Happy Father’s Day…

This man deserves more than one day to celebrate his fatherhood – I hope he feels our love and appreciation every day of the year.

A couple things I admire about him as a father:

He is so patient and rarely raises his voice. He’s the calming force in our parenting and I love him for balancing me.

He looks for opportunities to spend time with the kids. Whether that’s teaching them yard work or playing a board game with them, he seeks out time with them.

He’s playful and he’s the master at creating games – whether that’s an obstacle course in the backyard or a new game in the pool, he’s always in the middle of it.

He is constantly showing them how to serve others and he is the master example. The kids are now quick to comment when they feel someone is in need of our help.

He enjoys talking with them – he’s the master at asking questions and getting people to open up and our kids around the dinner table is no different. He consistently shows genuine interest in them and even in the small things they talk about.

He gives great compliments. He is a builder and what kid doesn’t love someone building them up. They beam when he talks about the good things he sees in them. The world needs more compliments!

Our kids adore him (and I do too!). He is such a beautiful example of what a loving and attentive father should be. Happy Father’s Day Steve!

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Adventurous summer…

It’s been quiet around here but usually when it’s quiet here, we’re out making memories. We’ve had a couple busy and adventurous weeks and I wouldn’t trade any of it. Two weeks ago I was a little stressed out as we followed through with the plans we had made for girls camp and I couldn’t be happier with the result.

Now summer is in full swing and we’ve got all sorts of fun plans ahead of us. Which means I may or may not be writing on here. We’ll see where the summer takes us and I’ll find time to write when I can. Meanwhile, I’ve got memory cards (figuratively and literally) filling up and so many great experiences with my family – I can already tell it’s going to be a great summer.

(Can I please go back to this canyon and experience the rappels with the girls again!?!)

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Toys on parade…

I find these Little People every where. We’ve got a bucket full of them that we’ve collected over the years and yet the bucket is always empty. These 6 characters kept circulating around my office. One day I found them on my picture frame, the next day they were in the tic-tac-toe box and the next shoved in the chair cushion.

Its hard to believe that one day I’ll put them in the box and they’ll stay there. I won’t find them carelessly and not so carelessly scattered through the house. For now, I’ll take pictures of their randomness.

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What I learned from the 6th grade trip…

Two weeks ago, I was on the sixth grade science field trip to San Diego. And as much as I loved being there with Hallie – it was really quite eye opening. Here’s a few take aways from the trip:

1. I was surprised how many kids had cell phones (most of them) and how many were on them a good portion of the trip. I sat on the bus near one boy who was on his phone the entire time. He didn’t talk to anyone. He didn’t participate in the games they played on the bus. He had his head down and I can’t even tell you what his face looks like because I only saw the top of his head. One girl was reading text messages to me from girls from the other bus who were being mean to her. Have I mentioned I’m not a fan of smart phones at such a young age?

2. The majority of the trip was paid for before ever loading the bus. The kids had to manage money for one lunch at Sea World, a dinner at a fast food restaurant on the way home and any souvenirs they might want, they recommended about $30. They even had a log at the beginning of their exploration book to keep track and budget their expenses of the trip. Some kids brought well over the suggested spending money – and spent all of it at Sea World on over priced trinkets. One girl in our group spent all her money at Sea World. Then borrowed $6 to make sure she had enough for dinner on the way home. However when we went to Seaport Village after Sea World she just had to have the small glass full of pink sand and sea shells, so she spent the $6. She was out of money.  She thought it was unfair that she couldn’t buy anything at the aquarium, it just wasn’t fair that every one else seemed to be buying the things they wanted and she couldn’t. I was a little confused and frustrated. I don’t expect 6th graders to manage money perfectly – there is definitely a learning curve. But they were given tools and as chaperones we continued to remind them and help them along and some were just oblivious. But I want it. You don’t have money. That’s not fair, I want it….it made me really stop and evaluate how we teach about money at our house.

3. It’s interesting to watch your kids with their peers. I often see Hallie spending time with her close friends but I haven’t really seen her outside of that small peer group. This trip I was able to observe from afar how she interacts. She’s quiet and reserved. She doesn’t seek attention and doesn’t want attention. She’s a rule follower and it makes my mom heart proud to know that. She is helpful without being asked.

4. Like Hallie, I’m a rule follower and I expect others to do the same. What I recognized on this trip is that we don’t always expect kids to follow the rules that we set. For example, as we were nearing the end of our trip, we made one final stop to eat dinner. Before unloading, the guide set down some rules. One being, the kids absolutely could not have soda or ice cream on the bus. She reiterated this rule several times. By the time we got in line there was a large group already in line placing and receiving orders. Every one of them had soda or ice cream. The guide was in line and the kids behind me asked her why everyone was getting soda. The guide made an announcement and reminded everyone they couldn’t have soda. But the kids behind me noticed that she wasn’t taking the drinks away, so they ordered drinks as well. Hallie wanted a drink, but also wanted to follow the rules, so she went without. One of the few who went without. As I watched all the kids walking to the bus, I pointed out to the guide, that she was going to need a large trash bin for all the drinks, but she insisted she would make them throw them away. She didn’t. 80% boarded the bus with the sweets and drinks and the kids that followed rules looked at them with envy, probably thinking to themselves they should’ve broken the rule too. It made me realize, we’re not doing our kids any favors by making rules and then not following through. Either don’t have the rule at all, or follow through. Kids shouldn’t get used to breaking rules because they don’t apply to them or because they’re the exception. They will always want to be the exception.

5. Spending almost 20 hours on a bus full of 6th graders is not my ideal mode of transportation – but I had a great time and I would love to go again with my boys.

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Irrigation fun…

Playing in the irrigation water is the equivalent of running through sprinklers when I was a kid. In the warm months we get irrigation water every two weeks. Sometimes its during the day and sometimes it arrives at 2am. But the minute the kids see the yard full of water they have they’re bathing suits on ready to go. We have a pool in our backyard, yet this is such a draw because you can run through it – and do amazing tricks that are otherwise impossible in the pool.

My favorite part is hosing off the kids when they’re covered in grass. Irrigation is fun for all!

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