Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Rest of Summer 2017

I thought after all the reunions and church-related camps that I would have that Summer Feeling - lazy, doing what we felt like doing. It never happened. We did some cool stuff, though. Let's start with Bridget.

We had to push a birthday party for Bridget to almost the middle of July! We got it done, though - an afternoon at the outdoor pool with five of her favorite people. I didn't bring a camera. Rude. Then pizza at Pizza Pie Cafe.
 These three (Bridget, Kodi, and Clara) spent a lot of time on the diving boards.

I found a cute picture of my nephew Brennan on my Instagram account and it reminded me that we watched Macey and Brennan overnight in July. I have forgotten EVERYTHING about babies. Almost everything. They were fun and Bridget was the best helper ever, so that made it easy.
 Sweetie Pie Brennan

Sami and Bridget before getting on the bus to Clear Creek.

Months ago I spent an hour on the computer and on the phone with Bridget's friend Sami's Mom, Alicia, trying to get the two of them registered for the same week at Clear Creek Camp. It was very dramatic. The two of us refreshed the page, submitting our information over and over again only to get denied at different points in the process. BAH. Each time we refreshed the page to try again, we could see how many spots were left in the weeks we were hoping to get. We finally chose the week of July 24th since they seemed not to be going as fast. Bridget and Sami were in the Pot Gut Hut at Clear Creek Camp! For MONTHS Bridget talked about Clear Creek. Sometimes she would start in the middle of the conversation in her head that Brian and I couldn't hear. I started assuming she was talking about Clear Creek when that happened. She and Sami did jobs for me and some of the neighbors to earn money for Clear Creek. Two weeks before the camp, Alicia spent EIGHT HOURS braiding Bridget's hair to look like Sami's. Getting ready for Clear Creek was not a joke.
Bridget putting the finishing touches on her critter can.

Let's get real, though, Clear Creek is a five-day camp near Scofield and Bridget has never been great at sleeping in her own bed, nevermind a bed miles away from her parents. The kids stay in cabins and do crafts and activities and go on field trips. They have no contact with their parents and the only word I got was an email from the camp director every night of the camp with a bunch of pictures. I had to find my baby in those photos and let my imagination go crazy, which it did. In the first email I had a hard time finding Bridget in the 30 or so pictures. When I did she was wearing a sweatshirt that doesn't belong to her and it was raining. "Why isn't she wearing the rain jacket she brought?" I wondered. (When I picked her up on Friday the first thing she told me was that she puked all over her jacket after getting off the bus the first day. Oh! That explains it! It's just the worst thing that could happen, nothing to worry about there.)
Bridget fresh off the bus from Clear Creek. Her brothers care.
On the last night of the camp I couldn't find Bridget in ANY of the photos from their field trip to a ghost mining town. I totally panicked. Bridget explained to me later that she was "crying so much" that she made sure she wasn't in any pictures so I wouldn't worry. Mission not accomplished. Even with those terrible reports, Bridget LOVED Clear Creek. She chose to focus on all the good stuff - the friends, the sparkly traps, the amazing crafts, the donuts, the awesome camp counselors who could do back flips. She even said she wants to go back and be a counselor herself. That's kind of an awesome idea - she can tell the kids who struggle, "I puked on the first day and I still loved it!"

I signed Emil and Colin up for a week-long soccer camp during the same week Bridget was at Clear Creek. It was sponsored by the Real Salt Lake soccer team. They spent the last 10 minutes every day learning the fight song.
Emil getting his shoe signed on the last day of camp.
Emil's new smile. 

We got through August by going to the outdoor pool a lot and the kids came with me on some of my newspaper assignments. School started on a Tuesday and on Monday was the Total Solar Eclipse. I had decided we could just enjoy our 85% or whatever view and that would be fine. I couldn't get my hands on any glasses, so that was lame. My Mom texted me on Saturday, "You should come." So I did! It was just me and the kids - Brian had started his new job just the week before, so he had zero time off. After church on Sunday, we packed up and headed to Pocatello, Idaho. My Dad's cousin Holly was there with her family, but they were heading to Rexburg on Monday morning so they would be in the totality zone for the eclipse. Holly, her husband and their kids ALMOST made me decide to go to Rexburg and really see the coolest part of the eclipse. The first day of school was the very next day! What if we got stuck in traffic coming home?! (And we would have - it took them almost 7 hours to get from Rexburg to Pocatello after the eclipse.) We made do with our 99% view and eclipse cookies and American Girl Dolls wearing sunglasses. :)
My Mom is the Cookie Grandma and she does not mess around!
Grandma Peggy hooked us up with eclipse glasses. She and Bridget were getting the dolls ready right up until the last minute.
We put jars of water out on the porch during the eclipse to create some magical water. I think it was black magic, though, and I gave mine to the tomatoes when we got home. 
We walked to the playground up the road from my parents' house. This is close to 99% of the eclipse - it was almost noon, but it was eerily dark and our shadows were very stark.
Weird light. 
It was only a moment at 99%, then the moon was on the other side of the sun. When Colin found out that was all we were getting he threw his eclipse glasses to the ground and stomped off. Hahahaha! Grandpa Bob applied the classic quote to that exit, "Fine eclipse this turned out to be!"

We hurried home before the eclipse was totally over and we beat the Idaho Falls/Rexburg crowd. It took us the normal amount of time to get home. I'm so glad we did it! It was weird and wonderful.

The very next day was the first day of school! Bridget started sixth grade and the boys started first grade. They're so big!
 Cutest outfit ever! After we took the braids out her hair was so thick and healthy.
Pencil earrings.
Emil is wearing a shirt that says Don't Trust Atoms, and on the back, They Make Up Everything.
Cute Colin. He is a reading machine! He was READY for first grade to start.
First day of school porch shot.
Posing with Clara and Millie at the bus stop.
Colin is very faithful with goodbye kisses.
Every truck that went by was honking at the kids and I thought it was so cute that they were wishing them luck on their first day. No, just the brothers doing the "honk your horn" gesture.
There they go. 

I miss them, but the time away from each other has been good, I think. Bridget, Emil and Colin all love school. I haven't figured out how to maximize my time yet. I'll get it!

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