Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Shavers do Duvall (And Seattle, And Kirkland, And Kenmore, and Carnation)

We were very lucky this past weekend to have a visit from Grammy and Grampy Shaver and Aunt Meg.  It seems like we don't get as many visitors as we did in Utah, so we're always glad for company.

Thanks to Meg, we got brave and headed into the city.  We haven't really taken the kids there too much yet.  Something about a stroller in Pike Place seems all wrong (and it would have been thanks to Eric and Papa who stayed home with Wardie).

We enjoyed walking a little bit on the piers, and rode the Seattle Great Wheel.  A first for me too!  Amos didn't want to go, so he and Grammy worked on winning some tickets at the carnival.  The girls enjoyed the wheel.  I did not.

The market was fun.  You can't beat the fresh flowers, that's for sure.

We had yummy lunch at a great little deli and then headed back for the hills (or valley).

The "purpose" of Grammy and Grampy's visit, other than to see us, of course, was to attend the Western Washington All British Field Meet with one of Papa's Magnettes.

Before we got out of the car at the show, we had a good talk with the kids about how they shouldn't touch ANY of the cars.  Wouldn't you know, the very first car we approached the guy said, "Hey, do you want to get in?"  The kids looked at him horrified.  Eventually, we convinced them it really was ok and they took some cute pictures.  So funny.

Eventually it was time for the Shavers to return to Idaho, and we've looked like this pretty much ever since:

Monday, July 28, 2014

Another swim class post

Sinking three year old aside, swim lessons went fantastically.  Maggie came out of nowhere with the swim skills and advanced two classes in the first couple days.  Technically, she passed Amos, but they're in different age brackets, so we'll call it apples and oranges.  Amos went in swimming, but he really took a liking to the races.  The boy is a bit competitive. 

 I thought the girls being in the same class was really cute.  It seems like that might be the last time that happens for a while now.

There is major construction going on on the road between our house and swim lessons.  It seemed we were 30 minutes early, or 5 minutes late and it was completely out of our control.  The 30 minutes early days were actually pretty fun, the kids liked watching the other lessons happening:

The last day of class:

Mag's mad swim skills got her bumped from the kiddie pool into the lanes.  She looked so small swimming in those giant lanes:

Adorable, right?

And we can't forget this guy, spectator extraordinaire.  Amazingly enough, with his August birthday he can go to the very last session of swim lessons next summer!  

The last day of class they teach water safety.  It's always a good time.  The highlight had to be Audrey's teacher trying to convince her to throw a life jacket out to the "drowning" swimmer.  As of now, if Audrey's your only hope on shore, you're out of luck ;)

The last couple days of swim class Audrey turned it around and really seemed to be on the edge of making some important advances towards swimming...so, we registered for TWO MORE WEEKS.  We're all pretty excited.  Amos advanced to Guppy (same level as Maggie, but an older class), Maggie is rocking the Ray class and Audrey was almost an Eel. All of the Pike classes were booked, so they told me to put her in Eels...either she'll rise to the challenge or we'll have more stories for the book of Audrey.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Sitcom Kid

Audrey has turned into a little one-liner extraordinaire.  She always chimes in with some funny little thing at just the right time.  Her comedic timing is amazing.  She could out-do Full House era Mary-Kate and Ashley on their best day. 

On the flip side, she has not had enough sleep all summer.  She can be a total terror.  Today, at swim class, it was terror.  She wasn't cooperating at all, and her teacher called me over to talk to her.  Audrey informed me she had practiced enough.  That's right, at the ripe old age of three, she was done swimming.  We talked her down and her teacher got her ready to do the next exercise.  Her teacher pushed her out into the water to give her some momentum to get swimming (think of the running start when learning to ride a bike), but Audrey kept true to her word.  She didn't move a muscle and sunk straight to the bottom.  Totally motionless.  At this point, it was much more art film than sitcom kid.  I wouldn't have guessed a kid could drop like a rock to the bottom of the pool without panicking.  Impressive, really.  She stayed there, completely still, under water until her teacher yanked her back up.  What a punk.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Swim Lessons

Behind the 4th of July, swim lessons are my favorite summer event.  The kids are always so brave and learn so much.  It's awesome to see them grow.  This year, Audrey is finally old enough to go and that is a big deal.  She was always a great sport about sitting on the side and watching, it is so nice that her time has finally come.

I told the kids I wanted to get pictures before we left, and they insisted on posing in the yard.  This is purely their own doing:

I did make them turn around so the sun wasn't in their eyes.  It didn't help.  Still didn't get them all looking at the same time.

Who knew the chicken was going to be the best at looking at the camera?

This morning Amos wanted to document their second day of swim lessons:

Only 6 days left, it definitely feels too short!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

4th of July 2014

Last year we were very much newbies in Duvall, and didn't quite know what to expect on the 4th of July.  We're fast learners though, and this year we were ready.

Fireworks are legal in our city from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on the 4th of July.  You'd better believe we were out in the yard at 9:01 a.m. ready to go...

Amos fully embraced his new "lighter" position:

Mid-morning, we took a little break from blowing stuff up to head down to Carnation for their parade.  The kids love a good outfit for a parade.  As I tried to snag a couple pictures of the girls, Ward insisted on eating his banana right there.  It was so funny.  He's a funny guy.  And pretty darn smart.

Yep, I am really going to stand right here...


The kids got a little anxious waiting for it to be time to go, and Eric had the brilliant idea to have them decorate their candy collecting bags for the parade.  We'll have to remember that for next year.

The parade was fun, but much more crowded than I remember it being last year.  

For Grammy Cindy:

All of the usual entrants were there (dancing horses, tractors, et al), but this one was new:

A banner for each of Washington's fallen soldiers.  There were far, far too many of them.  The visual was incredibly overwhelming. 

After the parade, we headed home for bbq, smores, naps, and a firework spectacular (not exaggerating, we found out why it's called "Boom Town"). 

I don't have the slightest idea how she got so dirty?

Like all days, there were outfit changes, messes, breakdowns, and squabbles.  But there was also a whole lot of celebrating.  God bless America.