Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Day of School 2011-2012

We have a 3rd and 1st grader. The first day of school brought complete excitement from both. Kayden's teacher took a bit getting used to, but after only 3 days, he feels positive about her now and loves her organization. Boston thinks just everything is awesome about school and everyone is his friend.

It was a sad day for me to say good-bye to them after a fun summer of long car trips, days swimming together, adventures and just passing the time together. I cried when they weren't looking and then focused my attention on the other two at home.

In the afternoon, Azure was sleeping and McCoy and I were enjoying popsicles on the porch. He said to me, "How many miles until Boston and Kayden come home?" We all missed them.

Swim Lessons to End the Summer

The last two weeks before school, we took official swim lessons. They still went swimming in our pool almost every afternoon or evening, but it was nice to get lessons in and work on strokes.

He was in the preschool group with his cousin Clarissa. They had a blast singing songs, finding coins and just being in the water. He kept asking when they were going swimming. He is the one racing along in the middle.

This year he worked on perfecting his floats and front crawl. His highlight was jumping off the diving board.

We walked away from swim lessons this year with information on joining the swim team (Kayden's request from the front desk). It looks like we'll be trying it out in September. He has always LOVED swimming.

Boston's 6th Birthday

Boston turned 6 on August 12. Before breakfast, he got a call from his Grandparents in Oregon and they told him to open his present. He was ecstatic to find Super Mario Galaxy 2 and since we had just bought him the shirt, that was his attire for the day. The game was his enjoyment for the morning (and has been nearly every day since).

We had his friend party on his birthday and then went out to dinner at Boston's Gourmet Pizza and then camped in the backyard as a family. He was happy all day long.

He couldn't decide on a set theme for a long time, so we came up with this one together:

For the party, we played yard games based on the 3 video games from the invitation: Angry Birds (built a cup towers and then used sling shots to knock them over), Plant vs Zombies (Shot cardboard zombie with water cannon until it fell over), and Super Mario (obstacle course).

Between those we swam and jumped and swam, swam, swam. Thanks to my sister and one of my friends, there was always a lifeguard on duty.

The cake was a round swimming pool with the characters floating in rings.

Here we are camping at night. We were looking at a star chart and trying to spot the constellations.

Happy Birthday to our big smile, outgoing, video-game loving, ninja/boxing Boston! I can't believe he's starting First Grade!!! It's been a wonderful 6 years!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Summer is Funner!

It's been too long since I've posted, but we have been busy having fun this summer! This is kind of a long post, but is a great journal for our adventures.

A week after school, we met up with Chad's family for a reunion in San Francisco. Tons of activities, great food and lots of games and chatting.
McCoy, Kayden, Boston, and their cousin, Colton

Our family in our reunion t-shirts

The next week, Chad headed back to Utah for work and the 3 oldest boys stayed with their Grandparents in Sacramento for the annual Gma & Gpa Camp. This year the them was Knights and Princesses.

While they had a blast, Azure and I headed to LA to visit my sister and her husband for the week. We went to the beach, slept, ate wonderfully and relaxed. Azure had all my attention here.
Azure swinging near Santa Monica pier

OREGON - vacation
From Sacramento, the boys and I drove to Oregon to visit my parents. We had such a good week here. We visited family, Kayden went fishing twice, the boys helped Grandpa in his shed, we caught creatures, went in the hot tub every night, celebrated the 4th, went to Kah-nee-tah, played at Gma's work, took Shani's senior pics, giggled and chatted a lot, etc.

Azure enjoying his size pool!

Grandma Candland holding McCoy during fireworks

At Kah-nee-tah

Kayden and Boston with Grandpa Candland

We were planning on driving back on Saturday, but learned that it was July 9th, the 2nd anniversary of my grandfather's passing. We decided to stick around 1 more day and go with my grandmother and my mom and my kids to the cemetery and then spend the rest of the day with my grandma, including watching some videos of grandpa. It was a good day and then we drove home on Sunday.

My Grandma Pat Snow at her husband's grave, with her daughter (my mom) Sandi and Azure

We were home for 5 days - filled with swimming in our pool, a trip to the zoo and of course finally getting to see Chad - when we got the call that my grandma had passed away from a major heart attack. My mom and her sister run a dry cleaners and we knew they would need help with that and with preparations, so my sister and I packed our 7 kids total in our vans and headed to Oregon.
At Zoorassic Park at the Hogle Zoo

OREGON - funeral
The week was hectic, but we were glad to be there. The funeral was beautiful. Everyone loved my grandma. She had the most welcoming personality and always wanted everyone to feel comfortable, at home and well fed. She was the funnest and nicest grandma ever and I loved just visiting on the phone with her about my own kids. She will be missed!

Her son-in-law, grandsons, and grandsons-in-law were pallbearers. Everyone was family when they joined her family.

Kayden waiting to put his rose on the casket. Azure slept through it all.

My mom (left side) with all of her siblings

2005 babies from the Candland family

2003 babies from the Candland family

The rest of the summer has been spent at home. Time has flown by (the kids start school on Monday), because we were gone most of the summer. Almost every day, the kids have been in the pool, either just them or with friends and cousins. We've also ventured to Lagoon, Ogden Nature Center, swim lessons, parks, etc.

Our pool