31 August 2011

First day of school

Laura made all the preparations. She went shopping for school supplies and new clothes. Making lunches and packing backpacks, Laura stayed up late making sure everything would go smoothly the next day. The girls kept chanting and squealing how excited they were for the first day of school.

We walked to school, dropped the kids off at their new classes and even got a short orientation from the principal. 

After work, the girls reported about their days. They both like their teachers and have familiar faces in their classrooms. Abigail is excited to learn cursive. And Collette was happy her teacher gave her a treat.

One thing could have gone a bit better. We need to remember to get those lunches out of the refrigerator before we walk to school. Hot lunches have their place for our kids on occasion.

Our days with the Eccles!

My girlfriend Amanda and I made for super fast friends when we met at summer girls camp 17ish years ago. We have the same dorky, silly, goofy, and yet sarcastic humor. I could live right next door to her and never tire. So, we decided that this year we were going to get our families together and let all 10 kids play and go to town while we got to chat and catch up. I didn't know if we were crazy or if we had the best plan ever. I was betting on crazy but it turned out, the kids totally kept themselves busy almost ALL the time and we got to chat and catch up! It was a super time at their house!!

I missed taking pictures almost the whole first full day we were there. We went swimming at a friends house but you can see from a few posts down how that went with Abigail and Kael finding a fun way to keep them busy with the floatie dive. After missing out on some of those pics, I tried to make sure we caught other fun stuff on camera! I will higlight now:

After a full day in the pool, we came home and Amanda set up her water blow up slide. The kids had so much fun!

I know Ben's face looks terrified. And maybe he was. But he did keep going and going.

The next day we went to the local "country" swimming pool. Amanda and Tyler often refer to their town as "the country". It makes me laugh. Anyway, here are some shots of our time there-

This picture makes me laugh. It's Amanda with the youngest boys but Gabe cracks me up. He had his eyes closed a lot of the time, telling me it's "too bright" to open them.

Just because she's cute:

These guys had fun on the little water slides. In order: Abigail, Kael, and Collette coming down.

7 of 10 kids on a car at the park

10 kiddos before church. 10 doesn't look that bad, right? Such a cute bunch of kids!! This picture only took 50 shots to get one right :) (literally 50 shots)

The rest looked a lot like this:

And the reason why I went. I love this girl. My secret sister! (We seriously can't even take a picture together without cracking up)


Why is this the way my son eats his hot dog?

28 August 2011

Summer updates continue

Jellystone camping. It's not really camping. It's kind of like a mini resort camping for kids. But it was super fun. The kids loved it and would love to go again, I'm sure. My mom set up a camping trip during the time she was going to be watching my sister's kids. So all the cousins could have some time to play and catch up. We only get to see them about twice a year.

This place has tons of fun stuff for kids to do. I think the only thing I couldn't really get a picture of was the pedal boats and the kayaks. They had a little pondish area for that and my kids were constantly going over there to row around. They learned quickly how to manuever a kayak and did really well. So we spent lots of time out there. This place also had a small miniature golf area which we didn't even have time to get to. AND, they have a movie at nights. The kids watched Rio while we were there.

As for some highlights that I was able to catch on camera, here's what we did:

They have a hay ride every night.

Yogi Bear and The Ranger? walk around the park every evening. Sometimes it's BooBoo as well.

A few photo op stops:

They have these fun little pedal cars:

Here is the pedal boat/kayak area: (Seconds after this photo was taken, Gabe fell into the pedal boat area water. He wasn't so quick to learn that he could only walk on the wood). AND, notice the cool little play structure in the background.

The cabin all the kids slept in. And me.

And evidence of kids who have been camping :)

And my niece, who when she woke up in the morning, just threw on her cowgirl boots and went walkin'

25 August 2011

Cute & Crying? No Problem

Tonight, it was night out with Abigail. We had dinner at Red Robin, enjoying our time together. Abigail is so sweet on our nights out, and I love spending the time with her.

