Monday, July 18, 2011

Where Has the Summer Gone?

I thought that once school got out I would blog more.  I can't believe it has been over a month since my last post.  Not that I don't have several partially written blogs floating around in my head, but that doesn't help anyone else read them.  I am appalled that we are half way through July.  I had so many plans for things to do this summer, and I really haven't accomplished that much.  Not that I haven't been fairly busy.

The first week after school got out both kids had fevers around 103.  They seemed fine otherwise.  There went that week. 

The next week was my family reunion, which I was in charge of. It was fairly simple event.  Friday the 17th those of us who didn't have to work played games, which ended up being very few because of unexpected work complications.  For dinner that night we had home made Chinese.   My mom made a beef and broccoli stir-fry. I made eggrolls, and my sister made orange chicken.  She had a recipe for the orange chicken, but decided to go the easy way and just put the orange sauce on pre-breaded chicken.  It was really good, and supper simple.  I think she got the bottle of orange sauce at Costco. We were supposed to sleep in tents near the creek that runs behind both my house and my sister's house, but we didn't get the tents up and the children were cranky.  I think it would have worked a little better if they were a little bit older.
Friday morning everyone came back over and we made waffles and pancakes.  Everyone seems to prefer one or the other, so we made both.  After that we went to the park and played kickball.  It was really fun.  My nephew really likes to watch his older brother play soccer, and he wanted to chase the ball like you would a soccer ball rather than running the bases.  The girls decided it was more to play tea party on the bleachers with the water bottles.  Four-year-olds are so funny.  Next we went home to pack lunches for our hike.  There are actually quite a few hikes in the county, and I have been on very few of them.  That was actually one of my plans this summer: Get a baby backpack and check out the hikes.  It hasn't happened.  We went on the wilderness trail, which is part of the network of Bonnivile Shoreline trails.  We didn't go real far because we had small children.  We didn't have the baby though, which was nice.  My mom couldn't go on the hike and it happened to be nap time, so that worked out well. 
After the hike we went to my mom's to play water games.  I had hoped to go to my cousin's pool, but it wasn't available.  We made do with a slip-n-slip and a kiddle pool. I think there were also some water balloons.  For dinner we had Pulled Pork Salad kind of like they do at Cafe Rio.  I found the recipe here.  We made the lime dressing and the lime rice.  They were both really good.  I didn't bother with the beans.  We just warmed them up straight out of the can.  It was quite a bit of work, but really good.  It would probably work better if the meat was marinated ahead of time.  I didn't start mine until that morning and it didn't get quite enough crock pot time.  I would say it was a very successful event.  I just wish I had thought to bring my camera.  I think that my mom and sister might have some.  I will have to check with them. 

Again, I am not sure what we did the next two weeks.  Laundry, dishes, more laundry.  Nothing fun and exciting.  The one day I do remember is the 24th of June.  Thomas' cousin got married that day.  Grandma had the kids and we got to spend the day together.  The wedding was in the Salt Lake Temple.  That was followed by the luncheon at This is the Place State Park. I was unaware that the pioneers had air conditioning.  The building we were in was frigid, especially the bathroom.  The reception was down in Riverton, so we didn't go home.  There may have been some miscommunication about that .  I think that Grandma thought we were coming home.  Instead we went to REI and looking at hiking packs.  They were sold out of the cheaper models (You know, the ones that cost just over a hundred instead of just under two hundred) I really wanted to try some out.  That is the downside of shopping online.  Next we stopped at Ikea.  we had a lot of fun. We had gotten Thomas a night stand a while ago, but I didn't think I wanted one.  Turns out I really did want one.  We also found a bed we liked, the one that matches the nightstands, but it didn't fit in the car.  There is a good chance we will get it, but we haven't got it yet.  We were a little early for the reception, but they were running way behind, so we pitched in and helped get things ready.  We weren't going to stay very long, but there were a lot of relatives we hadn't talked to in a long time, so by the time we finally left we had been there most of the reception. 
We also went to the wedding reception of my best friend from high school.  It was really fun to see her. We have not seen each other in a while, even though we live about four miles apart.  I meant to have a house warming party for all my friends when we bought our house, but it was so busy it never happened.  We have been here now for over three years.  I would still like to have a get together, but time is always the issue.

The next event was the 4th of July. Sunday we went to Thomas' grandma's.  I took a chicken strawberry salad with poppy seed dressing. I thought it was pretty good.  It was supposed to be kind of like the one they have at Pepperbelly's.  It was similar, but not exactly the same.  It was fun visiting with those who came.  We didn't do fireworks like we usually do, but they did do sparklers, which the kids had fun with.  Grandma also had glow in the dark bracelets.  Monday I was planning on going to the parade.  I realized however that it was right during nap time.  I ended up sending Isabelle with her grandparents.  My sister is in the marching band.  Actually, she is in the color guard.  She made the weapons line.  She has really enjoyed throwing her rifle around. Personally I think that the flags are more fun.  Plus the riffles hurt more when you whack yourself with it.  I heard the parade was better than last year's, which was good but went on way too long. Ww had a barbe-que at my parents, and then went back up to Grandma W's for the fireworks.  We can walk from her house down to the show the city puts on.  We were a little worried that the baby wouln't like the fireworks, but he was too busy climbing all over everyone lying on the blanket to nice the lights in the sky.  Even the loud booms didn't seem to faze him.

The rest of the week I spent up at the high school taking a class to learn about the new common core for language arts.  It isn't a lot different from what we have done in the past.  The biggest different is that we are supposed to push the students for deeper understanding and more analysis.  A lot of things moved down a grade or two from where it was being taught in the past.  There was at least a grade difference before where they seniors were finishing and where they were supposed to be as a freshman in college.  It will be interesting to see how this goes.

Last week my husband left for Africa and I went camping.  It is late however, and I have lots of pictures of camping.  Although some of them I have to get from my sister since my camera died at the end of the first day.  I will post all about that tomorrow.  I am going to try and do better about posting. 

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