More pictures from the last cross country meet! I was so excited to get an email with links to additional pictures from yesterday’s meet.
The cross country team had its third meet today. Three teams met up in Auburn, walked the course, and then ran all together. Teague ran a great race and thinks he knocked several minutes off his best time. That would be amazing considering his hurt foot (courtesy of a lego injury last night). We should get exact times from his coach soon and I’ll update this post. We do know Teague came in 55th out of three schools combined.
Race time – 17:23 (1.6 miles)
Half-days are always crazy. I feel like Alex is coming home just after I got Ben out the door. Then poor Ben doesn’t get off the bus till 1 and is starving for his lunch.
Today Kaitlyn had a playdate. Alex had a friend show up at our house and they disappeared toward the middle of town. Teague then showed up at our house with two friends and one little sister, who happened to be friends with Kaitlyn and her friend. There were people coming and going all afternoon, but a lot of fun was had!
Ben brought home this drawing today and I thought it perfectly depicted our weekend at Apex. He drew his favorite game – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT). I also loved that he worked so hard on his writing. He is writing every change he gets.
For humor’s sake:
I have no idea who Jac is – there were no kids named Jac and nobody in the TMNT game with that name.
The writing on the left says – “I went to the arcade”
The drawing on the right shows a dice game. You roll the black dice and get an amount of tickets corresponding to what you roll. I have no idea what the person is saying.
Ben has been carrying around a pile of Raddish recipes for a week or so that he desperately wants to cook. Top on his list is Family Fun Fondue. Tonight we finally made it happen, but of course Ben added his own flair.
Ben has had quite the weekend. He had one birthday party yesterday and another today – both at the same place! He was very excited to return to Apex today for a new friend’s party. This one was quite a bit bigger than yesterday’s but equal fun! Ben loved playing with his new friends and the Pokemon theme was perfect.
We got home right before the downpour to find Alex had friends over. It wasn’t long before the three goofballs were outside playing in the rain…
Our weekends in the fall are always busy. In the morning Kaitlyn has cheer practice and Ben has soccer. This morning, I got up at 7 to find that Kaitlyn was already up and had muffins (from her princess cookbook) already mixed and ready to go in the oven.
The weather was supposed to be horrible, but the rain held off most of the day. Ben had soccer practice and is continuing to love it. He and the other kiddos on his team ran around and had a great hour on the soccer field.
We had a couple hours of downtime and then Ben had a birthday party for one of his preschool friends. He had such a great time seeing his buddies from last year.
Tonight was the elementary school’s Back to School picnic. I had to be there early to help out. Teague agreed to come and watch Ben. Alex stayed home (he is officially too old and none of his friends even have siblings attending). Wade took Kaitlyn to soccer and they left early to come to the picnic. Eventually we all met up and had a quick picnic dinner together and the kids had a treat from the ice cream truck.
Teague had his first away cross country meet. He was required to ride the bus with the other students and the parents met the students at Oxford. I’m not sure why, but this meet was really slow to start. Due to the nature of this particular course, the girls and boys had to run separately, which also made this meet much longer. I was supposed to be at Ben’s back to school night at 5:30, but I realized the only way I was going to make it was if I left immediately after Teague finished and didn’t cheer on the girls. Teague wanted to leave with me and I’ll know to allow plenty of time next time just in case.
Because most of the course was in the woods, we only saw the boys at the very beginning and very end of the race. I knew Teague was almost the last runner but I didn’t know the full story till I got the below in an email from the coach.
TEAGUE BURCH: Teague sacrificed his own time to assist the last-place Oxford runner, who was struggling to finish. Teague talked him up and encouraged him all the way through to the finish line. If you were there, you remember.
Race Time – 24:33 (1.7 miles)
A few days ago, Ben saw Pepper drinking water from the toilet. It bothered him quite a bit for some reason. Today he decided to do something about it. Now there are signs outside each bathroom showing dogs aren’t allowed to drink out of the toilet.
Kaitlyn waits all year for the pumpkin bread from Pepperidge Farm. It’s normally sold from September to November and I stock up in November so that she can have it through December. This year she seems to be particularly worried about having enough and her brothers keep eating it too. To make everyone happy, I just wait for it to go on sale (which it does periodically) and then buy all that a store has. Kaitlyn is still rather unhappy when someone else has a piece, but we definitely aren’t going to run out anytime soon!
