Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summertime and the living is easy

I don't know why but I always have song lyrics in mind when I name posts so forgive that! I really love summer. It is definitely my absolute favorite time of year even if I am pregnant every other year. Yesterday, I was outside in the sandbox with Ollie thinking about how nice it is to be comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt. I have bundling up and still freezing my heiney off during the winter. It is unpleasant indeed.

Another thing I love about summer is the reckless abandon that comes to our schedule. I get so tired of "on this day we have this and that on that..." and so on and so forth. I like just doing what we feel like. Some mornings that means we play around here before going to the pool. Some mornings we have an impromptu playdate. Some mornings we walk to the park. Most evenings my kids are up later than usual and most mornings they sleep in. It's relaxed. It's fun. It's about living in the moment and just being kids.

I'm a huge fan of Popsicles and ice cream, of grilling out and fruit salad. And those things are abundant in the summer. I love summer rain storms and splashing in mud puddles. I love the park, the pool, the zoo. I love walks and visiting with the neighbors. I love the shrieks you here outside late at night from children still out playing.

So there you have it. A peek into my brain and why I love summer. Being a stay at home mom is marvelous especially in the summer!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A special visitor

Last summer about this same time of year, we had a visitor come and stay for a week. This year she came back and stayed 10 days! Who is this special guest? My niece Bella! Her school gets outs really early and the pool and things aren't open so to fill some time and have some fun, she comes to Des Moines to hang with us. I try to make it as fun and full as possible. It can be challenging because fun to an almost 12 year old is different than fun for a 1 and 3 year old. Nonetheless, we found much to do and I think everyone had a good time.

Her time here happened to over lap with our churches big outreach event called, "Mission to the City."  It's basically a mission trip to Des Moines. The church does free car washes and oil changes, people go out and talk to people about Jesus, work on the church building and other churches. It's a great outreach. This year the stay at home moms got in on the action! We packed gift bags for the NICU and PICU families, sang at the nursing home and invited people to church at the lake. There were a few other projects that we opted out of. Bella really had fun being involved in the outreach. I think my kids were mostly oblivious to the fact they were doing anything for anyone else.

Sunday was a really great day. We packed up after church and headed to meet my in-laws at lake Panorama. Ollie had spent the night on Saturday and we were going to hang out and then come home later. The kids swam and went boating. Bella got to tube for the first time in her life. So fun! She made a new friend Ella and actually got to stay over on Sunday night. Jim and Mel brought her back on Monday.

With all the craziness, we did absolutely nothing on Monday. Bob was gone with Mission to the City a lot and I was tired and the boys were cranky. I believe Bella and I did have a pedicure/movie party after the kids went to Bed. We might have had company for dinner too. Hmmm. I can't remember. Maybe it wasn't really nothing. Just less than usual.

Nursing home was Tuesday and on Wednesday, I took the kids to our pool. It is an easy walk up there. The plan was to let me kids swim an hour and then head home and let Bella stay. I have to say I was quite nervous. But there is one turn on the walk and I went over it and it over with her. At the pool, the kids had a blast. Ollie had on his life jacket and loved to swim around and jump in. Dawson jumped and splashed repeatedly. By the time we left, Bella had found some friends to hand out with. I have to admit the locker room was a bit frustrating with my two wild men but we survived. And Bella found her way home! yay!

We had church that evening. Bella loved it. I have to admit the music was really awesome. There were probably 400 people or so there and every one was singing out. It was pretty moving. She decided they need a church like that in Lakefield.

Thursday was our last full day before Bella headed home. I called a friend and asked if I could borrow her girls and we headed to the science center. Bella and Rebekah had a great time together and REbekah's younger sister, Naomi, hung out with me and the boys. I think Bella and Rebekah spent the whole time building towers out of legos. The Science Center was the one thing Bella really wanted to do and I'm glad we got it in.

 We had water wars, movie parties, shopping outings, starbucks and loads of fun. I hope that this becomes a tradition. We would love to have Bella every summer!