so I stand outside and listen, or watch from the hallway, where they can not see me.
For the most part, they get a long really well together, and they will play with anything and everything that they can find!
Today, the girls have been able to play all day, in Megan’s room, uninterrupted. And I have learned that along with a great immagination, comes a great mess! Here is what I found this afternoon!
Oh, but it is all worth it! Memories and forever friendships are being formed!
A few minutes later, peace was restored to Megan’s room!
And if you notice, Megan has passed another milestone this summer. We took the guards off her bed! She loves her bed without the guards on it. The first few days, she asked to go take a nap! She has not fallen out of her bed once!! Woo-hoo!!
We have had a super busy summer! For the past two weeks, I have had a few girls over to sew. Each day, Andrew asks me if he can make a blanket for his bunny, so today was the day! When the girls laid down for a nap, Andrew and I pulled out our scrap box and he chose the fabrics for his quilt. He helped me cut out the squares, then he pinned the fabric together and sat down at the machine and sewed each of the squares together all by himself. He did an almost perfect job sewing a straight light … I was so proud!! Then he helped me tie the quilt together and then sew on the binding. I am going to help him finish it up with some hand sewing around the edges, but he is pretty happy with his little blanket that he made.
It was a fun time spent with just the two of us!
Yesterday, my dad came to help Brian with a construction project around the house. So Andrew and I decided to go home with him then ride the train home. It was a quick trip, but we got to spend a little time with Papa and Grandma. We got up early this morning, had breakfast with my parents, then headed to the train station to catch the early train.
Andrew was so excited! He could hear the train whistle long before we could see the train, and the anticipation was killing him!! We boarded the train and Andrew found the perfect spot by the window. As the train began to go, we passed through farm land and saw lots of cows. He had so much fun just looking out the window. About half way through the trip, we decided to blow bubbles with his bubble gum, and I learned that Andrew can not chew gum without swallowing it, and I am sure that everyone on the train could hear his loud giggle as tried to pop my bubbles.
When we stopped at the Fresno station, another little 5 year old boy sat down next to us. The boys had tons of fun talking about what 5 year old boys talk about for the rest of the trip.
We were happy to hear the conductor announce Hanford station, and we got off the train to find our favorite daddy and little sisters. It was such a great little trip, and some day soon, we will take daddy and the girls along with us again!
Yesterday, I took the kids skating at the roller rink. The kids had never been to a rink, and they were so excited. When I told Andrew what we were going to do for the day, he ran and got all of his safety gear. He wanted to make sure he did not get hurt!! He did awesome with his little Lightning McQueen skates on. Kaitlyn borrowed skates from a friend, and Megan got to use rented ones. Megan did great in her big skates, until she got close to the rink, then decided she did not want to have anything more to do with skating. The music was loud, and she was not too sure about all those lights. So the girls piled into the double stroller, and enjoyed being pushed around the rink. Andrew did great, he even tried skating backwards and all by himself! Despite some of the sour looks, the kids had a great time, and we will definitely be adding this to our list of summer fun activities!
This morning has been a slow morning, and the kids were looking for something to do. So we decided to make some marshmallow pops. It was a quick, fun little project before lunch. The kids were funny! Andrew and Megan just wanted to eat their marshmallows plain, but Kaitlyn had fun dipping them in the candy and sprinkling them. It was a fun morning at home! Now I will probably have to take them to the water park this afternoon to run all the sugar out of them!
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