Monkey Balloon Pop – everybody’s favorite evening game.
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.
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.
Today was carw ashing day – for everyone!
I picked Kaitlyn up today from Camp Hayward. I went to the office to check her out and then walked to her cabin. She came running at me and gave me the biggest hug. I missed my girl!
She evidently had a great time and can’t wait to go back next year. (I couldn’t wait to get her home and in the shower. She was filthy!)
I scheduled family pictures and picked a random evening in early July. (Year before last we schedule summer pictures and the rain forced us to reschedule so many times they became fall pictures.) It worked out that Judy and Jerry were able to schedule a visit over the time we were having the pictures. Then as luck would have it, our picture day turned out to be one of the hottest, muggiest days of the summer. We managed to make it through everyone was wilted by the end and some people were very grumpy (understandably).
Thankfully I love the pictures and promised no more mid-summer photo sessions in the future.
Today we had to say goodbye to Granny and Pop. We spent the morning and early afternoon talking and playing. Then they packed up their things and had to get ready for the airport. There were lots of hugs and a last few funny comments from Ben.
We started the day with a family breakfast at IHOP. It always amuses me to take the kids out to a restaurant – especially one we don’t eat at on a regular basis. Normally I would have had the two littles share but they were adamant about having their own meal and we let them. (They each ate half of what was on their plate.) Teague decided he needed a meal not on the kid’s menu and he is right on the line of being able to order from it. I was adamant that he order from the kid’s menu, especially if he wanted the 4 extra pieces of sausage. I got overruled and he ordered a large breakfast plus 4 sausages. (He downed the sausages and ate 2 bites of the meal.) Alex ate all of his meal and the rest of Teague’s.
When we got back to the house, the weather was looking like a storm, but we decided to walk up to the Common for the Parade. Kaitlyn decided not to join us because she still hates to be outside in the rain. Alex wanted to stay home. That left Teague and Ben to join the adults at the parade. We have never been to the parade before and it was the cutest small town affair. Ben loved the vehicles and the candy everyone threw. Teague was a little disappointed that most of it was not braces-friendly.
We let the kids have a lot of input into the plans for the day on their birthday. Kaitlyn had her entire day planned out. She wanted to start the day with Danish star bread, which we did.
Next up on Kaitlyn’s birthday agenda was a trip to Chuck E. Cheese. Granny and Pop were supposed to fly in early this morning but had quite a delay getting a rental car and eventually were able to join us as we were playing games.
When we got home, Kaitlyn couldn’t wait for cake and presents. Her favorite gift was definitely the roller skates from Granny and Pop. They will be perfect for her party in a few weeks.
Because we are leaving town today and will miss Father’s Day with Wade tomorrow, we celebrated today! Wade’s favorite gift is one I have been waiting for just the right moment to gift – an encounter with otters at a local establishment. We even get to feed them lunch!
Ben had his final soccer of the season this morning. The theory was to play every team in mini-games. We ended up playing every team but one and the boys had a great time. I normally only take my sport lens but I figured there would be a team picture at the end and I would need my shorter lens so I brought both. However, in a major mom fail, I somehow managed to end up with eight blurry pictures and not a single clear one. That hasn’t happened to me in years and I would love to know what I did to mess that up…
We have a local Grafton Facebook page called “Buy Nothing.” You can request or gift anything as long as it is free. A local man often gives away tickets to local events. Last week he offered tickets to Dave Matthews Band in Hartford, CT. I put our name in and our name was picked! We left the kids with dinner cooking and instructions for bedtime. We went out to dinner and then took a little drive. We had a great time reliving some songs from our past!
This year we were a little more prepared for FunFair. We started planning earlier. We had more volunteers. Then a week before we realized it was going to rain on Saturday. That has obviously happened in years past, but not often. It means most of our activities have to move inside or be under tents. It also means our attendance is unpredictable. We did our best in planning ahead and adjusting as needed.
We had about an hour of overcast weather. Then it started pouring. I was impressed by the people that ran between the building and the tents. I was more impressed by the people that stood in line to ride the ponies in the rain or throw a ball for the dunk tank in the rain. Wade was a true hero and parked cars in the rain for the entire day. Most everyone else was under a tent or at least able to trade out or go home after an hour or two.
My favorite take home was definitely the pretend mustaches. Ben seemed to really love his too. I found him wearing it in his sleep when I went to check on him before I went to bed.
Wade has been building some signs for the school FunFair on Saturday. He was adding another layer of paint this afternoon and the littles wanted to help. Since it was only the first coat of color, Wade decided to let the kids have a turn. Ben was so frustrated that he couldn’t spray on his own, but he was determined to try. Kaitlyn just had fun with it.
