Kaitlyn has her first cheer competition tomorrow. That means a dress rehearsal tonight. (This crazy, awkward pose was all Kaitlyn, but I love it!)
Grafton – Oak
This kiddo had a want list a mile long today. It was getting late in the day and we still hadn’t made the M&M chocolate chip cookies. I warned him that I was heading out to dinner with some friends and we might not have time to bake the cookies but we could at least make the dough. However, the stars aligned and we got a single sheet of cookies baked – just enough for everyone in the family to have a few.
Today was our yearly Back to School Picnic for the two elementary schools. I’m on the PTG board so I spent most of the day helping organize and most of the evening manning the table, but it was a lot of fun! I love seeing everyone get together and have a great time.
When asked, Ben was excited at the idea of playing soccer this fall. When it came time to actually get dressed and go to the field….Well then it was another story. He wasn’t so sure about the whole thing. In the end, he went with a good attitude and did last the full 45 minutes. However, I maintain 30 minutes would be much better.
Ben came in my room this morning to wake me up (which he never does) because his eye hurt. We tried drops, a shower, a nap, and a call to the eye doctor. Ultimately, Ben stayed home from school and the eye slowly got better as the day went on. He alternated being fine and laying on the floor crying in pain. We never heard back from the doctor, but after a 3 hour nap, the eye seemed fine.
Ben has been begging me to cut the watermelon for days. I finally cut it and he ate and ate and ate.
Kaitlyn had a soccer game today and Gram got to watch. It rained a little, which Kaitlyn hates, but she managed to play through it, and we had a great time watching her.
Ben has spent lots of free time coloring lately and has come a long way. He can almost stay in the lines when he wants to. Now if I could only get him to use a coloring book instead of demanding a custom printed coloring page every time the whim strikes him.
Wade decided to make dinner a little more interesting tonight. He was trying to teach the kids how to balance a spoon on their nose and it spiraled from there. (Kaitlyn really missed out by being at cheer practice.)
Alex walks to school and has only let me drive him twice. He finally agree to the purchase of a raincoat last year after several days of pouring rain – but only for the sake of his Chromebook. I always get a kick out of the fact that he wears the raincoat to cover his backpack but ends up with his body soaking wet.
It seemed like the perfect weekend for an outdoor movie night. Alex had some friends over and Teague joined in the fun. The little kids were a little jealous. Wade and I gave them the choice of a movie night with us or some iPad time. You can see which one they picked.
Kaitlyn had a busy morning. She had cheer practice at 8 and then a game to cheer for at 9:30. The good news is she is done for the weekend.
I also thought to take a video of Kaitlyn “flying.”
Today it was Ben’s turn to meet his teacher for the new school year. We met Ms. Laura and she seems great. We ran into some old friends from Kaitlyn’s first ballet class and their son is going to be in Ben’s class too. He seems ready for school and I know I won’t mind having our regular schedule in place!
Today was the first day of school for the big kids. It’s the first day Kaitlyn had to be up early, but it’s also the first year she is at the same school as Teague. Everyone got up without problem, let me take my traditional first day of school morning pictures, and made it to school on time. Alex was a little bummed at the end of the day because of some new school policies and schedule changes, but otherwise everyone had good days.
School starts tomorrow so today the elementary kids got to meet their teachers. Funny enough, Alex was bemoaning the fact that he didn’t get to visit his school and get a head start on finding his classrooms.
Everyone had a free night so Kaitlyn and Teague decided to cook. Teague was in charge of sushi and Kaitlyn decided on dumplings. Those are both family favorites and they did a great job!
Kaitlyn and her cheer team had their first “real” football game to cheer. Thankfully it was a home game. I dropped her off for their hour of practice beforehand. I did a super fast grocery run and then got back just in time to watch the girls cheer for the game.
Kaitlyn moved up a level in cheer this year and it’s crazy. Practices went from one hour to two. Instead of two days a week, they practice three times a week. They also have a larger group with bigger girls so they are attempting more advanced routines. Kaitlyn is one of the smaller girls and has always loved being a “flyer.” That means she gets lifted up in the routines. It also means a ton of practice, which so far has not been an issue and has brought zero complaints.
The other thing I have enjoyed about cheer is how the older girls treat the younger ones. From the first year Kaitlyn cheered (four years ago), they have been awesome about welcoming the younger girls, teaching them, and including them. I would even understand if they were indifferent to them, but they go out of their way to include them. It makes such a difference to girls who are nervous or unsure in the beginning.
