Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Family Sunday: An Evening at Marilyn Park

My boys are at vacation bible school this week and since I have my mornings free when Charli is napping, I figured I better catch up on my blog a little. It's been on my mind for a while. Truth be told, I'd rather be working on my next quilt...

This past week JP received a thank you card in the mail from his best friend from preschool. JP had wanted to give him Ninja turtle socks for his birthday, and since we didn't know when it was, we gave him his present last month when we saw him at bible school. Perfect timing as he was airlifted from the hospital here to go to Spokane to have brain (?) surgery. He's doing much better now, and was thrilled to get the present from JP. 

We since have found out they only live a few blocks away. Go figure! We were hoping to see them at church so we could arrange a play date, but must have missed them. Hunter somehow made it all the way to the church and through the first hymn before I mentioned to Perry that his son's button down shirt was inside out...Later during mass I leaned down to pick something up Charli dropped and smashed my forehead into the pew in front of me. Perry and I had a hard time controlling our laughter. Good grief did that hurt though! 

After church we played croquet with Hunter and JP while Charlotte napped. Hunter did pretty good. JP needed a lot of extra strokes and needs to work on his aim a little more... I won for the first time though! Go me! We need to have some people over so we can play again!

We were going to go folfing after Charlotte woke up, but we went grocery shopping instead and then went to Marilyn Park before dinner. Also known as the frog park.
 This was Charlotte's first time playing on the splash deck. 
 I probably don't have to tell you that she LOVED it! 
 She was very curious about the mister.
She even walked though it! 
 It took Hunter and JP a while before they finally decided it was okay to get wet. 
We had a very enjoyable time a the park! I love going to this park because unlike other parks, this one is pretty quiet. There's never been a bunch of people when I've been here. I get really nervous about Hunter with a lot of people. He's hard to keep track of! 

Family Sunday: Golfing at Beaver Creek

Okay...so maybe it wasn't a Sunday, but it still counts for our weekly family day! For the weekend of July 11 & 12th, the ENTIRE family made a visit to the Dome Home. Initially our big family get together was because there was supposed to be a golf tournament on the 12th, but it was cancelled. Since we all planned on going anyways, we all came with our clubs anyways. 

Perry has been acting as the interim district manager right now while the new guy moves over from Chicago. Our trip to the Hi-Line was planned for the weekend after his first week with his "new" job. He made his first store visits to the Bozeman and Billings stores and then made the loop to the round house. It worked out perfect since he's been in Washington for the last few weeks. Anyways, Kile, Chris & Casey made the long 8+ hour drive, Kim brought her boyfriend Julian, and Robin all met up in Hingham for a short weekend of fun. 
 Once we had the babysitter settled in, we headed out the golf course in Havre. The weather was GREAT! Although the "real" tournament was cancelled, my dad rounded up quite a few other people and we had a mini tournament. I think in total there was about 20 of us - we made up a solid half of them!
 I've never done it before, but we played a best ball scramble. I think that's what you call it... But everyone teed off and then we took the best ball, then everyone hit their ball from that spot and took the best ball...and so on. I wasn't much help...
 We played girls vs boys. My dad was SO excited to hang out with "his boys"!
 I was the lucky one to share a cart with Kimmy, who was mostly referred to as Wie (the famous golfer). If there was a "Wie" pun, it was used, the entire day. "Wie need to golf better!" "You're going the wrong way. Oh, Saw-wie!" And let me just tell you about our carts! Ours had super speed. You were either stopped or going super fast. No in between. Plenty of times we passed Robin up in her extra slow cart. Kile and Mom's cart was "normal" except for you had to shut it off when you weren't moving because it would sit there and idle. 
 Isn't this momma-to-be adorable? Couple more months and I'll have another nephew!
 The girls ended up losing, by 2? strokes, even though we had a pretty big handicap. I guess we have to do the dishes on the holidays... I'm glad Thanksgiving is with the Dustin's this year! Or so I think anyways... 
 Even though we lost, we still did pretty good! 
 After golf everyone met up at the Hingham park for a barbecue. Although I attempted to prevent it, Perry passed out for a while. He had a little too much fun :) 
 And so did Julian with my camera...
 Check out this big kid too! He was walking every where! I can't believe he's going to be a big brother!
Once we got back from town, Perry and I watched the sunset over the Sweet Grass mountains. When we were lighting off fireworks, I made a comment about the Super Moon to the boys. Apparently neither Perry or Julian have seen it this big, and red before. What a treat for them!

