more of this summertime thing

Our exploration of all our local bodies of water continues.

: : Flathead Lake

The kids love swimming at Flathead Lake, especially at the park down by the golf course.
It has an excellent, expansive dock.

And also, a pretty impressive playground.

We had this plan Thursday that we'd have a nice picnic there. Somehow once again we didn't quite get the picnic part organized. I did have a blanket and a watermelon (& even a knife to cut it!) and drinks. But, the rest seemed so complicated to get organized once everyone was up and ready to go swim. So, we may have stopped at a drive through to supplement the watermelon lunch.

I've decided I only have a hard time getting picnics organized because I don't have an awesome picnic basket. I'm sure as soon as I find one it will all come together.

It seems like it would be a great job to be able to do things like hang out at places like this all day with great kids. And it isn't too bad, but it's a much different experience than actually relaxing and enjoying the lake without a bunch of small people.

Mostly I spend the whole time chasing small, crazy boys everywhere.

We brought big boys this time, too. They spend the day doing things like this.
At least I don't have to chase them. In fact it seems much wiser to keep my distance.

Zoran helping Lex swing. He lifted him up into this swing (even though his "little" brother only weighs about three pounds less than he does), gave him a push, and then got into the one next to him and was showing him how to pump his legs to keep it going. It's hard to imagine much better in life than having a brother. 

: : Azia the Crafter

Azia continues to be the craftiest person I know. She made this superman guy for Lex out of a plastic bottle, tape & paper (while I was getting the kids a snack) cape, "s" shield,  little yellow-banded underwear and all. I love that she saw a this piece of trash and had the idea to transform it into something for her little brother & then just did it immediately. (I like less the trail of tape, paper scraps and equipment she left scattered around the house, but eventually we'll make progress in that area I hope. )

: : Spring Cleaning

Yes, I've just finally started. When do people find the time to do this? I feel like every cabinet I open is so disorganized I will soon not know where anything I own can be found.

So, I've been cleaning out every closet and cabinet and other random space in my house. It's awful and endless.

I wanted to try to clean out the big living room closet in the middle of the day when usually I spent the day only trying to keep all the kids occupied. I told them if they'd help (by mainly staying in one area where I could see them all and not destroying anything) I'd let them paint the closet. I was fully aware of what a poor idea this was even as I made the promise, but they liked the idea.  Planning, cleaning, painting. . . it did occupy a good deal of their time for a couple days so I actually made a little progress. And now I have a great closet with design elements such as this.

We have quite a lot of hand prints we'll still probably add--this was just the kids here the day we painted. It will probably soon drive me crazy that I have strange things painted all over my closet but for now it's still a sunshiny surprise each time I open the door.

It's also less destructive than other things the kids do to decorate our house. I also discovered a few days ago that Azia super-glued legos to her wood floor. I have no idea how to deal with that problem yet.

: : More Umphrey Boys Adventures

The boys went hiking on the full moon night. Since their Garden Wall trip Israel has been wanting to do the St. Mary's peak climb so Michael, Eldon, Gage, & Beedo set out at about 10:00 pm to do a night hike. They didn't quite make it this time, but I'm sure they'll do it sometime in the near future.  Michael told me the next day Israel could have made it for sure, because he's all about the adventure and glory. Sounds about right.
I was  feeling sort of left out when I looked up from my computer at about 2:00 am and saw the moon. I did actually go outside for a better look. It was a pretty beautiful night.

: : Lettie is Six!


Lettie had her party with all her friends at the carousel on Saturday.  It is a sort of magical place for a birthday for someone turning six.
blowing out her candles
I may have enjoyed watching the older kids with their younger siblings as much as I like all the little girls excited about picking the best horse.
Gage & Aodhan
Kenzie & KaNana
Paisely, Maysa, and Azia. Sometimes Azia forgets she lives with me and thinks these guys are her sisters instead of her cousins. This summer she tries to do it nearly every day.

On her real birthday Monday she had a party up at her house with all the family. These kids and their multiple birthday parties. It could be a dangerous precedent we're setting.

: : North for Huckleberries

Sunday we headed toward Hungry Horse to find some huckleberries.

We stopped to check out the dam, too.

Israel & Lex (and Lex's giant stick since he needs to have one with him at all times.)
Azia at the Dam

We had to get up pretty high on the mountain before we found any good patches.

But we did eventually find at least a few good places.

Of course Lex just ate them as soon as he found them.

 and then there was swimming at Blue Bay on the way home . . .

Azia's been working on her diving this summer. She's getting it! (And she's finally not plugging her nose with one hand, though she is wearing a ridiculous mask instead!)
 All the kids were jumping off the dock. Lex told me he didn't need one.

Rock skippers

 : : Day to Day 

Gwen brought her small cats to visit . . . and make all the children cry when their parents wouldn't let them take one home.

 The  good thing about having lots of kids around is they usually find all sorts of ways to keep each other entertained. 

Yesterday I looked out on the deck and Azia was fitting Addison's new tissue paper dress.

This was a pretty typical morning: girls making tissue paper clothing and the boys with their guns off on a hunt.

And then there's this one in the morning. We're thinking about preschool when I start teaching (when the new quarter starts in September) but I don't know how he'd like someone else's schedule interfering with his morning plans. What would he do if he couldn't roll out of bed around nine, find a great red-sequined cowboy hat to match his pjs and dig out the ipad for a little vintage superman short film watching?

Lex & the ipad did have some issues recently. It gave him a fat lip when they got into an argument about what movie to watch, but Lex seems to have forgiven it.

 Next week the kids all head back to school. There will less of all this :

Less of Israel making all the food for me (and all the kids). He cooks! Maybe I should consider homeschool. . .

Less late evening skating.

Or maybe not.
We wouldn't want to leave summer behind too suddenly.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome nuggets! Love all of your western Montana adventures. Can you believe I have NEVER been huckleberry picking? Madness. Beautiful photos, love Flathead lake.

    Sister, I hope you find that magic picnic basket.