Let’s get right to it, June in pictures. Because it’s already July 18 and June is a distant memory. And, thank goodness. I’ve never been so happy for a month to end. Not that June was a bad month. Just busy. Super busy. And, it’s one summer month gone which means we’re closer to fall… which I want more than ever since we’re in the midst of a 90 degree heat wave. It’s like every summer growing up in California. Not cool, Pacific Northwest.
It’s more common to find families with more than two kiddos out here in the country. Or maybe it’s the homeschooling world? And maybe we don’t actually live in the country, in our planned development in downtown? When we lived in Issaquah, it’s a two and done area. When I went for my ultrasound with Baby at Swedish Issaquah, the tech asked me if it was my first. I said no. She asked if it was my second. I said no, it was my fourth. She commented how uncommon it is to have a patient in for a scan for anything over two kiddos. And then having Baby in Seattle, the nurses there also commented how it wasn’t very common for moms to have more than two kiddos. I don’t feel like we’re a big family. I think big is six or more kiddos, Mormon style. Whatever big is, we were outnumbered hanging with a family with five kiddos.
What a lovely family. We met them through one of the homeschooling programs Blaise and Laine attend… two of their kiddos are in the elementary program with ours. And, lucky for Saige, one of their kiddos is a few months older than her. That’s one of the benefits of hanging with other big families, there’s usually a few kids who match up age-wise with our kiddos. We went over to play with them for the day. They live on 20 acres; it’s a beautiful property. We all had a fabulous time and none of us wanted to leave. But I had a pedicure appointment and my toes were in need of some love. I’ll never forget when Blaise was a little over one. I was lounging on the couch and had a chipped big toe. He started pointing to my toe and saying, “Oh no!” over and over. He had never seen my polish chipped. Four kiddos later, I’m not on my every two week schedule as diligently as I was before. Now it’s every 3-4 weeks if I remember to schedule an appointment.
Brian’s boss had a family barbecue the first Saturday in June. It was the first time I met everyone he works with. I feel like I know them from all the stories Brian comes home with. It was nice to put faces to names. Now when Brian talks about the guy he goes to lunch with or the guy who travels every weekend or the guy whose parents are pushing him to get married or the Midwest Christian guy who is against pro-choice and doesn’t feel the love for his conservative ways in the Seattle area, I know who they are. Midwest Christian guy left Seattle and moved east. Probably best for him.
I have to say, I wasn’t up for going because stuff like this isn’t my thing but I’m glad I went. Nice people. And the kiddos had a blast. Brian’s boss prepared a scavenger hunt for all the kids. They all worked together to find treasure boxes with letters and candy. They ultimately spelled the word gnome and were lucky enough to each get a Target gift card for completing the hunt. It was a nice afternoon. And we had tired kiddos… they all had gymnastics before the barbecue.
Doctor Appointment Kiddos
It was my turn for a doctor appointment. Turns out I have some sort of common cyst on the back of my ankle. Lucky me. A few months ago, it would have been my worst nightmare to have to take all four kiddos with me. Now, no biggie. Baby is almost past the stroller stage and she listens well. I was quite proud of my gang. They all sat quietly in the waiting room and read books. My doctor is on time 98% of the time. But this day, he was the only doctor there so he was seeing additional patients. I could tell there was some serious stuff going on with one lady… she looked well past due her due date. And the moment she arrived, the nurse came out and rushed her back. I was fine waiting. It’s not a common thing to have to wait and clearly people needed to be seen more than me.
Last, Last Day of School
The big kiddos officially finished first grade after their last day at Riverview. Their other school programs ended in April and May. I’m still loving whatever kind of schooling we’re doing, homeschooling or whatever. Outschooling is what I’ve been calling it, since we outsource to different programs. They love it also. Neither one has ever requested to go to regular school. Probably because all day, every day doesn’t sound like much fun. All I want in our schooling journey is for the kiddos to love and crave learning. So far, so good.
