We are winding down summer over here and I'm torn between sad about Palmer entering the official school days with Kindergarten starting next week and excited about everyone getting into a fall routine.
Popsicles in the park for the incoming kinder class:
We've had a packed summer of trips, camps, and water fun to beat the Texas heat.
Warning: this post is going to be all over the place and its sole purpose is to post a bunch of pictures/memories for when I print this blog at the end of the year for the kids' baby kid books.
One of my favorite summer memories was kayaking on Town Lake in Austin while we were down for Horseshoe Bay. The kids far exceeded my expectations and Palmer worked hard paddling up front while I brought up the rear.
Grace was given a small paddle and mostly dropped it into the lake forcing Palmer and I to work hard to turn the kayak around and retrieve it. We encouraged her to paddle "in the boat" as much as possible!
All summer, Palmer and I have been working on chapter books. It's so much more fun to read a new chapter every night instead of the same ole picture book. We picked Roald Dahl's BFG in anticipation of the big screen release. I loved the prize of finishing and taking Palmer to see the movie.
Meanwhile, Ms. Grace is really coming into her own with water exploration. She started the summer a little unsure of the pool and is now very interested in swimming underwater and jumping off of the diving board or side of the pool. She has NO idea how to come up for air, so I need to remember to put her in swimming lessons this winter. (It may or may not have NEVER crossed my mind last year. Second child.)
I wish I had gotten more pictures from the weekend my sister came into town. She gave me the best Christmas present ever last year: tickets to the Dixie Chicks. We fell in love with the live performance TEN years ago and it was so kinda weird to think about all that had happened since our last Dixie Chicks concert.
I taught VBS this year. Art, actually. I don't like crafts. So, that went well... BUT, I loved how excited Palmer was about seeing me during the 30-minute art rotation. THAT made it worth it.
I have no pictures to document this event. The church scared me at orientation about getting our phones out during VBS hours.
We ended the summer with a FABULOUS getaway with momma friends and kids. My friend and former nighbor, Kathryn, opened her lake house to the kids and I and another family. The house is in the hill country and near a town with a rock climbing gym. All six of the older kids (everyone but Grace) went to rock climbing camp in the mornings.
The minimum age for camp was 7, but when I called to register Palmer, nobody seemed to question his age of 5. Midweek, the instructor remarked to me, "Your son is 5. How did you get him in?" I played dumb and acted like I was so surprised. Score for the Jordan family because Palmer loved rock climbing and made huge strides. The instructor said he had no problem blending with the other kids and his only challenge was not having the height to get some of the taller rocks as he climbed.
Abigail, always the sweet coach and big sister to Palmer:
The kids spent the afternoons napping, swimming, mountain biking, and hiking. A few thoughts: 1) I'm only vacationing with families with older kids from here on out. (Besides my kids, the others were ages 7-13). Older kids are amazing. They entertain and take care of the younger kids. It felt like my first break all summer. Grace didn't lift a finger the entire week. Waiting children took care of her hand and foot. She had a rude awakening upon re-entry to Dallas...
2) Intense activity levels equals very tired kids. The trip couldn't have been more perfect.
Couple all of that with evening Olympic watching and we were pretty satisfied.
We're savoring this last week of summer and already turned our conversation topics to things like Halloween and Christmas(?!). C'mon FALL!
We are making progress on plans for remodeling the master bathroom. I am hoping to demo within the next month after I make a final selection on floor and wall tile (this bathroom is a tad trickier than the last one).
But, I did want to show two simple updates.
First, we are slowly going thru the house piece by piece and making decisions on which brick stays/goes and which wood trim stays/goes. Once we've eliminated all of the desired brick and trim, we will then decide if the brick gets painted and if the trim gets re-stained.
In the area below, I decided there were too many textures going on between the awesome bathroom wallpaper, the bathroom tile and the brick wall. So, a nice new layer of drywall went over the brick wall. (The brick floors will become hardwood floors in a later project.)
Also, we got official architect/construction drawings for the kids bedrooms. Their current closet nooks were supposed to be transformed into bedrooms earlier this summer. We hit a contractor snafu and pushed that project back. However, look at these drawings! We will have such a nice dormer over the long roofline on top of the garage.
I hope to update with master bathroom progress soon!
We are nearing the end of a full week in Horseshoe Bay.
If you saw me right now, you would see I've fully embraced lake life- no makeup, barely brushed and windswept ponytail, and some ensemble of bathing suit and cover up (because who really wants to keep going back and forth between getting dressed and swim suits?!)
My biggest accomplishment? Giving the kids a bath- it had been days because I was counting the pool as a bath.
This year has been so much easier with Grace. Last year, she was 15 months- walking, but had no precautions to the lake or swimming pools. This year, she understands boundaries better and our newest worry is her newfound lack of fear in the water. In the past few days, Grace has decided she is ready to swim underwater and jump into the water from the side without a floatie. All great, except she doesn't make sure that someone is ready. My eyes are on her AT ALL TIMES right now as I keep trying to explain that she needs to say, "Mommy, are you ready?" before she swims underwater.
Meanwhile, Mr. Palmer is a water fool. And I am a one-trick pony with photos...
I asked Palmer earlier, "What is your day like at Horseshoe Bay?" He said, "We eat, we swim, we have lunch, we swim in the lake, we eat dinner, we get in the lake." Yep. That's about it. (With the addition of me sneaking in work emails, working during nap, and ordering plumbing supplies and a bathtub for our upcoming master bath remodel!)
Unfortunately, Rick has had to work much more than we hoped or expected. He normally commutes to his nearby Austin office about half of the time during our annual trip and works from here the rest of the time. Circumstances have forced him to be in the Austin office most of the trip until pretty late into the night. We miss him dearly, appreciate how hard he works, and look forward to him joining us more this weekend.
Last weekend, we had so much fun with visitors. The Burrus family joined us for a day on the lake. We miss these friends in Dallas so much and love how the kids play so well together.
I love when the empty nester neighbors invite the kiddos over to fish. I didn't touch any worms and it's free babysitting!
We also got to spend some time with my precious nephew Charlie (and Uncle Luke and Aunt Holly). Grace talks about Charlie every single day and was so excited to hold "her baby" (who is within spitting distance of her in weight!)
A few more days and we will be back to reality. Or is this picture a perfect example of reality?