Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Splash of Summer

Since yesterday was the official beginning of Autumn, I thought now would be a good time to round up a TON of photos from our summer and do a recap post :-). This year, it felt like summer FLEW by. Not only was I pregnant and quite sick for most of the summer, but we were also very busy! Aside from what you'll see in this post, we also took an almost two week vacation to Colorado (that I'll blog about someday, hopefully), and spent two weeks doing swim lessons (post to come on that, as well). 

Weather-wise, we had a perfect summer!There was a great mixture of sunny days and rainy days, and though we did have warm days, they weren't too warm for the most part. 

We love, love, love to play outside. The kiddos will often play while I read or take photos or just lounge in the sun. Look how beautiful our rose bush was this year! Thank you, rain!

Brenson's favorite outside toy is his lawn mower! The boy LOVES to mow . . . although I think we have more weeds than grass in our yard :-).

We have lots of kids that live in our neighborhood, and they love to hang out at our house. I don't generally mind at all! Any given day, we'll have as many as 6 or 7 extra kids in our yard.

Our water table is always popular (yes, even with the older kids).

Because we had so many days of "cool" weather, we took advantage of our annual passes to our local zoo! The drive from our house to the zoo is only about 25 minutes for us, so it makes a GREAT outing.

Haha, my kids love this little bench in the Rainforest exhibit at the zoo.

The flowers were seriously SO beautiful for the majority of the summer!

It costs just a little extra to ride the train around the zoo, so we do this about every third visit. It's a great opportunity to rest our legs and have a snack :-).

One of my kiddos' favorite exhibit is the elephants. I think they're pretty interesting, too!

This photo is from another zoo trip . . . we're standing in front of the painted African dogs, but you can't really see them.

I think I took this photo before we went to the chiropractor one day. I thought it was too cute to leave out!

This was Memorial Day weekend . . . all dressed for the occasion.

Like I said above, we did have several rainy days this summer, which is a huge blessing! What better to do on a rainy day than finger paint?

During the second week of June, we had Vacation Bible School. Chris and I are both very involved in this activity, so it's a super busy week for us. Our theme this year was Running with Jesus. I helped design and decorate the hallway.

On this side of the hallway, my sister and I cut out these silhouettes of runners. We were thrilled with how it turned out!

We set up this Water Stop in the auditorium. We also made balloon trees (so easy and cute!)

On the water bottles, we put these labels:

Chris has been our VBS director for probably about 7 years now. He does a great job, and the kids love him!

He always dresses the part, which is pretty amusing to everyone :-).

I taught the 4 and 5 year olds this year. In my classroom, I made this fun balloon tree. We had a great class!

Brianna :-)

Chloe Jo :-)

Brenson :-)

I snapped this one night while Bren was singing. Love this little face!

One of the kids' favorite activities include a song we sing where they get to take turns going to the front. Can you tell Bren was thrilled?

Brianna sees this as an opportunity to perform and be a clown . . . sigh.

Our friend Tia had her nephews from Louisiana for the week. My kids have ALWAYS loved Tia's nephews!

One day during VBS week, Tia and I took her nephews, my kids, and her baby to the local Air and Space Museum. We had never been before, and honestly I wasn't that impressed for the price.

Brenson really enjoyed climbing in the planes and exploring.

Here he is in a simulator.

Gabriel pretending to be an astronaut.

Terrance taking a turn.

Brianna kind of hated the whole thing. I'm not sure what was up with her that day, but she didn't enjoy the museum much. Silly girl.

See the look on her face? Oh, and Brenson insisted that he wear his airplane shirt to see the airplanes :-). I've trained him well!

Trying very hard to fake a smile.

In addition to several solo trips to the zoo, we took several trips with friends as well. 

Riding the train :-)

Riggins and Christie:

This day, we met our friends Caroline and Julia at the zoo.

They are about 21 months old.

Watching the meerkats . . .

Brianna tries to be such a little mother to C and J, but I think they enjoy each other for the most part.

We also have annual passes to a local Children's Discovery Museum, so we visited there about 4 or 5 times as well. 

This exhibit is really neat . . . the children use real paint rollers and brushes to "paint" this little wall. It lights up in different colors when pressure is applied to it.

This room also has tons of "bricks" with which to build various things, and miniature wheel barrows to haul the brick around.

Our library story time takes a 3 month summer break, but our Mommy and Me preschool class does not. So, we were still able to participate in structured learning with Miss Shelly.

My littles LOVE her class!

Because of the cooler weather, we didn't spend as much time at our local splash pad as I had anticipated. However, we did have a few fun days there!

At the very end of July, our cousins JT and Kaylee came to visit for a few days. They are 14 and 13, so it's kind of hard to come up with activities that everyone will enjoy. This year I decided to try tye-dye! It was a hit!

We invited Lisa and Chloe Jo to join us. I was going to do it outside, but it poured rain this day so we ended up in the garage. It worked out well, but made for cluttery looking photos.

Ready to dye those white shirts!

JT took the process very seriously.

I was right in the middle of my "I'm sick all the time with morning sickness" phase, but I felt pretty good this morning.

Helping Kaylee with the rubberbands.

Giving JT a few tips . . .

It took Kaylee a while to finish her shirt, so her brother was helping her.

Lisa spent her time helping the little girls.

And I helped Bren for the most part.

At one point, Bren decided he needed to squeeze in JT's chair with him :-).

Chloe Jo and Brianna's shirts proved difficult to dye because they weren't 100 percent cotton. Therefore, the dye didn't want to soak in. Lesson learned!

After dying the shirts, we put them in ziplock bags to "set" for about 6 hours.

Then, I washed and dried them. This was the final product. So fun!!!

Before Chloe Jo went back to school (she started Kindergarten this year!), we took a zoo trip with her. It was a HOT day, but so fun. I'm telling you, we made good use of our zoo passes!

Of course, we also had lots of outside picnics and popsicles,

quick trips to the park for picnics and play,

and days spent at home just being plain silly!

It's been a GREAT summer, despite me feeling sick and tired for much of it. I can't say enough how thankful I am to get to spend my days with my littles, soaking up every minute with them!


Robbie said...

Did you find out the baby's genders?

Anonymous said...

So fun!! We did a journey through the wilderness with Moses for our VBS. :) I love all your cute!

Joy Lin said...

Silhouettes on the wall!! :)

Cheryl said...

Y'all have had a great summer! That's great that you have zoo and museum passes to be able to go anytime you want to. Y'all's VBS looks fun too. Our preacher is a runner and he wanted to do that curriculum too but most of the teachers wanted the county fair one, so that's what we did.