On the left, their last day with missing teeth and awkward smiles. On the right, their first day last September. It’s amazing how much they change in nine months.
Lazy Days of Summer
Early summer days of nothing. Well, I doubt we had nothing. But since I can’t remember the days I took these pictures, I’m going to envision lazy summer days.
Cottage Lake Park
Gymnastics Wednesday. We left from home earlier than usual to get some park time in at Cottage Lake Park. It’s on the way to gymnastics. We met a friend there but within a few minutes of playing, he hit his head on the metal part of the climbing structure and started bleeding. Poor kiddo! They left for home to treat the wound. We stayed another 45 minutes and like anywhere, the kiddos made fast friends with a few other kiddos. They came up with some game and were playing on the grass for a while before we left. I remember it was hot.
Last Day of Outdoor Preschool
Saige finished her first year of outdoor preschool. Technically, her first half-year since she started in January. She’s really grown in the past six months. It’s a fun age. I’m looking forward to four though. Four is a great age. And I’m looking forward to watching her grown more in the next year of outdoor preschool.
On the left, Saige on her last day in June. On the right, her first day back on January 2.
Each of Us Is a Flower performance by the outdoor kiddos.
It’s not a last day of outdoor preschool without the marshmallow roast.
We left Saige’s marshmallow roast to go strawberry picking. We met up with our friend, Donovan, and got our picking on. It ended up being a fun-filled afternoon… after strawberry picking, we went to the skate park, and then back to our house to play. Needless to say, we had tired kiddos this night.
I’m not sure what mood Baby was in but she was making tiger noises as she put her hands in her face. And then she kept trying to balance her body by lying on top of the wooden basket. She’s a weirdo. A cute weirdo.
Skate park kiddos after strawberry picking.
Now that we have a skate ramp, the kiddos needed skateboards. Brian wanted to take the big kiddos to pick out their boards. It ended up being a family affair that cost $440. Blaise, Laine, and Saige all picked out skateboards; and Brian and Blaise needed helmets. Thankfully Baby didn’t realize she was missing out on anything. Laine’s skateboard is so her. I love her pick. Blaise has more my style, plain and simple. And Saige’s pick, totally her.
We went to the North Bend Outlets for the skateboards, there is a Zumiez there. The big kiddos relived their toddlerhood by riding on the rides outside of Carters. Like they used to back in the day.
Musicals are my thing. I love seeing live theater, specifically musicals. And lucky for me, my neighbor is a musical fan also. We’ve been going to see musicals together. June was Hairspray. I hadn’t seen the movie so I had no idea what it was about. While I love musicals, I’m not the biggest musical movie fan. I know, strange. What a great performance! I love when they are better than my expectations. I’m super anxious for the new theater seasons around the Seattle area to start this fall. There are some great shows on tap.
Finally Getting Around to Homeschooling
Now that all the kiddos’ school year programs ended, we started actually homeschooling. We did stuff throughout the year but nothing official since they were getting everything covered in classes. Well, now we are. Brian’s a big fan of making sure skills are kept up over summer… he remembers several Septembers where he started school and totally forgot the stuff he was supposed to build on. So, we’re keeping up. I’m slightly obsessed with everything ebook Evan-Moor. And we have summer bridge books for kiddos entering second grade. Even the younger two get in on the homeschool action. They feel left out if they don’t have anything to work on.
At the end of each school year, Riverview has a field day. It’s up at Tolt and they rent out the red barn. It’s a very well-run shindig. It starts at 10:30am with free play and stuff like face paint. The kiddos meet up with their friends and run about until lunch at 12pm. After lunch, there are some official ceremonies for the kiddos graduating. It’s a K-12 program. And then all the scheduled games start. It’s a nice end to the school year. Kind of old school, like what you’d see in an ’80s movie.
Baby was most excited about the ice cream sandwich. She went and sat behind a tree. I’m not sure if she thought she was sneaking it or just wanted to settle in for the long haul.
