Saturday, December 13, 2014

Catching up...

I have been a blogging slacker. SLACKER. I am getting started on my Christmas cards and that usually includes a family letter. And that includes an update. And there is a LOT to update.

So this post, is an update, Christmas card style!

Harmony: This girl is busy from sun up to sun down. Band. Reading. Writing. Drawing. Hanging out with friends. She has had so many fun opportunities lately! Playing in the half time show at a UCLA game, going to the Disney studios to learn about art...and of course there are all the band competitions, football games, dances, hanging out with friends, movies, sleepovers...her schedule is tough to keep up with!

Ethan: is getting to be as busy as his sister. He too, is a band geek. With Ben & I having absolutely no musical abilities, we find this odd! I have loved to see him progress in his playing. He took up the baritone last year and has worked his way up, in a little over a year, from beginning band to advanced. He has totally shot up and now towers over me, which he loves to tease me about. He, has a lot of the same talents & interests as Harmony. Reading, writing, drawing & music.

After a year, Connor gave up on the band life! He decided to do something different and it is much more up his alley...yearbook! He has loved walking around the school with his "press pass", taking pictures and using the computer to design pages. He is a "techie" kid and loves anything to do with electronics. Of course he still loves Legos, and designs detailed bases. Mason considers Connor to be his personal slave, and Connor is too sweet to say no!

Ivan: This kid He worked hard to prove that he could be safe while riding his bike to school. He has done a great job (even though it still scares me) and loves the freedom of riding back and forth. He has had his struggles at school but we have been working through them. He still loves Legos, pirates and playing video games. He had a rough Thanksgiving break, as his best friend moved. We all took it hard, and were sad to see them go!

Mason had an interesting start to kindergarten...a few of the boys decided to use their scissors to cut each others clothing, lunch bags, back packs etc. Mason ended up with a hole cut into his favorite hat, 2 shirts, and his backpack strap cut. Luckily the kids learned their lesson and we are no longer dealing with it! Mason is, just like his Dad and brothers, a Lego kid. He also loves playing at the park. He is learning to read & write and it is fun to see him learn & grow.

Ben & I are trying to keep up with the kiddos. It is hard to believe how time has passed & how the kids have grown and changed. Ben still travels quite a bit for work. We are currently waiting on our newest set of orders, which will most likely be in San Diego.

So there you have it. Our life in a nut shell.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

On band camp, hot weather and Harry Potter

No matter what I try to do to slow our lives down...nothing ever seems to work! We are always BUSY.  But I suppose if we weren't busy, we would be I guess it is a catch 22.

Harmony, had freshman band camp this week. Since she didn't go last year, and never really learned all the fundamentals of marching, she decided to do it this year. Which means she and I were up and out of the house by 7:30, so we could pick up her friend and get her to camp on time. 8:00-12:30, they practiced marching, were given new music and made new friends with the kids just joining. It was followed up by marching in the parade at the Ventura County Fair.

It has been a hot week (by Camarillo standards) and so the boys and I have spent a lot of time least until the sun started to go down anyway! Then out came the bikes, scooters, light sabers, swords and shields. The boys spent pretty much every evening watching the sun go down as they played. I love that even though they are "too old", that Ethan and Connor still get out and play with Ivan & Mason.

Speaking of setting suns, we had the most glorious PINK sunset the other night. I love living in such a beautiful place.

Sunset photos courtesy of Ivan :)

Friday (July 31st) is Harry Potter's birthday! So after dropping Harmony off at band camp, the boys and I headed to Simi Valley for a Harry Potter birthday party. There is a used book store called $5 or less and not only were they hosting, but each child was given a bag, that they could fill with free books.

We had a great time combing through the shelves, reading all the HP signs, searching for the Golden Snitch and coming away with tons of free & cheap books.

Harmony starts school on the 21st and the boys on the 27th. So the end of our summer is filled with one more band camp, orthodontist, optometrist and well child exams. As well as a couple of shots for Connor and getting Mason ready for kindergarten!

Whew. I think I could use a little bit of boring in my life!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Forced family fun

Our family has been pulled in 20 different locations lately.

We have been so busy and have hardly had any time together. At least, fun quality time instead of, "we have to get this,this, this and this done" time.

The usual fall back for us is a movie night. However, with Harmony having really different interests then the boys, the two older boys wanting to watch things that the two younger can't. So, movie night has become increasingly harder.

Same thing with going to a movie.

Thanks to a Groupon offer, we decided on a round of mini golf and an arcade. We hit up Golf -n- Stuff in Ventura.

I am not the best at mini golf, but it sure is fun. We had a blast going to each hole. We didn't keep score which made it more fun, since there was no competing at all. A lot of members of our family do not deal well with competition.

After the golfing we hit up the sweaty, hot and stinky arcade. Ben, Mason and I played a tough round of air hockey, Harmony loved the dance games, Ethan and Connor not only danced but also played Star Wars games. Ivan held onto his tokens until the very last minute. Then used them on Mario Kart.

We were all starving so we hit up Five Guys. We had never tried it before but had heard good things. While the price was steep, we really enjoyed it! Huge yummy burgers and fries. Of course, Mason just wanted a hot dog. Sigh.

It was so nice to spend time together. I enjoyed watching the kids laugh, play, work together, sit together, talk and just be.

I know it sounds dorky or cliché or...whatever. But I love my family & love spending time with them!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Den chiefs & den leaders

Even though I said I was tired of writing about day camp, there are two other things I want to mention.

FIRST: Den chiefs. The boys were volunteered to help at day camp. They need service hours and so I decided that this would be the perfect time. I am very thoughtful that way.

Even though they were volunteered, they were AMAZING! They were literally climbed on, wrestled on, forced to entertain, lead and be patient with the boys. They were just so good. Ethan was my den chief so I got to put him to work.

Connor was put in a group with kids he didn't know and totally rocked it. I was only able to catch glimpses of him but it was fun to see.

Although he is not my child, a friends son was there with us also. He too was amazing and I was so proud of all of them.

SECOND: Den leaders. All volunteers. A lot of us were with our own children but not all. "Mr. Patrick" was basically Mason's bff the whole week. Making sure he was ok and having fun, wearing sunscreen and drinking water. I would catch him holding his hand, walking and talking with him.

I really appreciated that he had someone to be with all week. Ben was gone on a field exercise and so I know it meant a lot for Mason to have a man around.

So that is it. The final, final installment of the day camp saga.

Day camp days 3,4,5

I am already tired of blogging about day camp.

So lets do the last three days in one post. I will try to keep it somewhat short...

 BB Guns round 2 was a huge hit!

Ivan was a huge fan of the "mustache suckers"

He also made no bake cowboy cookies, but he got to do his absolute favorite...Bottle rockets!

You fill somewhat with water, pump and let it fly. It is fun to watch them fly but also to see the boys reactions.

The camp brought in a nice big climbing wall, and although I didn't think he would want to do it...he did! He got up about halfway and then decided to repel back down. He ran off crying and I couldn't figure out why. He had done a great job.

When I caught up with him, he said, "the harness kept cutting into my legs!". So yeah that could affect your climbing!

The second chance at Archery also went 100 times better than the first. We made sure he had the right kind of bow, and told him to just shoot how he felt comfortable. So he was much happier.

The last day, I honestly could have strangled some of the kids! LOL. I was done and ready to go. We played games, did an old time photo booth and then of course...the water slide.

It had been built up and built up, and so when the kids were given one turn only. There was some major disappointment. From all sides.

We only had a half day on Friday so we did the wrap up, cleaned up camp and were gone. I kept home and slept for a good couple of hours.

Day camp is over for another year. We shall see what happens next year!