Thursday, September 1, 2011

The end of summer

All good things must come to an end.  At least that’s how the saying goes and it was really good.  We managed to fit in a lot of fun even if we were jipped on our summer break.  The kids got out a week later for summer this year and went back to school a week earlier.

I bought a family season pass to Raging Waters this year and we went enough times to get our moneys worth.  The kids knew what “our usual spot” meant when discussing towel drop offs and meet up zone.  Morgan, Griffin and Mia spent most of their time in the kid’s zone and the big kids disappeared on the big water slides and wave pool.  I did attempt to go down a big slide once during the summer.  I hauled Morgan, Mia and my double tube up a million stairs, got to the top, forced two screaming kids on to the tube with me, pretended I didn’t notice everyone staring at me in the line, upset at how long it was taking me to get all of us on the tube and go down the slide.  We made it to the bottom  of the slide and the girls let me know how that wasn’t fun and too fast and too scary.  And even though that was the slowest slide at the park, I kinda agreed with them and called it good for the season.

Our last big adventure to Raging Waters was with Heidi’s family while they were in town.  It was super crowded since it was the last weekend before the beginning of school and we got rained on.  The kids loved swimming and playing in the rain until the park was shut down for weather safety.

Mia danced in the rain, grabbed for raindrops and caught  a few in her mouth.

Just like the previous summers, we spent most of our free time swimming up at my parents’ home.  There were lots of swimming lessons, friend playdates, Wendy’s dollar menu items and days enjoying the sunshine and water.  Their pool was shut down for about a week in the middle of summer and I really panicked.  It was too hot to play outside in the backyard but too boring to hang out inside all day.  It made me realize how lucky we are to have this great pool just minutes away from us.  And how lucky we are to have Uncle Blake for a swim teacher.  Mia went from being timid and refusing to the leave the steps to being able to swim all over the shallow end of the pool.  Hadley took a swimmer’s class and discovered yet another talent.  The girl’s got serious coordination and speed!  And she finally mastered the dive with her feet going in last.  Ryan and Jack spent most of their time playing around on the diving board.  Ryan’s favorite trick was a back flip.  Griffin proved he can swim all over the pool and that doggy paddle is just as efficient as the skills he learned in his class.  And Morgan is our little fish!  First one in the pool and the last one out (usually not by choice but by the pool cover closing).  She spends the entire time with her head under the water and her eyes wide open.  She won’t wear goggles for more than two minutes and always had burning, red eyes when she got out of the water.

We should have done more lemonade stands.  Hadley joined in a neighborhood stand and carried her weight with providing lemonade refills that she got to share in the earnings.  If it was up to her, she would’ve had a lemonade and bake sale every day of the summer.  

Lots of new tricks and adventures were found in the backyard . . . the trampoline, the slip-n-slide and playing in the plastic pool.  Hadley set up her slip-n-slide and it remained on the grass for days and days as the kids played on it then it accidentally got popped by Jack but it was still workable after a little duct tape magic by Jack.

Mia hosted an impromptu tea party for Morgan using all of the new china sitting on the dining room table.  Gavin walked by the living room and I heard him say, “Oh mommy is gonna love to see this!”  And he was right.  I did love it, all of it, down to my green couch armrest cover as the center place mats on the coffee table.

Boating was a favorite summer activity for everyone (and I even enjoyed it when I didn’t have to drive the boat).  Jack mastered going over the wake on the wakeboard.  Ryan and Hadley stuck to what they know best . . . the knee board and tube.  Morgan loves the boat and has NO fear on the tube.  The faster and bumpier the better.  Griffin and Mia also love the tube.  I don’t think Gavin and I water skied once this summer.  I’m saving it for Lake Powell.

Tube Wars with the Rushings.  "Hard core!"

And it wouldn’t be summer vacation without our annual trip to Lagoon on Down syndrome day (BOGO admission).  It was a mini family reunion at the amusement park with all of the Stewart grandchildren there and a few Seals too.  It made the day even that much better to spend it with cousins.
 This cute girl knows what fun is!

All of the Stewart cousins

We had an extra fun ending to our summer.  My sister, Heidi, and her family were in town for the last half of August.  They kept us busy with outings to the park, family dinners, dollar movies, Education Week at BYU, swimming parties and lots of sleepovers.

Happy End of Summer!  Welcome routine and structure!