It was a cotton candy kind of night because my grandma and grandpa had a cotton candy machine at family dinner. What? We convinced Simon to try some, which was difficult. It doesn't look like food, and it's kind of not, but he was okay with eating it anyway after one taste. The kids with blue mouths played by this red house that I love. This home is a precious place to me. 

This boy was told he could not go inside to wash off and washrags and a bowl of water were brought outside for him. It's just really hard to eat this stuff and not get incredibly sticky when your a six-year-old little boy. Good night.

We went to visit Grandma and Grandpa this past weekend and had the best time. Our favorite part of the whole thing was a field trip to Bear World in Rexburg, ID. The animal viewing was awesome and so were the free kids carnival rides at the end. Also, we loved the petting zoo. I took about no pictures except for these while we were all piled into our new big van, named The Bus. I guess I thought we were even cuter than the bears. 

It was a much needed weekend with family that was good for our souls, and now we're back to Summer for two more weeks. I'm not ready for the end. I'm ready for a schedule because we really lack in that department during summer, and I'm ready to get on top of a lot of things we let go during summer break, (laundry, cooking, cleaning)  but I'm not ready to have these kids in school all day again. I like them a lot.  

Just a reminder that Charlie is an Animal Expert.


Three things

The porch turns out to be where the kids spend a lot of time when I tell them to go outside. It's outside, but just barely. I can still hear all the shrieking and laughing and yelling if I'm in the kitchen and they can make fish faces on the screen door for me. They have hammock wars on the porch and sometimes relax nicely in the hammocks too, and they eat their snacks sitting on the railing. The screen door slams about four thousand times each day. Summer, we love you.

Max went to BYU Lacrosse camp and I think his favorite part of the whole thing was wearing a helmet and pads. It automatically made lacrosse the coolest sport he's tried yet. He ended up having a great experience and has been carrying his lacrosse stick and ball with him always the last few days. He had a hard day in the middle of camp, though when he wanted to come home. The hard day happened to be the day that Taylor was able to sneak away from work to go watch Max, not knowing he was having a rough time. When Max saw Taylor he came over to the fence crying and said he wanted to go home--they talked about how he could do hard things and needed to stick with it. (good thing it was dad there, cause I maybe would have been like, "Hop in! Let go get you some ice cream") Taylor stayed and watched him for an hour and a half and then they did stop for ice cream on the way home and Max was so proud of himself for doing something hard. The fact that Taylor somehow had the time in his schedule that day to do that, when Max really needed his dad, was a miracle. It was also a reminder to me of how much my Heavenly Father loves me and loves my kids. They are His and He will help us be their parents. Good news, cause I really have no idea what I'm doing.

Last thing was this sweet family tree that Charlie wrote down in his Journal. Thankful he knows his grandmas and grandpas and knows he is part of this family who loves him. 


Birthday presents

It was a good birthday. 

Could I be any luckier? 



Last week we got our I-800 approval from USCIS in the mail (the next big step!). We weren't expecting it for another month and anytime things go faster than expected in this process it is a miracle that we are so thankful for. I think the quick turn around with that document has us feeling extra excited and urgent about the rest of the process happening as quickly as we can possibly help it happen. As my best guess, I think this puts us traveling in October and that will be the same time of year we traveled to get Simon two years ago. (feels like 5 years ago). Also, I can't believe that we will most likely have Louie here for Christmas. My heart is so anxious and grateful and hopeful. I am constantly thinking about little Louie. I am aching to hold him and have him be real to us, and then I'm at the same time thinking through him being here and planning in my mind. At the grocery store I was thinking about how when Louie is here maybe I'll wear him in the Ergo and push Simon in the cart with Georgia in tow. Or I could just go late at night when they are all in bed. 

We are keeping busy while we wait. Good thing it's summer. We found a new park we love up the canyon in the mountains we live by. It has a stream that runs through it where the kids can play and be wild. Last time we went they built dams to try and make a pool to swim in and then when that didn't work they built tiny houses out of leaves and branches. I followed Simon around because he is sneaky and fast and adventurous, until he is tired, and then he just sits and watches and sucks on his thumb. Georgia has become a nature enthusiast and spent her time watering the plants with water she brought from the stream in a paper cup. Anna built a fairy house. Max built a house for tiny dragons, and Charlie found bugs to lure the dragons there. When everyone started fighting and the magical spell was broken, I decided it was time to go and then I locked the keys in the car. We called and then waited for Taylor, who was luckily available to come save the day. So we are having summer adventures. 


Big sister

Georgia asked to borrow my phone today to take a picture of her babies because, "They were being so cute", and I just found this on my phone. They're adorable, for sure. (The princess baby collecting is a little out of control, but it's all she has really ever wanted for her birthday or Christmas or getting potty trained, etc.)

She graduated from preschool this last week, and is already missing it because I don't really have big enough plans for this girl. She has a lot of energy and a lot of determination and when she's sleeping I just want to go hold her and kiss her because when she is awake we are in constant negotiations concerning snacks or glitter glue or fingernail polish or screen time. That's why we're both really tired at bed time. I look at her though, and see her energy and strength and mothering heart and the way she doesn't give up until things feel right to her, and I think that she is perfectly placed in our family. She has one, and soon, two little brothers who need a big sister like Georgia.