summertime explorations, celebrations & sales


: : Swartz Lake Hike

For entertainment we sometimes see how many kids we can fit in one vehicle, drive up a dusty "road" and then set them all free in the woods.  

They're not a bad little group of hikers.

KaNana preferred the backpack to walking. Just being carried wasn't too bad either.

Lex wasn't that interested in hiking either, but he did love running crazily over slippery moss-covered rocks.

and getting some fishing lessons from his sister.

After some time swimming and fishing the kids took off to hike around the lake. (Some of them left a few articles of clothing behind to lighten their load a bit.)

I spent most of my time with Lex. He wasn't interested in the pace everyone else was keeping or, often times, the direction. We also had some heated discussions about who would carry his pack, which was filled with a few superhero toys as well as his water .

And even though he is sort of hard to keep track of, he's still pretty interesting to hang out with. And bizarre. We'd be running along the trail and then he's giggle and I'd realize he was wearing no shoes. . . and that they'd fallen off yards behind us. He did this multiple times and never said anything or slowed down, just eventually giggled when we'd gone quite a ways without me noticing and he could no longer contain how funny it was.

At this point in our walk I was a bit ahead of him when he stopped suddenly and yelled at me.

"MOM!!! Come back here! Look at this!"
He was pointing at something on the ground and yelling to come right away. He was so excited I thought he'd found some cool bug or something.

When I got back to the ground he just pointed at his spot again:

"We are right here."

And, at that point, I guess he was right. We both were.

Then he told me:   "We are lost."

I told him we weren't lost. We were even still on the trail. We could almost see the rest of the group up ahead of us, too, except by this point we'd spent quite a lot of time looking at our spot and were falling behind.

He stared at me. "We are past lost," he said and just shook his head and started walking back down the trail.

I don't even know what that means. Although, "past lost" might be an accurate description of how I feel hanging out with Lex at times.
Eventually we found the group again and I suppose we were found again, too.

Exploring the bridge on the other side of the lake. . . and racing leaves ("boats") under the bridge.

Trance & Zoran testing out the cold water.

Trance ready to for a shoe handoff after I dislodged it from the mini-waterfall
After all his slip sliding &amp crazy running across the water Lex's shoes did eventually fly off and one went over the little waterfall (that lead right into a bigger one which merged into the creek). Luckily it hooked on a branch sticking out of the rocks. This losing of his new shoe was way scarier to him then him actually falling off the side. I should have thrown something he liked off right to begin with maybe it would've helped him stay away. Luckily I did retrieve it. It was nice not to lose them since he'd only had them about two hours at that point.
After walking in and then all the way around the lake, some of the smaller ones were getting pretty tired by the time we headed back down.

When the kids started getting tired we just started piling them on Gwen.

I assume it worked out okay in the end, since they all made it back to the truck and were happy when I got there. It took us a little longer. 

I think we wandered a bit past lost again somewhere around checking out the creek.

: : Yard Sale/ Lemonade Stand

We had a yard sale this past weekend. I've been trying to clean out and organize the house and it continues to be overwhelming. Also, I can't seem to finish one project before I start another and I can't do anything during the day when I'm busy with kids, so I'm mainly just making everything a huge mess. It's a bit stressful for me to hang out here in the middle of it. But, the good news is we have cleared out a good chunk of stuff and we made enough money to buy all the kids' school supplies and shoes and a couple outfits too! That's no small deal since enough of all that for three school-aged kids isn't cheap. Also, I didn't actually have to sit at the sale all day since I sold a handful of things online and then Israel took over the yard sale duty. We should probably make this an annual event.

Saturday the younger kids wanted to sell things as well, so Lettie and Azia made peanut butter cookies and strawberry lemonade and set up a little stand outside the office. They got a pretty late start and left early when a swimming opportunity came up, but Azia still made a few dollars so she was happy.

: : Driving into the Dam

We had an ambulance call for a car submerged in the canal by the Dam last week. Luckily no one was still inside when we got there.

But look at all these people in Mission who show up at 4:00am if help is needed. It's always interesting to see all that still goes on in the world when much of the world is asleep.

: : Cousins

Aodhan & Lex hanging out.  Deva took all the girls to get haircuts for school and Gage and Israel went to change pipe so these two spent the evening together. Aodhan is getting old enough that they are starting to have more fun together.

Cousins around here come in a wide variety of colors! (Although this is the beginning of the bath so probably half Lex's coloring is dirt.)

: : Wedding Time
The kids and I spent Saturday evening up at Jaspen's wedding at the Cheff Ranch right at the base of the Mission Mountains.

