Sunday, September 5, 2010

What Do You Do in the Summer Time?

Hmmm...what did we do this summer? The beginning of the summer was busy with our move and crash-course painting our house. Once my parents left and Kit started back to work, I was left at home. Alone. With 3 sons, 1 daughter and one empty summer looming ahead of me...overwhelmed? Heck yes! I will never profess to be one of the fabulous mothers who have craft time, enrichment activities lined up and everyone has a fun and educational time. Do I wish I was? Definitely. Right now I'm just striving to get a hold on my life and from there I'll work to improve. Baby steps, right?

So, after realizing staying home meant children fighting, me yelling, children crying, me yelling...I decided we all needed to try to get out and GO and DO. Expend energy. Each week we found things to do. We attended the free movie at the Regal Theater once a week and made sure to go to the library weekly. And- we went to the park. Newport News Park. {cue heavenly singing and trumpeting} Seriously, this park saved my sanity and my childrens' lives. This park has hiking trails, wildlife winking at you from behind trees, multiple playground sets and bathrooms. Yes. Sounds to good to be true, huh. It gets better-it is about a 2 minute drive from my house. It has been our second home (the preferred home to my beasties). We would pack a picnic (sometimes healthy, often happy meals) and just play or hike around. The weather is gorgeous and there is so much space energy can fly and noises don't seems quite so loud.
The park is also a nature reserve and the animals must know they're safe. They frolic around us. Birds fly around and dive for fish, bunnies nibble grass, squirrels attempt to eat our lunches right off of the picnic table and deer taunt us with their steaks waving in our face. I have never seen so many deer so unafraid of humans. They are a bit on the small size (we nicknamed them the dog-deer) and they permit us to get quite close for photo-ops.
We did spend a little time taking care of chores around the house...curses to laundry...and relaxing with books and movies from the library when it rained.
Emmeline is quite the favorite sibling of her brothers. They compete for the right to hold her, pick out her clothes and dress her up. The little diva is sure loved.
I came back into the kitchen from setting the dinner table to see this-
What cracks me up is that she is letting Gunner feed her. She just opens up wide and chows down.One of our rainy-day activities was to go to Toys 'R' Us and make a photo-Christmas List. Fun, now I will be able to (hopefully) remember what they want for their upcoming birthdays and Christmas.

Another positive aspect of the park was the harmony we found there. My boys argued less and helped each other more. Josiah was quick to push Gunner on the swings and they loved exploring things together.Not everything was fun and games, but sour moods were overcome quicker and I retained my temper easier. Ahhhh...it felt good to yell less and laugh more.
Where was Little Miss in all of this play? Generally she was simply content to just perch in her car-seat and watch her brothers' antics. If that wasn't good enough, there were many hands ready to cuddle her close.

School starts on Tuesday...am I ready? I would have to say yes. Life is going to be simpler with just two little beasties (well, beastie and beastette) at home. But...I will miss their giggles, listening to their crazy play and silly thoughts.

So, what did I do in the summer time? I not only survived, but enjoyed it! Here's to another fabulous summer on its way out...

11 comments:

Jill said...

HOORAY for finding a fabulous park to take your kids to during the summer! LOVE the pictures - you're a great mom, Liberty. :D

Kara and Theo said...

You are just determined to make me regret not moving there! Looks like tons of fun! I think you are doing a lot better than me. Too many heat advisories and not enough parks. I was telling Theo we needed to make our own park in the backyard, hence the bar. LOL!

Steph said...

What?!! Another post!! This must be what heaven feels like. :)
Here's to surviving summer!! I to, feel like getting out makes for a sane family. Now where we choose to go, does matter...unfortunately for me. ;) I prefer shopping, they, well, anything else. Your park looks so grand!! I can't wait to see all the sights there!! Your boys look like they had so much fun! They took the cutest pictures! Gavie looks so G.Q. by the deer (love it!). :) Little Em Em is suuuuuuccccch a doll! I adore that the boys love her and doll her up. So. cute. Um, hilarious that Gunner fed Emme...and double funny that she let him!! I think from the get-go Ella had her preferences figured out and it generally didn't involve my boys...oh well.
If Coop catches sight of that pic with the Pokemon and Jos he'll have a fit right here. I don't think that he could even contain himself!! With that much wonderful in one picture, it would just do him in. :)
Thanks for sharing all your sweet pictures of your family. I especially love the one w/ Jos holding little Em. Adorable. And, you are the picture of sweet motherly perfection. Beautiful. Simply beautiful. Send smooshy kisses all around!! I love and miss you dearly!!

Steph said...

Such a fun uber-post! I'll take a heavy dose of Applegate jazz any day! Emme is just a little doll! She's just so darn cute! What a great park, I'm very jealous. Well, I guess we have good parks here too, I'm just too blah to go to them most days. I'm hoping the upcoming cooler fall weather will inspire me a bit more. I just love all the pictures, your boys are just so handsome. I'm w/Steph, Gav's GQ one is fab! Ahh, I miss your beasties.

whitney said...

That last comment was Whitney, not Stephanie. oops!

Andrea said...

Loved the post, and really wishing I lived there! That park is awesome. I loved all the pictures and seeing your family again with all the smiles. Emme is getting so big (and of course is beautiful as ever). Hope the boys have a FABOULOUS school year! Miss you all!

holyoak said...

I had to scroll up to see what a GQ oicture was...

Great post Liberty. What a great set of pictures! [If you wouldn't mind (this includes you Stephanie and Whitney) please send me these pictures so I can put them in my family image bank.]

What fun that park is. Almost as good as all of the hills and mountains behind our ranch when I was a kid! Speaking of which, on the flight from Seattle to Minnisota yesterday afternoon, we flew right over Missula and I could see north right into the Mission valley. I recognized the landmarks, it was very neat. Mom asked if I got home sick. I said it was neat to see, but she wasn't there; she was in Oklahoma...

Sure do love each of you. Little Emmie is so cute! I still see my mom's side of the family when I look at her. Very Cooper family like...

Grammy said...

Oh, how I love these pictures. It make my heart sing when I see you all. You all are sooo cute! Please e-mail the pictures to us so we can make copies. I need new one for my frig!

Anna said...

I love the darling pictures of your documented summer outings. The park sounds like a real lifesaver. I'm glad that you were able to find a fun, inexpensive, safe and convenient outlet for the kids' energy (and your sanity.)

Jenny said...

Yeah for surviving summer! You are a fantastic mom! Who else could survive with 4 kiddos in tow? I know I couldn't and am dreading winter just for the very reason that we won't be at the park every day.

Aubrey said...

Yay, you survived. And don't worry, I'm not one of those moms who do craft time and story time and I can't honestly say that I want to be one of those moms. It's just not my style. However, I am one of those moms who does libraries and parks and that's educational too. In fact, I have read a couple of articles lately talking about how important playgrounds are for kids and how they need breaks and playtime. So, go you for being an amazing Mom!