Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Last Days of Summer

Oh how I love summer time! Our water double from swimming and playing in the sprinkler nearly every day, we go through sunscreen like it's going out of style, and we drink capri suns by the truck load, but it's summer time! There's just nothing like summer, especially when you're a kid. It's such a carefree time of year. I'm much more free to let the kids do just about anything in the backyard because I accept that they will inevitably be filthy at the end of the day anyway. So, we dig in the dirt, we walk until we are sweaty and stinky, we eat on the patio, then we end the day with long bubble baths to get everyone clean.

This summer has been particularly fun because for the first time in a while, I have had all 3 kids able to walk around and play without having to worry too much. Last summer, Ayda had just turned 1 and couldn't really play outside without my constant supervision. This year, since she is 2, I have been able to relax more. I can actual read a book or surf the web while the kids all play and entertain themselves. But alas, we must get back to school work, and summer must come to an end. I thought I would take a look back at all the fun things we did this summer.

Our summer began this year with the purchase of a slip-n-slide. It was the first one we had ever bought, and although it didn't make it all the way through the season, it was the best $9 I ever spent. Look at the fun we had!

So, we have warm weather, water, what else do we need? Ice cream! We love having Lic's within walking distance from our house! As an added bonus, the ice cream was free since my kids got coupons from the library during the summer reading program! Yea!
This year, we decided to get a zoo membership for the first time. We wore that out too! The kids and I went to the zoo sometimes 3 times a week! They never got tired of seeing the animals, and I loved how well they slept after all that walking! Here they are with daddy right under the jaquar. Very neat!

One of their favorite places to go at the zoo is to see the prairie dogs. They love crawling through the tunnels and popping up inside the prairie dog home. It's so cute!

We took a break from visiting the zoo animals to pay a visit to the animals at the ol' county fair. Let me just state for the record that I don't particularly like the county fair. It's usually hot, it smells, and the animals are just gross. My kids, however, love it. Needless to say, we usually take them. While no one would actually touched the animals, Makenna loved to have her picture taken with them (well, at a safe distance from them).

Since Ed was on vacation the first week of August, we decided to take a trip to Indy to visit his parents. Since we became foster parents, we got a free family membership to the children's museum there. We were thrilled! It took us hours to see everything and I think we even missed part of it. It was amazing! In this picture, the kids were on the human kaleidoscope. They were slowly moving around in a circle while looking at TONS of beautiful colored glass.

Back at home, life with our new little puppy was getting a little crazy. The kids who once thought Mace was just so cute were learning that, like most puppies, she is also rotten. Wyatt and Makenna were playing in their sand table when Maci jumped up and started digging and throwing sand all over the place. Makenna was horrified that Maci would actually destroy her castle!

Finally, with just a few more weeks of summer to "hang" around and be free...

We decided to go to the zoo for a celebrity sighting--Dora the Explorer! Two of the three kids were excited to see her. Wyatt was behind a bush scared for his life. Cute kid. Hehe

We have had one of the best summers in years and I hate to see it end, but I am anxious to see what this school year will hold for us. Makenna is learning to read, Wyatt is learning to write letters and numbers, and Ayda is just being the little princess she is. Life is going by quickly! I am so thankful for my husband who works so hard so that I can be home to share these moments with my kids. It just doesn't get any better than this!

Book Review--No Girls Allowed

I recently received the book No Girls Allowed: Devotions for Boys from Tyndale for review. I think the book would be very appealing for young boys. I believe it is aimed at boys over the age of 6, but I think it's even appropriate for younger boys. My son is 4 and he can relate to the characters such as Batman and Spiderman and the choices they make. I think the authors have done a great job of understanding the characters young boys like to read about. Most people wouldn't think to ask "What would spiderman do" and then compare that to "What would Jesus do?" What a way to grab boys' attention! The devotional also has occassional games, word puzzles, and word searches for older boys. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has boys ages 5-8 years old!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Our Newest Addition

Well, we did what we said we would never do again....we got a puppy. After all the trouble we had with our last dog and all of his health problems, we swore we would never get another dog. I had actually grown to like my house free of dog hair, dog toys, muddy footprints, and all the other messes that go along with having a dog. My kids had come to like not having a dog waking them up from naps too early, getting them soaked after a bath, and pooping in the yard they play in. Life was good. Then, we met this little gal and just couldn't say no.

Meet Maci. Maci is the most loving, loyal dog I have ever known. She is adorable (obviously) and she has given me a reason to get out and walk every day. Our hope is that as she grows up, she will be a great guard dog for our kids. Now, I've read all those Carl books, and trust me when I say that I realize she can't actually babysit for us. What she can do, though, is be my eyes and ears in the house or in the backyard when I am busy with something else. When I run in the house to grab drinks for the kids, I know that she will at the very least bark if someone comes to our backyard. So, her being here is not just to raise the cute quotient of the house...she'll serve a purpose too.

We did research on many different breeds of dogs before welcoming Maci into our family. We considered a german sheperd for their intelligence, a boxer for their protectiveness, and just plain ol' mutts because they are usually some of the best dogs. We decided, though, that a lab would just fit really well with three wild, crazy, obnoxious....I mean...angelic kids. :) We were right about that. Maci is playful and yet gentle and is a perfect match for our kids.

Maci may not have been the best choice, however, for a mom who likes things taken care of and not ever damaged in any way. I'm not OCD about cleaning or anything--anyone who comes to my house can attest to that. I accept the fact that we have 3 kids, so there will be clutter. I'm ok with that. I just like to keep MY things as they are intended to be. When I read a book, I like to hold it open just enough to read it; there's no need to bend it backwards and inside out to see inside! Books certainly should never be chewed on! I like to keep my kids' toys in good condition and with all of the parts together (maybe not as much for them, but so that I can resell them later). I just don't like things torn up and so far, God has given me kids who are just like me. The dog, however, is not mine. Maci has a mind of her own and I think the only thing that runs through that little mind of hers is "What can I chew on now?"

After a few days of having her, I went to the library and got the book "Marley and Me." I had seen the movie years ago, but never read the book. The actual thought that went through my head went like this: "It will be funny to read about another lab. Since we have a lab now and know that they can sure get into trouble, we will get even a bigger kick out of hearing tales of a really BAD lab." I honestly thought that. A few days later, I stopped half-way through the book and returned it. I didn't need to read any more about that "bad dog"--I was living with her!

In just the few weeks we have had her, Maci has walked past walls and tried to eat them, torn up at least 2 pieces of my carpet, dug no less than 5 holes in our yard, eaten more marker/pen lids than I can count, has done horrible things to my daughters' baby dolls, and has bitten nearly everyone in the house (although playfully). Anything she can reach, and somethings she can't, she will try to chew up. I'm amazed that she never tires of the same ol' thing. She's a mess, and yet we all love her. We may be in for the ride of our lives with this girl, but so far we're enjoying it. Just be warned that if you come to my house to visit, you will likely be greeted by a cute little face, a lick on your feet, and a wack on your leg (by her tail). If you sit, she will be right on your lap--even if she is bigger than you. Spend a little while with her, though, and you'll see why we've kept her. You can't help but to love little Maci!