Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What we've been up to...

What a whirlwind of a summer!  Just like every year since I was in school, July and August fly by like a bullet train.  Tomorrow is August and we hope to be able to hold on to each day the month has to offer by cherishing the little moments.  Our summer has not been overly eventful, but many little things pile up until the days are full.  Swim team is now over, which gives us back 3 hours of each day and allows us to sleep in a bit in the mornings.  We've been doing lots of reading in our house (both mama and boys) which sends us to the library each week.  We've gone to a drive-in, been to Kings Dominion and Grandma's house for lunch dates, spent a week at Bible camp, and had a steady flow of play dates.  Through my church calling I've been able to help out with a Youth Celebration our church put on where 1300 Mormon kids got together to put on a dance presentation for the community.  For months they have been learning all kinds of dances and finally they were able to put it all together.  There has also been normal stuff like piano and chores, and video games, and the olympics!  Much of what I had hoped to get done with the kids has not yet happened, but when I look back at my summers as a kid, what I liked best was that they were not structured, but allowed me to wake up each day and plan whatever I wanted.  So we may pack a few things in to our August, but if we don't get to everything on that list it doesn't really matter as long as my kids are having the time of their lives.  I hope they have the same happy memories.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer at Frying Pan Park

Cameron had scout camp at the end of last week and the other boys were feeling left out so we took Grandma to one of our favorite places- Frying Pan Park.  We saw lots of baby animals (the piglets were my favorite!), rode on the tractor and carousel and then went to lunch at Chick fil A.  The parking lot was very crowded and soon we realized that we had chosen to eat there on the dress like a cow and get free food day.  We gawked and laughed as entire families came in dressed head to toe and black and white spots.  Later at home I decided we could be one of those crazy families too and made some quick costumes for my "cow-boys".  Yep, Chick fil a twice in one day!  I even got Jeremy to wear a few spots and some ears but he never would have let me get a picture of him in that so you will just have to use your imagination.  I don't know that we will do it again but it sure was an experience!

Friday, July 6, 2012

4th of July with Yogi

We made a last minute decision to go to Jellystone in Luray over the 4th of July.  We went there for the first time in the fall and the kids just loved it so we knew it would be a hit.  This time we got a cabin with a bathroom, a little luxury for our forest adventure, ok?  We enjoyed their candy bar bingo and Gavin won!  8 candy bars in his lot!  We headed to downtown Luray for their fireworks display and were shocked at how great the show was for this little town, the fireworks probably lasted a full 30 minutes and we kept thinking it was the grand finale only to have more and more explode in the sky.  We would definitely head up there again just for the show!  Just a couple of miles from our cabin there was a raging forest fire that has been plaguing our area for more than two weeks.  The smoke was heavy in the air and you could see many areas of damage on the mountains facing the campground.  During the days there was a constant flow of helicopters carrying water to drench the fire and we saw many volunteers working to help control it.  We were surprised that we were even allowed to make a fire at our campsite.  The next day we took full advantage of Jellystone and did laser tag, mini golf, paddle boats and spent most of the day in their pool area and waterslide.  Gavin spent the entire time going down the slide and made lots of friends with the workers there that showed him creative ways to go down the slide again and again.  Cameron was a big paddle boat fan even in the 100 degree weather and Mason just kept chugging along without missing a beat until we came home for a short respite and he passed out within minutes.  We also participated in a scavenger hunt and an animal show and made s'mores with the candy bars we had won.  On the last day we went fishing and caught 3 bluegills before packing up and heading home.   Our family loves this place and the feel of camping it gives us with so many luxuries and activities to do.  I'm sure we'll be back again in the fall and many more times to come.  Good times!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ever Been to a Swimming Hole?

I never really even knew they existed until my friend Heather posted some pictures of this place on her blog. This stream flows down these big rocks which creates small waterfalls and pools of water perfect for slippin' and swimmin'.  We made the trek out to this cool place last weekend and although we were all a bit wary at first, eventually we hopped right in!  The boys loved sliding down the waterfalls and even Jeremy and I tried it once.  Gavin could not get enough.  He is definitely our daredevil and I'm surprised he didn't get hurt.  The deeper pools creeped me out since you could not tell how deep they were or what might be lurking at the bottom, but the more shallow ones suited me and Mason just fine.  Cameron loved finding the little fish swimming around but was leery of leeches even though we told him there weren't any.  It was worth the mile hike it took to get there and I think we'll definitely be back, but next time with water shoes so we don't slip around so much.

Three swimming Johnsons

We've been doing a lot of this lately.  Once, sometimes twice a day and all Saturday mornings.  The pool is our second home until August but we love it!