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Katie B's Parenting Journal

Entry 24 ~ July 26, 2010
Where Are the Lazy Days of Summer?

KatieSummer is more than half over! Last week I received Ella and Owen's school supply lists and registration papers in the mail. This week I have to take them in to school to register and get their "fall" pictures taken. July isn't even over yet, but it's time to get ready for school. It definitely makes me sad to think about my two babies going to school. At the same time, Connor keeps asking when they are going so he and I can have more time together. I think he's in for a shock, though. It has been this summer that Lilly has officially come on to Connor's radar. He has finally noticed that she's here and she is starting to impact his life. They have had some little fights and also some good playtime together. It will be interesting to see their relationship grow. Owen and Ella will be immersed in school stuff and Connor and Lilly will still get to be free spirits at home with me. What a sweet time this will be!

Summer has been amazing. Amazing and exhausting. Creating memories for kids is hard work! June started with a big garage sale at our house. We were able to get rid of almost everything. After the sale we sat down with the cash we made and divided it up among each of us. Then we let the kids take some money to the store to pick out their own new toy. It was quite exciting. They have also been earning some money by doing chores around the house all summer. We let them take most of their money on our big vacation and they loved buying things along the way. Randy and I are still on the fence of the best way to teach them good stewardship with their money. On the one hand it's so fun to spend. On the other hand we want them to learn how to save a little. I suppose this will come easier as they get older and start earning money more regularly.

EllaWe also took a 10 day road trip to Illinois. It took us 2 days to drive each way. A good friend of mine from college was getting married in Chicago. So we were able to attend the wedding and visit several friends of mine. The night of the wedding, another college friend babysat the kids while Randy and I got to have a romantic night at the ceremony and reception. It was truly a great trip. The kids are easy travelers. By far the hotels were their favorite part. I suppose I enjoyed that just as much too. It's nice to be able to have a clean bed to sleep in and not worry about making it in the morning. It was also great to have Randy take that much time off work. He was able to relax and enjoy the time away from home. I wish we could take a vacation like that every year.

Connor's birthdayWe returned home from Illinois just in time to have Ella's birthday. My oldest baby turned 7. She is growing in to such a beautiful young girl. I am thankful beyond words for her. She wanted kitty cupcakes for her party. It was a joint celebration with Connor who would be turning 4 a few days later. We are fortunate that my brother owns a party rental company, so we were able to set up a tent, tables and chairs, and a bounce house in the back yard. Connor wanted a robot cake. I usually just order a cake from a bakery because I don't like to do it myself. But this time, I decided I could tackle the robot cake and kitty cupcakes. Much to my happy surprise, the cake and cupcakes looked great. Both kids were pleased and the party was a hit. Hard to believe our "Conman" is now 4 years old. He is a little big guy. He can do anything his older brother and sister can. He constantly tells me he loves me. Wish I could wrap him up and keep him this way forever.

Fourth of July is a big holiday for us, second only to Christmas. In our town there is a big carnival, rodeos, and parade. Randy, his sister, and I took the kids (Lilly stayed home with my parents) to the rodeo. It's the one time of year we all put on our cowboy hats and any sort of western wear we might have and go stomping to the fairgrounds for some fried food and cheer on the bull riders. The parade this year was on Saturday and it was hot but entertaining. After that we had a huge party at my parent's house. We came home at bedtime exhausted. The next day was actually the 4th and we were able to sleep in and then go for a nice bike ride. Bike riding has taken a back seat to all the other activities, so whenever we can fit one in, I am happy.

This past weekend the kids and I went with my parents to a cabin. Randy stayed home to work. We spent lots of time in the car, but had lots of adventure exploring an old mine and some other places in the mountains. My parents bought some polished rocks ahead of time so that everywhere we went, they would drop a few rocks and let the kids find them. I think Ella was catching on that the rocks came from Grandma and Grandpa, but Owen and Connor thought it was amazing that everywhere we went there were these colorful shiny rocks. I know this will be a fun memory for the kids as they get older.

I think those are most of the highlights of our summer so far. Randy and I are hoping to squeeze in a few more days in the mountains before corn harvest begins for him and school starts for the big kids. The kids are taking swimming lessons to round out the summer. We've been able to take a few day trips to the mountains, lots of trips to the library, lots of swimming, park days, and we've even managed to get in a few science experiments. We haven't been great about reading. The kids have done very little writing. But overall, I think we've done lots to keep them active and happy. When summer began, I imagined long days that I had to fill with activities around the house. Turns out, the days have managed to fill themselves. No such thing as lazy days of summer for this family!

~ Katie

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