Monday, July 13, 2015

Late Nights and Late Mornings (The Week)

All Week Long
J and I volunteered to work with the preschoolers at VBS this past week--from Sunday through Friday night.   All day, every day, our kids could not stop talking about how much fun it was and they counted down the hours until it started each night.  It was a fun but very FULL week!

By Thursday the late nights had definitely caught up with my crew.  (They were going to bed after 10p.)  While running errands, keeping them each on their own tile helped (mostly) keep the peace.

M has become so incredibly helpful--It's so fun to watch her independence grow.
From Instagram: I totally forgot to grab what we really needed at the grocery store until we were checking out, but she quickly ran to get it for me. She is crazy helpful. I had no idea how fun nine-year-olds are to watch grow and to hang out with. (And that's the bracelet she picked as a prize at VBS--pretty sure we'll be sharing accessories, too.) 

On Saturday we got to hang out with the Harleys. (Some of our very best friends who moved away last summer.)  It was awesome to be together for the day.
On Sunday morning (after we all slept in) we sat quietly on the deck just listening to the birds.  It was so nice after the busyness of the week.

During the week I also tried something new.  I've been reading about the KonMari method of organizing and finally gave her folding technique a try.  I'm working on a lot of things, but I thought I had drawer organization down pretty well.  BUT this was AMAZING.  I had NO IDEA that folding clothes in a certain way could literally change everything.  I mean, you can see every single piece of clothing--nothing is hiding in a haphazard pile (something M has been having trouble with).  AND it takes up a ton less space!  I don't understand how, but simply by changing the way we were folding clothes, M has a completely empty drawer and loads of extra space in all of the other ones.  Crazy!  And this folding business is also phenomenal for packing.  I'm addicted.

(Beza's befores and afters.  You can actually see each individual item at a glance.)

 And now we're gearing up for another full but very fun week ahead.  Viva la summer.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Birthdays, Cabins and Fireworks (The Week)

After Church and lunch with friends, we spent the afternoon getting the preschool room ready for VBS (for the following week).  (Yay for husbands who can hang things up really high.)

I surprised them with a stop at the spray park after running errands.

(I call this one "Tempting Fate.")

We finally had a Bear Party to celebrate all of those bear birthdays.  (With a hummingbird cake and honey camomile iced tea.)

Then J and I escaped for a date to celebrate our 15th (!!!) Anniversary.

I found a chair I have long been searching for to replace this one from college.  (T made that bear out of tissues.)

I managed to lug it to the van by myself with theses guys in tow.  (It must have been quite a show.;)

Then we decided last minute to head to PA for a few days.


We went to my parents where we got to devour the berries we talk about ALL. YEAR. LONG.  

And they had a blast chasing balls down the driveway with cousins.

Then we headed back to the cabin for a canoeing and kyacking trip down the creek.  (My sister Bubsy was my canoeing partner.  I love that I got to see all of my sisters.)

Before bedtime they made s'mores.

And caught fireflies.

We woke up to a pouring morning.

With patriotic waffles. 
(We've been loving the leftovers ALL week!--Thanks, Nana!)

Before we packed up to come home where we watched fireworks around our neighborhood.

Phew!  This summer is proving to be jam-packed! :)

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Beach Finds

I begin to see an object when I cease to understand it.  
~Henry David Thoreau

We found some of the coolest stuff on the beach this year:

Starting with these strange pieces of something that looked like seaweed or fish scales.  They're actually moon snail sand collars.  (A mixture of sand of mucus that makes this ruffled "collar.") Crazy stuff.

The eggs are on the underside. 

We found this snail shell that looked like it had something gross in it.  Then we remembered that when the tide goes out some creatures close up tight until the water comes back.

We put it in water and sure enough it was alive. 

We also found some skate egg cases.

And the beached horseshoe crab (with slipper shells).

And watched these clams dig in their feet.

And squirt water out of their siphons.  (Sticking out of the right side.)

One day we found these strange "shells" stuck in all of the washed-up seaweed.  Then we noticed that the shells seemed to have tentacles emerging.  They are some sort of barnacle.  (Best guess--buoy barnacles.) 

We also spied dolphins.  (So close to the shore.)

And these laughing gulls.

And lots of gulls.

Some dropping shells.

And the mockingbird that sang all night.

There were so many fun things to explore.

One should pay attention to even the smallest crawling creature for these too may have a valuable lesson to teach us. 
~ Black Elk

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

A Peek at Last Week

Beza turned 5!
(Decorations, balloons waiting for us after lunch from GrammyKathy and Grandpa, after-PBandJ vanilla frappuccinos, morning presents.)

We went to the park for a hike before lunch.

We ended the day with cake (that I had accidentally dropped upside down) and a few more presents*.
*The day before we went to build-a-bear for the first time and they each got a bear or bunny.

The storm clouds have been spectacular lately.

We had a fun morning catching up with friends.

And then made our first trip to the "lake" this summer.

Before getting ready for their end-of-the-year recitals.

We had our last music lessons of the school year.  Beza does a fantastic job of coloring while we wait.

I'm loving the newest Sevenly CauseBox.  Such fun stuff! 
(And right now there is an awesome deal--if you order the Summer Box, you get the Spring Box for FREE!)

The soundtrack of our summer--Peculiar Tales of the S.S. Bungalow.

After cleaning up wires and papers in the basement the night before, we continued with our "summer-cleaning" by staining the garden tiles and building a new shelf for the garage.

All before J came home from being gone for just 2 days.  He got a warm welcome-back. :)

It was a full first official week of summer. :)