Before we left and by the time we got home, Ben was begging to have his 'hideout' with Dad. So, I asked Laura if there was anything she needed from the store so I could placate Ben. She did, and we went to Target for school supplies. Of course, by going to Target, Ben wanted to get toys. I told him if he could find something for less than $2, we would get it.

Nothing at the store is less than $2. I got in line to buy the school supplies. Ben walked up with a toy, and I told him it was probably too much. He started to cry. The lady at the register said how cute Ben is and that he shouldn't cry. She took the toy and asked me how much I said we could spend. I told her, and she changed the price to $1.99 from $6.99.

What? Crying cuteness is the path to 70% discounts? Here's hoping to meeting that lady at Target more often with more expensive items and more crying kids.

20 August 2011

Diving through hoops

On our vacation in Live Oak, we went swimming with our kids and our host family - the Eccles. Abigail and Kael started jumping through this floatie. I think they did pretty well.

Repeating the past

On Sunday afternoon, we visited my parents. I took a look at some of their photo albums and was struck by the similarities. Particularly, the picture of my Dad, Jacob, and me in this amusement park ride.

From Vintage

On Saturday, I took Benjamin on the same ride at Great America. The 'eagle ride' (aka, Flying Eagles) had Ben's attention before even getting to the park. All morning he was begging me to take him. We finally found a time that I could go on the ride while Laura watched the rest of the kids. He was so excited, standing in the busy line. We saw people get on five or six times, and he kept his excitement up. The moment he got in I tried to take a picture to commemorate the event. He started to whine (almost cry) saying he didn't want to be on the ride. He was too scared. I stopped trying to take a picture and climbed in. I tried to reassure him that it would be fine. Once the ride started, he continued to complain about how he was scared. It went too high and too fast. I did my best to calm him and keep the ride from being too jarring for him. He kept that pouty face on for most of the ride. Once we started to slow down, I was telling him to hang in there, because it was almost over. Then, when the ride stopped moving, and I told him it was time to get out, how do you think he responded? Of course, he wanted to go again! However, one spinning ride is my limit. We went off to find the rest of the family.

It was hard to convince him at the beginning of the ride, but I was able to get a snapshot of Ben and me in the ride.

Back to Sunday night, where I was looking at the pictures and found some of a family beach trip when I was a kid. Of course, kids were buried in sand. I'm just starting to break out (in the middle):

We all start to breakout:

Abigail and Benjamin also buried themselves on a recent beach trip. Abigail helped Benjamin get buried.

And she was proud of her handy work.

She also buried herself in the sand, not wanting to miss the fun.

Naturally, at my parents, Abigail & Collette climbed up the playhouse and slid down the firehouse-style pole.

Just like we did when we were kids. Here are a couple shots. One with Korynne and the other with Jacob John Paul (I think).

Edit: s/John Paul/Jacob

11 August 2011

Beach Camping

A few weeks ago I took the kids with me to go meet up with a sister in law and a LARGE group of people to go beach camping. I was a little nervous because I hadn't taken 4 kids camping alone ever before. I wasn't even really sure how to set up the tent alone. But, I was willing to give it a shot...why not, right?!

It turned out GREAT! I did need some help from some husbands around the campground to set up the tent. And after the first whole day at the beach where I didn't reapply enough sunscreen to Gabe's back which lead to a very uncomfortable sleep- And a slight scare that I had completely lost my car keys somewhere in the campground-- we enjoyed ourselves entirely! :)

It pretty much sums up the trip to say we ate, played at the beach, showered, and ate again. Repeat. I had a great time and would love to go again next year!

The nice part was there were TONS of kids there. It took my kids no time at all to make a group of friends and have fun. Here are the young boys' group. They had so much fun digging holes!

As you can see all of my kids, at one point, decided burying themselves in sand was a great idea~

Here's Ben and Nate on a lunch break~

I like this set of pictures. It shows the girls playing the water, jumping waves, and then running from the water

And here's what happens on the ride home after three days of beach camping :)