I have had the most peaceful feelings lately. I am so grateful to be a Mother. Its summertime and all the kids are home and my home looks like a Frat House. I mean, I could clean all day and it would still be a mess with all these people in it 24/7. And I don't actually clean all day (even though it feels like it) and so the place is a bomb. But I look around and see ALL my kids here enjoying a slow paced summer schedule and my heart feels such peace. I love to hear them laughing together, deciding on a movie to watch or a treat to make. I love when we all jump in the pool and end up staying in for two hours, coming out all water logged and pruned. I just really like having everyone home even if they trash the place.
Here goes my summer catch up....
Scott and I had the amazing privilege of being a Trek Ma and Pa. Oh how I loved this experience. Before we left I spent several weeks reading Pioneer stories and can I just say that this Church and its people came from insane toughness. I love the Mormon Pioneers, I love their grit and faith and I love that I got to experience just a small sliver of the life they lived.
On the second day of the trek the kids got to spend the afternoon playing pioneer games. There were about 300 teenagers in attendance and not one of them had a phone with them. At one point I stood back and watched the games and activities. The kids were having so much fun, they seemed so happy, they were laughing and playing and you could just feel the joy in the air. I just thought, "so this is what happens when there are no phones." It was seriously a beautiful sight to see.
The beach never fails us. Here in the desert we are stuck with the most stupidly short summers. My poor kids go back the end of July and I feel cheated. So pretty much every second of the entire summer counts and we have to make the most of it. The beach is just an awesome place to do that.
Ella is the BEST Barbie stylist. We have pierced all her Babies ears and Ella is fabulous at changing their outfits and earrings and hair accessories. I mean, if there was Barbie Fashion Olympics, we are taking home the Gold people, I'm telling you.
Ella did amazing at swim team this summer. She is a tiny little squirt and is usually about a foot shorter than everyone else but she swam her little heart out and came home with two second place metals and a 4th place ribbon. Brylee and Kaden opted for club swim this summer.
My boys are buddies. Sure they have the occasional fight but really they are buddies. Branson is really good at talking Kaden into taking the two of them all sorts of places and wasting money on junk like fuzzy cardinals socks and Lego man molds. So the other day they came home from one of these weird excursions and used my kitchen to concoct a gummy bear recipe which they poured into the newly aquired Lego man mold. When that sucker cooled off and came out of the fridge these boys were all kinds of proud. They are 14 and 16 but a giant gummy Lego guy is all it takes to bring them utter joy and delight. I die. I seriously die when they do this awesome stuff.
My naughty little twins turned 14. Can I brag? These two are the best. They are loads of fun, and my goodness I am just the luckiest. Branson was actually gone on a scout camp out on his birthday which was my total undoing. I have NEVER not been with one of my kids on their birthday, it was ridiculous. I was all like "Nooooooo!" and he was all like "See Ya Mom". So whatever, Scott and I did get to take him out on a birthday date before he left so there was that. Brylee's sweet adorable friends came over and showered her with so much love. These girls they are priceless!
Branson was also ordained a Teacher. As always I felt so happy and thankful for the honor of having worthy Priesthood holders in my home. Such a blessing and I try to not take it for granted.
|Kaden, was at a farwell! Grrrr!|
And then July hit and chaos ensued. Peaceful slow summer feelings departed and I aged at least a year in one months time. Swim team was still going strong and Kaden was still working a lot of hours. Scott was in planning mode for a major 3 day 60 mile canoe trip with the scouts and Kaden and I decided that we should knock out his Eagle project. Really we needed to since we both knew that once school started it was all over for Kaden.
Holy Smokes! The work of an Eagle project! (Dude, BSA, really? Proposal Packet, planning packet, PROJECT, workbook AND report!)
But even with the insane amount of work and the early hours, and the late nights it turned out to be an amazing experience. He even got his cute face on TV. He (We) recruited, planned and organized over 60 volunteers over a three day period to help the City of Phoenix "We're cool" initiative. Basically we passed out maps to the homeless population that show them where they can go to receive free water in the summer. It was amazing seeing this big group of "privileged" Gilbert kids come face to face with homeless people. It was an eye opener for them for sure and you know I loved that.
Overall we had an amazing summer. I am so grateful for those hot, empty weeks that let me spend extra time with my kids! The summer ended pretty crummy but that's a story for another day.
Summer 2016 that's a wrap.