This year we met at a home in Oklahoma, just kind of in the middle of nothing big, and it turned out to be awesome. The home is on about 10 acres of land, and we felt isolated in a wonderful, nature filled way. Here is our country oasis:
The owners of this place were clearly grandparents considering all the kid friendly activities they had on the premise. Exhibit A:
Exhibit B: (maybe not necessarily for kids, but hammocks are fun)
At the fire pit making Nutella s'mores:
Sand pit next to the playground: (they even had "jewels" buried in the sand for the kids to hunt). And Jake's thumb make's it's official pictorial debut.
Movies -by the tree growing through the cabin.
I was still on the knees scooter while on this trip, so the day venture to Bathtub Rocks was out for me. Gavin and Sadie had to nap anyway. But it looks pretty cool, even if the water is low during this time of year:
Naomi, Paige and Cole:
Peter checking out the sink hole. How deep is that thing?
The blue pond:
This pond is awesome. The older kids had a blast jumping into it from the dock and the rope swing. Jake made several videos of the flying children.
Here is our illustrious cabin and side house. It really was amazing. The massive porches made me very happy.
Naomi, Isaac, and Cole with their superhero masks:
Sadie and Paige looking heroic:
Alan playing Pick Up Sticks with the kids:
The crew! With me in my stupid boot still non weight bearing. But, it could have been way worse. It was SO NICE to have something like this to look forward to when I had been feeling trapped at home. With Dianna and Alan's medical background, I didn't feel like such a reject while wheeling around the house and crawling up the stairs.
I love these people. I love this tradition.
A few more things: Jake and Alan took the oldest four on a hike through the woods at some point, and Cole had a breakdown about the burrs on his shoelaces --Poor kid thought they were alive. We celebrated Peter's and Sadie's birthday with a cake. We attended a local Primary Program for sacrament meeting. There was a big swing out front that even I had a good swing on. We had a great time cooking with each other, and really loved everything about this trip. It was so needed.
Here are the kids at a rest stop on the way home. Because they're cute.
Don't mess with Texas is right. Even if Oklahoma was a lovely hostess.
Tessa auditioned for Alice in Wonderland: The Panto in the spring with a children's theater that latched on to Plano Dance Theatre for the season's show. Tessa got a small part as a talking flower and enjoyed her time with new and old friends.
Unsurprisingly, she was a total ham --which was awesome.
Tessa was also part of the jury at the end of the (long) show that didn't have speaking parts. The night that I was able to go, she got a little preoccupied with a show/game backstage and didn't notice the entire cast had gone onstage without her. Oh, my Tessa. She had a good friend there to watch her as well, and Tessa was in tears at the end. Lesson learned, m'love. Regardless, she did a great job with her speaking/singing part, and it was fun to see what she'd been working so hard on.
We will begin this post with Squish in church nursery, for obvious reasons. Look at that face.
She's prepping for the school year too:
I rolled myself out into the backyard one evening realizing that I had spent a ridiculous series of days cooped up inside. Fresh air often provides perspective and renewal. I certainly needed that.
First day of school! (End of Aug.) This year was a little odd considering how much in lock down I was with my foot. I couldn't come get them after school, so practice with Dad on how to walk home from school happened in the days leading up when it was up to them to get home. They have done splendidly since and really take care of each other. I wanted to get them to that point, but the foot forced us into it a tad early. I was also very grateful that my dad was able to come and stay the first week of school to get us into a groove and so that I could survive without my helper Tessa!
Gavin's school. Yah, right. Like anything could keep him contained.
When my dad was here, he wanted to take us all out to dinner. We, of course, at least lunched at Rudy's, which Dad LOVES, but we also took him to a place we knew he'd like. Babe's Chicken. As ridiculous as I always felt rolling around on the knee scooter and attracting attention, it was really nice to get out and feel a little bit normal when sitting around dining with the family at a fun place.
Here we are waiting to be seated. The kids wanted me to snap some pictures with my phone. I obliged.
You can see my bell and tassels on the knee scooter handle...
Sadie is ready for some biscuits and chicken!
First day of PRESCHOOL! (Sept. 6)
She was busting out of her skin to get there. She loves preschool and has grown up so quickly in the last little while. This summer she worked really hard (with the help of a thumb guard) to stop sucking her thumb so it wouldn't be a preschool issue, and she did it. Phew! She's so happy to have her best buddy Emmeline in her class. Go, Panthers!