June 24, 2013

Where Have We Been?

Yikes!  This summer has been flying by!  So, where have we been the past few weeks?

2 weeks ago was the week of our 9th anniversary/my 30th birthday.  We had a lot of things planned.  Most of them didn't happen.  Mostly because of my stupid foot (still injured, healing slowly, slowing me down constantly), partly because I accidentally punctured one of the gel pads on my air cast...which took a lot more time and effort than I ever would have imagined to replace.  So we decided to just go with the flow - which was probably better anyway.

One of the happy surprises was a rummage sale that we stumbled upon.  They had kids toys for $1 a bag.  The twins found many treasures, including a pair of fairy wings for dress up.  Allie promptly came home and put together this fairy princess costume (my favorite part is the pink wig).
 Ryan immediately wanted to put on his dragon costume...and then they wanted to go back to story time to redo Fairy Tale Day...
 Allie misplaced a ring she had found at the rummage sale.  So, she made herself a new one...out of paper...you can't see it well, but it was pretty impressive.  My little DIYer!
 Washing their rummage sale treasures.  They had a fun activity, and their toys came out squeaky clean!
We are technically celebrating our anniversary in Nebraska later this summer, so we simply had a nice family meal and watched a movie.  For my birthday, Lucas promised to take me out for Indian food (quite possibly my favorite).  He surprised me with our good friends and Logan and Mindy meeting us there!  We had a delicious dinner and then hit up the Melting Pot for dessert.  In the meantime, the children had an absolutely magical night with their babysitters.
Ry-guy driving the boat.
Allie driving the boat.
 Honking the horn (and scaring away sharks).

The next week was mostly spent preparing for our garage sale.  But we managed to sneak in some fun.
Going to some local garage sales where Ryan scored this AMAZING Lightning McQueen pit crew costume.  He wore it every day.
Sporting our RC shirts (thanks, Nana!) before heading out for another bonfire with s'mores.
Strawberry picking with friends.  Sorry, no pictures of the picking, but here is the sink FILLED with our collection.
Our big garage sale was a bit of a disaster.  Not the setup or anything - thanks to the help of friends I was more organized than ever.  We had significantly less traffic than in past years (which meant we raised significantly less), the garage freezer was accidentally shut off during the setup, the wind kept blowing things away (which broke a baby tent I was trying to sell), and there was a sudden death of a church member which meant that Lucas was needed with the family and I suddenly had to keep the kids entertained during the sale (and that we were really sad).  On the up-side I didn't have a single unpleasant interaction (the grumpy/difficult people must have stayed home), the freezer wasn't shut off long so we only lost a teeny bit of ice cream, someone still bought the broken tent, and the kids and I enjoyed some outdoor movie time (and brought in one of the junior high girls from our church the next day).
"Helping" with the sale.
We topped of the weekend with church in the park - complete with a baptism at the lake and a picnic!  
Allie helping daddy with the Children's Message.
 Ryan playing (or sitting on the ladder and gazing out over the lake) during the service.
Completely exhausted, we are rolling into another crazy busy...don't be surprised if it is a while before I update again...

June 09, 2013

Lake Life: Our Kayak

Years ago, my dear friend invited me to go kayaking with her.  She had vast experience in a kayak.  I had none.  By the end of the afternoon, I was hooked.  But I never had much opportunity, time, or space so I never went again.  When we moved to a lake community, one of the first things I told Lucas I would like someday was a kayak.  We've looked at yard sales and on craigslist, but several years later we still hadn't found anything we liked.  I'm turning 30 this year (this week actually).  Usually, I don't want a gift, or a party, or much - a fun family adventure is the perfect celebration to me.  But this year I asked for the kayak I've wanted for so long.  Bonus: the kayak could be part of a fun family adventure!

We looked around for a while and then just decided to go and buy the kayak we found that we liked best (in our budget).  Of course, we had to go the next day and have a launch party!  After much reading online to familiarize myself with the mechanics and safety of kayaking (it HAS been 8 years after all), we headed to one of our lakeside parks.  About 30 seconds after I set out I knew that I was born to kayak.  While I still have a lot to learn I immediately felt at home in my kayak.  Gliding across the water, seeing the turtles pop their heads out around me, spotting fish swimming underneath, listening to the birds singing around me - I felt more peace and relaxation than I have in a long time. So much so that when I got back and Allie spotted a spider on my leg, I simply said, "Oh, Lucas, can you get that for me?"  (my hands were full trying to keep the kayak from slamming into Allie).  No screaming.  No panic.  That's how relaxed I felt.
Me in the kayak.
 Provided everything went well with the maiden voyage, I promised the twins they could take turns going out for rides with me.  Allie was first (I swear she thinks the kayak is hers).  She is such a little wiggle worm that I was worried about how she would do in the kayak.  I had visions of us tipping and me trying to hold onto her while turning over the kayak (even though I stayed close to the shore so we were never in water deeper than my shoulders).  The second she was in the boat she snuggled in and stayed perfectly still the rest of the time.  Every now and then she would sigh and say, "Mommy, I just LOVE kayaking!"
Snuggled in as we take off and I go over the safety rules one last time.
 Coming back to shore.
 I figured that if Allie stayed still, I wouldn't have to worry about Ryan at all.  And I didn't.  But Ryan was not as content as his sister to just sit there and go along for the ride.  He wanted to paddle and really be a part of making it go.  The second he got in, he grabbed the paddle and he helped with every single stroke the entire ride.  It was a little awkward for me, but I loved his determination to learn how to kayak.  
Ry-guy and I setting off.  Notice his hands on the paddle.
 Coming back.  Notice his cheesy, excited smile.
 Lucas was the final one to set out.  He has actually never been in a kayak before.  So I gave him all of the pointers that he would let me give (not many), and then he set out.  He took a different route than I did with the kids (he went around the island - which you can kind of see in the picture - but I took the kids to a nearby inlet so we wouldn't have to deal with the wake from the many boats on the water).  When he got back he was as hooked as I had been after my first time in a kayak.  We're both excited for future kayak excursions.
Heading out.
 Allie pulling him in when he got close enough.  She was eager to help and he was eager to rest.

