Saturday, August 20, 2016

First Day of School

I meant to get this blog post out much sooner than this. . . but finally, here are the photos and videos from the first day of school!

But first. . . dinner on Back-to-School-Eve!

The bird houses are center pieces are kind of random. It's what I had laying around. In my mind, they were posing as one room school houses. :)




We're focusing on being thankful this year. Each night during our dinner conversations, we each share something we are thankful for from the day.




Time for a good night's sleep! (Even though no one ever gets a good night sleep on the night before the first day of school.)

August 3, 2016: First Day of School!

Our Fifth Grader!


Our Second Grader!


Our First Grader!


Our crew!

This was also Back-to-Work day for me.

This is the time of year when I do my kid interviews. I like to hear about their first day of school; and then I ask general questions about life in general and what they are currently interested in. It's fun to see what answers are the same from year-to-year and what has changed.




Only 165 school days left until our next summer break! ;)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The last days of summer vacation. . .

School is back in session here in Indiana. And I have photos from that. But first, here's a little of what we did during our last week of summer.

Church camp! Andy and Bella spent a week at Camp Illianna.

This was before they left on Monday morning.

The whole group all ready to go!

The boys were a little sad that they couldn't go to camp yet, so I made sure that we had some fun of our own. A friend and I took our boys to King's Island, a roller coaster theme park near Cincinnati, OH.  As you can see by his smile, Graydon was completely in his element. He loved every minute of this day.


Curtis and I rode this coaster twice. He was in tears by the end of the second ride and I felt like I was going to throw up. Graydon went on it four times in a row and would have kept going if he could have.



It was Christmas in July there, so they had "snow" falling near the entrance of the park. Graydon caught some on his nose.

We stayed until closing to watch the fireworks.

It's been a while since I've been on that many rides in a row and I have learned that my adult self just cannot handle many rides anymore. I had to cut myself off in the late afternoon because one more ride would have made me lose my lunch!

Meanwhile, here is a little of what the campers were up to.


We have a sweet corn fairy that comes in July and August.

The big kids came home from camp on Friday and we had a weekend sleepover.

We were now two days from the first day of school, but we wanted to squeeze in one more day of family fun; so we went to Rascal's Fun Zone!

The main attraction here were the various go-cart courses. They even had carts that the boys could drive themselves.


Bella drove on the medium course. She could have driven solo, but she was feeling just a tad nervous at first.

There was also a larger, faster course outside that we all drove on as well.

And then Kitty found a yellow (his favorite color) car. And not just any car. This one said "CAT". A "yellow cat" car. Perfect for this boy.

Bumper cars!

Earlier that morning, Curtis decided to try doing a hand stand. He ended up landing on his face and getting a rug burn. Two days before school started. He began another school year with a head injury.

If you remember. . . this happened right before school started last year. He tripped and landed headfirst on the corner of a wall.
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Maybe we'll be able to start second grade injury free!

I like to sit out on the front porch in the morning with my coffee, Bible, and journal. One morning, I glanced off and saw this awesome spider web with dew drops on each little strand. The morning itself had low fog and looked pretty cool. Some might find them gross, but I am kind of fascinated with spider webs.

Next up: back to school photos!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Wisconsin visit. . . and randoms.

Graydon relaxing in the hammock on a lazy summer afternoon.
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After the fair, the kids and I ventured up to Wisconsin for some Benetti family time. My parents are now both officially retired, which meant that they didn't have to leave for work and could spend the whole day with us. We did so many fun activities. One of them was a tour of the Jelly Belly factory.
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Cousins! (And a Graydon photo bomb). Bella loves all of her boy cousins, but did enjoy some girl time this past week with Ava. As the girls grow, their three-year age gap becomes less and less vast. They have a fun little friendship that includes texting and FaceTime.  
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We all went bowling one day. Aaron was the big winner, but my Dad came in a close second. Ava won both games in the kids' lane.
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Always a good time at Monkey Joe's!
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Jodi bought all of the kids matching pajamas and they had some fun sleepovers and Grandma and Grandpa's house!
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I think the kids slept in different spots each night. One night, Bella and Curtis both ended up in bed with me. They did leave me a little sliver of bed on the edge.
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Park time.
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And sprinkler time. I didn't take any pics of the kids, but Crosby probably enjoyed the sprinkler the most. Jodi was even able to give him a pretty easy bath since he loved playing in the water so much.
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I was officially asked to be one of Lori's bridesmaids!
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A better view of my new wine glass.
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Curtis received more birthday gifts this week. On our last night, my sister took him to Target and he picked out this Lego kit. I don't think he actually slept with it that night, but he went right to it in the morning. Whenever Curtis gets new legos, he likes to start building them right away (which is what he did with some other kits he received earlier in the week). But since he got this one on our last night and since it was so big, I told him to wait to build it until we got home.
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He held the box for most of the 4.5 hour drive home. Within minutes of arriving, he set out to work.
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A few hours later, he was still going strong.
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By the next evening, it was finished!
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"And now it is complete." he said after adding his cat 'Kit Kat'.
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Graydon's baseball coach stopped by with his trophies. His team came in first for the season, so he got a trophy for that. And then they came in second in the tournament, which is what the second trophy is for. He loves trophies, so he was happy.
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It's that time of year again: back-to-school shopping. School starts back on August 3rd.
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Graydon and Curtis made lunch one day: carrots, pretzel fish, nilla wafers, and cheez-its.
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An evening swim with the Meades. We're spending as much time with them as we can before they move back to Wisconsin.
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Bella and Andy are off to church camp for the week! The boys and I will have to come up with our own fun while they're gone.