Shawn turned 36 at the beginning of September. We had a super low key family day. Birthday presents first thing in the morning. New sneakers, Best. Dad. Ever. t-shirt, and "Just Me and My Dad" book. The kids actually kept the presents a surprise this year. Impressive.
Apple crisp, with a taste test corner missing.
I am so thankful for the day Shawn was born! He is the perfect husband and father for our family.
All of my children are enrolled in school. I'm partially thrilled to have 7 hours a week to run errands and get things done solo and partially ready to bury my head in sand and pretend it cannot be true. They are growing up and I'm extremely proud of each one of them.
Shawn has been contemplating putting a sport court in our backyard since the day we moved in over three years ago. Our driveway is very steep so the kids can't ride bikes, scooter, or play on it and we happen to live on one of the few streets in our neighborhood without a sidewalk. So our kids played in the street, with an adult of course, but we never felt good about the situation. Three kids, three directions = stress. The benefit of a big backyard is that we have plenty of room for a court, a swing set and still have enough space for soccer games, kickball, etc. Midsummer Shawn executed on his vision.
One morning bright and early a bobcat showed up, dump trucks full of soil and sand were delivered to our driveway. A massive amount of work later we have the best play area the kids could want.
Shawn researched exactly how the ground had to be prepared and other than the bobcat work did all of it himself...with our little helpers. I don't have shots of all the steps but the kids were so excited and pitched in. Micah especially was in his element. The kids use the court almost daily. We have the option of putting boards around it to flood it in the winter for skating and hockey...maybe next year.
The week before school started we headed 2 1/2 hours north to Alexandria. We rented a cabin and enjoyed some good, old fashioned family time. The cabin had a sandy beach with a gradual entry, just perfect for the kids. Immediately following breakfast they would change into their swimsuits and hop in the water. Most mornings it was about 65 degrees. Shawn and I instituted a rule that we would not be in the lake until after lunch. They loved every minute spending their time building sand castles, making sand pies and playing restaurant, kayaking, collecting shells, swimming to the diving dock, bouncing on the neighbors water trampoline, playing lawn games, exploring and fishing. There was a lot of fishing and some hungry fish. The kids averaged a catch about 10 seconds after dropping their bait in. Ha! It is so nice to get away from day to day life and relax and enjoy each other. Celia has decided when she is a grown up she will have a house in Alexandria, which will be a perfect spot to park the pink Mini Cooper and purple pickup she plans to drive.
The end of July/early August we made a trip to Nebraska. Our first stop was to Mick and Sue's new home in Omaha. They gave us a place to stay over night on our route to Wood River. It was so nice to see Sue and the girls, Mick was a way for work. Celia and Audrey shared a midnight snack of french fries.
The next day we drove to Wood River to stay at Grandpa Dennis and Grandma Jane's house. Deanna and her kids were there and cousin Julia too. Lots of fun cousin time.
We celebrated cousin Ryker's birthday.
The trip was a good one. See you in the winter Nebraska.