July 4th ( a year late)

Saturday, July 4, 2015
So, this year is strange for July 4th for us.  We had a difficult time picking a camp week for Kate and Harry.  Harry usually goes to camp for two weeks and Kate wanted to go two weeks this year but due to an upcoming trip we decided that one week of camp would have to be it this year. Anyway, the only week they could BOTH go (due to camp availability) has them traveling home later today.  They actually arrive tonight.   We knew it was bad timing but it was all that could work with our summer plans and camp availability.

We've been invited to two parties but the camp pick up cuts into them both.  We will see how they are when we get them and we might go to one of the parties before pick up and one after:)

Anyway, I was looking back at former 4th of July posts and realized I never posted any photos of last year.  It was also a quiet 4th as the boys were at camp and Kate was the only one home with us.  That being said, Kate LOVES the little bike parade and carnival in our neighborhood and we always go.  I am sure she is really sad to have missed it this year.

So, I wanted to post the photos from last year.  I will post date them probably in a few days. It appears these are all from my iPhone.

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Kate is very lucky that one of her best friends happens to be our next door neighbor.  These girls play all the time.  I went and got them all the stuff and they decorated their bikes together.

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face painting + snow cones= fun


Now usually, Kate rocks the hula hoop contest.  She always wins.  Harry and I aren't too shabby either. In fact, our family often sweeps that one.  I don't have any video or photos so I am wondering if we left early.  I did find a brief video of the bubble blowing contest from last year.


Bubble blowing...

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I have no clue what we did after the carnival because I obviously did not take any photos
(maybe I was having too much fun).

 And see that is why it is important to not wait a year to blog about something.

 We did have a little ice cream sundae party before bed though ( a little 4th tradition for us).

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8th grade graduation, blueberry picking, camp update

Thursday, July 2, 2015

I already posted about the 8th grade dance but I don't think I posted about Harry's middle school promotion.  Dave and I don't make a big deal out of this milestone as they only went to middle school for 3 years.  If it was a 1-8th grade school (like Catholic school) I think it is a bigger deal.

Anyway, we had some MAJOR flooding in Houston in May.  Our neighborhood flooded (not our house) and many of our neighbors and some of my friends had serious flood damage.  A few people I know lost everything. It was horrific. You simply would not believe the devastation unless you saw it. As president of my Mom's group at church, I organized help for these families in looking for places for them to stay, collecting gift cards for them, delivering meals, doing laundry and lots of other stuff.  I never posted about the floods here because I was really busy at the time trying to coordinate help for the families in our church group who lost so much.  But I did mention it on FB and IG and people from all over sent me gift cards to help these families.  It was so generous and kind.  Thank you.  The families were SO grateful.

So, Harry's graduation was actually the week of the flood. The award ceremony was cancelled the day before due to flooding. Harry did get the History award which surprised us all because he is not a History buff (Will is) but apparently he knows his History.  Good job Harry! He also graduated with all A's  for the year.  I think he actually had all A's all three years.  He is a good student.

It was raining the morning of the ceremony and the graduation was very delayed.

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Kate was in school and Will had final exams so just the 3 of us went to the graduation ceremony.

Without getting too specific, these types of transitions are a struggle for Harry.  We could barely get him in the car for his 5th grade graduation.  He was a little better this time but afterwards I saw it coming out.  

We wanted to take him out to lunch but he was not in a good mood.  We did end up convincing him to go for seafood  (his favorite) at Pappadeux.  We had a nice lunch.  It is hard for me to watch him go though these times. And I feel so helpless. Adjusting to middle school was extremely tough and I am praying every single day that his adjustment to high school is better.

He has attended three camps this summer (basketball, lacrosse and study skills) at his new high school.  So, hopefully he is feeling comfortable there already.

The weekend before the flood, we went blueberry picking. Let me just say that Harry is 14 y'all.  he DOES NOT want me taking his photo.  So, most of these are not of him.  I love him dearly.  He is a great kid.  But he is a teenage boy and I have to respect that.  I was just glad he came with us!

