Monday, August 7, 2017

Family Kayaking

Jason took the day off from work last Friday and we borrowed a trailer and some kayaks from a friend to go on a family kayaking trip. We have two small youth kayaks of our own and we were excited to finally use them!

Jason and I took turns with Maylie riding in our kayaks and Nolan, Landon, and Abby were all able to paddle their own kayaks. 

They even took turns standing up and using them as paddleboards too!

It was a beautiful day to be out on the Antietam Creek and several of the kids declared that it was the best day ever!

I think we may have found a fun new hobby for our family!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Mermaid in the Sand

We spend every Tuesday morning during the summer at Greenbrier State Park with friends and people from our Ward. On Tuesday, August 1st, Abby and her friend Sydney made this fun mermaid tail from sand.

Great job girls!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Harry Potter Birthday

Our local bookstore held a little party to celebrate Harry Potter's birthday on Saturday, July 29th. They had a sorting hat, some games, wands, and HP trivia.

Landon and Abby have reread all of the Harry Potter books this summer so they were rocking the trivia game!

Forget Harry Potter though. This little girl was quite entertained just with the shopping basket!



Two days later on Harry Potter's actual birthday (July 31st), we held a little impromptu birthday party complete with snacks and watching the first Harry Potter movie together. 

Our snacks included "Fish from the Lake" (Goldfish), Firebolts (pretzel rods stuck in Rice Krispie Treats), Snitches (yellow candies), and Gringotts Gold (Rolos).

We also had gummie frogs instead of Chocolate Frogs but Landon still made some Wizard Cards to go with them. Butterbeer (cream soda) rounded off our spread!

We ended up having four friends to come celebrate the big event with us. Not bad for a last minute party!

Friday, July 28, 2017

LEGO Legends

These two used up all their birthday and allowance money to buy this LEGO kit together.

They were sure excited and surprised when it showed up two days earlier than expected after they ordered in online! Here's to many hours of LEGO creation and imagination!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Dress Up Maylie

This girl always comes up with the craziest clothes, and then wants me to take a picture.

Can you tell that she thinks she is hot stuff?!?!


Showing off her impressive dance moves. This is THE move she breaks out anytime someone asks her to dance!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Dress-up Pals

Maylie had her friend Brighten over for a little playdate and they had quite the fun time playing together and dressing up in fancy clothes.

After taking that first picture, Maylie came back upstairs to show me another outfit and insisted that I take another picture.

Go Maylie!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Diving and Sliding!

Nolan worked hard to pass the swimming test at our pool in order to go into the deep end. He had to swim back and forth across the length of the pool and then tread water for two minutes. Considering he was still swimming with a floatie at the beginning of the summer, this kid sure has come a long way!

After passing the test, he was able to slide and dive to his heart's content!








Unfortunately, it was taking him a little too long to get form the slide/boards back to the side of the pool so the lifeguards want him to get a little bit stronger in his swimming abilities before retesting him again. This was a bummer of a way to end our swimming time, but it give him something to work towards for next time.

Meanwhile, Maylie was so exhausted from all the swimming that she fell asleep in my arms. This rarely happens anymore so I had to take full advantage of this brief little nap and capture in on camera of course!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Visit to the ER

On Thursday, July 20th around 3 p.m. we were watching a movie in the basement when Nolan started playing around on the couches. I told him to stop and a few seconds later I heard a big "thump." He had fallen off the big sofa chair backwards and landed right on the back of his head. It is a pretty hard floor so he was definitely in some pain, but this kid has had several head injuries so I didn't think much of it. He did fall asleep about 10 minutes later. Unusual, but still not alarming. Then about 2 hours later he started complaining about a headache and feeling nauseous. I was a bit concerned when he wouldn't touch any of his favorite dinner (pancakes and eggs) so I called up his pediatrician. Given the symptoms experienced thus far, he recommended going in to the After Hours clinic. Of course Jason had been out of town all week, so I got all the kids in the car and headed on over. By this point I had also noticed his pupils were different sizes which had me concerned. But I still thought they would check him out at the After Hours clinic and then send us on home. Instead we were sent to the ER!

Luckily a friend who lives near the hospital was able to watch the other three kids while I took Nolan in. We have been parents for over 11 years with 4 children and never had an ER visit so we do feel very blessed and lucky in this regard. By the time he got in for the CAT scan, he was feeling better, his eyes had normalized, and he was back to his crazy self.
The CAT scan came back normal. He was diagnosed with a mild concussion and we were sent home around 10:30 p.m. It was a long night, but I was so grateful my little Nolan man was okay. Now here's to hoping he will stop jumping around the furniture!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

End of Season T-Ball Party

On Friday, July 14th Jason held an end of season party for his little T-Ball team. Coaching T-Ball wasn't Jason's favorite thing in the world, but he had a good attitude about it and made it so fun for the kids. They all LOVED Coach Jason!