Mother’s Day started with breakfast in bed. Kaitlyn evidently got up extremely early to make me donuts (a Raddish recipe). Wade joined her at some point to help put them in the oven and hep cut the pear.
Then we were off to church where a flower bar had been prepared for all the ladies. The kids made pictures frames in Sunday School and then Wade took me out to lunch. The boys treated me to dinner. Alex made fajitas and Teague made a chocolate chip pie.
The late afternoon Wade and I spent at Kaitlyn’s soccer game.
Kaitlyn is our child most likely to randomly spend time outside. She can be found playing with Pepper, walking the yard, practicing soccer, helping Wade, etc. Today I looked up to find her outside helping Wade seed the lawn.
I didn’t want to cook tonight so Wade took over dinner prep. The kids voted for breakfast for dinner. Everybody chipped in to help. Alex make waffles. Kaitlyn made pancakes. Ben helped make scrambled eggs. It was delicious.
I was driving Ben and Kaitlyn to swim lessons (about 25 minutes away) when I started to hear an odd sound coming from my car. It wasn’t alarming, but it was odd enough that I turned down the radio to be able to hear it better. The sound didn’t change, but when I stopped at the next stoplight, an error message flashed on my dash. It said, “oil pressure low.” The message went away as soon as I came to a complete stop. The same thing happened at the next stoplight. At this point, I called Wade to see if he thought I should turn around or keep going. He said to keep driving. Then he immediately called back to ask me the last time I had my oil changed. (It was 3 weeks ago.) He said it sounded like I was out of oil and to just watch my engine temperature.
When I got to the swim lesson place, I checked my oil. Wade was right. There wasn’t a drop of oil on my dip stick. I consulted with Wade and he said I might as well drive home, but just watch the engine temperature. Amazingly, the temperature never increased, but by the time I got home the noise my car was making was quite loud and concerning and every light on my dash was lit up.
Wade was waiting in the driveway. He had already cleaned up the oil all over the driveway and was ready to check out what was going on underneath. It turns out an oil line was cracked.
We had tears this Easter morning. The kids were so excited to wake up and see what the Easter bunny had left for them. After the initial excitement had worn off, Kaitlyn asked why there wasn’t a chocolate bunny. Then all the other kids began asking the same question and a few tears appeared. Our Easter bunny always leaves chocolate bunnies and the kids have been talking about them all week. At this point I was really confused because I was pretty sure the Easter bunny had not only left each child a large chocolate bunny but also a miniature one.
I suddenly had a sinking feeling and told the kids to go check Pepper’s kennel. Sure enough, there was foil in her kennel and one partially eaten bunny. We have no idea how much chocolate Pepper ate last night, but she had a feast. (At one point I had a half thought about putting her up and then never thought of it again.) I promised the kids I would go out and buy them chocolate bunnies to replace the ones Pepper had eaten as soon as I got dressed (at 7 am on Easter morning).
To make this entire thing more humorous, as the Easter baskets were being filled last night, I realized I had bought the miniature chocolate bunnies and never gone back to get the large size. I knew the kids were going to be so disappointed. Wade found a 24-hour CVS that had the correct bunnies in stock and went out to buy four.
Then we all go dressed for church and hurried out the door. I mandated a picture after church.
Then some people changed, I cooked a little, and then we let the kids hunt the Easter eggs that had been outside waiting all night.
Today was a gorgeous day. Kaitlyn had her last indoor soccer game of the year. The girls played two sessions and were undefeated!
Then everyone did their chores and spent quite a bit of time outside. We are attempting some easy landscaping this year and today we planted and transplanted a large amount of tulips. Wade dug the holes and Kaitlyn planted the bulbs.
What is Easter weekend without dyeing eggs? Amazingly all four kids still showed up to dye eggs!
Fairly shortly after we moved into this house, we knew we would eventually replace all the doorknobs. None of them matched and very few were actually in working order. We have tried to fix old doorknobs in the past and it is almost impossible to get the necessary parts. We replaced all the doorknobs in Barrington with replica vintage knobs and loved them. Wade began searching for the same vintage knobs on eBay and various places. Over the last few years we have acquired about half of what we needed as people sold a few at a time. (I assume leftover from projects, etc.)
Over the last few weeks, Wade bought the remains knobs we needed and got to work on replacing all the doorknobs. First he had to remove the old ones, fill in the door with a block of wood, then redrill for the new knob. Now we have wonderful new knobs and a bunch of doors that need a few extra holes filled and painting this summer.
