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June 05, 2015

Short updates

Both the boys are taking swim classes over these two weeks. Arthur's in an assisted swim class, where he's joined by either Chris or Grampa. Elmer is taking his first independent class, where he's learning to float, kick his legs, and some water safety. They seem to be enjoying their classes!

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We're so lucky to have Grammie and Grampa Perry help out for the swim classes - I don't know what we'd do without them!

Arthur's getting so good at communicating with us. He shakes his head no and usually means no, he signs "more", "please" and "thank you" and is starting to learn "up." He's also starting to say some words: his first word was "again" (from "How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten", one of his favorite books). He also says "go", especially if we say "Ready, set..." first. (That's really fun for me driving, when Elmer's telling me to "Put both hands on the steering wheel, Mama." and Arthur saying "go!" - I guess I'd better get used to all my backseat drivers!) Arthur tries to repeat what we say all time, and will sit down with a book by himself, point at the pictures, and babble, so I know he'll be talking in no time.

Whatcha doing?

Arthur 19May15

Elmer's becoming more imaginative. He'll announce at breakfast that he's a backhoe loader and that his spoon is his scoop. Whatever, as long as he eats! He loves to pretend, and he is enthralled when we pretend with him. We have some hand puppets that Chris will use to liven up a meal time, and Elmer is just entranced talking to Henrietta Pussycat and Moo-Cow. It's always interesting to see what he'll come up with next!

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He also loves to help me bake - we usually make a loaf of banana bread each week for breakfast, so he's getting pretty good at helping with that.

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There's never a dull moment around here!

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Camping practice: Rock Crossing Campgroung

Last summer we started planning little one-night camping trips to help motivate us to go out camping with the boys. We're calling it camping practice because, while we are both experienced campers, throwing two toddlers in the mix is a completely different experience. We went twice last summer and learned a lot and started adding to our camping gear. Last weekend, we went on our first practice run for this year to Rock Crossing Campground, near Pine.

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This was our first time putting up our new canopy and a new (to us, anyway) tent, so that was a good experience. The campground was beautiful, not too crowded, and we had just lovely weather. After setting up camp, we ate lunch and relaxed around the campsite for a bit.

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Then we wandered around the campground looking for squirrels. They were too smart to stick around for us, but we did see some interesting beetles and ants. Arthur just loved watching all the bugs - he'd squat down and point at them and scoot around to see where they were going.
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Both boys liked climbing on trees.
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And, of course, everyone had fun putting pine cones in the fire.

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Arthur had a bit of a rough time - he fell down a few times and scraped his face up. Combined with the dirt, he looked quite disreputable.

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We tried having the boys sleep in their own tent. Elmer liked it just fine, but Arthur got scared, so we ended up moving in with them about 2 in the morning. Needless to say, we were all a little tired next morning.

There were tons of these little caterpillars around the campsite - Elmer really enjoyed having this one crawl around on his sleeve.

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After packing up camp, we drove down to see Blue Ridge Reservoir. Arthur passed out in the car immediately, but Elmer was game to get out and look at the water for a few minutes before heading home.
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We were welcomed home home to 102 degree weather. Hello, June! Hello Summer! We'll definitely be looking forward to more camping later this month as an escape from the heat!

California trip

So way back at the beginning of April, we all went to California for a wedding. It was a big family trip, with all the Perrys and Graves going. It was our first good road trip with Arthur for over a year, so it was a good trial run for some longer trips coming up this summer. Both the boys were great in the car, and you can see that we've turned Arthur facing forward now - such a big boy!
CA trip! April 9-12, 2016

CA trip! April 9-12, 2016

We were staying in Oceanside, but the first event was the rehearsal dinner at a winery about 40 miles northeast from our hotel. It was a lovely chance to visit with lots of family, with good food in a beautiful location.
CA trip! April 9-12, 2016

CA trip! April 9-12, 2016

The next day was the wedding itself, but we had all morning to explore, so we went to the beach, of course! Several of us, including Elmer and Arthur, rolled up our pant legs to splash in the surf.

CA trip! April 9-12, 2016

CA trip! April 9-12, 2016

CA trip! April 9-12, 2016

CA trip! April 9-12, 2016

After lunch, we took some quick naps and then got all dressed up for the wedding.
CA trip! April 9-12, 2016

CA trip! April 9-12, 2016

It was a lovely ceremony, though the boys were too tired to stay for long at the reception, so we headed back to our hotel early. Elmer loved our hotel room - we'd splurged for the presidential suite, so we had 2 rooms: Elmer slept on a hide-a-bed with Arthur in his pack-n-play in the main room, while Chris and I had our own bed with a jacuzzi bath in the master room. Totally worth it! Elmer still talks about wanting to go to the hotel with the hot tub.

Anyway, the next day was a family beach day at Laguna Beach, organized by our cousin Gail (mother of the bride). This was my first real full day at the beach! We all had a great time digging in the sand, enjoying the sun and watching the waves! Chris even went swimming, but the boys and I contented ourselves with getting our feet wet.
CA trip! April 9-12, 2016

CA trip! April 9-12, 2016

Elmer didn't like the way his clothes felt when they were wet, so he was sitting with his arms held out so they would dry.

CA trip! April 9-12, 2016

CA trip! April 9-12, 2016

And the next day we headed home. We all had a great time, and it was a fun beginning to our summer plans!

April 06, 2015

Easter 2015

This year, I decided to take a long weekend for Easter. I took both Friday and Monday off, and I think this was a great plan! We've all had a nice time together, enjoying the spring weather and the holiday.

This was the first year we colored Easter eggs. On Saturday, Grammie and Grampa Perry came over and helped.
Easter 2015

Easter 2015

And then we had a little egg hunt in the back yard:
Easter 2015

Easter 2015

Easter 2015

Later that afternoon, we went to the park to enjoy the playground and fly our kite:
Easter 2015

On Easter Sunday, we went to church and enjoyed celebrating Easter with our St. Mark's family. Elmer and Arthur both wore nice Easter suits (although Arthur was a little grumpy about having his picture taken just then).
Easter 2015

Easter 2015

Elmer liked watching Chris play the organ for the postlude:
Easter 2015

There was an egg hunt for the kids after the service, both boys had a fun time finding eggs with the other kids. Arthur knew just what to do:
Easter 2015

Easter 2015

After church, and naps, we went over to Aunt Jennifer and Uncle Rob's for dinner with all the Perrys. The food was all great, and the boys had a lovely time playing with their cousins. We didn't get home and get the boys in bed until almost 8, so they were pretty tired. We're all enjoying a quiet day at home today. I'll work 2 days this week, and then we're off to California for a wedding and another long weekend for me!