04 September 2011

Happy Labor Day

This has been a nice week, especially since we’ve been able to enjoy this long Labor Day weekend so far.

On Monday we had our family night and the sister missionaries from church came over for dinner, then shared a short message and joined us for a quick game of ‘Mother May I?’ for our activity. On Tuesday we went for a Moms Club playgroup at Lollypop Farm, where we met a couple friends and walked around to see all the farm animals, then saw the cats and dogs in the shelter, before heading over to Egypt Park to play on the playground and have lunch. That was a fun morning, then we headed to the orchard to pick up our weekly fruits and vegetables. That night Michael took Kolby to the senior primary party at the Vaisey’s house. They had a life jacket for Kolby, and Michael said he had a blast swimming in the deep end of the pool and jumping off the diving board (Kolby and Lijah are probably both old enough to be swimming on their own now, but we just don’t get too much time in at the pool. That’ll be another nice thing about San Diego – I’m sure they’ll pick up swimming right away).

On Wednesday morning we went to Schoen Place to feed the ducks and then walk along the canal with a group from the Moms Club, which was fun (even if I should have taken the stroller for Courtland, but didn’t so he wanted to be carried on the way back). Then we stopped at Michaels for a while before heading home. While Isaac and Courtland napped, Kolby, Lijah, and Camden worked on getting things ready for a garage sale.

Usually at Christmas time we take the boys to the dollar store and let them each pick out gifts for their brothers and parents. But a week or so ago I told the boys that this year they could work to earn the money for their family Christmas gifts, thinking it would be more meaningful for them that way. They got all excited and said they wanted to have a garage sale. Since the garage sale season will probably come to an end here before too long, I figured if we were going to do it, we’d better get it done soon, so we planned a garage sale for Thursday and Friday this week. (That’s something I’ll really miss out here when we do go to California – garage sales here are on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and they often start around 9am and go until the afternoon. In San Diego garage sales are bright and early on Saturday mornings – if you get out at 7:30, you may have already missed the best deals). Anyway, the boys were really excited, and they did a lot of work to get ready for the sale. They cleaned out the garage and moved all the bikes and things to the back yard, they sorted all the clean laundry so we could pull out all of Courtland’s 2T size clothes that he’s growing out of to sell, they made lots of signs, they helped clean off some of the outdoor toys to be sold, and they helped set up the garage. On Wednesday night we all drove around and posted signs all over the neighborhood. I’m glad to have done this with the boys, but I’m not having a garage sale anytime soon again – it’s lots of work. But, the boys did work hard and they earned about $150, which is a ton for kids who think that a dollar is a lot – you should have seen their eye bulge as we counted it all up afterwards. The boys said they really liked doing the garage sale, although they preferred getting it ready to the sitting and waiting for people to come, but we passed the time alright by watching movies or listening to music on the laptop. The older two boys also helped me with a craft project while the younger ones were napping, in between customers. Anyway, that’s how we spent our Thursday and Friday.  Oh, and the boys are also planning on going around the neighborhood this fall and seeing if anyone will hire them to rake their leaves for them, which should be pretty cute. 

Thursday was also my mom’s birthday, and it was fun to get to talk to her for quite a while that evening. We also got Camden’s birthday invitations out in the mail – he’s decided to have a t-ball party this year (he asked me if they could actually play t-ball at the party, and I told him we’d have to wait and see how the weather is by then. Lijah also had his meet the teacher night on Thursday. He has Mrs. Grace this year, the same teacher Kolby had last year, and she’s great, so it’s nice to already know her.

