Labor Day has come and gone, back packs were readied and lunches were packed...summer is officially over and it's really a bittersweet reality. We had such a wonderful summer - great weather, lots of fun things to do, relaxing vacations, quality time with friends and family and a true removal of routine. It was really nice. Nice to have lazy mornings or days where we watched too much TV. Nice to stay up a little later or play outside all day. With that being said, towards the end of summer, I really started to wonder if some of the "non-desirable" behavior I was witnessing from the kids was due to the lack of routine and structure. Carter, especially, has always thrived on routine and likes predictability. Is it possible to have too much fun? Maybe school, and the scheduled days, will be a good thing for him. Time will tell, I suppose.
Here are lots of pictures that didn't make it into their own posts, snap shots of the fun that was had this summer.
On the last day of school, we celebrated Ryan's birthday at G6 airpark. The boys had such a great time!
And so did the girls - Kennedy and Emory certainly kept up.
group shot of the party and some of Carter's friends from his kindergarten class
I am so thankful for these sweet friends that Carter made during his first year of school.
Our peonies bloomed in June, such beauty.
Here were the end of the year baskets that I put together for the kids' teachers. I found the idea on Pinterest and modified it with things I could find easily. These cute buckets were from Ikea and I used them for Kennedy's party, too. I filled them with strawberry scented soap, note cards, a cute strawberry towel and a few other odds and ends. I was happy with how they turned out.
Our small group (11 out of 12, we missed you Kathy!)
Celebrating Zack's promotion to captain with a fun dinner out.
We talked and laughed and really enjoyed our time together.
First trip out on the boat
Kennedy went tubing all on her own!
She likes to go fast!
Carter wanted to help me make dinner one evening.
We were having taco salad and he helped cut the olives...
and grate the cheese.
He was very proud of his contribution to the meal.
We had several birthday parties in July and were thankful to be able to help our friends celebrate their special days.
Brevin had a pirate themed party at Blue Lake Park. Unfortunately the weather didn't really cooperate, but the kids didn't seem to mind at all.
A treasure hunt...
At the end was a pirate treasure chest pinata ~ real treasure!
Despite the cold, the kids played and played. Eventually both Carter and Kennedy were swimming in the freezing lake.
A few weeks later we went to Oaks Park to celebrate Emery's 3rd birthday
The Pikes and the Phelans driving the boats
Happy Birthday Emery!
Andrew's 7th birthday was at Chuck E Cheese and the kids had a blast!
I was amazed at how cute Kathy was able to make the venue, every detail was perfectly coordinated and so cute. It was a cheerful monster theme ~ sweet and silly ~ a lot like Andrew!
The noise makers were a huge hit...with the kids.
Andrew was so excited to try his hand in the ticket blaster ~ there was one magic ticket worth 1000 tickets and he was determined to get it. It was crazy how quickly and chaotically the tickets were flying about, but Andrew stayed focused and managed to snag the magic ticket. It was awesome and I was so happy for him. His face just radiated joy!
Happy Birthday sweet Andrew!
We had a little birds next on the side of our house...four little birds hatched and made a home for awhile.
I was sad when we discovered the nest was empty.
Kennedy got a gift card for her birthday and this is what she purchased.
It was a big deal, she loves princesses!
Kyle and I had a date night for Alex's 40th birthday.
Ken and Diane asked to keep the kids for the entire weekend, and it was so much fun for us. We were productive and enjoyed lots of great conversation, uninterrupted.
After meeting friends for brunch in NE, we stopped by the Kennedy School.
Kennedy had fun reading the sign and realizing that her name was there.
This was the first restaurant that we took her to, as well, when she was about two weeks old. We met a big group of my friends to show off our sweet baby girl. I love this place.
Kennedy at the Kennedy School
Someone dressed herself
We enjoyed several evenings at the park with our church family over the summer. I missed the first one but Kyle and the kids went. It was fun to get emails the next day from several friends who commented on Carter's theological answers to some questions during a game - spiritually mature and in line with God's teachings. I love little glimpses like these that make me think he's acting getting "it". I was a very proud mama.
At the last picnic, Kyle was the main source of entertainment. The kids lined up and took turns getting spun around. I think Kyle was sore the next day, but it was worth it to see the joy on the kids' faces.
It was a great opportunity to spend some fun, relaxed time with friends from church.
Notice the long line of kids just waiting for their turn - such sweet innocence.
Kyle, you are an amazing dad!
We had a fun dinner with our small group to plan our next year together.
While the ladies planned, these little ladies played so sweetly together. They got into Audrey's dress up bin and put on a little parade. They were so cute together ~ this was the first time that the girls have really gone off on their own and initiated play. I love how their individual personalities really shine in this picture. Fun times!
During our last week of summer, a few ladies from our small group managed a fun night out together. We went to Camas Meadows and took advantage of their happy hour. It was such a beautiful setting, definitely need to go back next summer!
I am blessed to call these women my friends. They are kind, thoughtful, faithful and so much fun!