Here's the second half of my catch-up effort.
At the youth garage sale last month, I picked up this little picnic table during the "everything's free!" phase of the sale. It needs a couple of screws, but is otherwise perfect for our little kids. They love to eat lunch in the shade of our apple trees.
In stark contrast to this scene, one day was super cold (in the 40's) and we dressed for winter when we went to Walmart. I have since put away the winter gear in protest of any temperature below 75 degrees.
One day when Zach and Tyler had friends over, we all went to the boys' school playground. All seven kids had a great time! The picture of Kate and Lexi is my favorite.
Gavin and Lexi are taking swimming lessons. Lexi refused the first day, but has since acclimated and loves the water. Gavin is a little fish! I'm so happy that he is safer in the water. Having three non-swimmers is a huge challenge for me.
Gavin and Lexi are mischief makers, too. One day they drew all over the front of the house with a pencil. A 2'x2' area was covered in gray scrawls. I made them clean it off eventually. The shaving cream incident below is very mild compared to the incident involving raspberries and my white bedding. The Littles now have a blanket ban on red foods, and I have been much more vigilant about monitoring their food sneaking so no snacks leave the kitchen. Little stinkers. Fortunately, after a few days of soaking, the stains came out of the bedding.
Kate eats oranges like the plague is coming to destroy Florida fruit trees and all natural sources of vitamin C.
If we aren't already eating dinner, Kate begs to go outside and greet Daddy when he comes home from work. Her favorite thing is pulling into the driveway in Dad's car, or climbing into the front seat two seconds after he opens the door. It's cute.
Lexi continues to wear her dress-up gown all over town. It's getting a little silly. And don't worry, I didn't let her pump gas for long.
For the talent show at youth conference, I pulled out my balloon tricks. Since then, the kids have been begging for hats. I finally took the time this week, and they were thrilled. I wish I could find bigger bags of balloons than Walmart carries. It was fun to entertain the kids for a while. Oh, the days of ballooning...
We still don't have a living room couch. However, I am pleased to say that I have ordered one! It's a great little couch. Here's a shot of our still-empty living room, along with the fabric that will be on the couch, and also some deer we saw across the street from Sofa Mart. The couch won't be here for six more weeks. Haha.
I am learning to French braid. This is an essential life skill, I think. I'm not great at it, but hopefully some of my (teenage) girls can teach me more at camp.
You've probably noticed that I haven't posted many pictures of Zach and Tyler. I spend the majority of my time with small people who demand more attention. Every day they have to complete the "Daily Five" (clean bedroom, brush teeth, read scriptures, say prayers, and read for 20 minutes), plus an academic activity and a job around the house. We have a no-electronics-until-11 o'clock rule, and one week we had a ban on TV and computers. Electronics are always turned off by the end of Kate's nap. The greater restrictions have done a lot to improve attitudes and decrease drama (although there's still plenty of both).
We have entered the brave new world of children who are independent enough to be left home alone, babysit their siblings, and ride their bikes to parks and the YMCA (not all at once). Zach and Tyler (but especially Zach) have friends over all the time or go play elsewhere. They swim at the Y with friends in the afternoons, and often swim while the Littles have swimming lessons in the morning.
The next big things in our world are trips to Canada for us and Frisco, CO for the kids, and then girls camp for me. We'll close out June with big adventures...and then I'll have lots more blogging to do.