Friday, June 22, 2018

Our Busy Week with LOTS of Cute Pictures

I have been doing other things besides Girl Scout related activities this summer as well. (Doesn't seem like it, but it is true). Here's a lot of pictures from the last week. 

One day Rowan had ABA therapy. I needed to take all the kids with me, normally we end up a little late. Somehow on this day, I was way early. So I took pictures of everyone. 
Only this one of Anastasia clapping while I sang "Baby Shark" to the Littles to keep them entertained turned out. Getting a good picture of my kids normally takes at least a dozen shots and maybe one or two will turn out well.  

On Thursday we decided Heidi could go camping with Grandma, Grandpa, and some of the Aunts, Uncles and ALL the cousins on Friday night. It was her first time camping in nearly 5 years and the very first time for 1/2 the cousins as well. 
Heidi had a good time. That afternoon she went Kayaking with Grandpa, who said she was a pretty good paddler. Heidi even got brave enough and decided to take a paddleboard out on the lake by herself. She even stood up on the board and paddled. Now, this is a child who can't properly swim. But getting up on a paddleboard-apparently is no biggie to her. Aunt E sent us the photo of Heidi.  
Rowan noticed that the night before Heidi went somewhere with her sleeping bag. He kept asking for a sleeping bag. I got out our other sleeping bag for him. He was all smiles and giggles once he got in it. Then asked for a pillow. Shortly after this picture, he moved onto the sofa with the sleeping bag in tow. Who knew that hardwood floors aren't that comfy to lay on? 
On Sunday I went down for a Father's Day family get together at Grandma's house. (Char had work). I packed the Littles' swimsuits just in case there was water in the wading pool at Grandma's backyard. There was water so I put the kids in their swimming suits. I LOVE Anastasia's face as she runs away in this picture as Rowan is about to slash the water really hard and far. Anastasia is slowly growing accustomed to water but isn't a big fan of it yet. 
Rowan took a break from the water briefly to go down the slide. Anastasia dutifully followed him. However, this slide is a little higher than our slide at home. She struggled a tad bit but got up in the end. 
Later they decided to play on the trampoline together. They can be anywhere from thick as thieves to "don't even look in my direction." Mostly, they get along wonderfully and are as close to twins as I'm ever going to get.
Later everyone came over for the Father's Day BBQ. I somehow convinced Rowan to get back into day clothes. Anastasia decided to stay in a swimsuit. Since she would randomly go over to the wading pool and slash around, getting soaked I chose not to fight her on it. Cousin A sat got on the swing with them, swinging for over 15 minutes straight. The whole time Anastasia said "Weee!!" or "Ride!!" or "FUN!" Rowan would giggle and copy what Anastasia was saying. (I would include the cousins in the picture on this post but I don't have parental approval, I always forget to ask.)   
On Monday, I was attempting to do laundry. Rowan and Stacy commandeered one of my baskets to sit in and watch their kindle (which is named Turtle for some reason that only they know). Why they didn't choose the bigger blue one with more room, I'm not sure. However, I put it to good use. 
Tuesday evening there was a Swimming Party for all the Girl Scouts in our community. I renewed Heidi for next year while at the party. She is just loving Girl Scouts and it's exposing her (and me) to so many different subjects, activities, and potential hobbies. I wish I had enrolled her when she was younger. I'm so putting Anastasia in Daisy's when she's 5.  
On Wednesday we had a doctor appointment. The Littles had a blast in the waiting room since it had new toys to play with. They would go to each other showing their new discoveries. 
Rowan fell in love with this big helicopter. He looked up and said "Cheese!" which now means "Take a picture, please." Then went back to happily playing with the helicopter. 
Today Rowan and Anastasia would come up to me, say "Cheese!" then rush over to try to look at my phone for the pictures. I got a really cute one out of Rowan. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Building a Bird House and Exploring Botanical Gardens

Heidi is still working hard to earn some merit badges. One task she had to complete was to build a house for an animal. Anything from winter stray cat shelters, bat homes to birdhouses. Since it's summer she went with the birdhouse. 
First, she got to paint it (which was her favorite part I think). She picked blue because that's her favorite color currently. 
A few days later Char helped her put it together. I could have done it with her but sometimes things are more fun with Dad. He'd hold the pieces in place and Heidi would hammer away.  
The Littles enjoyed watching them put the house together. Oh, the birdhouse came with suction cups and has a gap in the back. That way you can put the birdhouse on a window and be able to spy on the nest without really disturbing the birds.  