We brought pizza, chips, drinks and desert over to the baseball field and had a little trophy ceremony afterwards.

Maylie was pretty sure she would be getting something too if she waited in line like everyone else. She was sadly disappointed!


Good job Nolan man! You had a great first season of T-Ball!


And a great job to the entire The Barn at the View T-Ball team on a great season!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Free Family Fun!

Tuesday, July 11th was a great day for getting free stuff. We started off by hitting up free slurpees at 7-11 after our morning at the lake...

Then later that evening we dressed up like cows and got some free food at Chick-Fil-A!

We sure do love getting good, free food!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Outer Banks 2017

Another week at the Outer Banks has come and gone and I am already looking forward to next year. We had an amazing time being with family and the beautiful scenery around us.

Our trip started off by celebrating this little man. He opted for a cousins birthday party at the Outer Banks so we delivered with games and some ice cream cake! 

I think he was just a little bit excited about the whole thing!!


This boy definitely loves his treats. Can't imagine where he gets that from ?!?!?

That same day, we painted our July 4th family shirts. We used tape and star stickers to make lots of different patriotic designs and they turned out great!

For weeks before we left, Abby Landon, and Nolan had schemed and planned on how to make money by selling things at the 4th of July parade that the town of Duck holds every year. They found the best deal they could find on bottled water, bags of chips, and Honey Buns to sell. They scoured the weather forecast, hoping that it would call for hot and humid conditions so that their items would sell well. 

On the morning of the 4th, they recruited their cousins, Dad and uncle to arrive at the parade site early to nab a good spot to sell their items. The chips and honey buns didn't sell too well, but they made bank on their ice cold bottled water! They had bought two packs of water (70 bottles) for $6 total that we brought with us and they sold out before the parade even started!! Selling the bottles for $1 each, they ended up making a great profit. They are already planning ahead for next year and trying to figure out how they can carry more water to sell!!

The American dream is alive and well!!

These girls enjoyed eating some of the snacks as we waited for the parade to begin!

We spent just about every morning and even a few evenings enjoying the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. The water was actually quite warm this year and we all enjoyed getting in to cool off from the hot sun.

A lot of time was spent on the sand too, building different creations and sand castles!



Abby enjoyed digging a big hole one day...

While Landon enjoyed sitting in it!

Willow was so fun to watch as she would sing and dance right at the water's edge. 


Maylie would join in sometimes too. Such a fun age!! I think they were channeling their inner "Moana" characters!"







Look at that face!


We always had two canopies set up to give us all a break from the sun when we would need it.

This boy loved being out in the surf, either body-boarding or strolling along looking for shells or other sea creatures. We had one morning where the beach was filled with jellyfish. It was actually really cool!



I even took the board out for a bit to try my hand at riding the waves. So much fun!


Chloe is working this summer, but she still managed to come up for a few days. She is worried about the younger cousins forgetting about her since she is quite a bit older than they are, so she spent a lot of time playing with Willow and Maylie!


Coldon and Landon are only 7 weeks apart in age and are the best of friends. They sure do love this time together at the beach every year.

We love cousin time!!



We were so thrilled that Tami was able to be with us at the beach house this year and it was so special to have all the Cleveland girls back together again!

We woke up one morning with some fairly strong winds so we decided to skip the beach until that evening and instead spent the day on the boardwalk. We visited lots of different shops and enjoyed the cool breeze on the sound side of the island.


Of course no beach trip would be complete without lots of pool time too.

One, two, three...jump!!





Jason was able to capture some pretty cool shots of Landon as Jeff would throw him a ball and he would attempt to catch it while diving into the water!




I think this one is my favorite!


Before Chloe had to return back home, we got a few family pictures with our flag shirts.

My parents would be so happy that we are continuing this fun tradition of going to the Outer Banks each year and creating these fun memories together. We miss them so much, but we are grateful for the good times we shared together at this home before their passing, and we look forward to many more years of memories to come!


We spent a few evenings at the beach this year and realized we need to do this much more often. It was gorgeous and so fun to be there as the sun was setting in the evening.


The best gift my parents gave to me...my three sisters who are the greatest of my friends.

Thank for some great memories OBX. See you next summer!!