Wow! We really played hard this week...had to squeeze in the last bit of summer vacation. I feel we really made some great family memories this weekend with a camping trip. The last time Justin and I went camping together was when we went to Moab in 2005.
I got to spend some time with Michelle Rognon while taking some 4 mth photos of her little girl, Annabelle. Michelle is also a photographer, our kids are the same ages, and such so we have some common ground. The kids played in the craft room all afternoon while I worked on sewing up Amelia's back to school dress. Before Evelyn was born I bought some really cute fabric at JoAnn's intending to make matching outfits for the girls. I finally made Amelia a dress and have plans to make a cute skirt and shirt for Evelyn. The dress used a lot more fabric than planned so I don't have enough to make a dress for Evelyn.
Everett is making strides with potty training. He started the week noticing as pee ran down his legs. Now he gets a few drops in his undies, holds it, and runs to the potty. He is even doing a good job with number TWO. The breakthrough was getting out the training potty. I really tried to avoid using it but needed something to carry around with us in a three foot radius. He does great while we are at home! Pretty good progress if you ask me. I think the entire potty training experience with Phillip tempered my reactions for Everett. He even went potty at church today! Hooray!
We celebrated Anna's birthday with several other families from our ward at the park. Evelyn Hornbarger brought along her face paints much to the kid's delight. Amelia fixed her hair before we went. I put her hair into ponies and then she decorated it. She was in the bathroom for 30 minutes! Gosh. She came out looking fantastic with purple lipstick, eyeshadow, two headbands, and some hair falling outside the headbands. She said her goal was to look like an older teenager, I tried hard not to roll my eyes. After the park Deb Ryder trimmed up her hair, we decided at the last moment to try out bangs. Amelia declared, "mom, I missed my bangs after all these years." The last time she had them was when she was 2 years old. Oh laws, that child makes me laugh. Tuesday also happened to be the last day the public pool was open. We went the last hour it was open. Happily, the Hornbargers, Bowcutts, and Anderson families all had the same idea. We took over the wading pool. Amelia made great strides with her swimming this year. She can now swim underwater several paces! Amelia spent the last hour in the big pool with her friends. After dinner we rode around the neighborhood with our pack of kids on our bikes. Phillip's chain pops off his bike every other minute so Justin spent more time putting the chain back on then he did riding. I think Phillip will get a bike for his birthday.
Wednesday afternoon we drove to Bridgeport Lake (not Sterling Lake as my FB photo says). Apparently I left my brain in the dryer with all the clothes I am cleaning lately. I packed everything and the kitchen sink...but left my swimsuit at home. I went swimming red neck style in a hurriedly purchased tank top and PJ pants. As I check out I asked the Bomgaards clerk if she had some scissors. She did not. Asked if she had a knife. She did have one. I used her knife to cut the flannel PJs pant legs off right there in line. I love to be the crazy lady everyone wonders about. Har-de-har. The weather was perfect! The little breeze kept the flies away. Amelia and Ella turned into mermaids swimming here and there. I think Phillip was a sand shark. To celebrate our last trip to the lake during the summer with twisty cones from the shack. Justin had prepped the last parts of dinner before we got home. That was awfully nice to have dinner ready! I had a photo shoot with a lady who owns a fun business upcycling old furniture into pieces of art. She also loves to drop the f-bomb three times per sentence.
The boys spent most of the week playing their new favorite game: Old Grandpa, New Grandpa. Everett gets to be Grandpa Bruce (Old) and Phillip is Phillip LeRoy Pay (New). The game consists of wearing wooden prop glasses shoved on their noses, sitting in the double stroller while drinking and eating snacks. In between the eating the boys shoot weapons and make each other say scripted lines. It is hilarious. On the drives to and from camping they whipped up the most fantastical weapons out of thin air, sound effects included.
Amelia requested a face painting party. I cleaned up the kitchen first then painted the kid's faces. Everett wanted a Batman mask. He was so wiggly that his mask looked pretty sketchy. Phillip wanted the ocean floor with a shark and boat. I totally winged that one! Amelia found a swirly mask with lots of dots and glitter. I enjoy painting their faces. Phillip enjoyed his mask for about 5 minutes then he washed it off. I feel jilted that he washes my hard work off after just a couple moments. Amelia and Phillip had school open houses towards the evening on Thursday. We met Mrs Belieu first. Her classroom is the coolest, largest room in her school...it even has a BATHROOM! Her two awesome friends, Katelyn and Lily are both in her class this year. Mrs Belieu seems like a very energetic and happy teacher. Can't wait to see what the year brings. I think Mrs Belieu also teaches the highest reading groups so Mia might have her the entire day. Amelia made her a sweet card for her first day: Roses are red, Violets are Belieu (sounds like blue), I love YOU!! We quickly ate some dinner then visited Mrs Cassie and Angie at the Learning Corner. I signed up to do some face painting at the fall and winter parties. The kids are so excited. Phillip was stoked to show off his new Ninja Turtle pack-pack. It even has a button that makes his back pack talk. Schweet!