We had strawberries galore from picking the Thursday before. Before they went bad, we decided to use them to make a strawberry cake. Complete with strawberry buttercream frosting. This was Blaise’s project, and I helped him. I have no idea how it turned out; I’m not a strawberry fan. The kiddos ate it and said it was good. But that could be because any cake is great when you’re a kiddo.
Star Wars Kiddos
The big kiddos are obsessed with everything Star Wars. I don’t get it. Admittedly, I’ve never watched any of the movies. The whole 10 minutes I’ve seen of one of the original ones, I thought it was super cheesy.
Brian read all the Star Wars books to the kiddos a few years ago, and then they watched all the movies in order. Now whenever a Star Wars movie is released, they go to the theater. They say it was great.
The kiddos and I had a list of things to de before regular school ended. Going to the beach was one of the items. We already checked this off back in May but decided to go again. We met two friends there and the kiddos had a great time. While the beach was dead since school was still in session, there was a second grade class there having a year-end outing. Thankfully they stayed up on the grass by the playground most of the time. The minute they swarmed the beach, we were out of there. It’s insanely hard to keep track of all four kiddos with a gang of kiddos swarming. Especially near water where I’m even more on it watching the kids. We traded spaces with the class… they went to the beach and we went to the playground. We didn’t last long before we left for home. The big kiddos had dance this evening and I wanted some down time before their class.
Memories! We used to ride bikes at Marymoor all the time back when it was only Blaise and Laine. There is a massive asphalt area that is perfect for spending a few hours hanging out with bikes, scooters, etc. We met our friend Donovan and Saige’s preschool friend there. Not one of my best planning moments. We met there at 1pm and Saige had her dance recital rehearsal at 4:30pm in Renton. She needed to be in full costume, complete with hair and makeup. Yeah, that didn’t exactly happen. But there was tar involved.
On this massive asphalt area, there was a spot with fresh tar. So of course the kiddos found this spot, rode their bikes over it, poked at it, and Saige decided to stick her shoes in the tar and move around. There was tar everywhere. Saige managed to sit in it also, which bled through to her undies. When we went to leave, I tried my best to be tar-free. Ugh.
I dropped the other kiddos off with Brian at his work. Saige and I left Redmond for Renton, in Friday afternoon traffic. We barely made it, with five minutes to get her in costume. We managed to get her in costume, and some makeup thrown on her face. I didn’t worry about her hair being curled. Whatever. But man, that tar. It ended up on her tights. Thankfully it was a few small spots but still. Frustrating. Rehearsal went well and we left for home.
Bunny Rabbit Blues
Saige’s first dance recital! She was a rockstar. It didn’t even faze her that she was on stage in front of an audience. I’m not sure if this is coincidental or worth bragging about, but all of our kiddos are always front and center for dance recitals. I don’t have any pictures or videos of the recital, only a few pictures taken before.
Cooking isn’t my thing. Baking is. I actually enjoy baking, even if I don’t eat what I bake. Last Father’s Day I made Brian an apple pie. It was my first time making one. He’s a pie guy. So my plan for this Father’s Day was to make him another pie. (I’ve made several since last Father’s Day.) That plan didn’t work out. We were all tired Sunday from everything the week before and Saige’s dance recital Saturday. We needed a down day. It was lovely.
Monday night the pie making happened. It was a team effort. I made the crust while Brian peeled the apples before handing the over for the kiddos to cut them into slices. I was told the pie turned out well. I don’t eat pie.
The kiddos had swimming lessons the last two weeks of June. Lessons were daily, Monday through Thursday for two weeks. I love how intense it is, going daily. But man, I don’t like going daily.
