Saturday, June 14, 2008

Our Summer Daze.....

So...many people will ask me... "Is it hard to have all your kids home for summer break?" or "Are you ready for the kids to go back to school yet!?!?". They are usually a tad shocked when I answer "No...I LOVE having my kids home from school on summer break!" It is such a special time when I get to have them all to myself to love and hug on ALL day! The older ones are HUGE helpers with the chores and babies, but they are also so much fun to be around! We have had such an awesome summer already and we are only 2 weeks into it! We have done some really fun things and have so much more planned!

We have:
~ had a couple of wienie roasts...complete with s'mores and staying up past bedtime.

~all taken part in planting the garden.

~swam in Grandpa and Grandma's pool.

~had some fun cookouts at Nan and Papa's house with their cousins.

~gone out to Steak N Shake for a spontanious milk shake date! (Which BTW, if you are looking to stay on a budget AND have fun....they have 99 cents kids shakes!)

~played in the mud...up to our necks, and jumped on the trampoline in the rain! Sometimes, you can't let the weather get you down...If you can't beat 'em...Join 'em, right?

~gone to VBS at our church and had a blast! Ashton even won Indiana Beach tickets for 2nd place in points for his age group! We all had a blast at the Friday Night Carnival!

~made some very interesting crafts for the wonderful Father/Papa's in our lives!

~had a totally LAZY rain day. That's chores, no laundry, next-to-no cooking. We rented movies, cuddled in our blankets....all 6 kids generally rotate on my lap in the recliner...and did absolutely *kinda* nothing. This was very fun, but VERY different from our normal routine. It felt good....and I was ready to get back to norm the next day!

~hit some good rummage sales. Speaking of rain, Tae and Riya and I went to the "original" Catlin rummages during the rain storm. We had to "wade" in and out of sales. It was so much fun and the girls had a blast!

We are planning to:
~take the boys (2 of which are HUGE Thomas fans) to "A Day Out With Thomas" in Indiana. We took Bryson last year and it is awesome! The girls will stay with Nan, and this will be a special treat, mainly, for the little guys. Ashton is coming along as helper/entertainer! We even get to ride a real Thomas train!

~go camping in our tents at Forest Glen with Doug, Jami, Stefani, Stevie, and Schae. This is Dave's sister's family. They are great and so much fun. Jami is such a sweet person and she is one of my best friends. The kids will have a blast! We are going all out! Hiking, fishing, yard darts, s'mores and campfire stories...I can't wait!

~have great July 4th celebrations with our families. I LOVE this holiday. Usually we go out to church camp on the fourth and then to my mom's for a big celebration. We watch fireworks that night in Georgetown in the back of Uncle Brody's truck. On the weekend, we usually get together in Dave's parents' back yard and watch the Turtle Run fireworks. We drive the lawn mower with wagon and all our supplies out to the back of their acreage and "set up camp". We will usually have popcorn, watermelon, and some other goodies. The kids will run around and then sit in amazement once they start. I love traditions!

~send the kids to church camp. All 3 of them actually want to go! They will go to Camp Assurance in Georgetown, which is the camp that I started going to when I was 5 yrs. old. I went my whole life and LOVED every second of it. The kids have all spent time out at camp during family/church activities, but never for 3 days by themselves! Mostly, they are looking forward to swimming everyday, riding the horses, going down the zipline, and doing crafts. I am so glad that they have this opportunity! I am a control this will be a nerve-racking time for me. I am so used to being with my "babies"!

~take a family trip! This is still in the making! I know we are going to St. Joseph, the beach! We LOVE it there and decided that we HAD to go again this summer. We haven't decided what else we want to do. We usually like to try new things and also do a couple familiar things too! Maybe Indy Zoo, Chicago Rainforest Cafe, and/or going a bit farther north in Michigan. We are planning everything out right now. Financially, this year has been different from what we are used to. We are working on saving money and coming up with new ways to earn money for the trip!

~celebrate our 10th anniversary by taking a "Date" trip to Brown County, IN. For those of you who know us well, you know there are VERY few times that Dave and I get "alone" time. Once a year we venture off and go to one of our favorite places....Brown County....aka Little Nashville. It is so peaceful and romantic. Dave and I thoroughly enjoy this break. By the end of it, we are so ready to get back to the little ones! My parents will probably have Ashton, Nolan, and Nevin and Dave's parents will have Taelyn, Mariya, and Bryson. The kids really look forward to this time too!

~hopefully take a "girls trip" to Chicago! I have asked Nan (Dave's mom) to accompany us! We will take the train and go up to Chicago for the day. We will go to the American Girl doll store and spend the day! Yes...there is actually that much to do there. My girls don't know this yet! It is a surprise! We aren't going to tell them where we are going until we get on the train! They will FLIP out!

~hopefully take a "boys trip" to Indiana Beach! Dave, Ashton, and Bryson will go to the amusement park for the day. The boys will be spoiled by riding all the rides and playing numerous video games! The video games will be the BIG hit! The boys don't know about this trip either. We are still working out the kinks! Dave's Dad may join them.

~make some more crafts to give to those whom we love. My kids LOVE to use their creativity! They are darn good at it too! We have got some special projects planned. These simple things bring SO many smiles! I am hoping to start a special project with the kids very soon. They would be sewing stuffed animals to donate to the Emergency Room for children that come in sick or injured. I think this would be a valuable lesson and a great way to put those willing little hands to good use!

We have so many little things planned as well. I think that the little/"simple" things are just as important as the BIG things! Sometimes the best memories made are from the unexpected things!

My favorite thing is when at the end of the 6 beautiful happy children come in....with dirty bare feet....scraped up knees.....popsicle, sun-kissed shoulders....and a HUGE smile on their face! I love to hear them chatter and laugh together as we are settling in for the night. These family times are so precious and I know in the blink of an eye, they will be over. I will cherish my kids!!!