Sunday, August 7, 2016

Fourth of July, Part 2

After a family barbecue at Nana and Papa's house with Aaron's cousin Devon and her family, we broke out the fireworks. The pop-it's and sparklers are always a big hit, but this year's firework display included our first experience with aerials. The boys had fun selecting the order of the fireworks and taking turns lighting them, but we had a moment of excitement when one aerial knocked itself over and shot rockets straight towards us! Besides a few scorch marks in the lawn, all ended well and we learned a valuable lesson about firework safety. 

Perhaps now more than ever before, I feel acutely grateful for the freedoms that we enjoy in our country and for the many sacrifices made to secure those freedoms. With society and morals in seeming decay, I sometime question my own patriotism, but as I reflected on the great heritage of our nation, I gained a greater love for this country. God bless America!

4th of July, Part 1

We just couldn't stomach paying full price for Cowabunga Bay season passes this year, so when a sale came along, we took advantage of the offer and spent our holiday morning at the water park. As it turns out, we enjoyed it so much that when the chance to buy the passes at a discount mid-season came around, we couldn't pass it up. I love that we're finally at a place where the boys are all comfortable in the water and I feel confident in our water safety.

Summer Walks

I love, love taking an evening walk. I love the temperature as the sun is beginning to set and it begins to cool down after a hot day. I love strolling through the neighborhood and taking in the scenes of family life around me; kids riding bikes and neighbors socializing on the sidewalks. I love taking in the fresh air and enjoying the feeling of my body in motion. My love for these evening walks must be rubbing off on the boys because they fight over who gets to come with me. They love having my undivided attention and I love the opportunity to connect with them and treat it as an 'individual council' moment. On this walk, Max and I found ourselves at the park and stopped to sit on the grass and visit. I used the time to discuss Max's upcoming birthday and teach him about baptism. I cherish this time that Max and I spent together, sharing with him my testimony and teaching him about the baptismal ordinance. I love the moments that we spent together, holding hands, and talking about life. 

Summer 'dos

Of course they can't seem to look in the same direction and smile to save them, but I couldn't resist taking a picture after they all got fresh summer hair cuts.

Simple Things

We had the impromptu idea to pack a quick picnic and head up to the canyon for lunch and some exploring with some of our buddies. When the boys asked if we could do smores, I told them that I wasn't going to build a fire, but if they wanted to start, tend, and extinguish the fire we could try it. Those little cub scouts immediately gathered up some newspaper and kindling wood and off we went. They made me a little nervous crossing the river on a log, but managed to keep their balance. They climbed rocks and threw rocks, waded into the water and splashed each other in the water. I was pretty proud of them for demonstrating some handy fire skills by starting the fire all by themselves. I loved enjoying nature with my boys without any distractions or man made activities. So simple and so enjoyable.

I'll show you!

One Saturday morning, Aaron and Max left the house early for a baseball game while I hung back at home with the rest of our crew. Without much of a plan for the morning, but not wanting to waste the beautiful summer Saturday, I remembered that our town was holding a parade that morning at 10am. I looked at the clock. 9:15. I texted Aaron and asked if he thought I had any chance of being able to get the kids dressed, fed, and packed and get to the parade route within the fifteen minutes. His response was complete disbelief that I'd even entertain the thought of pulling off the parade solo. Well, that answer was all I needed to make up my mind: where there is a will, there is a way. With Hank's help, we had the little guys dressed, grabbed a box of granola bars, tossed out chairs into the trunk, and we're out the door! Hank was invaluable at helping me find parking along the parade route, pulling the wagon loaded with our chairs (and Rocky), and securing a spot along the pavement to watch the parade. Needless to say, I felt quite accomplished when I texted Aaron a smug picture back of us lined up in front of the parade. 

Forever Friends

We had the busiest, craziest, happiest, funnest week when the Pugmires came to visit. Our families have grown since our days of joyschool-ing Hank and Ethan and I feel so blessed to have their continued friendship in our lives. We ambitiously took our troops on a short hike (which only involved a couple meltdowns and a few trees being fertilized), cooled off at the splash pad, splurged on cookies, smores, and shave ice, and played trampoline and Nerf guns for hours and hours. Thanks for always adventuring with us, Pugmire family:)