Sunday, July 26, 2009

We've had such an exciting summer so far! We've been to Des Moines two weekends in a row to get our van fixed so we decided to stay over and have some fun while we were at it!
During our first trip we stayed two nights and went to the living history farms. It was so neat to see all the different farms in the different time periods. The kids really enjoyed it. They got to pet a cow and pump some water from a well, they even got to attempt mowing with an old fashion weed wacker...the guy was pretty brave. Arianna was swinging pretty high and it wasn't a toy!! It was a warm day and a lot of walking (and pushing the stroller/pulling the wagon) so we were all tuckered out when it finally came to an end.

On the same trip we spent an evening at Chuck E. Cheese which the whole family enjoys. The kids get to play for free on the play equipment, and then we all enjoy the token games when they are tired of the play set. This time we decided not to waste money on eating there, the kids are always too distracted to eat while we are there anyway!

We also ate at the Machine Shed Restaurant and the kids and I all got to take a ride on a John Deere Tractor. The driver was especially kid friendly and everyone fell in LOVE with the tractor. It was a bumpy ride and later when we rode a wagon at The Living History farms, Ethan informed us that he liked the bumpy one better. The kids are interested in picking out the John Deere tractors from the others now as we drive around.

During the middle of week we took the kids to the park and worked on our bike riding skills. Arianna has been doing okay, but seemed to finally figure out riding with two wheels, we let Ethan give it a try too, just to see what he could do, and he took off! THey are both excited to be able to ride without training wheels. Now Ethan wants his bike back so we are working on Arianna going back to her bigger might take a few more tries until she is comfortable being further away from the ground.

Arianna and Ethan have also figured out how to swim this summer also. It's amazing what they pick up in such a short time. Arianna can now swim from one side of the pool at camp to the other in the deep end! Ethan does as well when he isn't worried about the deep waters. Isaac is happy to just sit in his boat and cruise around, and I think I 'll keep him there for awhile longer.

Last weekend when we went back to Des Moines to finish the work on the van we went to the Botanical Center. It was so pretty. They gave the older kids a little scavenger hunt where they had to find certain trees, leaves, and flowers. They loved seeing so many "weird" trees that they are not used to seeing. I loved taking pictures in there! It was so much fun, and so many neat natural backdrops. I also enjoyed that it was a shorter outing than the previous week, I think we'll have to save the longer adventures for a couple more years.

This weekend we needed something to do, so I thought it would be fun to have a treasure hunt around town. So I made up clues and hid things with more clues in someplaces I thought the kids could guess from the clues and let Andrew and the Kids try to find them. Our last clue they had to order at sonic. The waitresses were more than happy to help out, it was so cute watching Arianna order her drink and clue. Andrew was slightly embarrassed but overall it was a HUGE success. Arianna thinks we should do it every day!

My summer term 2 class has 3 weeks left! I will be GLAD to see this section go... The teacher leaves a lot to be desired. I've decided I need to spend class time just reading the book, and trying my best to ignore what he says so that I won't be confused. He really is a nice guy, but seems a bit too smart for my understanding, and he refuses to watch the clock! Some of the kids turned the clock ten minutes faster in hopes that we would get out on time, but no luck!
Arianna is finished with all of her many trips to the dentist for now...poor thing only has 6 teeth left on the bottom after the dentist finished pulling. Her top two front teeth are getting pretty loose now too. If those go before some of the others fill in, she will have a really difficult time eating. We were so proud of her, she was scared but did so good, the dentist was impressed also. She had 4 cavities and 3 teeth pulled (in three visits) with just novacane, Andrew opted out of the anesthsia.

Well thats what is new for the last few weeks, I thought I would put in Ethan's swollen ear picture from his latest moquito bite...just in case you need a good laugh!

