It has been scorching here lately. Although summer is coming to an end, it doesn't seem like there is any end in sight...and I like that (for now).
Last week we spent our time beaching it up, paddling, hanging with friends, eating snow cones, and just having fun. I have found that one of the easiest things to do with my kids is to take them to the beach, so there will be a lot more beaching from now on.
(Harper is Queen of the Green Beach Chair...she guards it with her life)
While waiting for snow cones (we love the snow cones at Salt Creek) Sawyer and her friend Kate gave the water fountain a try.
Sawyer clearly has less experience with water fountains than Kate...
On Thursday we met up with Katina and Lauren and headed back to Salt Creek.
Katina was trying to keep the sand off of Lauren but she had to quickly get over that, as Lauren put her face flat down into the sand.
You can't leave the beach without a treat...
One day (like the hottest day of the week, or ever, of course) we skipped the beach and met up with our friends for lunch and Hawaiian shaved ice at Nalu's. Since Tiffany and I were busy talking, Sawyer and Ellie were busy covering themselves in hand sanitizer and catapulting their snow cnows...I am sure the workers at Nalu's were happy to see us go.
Friday night we had a sitter for Harper and we met up with some friends in Dana Point to do a little paddling and to grab some dinner at Jon's Fish Market. It was a really good end to the week.
Me and Ani took the girls out on the paddle boards. I am sitting down because the water was freezing and there was no way I was risking even the slightest chance of falling in. Kate cried a little bit because she wasn't so sure about this endeavor, and Sawyer cried because she wanted to be on the board with Ani and not me. Ouch.
We went to the beach as a family this weekend. Why can't everyday be the weekend? Wouldn't that be nice? Harper enjoyed a lollipop...sand and all.
Guess what we stopped for before heading home? You guessed it. Another snow cone. And we snapped some pictures too.
We have a lot to be thankful for. Especially for our family, good friends, and getting the chance to live in such a beautiful place. I am not complaining.
Harper is very attached to her bink and her bunny Charlotte. Charlotte has taken baths with Harper, sunbathed at the beach, been on numerous airplanes, shopped at the mall, visited national parks, visited local playgrounds, been to the grocery store, and has basically done every single thing that Harper has ever done in her entire life...Harper is in love. We bought Charlotte the Easter before Harper was born, it was our little gift to her that holiday while she was still incubating. She has loved on it so much that the fur is matted, the pink color has turned to gray, and the tag has turned into shreds.
Bink is also a very important aspect in Harper's life - it goes with her everywhere.
On August 14th Sawyer figured out how to ride her tricycle (well, technically Harper's tricycle) for the first time ever. Proud Mom Moment. Harper has started to get pushed on Sawyer's old tricycle now...we are starting our very own bike gang.
I have a lot of good people in my life, and for that, I am grateful.
I think about it a lot and then last night me and some friends turned on a wrong street leaving the Taylor Swift concert and ended up in a rather seedy area of Los Angeles...it was a good reminder of how lucky I really am.
Oh my word. My poor blog has been neglected. I have a gazillion family photos stuck on memory cards and I have struggled to find the time to load the pictures onto the comptuer...I feel like when I am at my computer I should be working, otherwise, I feel guilty. And this is the first time in a looooong time I feel even halfway on top of my work load. I feel like I can never seem to get stuff done...and it sucks. And besides all of those issues I am having, I just haven't had that much to say lately I suppose :)
BUT at the beginning of August we had our annual Dimick Family Reunion. This year we had our reunion in Bear Lake at Grandma & Grandpa's house and then we took a little road trip up to Jackson Hole and into Yellowstone. We love Bear Lake, not only is it beautiful, but the grandparents have loads of fun things for us to do and for some reason it feels so far away from real life...maybe because it is so different than Southern California.
The grandparents' windmill...
The grandparents' old barn they are fixing up...
Flying to Salt Lake was something like Sawyer's 18th roundtrip on an airplane. She averages about a flight every two months which is kind of awesome, although as time goes forward her average seems to be dropping since it is just harder to get around with each kid you add to the mix. I like the concept of getting on an airplane and going somewhere, Marc is not a huge. I think if it were up to Marc we would be at home almost always...I am the one with ants in my pants and I feel like not spending time with family is a missed opportunity.
Of course while we were in Idaho we spent time at the lake; tubing, jet skiing, and playing on the beach. Our oldest nieces, Matisse & Aubrie like to be flipped out of the tube now, so they make for some great entertainment. Sawyer loved watching them and she was even inspired to get in the tube with them (although her ride wasn't quite as tumultuous as theirs). Sawyer didn't want to go with me in the tube, so her first ride this trip was with Aunt Jacki.