While we were out, the kids built sandcastles.

 Then we had a picnic.  We were planning on going out some more post-picnic, but it turned out there was a group meeting there for a sand volleyball game, so we decided to pack up and get out of their way.  The kids played in the water a little more while Lucas packed up the van.
First they shot at each other.
 That ended in crying kiddos, so I told them they could only shoot it in the air.
One might think that would ruin the fun, but one look at Allie's face tells you otherwise!
It's probably good that we didn't go back out again in the kayak because by the time we got home and got unloaded and showered the children (they were covered in sand) and got them in bed it was WAY past bedtime.  But we were just having so much fun.  On the way home Allie said, "I miss my beach so much.  I can't wait to go back."  And Ryan is already planning our next Mommy and Ryan kayak trip!

June 07, 2013


I suppose it's time for an update.  I haven't posted in a while because...well...we haven't done much.  Mostly because I'm just not up to doing much - and that probably deserves an update.
We lost our tv remote, and since it is such a pain trying to get the shows we want without it, I have been wracking my brain for other "sit-down" activities that let me rest while they are entertained - like shooting colored vinegar into a pan of baking soda!
 If you look closely, you will see Allie is covered with purple glitter...from the previous day's art activity.  It kept them still and quiet, but we are still (a week later) finding glitter in random places despite daily showers and baths...
I went back to the doctor and we confirmed once and for all that there is no fracture...which is too bad...because a fracture would heal faster than what I managed to do.  I severely sprained my ankle.  The problem with the diagnosis of a "sprain" is that it covers a wide spectrum of injury - from the (more common) minor twist and pull that heals anywhere from 48 hrs to 10 days, to the (what I did) severe sprain that stretches and tears tendons so badly that it takes 6-8 weeks and sometimes surgery to repair and recover.  Since the "quick" recovery is more common, mentally I keep thinking that I should be better soon...but I'm on the other end of the spectrum. Thankfully, I don't need surgery.  The doctor said I do have to wear my air cast for 6 more weeks (although we are down to 4 1/2 now).  In all honesty, I can't really walk at all without the support of it, so I can't imagine being without the air cast right now anyway.  The good news is that the swelling is finally starting to really go down - the best part of that being that the nerve damage I had from the swelling is also starting to heal.  I'm not having as many zaps shoot up my leg, and my foot isn't going completely numb as often when I step or move wrong.  And I'm starting to be able to handle longer periods of time walking with less pain.  Mostly, I just need to do a better job of knowing my limits.  Every time I have a good day I overdo it...and pay by having to spend the next day in pain.  I'm getting a little better at not pushing myself, but it is so hard.  And the twins keep complaining about "slow mommy."
We did our first fire of the summer.  Here are the twins helping by throwing in twigs from the yard.
 Of course, we had to roast marshmallows.  We invited our neighbors over to join us for s'mores.
We let the kids roast most of the marshmallows (with supervision).  They loved the power.
Based on the s'more recommendations of this blog post, we went with peppermint patties instead of plain old chocolate.  DELICIOUS!
The kiddos all playing train together.  They were calling out their goodbyes before the train "left."
But I have wanted to have some adventures.  Nothing where I have to walk to far (or maybe even go anywhere because - let's be honest - some days showering feels like a greater feat than I can handle).  I just don't want life to come to a screeching halt for the twins.  Poor Lucas has been doing his best to fill in on the adventure front - coming home early to take them to the park (our park has a giant, grassy hill going down, and I am in no way up to tackling that yet) or on an errand, but he is sort of in his busiest season of the summer (you know being June and all - last week he had 2 weddings in less than a week!).  So we are all trying to adjust to a slower pace, a messier house, and tamer adventures...and praying that I heal very quickly so we can get back to normal life!
Celebrating National Donut Day at Triple F!
Making their decisions.  
"It's a big decision.  Can't blow Donut Day." - Brian Regan
 My Gluten-Free donut order...otherwise known as "coffee."  Sigh.
 Enjoying the donuts - just as delicious as they imagined.
It's probably good for us all anyway.  I was hoping I would figure out a way to really slow down and enjoy my summer...I just imagined it happening differently!