The big kiddos are pros. This is their third year taking lessons at this place, and their fifth or sixth year taking swimming lessons all together. I can’t remember. I know Brian took Blaise to swimming lessons at six months. But I can’t remember what all we did after that. I do remember taking them to another place that looking back, was awful. They relied on floaties on the kiddos… arms and back, and they used goggles. And the kids had to wait their turn on the step. And no jumping in or screwing around. Ugh. Looking back, what a waste of money. Growing up in California with a swimming pool out back, nobody ever used any gear. You jumped in and went for it. That’s how I learned to swim, I think. I was two so I don’t remember much. Brian was on the swim team for years and was super against the way the other place taught swimming. I digress.
The place the kiddos go to now is super awesome. The teacher, also our town mayor (haha, small town living), lets the kiddos screw around and jump in between lessons. All in an organized chaos. She is a strong personality that can pull off dealing with a group of over-excited kiddos in the pool. Needless to say, Blaise and Laine learned how to swim way better with her techniques. They are pool-safe for sure. Saige took to the lessons and was a great student. Baby, whom I thought would be all over swimming lessons, was totally against the pool on day one. It took a few days and then she was on the side jumping in, going under water.
We’re all looking forward to swimming when we head down to California. I love that the kiddos will get a week of summer that reflects my summers growing up. I’m envisioning them swimming all day long like I did as a kid. I think I may join them!
Ice Cream Kiddos
It was hot. Not as hot as it’s been this week but hot. Like mid-80s hot. Not my thing. Even though the pool is heated where the kiddos take lessons, it’s always better to swim on a hot day. That’s probably my summer memories talking. Either way, hot means ice cream. After swimming lessons, the kiddos had some ice cream.
Next year, one dance studio. Blaise and Laine went to one studio while Saige went to another. It’s how it worked out time-wise. And, I wanted Saige to have the same teacher Blaise and Laine started with. She’s amazing.
This was the week of dance. Saige’s dance recital was the the Saturday before. Monday was her last dance class. Wednesday the big kiddos had their dance rehearsal. Saturday was their recital.
Blaise and Laine took hiphop this year, dancing to the song Light It Up. They started their dance with the lights on… when the first chorus of Light It Up started, the room lights went out and they lit up their costumes. It was super cool. Here’s a picture from rehearsal.
Papa & Wawa
It’s become tradition that Bob and Tara come up for the weekend of the kiddos’ dance recital. The kiddos were anxiously awaiting their arrival.
Birthday Party Saige
Saigers went to one of her little friend’s birthday party. It was a fashion show theme, where all the kiddos dressed up in fancy clothes and walked the runway. Super cute! Complete with cake and ice cream. She had a wonderful time.
Grandparents Are Tiring
Baby wore herself out with everything going on with Papa and Wawa visiting. She put herself down for a nap on the couch. It’s tough being two and keeping up with the siblings!
Light It Up
The big kiddos recital was Saturday night. They opened the evening with a Moana themed group dance before they did their main number, Light It Up.
The hiphop dancers. Blaise’s face, haha.
This is how it goes trying to get a picture with everyone looking. Haha!
And the little sisters. A 6:30pm recital is a bit late for kids who are usually in bed by 7pm.
The girls after Papa and Wawa left. They look about how the day went.
More like rock polisher Laine but whatever. Bob and Tara did a big gift celebration for each kiddo to cover their birthdays. Laine got the rock polisher she’d been wanting; Blaise a LEGO set, shocker; Saige a bike with training wheels; and Baby a balance bike. The rock polisher takes about a month to go through all the stages. This was after stage one, which lasted five days. I’m amazed at how the rocks looked before and after. Super cool.
More Birthday Partying
We celebrated Donovan turning seven. All these kids keep getting older! It was a fun backyard party, complete with a piñata.
Homemade Ice Cream
We ended June making homemade ice cream. I remember seeing a Mason Jar homemade ice cream recipe. I googled and found a simple one. I’d have to google again but it was whipping cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt. I found it here. It was pretty good.
And that was June… as best as I can remember. Now we’re in July, and tomorrow is Laine’s seventh birthday. Seven years?! Crazy.