Jul 3, 2011

Full Calendar

I've had so much to do, I've been piling up the pictures. So here we go. My good friend, Mike, returned to Texas for a quick visit. Heather and I had not seen him for almost 4 years so it was great to introduce him to the kids, whom he quickly won over by giving out frosted animal crackers. Smart guy. We had a nice lunch at the house and just hung out together catching up on our lives and remembering old times. Now he's back in Pennsylvania and we'll just have to see him on Facebook.

It's HOOOOTTTT here! But it's really tough to stay indoors with the shades drawn every day, so we take the opportunity at our weekly playdate to get wet. This was two weeks ago at the Frisco spraygrounds.

Here are all the moms lined up- there wasn't much shade- except for the smart mom with the umbrella shade.

We have a separate weekly playdate with Megan and her kids. We headed to one water park only to find it closed and having to spend 3 times as much at a different water park- because can you really plan such an outing with 5 kids and not follow through? : ) Colin got a little wet and then napped it out, which was fine by me.

The Denton Water Park was a bit of a drive, but well worth it once we got cooled off in the clear water. I would love to go back one day and try the lazy river.

So fun to see these 4 together.

Our next big "outing" was for a book club family weekend at a lake house -owned by in-laws of a book club member. I missed the women only lake house retreat last winter and have heard about this place for a couple of years. Dax had to conduct his musical so he and Colin stayed home while I took the girls about two hours south for the weekend. It was a ton of work keeping up with all the kids- 10 kids under 5! But it was well worth it.

The house was awesome and had a view of the lake from every window.

My bedroom with the girls. It was decorated very Texas with the softest blue jean denim duvet.

The famous "purple room" I've heard so much about with happy quilts everywhere. The kids ran to this room first as you can tell.

Jessica fixing dinner in the kitchen with her standard camera pose.

The cool bunk room. This house was stocked with everything you could think of. There was not one moment of need. And if you looked in the most obvious place, there it would be. I wish my house worked that way.

As for the outdoors, the back lawn stretched out forever with plenty of safe space for the kids to roam. Down at the water was a stone barrier, a type of sidewalk, and another drop to the water, so it was nice knowing the kids couldn't just play at the edge anytime they wanted.

Rest of the yard and view.

The awesome backyard with about 35 places to sit and relax- not that I did much relaxing : )

Chloe's favorite.

They had a very long swing set up for both kids and adults. The kids swung high into the trees! I didn't get to try it, but Hannah loved it.

The food was all prepared...not by me! Granted I helped with cleanup when I could, but several meals I don't have to fix, that are all delicious? I'll take it! Jessica pretends to be a Food Network Host as the girls watch a salad in the making.

The first evening, we were missing a family and one husband, but there were still a lot of mouths to feed.

Mike entertained the kids with a kiddie pool and the sprinkler while I sat in a rocker and enjoyed some kind of pineapple drink. That's the life!

After the kids went to bed, we played a game called Quelf. This game is not for everyone, but it was perfect for this group. The game calls for you to do pretty odd things, like hold hands with the person your marker shares a space with, play leap frog with each other. Kelly drew a terrible card which told her to keep one hand on the floor the whole game. After about an hour and remembering she was pregnant, we agreed she could just keep her hand on the table instead. She also had to say everything twice at one point. Very funny.

I had to lick an elbow. Very goofy.

The next morning, all the older girls got their hair braided and suited up for the water.

Mikey and Ali try give my kayak a dry run.

Jessica takes him out for a real ride.

Then I take Chloe.

Kim goes tubing with some of the kids.

Hannah and Chloe preferred the boat most of the time, but I think because there was a major stash of snacks on there! I got to take my first ride on a jetski and loved it! Later, all the dads were taking their daughters and one dad was sweet enough to take Hannah. It was her favorite part of the weekend.

I took Hannah out into the actual lake to swim. Hard work to tread, hold onto a rope, and have a 4 yr. old around your neck!

