Sunday, October 8, 2017

September - Triple Crown

We enjoyed our Labor Day break from work and school.  We tried a bunch of pools in Orem and Provo and they were all closed, so we hit the splash pad, playground, and made fruit pizza.  Tad got into the frosting while the other kids and I were chopping up fruit ;).

Miss Alexa had a 1 mile race she competed in for school called the Triple Crown.  She ran the whole way and gave Cosmo the Cougar a high five after she crossed the finish line.

We had a ward camp out and based on the lack of sleep with Tad on our last camping trip and the fact that I'm 8 months pregnant, I sent the big kids off with Dad and took a rain check.  Tad and I made macaroni and cheese for dinner, went to the playground for a couple of hours, read lots of books, and spent the morning playing and eating waffles and fruit.  It was nice to have dedicated one-on-one time with Tad with no distractions and it made me want to do it more often with each of the kids.

Tyler and Alexa paid their tithing for the first time and were really cute about it.  Tyler paid $0.05 from his piggy bank and Alexa paid $0.25.  They filled out the form and gave their forms to the Bishop, which Kyle actually got to process and said it made him all choked up.  Then Alexa bore her testimony in sacrament meeting about how when we pay our tithing it makes Heavenly Father smile and how He loves us so much.  The Bishop cried.  And after church Tyler said Mom, look how strong I am and flexed his muscles.  I asked if it was because he had been doing exercises and he said no it was because he paid his tithing.

In other news, Tyler gave Alexa and I pedicures and manicures and it was cute and fun.  And we're at the final countdown with baby #4.  Pictured below at 37 weeks.

August - Back to School & welcome home Grandma & Grandpa Sweeny

Alexa started 1st Grade back at Noah Webster on August 17.  She makes her lunch every day and loves that she gets to eat at school and stay there all day!  Kyle is the new PO president so he was really involved with Board and PO Meetings leading up to the start of the year.  Our carpool is getting smaller and smaller.  I now only take one 6th grader (Chase) and Alexa to school in the mornings before work.

We tried to get Tyler into Vineyard Preschool this year.  He had to take an aptitude test and we didn't find out whether or not he would be accepted until August 28.  It turns out that he was too smart to get in.  Ha.  They accept kids first who are struggling and show signs that they are not ready for kindergarten, which makes sense.  They had over 70 kids apply and they only accept about 20.  He had to score under 70% to even be considered and he scored a 90%, which the test administrator said she never sees.  He is doing a great job reading on his own, writing, and has started to pick up on a little math from Alexa.  He has almost learned all 13 articles of faith.  The late rejection notice put us  up a creek with all other preschools full and having already started for the year, but there was a kid who dropped out of Pamela's Preschool so we made it in.  Tyler is loving it so far.
We were so excited to see Grandma and Grandpa Sweeny on their way home from their mission.  They got to stay with us for a while and play lots of games and read lots of books.  We went on an adventure up to Antelope Island and floated in the gnat-filled Great Salt Lake.  There were tons of bison on Antelope Island and Kyle even got a buffalo burger on our way out.  There was also a pioneer village and old farm that we got to explore.

We took the kids camping to Mirror Lake and crossed it off our bucket list.  It was gorgeous.  We tried to reserve a campsite online earlier in the week, but they cut off online reservations 5 days before.  We got there at about 4pm on Friday afternoon and checked 6 surrounding camp grounds, each with 30-60 sites, ALL of them full!  It was insanity.  So we filled up our jug of water at one of the camp grounds and then made our own camp site in the wilderness.  Which in all honesty was really nice and secluded and looking back I'm glad we were forced to do it that way.  The kids even helped gather firewood.

Tad was up most of the night so Kyle and I barely slept.  And Tyler woke up puking--probably had too many hot dogs and s'mores for dinner.  However, we all survived and managed a hike around the beautiful lake before heading home.

Our Executive Team at work jumped out of a meeting and headed up to the roof to watch the solar eclipse.  It was amazing how much cooler it suddenly was outside, and definitely much darker.  Kyle got to see it from the gym and Alexa watched from school.  Such a neat experience!  We had lots of friends who drove to Idaho or Wyoming for the total eclipse, we had about 95% here.

Tad got his first haircut this month because his fuzzy, incredibly blond hair was barely starting to go below his ears.

We are sad to say goodbye to summer!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

July - Indiana Adventures

We started the trek to Indiana late afternoon on Thursday (6/29) and made it to Brendan and Whitney's by dinner time on Friday.  Tad was awake on and off most of the night, but Alexa and Tyler slept well in the car in their sleeping bags.
The kids were beyond excited to get to Brendan and Whitney's and play with cousins all week.  They have been begging to go back ever since we got home.
We spent Saturday at Yellowwood Lake kayaking and playing with the Sweeny clan.  We also walked down to the cemetery to visit Uncle Ben's grave.  The cousins all picked flowers to put on Ben's grave.

We spent Saturday night at the drive-in watching Despicable Me 3 with Brendan, Chase, Jeffrey, Carra, Caleb, Anne, Wylah, Corbin, Jonny, Michelle, Eliza, and Joy.  We left Tad and Erik home with Whitney.

We went to church with Bishop Brendan Sunday morning, took naps, and then headed to Tennessee to visit Todd, Melissa, and Dean.  It was so cute to see Dean's reaction when Alexa and Tyler jumped out of the car.  We spent the night there Sunday, had fun swimming together at the local pool Monday morning, and went to Nashville for delicious BBQ.  It was our first time in Music City and we were grateful for the chance to see Todd & Melissa while we were out east.

Tuesday was the 4th of July and we had a fun time with everyone at Brendan & Whitney's house.  Brendan got a zip line for his birthday, so he and Kyle set it up in the morning for everyone to play on.

We then spent Independence Day evening watching Ellettsville fireworks with Adam & Karen's family.

We took a tour of Jonny's work on Wednesday, joined by Adam & Karen's family.  We spent the rest of the day at Jonny's house, playing Spoons and Durak with the kids.  Alexa was invited to spend the night with Eliza and Joy and had a blast.

Thursday was Corbin's birthday and we met up at Children's Commons in Columbus to celebrate.  Then we headed to a buffet to continue the celebration.
We started the drive back on Friday and got home early Saturday morning.  We gave all of the kids Benadryl and it helped Tad sleep a little better on the drive home.  This is a gem we captured off the road in the middle of nowhere Iowa with a desperate 4-year old--
Uncle Adam even made the kids new bunny and Green Lantern rings from his 3D printer after we got home and sent them in the mail.  They LOVE them.
We had a fun 3-day Swingle cousin camp the next week, including a day of slip 'n slide fun, the Classic Fun Center arcade, and matching tie-dye shirts made by Emily.
Because July was the month of road trips, Kyle also took the kids to Nevada to visit Richard and Megan while I was at our annual convention for work the last week of the month.

All in all, July was a blur.  It was a fun, busy month and we were grateful for moments together in the midst of the chaos.
One final note is that Alexa is famous.  Kind of.  She was chosen for a scene in a new video for Thrive that was posted on our About Us page.  She loved the attention from the video shoot.  Here's the final video.  She appears around the 2-minute mark.  Despite the fact that they told her she could fake it, she ate handfuls and handfuls of broccoli during the 45 minutes we were filming.