Thursday, July 20, 2017

It's Hot Hot Hot

It has been steaming hot out.  
I mean it hasn't stopped my kids at all, but look at that sweat. 

We had planned to go to the pool with our neighbors Friday.  I was going to check out Brody early since it was a fun day at school, but decided he would rather skip the whole day and stay home with Mason and I.  Talk about happy. 

We had chores to do before we could go to the pool.  First stop was grocery store, second chore was cleaning that dirty house of ours.  

The YMCA has a slide that Mason has had a blast playing on.  Brody is our more apprehensive child....but just initially.  Once he does something, he loses all fear.  Just hard for him to take that initial leap.  He has tried and tried to go down that slide.  I have gotten in the water 25 times to catch him, he has put on floaties, we have tried bribes.  He had gotten as far as climbing all the way up and saying hello to me in the tunnel....but came right back down.  

So Friday, he wanted to put his floaties on (he can't touch there) and try again.  I was telling the lifeguard that he probably won't go down, we have had lots of attempts.  The lifeguard then told me I could go up there with him, just not down the slide with him.  She said "your his Mom, if you want to help nudge him down, I can't stop you".  So I climbed up and told a Mom lie.  Told him I was coming right behind him and gave him a little push.  He flew down yelling "cannon ball" and has never looked back.  After that, it is all he has wanted to do!


We had all eaten lunch before, but swimming makes these kids hungry.  Every time we go, they end up eating all the snacks we bring...even when I think I've brought way too much. 

Of course mine are smiling with cheese in their mouth....

This is what happens when you skip school, don't take a nap, and swim for three and a half hours in 100 degree weather. 

But he got a second wind.  
We played outside until the Dads got home, so we could all go to Hueys.  

If you get a second wind from an exhausting day, there is no time for bathing or brushing your hair.  We did take him out in public like this, and no one cared.  Ha. 

Saturday was another hot day.  Brody wanted his Daddy to watch him go down the slide, so we ate a big lunch and headed back to the Y. 

It was so hot that all the adults were in the pool too.  
So glad John was able to come, they love playing with their Daddy. 

We stayed there for a couple of hours and then headed to Robert and Becca's to swim.  My kids' swimming means they stay under water 90% of the time, just pop up to get one breath.  They had to have been exhausted, but you would have never known!   They love swimming. 

How many twins can you spot in this picture...

I know I say it all the time but these three love love love spending time together. 

We let Mason spend the night with Reese, and made Brody come back home with us.  He was sad leaving his best friends, so we told him we could have an ice cream date before bed.  Of course, when we got there, he only wanted a cookie.  No ice cream for this tired dude.  As soon as he was done with his cookie, he begged us to go home, so we could sleep. 

Only child for the night and morning heading to church.

Yard work leads to more swimming.

Mrs. Melissa was out of town and Mr. Ben had Baby Wells, so we all got together to swim Sunday afternoon.

Wells is just the sweetest.

Monkey in the middle

A bunch of college friends and their kids.  Its funny to think of then vs. now.
Lots have changed!

We got the Jeeps out and decided to race.  Tegan won every time.  My boys do not know how to drive in a straight line.  Ha.

Tuesday night we had dinner with friends at our fav Mexican restaurant.

Mason is back at camp this week.  Field trip was skating and bowling.  He is absolutely not a fan of skating.  He says he is on the ground more than his feet.   But he does enjoy bowling.  He said he had fun at both even though he scraped up his arm from hitting the ground.  Poor guy.

Thursday, July 13, 2017


We got home from vacay and stepped right back into reality. 
Mason had a field trip to the splash pad and Brody got to swim.  

Mason had a birthday party for a friend from school last Friday night at the bowling alley.  He was excited to hang with some friends. 

He totally knocked those pins down and got a spare.  
It was the first time I've ever dropped him off at a birthday party, and thankfully, I knew the parents.  Mason was so excited I left him.  

I came back home and let Brody play with the neighborhood kids while John cut the grass.  We got new neighbors across the street and we have played a ton.  Brody now has a friend who will start Kindergarten with him!

Saturday morning, we headed down to Water Valley, MS for one of John's family reunions.  Brody was pretty excited about that name tag. 

Mason helped collect money. 

The Brower clan all had dinner Saturday night which means Mason and Reese are going to ask to spend the night together all dinner long.  Every. Single. Time.  Ha. 

We agreed to let Reese spend the night at our house Saturday night.....but then these three started asking the same question.  None of them have ever spent the night out before, but Brody was adamant he would be okay.  

So, we let him stay at their house, and we took Reese and Mason to our house.  I was on standby all night, but he slept like a charm and obviously had a blast. 

We all met up to swim Sunday.  It was finally a day of sunshine. 

And in normal Mason tooth diary confessions : Mason jumped into the pool and his knee hit him in the mouth and just about knocked a tooth out.  After a couple of tugs, it popped on out. 
(if you are keeping count, he is missing THREE front and center at the top.)

We all stopped by our friends' St. Jude lemonade stand.   

All of that fun = one tired boy. 

We have so many kids in our little section on the street, and they are always playing baseball, soccer, etc.  Cars will fly down the street, so I just went on and bought one of those green guys with the flag.  
I know.  I know.  I've turned into a crazy Mom, but these people need to slow down!
(and if you wanted to know the results, people slow wayyyy down when they see it!)

It has been so hot, so any form of water had been good for all the kids.... 
even if it's a slip n slide and a couple of buckets filled with water.  Ha

Mason hasn't had any camps this week, so he and Mickey Mouse have been hanging out.  They've swam just about every day at the Y and had a lunch date.  They are having all kinds of fun while we are working!