Time to head back. Later that evening, we took a sunset tour around the lake to look at some mega houses. Then once the kids were in bed,, the 9 adults played a game called "Things" and the ladies stayed up extra late to chat about how each friendship got started and the funny memories there.

The next morning, I was completely beat, but somehow Kelly was happily serving all the children gourmet pancakes when I got up! We spent most of the day cleaning and preparing to leave while the kids watched "Little Bear." We returned home with lots of exhaustion but good memories.

This week I got a surprise call from Nancy whom I haven't seen since Chloe was a newborn. We met her at the mall for playtime and lunch. She treated us all to cookies and again, won the kids over with food. : ) It was really nice to catch up with her. We also met up with Megan again to play and also returned to the play place, The Ark with our playgroup. That one didn't go so well as there were a couple of rough kids and I was pretty tired from staying up working on our church's 10th Anniversary. I was so out of it, it should have taken us about 20 minutes to get home, but I missed the 1 turn I had to make and ended up in another town completely! 45 minutes later, we made it home. Thankfully the kids were patient with me.

This past Monday, our book club had it's (most likely) last ever meeting as a whole. Two members, Melissa and Kim (in the gray and white shirts) are moving to Houston and Colorado respectively. We've contemplated using skype, but we're not sure out that will work out since typically if you want to talk at book club, you better jump in! Tears have been avoided so far since this group has really shared pretty much anything we can with each other and we just won't be the same anymore. One member pointed out that different doesn't have to be worse, so we'll see how the group develops.

Thursday night we finally had dinner with a family from church. We'd tried to schedule it back in January but could never get it together. It started off great with all the kids bouncing off the walls and a great meal, but pretty soon Colin had had enough. He's getting his 10th and 11th teeth in! Crazy! So we had to call it an early evening. Then I went out to a movie on my own with Dax's suggestion that I take some time for myself. Isn't he great??? I saw Super 8. It was pretty good, but nothing super memorable. The memorable part was myself sitting in the dark with no one to talk to and nothing to think about- ah!

On Friday night, I had Jessica and Lindsey over to watch Black Swan. It turned out to be the only evening in an entire month we could get together. Now I avoided this movie from the get go, but Lindsey had seen it. She was generally appalled by most of it although she understood the thriller aspect of it. So why did we watch it? Jessica in her late teens, had apparently been in the top ballet schools in the country. She's very into dance and knows the ins and outs. So we basically wanted her opinion. Was this movie accurate in many ways to the ballet scene? Other than the obvious twisted behavior, it turns out they got a lot of things right. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who has a weak stomach or generally doesn't want to see that kind of thing. Some of it was pretty disturbing. Besides that interesting 2 hours, we had a nice long quality chat we never get to have with our kids around.

This morning, Dax woke up with the idea that we should ride the new trains near our house. There is finally public transportation between our town and Dallas. We decided to only go a little ways and stop at the next town over, just for the experience for the kids.

All aboard!! They really loved watching the conductor go back and forth and make his announcements. On the way back, Colin looked over the back of my seat and gave everyone this face the whole time. One lady asked to take him home.

We got off the train with time to spare before the return trip, with anticipation of walking around downtown Lewisville. But it turned out the drop off was more in an industrial district and it was quite a walk to downtown. Rather than making the kids sit in the hot sun, we thought we'd go ahead and take the walk and find a place to eat. Once we got to the old downtown, there was absolutely nothing to do! Law offices, gun shops, and wedding chapels are not really kid friendly. We did find a Subway and then wondered what the heck we were going to do for over an hour until the return train. So we stopped in a little hobby shop and revisited our secret wish to be train hobbyists if we had the space.

It was soooo hot. We fueled up on water and wiped the kids down with wipes. This is us waiting for the last train and how I feel after the month of June. And now it's my birthday today!! Hopefully I'll see you sooner than later!

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