It turns out another parent likes to take pictures and is rather good! We were just emailed a link to pictures from Teague’s track meet last week and I was pleasantly surprised at the awesome pictures of Teague I found.
We finally had an activity-free day. Some of us took naps (mostly Wade and I), some of us played video games, some of read, some of us cooked, and some of us played outside. It was a pretty perfect end to the weekend.
Kaitlyn had her first cheer competition today – FunComp. Thankfully it was local and she didn’t have to be there till 9 am. Her group did a great job but didn’t win a trophy, which bummed the girls out a little bit.
Kaitlyn had a few hours of downtime before she had to be at her soccer game. Her team was short quite a few players today so everybody played the entire game.
Kaitlyn’s cheer team has their first competition tomorrow so they had a dress rehearsal tonight. This was the first time I had seen their routine and I was impressed.
Teague had his first cross country meet today. It was immediately after school so the kids changed in the locker room and the parents met them on the track/fields. (I left Alex in charge of Kaitlyn and Ben and their buses.) The meet started pretty much on time and the kids ran two laps. Teague improved on his best time by over two minutes!
Race Time – 21:20 (1.8 miles)
Alex has always been atypical when it comes to many teen things. (Video games of course being the exception.) He had no interest in having a cell phone for years after his friends. He was content with using his iPad when he was home or even his “phone” with only wifi service. He was in 8th grade before we got him a phone number and a phone plan and that was because several of his friends had android phones and that didn’t play well with his phone and the way they were trying to text.
Then comes social media. All of my friends complain about having to monitor their children on social media. Alex is very proud of the fact that he has zero social media accounts. He has no interest in them. He of course watches things on YouTube and does use Pinterest. (This is were he and his friends get a lot of their memes.)
In school last week, the teacher was going a little experiment and asked the kids to pick a side of the room based on whether they used instagram or twitter more. Alex just sat in the middle, which evidently was used both equally. I asked him if he spoke up about being the odd ball out and he said no, but I got a kick out of it. I’m sure he truly was an anomaly in his class.
I got Ben a new costume on our local free Facebook site. Ben was so excited and wore it all afternoon.
Wade and I were having a conversation and used the phrase “it snowballed.” Kaitlyn heard this and got a grand idea. She pulled out our “snowballs” and orchestrated a snowball fight with Ben. They had the best time until she had to leave for cheer practice. In fact she was rather annoyed she had to leave.
These two sometimes play so well together. I was running the big kids all over the place and then had to get dinner ready. They seemed content to entertain themselves and it was perfect. They even swept the floor when they were done!
Our Saturdays are once again consumed with activities. I dropped Kaitlyn off for a 2 hour cheer practice at 8 am. Then I took Ben to his soccer at 9. He loved it this year!
We had just a little bit of down time before I had to drive Kaitlyn to cheer at an away football game.
We left a little early so that we could drive to her away soccer game. Her team lost but played a great game. Kaitlyn played goalie the second half and loved that position.
Because we hadn’t been in the car enough for the day, we left the soccer game and drove another hour to pick Wade up in CT where he was dropping his little truck for a week of TLC.
There is nothing like waking up and seeing storm damage. We have had a lot of heavy rainstorms lately and normally we don’t have to deal with anything afterwards – no standing water, limbs down, water in the basement, etc. This morning we had a different story. I looked out our back window and saw a tree split in half. Thankfully the part that fell only hit a tent we had set up in the backyard and not our barn. This also is one of the few days we didn’t have something under the tent – a project, kid toys, a car, etc. The tent has gotten a lot of use the last few weeks. Now onto finding someone who can take care of the downed limb and probably cut down the rest of the tree (sigh).
We are having a crazy heat wave here (maybe the hottest of the entire summer). Schools were only in session a half day today due to the heat (most schools don’t have air conditioning). But I also noticed a few fall leaves on the ground today at the bus stop. Fall is coming.
We’ve been having a heat wave the last few days. Alex and his friends decided to play tag and were incredibly hot and sweaty afterwards. I told them if they were 6 years old I would set up the sprinkler for them. The next thing I knew, there were 5 teenagers playing in the sprinkler in my front yard.