Family Sunday: Crawdad Hunting

Last week for family day, we went to the same camping spot as we had on this camping trip. I'm not sure if Hunter suggested it to Perry, or Perry suggested the idea of crawdad hunting to Hunter, but either way, if you haven't already, you can read a pretty humorous chat about it at the dinner table the night before on this Monkey Shiner Babblings. Got to love JP...

Anyways! Our plan was to surprise Grandma and bring her along with, but when we arrived at the cabin, she was no where to be found...because she was in Whitefish. Instead we went to the Chicken Coop and had a late lunch before heading out to the creek.
 It was SO calm and peaceful out there! And the weather was perfect too! Not too hot, but hot enough that river water felt good. 
 Before I could even get Charli out of the car Perry and Hunter were already on the hunt for crawdads. Hunter was SO excited! Flip over that one, dad!
 JP thought the idea of crawdad hunting was fun, but the reality of it was not. I mean, you have to get wet and put your feet in cold water... I just keep thinking back to the other week when we went fishing and Hunter was practically swimming in the river. JP is on the shore in ankle deep water going, "it's getting pretty deep over here..." I don't want to call him a baby...but he did sit on this rock for quite sometime!
 Charlotte on the other hand was ALL about the water. I didn't think she wouldn't be, after all she can spend an hour in the bathtub if you let her!
 With little hesitation, she plopped herself down and had a blast splashing around! She was so cute to watch!
 She even got a little adventurous and attempted to climb out of the little rock pool.
 It seriously melts my heart every time I see Perry and Hunter doing things like this together. I feel like most of their relationship is them fighting with one another, so I am always a blubbery mess when they interact without fighting. Not to say that they fight all the time, but Hunter has a way with pushing the rules to their limits and Perry is a this-is-how-it's-going-to-be kind of person. They're both leaders- Hunter is like a mini Perry so they kind of clash a little...but anyways...
 After about half an hour of hunting the river for crawdads, they finally brought back two. Although I tried to stop them, Hunter and JP had a lot of fun with these little guys....at one point they were whirling around at a high speed. I'll assume that even though we freed them before we left, they probably didn't make it much longer...
 We're trying *really* hard to take more pictures of the two of us, since we only have a handful...
 Look at this girl! Isn't she just the cutest thing?! She played in the little river pool for at least half an hour and she loved almost every minute of it!
 Before we packed up, Perry took the boys to the island in the middle of the river to look for frogs. They found one and Hunter was able to pick it up. Scared the daylights out of him when it jumped out of his hands! JP hung back by dad for the majority of the search...
 Pretty big pool huh?
 Since we forgot to drive back into Seeley to go to The Ice Cream Place, we hit up Dairy Queen on the way home and brought it to our favorite park to eat. 
 Napkin anyone?
Thanks Google for this video of JP too...
 Charli strutted her stuff around for a little while before hitting up the swings.
She LOVES to swing!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Monkey Shiner Babblings

H - I see a water tower!
J - I see another one!
M - You should count them and see how many you can find. How many do you have so far?
H - That's one, two. We have two.
J - Mom! Did you see that one?! It was a HOLY BIG ONE!
M - I must have missed that one.
H - It was bigger than dad!
J - No, it was bigger than a giant!
H - Have you even seen a giant?
J - Yeah....on Peg & Cat.
H - That was a dragon. 
J - Oh. Well it was still bigger than dad...

H - *nonchalantly in the middle of dinner* So mom...When Charli's done being a baby, can we get another one?

J- Hahahaha! I'm so funny I crack your head up!

H - *rubbing my belly* Mom, I see your tummy is getting bigger.
M - That was rude Hunter.
H - You must have another baby growing in there or something...