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So someone on IG commented how I dressed her to match the blueberries. Ironically, we drove to the farm to go STRAWBERRY picking but we got there too late so they diverted us to the blueberries.  So, it was not planned at all (I am 99% sure she picked this out) but it worked beautifully.

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There were beautiful wild flowers in the blueberry patches.

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Blueberry picking was fun but (for me and Harry) the hilight of the day was on the drive home. We saw a farmer's market and this was in the parking lot....

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We LOVE lobster rolls.  And they are not super common here in Texas.  So, Harry and I had to have one.  Kate opted for an all natural local made popsicle.

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The following week, we got together with our friends to bake a berry tart...

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And at the risk of this post being the LONGEST ever, I wanted to give a quick camp update too.

Kate and Harry are only at camp for one week this year because we are taking a longer vacation this summer.  It is quiet without them for sure but I am enjoying the quiet.  I have taken a few naps, done some deep cleaning and enjoyed the time with Dave.  It's been good.

I do check the camp website a few times a day to see what they are up to.

At first I though Kate was spending all her time in the gym...

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But then luckily I saw these photos...

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Cheering on her teammates in morning competitions.

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Making a cross in the craft center at free time.

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Cooking oatmeal cookies.
I am surprised she is in the cooking class again this year.
 She loved it last year but I did not think she picked it this year.

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All the girls were eating milk and cookies (the ones they made).  And they tried to make milk mustaches.  I think we need to work on this:)

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At the Christmas is July party.

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And this last one is from this morning's competition.

Ever time I see one of these photos, I want to tell her to brush her hair and put it in a pony tail!

I was not seeing any pictures of Harry at all.  That bummed me out. But then I finally saw two.

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This is one of Harry's favorite things to do at camp.  It's called gaga ball or smash ball.

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This is a giant funnel that dumps into a lake.

So clearly Harry avoids the camera at camp too-- not just at home:)

it's camp time again

Sunday, June 28, 2015
We dropped Kate and Harry off at the bus for camp this morning.  Will had his last year in 2014 so he is finished with camp (which is kinda sad).  This place is so special to my kids.  They absolutely LOVE it there.  Neither of them knew a soul going this session this year.  Kate confidently got on that bus by herself and sat alone with all smiles.  And that is one of the reasons I love camp. My kids gain this independence and confidence that I could not teach them alone.

You know I always love to take photos at the drop off.  My boys HATE it but last night we sat here and looked at all the past years on my computer and had some good laughs (under the label camp).  So in reality they are very happy they have the photos.  However, you will notice fewer photos of Harry.  He is definitely in that teen phase where he hates me taking pictures.

Will got up to say goodbye to them...

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It was dark and early!!

But I was not allowed to photograph him and Harry saying goodbye.  I did burn it in my memory though.

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Kate's confidence amazes me.  She was not this confident 2 years ago but between having an extra year at school, gymnastics, maturity and this camp, she has grown up so much. She doesn't know anyone going to camp this year.  Harry will be there but he is in a completely different section of camp and they will barely see one another.  They do plan to meet up at the camp store one day for ice cream;)

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Gotta make sure they don't have a fever.

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Love this one of Dave and Harry.  Go look at how much Harry has changed in one year.

Kate has so much camp spirit.  We painted her nails blue for her team.

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She always meets a dog waiting for the bus. She loves dogs.

The goodbyes...

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Katie Ru getting on the bus...

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She just looked so happy and so comfortable.  She was sitting alone but she was happy.  She started reading her book but would glance up to see if we were still there.

I got a message that the busses arrived at camp safely. Thank you Lord.  So, they are likely eating dinner and having the first party.  They have parties every night at camp!  I will be stalking the website for photos as I always do:)

I actually am enjoying the quiet and the freedom though.  Dave, Will and I went out for a nice brunch and then I napped and lazed around.  I have some cleaning/purging plans but I also plan to enjoy my time this week not driving carpools to lacrosse camp or gymnastics.  It feels weird but kind of good.

* I am catching up on posts this week, so if you did not see my last one, it was on Will's 18th b-day.