The big boys alternate unloading the dishwasher. Today I was reaching down into the cabinet for a mixing bowl and had to laugh at someone’s laziness. Obviously one of the boys couldn’t take the time to figure out the correct sizing order of the nesting bowls. Lazy!
After our recent hiking adventures, Wade and I both thought Kaitlyn would love rock climbing. We decided today to take the family. We searched the barn and found our old climbing gear. (It required a little dusting off, but it still fit.) Then we set out out and had four interested kids – which is a rarity. We got there and filled out a ton of forms, had a quick belay course, and we were off. Everyone loved it! Kaitlyn and Teague were naturals. Ben loved climbing but didn’t make it to the top till we were about ready to leave. Alex enjoyed it but never wanted to be very far from the ground. I think bouldering is probably more something he would love.
When school started, cheer practice was moved indoors. But before that, it was held outside. Most nights, I wasn’t able to stay and watch. However, one night I made a point to stay and take pictures. Somehow the pictures got lost on my desktop till now.
Kaitlyn and Wade spent the weekend cleaning and organizing the barn. She was intrigued with the go-kart so Wade decided to fix it for her. She loves it and Ben couldn’t wait to drive. We finally agreed to teach him and he did pretty well (only running over small bushes and hitting the house once). Teague even got on for old times sake.
For the first time, all four Burch children are in full day school. Alex and Teague are in different schools, but they are on the same campus and start within 5 minutes of each other. They also both have to walk (we are too close to justify paying for the bus – which is charged for middle school and high school). After Alex’s awesome big brother ways yesterday, he had quite a different attitude today. Teague asked to walk with Alex this morning and Alex responded with, “You can follow behind me”
Next up was Kaitlyn. Her bus comes about 30 minutes after the boys leave. Thankfully our neighbors ride the same bus so she enjoys the bus ride and has fun waiting for the bus with friends.
Ben is the last to leave and his bus is about 45 minutes after Kaitlyn’s. We have been using the time waiting for the bus to review his sight words.
Our schools have a practice day for kindergarteners. The day before school starts, the buses run their routes and pick up the incoming Kindergarteners at their normal time. The kids go to school, meet their teachers, and spend a little over an hour in the class with the other students. Then the parents go to school to pick them up and meet the parents. It’s a great first introduction to buses and school before adding additional students into the chaos.
Ben was excited for school, but a little nervous to actually get on the bus. Thankfully a teacher was on the bus today and she was great at making him feel immediately comfortable. When I arrived at the school to get Ben, he was playing with some new friends and not ready to leave.
Kaitlyn had her first football game to cheer for today. She seemed to love it. The only downside was that the game was away and the schedule was running behind. We got there on time and then sat and waited over an hour before our game started.
Kaitlyn had picked out several recipes she wanted to cook and today we finally made Won Ton Soup. It was on the menu last week, but we never quite made it happen. Today she made it for lunch and everyone enjoyed it – although I’m not sure it will be requested again.
Ben showed up in the kitchen with a piece of paper and lots of questions. Evidently he and Kaitlyn had a little fight and he wanted to write her a note. I was expecting something along the lines of “I am sorry.” Instead he started writing and didn’t stop till he had thirteen words and had used both sides of the paper. I was so impressed.
I was determined to try a new trail on our hike today. The problem was I had forgotten about an ortho appointment for Alex at noon and swim lessons for the littles at 4:30. That made our time available rather short – especially if we needed to travel to the hike. I decided to try it anyway. We drove to Wachusett Mountain and decided on the West Side Trail. I knew we might not have time to reach the top, but decided we would try. We reached the top (I think) and decided not to loop down, but to return our original route.
Kaitlyn once again a mountain goat in the steep rocky areas. She loves them! The trail wasn’t overly hard, but definitely much more challenging than anything we would find in Grafton. Coming down is always much faster, which was good since we were racing the clock. We were a few minutes late to swim lessons, but nobody seemed to mind.
It’s the last week of summer so we tried to squeeze in all the things. Today we had a park playdate with some friends we hadn’t seen in a really long time. We ended up spending hours and hours there. The only downside was I forgot Kaitlyn’s scooter, but thankfully our friends brought two and were happy to share.
I was doing a quick clean of our kitchen cabinets when I realized someone had added a little decoration to some of my drawers. There is no doubt in my mind who decided to embellish them.
