Let's face it. In a lot of ways, year round school is the pits. We go to school all the time, and have really short vacations that do not coincide with any of our cousins or grandparents. Honestly though, it's really only a bummer in the summer I guess.
Elliott's last day of first grade was July 3. His first day of second grade is July 28. Wyatt starts kindergarten on August 4. That means we get exactly three weeks and one day for summer vacation, including two holidays (the 4th and 24th). What it really means is that we have to cram an entire three months of summer fun with our cousins and grandma and everyone else into 21-ish days.
Week one is wrapping up and it's been a whirlwind I tell ya. Here's a recap of some of the stuff we've been squeezing in (a few of the things happening before Elliott got out of school!)
We've had lots of cousins (all boys, except dear sweet Ashlyn, the only girl in a sea of boys!) visiting us from Arizona. It's been awesome.
First, it was Tyler and Aiden and baby Bryce. We went with them to the zoo (without Elliott because he was in school) and then they came to our house for dinner on a rainy night and ran around the house with guns and cars and Pokemon cards and played and laughed and had so much fun. It was the best.
Then, we had more Arizona cousins come and visit, who are exactly the ages of my boys and it was like Forest Gump says, "we were like peas and carrots". These boys got along better than brothers (brothers that don't fight) and had so much fun. We got to play with Ashlyn, Hazen, Rigden, and baby Brock twice - once on their way through town to a family reunion and once on their way through town on their way home through the family reunion. It was so much fun to watch them play and run around the lake and just have a great time.
Dad took the boys fishing at a little pond. It was unsuccessful.....and I tagged along so it was ornery night as well. But, Quinn kept trying to fall in the stinky, dirty pond water and I was panicking so it wasn't all my fault. My boys do all have cute butts though.
We have visited cousin Natalie's classroom where she will be teaching special education in the fall.
We spent the 4th of July swimming and barbecuing and swimming and falling asleep in the car and crying and lighting off fireworks and playing soccer at 11:00pm at night because our neighborhood was so bright with fireworks that there was enough light to play soccer. This year, Ross let Elliott light fireworks. Welcome firebug #2 to the family. The kid already has a thing for knives, and now we're letting him add fire to his repertoire. Yeah! Grandma Judy and Grandpa Karl came out to "Little Baghdad" (aka our neighborhood) to light some fireworks and watch the entire valley be light up...and of course they brought milk shakes as well.
Whether we want to our not, we are experiencing world cup fever in our house, as this week, Argentina advanced to the final game. Quinn unfortunately doesn't have his own jersey, but the boys and their dad have been in full regalia for every game.
This week, knowing that I did not want to hear the word "bored" on our short summer break, the big boys participated in the local small farm's "FARM CAMP". Monday - Thursday from 9:00 - Noon they got the dirtiest they've ever been in their lives and had maybe the time of their lives. They played with chickens and goats and pigs and bunnies and a blind sheep named scooter. They planted pumpkins, rode on tractors, jumped in pits of corn, saw a cat catch and eat a mouse, learned about vegetables and animal husbandry, and that when a chicken dies you can just throw it into the corn field. They got to see 10 hour old baby goats that had been born during the night and on the last day, took me and Quinn and my mom on a 30 minute tour of all their adventures. It was money well spent and I think that they'd even be willing to do it again next summer. And, they came home so hot and thirsty and hungry and TIRED, I might even be willing to do it again next summer.
We also started the second round of swimming lessons for Wyatt and the first for Elliott for the summer. In the afternoon, when the air at the pool is so humid it's hotter than the surface of the sun. Quinn and I roasted a bit too much yesterday so I'll need to figure out a way to cool us of for the remaining weeks. This is probably where year round school sucks the most - we have to do indoor swimming in the afternoon instead of outdoor in the morning because we just don't have enough time. Oh well, such is life. I'm just happy Wyatt finally advanced classes after 4 tries in the same group. Yeah, Wyatt!
Last night was Members Only Open Late Night at the Zoo, so as if we don't already spend enough time together, we all met up at Crown Burgers and then caravaned up to the zoo. It was cloudy and cool and getting ready to storm and a great night. Not all the animals were out, but the kids seem to be more interested in the statues anyway. And me? I really am fascinated by the lions. Particularly the female lions. They are just beautiful creatures. Wyatt always says, when we ask him what animal he would want to be, that he'd be a big cat....I think that even though I always want to be a Moose, there might be a pull to be a lioness, too.
And finally, to wrap up the first week of summer, we had our first GRANDMA CAMP. All the kiddos went - even the babies (I think that Quinn and I will skip the next outing though - my boys prefer their grandma without their mom) and we ventured out on a goose chase of sorts, all 8 of us crammed into the Grandmaflex, to gather tags for our unplugged summer lanyards. We didn't make it to far because the 2 and under crew weren't so keen on the car, but we still had a great time. And the boys have a great grandma who loves to take them on grand adventures and buy them crap, like little plastic chickens that shoot gumballs out their butts.
Phew! I'm exhausted. Did we really do all this crap this week? Apparently, I've set the bar to high and have a lot to live up to next week.