Justin took the day off from work on Friday. We packed up the truck for an overnight camping trip to Lake McConaughy, or Lake Mac for short. It is a man-made reservoir. Justin heard about a nice campground on North-east end near Arthur Bay. We arrived shortly after one hoping to stake a claim for a nice spot near the restrooms. Half of the spaces can be reserved the rest are first come first served. We had plenty of good choices. Justin whipped up the tent, literally. The wind was quite fierce, whipping the tent around. The kids moaned and moped about bored out of their gourds. Then Everett made a stick gun and the boys were off on an adventure while Amelia moped. All she wanted to do was swim. Nothing else would pacify her little heart. Once the tent was secured the kids raced around changing into swimsuits. Justin drove the truck down to the beach. We parked at a semi-secluded spot and let the kids loose. The water was perfect! Phillip thought we were at the ocean, sand, water, waves, seagulls, etc...it sure gave the same impression. Evelyn was impressed with how tasty sand is. Everett spent a long time throwing shovel sized clods of sand into the water. He wandered quite a ways down the shore in search of the perfect clod of sand. Amelia turned into a lovely mermaid. Justin set up a handy shelter with an emergency blanket and hiking poles. The kids ate bags of Cheetos, Evelyn tried to eat the Cheetos bag as well. We quit the beach around 5 to start dinner. Justin manned the fire with his lovely assistant Amelia and caveman assistant Phillip. Everett provided a chorus of whines while I cut veggies for foil dinners. I love how camping makes food taste 100 times better. Yum.
I wanted to capture the sunset on the lake and beach so we walked down to the beach this time. I suggested to Amelia that she wear her clothes and not her PJs because she would probably get wet. She promised to keep her PJs dry. The flies were out and biting this time because the wind died down. The new part of beach we visited had a fun shelf of mud built up the kids could hop and walk on. Everyone stayed nice and dry until Amelia tripped and fell into the water. That was it. The sand sharks came out and all the kids hopped in fully clothed for a nice frolic in the water at sunset. That is what memories are made of. I could see in their eyes the joy of getting wet with the sun setting in the west, it was idyllic. Evelyn explored the sand while we watched the sun go down. At one point she lost her balance and rolled down near the water. Once she caught herself on her tummy she reared back and gave me the iciest look ever. Her glare said, "Mom, why in the heck did you let me fall over and get all sandy? Sheesh!" My favorite was when she tracked the sea gulls with her eyes as they flew around her head. Magical. Our little swimmers decided to swim out to the middle of the lake. I worried as they tracked closer to the edge of the sandbar. Justin finally had to go play "Daddy Duck" and quack-quack so loudly that our little ducklings came back to shore. I love the photo of him pointing the way to go. The hike back to our tent was not as much fun wet as it was with dry clothes. Still, later, Amelia told us that her favorite part of camping was the mistake of tripping and getting wet. THE BEST MISTAKE EVER.
We rounded out the evening roasting monster-sized marshmallows over the fire twinned with mint chocolate cookies. Delish. Amelia noticed the stars, we talked about the Milky Way, stars, and God right there under the night sky. Once the kids finally fell into sleep I took my camera out to capture the night sky over our tent. That was fun! we crammed 4 sleeping bags, a pack n' play, and a twin air mattress into the tent. A feat worthy of a gold medal. Justin got the air mattress. I got to snuggle three wiggle bums. Our neighbors turned out to be very chatty, talking around their camp fire until after 1:30 am. Oh well, camping is not about sleep...right?
Saturday dawned bringing back the wind and rising temps early in the morning. We were all sweating by 9 am. We ate some bacon, eggs, and pop tarts for breakfast. Healthy. I took the older kids back down to the lake for a last swim. Justin stayed with Evelyn while she tried to nap in the hot tent. The flies were absolutely terrible. One little guy bit my skin through my jean shorts! Yeouch. The kids had fun until they got out of the water. Even bug spray did not help deter the flies. Everett was howling when one fly caused blood to drip down his leg. He squashed that dumb fly as it's eternal reward. We packed up and headed back home. I am SOOO happy we finally made the effort to camp. It was well worth the hours of packing, unpacking, cleaning, dirt, itchy bites, and lack of sleep. I really want a camper, having one would make it so much easier to get up and go.
Evelyn finally is crawling around. She can crawl a couple of paces now! She looks like a mechanical robot with jerky moves. Soon she will be a pro and gliding around the floor.
Justin delivered a fine talk in church today on Pride. He used an awesome quote from his Great-Grandpa Harold Call 1889-1969. "I would like to leave unto you, my family, this word of counsel. And it is for you who are living , as well as to you who are as yet to be born, if you ever feel to criticize the holy ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or to question the counsel of the Prophets of God (modern or ancient), first be sure your life is holy and you are entitled to the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Then go in prayer and fasting before the Heavenly Father and if you are in tune with His Spirit, He will manifest the truth unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost which is in you. This is His promise unto the faithful, unto the end of time, and the truly happy will be those who faithfully adhere to His counsels." Good advice.
This evening Everett put on a shark PJ shirt. Justin asked him what a shark says. He replied, "chomp, chomp, chomp!" In only the way that Everett can. Charity told me she tried to FaceTime us last Saturday. She ended up getting Phillip on the iPad. He made silly faces for a while. She asked where mommy and daddy were. He replied that daddy was sleeping (true) and mommy ran away (also true).