28 July 2011


My youngest brother, Aaron, is spending a week with us, and we've been having so much fun!  Aaron is almost 13 years younger than me, although he did remind me that he may be my "baby brother," but I can't call him my little brother anymore, since he's taller than me.  :)

Aaron arrived Monday evening and we got home from the airport for a late dinner, put the kids to bed, and enjoyed some moose tracks ice cream (his favorite) and a red box movie. 

On Tuesday morning we met some friends for a playgroup at a park we'd never been to before -- Webster Park, which is right up by Lake Ontario.  The kids played on the playground a bit before eating lunch, then everyone went and played in a little stream, including Brax who was having lots of fun chasing every stick that Aaron would throw for him.  After a very short hike, our friends headed home.  We were going to go home soon afterwards, but then decided to walk over to the lake front, which was way fun.  Although it wasn't windy in the park at all, it was quite windy on the lake and there were lots of waves and the water was breaking on the rock walkway and splashing up on us as we walked out on the pier.  It was quite fun.  On our way home we stopped and picked up our fruits and vegetables at the farm for our CSA, and enjoyed some blueberries on the drive home.  After puting the younger boys down for naps, Aaron, Kolby, Lijah, and I made 6 loaves of chocolate chip zucchini bread, and then Aaron decided to take the 3 oldest boys and Brax on a walk to the school playground (about 5 or 10 minutes from our house).  I got a call from Aaron about an hour or so later, asking when they should come home, and I told him about 10 minutes or so would be good, since Michael was almost home, and then we'd need to eat a quick dinner before I had to go over for my shift at the family history center that evening.  About 20 minutes later they weren't back yet, so I tried calling Aaron but couldn't get ahold of him.  After about half an hour, I couldn't get ahold of him again, and I started wondering if the boys maybe took him to a different park that was further away, so I drove to look for them, and didn't see them at either park, but then I got a call from Aaron saying they were almost home and so I headed back.  When I got home, they were walking down the road (from the opposite direction of the school playground), and Aaron was carrying both Kolby and Camden while holding the dog's leash too.  Apparently Kolby had thought it would be quicker to walk home the route that his school bus drives, which circles around our whole neighborhood before getting to our house.  And then I guess the boys told Aaron they were tired, so he carried them.  What a good kid.  (When they left on the walk, I instructed the boys to listen to Uncle Aaron, and warned Aaron to hold the dog's leash in case a squirrel ran past because Brax would try to chase it, but I never thought to instruct Aaron that we haven't carried any of the boys other than Courtland on a walk in years).  :)

Yesterday we decided to go to the Corning Museum of Glass, which is about 2 hours south of here.  I went there as a teenager, but none of the boys have been there, and we've heard that it's cool.  (Plus, kids and teenagers age 19 and younger are free).  So, we were on our way there, and after driving a while I realized that our directions were taking us right through the town of Naples.  So I gave Aaron about 5 minutes to decide if he'd rather go to the museum or to our favorite little waterfall hike in Naples, Grimes Glen, and he chose the waterfalls.  We had a great time.  It was 75 degrees out, so warm enough that the cool water didn't freeze us (which is good, since a majority of the hike is up through the shallow stream).  It's a little slow going with that many short legs, but the kids did really well, and didn't even complain much after falling in at different points on the hike.  We enjoyed the waterfalls, and Aaron climbed up the face of both of the big falls all the way to the top.  It wasn't anything extremely dangerous -- actually, it was exactly the kind of thing I would have done before I had kids and started thinking about what my kids would do with a dead or seriously injured mother if anything were ever to happen (I guess I'm a wimp now).  But he did well with the climb as I watched from below, took lots of pictures, and called out to my boys not to climb up any higher after their uncle.  And I think he only came away with a few small cuts and bruises.  Aaron did say that he thinks we should always pack a change of clothes for everyone each day, no matter where we go, since that was the second day in a row that we had ended up soaking wet.  But we didn't mind too much.  And we had fun on the ride home, because I had gotten the audiobook, Holes, and it has been fun to listen to in the car -- the movie actually follows the book quite well.  After we got home, and I transferred the three youngest sleeping boys into their beds, the piano teacher called and asked if we could do our lesson that afternoon instead of the following day, so we did that.  The piano teacher met Aaron, and had a lot of fun chatting with him -- he ended up showing her how he could play a song with his hands crossed over each other, and also play it 'upside down' while laying on the floor beneath the keys -- she thought it was fabulous, and she commented later that he was such a great young man.  After Michael got home and we woke up the little boys and had a quick dinner, we headed to Camden's t-ball practice.  And last night, after the boys were all in bed, Michael and Aaron played video games together (it's fun for Michael, since he doesn't do that very often), and I ended up going to be before both of them because I was falling asleep on the couch. 

I don't know how late Aaron stayed up last night, because he just got up and it's almost 11:00 in the morning.  But that's fine, since the boys have had a chance to get all of their chores done, make lunches, and work on some extra chores, and I've been able to get the pictures uploaded from the camera and write this.  The plan today is to go to the Kango playplace, since the boys have been so excited to take Aaron there and show him.  I think we'll just stick with that for today, though, since we don't want to entirely wear out Uncle Aaron.  :)

Here are some fun pictures from Grimes Glen yesterday:

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