Monday, August 24, 2020

July 2020 - Baby Kittens

We hosted the Swingle clan for the 4th of July.  We ate delicious BBQ, swam in the pool, pulled out badminton, corn hole, spike ball, football, frisbee, tee-ball, and fireworks.  Sara and Jason brought their baby puppies and everyone was happy to cuddle them.  

Kyle and the kids ran to California the next morning to visit Marmie for a few days.  They had lots of fun.

I painted and decorated Alexa's room to be like an ocean (her request) while they were gone. I painted a wall to look like ocean waves, put up a fish net picture holder, added "rainbow" adhesive to the windows, hung quotes / mermaid pictures / star fish, and put up curtains.

And while the kids were in California Apollo had her kittens.  When we got our Christmas kitten on classifieds we were expecting a boy, but surprise (!!) she's definitely a girl.  The exact same thing happened with our bunnies.  

It was neat to be there when she delivered her 6 babies.  The kids affectionately named them Fuzzbert, Turtle, Mixie, Cudds, Tiger, and Cuddle Buddy.

June 2020 - Indiana Road Trip

We had such a wonderful time with family on our road trip.  It was sooo nice to get away from work and quarantine life and spend lots of time together as a family, as well as see extended family.  We had the kids each pack a backpack with books and toys and it was hilarious to see what they packed.  Alexa packed not 1 but 3 backpacks for herself (she tried to hide the other 2 by sneaking them out to the car at 6am haha).  One was full of stuffed animals, another of legos, and the crammed full of books including a giant dictionary just in case she wanted to look stuff up :).  Tyler packed a single nerf gun and boxing gloves.  We laughed about what exactly he planned to do with those for 24 HOURS in the car -- just sit there and beat Alexa up for the whole drive?!  Tad packed a super hero cape and a mask.  Again, for 24 HOURS in the car.  We were dying.  After we finished laughing we helped them repack.

We stopped at the coolest mini golf place in Lincoln, Nebraska to let the kids get out and stretch their legs.  They had one course where you started by putting your golf ball in a pin ball machine and playing to shoot the ball down different paths.  Another where you sat in a zip line chair and had to hit your ball while flying down the zip line towards the hole, one where you slid down a slide into a ball pit after you hit your ball (that one was closed due to COVID because they couldn't disinfect the ball pit), and other really fun, interactive courses.  It was the coolest mini golf I have ever played.  

We stayed in St. Louis for the weekend, where we met up with Todd and Melissa's family.  We swam a lot in the hotel pool, played in the Missouri River, took a day trip to Meramec Caverns, and went to see the (abandoned) Gateway Arch.  Liam kept calling the arch a "big rainbow!" Everything in St. Louis was closed so we were very glad the hotel had a pool.  Todd and Melissa brought walkie talkies so we could have one in each car and the kids thought that was awesome.  

It was really strange to drive through downtown St. Louis and see absolutely no one on the streets.  Some day we will have to go back when the arch is open and we can ride up to the top.  We had also planned to stop in Nauvoo on the way out but it is still closed due to COVID.  

After St. Louis, we met up with the Sweenys for a week at a cabin on a lake.  It was exactly what summer should be.  Lots of watermelon, BBQ, popsicles, fishing, swimming, boating, card games, laser tag, volleyball, puzzles, capture the flag, catching fireflies, playing with cousins, staying up late, hiking, playing with baby animals, catching frogs and turtles, frisbee throwing, flying kites, and painting rocks.  We even got to meet a farrier, who showed us how to take care of the horses on the farm.  Tyler loved playing cards with big cousins, especially learning Magic and Star Realms.  He also loved playing pool.  Tad loved doing German lessons with Grandpa every day.  It was also fun to see each of our kids with their cousin buddies--Alexa with Carra and Joy, Tyler with Caleb and Roan, Tad with Erik, and Liam with Tommy.  The week was absolute paradise.  

At one point Liam pulled a chair up right to the buffet table of food.  Better access that way.  Smart, hungry kid haha.

We had planned to take the northern route on the way home to see famous lighthouses, the Bean in Chicago, and the giant Lego store in Minneapolis.  However, COVID combined with riots following George Floyd's death in Minneapolis made us decide to just go straight home from the cabin.  We sang lots of songs together in the car--Wheels on the Bus, There's a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea, I Know an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly, and many more.  We also played lots of I Spy, and at our restroom stops we ran around and played shadow tag.

We took the bonus day and visited Thanksgiving Point's Farm Country for some pony rides.  Liam was not a fan.

We celebrated Father's Day the week after we got home with our annual matching ties, breakfast in bed, and smoked ribs.  

Funny quotes:

Me: It will be a long day in the car, we will be driving until about midnight.  

Tyler (mouth wide open): No!!! I need my beauty sleep!

Alexa: Ha. You sound like a princess.