So this is my second installment of five people twelve times, and I am so thankful to have set this goal. To read the first installment it can be found here. I found myself really taking note of the great things my kids, husband and I say and do with each other. I know that it will be wonderful to look back on and see all of the things we have done together as a family.
I absolutely love this photo, because we are all ‘clean’ (4 of us are boys after all) and dressed nicely. We took it on our 13th wedding anniversary (which is at the very beginning of August…) with our little point and shoot camera hanging off of our van door, after our special dinner out. It just makes me happy. We are just standing in a parking lot… together. I love it!
And, not even one minute before the sun set (and just before we took the above photo) we took this shadow picture. We tried to take one more and the sun was gone. The kids loved watching their shadows fade, and then disappear!
July… often a time of relaxing, time at the beach and general lazy, fun days. This July has brought us so many different things… many different than the norm.
We celebrated Canada Day with the MacLeod family at ‘our spot’ again this year. Sounds silly as I type it, but each year (for probably the past 4 years) we have watched the fireworks from the same place. It’s our yearly event! We take our trucks (and now our mini-vans… because there are 8 children between our two families) and park them down by the water. We back them in, bring lawn chairs, blankets, snacks, juice boxes, more snacks, and get ready. Now, the thing is… because it’s our special spot we need to get there early. How early? Well, the fireworks start at 10:22 or so… and this year we got to our spot at about 6:40. Now I write this for a couple of reasons. One, to document the events of our Canada Day. Two, because every year, we ask each other, “Now, what time did we go last year?” So, next year when we’re planning up… we can check back here and find out what time was great to go… Brilliant! So, 4 hours in a sand lot with giant rocks, water and 8 little kids. Just our families. And, Grammie and Grampie too! This year, Grammie Linda put out an amazing spread of snacks, and special treats for us… the back of the jeep was full! It was so nice of her! But, the past couple of years we have had a couple of other families come along… so there are a lot of kids. And, Owen’s the oldest. 8. Oldest. 12 or more kiddies. Did I mention 4 hours? Giant rocks? The greatest thing though, is that the kids all love being together so much, playing, giggling, eating snacks, licorice and juice boxes… timbits too… that they just have FUN!! It truly is the hilight of the year for them. They love it… and we do to! Just hearing all of them oooh and aaah when the fireworks start makes everything worth it. Next year, we think we’ll go down early, park the vans, then walk across the street and go for a nice dinner all together. At 6:40… and we might just want to make reservations… there sure is a lot of us! :)
Our first weekend of July was very sad, as we lost our beloved Grampie. Andy flew home to be with his family and the boys and I stayed here. My heart breaks. We will all miss him so very much. Andy was home for a little over a week, then once he got back home (meaning here-home not home-home… sheesh!) we spent the rest of the week together. I was very busy working on the weddings, but also really wanted to spend as much time as I could with Andy and the boys. We are hoping to get to go away somewhere together in August and spend some time having fun, and making memories.
We also had a sleepover with the MacLeod kiddies at their house one night. Our kids love each other so much that they are almost like siblings. It’s so wonderful to see them all together. It was HOT…. very HOT… all of July, and when we were in town playing with our friends - Sean had a reaction to something. Sun? Sunscreen? Something crazy - and his little cheeks swelled up, and he had a crazy rash all over. Did I mention it was HOT? And speaking of the heat… our poor little corn, sunflowers and Kelly tree that we planted are not fairing so well in this heat. I sure hope they make it through!
My boys have crazy wooly hair and dirty little feet and faces. I love summer! We spent a day cleaning out the sandbox. All of the toys and junk came out of it and we worked hard to tame the ivy that likes to take over. Owen and I cut back as much as we could, we cleaned it all up and then on the weekend when Daddy got home, we got a couple of truckloads of new sand. They are in heaven. I have lots of sand in my house. And in the tub. And in their hair. And I love it.
