Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Chasing Waterfalls

Just when I feel like I've finally figured out summer break, it's almost over!  Things to remember for next summer starting in JUNE

  • Insist on a mid day reading time/siesta. It does a lot of good to make the kids take a little break from their friendsies and CHILL OUT for awhile. 
  • While at it, let everyone know with a handy sign on the door that reads something like this "Quiet Time in session" (or for the non readers a frowny face) to keep the every ten minute doorbell interruptions at bay. There is something about the dinging and  knocking that makes everyone leap up from their otherwise restful activities and run to the door as if there's going to be a pot of free candy on the doorstep.  
  • Explore Nature. This is the cheapest, easiest, way to gobble up lazy summer days and turn them into learning adventures that will be sure to have them pooped out tired for bed.
Today we tried just that! Here we are...in Hawaii... or at least the spray from the waterfall made it feel that way. 

We invited some neighbors to join us. See what we found along the trail? Yes, a cozy rustic cabin. I think it has potential. 

We also found a geo-cache treasure box! The kids opened it to find a toy car  which the younger two vowed to "share." We'll see how that goes. In it's place we left a note, a pencil, and.... a packet of daily vitamins?? (it was all we had?!)

 We passed signs that said "Bear Country" and what to do in case of lightning. (lay on the ground.) But we weren't scared. All we saw were a couple of squirrels and even more exciting a snake!   Little Bud declared "Yay! We're in the mountains. I can pee." and that he did right then and there all easy like cuz he's a boy.

Actually getting down to the waterfall pool was pretty treacherous but we did it and it made us feel like superheroes.
 The water shouldn't be this COLD in Hawaii???
At this point the kids were too tired to care, but there was a very cool little old mining historic site with old tools and outhouses and stuff. We'll have to come back another day with a picnic for more adventuring....

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tippy Canoes

Canoeing on Pioneer Day? Why not?! We drove to this quaint and rustic mountain park for some family adventure. No one fell in, although, the kids couldn't resist swimming after.

The hot attraction this summer has been the nearby canal. I drop them off at a certain point up-river.  They float down this lazy flow which is occasionally  interrupted by bridges (duck and cover) and a couple of "white water" rapids. When they get to our neighborhood they pull out and walk home, dripping and satisfied, and finish with a hot shower.
 Another Pioneer Day adventure-- Brandon played in and won the local singles tennis tournament!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Make Freedom Ring--Family Reunion

What do you get when you have a theme, 3-days packed full of fun, and 70 of your favorite people?
You guessed it. This year's reunion was better than ever. Highlights included: Sports day, Crossing streams through a beautiful canyon, Swimming, outdoor movie, BBQ's, and singing patriotic songs to the strumming of guitars.

I love watching people shine and this year I saw a lot of people sharing the best of themselves. Aunt Megz not only showing her line dance skills but being able to teach the rest of us lead-foots. Uncle L teaching us about freedom , Aunt T exercising her stage presence and helping us to memorize a scripture, My own BD, leading the adults in a discussion about managing time and priorities. Aunt M entertaining the kids with her new balloon twisting skills. Uncle DB taking us through his world travels to make us realize how blessed we are to live in a free country. Uncles J and DH interjecting throughout it all with comic relief.
Cousins being inclusive.

Everyone was quick to pitch in and help with dishes, dinners, or crying babies. The reunion was centered around the theme "My Country Tis of Thee." We all left feeling a little prouder to be an American and even happier to be part of our great big family.

This is what a stubbed-toe gets you

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Getting Spoiled this Summer

July has been HOT and eventful. Here's the rundown

 Brandon and Adrie took part in a local patriotic musical. In this scene they are "thumbing their noses" at the British tax. Glenn Beck would be so proud.
 Children's parade down main street.
 Some blessed cloud-cover and the anticipation of treats at the Fourth of July Parade
Heavy Medal
 Brynn was IN the parade with her gymnastics team--showing off and doing dangerous tricks to make everyone want to sign up their kids for that kind of fun. Brynn is wearing her medals she earned from the Summer Games in June. She got a silver in all-around and a gold on vault.
 Suburbia does have its' benefits of constant playmates but if I ever want to see my kids I have to carve out some time. This week we went to for pampering and prettying at the local beauty college.   I got a facial while the girls had their hair and nails done.  Fabulous.

In other events, we got our "new to us" minivan.   While we were waiting for it to get fixed the dealership loaned us a ....why the heck not....2012 Honda CrossTour MSRP $37,000.   Confession: I've never been a car person, but I became one after this experience.  It was so dang fun to drive--super smooth handling--it was like I and the car became one in those 2 weeks--and we looked awesome!  Every time I'd get in the car I'd discover some new fun thing like--XM radio! back up camera! sunroof! navigation system!   Darn it, I miss you guys!  I was suddenly volunteering to drive everyone everywhere. Need me to take your kid to swim lessons? No prob!  It was a sad day when I had to turn in the keys to get my real car. How could a  bare bones minivan not feel a little frumpy by comparison? Those dealerships are the devil aren't they?!  Ah well, it's like Hawaii-- I can't live there but I enjoyed my CAR-cation while it lasted:)!

Happy summering....