Saturday, August 8, 2015

Swimming lessons

We wrapped up three weeks of swimming lessons last night...THREE weeks!  We will definitely not miss driving to Montgomery each evening around suppertime, but the girls did have a blast and did well.  Norah's week was first--she and I joined my friend Kaysie and her daughter Addy in the "Tadpoles" parent/child class.  Norah's favorite part of each class was "chop, chop, timber", where she got to jump in the pool.  She also loved singing songs in a circle.

Abby and her friend Brayden were in level 2 of swimming this year.  They met for two weeks for 50 minute lessons.  That meant almost 10 hours of quality chatting time with my friend Kaysie.  Abby and Brayden learned a ton in the two weeks and grew a lot in their swimming abilities.  Abby was a little nervous about the diving board at first, but loved it by the last night.  She was most proud of doing a back float for 55 seconds and loved jumping in the pool the most.  Even though she passed level 2, her instructor's note said to wait to start level 3 until she has more endurance.  Not sure what we'll do to work on that before next summer's lessons, but we may look into doing some lessons during the school year.

Our favorite night of swimming was the middle Friday of the three weeks where we joined the Pakiz's for pizza at the local pizza parlor and had a bonfire at their house afterward.  Our kids get along so well and it was definitely something to look forward to during the first couple of weeks of lessons!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Connor's visit

My cousin Connor came to visit us again this summer, the week after Watermelon Day.  Even though he will be 16 in September, he still is willing to come up and be an honorary big brother to the girls, and they love it!  We didn't do as much as we usually do when he's here, but we:

*went to Norah's swimming lessons each night
*went swimming at my friend Tiffany's family pool
*went to the arboretum with Tiffany, Henry, and Olivia and checked out the Lego sculptures and the hedge maze
*went to the giant candy store
*visited lots of parks
*went to the library
*checked out the Rice County fair

Connor of course got to play lots of "house, "wedding", "baby Gavin" and other made-up things like that, since that has been the play of summer at our house, all day, every day.  He was a trooper!  He and Abby enjoyed going fishing with Dave on the last night he was at our house--they even caught some walleye!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Watermelon Day

This year, we traveled down to Iowa for Watermelon Day on Friday afternoon, so my cousin Rebecca could take our family pictures Friday night.  It was HOT and humid, but the pictures turned out great!  On Saturday morning, we headed into town for the parade and spent the day at the park and my aunt Lori's house.  The girls had so much fun going on rides, playing games, and eating watermelon.  This year, all but one of my cousin's on my mom's side of the family were at Watermelon Day.  Greg even flew in for the weekend!  Several of us ended up going on all three of the rides at some point in the late afternoon, which we hadn't done in years, but was fun memory-making time.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Good Earth

Ever since Dave and I worked at Good Earth Village together, I've looked forward to the day when we could send our kids to camp.  It's such a special place for us--where we met and got to know each other, got married, went to family camp as newlyweds...  It was so much fun to bring Abby there for her first overnight camp experience this summer.  She was so excited to go, and to bring her friend Olivia with her.  They had a blast creek splashing, playing games, hiking, singing, and making new friends.  They eased into the camp experience by staying in the air-conditioned log lodge, and only had one other girl in their cabin besides the two of them.  We picked them up the next afternoon and they shared a short worship with us where we were able to hear some of the songs they learned in their short time at camp.  I was excited that a former day-camp camper of mind (ironically also named Bethany) was the leader of their program.  Abby tells us she is ready to stay two nights next summer!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Game weekend

We had our annual (semi-annual?) game weekend with my family at my aunt and uncle's house in Des Moines this summer.  It was a HOT weekend, so Mara was prepared with a fun project for the girls when we arrived.  They made water bombs with sponges and had fun throwing them around.  They were also excited when Bryan set up the inflatable water slide.  

On Saturday after breakfast, we walked to a nearby park to play, then around lunchtime, all but my grandma headed over to their lake house/cabin to spend the day on the water.  We did a little bit of (slow) tubing--the boat wouldn't go too fast with so many people on board--and anchored in the middle of their bay for some swimming.  It was perfect for such a hot day.  The girls of course had to have some hot tub time.  It felt surprisingly good despite the hot weather!  

We ordered pizzas for supper and enjoyed some more games that night.  A new hit was the big bubble wrap/plastic bag/packing tape ball that had random things (Starbucks gift card, beef jerky, sunscreen, etc.) in different layers.  You tried to free items while the person next to you tried to roll doubles with dice.  If they got doubles, you had to pass the ball to them.  Whatever you unwrapped was yours to keep!  It was hilarious and so much fun.

We enjoyed lots more game/family time on Sunday before heading back up in the afternoon.  We are looking forward to our next big game WEEK next summer in Door County!