Harper pretty much hated the boat. I was so confused by this...when Sawyer was her age she would zone out with the wind on her face. Harper was kind of tricky this trip, I think she was missing out on lots of sleep and we were all paying for it...she was kind of grumpy for a lot of our vacation. Harper was happiest playing on the beach and not having people touch her. When there are 10 other grandchildren it is hard to keep everyone's hands off of the "baby", and being poked at drives Harper wild. Oof that girl can get chapped.
We spent time on the four-wheelers and Sawyer decided that she likes to "drive". I actually dislike driving the four-wheelers, I just like sitting on the back and going for a ride. Why do I think that is so fun?
On a rainy day we drove down to Logan, Utah and went to a fun zone area. We got Sawyer on the roller-skating rink for the first time ever. It was fun to see all of the cousins slipping and sliding and falling all over the place (is that bad?). I could barely stand up myself...I believe I fell once or twice as well. Marc was a champ and helped all the little kids stay up on their feet along with their moms.
We always take some special time to remember Marc's sister Heidi during our family reunion. Heidi's grave is by her grandparents' too, so we stopped by and gave them a visit as well. Harper was acquainting herself with her Great-Grandpa Raymond Dimick whom she was named after (Harper Ray).
This trip we also took a little time to stop and visit Ann Elizabeth Walmsley's grave. Aubrie had done some research on her, so it was fun to stop and see where she was buried. I believe she is my kids' great-great-great-great grandmother. I think I counted the "greats" right...it gets confusing after 3 "greats" if you ask me. Ann Walmsley was the first female LDS convert in Europe and was baptized by Heber C. Kimball. That is a fun fact, don'tcha think?
All the kids spent a lot of time running around and being crazy and playing and having fun...what being a kid is all about. I love all the love my kids get from their cousins too, it is so sweet.
Harper enjoyed the company of her cousins' dog Hurley...
When we took our trip up to Yellowstone we stayed in a hotel. Sawyer has never slept on a pull-out bed before, but she did this time. When she saw it she looked at Marc and I and said "this is the coolest bed I have ever seen!!, she was pumped. Then we let her jump on our bed for awhile, which always makes her happy. Harper was excited just watching Sawyer.
In Jackson Hole the kids took a carriage ride through the town. Sawyer was so smitten by the horses she actually gave them a kiss. My kid...kissing a horse...who would have thought?
For our trip through Yellowstone we had a private bus tour with our family. We stopped and checked out the Tetons before entering into the park. Honestly, the beauty of the Tetons and Yellowstone is unreal. I had never been there before and the thing that blew me away the most was how blue the sky...you know you live in Orange County when you are blown away by a blue sky...I guess I am sort of accustomed to seeing smoggy grayish blueish skies these days ;)
It was pretty cool to see Old Faithful and it seemed almost unbelievable some of the things that nature can do. We saw massive waterfalls and loads of water buffalo and elk. We didn't see any bears but we did spot a moose.
Walking back to our bus...
And on the bus...
The day after our bus tour the family split into groups and had little day excursions. Marc and I were lucky enough to go rafting down the Snake River in Wyoming. The rafting was so. much. fun. We all laughed so much and had such a good time. The water was stinking freezing so I was incredibly grateful that we didn't capsize, but Marc and our niece Courtnee decided to jump in the water just to check out how cold it really was. We survived some big rapids and got to see some gorgeous scenery. I hope we get to do that again someday, we loved it.
After our Yellowstone adventure we headed back to the cabin for a couple more days with the family. We had a bon fire, Harper started "cruising" (walking holding onto furniture), and we went on a family hayride. Again Sawyer was intrigued by the horses and wanted to pet them...what? If it weren't for the mosquitos the hayride may have been kind of dreamy...singing songs with the family, taking a ride on a summer night. I really did enjoy it. Back at the cabin we also participated in some family bonding and played ridiculous games which are incredibly embarrassing but totally hilarious. One was where we tied panty hose around our waists with an orange in it and then we took turns to see who could hit the orange on the ground the furthest. I was actually pretty good at this, I must say. The game I sucked at was carrying a quarter in my butt cheeks (pants on, of course) and dropping the quarter into a bucket - Marc and Matisse were the best at this. I don't have photo proof of this game...just video. Someday I may upload the video just because it was too good to be true.
We always love being with family and it is so great when everyone gets to be together. Sometimes I feel a little unlucky that our family is spread all over the country, but it does make for a good excuse to go on vacation (and to get some good fresh air).