M - Have we decided what we're going to do tomorrow?
D - Hunter don't you have something to ask Mom?
H - Uh. No.
M - Do you want to go fishing?
H - Can we go craw-dadin'?
M - What's a craw-dadin'?
J - They live under rocks and in the night they come out and eat and play cards and stuff.
M - Oh they do? Where did you get this knowledge of crawdads playing cards?
J - Uh, I don't know.
M - Did you make it up then?
J - No, dad told me. Dad do crawdads come out at night and play cards?
D - I don't recall that I've ever seen a crawdad play cards.
J - Well...then no, he didn't tell me that...I must have made it up...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Few Things From the Round House

We've been visiting the Round House for the last few days. Hunter found Nanny's iPod Shuffle and has been listening to one song on repeat. Can you tell which one?
Little Kiki is slowly growing into a busy busy waddler! Look at her go! At the beginning of our vacation, she was only doing a couple at a time! They sure do learn fast...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Family Sunday: Fishing at Rock Creek

For Family Sunday this week, we took a little drive to Rock Creek. (That was after we dressed up for church, and realized it was an hour earlier this week after getting there...ooops!)  The river is about half an hour away and is the same place we went last year this time. This year however, we didn't drive way back in the mountains. We stopped at the same place we found last year and had enjoyed so much, except when we got there, the wooden bridge was washed out...
 Perry found a similar spot in the same general area, just up the creek a little ways. Again, we had to hike through a jungle with our cooler full of dinner and drinks, a cooler of ice in case we caught a fish, the pack-n-play for Charlotte, the umbrella for shade, the fishing poles...So much stuff to pack around!
 As soon as we got to our spot, Hunter was very eager to get in and swim. JP didn't even want to get his feet wet at first because it was too cold. Unfortunately for him, we set up camp in the middle of the river, so he had to cross over a couple puddles...can you say meltdown?
 Charlotte spent most of the time in the pack-n-play because she kept tasting the rocks... Yuck!
 In the picture above, Hunter waded out into the river on the right until it was about waste high and then decided he didn't want to swim any more and came back to shore. Meanwhile JP is exploring on the shore and throws out the comment, "Oh-pa. It's getting pretty deep over here!" as he's standing in ankle deep water... While Hunter dried out, Perry got the poles together and then then five of us crossed the river at the end of these rocks. I had Charlotte in my front carrier and my camera strapped onto me. I took it *very* slow as the water was up to Charli's toes, but according to Perry it wasn't very deep... Yeah, because you're tall!
 Once on the other side, the boys spent some time casting their line into the water. Hunter is getting pretty good, but JP could use some work still. 
 Charlotte and I had fun watching. I was just thinking about what would happen if Charlotte dropped her snack cup and then a minute later she did, and as soon as I realized it, we were running after it. It floated up the river instead of down so it was a pretty easy retrieval, but still, I panicked for a second.
 After eating dinner of lunchables and sandwiches, Perry took Hunter and JP up the river to do some more fishing while Charlotte and I played. She LOVED playing with Hunter's hat. She's getting such a personality and it is so adorable. In fact, last night, she played with one of Hunter's shirts for 2 hours! Who needs toys?!
I suspect we'll be back soon. It was so peaceful there and everyone had a wonderful time, until it was time to go, then things got ugly pretty quick! But overall it was an afternoon well spent, even if we didn't catch anything!

Monday, July 7, 2014

We're Staying Put...For Now + Charlotte Can Walk...But Not Well

The past few weeks have been full of ups and down for us. I feel like I'm on an emotional roller coaster! 

A few weeks ago, Perry found out his boss put in his notice. We were both super excited at the possibility that he could potentially be the new district manager, after all that's what his boss had been training him for for the last 9 months. Although there were a few other center managers, like Perry, who applied for the job, Perry was the most qualified to take the position because he was the most familiar. And then another current district manager applied for the position. Since he was the only district manager to apply, he automatically took the position. I think I was more upset about it than Perry was. While the guy ties up loose ends in Chicago and moves over to Spokane, Perry will be the interim district manager, which he's excited about. (His first day was today!) 

The district manager from Chicago applied for the transfer a few days after Perry interviewed for it. The whole time the position was open, it seemed as if Perry was a shoo-in. Because he was very confident in getting the job, he became very stressed about the house and getting it ready to sell, which is why we started to fight about family time. Every minute of every weekend, and week night, he was busy working outside to finish up miscellaneous projects. They needed to get done but...    

I'm excited for him to have a temporary promotion, but I feel crummy too. I just wish we could catch a break! We have been waiting and waiting for the center manager position in Spokane to open up so Perry can get a transfer. I mean, I don't want to move, but it's inevitable. The current center manager over there has been wanting to move now for close to a year, and as far as Perry knows, he's just waiting on his house to sell. We're hopeful that once Perry's new boss gets settled in here, he'll put the pressure on the guy to get out. I'm discouraged, but still hopeful...