Wade’s Father’s Day gift was a trip to the Ecotarium to feed the Otters. We had to reschedule once due to Kaitlyn’s unexpected excursion to sleep away camp, but today was the day! We went to feed the otters – Slydell and Daisy. I’ll admit it was a pretty awesome experience.
Wade and the big boys headed home and I stayed with the littles. They had been wanting to visit the Ecotarium for ages.
Today was our last day in Acadia. We woke up to a chilly, dreary day. We had a slow morning and the kids enjoyed the perks of our house.
I voted for a short hike before our lobster voting adventure and most everyone agreed. (The ones who didn’t were outvoted.)
Then we headed to Bar Harbor and our Lobster Boat tour. I have never been so glad to see a covered boat! Our captain was a character and made the trip very entertaining. I’m sure he had to work much harder than normal due to visability being almost zero, but we still pulled lobsters up from traps, saw some seals, and even a dolphin.
We decided to take it a little easier today. We had breakfast at a local diner. Then we took an easy hike on the Schoodic Peninsula. The big kids were grumpy (because they are teens) but the little kids love all the rock hopping.
While some of us were still getting ready, Alex, Kaitlyn, and Wade went exploring.
Today we hiked – again! The plan was a loop trail to The Bubble starting from Jordan Pond. The loop around Jordan Pond was a really easy hike and just fun to walk. Then we took the path off towards The Bubble. That’s when things got fun. Fairly quickly things got steep, very steep. We went from hiking to climbing. Kaitlyn immediately took the lead and I couldn’t see her in seconds. We quickly established the rule I just needed to be able to hear her. She never seemed to tire or be bothered by the hike. Alex and I were next. It was definitely one of the harder hikes I have done, but I enjoyed it. I think Alex just wanted to get it over with. Wade was quite a bit behind with Ben and Teague. I wasn’t sure if they would make it to the top with Wade’s knees and toes and Ben’s shorter legs, but they didn’t end up being as far behind us as I anticipated.
We all walked to the “bubble” and tried to push it off. Then we hiked down the other side of the Bubble loop. The difference in the terrain was hilarious. It was such a gentle slope. We finished the Jordan Pond loop and then got a snack before heading back to the car. Everyone was definitely done hiking for the day!
We decided on a seafood dinner. Wade ordered a Lobster Boil so he could try it out. Kaitlyn wanted to try something new and ordered a crab cake. The boys all got hamburgers or hotdogs. I got my favorite – a lobster roll.
Wade and I had planned to make a leisurely drive to Acadia this morning after Teague’s dentist appointment. We were going to take two cars so that Wade could pick up his parents in Bar Harbor, but while Teague was at the dentist, we got word that his parents would no longer be able to join us. We changed our plans a bit and decided on one car.
When we reached Acadia, we decided to go ahead and explore some of the park before finding the house we rented. The kids loved “rock hopping” and visiting Thunder Hole.
We grabbed dinner in Bar Harbor and then drove to Schoodic and our house for the next few days.
We are only in town a few days, but we tried to get back to some of our summer routines.
Today was carw ashing day – for everyone!
One of the deciding factors in our trip to Milwaukee was being back in town for a birthday party today. Ben’s friend Lucy was celebrating her 5th birthday and he was so excited to attend. We picked out a present and he was counting down the minutes all morning till we could walk out the door.
Ben spent all afternoon running around playing with his friends. It was great to watch him play with all of his preschool friends.
Today we knew we had to say goodbye to our friends. We had initially planned to leave after breakfast with everyone, but that turned into after lunch. We had breakfast at a friend’s bakery with Nicki, Riley, and Glenna. Then we headed to the park to kill a few hours till the Strouds were available. We all hung out for a last hour and then we got on the road.
We planned the dates for this trip very carefully. We wanted to be sure we could visit the State Fair! The big boys had no interest in the Fair so we left them with Tony (which they loved). We took the rest of the group and spent the day eating food, seeing animals, and riding rides. Everyone was quite worn-out by the time we left!
Ben and I stayed in our awesome Airbnb alone last night. All of the other kiddos had sleepovers last night (as is usual). The plan for the day was to meet up at Hoyt pool, spend most of the day there, and then for the moms to go out to dinner while Nicki’s husband watched all of the kids. (We’ll submit his nomination for sainthood soon.)