Thursday, October 22, 2009

Shew! It's been a LOOOONNNGGGG time!

Well, seeing as I can get just a few pictures and an update on Facebook pretty quickly, I've let our blog here sit on the back burner! Sorry about that all of you non-Facebookers. :) I feel like I need to give a quick update on our summer after camping at Mt. Madonna. So, here it goes!

Two weeks after that, Kare and Alyssa (the boys' cousins who were 17 and almost 13 at the time), came out to stay with us for 24 days! It was heaven. I absolutely LOVED my time alone with them, and the boys love them, too, of course. Anyway, that time was filled with lots of beaches, pool time and swim lessons,
hiking and climbing at Castle Rock,
pj days at home, Gymnastics, and another camping trip at Yuba River! I'm sure I'm missing other things, but as you can read, we were busy! It was awesome, and the best summer yet!

My sister, Aunt Sharmane, joined us for the last 9 days with the girls, so she got to camp with us at Yuba River. We had never camped there, and it was unbelievable. The river was so clear, the stars so brilliant, and the place was just awesome. We bought some suits, tubes, and life vests, and we spent all of our days jumping off rocks into the river! We'd jump in, ride the "whirlpools" and current, and then swim to the edge to get out and repeat! ALL of the boys got very bold! We even saw an awesome black water snake who stayed to watch. We will certainly camp there every year from here on out!

After they left, a few days later, we left on our yearly camping trip with friends. There are five families that go. That adds up to 15 boys and 2 girls from 4th grade to 4 years old! :) We always have a great time, and it seems like we enjoy and can do more each year. VERY fun! Here's a group photo of all of us being "crazy." We camped again at Mt. Madonna, and everything was easy and relaxing. The kids rode bikes, hiked, and explored.

School started a week after our family camping trip, and the boys love school! Anthony has a wonderful teacher, and Chas ended up with Anthony's teacher from last year- who is also wonderful. We could not be happier. Starks started our home school preschool this year, and he goes to "school" at one of our houses each Monday. The kids have thoroughly enjoyed their school, and it has been a blast to teach the kids I love. Amy, Rachel, Teresa and I all have our little ones at home, and this preschool fit in perfectly to our schedules and goals this year. Plus, we've also had Gymnastics twice a week after school. WOW! The boys get better and stronger each time. Anthony actually did THREE pull ups last night! Chas even does pull ups on the rings and can dismount over the side. Russ is amazed at how strong they are and notices the definition in their muscles. :)

So, that's a snapshot of summer.
Since school started, the boys have already taken days off to go Backpacking at Lassen Volcanic Park and to have a "man" weekend in Philly to see the Eagles play their home opener.
Both trips were with just Daddy, and they had a blast. Starks joined them to MomMom and Pop's in NJ, but he had a weekend with me in Monterey while the boys backpacked.
We stayed the night with Amy and Adam, too. As you can see jumping on the bed was a hit!

Russ, Anthony and Chas went backpacking for 3 days and 2 nights with Ryan, Jacob, Luke, Eric and Nathan. They did such an awesome job hiking with all of their gear. Russ wanted to immediately plan another trip!

Chas turned 7 in September, and he had the best party and sleepover! He planned it all. We bought everyone a Bionicle to put together, they battled with those, ate dinner (Filet, carrots, mac n cheese and salad.), had homemade Lava Cakes for dessert, sleptover, had Psycho Donuts for breakfast, and then came back home to chill. It was fun to see his friends since he was little meet his friends from school. They all loved each other! Luke even wanted to invite Chas' friend, Lucas, to HIS birthday party. :)

Well, we're heading to Oklahoma for a week in November while Russ goes to Australia. :) We were going to go with him, but he's staying for too short a time.. and we wouldn't see much of him while we were there. :( SO, we'll wait for next year! Instead, we'll hang out with Aunt Sharmane, Kare, Alyssa and Daniel! :) We are SO looking forward to it.

There are daily stories on FB on things the kids say. They are so much fun and entertaining. I love the conversations we have now. I am truly blessed!

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