Saturday, July 23, 2011


We are less then a month from school starting and I'm choosing to live in denial about it. People keep telling me that I'll be ready for it to start, that the routine will be good and it will finally get these kids (at least some of them) out of my hair for a good chunk of the day. Maybe that will be true as we get closer but right now I don't want it to start, I don't want the school routine to kick into gear and (at least at the moment) I don't want my kids out of my hair. Clearly I've lost my mind.

We've been enjoying our days and they've been busy. Carson doesn't nap anymore and if I can get him to lay down or rest for 30 minutes a day I'm lucky. He's not the greatest independent player so when he is awake he's busy having me help him with a project or showing me his latest Lego creation or asking me a million questions. Some days I want to pull out my hair but many times I've tried to really enjoy him because when school starts he'll be gone for most of the day and that quiet time we've been enjoying this summer will be gone.

He's growing like a weed too. Just since summer started he's gone from being 1/4 of an inch too short to ride the water slide to being 1/2 above the height minimum. And we can't keep him off it. He's swimming like a fish, he learned to ride his bike and we're busy learning to tie our shoes before 1st grade officially starts. 1st grade? I don't know how that happened.

It's been hot. Really hot! And humid. Mother Nature must have never been pregnant otherwise she wouldn't subject me to this sweaty gross weather. We've spent 6 of the last 7 days at the pool, the lake, running through the sprinkler or having water fights with our friends. Maybe one of these crazy boys will become a swimmer like their mommy.

I was at the doctor yesterday. The nurse went through my pre-op directions with me. While I was listening to her tell me "the rules" I kept wondering why she was telling me this information so soon. Then I realized that this baby will be here in just 6 weeks and 5 days from now. Yowza. We have done nothing to get ready for it. Nothing. Oh I got a diaper bag, if that counts. I think it does because after 3 kids I needed a cuter, more functional bag. So these next 6 weeks will go fast as we do some things around here to get ready for the baby.

So, if I'm not updating this then you can assume we're swimming, wrestling, getting ready for school. going to the movies, washing baby clothes, making a toddler bed for Bennett, trying to enjoy our last days as a family of five, grilling, trying not to sweat to death, having a BBQ, riding our bikes, playing at the playground and trying to soak up as much of summer as we can because these days are short and fast and the kids just keep growing.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy 4th of July

Independence Day is one of our favorite holidays. Fireworks, watermelon, tattoos on our faces, swimming, parades, park, football, family, bbq and really hot weather....what's not to love? And we crammed it all in.

Front row seat to daddy's firework show.

Tackle football at the park. Declan has trouble figuring out how far he can go with Bennett.

At the park we realized that we needed to do some hair cutting when we got home. Poor Bennett was a sweat ball and taking his shirt off didn't help much except give the mosquitoes easier access to fresh blood.

So all were cut.

Watching fireworks from the back of our car.

Hose drinker extraordinaire.

God Bless America!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer Vacation

This is what's called a photo bomb, a vacation photo bomb to be exact. About a month ago we took a short vacation to the Black Hills. It was quite the adventure....

First off was a stop for lunch at a park that had a real merry-g0-round. Looks like Carson has been blessed with my ability to not last long on one of these. Barf...

Continuing on our adventure we took a small detour through the Badlands. Very cool scenery. I don't think I've ever had such a death grip on the kids for fear they would slide right off the hills.

Some pouting may have occurred while we were there.

After the Badlands we stopped at Wall Drug.

And their transformation into cowboys began.

When we left Wall Drug we noticed the radar and weather reports were calling for quite the storm. We quickly made our way to Rapid City, scarfed down some dinner and tried to find our hotel as the dark clouds loomed.

No less then 45 seconds after we checked in, these starting falling from the sky.

And by the time it was done it looked like it had snowed, windows were broken, trees were down and our car had more then its fair share of dents. It was a wonderful way to start vacation.

The next morning we headed over to Dinosaur Park.

Which was on top of the hill and had some pretty cool views.

Lots of fun dinosaurs to climb on.

And it was free. I love free things. And so did the boys!

The we headed towards "the faces." That's what the boys call them.

They were very excited to finally see them in real life.

We did a little hike to get closer to them. The hike had 250 stairs or something. That was fun while pregnant. Not to mention it was hot but the boys were all over hiking. Last summer we couldn't get them to hike for anything. What a difference a year makes.

As we were leaving we asked a gentlemen to take our picture. We squeezed our way through all the people and made sure no one else would be in our picture. He took it. And then we realized he didn't get the faces in there with us. Darn. So we decided to use the magic of photoshop when we got home. So this picture.

Plus this picture.

Equals this picture. Not bad huh.

One last picture before we left of the boys in front of the big rock.

Here we are three years previous in front of the same rock, minus one kid. They look so little.

After our visit with the faces we headed to our campground. We stayed at the Hill City KOA and I can't say enough good things about this place. It was fantastic. we can't wait to go back. We swam.

Tie-dyed some shirts.

For only $5!

Jumped on the bounce pillow.

Over and over again.

Played Legos on the porch of our cabin while little brothers napped. Played corn hole, played on the playground, ate ice cream, watched the horses go by, tried to go down the waterslide but it was broken, played a human size checker board, watched a comedy show, ate at a pancake feed and that wasn't even all the things we could do. Fantastic place!

Oh, and it hailed AGAIN! This one wasn't as hard to watch as the first night. It probably helped that my car had already sustained $6000+ worth of damage the night before. We were just hoping it would nail the other side so the whole thing could get fixed. No such luck.

The rain forced us into our small two bedroom cabin where we played Uno on the bed.

It also forced us to have a picnic on our porch. Who needs a picnic table!

On the way home we made the boys' day by finally finding them some cowboy hats that wouldn't break our banks.

And they've been cowboys ever since.

It was a great vacation. We can't wait to do it again!

Stayed tuned for more pictures but not today as we have a 6 year old in the house who doesn't nap anymore and this photo bomb has taken all my free time. Duty calls!