Tuesday, June 24, 2014

House Guests

We love having guests. And, we tend to get quite a few between neighbors, friends and overnight stays from family. This summer, we have a few weeks with two little girls, ages 8 & 9, at our house. This makes us a family of seven.


- Going anywhere on a time schedule is a feat. We have to leave the house about 20 minutes early to get anywhere on time. But, we've made it on time, every time, to where we need to be.

- Having a clean kitchen/finished laundry pile is all that much more rewarding when there are seven people in the house. It is also undone in a flash.

- Having four girls between 7 & 9 makes for quite the chorus when "Let It Go" comes over the loud speaker at a store. I felt like the Music Man leading them through the store.

- Five kids can get really loud. And, when they all get quiet, I can get really paranoid.

- A quiet house when everyone is gone (right now) seems really, freakishly quiet.

- I have said "Go Play" more times this week than I have ever said it in my entire life.
- Five kids can play by themselves a LONG time. Even longer when the adults decide not to referee. :)

- Assigned seats at the dinner table and in the car are a must.

- Paper plates and plastic cups are also a must.

- When 8:30PM comes along, no matter how exhausted I feel, I always tend to get a second wind and stay up until midnight.

We've managed to go to the library, Walmart, VBS, Rotary, the pool, art camp, out to eat, gymnastics, and even played with the slip and slide. Tom and I have managed to work, get in some runs, read books, watch soccer, edge the driveway and plant flowers.

We have enjoyed having the full house even though it has felt a little overwhelming at times. It actually reminds me a lot of when we had a new baby in the house - like I can't get settled into a routine and I can't stay on top of things, let alone get ahead. But, in the end, it is all worth it and eventually I realize it's just a new normal. I think that's happening a bit this week.

I know the kids are having fun too and will have tons of memories!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Conner Prairie - Mother's Day 2014

I can't believe these photos are over a month old! Better late than never...

We seem to head to Conner Prairie once or twice a year. See old posts here - The girls are getting old enough now to interact with the characters and they seem to enjoy it. The "new" Civil War exhibit has really taken things to the next level and they seem to enjoy it. One of these days, I'd like to go out for their more adult events like Prairie Plates. Eating on the covered bridge with an adult beverage just seems like fun.

This trip however, was all about the kiddos.

Can she get any cuter? She seems to just know how to pose and make those eyes perfect!

And, he, I think, is adorable. (Jack, not Lincoln.)

Get off my balloon or I'll whack you with a baguette!

Heading off to the Animal Barn.

Animal Barn wasn't a big hit with this guy. He actually said it tasted bad. I was watching pretty close and don't "think" he actually ate anything in there.

Riding on dad's shoulders made him happy again.

And, they're off!

All of the kids enjoyed helping in the General Store. Jack got a "muddy" and the girls got ribbons for their hard work. 

They also enjoyed the stilts. 

The kids also participated in soldier training for the Civil War. I can't begin to tell you how much this kid makes us laugh. 

So, I guess most photos were of Jack. What can I say? He's a cute three year old. And I think the girls were too busy having fun to bother with pictures! 

Colorado! Photos!

We took the kids out for another trip to Colorado to visit cousins. Tom and the boys were going fishing anyway, so I decided, why not? And, so we loaded everyone up onto a big airplane and went west.

By car, by bus, then plane, then car again... the kids loved it all.

This was my seat buddy. His attention span was very short on this trip! All in all, for a three year old traveling after his bedtime, he did great. 

After a late arrival, the boys left early in the AM to start their fishing expedition. The kids and girls hung out and played and talked. 

We all got brave and took all nine kids to the park. This is a pretty good feel for how we felt. Kids everywhere and this isn't everyone!

Josie seemed particularly old this trip!

Here's everyone! You can't seem them all but they're there! 

I took my three to Kohl's for a little wedding dress shopping. They were really, really well behaved! 

Jack showed off some of his wedding moves.

We walked to pick up Chinese food one night too. I would love to be that close to restaurants!

Sunday morning, we loaded up the troops and went into the mountains to meet the boys at a mountain home. The kids did great and the views were spectacular! 

Right about the time this photo was taken, my phone received a bizarre tornado warning. It was bizarre because we were about 10 miles away from cell service. The weather did seem ominous, but certainly not tornado weather. 

While these kids were playing whiffle ball, I went inside to go to the bathroom. 

I went to flip the switch and... uh oh... no power! Didn't stop the kids from playing! (It did rain a lot and it turned out a tornado touched down about 10 miles from where we were. We were lucky to only lose power!) 

Later in the evening, it cleared up and became a beautiful evening! I took the "good" camera and got some good shots of Tom and Joey fishing in the river onsite. No fish, but great pictures!

Just point and shoot. Right Joe?

Finally, it was time for the kiddos to hit the hay and the adults to hit the fire. 

Hilarity ensued and only we will know the truth about these photos. 

We played a quick game of twilight whiffleball. Katie or Jason hit it the furthest but I had two shots that nailed the pitcher directly. So, basically, I won. (It's my blog. I'll say what I want.)

Then, it got really dark and really pretty. 

The power came on around 1:30AM and we all got up and flushed toilets. (For you city dwellers, no electricity means no well pump means no water to flush toilets. At least three of us were in diapers.)

A trip home and more playing rounded out the fun-filled family weekend. Colorado - we'll be back!