Brody has never been a fan of showers, but wanted to give it a go this week.  
He thinks they are the greatest things ever and has asked every night to take one.

Mason passed his swimming test at the Y.  He is a good swimmer, but the test was swimming a lap, treading water for 30 seconds, and floating on your back for 30 seconds.  The floating on the back was the only thing he was worried about.  He has practiced a few times, and wanted to take the test.  He swam like a champ and had no problem completing it.  

He is so proud of himself, and so are we!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Napa Valley

We got up Sunday morning, packed and checked out of our hotel.  Jake and John went to pick up our rental van and the rest of us lugged all those bags down in front of our hotel.  Everyone was nervous about the bags fitting....I mean we had to pack for cold/warm weather for a week and tons of outfit changes.  And we were nervous about getting that van in front of the hotel in downtown San Fran.  

As you can see, it was a windy and cold morning!

Thankfully, we got a great van with plenty of room.  It could not have been more perfect.  Im not sure what I was envisioning, but this was way better.

Our chauffeur for the day.
That was one large van and Jake drove it like a champ.

We took the scenic route to Napa Valley.
We drove over the Golden Gate bridge instead of the Bay Bridge.
It was a foggy morning, but still a site to see!

On the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge is Sausalito.  The cutest town in the world.  It is right next to the water.  They have a ton of restaurants and shops.  All the houses are on the hill.  It may have been one of my favorite stops.

We were thinking it would be a lot warmer here, but were totally wrong.
So windy which made it cold.

It is just beautiful.

We had an awesome lunch at the Barrel Tavern and checked out a few shops before our next adventure.

Since we were so close to the redwoods, we decided we needed to stop at Muir Woods.  Who knows when any of us will be out that way again.  We took an accidental detour and ended up NOT at Muir Woods, but this picture is crazy.  We were right in the middle of the fog.

We turned around and got back on track.  Parking may have taken what would have been a very long, frustrating hour...but when you are in a van with 10 friends....that frustrating hour ends up being absolutely hilarious.  I think it was times like this that made our trip even more fun.  Things don't always go as planned, and it can get frustrating.  But instead of getting angry, with so many friends, you end up belly laughing.  It was great.

Made it!

It was pretty cold and damp in there.
I actually think this is the first National Park I have ever been to.

That is one large tree.

After Muir Woods, we were off to our hotel in Napa.  Once we got about five minutes on the interstate, the fog was behind us and it was already 10 degrees warmer.  Crazy.

We went to Morimoto's for dinner and this was the only picture I got, and it was a good one....those crab legs were amazing.

Mom sent me this cute picture Monday morning.  Both boys ready for a fun day at summer camp. 

Since we just had the one day in Napa to do wine tours, Blake set up a set schedule with a tour guide. They met us that morning at our hotel and drove our bus around for us.  We had reservations all day at every stop and it was just perfect.  Our driver kept us on track as well.  I would highly recommend that!

All three stops were very different, so it was perfect.

First stop was Mumm.
It is one of the only sparkling wines out there and is very large vineyard.

We had reservations basically sitting in the vineyards.  The view was stunning.

We had a great server who got us started on the right foot.

We got to try two LARGE glasses of champagne.  I actually enjoyed them even though wine and champagne aren't really my thing.

It was one of my favorite stops for the day.
It was a great way to start the day.

Second, she had us lined up at Farmstead.  It was the BEST food we had all weekend.  We ate family style, and I cannot say how amazing the food was.

Only bad thing is we were disgustingly full with two more stops after!!

Next stop was Robert Biale Vineyards.  So this vineyard has been around forever.  Our server was very informed and told us the history of the place.  It was very interesting.  We had another great table right in front of the vineyards.  This place is small and very old school.

We actually saw grapes.
So apparently, the best time to go to San Fran and Napa would be end of September/early October.  It is warmer in San Fran, and harvest season in Napa.  That is when you can stomp on the grapes!

It is just impossible to get over these views!
Each glass of wine we drank, he was able to point to which peak of a mountain those grapes were on. So many things go into where your vineyards are located, etc.   Very interesting to say the least.


Last stop was Italics....and their view is amazing.  We actually did our wine tasting in a cave.....a legit cave.  So this vineyard has been a around for a while, but some younger guys bought it a couple of years ago.  They have done some amazing things on the property and are trying to attract the younger generation instead of the norm for Napa.  Most of these Napa wine clubs have people that have been in the club for years, and when they leave the club, it is because of death.  Since they are newer, they are trying a different route.  It was all very interesting.  

Just a bit windy up there. 

The cave was so cool, and the guy who did our tasting was the best.  

We all had a great time here.  We loved the fact that we went to three completely different types of vineyards.  We got to experience it all in a day.  

We headed to Oxbow market later that night to explore downtown Napa and have a drink or two.  My last picture of the trip was the sunset that night. 

This trip was amazing.  To be able to experience a beautiful, Indian wedding of a friend, to visiting San Francisco for the first time as well as Napa Valley.  Those were all three amazing experiences.  But the best part was experiencing it all with friends.  It really was a trip of a lifetime and one we will never forget!

We flew home on the actual Fourth of July.  We did get to see fireworks when landing.  These guys got to stay busy the whole week.  They swam, saw friends, and hung out with the neighborhood kids.  

We were so happy to see our guys when we got home.  It was a long time to leave them.  We are so thankful we were able to take the trip, especially knowing they were being loved.