With a lot of convincing, we arrived at our church with all four kids. The older kids were not quite excited to be up earlier than they wanted on a Saturday morning. Once at the church and around their friends, they had a great time. The big kids helped hide the eggs in the classrooms (the weather made this an indoor egg hunt) and the little kids couldn’t wait to go looking.
One of our yearly PTG fundraisers is an adult only evening – Spring Fling. This year was much less work for the board because we rented a venue that took care of everything! (See last year.) We also had a much larger space with a dance floor.
Wade and I got the kids set up for the evening and then headed over. I spent half my time collecting money for the raffles and the other half enjoying my evening. It worked out rather well! The best part was coming home to three children asleep in their beds.
Our church hosted a potluck and game night. The kids were in various stages of excitement to attend, but we all got there and I brought their favorite Chimichurri sandwiches. As luck would have it, the games were Bingo and trivia. (We haven’t played Bingo since the last time we were in KY and now we have played twice in three days.) The younger kids were very excited by the prize options – candy, toys, etc. Alex was being a teenager but didn’t put up too much fuss and willingly played the games. Kaitlyn even got to call numbers and tell some of her favorite jokes to the crowd.
The elementary school had a fundraiser tonight for the 6th grade’s trip to Nature’s Classroom. The PTG and the principals worked together to coordinate the event. Parents donated baked goods to sell for dessert and 6th graders donated their time as wait staff. I was there early for setup and to man the cashbox. Wade brought the family to the second seating. Ben was so excited for his “bingo” and Kaitlyn helped him choose a prize. The goal was $1000 and they got pretty close to their goal!
Kaitlyn is challenging Wade to a game of chess every chance she gets.
Our church used to have quite a thriving Sunday School program. Then COVID happened. It has been a slow struggle to find teachers and get kids back to church. Some Sundays my four have been the entire kids’ program. Thankfully that is not the case currently, but we are still struggling to find teachers. Wade recently offered to teach the middle/high school. His plan is to make pancakes and then throw a little learning in there too. I deliver my younger two and then teach where needed, which is often Ben’s age group.
Kaitlyn has been asking on and off for months if I can be the Mystery Reader for her class one day. Of course she had no idea that I had already signed up weeks ago for today. It turned out to be a day Wade was free so I let him go knowing that his appearance would be an even bigger surprise.
Last night I saw some friends post on Facebook about a Monster Truck show. I mentioned to Wade that it was too bad we hadn’t realized one was in town. Ben would have loved it. Wade looked it up and realized it was around all weekend. He bought tickets for the two of them and they had a special night out tonight. (Ben did wear the eye patch out of the house. Obviously he took it off at some point and it didn’t return home with him. He also took two monster trucks and they did make it home.)
Wade sent me this picture and I died laughing. Evidently he “won” a makeover from the youngest two.
As I was cooking dinner, I looked over to see that Wade was getting his hair done.
I got back into town today, but not till late afternoon. That left Wade in charge of Ben’s dropoff and pickup. When they arrived at preschool, Ben was devastated to realize it was pajama day and they had forgotten. (Wade even texted to tell me how bummed Ben was. I let him know it was actually pajama week so he’d have two more days of pajamas.) Ben isn’t the type to hold a grudge so I was shocked when Wade sent me the picture below and said Ben refused to talk to him at pickup. Wade and I assumed he was still upset about the pajamas.
Wade found out much later that Ben was upset about something completely different. Evidently he didn’t get to do a craft at school. Wade was never clear on all the details, but obviously it ruined the rest of Ben’s afternoon. Thank goodness nap is always a good way to reset the day.
I have been hoping and waiting for snow. We have enough of a tiny hill in our backyard that I wanted to do a little practice skiing with Ben. Today was the perfect day.
We woke up to the news that school was canceled for the day. (The boys didn’t believe us at first because there was nothing on the roads or coming down.) The entire family stayed home and did snow day things. By the end of the day we were finally seeing some snow and the two youngest wanted to go out and play in it.
Today Wade turns 44. We did most of our celebrating yesterday because today Kaitlyn gymnastics and both big boys (and Wade) and have handbell practice. We did manage to sit down together for dinner – chicken noodle soup and banana pudding – both at Wade’s request.
Then Ben hopped into the box he has been decorating and asked for a push. I was more than a little surprised when Alex immediately started being the motor for the boat. (It turns out Pepper was the shark.) When Alex got tired, Teague jumped in to take over. Ben was in heaven.
Due to prior commitments tomorrow, we decided to do most of our celebrating for Wade’s birthday today. Wade’s chosen birthday activity was candlepin bowling with the family. We had a great time and Ben somehow continued to amaze us with his skills. He rarely hits the side rails and tied for second place. (He quit using the wooden guide after the second frame.)