Monday, July 6, 2009

The last three weeks have passed in a blur. We had 3 great weeks of camp and a wonderful visit from Bennie Guymon and "macky" as my kids call him. We ended our three weeks of camp heading to MN for a whirlwind visit with all of the Pratt family (minus Jordan & Gerry).
Having Bennie and Zach around was a lot of fun. I felt bad that there was so much going on during their visit but we still had a lot of fun. Bennie was especially good to keep Andrew and I in line from time to time, we both really liked having someone be honest and call us out from time to time in a totally acceptable funny way. Sometimes you need help really "seeing" yourself, and Bennie was great to help! We really really appreciated everything he did for us. God has really blessed our lives to have friends like him.
We all really enjoyed camp, it was tiring but such a blessing. I love seeing kids who want to learn more about God all crammed together in one place! Last week was especially fun spending time with Brian and Kathy (not sure of the last name) from Colorado (they are related to the Weller's). They were such a blast! Fun songs, fun jokes, fun times, fun fun... Its refreshing to meet and be able to fellowship with Christians you have not known previously, as if you've known them your whole life!
It was also good to see all of the family in was interesting as most Pratt gatherings tend to be, but still good to see faces we haven't seen in awhile. I even got to see Christy Cobb (now Davidson) and meet little Cade (maybe Kade??). Matthew and Cade are only a few days apart, but they are still too young to be interested in playing very much, hopefully that will change soon. I can't wait...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Its been awhile! With much prodding, I will do my best to keep up better with the blog as my time to chat via email or telephone has evaporated.
We are full into the summer already. I am 3 weeks into classes, VBS is finished, and Senior week of camp has just started. The kids are loving their summer already!
Saturday was one of the best days I've had all year. It wasn't because it was full of bright sunshine or beautiful things to see, in fact it was a cloudy day with sprinkles here and there, but the temperature was perfect! A perfect day to be outdoors! So we spent the entire day out. First we went for a walk, and stopped in to visit Merle and Mattie Prater. They are such a sweet older couple, we really enjoy them. Then we went to a civil war reenactment. Ethan and Arianna were especially taken with that! They loved the horses and the uniforms, the tents and big dresses. Ethan and Isaac liked the guns and canons!
Later we went for ice cream, then we went to a mini carnival they were having in town and let the kids slide down a giant slide and ride the carousel horses.
It was little things, and we didn't spend very much money, but it was just a perfect day in my book. Being out of the house helped me to be able to focus on my family and not be distracted by my endless loads of laundry and the lawn that needs mowed, or any of the other hundreds of things I "could" be doing. We just spent undistracted time together. I think as a stay at home mom, this has become my biggest struggle. I am used to being with the kids so much that I short change them and myself, by multitasking my way through our days. Saturday was a great reminder of the blessing that can come from just setting those "distractions" aside from time to time and just be where you are. I think everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.
I don't have a lot of time but I thought I would leave you with a couple of funny things happened this week.
First we heard Ethan and Isaac talking in the backseat of the Van and Ethan was talking about going to "messico". They jabbered back and forth for a little while and then we heard someone ask where messico was, and Ethan replied, "I don't know where it is, but its where they make messes!"
Then on Thursday night, Andrew and I were sitting on the couch and chatting, when we heard some cats outside getting into the garbage and fighting. So Andrew jumps up, rushes into the bedroom and pulls out his BB Gun that I got him as a joke. I hisper, don't shoot the cat!!" But he darts out the door and shoots the gun off. He comes back and looks a little bit like Ethan when he is guilty of something and says "you know that tire that we needed to get fixed...I shot it and it went flat." Not a big deal really, I was just glad he didn't shoot the cats! He was surprised because he thought he aimed it at the ground. Then he goes out and comes back in and says "Paula, its worse than that.." Yeah it was! HE SHOT OUT THE VAN WINDOW! (ok so officially he did shoot the ground and it rickocheted up and hit the van window). Then he says to me, well if you had bought the shotgun I wanted it would have cost the same amount of money, since the window will now cost $300 dollars to replace! HA! That was the most expensive $20 I have spent in a LONG time and now surely there is no shotgun in the near future!! I learned a valuable lesson...don't buy BB guns for kids, even big ones!! (lets just say that was an interesting conversation with the kids the next morning. "Daddy, what happened to our window?")
We are all laughing about it now...and the window will be fixed today. It took me about a half hour to see the real humor in the situation. Andrew will NEVER live this one down :-)