It finally feels like summer has arrived and boy is it HOT!!! I'm not quite sure if we will be able to handle much more of the 100 degree weather but we've been having fun regardless. Here are some of the things we've been doing:
My younger sister, Kiera, joined us here in Iowa on June 19th. The kids were (and still are) thrilled to have her stay with us for a while. She's probably going to get some different experiences staying with us. She's a senior this next year and it's hard to believe. When I left the house she was only 8. I guess I can get payback for all the times I changed her diaper, fed her, and cleaned up her messes...hehehehe! In preparation for her coming we did a little craigslist shopping for a mattress so that she didn't have to spend 6q weeks on an air mattress. I ended up with 2 from a lady that was moving and needed to get rid of all of her stuff. They were FREE! I loaded them up in the back of the van and the 4 kids were crammed together in the front. Probably not going to win mom of the year for it but we made it.
We have also done lots of fishing. We found a pond in Urbandale that has so many little fish that all you have to do is drop your line and you get a fish right away. It's great for the catch and release with the kids but the fish are really small. We've even done fishing in the rain. This one was in Ankeny over Father's Day weekend. Caelyn thought that just running around in the rain was fun. I made them finish up when the lighting started.
Almost two weeks ago I threw out my back giving the girls a bath and was out for 4 days. I missed church and work and it happend to be the week that my sister had secured a temportary job so I didn't have her help but had some really great friends that brought in meals, prescribed me great meds and arranged for my kids to play so that I could take the time to get better. I love them all soooooo much!!!! But while I was just laying around and not really able to pick things up well, the baby decided that it was her opportunity to learn how to crawl. She is only 7 months old but is getting around and standing up on everything now. It's very cute!
Forth of July being in the middle of the week has been fun too. Tuesday night was hot but we decided to head out and go camping anyway. The Church owns a property in Boone that has restrooms, cabins (not the comfy air conditioned kind but nice wooden structures that have a free flow of air but netting over to keep bugs out and wooden plank beds stacked 3 high to fit 12 people), firepits, and is by a creek. We got breaks from the heat with lots of water and juice in the pavilion with ceiling fans and in the hose attached to the back of the restroom. There is also an area with a tire swing that the kids loved. They also loved walking along the creek and seeing the different animal prints. More evidence of animals was seen and heard after we went to bed so I'm glad we were in a cabin and not a tent. We were the only people there and it was a quiet night. No wind in the trees, only a faint chirping of frogs, makes for a pretty creepy feeling when you hear the scratch and crunch in the leaves at 2 am.
Our Fourth of July holiday consisted of a fabulous breakfast of eggs, bacon, and pancakes on a campfire, heavy duty clean up on both cars and the house, a good time at the Waukee city parade, Jason got to play some golf, grilling out for dinner, and a great time in the front row for the Waukee city fireworks.
We literally had to lay down on our backs in order to see the fireworks. A couple of times Carter got nervous that they were going to fall on top of him. Carissa enjoyed tagging along for all of it and especially loved the fireworks when there were fountains or at the end for the finally when everything was really bright. We got to sit next to friends for the fireworks so that made it even better. At the parade, every float had treats of some kind and we placed ourselves at the very beginning when the kids on the back of the trucks are excited to throw candy and we ended up with as much candy as we usually get on Halloween. It was again REALLY HOT (temp was 100/heat index 110) and there were also a few floats that were handing out waters or icees and squirting with squirt guns. Those were much appreciated! Being with the family and celebrating our country made me appreciate all that we are blessed with and hope that we will still be able to enjoy those blessings for many years to come!