Sunday, October 1, 2017

What the rest of our summer looked like

Since we left so soon after school got out, we had a whole month at home before school started again. Yippee! We liked that! We were SO done traveling, though. We just hung out at home that whole month. It was so wonderful to have a relaxed schedule, get things done around the house that we wanted to, and stay up late watching our summer shows: American Ninja Warrior (which we watch every year) and World of Dance (a new show this summer that the girls and I LOVED).

We got home in time for tomatoes
from the garden. Hooray!

I used to homeschool the kids during the summer.
We don't do that anymore, but I still have them
set goals for productive things they want to do.
And they have to work on them every day before
they can have video time.
One morning, we went for a walk/bike ride
around the lake as one of our productive things.
This tunnel is fun.

Love it when the water lilies are in bloom.

Fun at a Harry Potter day at the library.

Gigi and Grandpa gabe C a science set for her birthday. 
We had time to do some experiments.

Had the missionaries over for dinner.

For the summer reading program, the kids got
certificates to Texas Roadhouse. I don't know that
we've ever taken the kids to a steakhouse.
They loved it.

The Grasshoppers hosted their annual Interfaith night.
It was fun to see so many ward members at the game.

And it was a beautiful night for baseball.

The bushes in front of our house died.
Whit and I had fun replanting.
We picked orange lilies in memory of Wyatt.

This was our one and only pool day while we were at home.
It was overcast and almost a little chilly.
The girls didn't mind. :)

I had fun reading and watching from my lounge chair.

Date night at the temple. Perfect.

C and I were shopping several months ago and came
across this giant balloon. It looked too fun to resist.
One quiet evening at home, we blew it up
and played out in front of our house.

We had so much fun!
We used to do stuff like that all the time with the kids.
Hardly ever anymore. 
The balloon only lasted about half an hour before it popped,
but I loved those thirty minutes.
Totally worth the three bucks I paid for it.

Bountiful cherry tomato harvest!

One of the sad things about the timing of this year's road trip
was that Whit missed out on going to girl's camp with our ward.
She was SO bummed.
Thankfully, the camp director from another ward invited
her to go with them!
AND they were having a MAGICAL theme.
Whit was ALL OVER that!
Some of the friends Whit made that week.

Day 1:  Harry Potter!!
The trolley--
They could use their galleons to buy treats on the way out.

The Hogwart's Express

Their meals were AMAZING and unbelievable.
Look at the floating candles!

Day 2: Alice in Wonderland

Day 3: Peter Pan

Day 4: Beauty and the Beast

Andrew drove out on Thurs night as a 
representative of the Stake Presidency.
He got to have dinner with them (a four course meal!)
and spend the evening with them.
Whit had such a great time and made some great new friends.

C and I made one last use of our science center membership
before it expired.
petting a stingray,

and a snake,

and chilling in a cow chair. :)

B had band camp.
He is wind captain this year.

I got recruited to play on a softball team this year!
It was so fun.
For my first game, I played first base.

I only made a couple of errors.  :/ 
I was a little rusty.
I hadn't played on a team for fifteen years!

It's a church league.
I played for St. Francis Episcopal church,
since there are no LDS teams.
We ended all of our games with a prayer,
holding hands in the infield.
I loved playing and hope to play again next year.

The climbers spent lots of time in the gym.

We went down to Charlotte for Panthers FanFest.

We were excited for football season to start again soon!
It was fun to see some of the new players and 
watch them practice.

If Cam loses his QB job, he'd make a great cheerleader.

There was an awesome laser and fireworks show at the end.

Downtown Charlotte is awesome at night.
And about thirty seconds after we took this picture, 
the heavens opened and rain POURED down.
We had to walk about half a mile back to the van
and were DRENCHED by the time we got there.
It was hilarious.

We had used some of our hotel points to get a free room in Charlotte that night.
I was so happy we didn't have to drive all the way home in soaking wet clothes.

The next day, we had a fun time planned.
First stop:  TopGolf
It's brand new in Charlotte.
Which explains the hour and a half wait.
So, we ended up leaving.
We didn't spend our whole day waiting for a turn.
I want to go back!

We stopped at a thrift store and found a couple good things.

Then it was off to Kinetic Heights,
a ninja/rope course/zipline place we'd never tried.
We liked it!
Warped wall

Ninja course

Me and Bear on the zipline.

We stopped at Dave and Buster's on our way home.
I wanted to do some coin pushing. :)
Andrew got to try the giant space invaders.

We ended the trip to Charlotte with slurpees.

I snuck into the gym while B was teaching his class.
He does a great job with those kids!

Jayne AND Amy E were in town.
We had a FABULOUS GNO at Bea's house.
It was SO good to see everyone and catch up.

Andrew got to go to England for a work trip!
He got to stay right across the street from Windsor Castle, 
where the Queen lives in March and April.
He got to climb the tower and had a small group guided tour of the castle.
So glad he can have memorable experiences like this!

While he was gone, the Perseid meteor shower happened.
I talked Whit into going with me to watch.
We had such a great time.
We saw a couple of big shooting stars.
Let's pretend that's one.
Even though it's not.
That's pretty much what they looked like.

And we laughed and laughed while I tried to take a selfie
of us at night with the flash. Too funny.

Sunday afternoon board games with C

Whit and I got this puzzle at the BYU Museum of Art
It was HARD and took a long time to put together, 
but we did it! And it gave us lots of bonding time. :)

Took Erika out to lunch while waiting for baby #4, who was overdue.

Marching band preview.

Michael shared his tickets to the Wyndham open.

Andrew and I had a fun afternoon date watching pro golfers.

Caroline and KK built a bubble machine.

There was a total eclipse in August!
We weren't QUITE in the path of totality,
but I think it was a 95% eclipse or something like that.
You had to wear these special glasses or you could go blind.
That's what all the "experts" said.
I didn't want to risk it.
But, unfortunately, I hadn't actually bought glasses.
And they were sold out EVERYWHERE.
THANKFULLY, Natalie came to my rescue and shared with us.

It was overcast, but can you see that cool eclipse?

And look how the shadows all turned crescent shaped.
Really neat experience.

Play date with Rachelle at the creek.

We also got tickets one evening for the Winston-Salem Open!
It was a beautiful evening.

We got to watch John Isner, a local guy who is top-ranked in the US.

And a fun doubles match.

We got to sit with Natalie and Finley for part of our evening.
Finley caught the autographed ball at the end of the match!
And I got the giant novelty ball.
Lucky ducks!

Brandon got his license!!
It only took two tries.
The first time, he failed for going too slow.
But he did great the second time.
It has been so convenient (and expensive!) to have another driver in the house.