Ben convinced Kaitlyn to play dolls this morning and it was adorable. She had hers all boxed up and got it down out of her closet to play with him. Kaitlyn even helped “Little Ben” get dressed.
Today was a wonderful, lazy Sunday. We spent most of the day outside and the kids joined us for most of the afternoon. Kaitlyn has been loving the speaker Wade hooked up to her iPad. Now she carries both with her everywhere so she can listen to her music constantly (usually soundtracks to the Zombie and Descendant movies).
Alex had three friends spend the night last night and I woke up this morning to treat them to our favorite local donuts – Rocco’s.
Ben and Kaitlyn pulled out the science tools and begged to do some of the included experiment cards. Kaitlyn picked making slime and Ben chose density – sink or float? Kaitlyn was fascinated by Ben’s experiment and couldn’t wait to do his too.
Ben showed up this afternoon and couldn’t wait to have his picture taken. He wanted to show me that he was just like Alex.
We have a lot August birthdays in our family so that means a lot of birthday cards to be mailed. Kaitlyn figured out that she can use her water bottle (which has her name etched in cursive) as guide to signing her name. I was pretty impressed with her ingenuity and she’s getting pretty good at her signature.
Wade got the car up and running. Kaitlyn loves it just as much as Ben. They both drive around constantly and Ben loves to haul as many things as possible in the passenger seat.
The lake always closes too soon. This is the last week it is open and I knew today was the last day we would be able to go. Sadly there were very few people there but my kids still found plenty of people to play with and we got one last day at Silver Lake.
I came back from picking up Kaitlyn to find a gang of big boys in my yard. They arrived on bikes and hung out in the yard all day. First they bounced on the trampoline.
Then, Alex came to ask if they could pull out the blow up waterslide. (Because of their size and it’s intended weight limit, I redirected them to the slip ‘n slide.). They were just as excited for the slip ‘n slide. Most of the boys had bathing suits in their backpacks and were quick to help me set it up. At some point they wanted more speed and I suggested adding Dawn soap…
When they finally got tired of the slip ‘n slide, they moved back to the trampoline and wanted the hose. The hose didn’t reach, so they moved the trampoline. There are perks to having man-size 13 year olds.
Ben has had a thing for masks lately….
Kaitlyn had gymnastics camp again today (she wanted to go back this week for full day camp) so Ben and I met some friends at the Splash Pad.
I have spent the last few days painting closets. As I was walking down the hallway, I happened to glance at the doorjamb and saw the smallest drawing in pencil. It was immediately obvious to me which child was responsible and they were so cute I decided to leave them. (It didn’t hurt that they were in pencil and not Sharpie.)
Ben was gifted a new car by one of my friends.. He was so exited when we pulled it out of my van. Then it didn’t run exactly as it should. Of course, Wade immediately began trouble shooting. He should have it fixed in no time at all and I’m so thankful he can fix almost anything.
I decided tonight would be a lake day. We had a quick lunch after Kaitlyn’s gymnastics and then headed to the lake. The kids quickly found friends and I always seem to know someone there. I sat and talked to one of my friends all afternoon and the kids played and played.
In the last year, Wade and I had noticed that one of the two largest trees on our property was starting to look pretty bad. We had an arborist come to look at it and he initially thought we might have 5-10 years before we had to do cut the tree. Then he had his father come and together they re-evaulated and decided it should come down this year. We weren’t surprised. It has rapidly deteriorated in the last year. We just hated to loose such a huge, old tree – especially at the front of our property.
Today was the day we had scheduled to have the tree cut. Ben loved the number of trucks that showed up to work. I was shocked at how quickly they finished removing the tree. They started at 7 am and were completely gone (with the stump ground) by 3 pm.
The big boys were gone less than five hours when the cat managed to get outside. She is an indoor only cat, but this isn’t the first time she has managed to get outside. She always goes to the same place – under the sunroom porch. Normally we can get her back inside without too much trouble within a couple hours. Today she was stubborn. I finally went to bed with her outside figuring she would at least be hungry in the morning.
Update 8.3.22 – Big mistake. She came running inside and then I smelled her. She obviously had a run-in with a skunk. Now she stinks and I’m a little afraid to bathe her. I’m pretty sure she would hate me forever. She doesn’t smell near as bad as Madison did but up close there is a definite stink. The sunroom also reeks so I’m guessing she might have been sprayed while underneath. Ugh!