Now we just need to go to the bird refuge and she'll earn her Animal Habitats badge.  (I'm really, truly taking her next Saturday).
The other day the troop had a field trip to the USU Ogden Botanical Gardens. I didn't know we had a botanical garden in the area. Anybody that attended would be completing ALL the requirements for the Gardener badge. We were the first to arrive at the Gardens. Sadly, only 3 other girls came. We decided to tour 4 of the Gardens at the site; Cottage Garden, Arbor Garden, Rose Garden and the Vegetable Garden. 
While at the Cottage Garden I found my favorite flowers, Stella De Oro Lilies, Stella Lilies for short. I have been looking for these flowers at the nurseries and big box stores for the last year or so. But they either don't carry those lilies or they've just sold out. They bloom lovely yellow-orange flowers from May to September and grow really well in this area. Someday I'll find them. 
Here the girls are resting in the shade of the Arbor Garden (basically, it was an area with non-fruit bearing trees planted). But it was hot and only noon-ish, the girls voted on needed a rest in the shade. 
Next, we explored the Rose Garden. Out of all the different varieties and colors, Heidi loved this particular rose the most. She thought it looked exactly like the rose from Beauty and the Beast. I don't know what kind of rose it really is but I like her idea more. 
The girls were getting tired, thirsty and hungry. We found a pavilion where they could rest and eat the sack lunches they packed. After everyone ate they planted some wildflower seeds in little starter containers. They're supposed to do experiments on them. Heidi chose to water one group more than the other to see what impact watering has on seeds. After lunch / experiment time we explored the vegetable garden.  
The Botanical Garden gave the Girl Scouts permission to plant some flowers as long as it matched the theme of the garden. Heidi's flowers went in the Cottage Garden area. I can't remember for the life of me what her flower is called.   

Friday, June 8, 2018

And Now It's June

Well, May went by fast. Here's the Highlight Reel of the past month. 
Heidi Anne has begun Girl Scouts as a Junior. Since we're doing homeschool we wanted to give her more social opportunities. Even though we came in towards the end of the year, she's been loving it. (Fun fact-Girl Scouts works based on a school calendar year not Jan - Dec.) I decided this could be a great Mom and Heidi 1 on 1 thing. So I signed up as a troop supporter (AKA homeroom mom).   

It's been less than a month and we've done a lot of activities with the troop and at home to earn merit badges. 
One of the first things we did was go on a hike and clean up the trail as we went along. Yes, she is wearing flip-flops while hiking. I didn't get the memo just how far and steep we'd be walking. 

About 2 Saturdays ago the troop decided to do an extracurricular field trip to the Ogden Nature Center to learn about local wildlife and walk the trails. My plan was to drop Heidi off and go to the Instacare (since I was coughing up a lung) with Rowan in tow. Well, only 2 other girls showed up. The leader figured this 3-hour adventure would be cut down to 1 hour. I choose to stick around. 

We found unique birdhouses volunteers had made hidden in some of the trees. Rowan wanted to be like Heidi and explore some of the trails. 
 He only got to like a 1/4 a mile on his own. Then he wanted to be held. We were pretty sure we'd get to the treehouse destination really soon. I put him on my back and kept on going. He was having none of it. Once we reached the 1/2 mile mark it was apparent we'd taken the wrong trail. I let Heidi continue on with her troop while I made a U-Turn with Rowan. 
It was a LONG 1/2 mile back to the visitor center. Take it from me, never go hiking when your sick AND with a toddler simultaneously. It was a LONG 1/2 mile. Since he was a good sport about everything I got him a huge black raspberry sucker. (Suckers are one of his favorite rewards). About 40 minutes later the girls returned. I was glad I turned back when I did. 

There was a Bear River Refuge trip but we missed it due to scheduling conflicts. I plan on taking her sometime this summer to make up for it. Plus you can get a badge if you go to a National Park and fill out a workbook. She's really looking forward to that. 

For the End of Year Party the troop went to a water park and had pizza. There were so many girls I'd never seen before. Anyways, Heidi earned her Musician badge and was given a Girl Scout Junior Badge and a 2018 year pin. She was so proud of her self. Now we need to get her a sash so she can put her things on it. 
She's also working toward her Gardener Badge. One the of the tasks is to plant a garden. We don't have space for a garden nor a good spot that the dogs won't get into. We improvised, she planted some flowers for me in big pots and put them on the porch. I love my lilies! 
We've done a lot with the troop but we did non-Girl Scout things as well. We've been going to the park and splash pad a bit. I was worried about the water at first and was expecting a short trip. After all the Littles despise baths and water. 
To my surprise, they seemed to enjoy themselves. Even Anastasia ran through the water a time or two. 
Heidi mostly kept an eye on Anastasia in the pad because she is tiny and easily gets overlooked and knocked over. 
After some time in the water, the park nearby was calling to them.  

Anastasia played on the smaller jungle gym meanwhile, Rowan went to the big kid one with Heidi Anne. They both loved the slides on their respective playgrounds. 

They both impressed me by climbing up obstacles to get to the slides. Anastasia climbed up these stairs (which she won't do at home). Rowan clamored up a pretend rock wall. It's so fun to watch them grow and overcome challenges. 
Currently, there is a cute trend of parents sharing what names children have given everyday objects or actions. It made me aware of the adorable things my Littles have named things. Rowan has come up with a new name for phone chargers. They're called Phone Tails. 
Not to be outdone Anastasia now calls sips, Water Bites.

Those were the good times. There have been many sad and difficult moments and revelations this past month. Things I wish no parent to suffer through. We're working on it but it's going to be a long, hard road with no easy fix.