Sunday, July 14


Best dollar ever spent at a yardsale!
She LOVES wearing this silly thing around!
It's summer!!! A whole lot of horsing around going on here! I'm trying hard to keep my cool, surrender my quiet time, be okay with the constant making of messes, intervene in fights in a healthy way, not nag about chores, and keep a balance of fun outings with friends and down time at home.

Last week we had a full week of sun and low to mid 70s with more of the same this coming week. Awesome! We spent a day at the park with friends riding bikes, playing "Steal the Sticks," and chatting. I've got grass burns on my arm and leg from diving to steal some sticks. It was humbling to be caught by McKay and put in jail. Their youthful stamina and agility make me feel seriously out of shape. 

Many days we just stay home, happy homebodies. Here's a snapshot of a full day this past week at home:

Jake loves his wheels this spring and summer. 
As soon as the door is open in the morning, Jake is out the door for as long as we'll let him. He also loves inspecting the bugs and watching birds and cats tramp through our yard.

I made oatmeal with fresh peaches for breakfast, YUM! The commissary has some really great sweet peaches that even rival the Goldens at home but aren't as big. McKay melted down while waiting for breakfast to be ready, Easton suffered through eating it, and Jake ended up wearing half of his. Morgan was thrilled and gobbled it up but was asking what else she could eat not even fifteen minutes later. This is every meal in my house except Jake is also usually refusing to eat, preferring to wear it instead.

I had to retreat into my room to think about and write out a conversation I needed to have with the missionaries who are teaching my friend to help resolve an unintended offense taken at that week's discussion. The call went well.

McKay's old soccer coach stopped by with McKay's trophy, medal and team pictures. We'd missed his end of the season party while in China. He's so proud of his first trophy! He has a soccer camp on base next week and can't wait! He said he prefers being active to playing video games. He's often found practicing moves with a ball in or out of the house. 

By 11 am no one's really made a visible dent in their chores, me included unfortunately. Time to crack the whip! Distraction numero uno: the Trampoline!

Everyone's still in their pjs but the sleeping bags have been put away at least. Laughing and screaming can be heard simultaneously out here most times of the day. Morgan is often the howler lately because Jake is following her around and copying her, it's my favorite part of life right now (not really). Or she's being left out of whatever game the boys are inventing because she won't follow the rules. Jake's also developed a serious scream when being left out. But having a trampoline is still priceless for my sanity! Best kid toy ever!

Easton wanted to read Sonic comics on the iPad but has to get his chores done first and then some reading of my choice. He read and then we discussed chapters 1-3 in our new "Story of the World" books. He's really interested in the Egyptian gods Osiris and Isis. I think I'm going to be really happy with these books! Wish I'd had something like it when I was a kid.

McKay builds with dominoes and everyone takes a turn with them as the day goes on. Then he and Morgan play Disney Monopoly and shut Jake out of the room because he keeps walking away with pieces, touching the board, or messing up their money. Jake howls and howls, I must intervene. Again. McKay begs to play UNO with me at the most inopportune times such as when someone is having a tantrum I'm trying to deal with, I'm having a conversation with his sibling, or the cards are in the room Jake's napping in. Poor kid! By 2:30, I let him get on to work on his reading and comprehension.

Jake discovered how to open the back gate and leave the yard to ride his bobby car. I wish I could undo this bit of knowledge he has gained! He likes the game of chase when I discover his escapes. To redirect Jake's attention, I had him help me make breakfast burritos for lunch. Maybe if he helps me, he'll eat something beyond PB/nutella sandwiches, cheese, pretzels, cold cereal and chicken nuggets. His pickiness is killing me! He enjoys the cooking, but eating them is a no go. Waaaaaah!

Morgan and Jake splashed around in the bathtub for half and hour while I do today's accumulated dishes. I download the Kindle app to be able to highlight favorite parts of my current audiobook "Out of our minds: Learning to be creative" by Ken Robinson. Later I write an email to a handful of people I've recently enjoyed conversations on related topics.

Easton took McKay and Morgan on a bike ride to see if they could spot the goat and sheep herds on the hills along the bike trail near our home. They tell me they'll be home before dinner two hours away. They're back 45 minutes later, I'll take what I can get. It's fun to see them enjoy a bit of independence together.

Morgan proudly cracks her first two eggs ever when we bake up some pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. She wants to do everything herself and when I surrender my book listening time to bake with her, we have a fun time.

Easton draws and colors Sonic characters for Morgan and McKay. I can't remember him ever enjoying drawing! It goes back to when he was 3 and realizing all his preschool friends were much more proficient than him at it so he bags it as a legit past time until now. I'm so thrilled and praise him to the nth degree! It occupies him for the rest of the evening, keeping him and McKay buzzing around until 1am in their room! We'll pay for this the next day but I couldn't bring myself to stop their creativity!

Morgan loves being the honored recipient of Easton's first picture. She is equally devastated the next day when one of the boys tear it up to make her mad.

I bombed dinner plans but didn't feel too bad - we ended up having muffins, fresh cut fruits and veggies for dinner since I'd cooked breakfast and lunch. The kids told me they'd prefer a hot lunch to hot dinners this summer anyhow.

Ryan and I snuck away to see "Man of Steel" and really enjoyed it. One of my old Valiant 11 girls offered three hours of free babysitting after her Beehive class did a training last week. Brilliant Beehive activity!!! Too bad she's moving next week! My other two close sitters (ten minutes away) are also moving. Waaaah!

So that's what a summer day at home looks like in our neck of the woods when I stick to my guns about no tv and videogames. This day went very well which meant we had to get out of the house the next day. I struggled often during the day between what I wanted to be doing to what the kids wanted of me. But I looked back on what the kids and I spent our time doing and I was so pleased at their time learning, being creative, playing and just being kids on summer break!