There are so many options for how to do a wedding once people decide to do it (small and intimate, huge & formal, causal...) whatever the set up almost every time I go to one I end up thinking, Wow, that was just right.

This version, though? Huge families, more than a dozen of their friends standing up there with them, a big meal and celebration of who we've known and excitement about who they'll be together? Definitely just right. And sort of amazing.

This gathering was also fun because besides all the friends there from Mission to celebrate with Jaspen  I saw all these "kids" that were some of my first students. It was like a ten-year reunion of my 11th grade American Lit class. Don and a handful of his groomsmen were in that class and some of them I hadn't seen since graduation. Many of his friends from that Ronan era were there, too.  Somehow all these students are now adults with kids and careers. I remember having a hard time convincing some of them I was much, much older (when I was 21 and they were 17-18) and now looking back, it is a little bizarre that I was in charge of teaching adolescents when I was that young. It's possible I might not have been as old and wise as I thought I was.

: : School  Shopping

Even though the kids needed some clothes that actually fit for school, I didn't realize we'd run out of summer days till it was almost too late. Since Azia went with Deva and the girls to get her new short haircut (which she'd been asking me to schedule for like a month!)  a few days earlier we just had to run in & get shoes, a few pieces of clothing for everyone and supplies. Zoran decided he didn't want to go and all he needed was a UofM Grizzly shirt and nike tennis shoes with blue on them. This seems very easy, except this is Zoran so if the shirt or shoes are not exactly as Zoran is picturing in his head then it's likely it will seem like the end of the world. Luckily, he did get the two items he needed.

Zoran trying out Israel's shorts.
So the little boys stayed with Yaya and I ended up shopping with the older two. Azia likes shopping for new things but Israel is sort of hopeless at it. He would've preferred not to go too, but I think he was afraid i would've bought him bedazzled skinny jeans if he didn't go himself. So, while Azia was picking out all sorts of clothes she'd like to have, Israel spent most of the time avoiding the much-too-stylish jeans. ("What is it with all this fashion! I don't like it at all. Not at all.") We did eventually find a few pair of regular, plain jeans, but I made the mistake of letting him just grab a few pairs of shorts for PE  & football (size 3X adult we discovered upon arriving home), his socks (too small for Lex) and his undershirts (approximately Zoran sized). I asked him if he even looked at any of the sizes. He just looked at me like I was crazy. If he were to wear all those things he picked out, I'm pretty sure I'm not the one who would be looking crazy.

Movie Night

Movies projected onto the side of the house: the kids' new nighttime activity.

It seemed everyone else started working on this earlier-to-bed, bedtime-routine-in-place thing these last weeks before school. We never got around to it.

: :  Summer Boys

They've been doing this a few days now. (Flooding the sandbox with about six inches of water and burying things in it and swimming in it.) After about noon it becomes unbearably hot around here.

Luckily the boys always find ways to enjoy it.

It hardly seems right to follow up photos like these with some back to school images. Still, we're finding their shirts and sending them off to school!

: : Back to school preparation

Azia saw a dress form (though it was made out of wire & I think was actually a sculpture) when we were shopping the other day and became convinced she needed one. She told me that way she could get her outfits ready before school each night and see what they looked like and then they would be hanging there all ready to go the next morning. I didn't buy her one, but then I found this in her room the next day. She explained she was still working on putting this outfit together. She couldn't find the perfect skirt to go with it and she wasn't sure which hat she'd wear.

That is her floor lamp she's formed to hold her outfit. I suspect this might be a fire hazard. Maybe I should help her make a dress form.  She could keep her outfits planned and organized and move right into sewing some too. 

: : Jocko Falls

We spent the last evening before school up in the Jocko.

Maybe jumping off cliffs is good preparation for starting school again. I have no idea how it would be, but it's sure a lot more interesting than loading school supplies into backpacks and signing paperwork.

Azia coming up after jumping.
a pretty picturesque swim spot

Zoran going in

Lex isn't quite big enough for cliff jumping so we stopped at the creek so he could swim, too. All sorts of rocks and sticks and water, so it was a good stop. He picked me this log. I guess there weren't any flowers nearby.

Azia and her cell phone-like rock

Zoran under the bridge. By the time we got ready to go the sun was already starting to go down.

* * * * *
And back to school in the morning.

Three-year-olds don't have to get up early for school yet.

They do however, immediately try out whatever seems cool. (At least this one does.)

Today this included jumping on a trampoline at sunset, catching glimpses of the first football scrimmage with each really high bounce. 

When you're always looking for them, these cool experiences don't seem to be too hard to find.

No comments:

Post a Comment