Friday, August 22, 2014

Back to School!

I seriously cannot believe how fast this summer flew by. I thought it might drag since it would be during the last trimester of pregnancy (which always seems to take the longest) and it would be HOT, but I was wrong on both accounts. We traveled for almost the entire month of June and into July and then just had a great rest of July and August chilling and doing little activities around the area. Plus having a really mild summer temperature wise made it just about perfect. I really enjoyed having all three kids home with me all summer (most of the time anyway) and was a bit sad that it had to come to an end.

On Tuesday night, each child was given a Father's blessing for the new school year. Abby was really excited...

Landon needed a bit of convincing, but he finally went along with it too!

And of course Nolan did NOT want to be left out either. Look at that grin!!

Wednesday, August 20th was the big day and both kids woke up super-duper early filled with excitement!! Landon will be in first grade with Mrs. Lund...

Abby will be in 3rd grade (WHAT????) with Mrs. Lungociu...

And this little man will be stuck with just me again (although another little one will be joining us shortly!)

It's become tradition for the whole family to go and drop them off at school and it was fun to have them be so excited about seeing so many familiar faces from last year (the woman in the sunglasses behind them in this picture is actually the Primary President in our ward!)

Landon ready to go (he did not want a picture with his actual teacher, but I was able to sneak one in since that is a picture of his teacher on the window there!)

Beginning his day with a little coloring project...

Abby was excited to be in one of the "upper" grades this year although she did say she will miss having a bathroom in her actual classroom. The 3rd-5th graders all share the hall bathrooms. Oh the pains of growing up!!

Abby was excited to get a picture with Mrs. Lungociu...

So far this school year is off to a great start and they have both come home each day filled with exciting stories to share. I hope school continues to be so thrilling for them both!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Life's a Peach!

On August 9th we attended the Leitersburg Peach Festival which is just about 10 minutes from our house. I should say it "should" have just been a 10 minute drive but this festival has become so popular that we got stuck in a traffic jam for a while. Finally the older kids and I got out and walked the last mile to the festival while Jason found some parking and met us a bit later. You know traffic is slow when you are 8 months pregnant walking with two children and you are still passing all the cars waiting to get in!!

We enjoyed some peach ice cream while browsing all the different vendor sites. Of course the petting zoo is always a treat!

Landon and Nolan enjoyed the bounce house for a bit...

Then we bought ourselves a bunch of peaches and headed on home. We froze most of the peaches in bite size chunks to use for smoothies later on. Yummy!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Camp Time!

We signed both kids up for a week of day camp during the last week of July.

Landon did a week at Antietam Recreation where he got to swim, go boating, horseback riding, zip-lining, canoeing, and enjoyed the great outdoors of Maryland for a week. He was also there during "Wild West" week so he wore his cowboy hat every day and brought his cap gun with him wherever he went. To say he had a great time would be an understatement! On the last day, the family even got to come and spend a few hours doing some of the activities too...

Abby spent a week at Hagerstown Community College doing their summer "College for Kids" program. She participated in the "American Girl" class and really enjoyed herself. She had lots of friends from school who all signed up for the same class so it was fun to be reunited with them again. While she had a good time overall, after hearing about Landon's camp all week long she decided that she would like to do a week at Antietam Recreation next summer as well!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Fun at the Fair!

July means time for the Washington County Ag Expo and Fair. We always enjoy going to this event and it seems to be gaining in popularity at least the night that we were there. The crowds were pretty heavy on Friday night but we still managed to have a good time on the rides and visiting the various kinds of farm animals on the property.

Jason and Abby enjoyed riding the bumper cars. Landon was just inches shy of being able to ride on these and there were indeed a few tears shed over this sad fact.

However the big slide helped to make up somewhat for it!

Even Nolan was willing to ride as long as Daddy held him, of course!

The mini roller coaster and other kiddie rides were a big hit and fortunately weren't quite as busy as some of the more adult rides.

We explored a few tractors...

Before moving on to the animals. Abby seems to be the only one enjoying herself in this picture. Nolan is not quite sure about that cow standing right behind him and Landon looks like the world has ended (You would think by the many sad pictures taken of Landon that his life was pretty awful, but he is actually pretty wild, crazy and happy most of the time!)

Another fun filled evening at the Fair. I'm sure we'll be back again next year!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

My most favorite week of the year...

I seriously look forward to our Outer Banks beach trip all year long. I get to be with all my family and spend time at the ocean/pool/shops/beach house. I mean, what's not to love?

We arrived at our home for the week on Sunday afternoon. We had stayed at the same home last year and the kids loved having everything be so familiar.

The whole clan with our traditional reunion shirts (we were missing Tami this year but hope she can make the trip out next time!) There were 8 adults and 9 grandchildren. We'll be adding one more grandchild next year to make an even 10!!

Family time is the best!!

Especially making up fun skits together for our evening entertainment!!

The pool is always a big hit too, especially for little Nolan who didn't enjoy the beach too much with all the crashing waves coming in!

He was a little daredevil when it came to the pool though!!

Abby doing her "Cup Song" talent for everyone!!

Even Grandma and Grandpa got into the act and put on a "pirate" show and dance for our entertainment...

I love all of the fun family memories that we all make during these beach trips. My kids adore spending time with their cousins and to do it in such a relaxing and fun place makes it even better.

Paige and Abby spent one evening giving us a little family history lesson too...

Each couple takes a night during the wee to prepare dinner for everyone. Jason and I decided on chicken and vegetable kabobs which were a big hit. And only having to cook one night during the week? That is the best part!!

Abby collected many different shells during our many trips to the beach...

And here's one of the crabs we caught during our evening crab hunts...

We spent one evening in Kitty Hawk playing miniature golf with the whole clan in tow.

This was Nolan's first time playing and it was quite entertaining to say the least!!

On Thursday we headed over to Roanoke Island to visit the Aquarium. They had this really neat dinosaur exhibit just outside with these creatures that would move and make sounds as you walked by.

Nolan was fascinated with these dinosaurs but wouldn't get anywhere near this T-Rex. Abby and Landon weren't too bothered by it though!

All the Cleveland cousins together minus baby Willow...

Learning all about sea life...

And getting up close and personal with an alligator...

We actually had a hurricane come right through the area on Friday night, but other than some wind and a bit of rain, we hardly felt the effects of it at all. Weather wise, it was probably the best week we have enjoyed at the Outer Banks.

I loved these pictures that Jason captured of the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. The water was so warm this year and felt so good to be in.



"The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea."
- by Isak Dinesen

Love these little daredevil boy cousins!!

As much as this little guy didn't like the ocean, he sure enjoyed the sand, pool, the beach house and playing with all of his cousins. For weeks afterwards he kept asking to go back. Me too buddy, me too!!

It was a great vacation and a wonderful way to end our month long travels!