Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall break, camping and O-wa

Fall break was last week, oh it was so good! It was timely, we all needed a break from the daily routine and time to just enjoy ourselves together. My older kids are growing up and starting to deal with their own struggles, struggles bigger than potty training, discipline and math problems. Struggles that we all face, big people struggles. Life was heavy for one of them and that made life very heavy for Joe and I. We hit our knees harder than ever and prayed for wisdom and guidance as we found ourselves in a totally new element of parenting. God is faithful and He gave us what we needed, answers on how to deal with things and fall break to have more time to really focus on loving on all our children more and focus on helping them be thankful for our great life together.
The first weekend of fall break our little, tiny community had it's annual community festival that we always enjoy going to. This year they had fireworks and originally we thought we'd sit in a parking lot and watch them, but Brady was tired and beyond himself so we came home and put him to bed. We ended up sitting on a blanket in our front yard, drinking hot chocolate and playing with glow sticks, watching fireworks. So. Much. FUN. It was definitely a moment when everything in life is good. The next morning we went to the parade and that night we went to a home school bonfire where Jenna met her long lost twin. She made a friend with a little 4 year old girl, same age, height and hair color. They were beyond adorable together, their little personalities matched and they were so cute to watch.
Joseph loves throwing the football with Joe. We have all been loving this fall weather and spending our time in the back yard.
Anne had her first swing in the backyard recently and loved it. She still likes her baby swing and I don't know how I'd survive without it. We went camping for a couple nights during fall break and the swing was on the have to take list.
 Anne is five months old now, she finally rolled from her back to her belly and now rolls around quite a bit. She has been fussy lately and I have decided that it is time to start some cereal today. Hoping that will help her be more pleasant and happy. I'm sure there will be pictures soon.
 We were able to go camping with my mom and sister, they are such a blessing. We loved having their company but I'd also be lying if I didn't mention that they were a big help with camping with 5 kids!  The kids did really great and we all had so much fun. My mom and sister have kayaks and the kids loved paddling in the lake.
 Joseph especially loved kayaking and was really good at it. He spent a lot of time paddling around in the swimming area of the lake by himself. He is such an outdoors man. He likes anything camo and it hoping for a BB gun for his birthday.
The place were we stayed was very nice but the nicest part was we were the only people there! We saw some park rangers but aside from that we had the entire place to ourselves. The campground was quiet and peaceful.
 Brady LOVED everything about camping. We said that in ways he was easier to handle outdoors camping than at home indoors. He was allowed to make messes and get dirty, he wandered around but stayed close enough too. He liked playing in the beach sand and then he would hold his hands up and say, "Mess. Mess."
 Brady also like floating in the kayak, he was very calm and mesmerized. He is talking all the time and learning new words everyday.
 The first night the kids all went right to sleep, sound sleep. I was freezing, it was really cold and I tried and tried to sleep. About 2 AM Brady woke up and ended up getting out of his pack n play and onto our air mattress. He never went back to sleep, he crawled over us and kept trying to talk to us. Anne woke up and then it started raining. It wasn't supposed to rain but it rained a bunch and hard. We were all up early, cold and damp. I never fell asleep. The first half of the night I prayed to go to sleep and the second half I prayed that it would just be morning and that God will help me have a good attitude to get through the day. He did because though I was really tired, I was able to keep going and enjoy the next day. I am still trying to make up that lost sleep though.
Anne adores Joe, like needs him, like prefers him over me, like cries hysterically and I can't calm her but he will take her and she falls right to sleep on his chest. I have never had a baby like that at this age. I think it is precious. She really loves him holding her.
The kids were eager to get back to the water the next morning. Brady loved seeing the water and calls it "O-wa", so cute. We all now refer to water, either drinking or lake as, O-wa. It just might stick for years to come.
 Anne had one of her have-to-have-Daddy moments at the beach.
The kids were all such filthy messes, full of sand but it was all worth it watching them have so much fun. My parents took the three oldest to a theme park awhile back and we asked them which was more fun, that or this and they instantly said digging in the sand, playing in the water was more fun. There is nothing like watching them learn,discover and enjoy the outdoors. The opportunities are endless! We came home with 7 loads of laundry from 3 days; still, worth it.
Jenna is all about creepy crawly things, she loves finding worms or roly poly bugs. She found this injured butterfly and carried it around for a long time. She kept talking to it sweetly, saying pitifully, "Oh you poor little butterfly, it's okay. I'll take care of you, I'm not gonna hurt you."
 I never once looked at the time while we were camping, we just lived in the moment.
 We took Brady's highchair, that is the only thing that will contain him these days. He spent alot of time eating snacks but also playing with toys in it. It was perfect.
The second night the weather was warmer and I was able to get some sleep, though not much. All in all, it was a great get-away. We are so glad we were able to make it happen and had some family there to help us, though we all missed my dad, he had to work. :(
The end of the week was the best part for sure, but I think I have posted enough for now, more on that later. It was hard to get out of bed this morning, I wanted it to still be fall break. I was more sad to see fall break go than I was happy to see it come. Instead of leaving me ready to return home school, it made me weary. I wasn't weary before we took the break, no fair! I'm sure it will get easier, we have several homeschool events to look forward to later in the week.

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