Kaitlyn has the craziest schedule the next few weeks. She has camp during the day and cheer three nights a week. On Mondays, she also has swim squeezed in before cheer. I’m curious to see how it all goes, but so far she is excited about all of her activities.
Tonight was the perfect night for some outside fun, roasting marshmallows, and eating of s’mores.
I rallied the troops and we made it a lake day. Alex couldn’t convince any of his friends to go with him so he opted to stay at home. The rest of us had lunch at home and then spent the afternoon at the lake. A big group of kids starting catching fish and it took off. At one point they had buckets lined up everywhere full of fish.
Kaitlyn’s friend is going out of town for a month so we arranged one last playdate. I was thinking they could play while I got quite a bit done. Nothing went according to my plan. They wanted to “create” in the kitchen. Then they wanted to use makeup, which was fine. Except then I realized they wanted to do a makeover on me! I agreed to it all and it was a great playdate, but I got zero done all day.
The garden grew quite a bit while we were gone. We decided to plant two tomato plants this year and they really grew. I’ve never had plants grow this tall before! Kaitlyn stood in front of them for comparison. Then of course Ben wanted a picture too, so he stood in front of the sunflowers.
I walked in to find that Kaitlyn had added an unusual accessory to her outfit for the afternoon.
Kaitlyn was finally ready for her first day as a lemonade saleswoman. She wore her lemon t-shirt (which we had randomly happened to buy), she helped me make lemonade, she carried out the supplies, and then she watched me wheel the cart (it is HEAVY). She had such a wonderful day selling lemonade. We had such kind people stop, buy lemonade, or just say hi. She had a great day and can’t wait to do it again. (She also made much more money than I ever did as a child. People are crazy generous!!)
About once a year, Wade details my car for me. This year he went above and beyond. He spent the entire day detailing both of our cars and now I’m a little afraid to let the kids anywhere near my car. I’m not sure what to do about the fact that we are leaving for Kentucky next week…
Before I go to bed each night, I go by Kaitlyn’s room and pull her door shut (to keep the dog and cat from waking her up in the morning when they run through the house). Then I go to Ben’s room to turn off his light and shut his door for the same reason. Some nights he is in a silly pose, or sleeping with a strange object. I always take a picture if I have my phone with me. My favorite was finding him with one of Kaitlyn’s winter gloves, which I haven’t seen since April. I also took a picture of his favorite way to position his giraffe lovey around his neck. Ben and his quirks…
Wade and Kaitlyn finally finished the lemonade stand! Isn’t it amazing? We leave for vacation tomorrow so she is only selling to family tonight.
My kids could spend hours playing with the leaf blower. Last night, Ben figured out that Pepper’s ball is the perfect size for some additional fun. Pepper was a little confused why her ball was not being thrown for her.
The video cracked the kids up and after we were back inside they wanted to watch it over and over.
Kaitlyn brought home lots of things in her backpack. One of them was a summer program – earning points for reading and activities. When school starts you turn in your points for raffle tickets to a Amazon gift card drawing. Kaitlyn has been great about reading and wanting to go on the adventures that earn points (hiking, museums, zoos, etc). Today we went on a story walk around the elementary school.
We started the day with some reading.
Then we headed to the lake. (Alex stayed home. Firstly because he didn’t apply sunscreen very well on his first trip. Secondly because he couldn’t find a friend to come with him.) Kaitlyn did bring a friend and had a great time.
We ended the night with a baseball game – a first for all of the kids. We had a blast at the Woo Sox and Ben was completely mesmerized by the fireworks (which might have been his first?!?)
We had our first hike of summer. Then I remember why hiking with four kids is so different than hiking with one kid. A 13 year old has a much different pace than a 4 year old and much less patience for his pace and snack breaks especially on a 45 minute trail. It was a good first hike and it did get everybody out of the house.
We had a chill afternoon and then walked up to the Common for a dinner and movie. Alex just joined us for the pizza but then walked back home. The younger kids quickly found friends and would have stayed well past when the movie ended.
Some of our craziness today:
And the sad news – I was walking in the back door yesterday, when I tripped and fell. I had my camera in my hand and tripped on the camera strap. The camera hit our granite back stoop. I am sending it off to Canon today but the estimate doesn’t look good.
We are all so excited for our first trip to the lake. Alex has figured out what he needs to make a lake day work (he brings a friend). We ate lunch at home and brought snacks. The big kids took the swim test – including Teague for the first time ever! Then they spent all day out at the floating dock playing the bottle top game. (I’ll be saving gatorade tops endlessly.) The rest of the kids love the shallow water and the sand.