And then there is my little Charlotte. I *cannot* get this girl to crawl! I wish our pediatrician would have said something along the lines of "when she starts moving around, make sure she uses both sides of her body" or something to make me aware that her scooting could potentially be bad for her. We've been going to physical therapy now for about a month and a half, and I've been working with her at home, and I can't get her to crawl. PT has helped her out a little bit though, or maybe it would have happened at the same time without it, but she can bring herself to standing without holding on to anything and can take steps on her own. Both are far and a few between, but she can do it. 
At her appointment on Wednesday, which was supposed to be her last one until she's walking, we discussed how her back isn't straight up and down when she's sitting. Her physical therapist is hoping that when she gets the hang of walking, her back will realign. Because of how she crawls, with her right leg curled in and her left leg used for pushing, the inside of her right foot has begun to curl in, and her left foot is pointing out. If they don't straighten out when she starts walking, we'll have to tape her leg for a while in the position it needs to be. But if her back doesn't realign, she'll be at risk for developing scoliosis. So much to take in! We're going to do one more session this week to see if taping her legs might get her to crawl on her hands and knees. In the meantime, Charlotte has been working her muscles doing plank to build up her shoulder muscles, pushing things around the house and the yard to get used to walking, and working her core while sitting on a ball. Yay for baby exercises!

Since we're not moving, at least we'll be able to enjoy our patio more, JP will be able to go to school with a few of his friends from last year, Hunter will start kindergarten at the school we visited, and get on the bus at the end of the lane, and Charlotte can get help from her physical therapist as needed. As much as I don't want to move, I am sad that all that house browsing was for nothing. I found quite a few homes I liked... Maybe this next spring?

Family Sunday: The Beginning

Even though I blog about the good stuff happening in my life, it's only fair for you to know that my relationship with Perry isn't perfect, nor with my kids. I fight with my kids all the time and I fight with my husband about stupid things that don't need to be fought about. I try not to dwell on it so I tend not to blog about it but...

A couple weeks ago, Perry and I got into a pretty heated argument. Every weekend Perry would spend all his time working on the house. Yes, things needed to get done, but to me they weren't pressing issues. Water dripping from the light fixture in the laundry room? Yes fix that! Dirt pile under the deck? That can wait... and so it started. I cried, I yelled, I cried because I yelled, I cried some more... Sometimes I think I just need a good cry. I don't recall how it started but all that matters is that we were able to come to an agreement. I wanted him to spend more time with the family and he wanted to get stuff done. After a lot of venting and a lot of "this is how I feel....", we came to the agreement that Sunday's would be reserved for family.

Isn't it supposed to be anyways? I mean after all, one of the Ten Commandment is to "Keep Holy the Sabbath Day." For all of my working life, I my job has required me to work on Sunday's so it became just another day of the week. Same for Perry. When I had Charlotte, I was lucky enough to be able to quit my job and stay home, but that didn't necessarily mean going to church was automatically put on the schedule. Although it seems like it, it doesn't mean that we would get more family time either. And so we fought.

As I said, we did come to an agreement. Sunday's are now reserved for just doing stuff as a family. Sunday morning we sleep in a little bit (or not at all, depending on when Hunter wakes up because once he's up, the other kids are too...), and then we have family breakfast before going to church. After church we do stuff as a family. It doesn't matter what, as long as we're all together focusing on each other.

Last weekend was our first weekend with our new system in place, except the day were a little flipped. Saturday we took the kids (how many times have I typed boys and had to change it to kids?!) to hang out with Grandma while Perry and I golfed 18 holes in the rain. We had a lot of fun on course even though the weather was a little chillier and wetter than we would have liked. But after church Sunday morning, we worked around the yard and did laundry. In the late afternoon, we surprised the boys by taking them swimming at the hotel. They had SO much fun!

Watch out for JP...make sure he doesn't judo chop you when you come out of the slide....!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

4th of July in Seeley Lake

It's clearly a tradition now! I don't recall one 4th of July in the past 5 or 6 years that we haven't gone out to Seeley Lake. This year was no different! 