Thomas visited the dentist and got his first filling. Yikes. That feeling when you go to the dentist and hope that even though you brush and floss and do all the things you are supposed to, that they don’t say the dreaded word… cavity. And, for Thomas it happened. I took him in… just the two of us while Shannon had the boys, and he chatted up the assistant. Like crazy. He talked continually about the wii. And Bowser. Peachy’s castle. Super smash bros. Gold coins. You name it, if it has anything to do with the wii, Thomas knows about it. And is not afraid to share! The filling went sort-of well. Poor little monkey. I just kept promising more stuff if he could just get through. The dentist did a filling in like 3 minutes flat - I swear! And, Thomas came away with a frozen little mouth, 3 prizes from the prize drawer, and Ginny… his new Guinea Pig webkinz. I’m amazed at just how brave my kids are. This was big. He did great! I was so proud of him. He also continues to amaze with his math knowledge (that he did not get from his mother!) Skip counting, counting by 10’s, and backwards from 20. Random math facts are always flying with Thomas. It’s great. And, he keeps me on my toes.
Sean has spent the month amazing me with his lego-building abilities. Anyone who knows Sean, knows that he likes to play by himself. When the craziness gets going with his big and little brother, Sean will often be found in the basement building… quietly… where he is in charge of all that goes on. Because upstairs, sparks are often flying between the other two. Sean is an incredibly smart, sensitive, kind, gentle boy who has always been one to play on his own. Even when we are with friends. I love this about him because I know that he has the ability to be incredibly creative and independent, and I love watching his mind work. He has built some incredible creations this month and is always so proud to show all of us. Sean and I spent some time one afternoon looking at lego.com and putting together little lego men. Did you know that you can order individual pieces of lego… and lego men. Like their pants, and shirts, and faces and hair. Seany and I had a blast building little men for each of our family members. We even created a girl lego person for me complete with white pants, a hawaiian shirt and a pony-tail… (cause I always dress like that! :) and, because I’m the only girl in the house… Sean thought it would be special if I had my own Lego-girl. Cause he’s just like that… incredibly thoughtful.
Owen has grown up a lot this month. Not that he’s really grown so much, but that I have caught glimpses of who he is going to be when he’s a teenager, a lot more than usual. And, that scares me a bit. He’s just getting so big. He’s up to the top of my shoulders now - and he’s 8. Owen’s my little helper. Often when I come down in the morning after my shower, he’s there to tell me that he has already eaten breakfast and helped Sean and Thomas get theirs too. He likes to be a big helper. He likes to be a part of the action. He and I have spent some more time this month having conversations. Just talking. About whatever. I’ve really been enjoying our time together. He’s got the cutest little grin and when I ask him silly questions like, “Who are you going to marry?” he just giggles and answers, “I’m never getting married… I’m just going to hang out with my friends.” I am amazed at how well he can read and can see the pride he feels when he reads what is on TV, or instructions on the wii. He is just growing up so fast. All of the boys are. I’m so proud of them, but a little bit sad and excited at the same time. Life is like that. Always changing. This month brought lots of changes for us. I’m learning that the key is to accept the change and move on, not dwell in the past… because there will always be change. And growing and changing is good.
July also brought races on the lawn, laundry on the line (ahhh summer…), random afternoon walks for soft ice cream, a jewelry party and birthday parties. We saw a quick black bunny, ‘Alvin’ our little buddy, and made a friend with a little birdie we like to call Greg (who, by the way, spent some time in the boys bedroom). We all got haircuts, ate lots of corn on the cob, and decorated gingerbread men (but didn’t eat them… YUCK!) We went to town for a ‘breakfast date’ at Ricky’s and had waffles and built towers out of creamers. We spent days and days at big bend, playing in the water, catching minnows and building forts out of sticks and rocks. We played with our friends, and had a ‘dirty bird’ picnic in the park. July has been HOT - not a day of rain. Mommy photographed another wedding with Auntie Shannon, and Daddy spent another day with 8 kiddies. He’s amazing! The summer is going fast. One more month and we will be back to school. July has been busy, and we’re looking forward to a few more lazy days, and fun memories come August. I hope you’ll pop back to find out what we’ve been up to!
Thanks for being here… please leave a little comment about your favourite memories of July. :)