On Saturday we decided to try to get in another hike to a waterfall before the weather turns, and we were lucky, because it ended up being about 90 degrees out, which is perfect for a hike through a creek. We went down to Naples, NY, but instead of going to Grimes Glen, our usual place, we went a little further down the road to Tannery Creek. We had read online that this hike was a little tougher, and that it might be difficult for families with little kids, and not to take pets. So, we left Brax at home, and decided to just check it out and we could go to Grimes if it really was too difficult with the boys. There was a spot or two where the hike around the waterfalls was a little steep, but nothing we couldn’t safely handle with the kids, and we should have taken Brax – we passed 5 different dogs with hikers on our way. But it was fun. There were 5 waterfalls – the first two were maybe 10 feet tall, and we enjoyed sliding down the 2nd one over and over with the boys, the third one was about the same size but was almost entirely covered with fallen trees and sticks so we had to duck under and around them to get through, the fourth one was probably about 30 feet tall or so and was nice with a fun pool at the bottom (we hiked up the right side with a rope to get up the steepest part, but realized on our way back down that coming up the left side of the falls there was a trail that was easier), and then the last falls was maybe 50 to 70 feet tall and you could hike up pretty high on it too (but it was too sheer to try to get all the way to the top). Michael fell hard and hit his left arm on a rock when he was walking in the water, and he thought he had broken it at first, but fortunately it seems that he’s just bruised, scraped, and sore. (Speaking of left arms, Courtland seems to be left handed – just like Michael, and my dad, and Michael’s grandpa). We probably took 2 or 3 hours making our way upstream and playing in the water, then maybe 20 minutes or so walking back down to the car. And Naples has lots of vineyards, so on our way out of town we got a grape pie – sounds weird, but it was really good. Michael thinks it was the best pie he’s ever had. It had purple grapes and a crumb topping. We’ll probably have to wait to go back to Naples to have it again, though – someone told us that they peel all the grapes to make grape pies, and that’s not going to happen at our house. Anyway, after we got home and got cleaned up, we went to a BBQ at the Silva’s house with them, the Cases, Stevensons, and a new family, Lindsey and Mike and their two daughters, who just moved in. It was fun, and it’s sure nice that the boys are getting old enough to play pretty well while we enjoy the company of the other adults (since the Silva’s don’t have a fence in their back yard, it’s nice that the kids stick around the backyard swing set instead of running off, like Kolby and Lijah surely would have done when they were Courtland’s age).

Today there were lots of people from church who were out of town, and I was asked to substitute in primary. I taught Isaac’s class, which was a little hyper, but luckily there were only 4 kids in the class today, so that made it a little easier.

Oh, and for the last two weeks we’ve started working on the basement again, with the goal of finishing the mudding on the drywall on the walls, painting the walls and the cement floors, finishing the floorboards in the stairway, and getting the items in the storage room organized. I told Michael that once we are done with this, I’m never doing a big drywall job again – all the mudding and sanding, and repeating the process over and over again are enough to drive anyone crazy. It takes forever, is incredibly messy, and even when you’re all done, a perfectionist would go mad because you can still see all the little mistakes when you look closely. At least I’m being able to let go of some of the perfectionist in me. :) Anyway, we started painting two nights ago, and that helps make it feel like we’re making some progress on the job. We’ve now painted the walls in the storage room and the laundry room (except we still need to get the wall behind the washer and dryer done). Next we’ll need to paint the floors, so we can start moving things back in from the giant pile of luggage, shelves, food storage, paint cans, camping gear, toys, and Christmas boxes in the basement play room. Once we get everything back in place, then we can get painting in the play room too. That’ll be really nice to have that job done, and it’ll look a lot nicer too.

Well, this week we have an orientation meeting with Kolby because he will be starting cub scouts through our church once he turns 8. That will add to our schedule – he will have scouts every Wednesday evening and a monthly Pack Meeting on Thursdays. But I’m sure he’s going to have a great time with it.

And school starts for Kolby and Lijah on Wednesday. Isaac’s speech therapy starts that morning too – he’ll be doing that two mornings a week. And Camden’s preschool starts up the following week. Looks like we’re in for another busy year. But I’m looking forward to it. Now that we don’t have an afternoon kindergartener (for the first time since we moved here), even though 4 mornings a week will be busy with speech therapy and driving to and from preschool, our afternoons will be free, which will make the days seems a little more open. And for the boys’ birthdays this year my mom got them a pass to Kango, a play place which they love – and I’m sure we’re going to be spending a lot of the rainy and cold days there this year. And I’m planning on signing the boys up for story time at the library once a week during preschool time (I was thinking about it, and I’ll only have two boys to sign up for that this year, and if Courtland ends up going to the drop-off story time with Isaac, then I’ll be in the library all by myself for about 30 minutes – such a foreign concept for me. :)

Well, it’s very late, so I’d better go take the dog out and wake Michael up (he’s asleep on the couch, of course) so we can go up to bed. At least tomorrow is a holiday and he has the day off. And that’ll make the rest of the week go by quicker too. Happy Labor Day!

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