We headed out to the cabin around 10:30, a little behind schedule, but since Perry and I stayed up until 1:30a the night before playing Dominos, we opted to sleep in a little bit. Can you blame us? When we arrived, we had a quick bathroom break before we piled back into the truck with Grandma to head downtown to reserve our spot on the side of the road. We were in the same area that we were last year, but on the opposite side of the road. Since we still had about 2 hours before the parade actually started, we walked to The Ice Cream Place for lunch, and ice cream of course! Like usual, the place was swarming with people so it took about half and hour just to get our food, if not longer! We made it back with a few minutes to spare. It was a super long walk with 3 kids...
Before the parade started, Hunter and JP sat eagerly in their chairs with Grandma waiting and waiting for the parade to begin. 
Charlotte was a trooper! It was 2pm before she finally had a moment to take a little snooze! Knowing that she would be exhausted, we brought the swing for her, and within minutes she was out. I wanted to join her!
  The forest service handed out frisbees again this year. The look on JP's face was priceless when they handed him a yellow one, as the guy had an armful of green ones. He went from excited when he saw all the green frisbees to a solid pout when he was handed a yellow one and then right into pure excitement when he realized it was a frisbee. All within 10 seconds. He is so animated!
 This was his face when the *green* Shriner's cars were racing around in circles. Excited they were green, but what are those old guys doing on those small cars?
 Hunter kind of kept to himself during the parade and wasn't too keen on picking up candy. But JP loved the majority of it. The Blackfoot suburban had their back wipers going so the flag was waving. JP thought this was HILARIOUS! And "Look! Santa is strapped to that truck carrying the watermelon!"
 When Hunter and JP (and mom, dad, and Grandma) saw this coming, we ALL took shelter so we didn't end up soaking wet like last year!
 The adults stepped back by the truck, Hunter climbed into the back of the truck, and JP hid behind my chair. One of the first entries in the parade was a fire truck, and he hid behind me when he first saw it, 2 blocks away... Needless to say, no one got wet on our side of the road this year. Woohoo!
 The boys came out of hiding when they saw "Mater". 
Charlotte woke up around the time the boys were fussing about the fire trucks. But she woke up just in time to be thrown popsicles. How did she she get away with two, and the boys only one? Easy - green popsicles were the *cool* thing.  
 I was so glad to get back to the cabin because I was exhausted, and so was everyone else. The boys napped for a little bit, Grandma had a short nap, but Perry, Charlotte and I didn't get up until 6:30! At that point, we all headed down to river to have a campfire. JP was excite that his hot dog actually had his name on it! Charli ate a ton and I somehow caught her mid-blink...
 The weather was perfect for a campfire. Not too hot, not too breezy. Just perfect. 
 Once the boys finished eating, they went down near the river to whack some stuff. They would do this all day if you let them. 
 We pulled the jeep out of the shop for the first time this year to take down to the lake to watch the fireworks. Charlotte had fun playing in the front seat as we gathered up everything we needed.
 Before we left, I insisted I get a *decent* picture of the 3 of my kids. I was thrilled one turned out!
 This is how they usually turn out...
Why can't you all look at the same time?!
 Before marking our spot on the lake shore, we hit up The Ice Cream Place again and bought a few fireworks for the boys for when we got back home. 
 There were TONS of people there! I think this is the 2nd time we watched the fireworks over the lake. The boys spent their time before the show running up the hill and rolling down. Hunter could really get rolling! JP could also get rolling pretty quick but it took him twice as long to get down because he would end up rolling across the hill instead of down. More in a zig-zag pattern than anything. They were fun to watch!

Hunter is in the green jacket, and JP is at the top of the hill in the grey jacket. It's a little fussy because I couldn't see the screen on my camera very well, but you get the picture!
The boys snuggled in with Grandma to watch the show. I was nervous about Charlotte not liking the fireworks because she typically doesn't like loud noises. She surprised the heck out of me! She laid between my legs and talked and giggled the whole show. It was adorable!
 The boys were *very* eager to light off fireworks at the cabin once we got back. They were thrilled about sparklers!
 And were very good about shouting cautions to dad. "Don't touch it dad! It's on fire!"
In the morning they did a few more sparklers before Perry lit the snake, also known as the "snakeler". Hopefully we'll be able to carry on our tradition next year!