Nutshell Post: The First Half of June

It has been CRAZY around our house this month . . . and it’s only the middle of June!!  I just love it!

One of the things I love about keeping a blog is that it is an online journal of the life of my family.  Sometimes I post pictures and tell stories, but sometimes I keep those to myself.  When I have posted, it is really nice to be able to just cut and paste some journaling for my layouts, or see which photos were the best of the bunch so I can scrap with them.  Really rather convenient!

Like I said, the end of May and first part of June has been crazy fun around here.  We have been super busy, and it is only going to get better!!  Our calendar is incredibly full.  Almost every day is spoken for.  But, in a good way.  Not in an over-scheduled, “let’s-produce-children-who-think-the-world-revolves-around-them” kinda way.  Nope.  In a making-memories, going on adventures, deliberate family-time kinda way.  This is LIFE, and we are living it to the full.

SO, this is the nutshell post.  I can’t possibly go into great detail (Lord, help us!), so I will attempt to keep this short, yet still capture enough of the memories to spark my journaling.

First (and this is for me, folks) I must remember that Mid-May I went to Ladies’ retreat, then our whole family went to The Enchanted Forest with Grant’s 1st grade class, then Cole had his first official Dentist appointment, and then I ran in another 5k (which I already told you about – no I am not insane.  I did not run in a third one.).  We had our last MOPS of the year, Cole had his last day of school {sob! my baby!} and then . . .

On Memorial Day, we finally found the Valley of the Giants, which is no easy task.  We had attempted to find it in the past, but the road is very poorly marked, and the maps didn’t help us at all.  It was SO exciting to finally find it!  The Valley of the Giants is an area of temperate rainforest (so, lots of great plants) with huge, tall trees.  Well, okay, I suppose that they are huge for Oregon, but if you have ever been to the Redwood Forest or observed the Giant Sequoias in California, then it really wasn’t that big of a deal.  But, it was a wonderful hike and the boys just loved it.  I would totally do it again.

There were lots of opportunities to investigate creatures:

And many feats of strength:

The next day, Grant gave his Great Brain presentation.  You know how I said that he might be doing something about scorpions?  Nope.  It needed to be a “How To” report, so he shared how to make homemade ice cream in a Ziploc baggie!  My friend Jeanne posted about it on her blog, and I was immediately inspired.  We made ice cream as a family, and Grant loved the idea of sharing it with his class.  So, Cole and I went on over to Grant’s school with a couple of coolers of ice and milk, and all the supplies.  The kids in Grant’s class loved it!  And, wouldn’t you know, my camera was dead.  Grr.

Anyway, here is the recipe!

Single Serve
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Fill a gallon size baggie half full of ice cubes.
Add 6 tablespoons of salt.
In a smaller baggie add:
1/4 tsp of vanilla
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup of milk
Seal the smaller bag and put it into the larger bag. Seal the larger bag.
Go outside, in case a bag breaks.
Shake. Shake. Shake.
(For about 5 minutes or until the ice cream hardens.)
Eat and enjoy!

A few days later, my parents arrived from Texas!!  What a treat to have them come to visit in April and in June.  My sister was graduating from college up in Washington, so I have her to thank for bringing them back to the Pacific NW.  We had a little bit of time with them before they headed up to Washington, which was cool.  My mom did not bring the plastic roaches with her, however the boys found some that were left over from their last visit.  {hurl!}

While my parents visited my brother and his wife and son, and my sister and her husband, life continued on for us in Dallas (Oregon, people, not Texas).  Grant told his teacher that he wanted to bring a treat to celebrate his summer birthday (which is July 12th), so I brought some doughnuts to his class and became a hero once again.  It was kinda fun.

Grant’s last day of school was on Wednesday, June 9th.  Our school district had to cut a few days at the last minute, due to some state budget cuts (blech), so Mitch, Cole and I attended Grant’s award ceremony that morning.  I just have to say that I LOVE my son’s school!!  The teachers are outstanding, the principal is awesome, there are many family learning activities and special events for families that they put on, and there is such a wonderful sense of community.  I am so glad Grant is attending the school he is attending!!  (And, if you remember the whole freak out thing at the beginning of the school year, then you are probably chuckling right now.  Yes.  God is in control! Amen!)

There were two awards given out on Wednesday morning.  One was the “Good Attendance” award, which he earned.  The other was the Eagle Award for being responsible and respectful and blah, blah, blah.  All the good stuff that you want your kid to be/do.  He got that one, too!  My child makes me so proud!!  He loved having his family at the award ceremony.  He would turn around and smile at us and give us the thumbs up!  So cute!

That Friday, we attended the Distinguished Educator Award Gala, which is an award my husband (a local business leader) started in our town to recognize teachers.  Mitch was the emcee.  He’s so cute!  He did a great job, and it was a wonderful, emotional event.  I’m so proud of my husband!

The next morning, we drove up to the Olympia area to attend my sister’s graduation party.  The weather was perfect, I got to see my nephew and his parents (my bro and SIL), plus my sister and her husband, and we just had a fabulous time sitting around talking!

We drove home that night, and the next day we celebrated Cole’s 4th birthday!  Oh, my baby is getting older!

He wanted an Alligator Cake.

More on that later.

Cole wanted to have a BBQ in our backyard with his cousins and grandparents, and it was just perfect!  Relaxed, fuss-free (except for that cake) and a lot of fun!  Cole felt special!

My grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, too!

(Yep.  This is the best shot we got.  Oops!)

The next day, on Cole’s actual birthday, we headed on over to the Oregon Coast.

There was a lot of exploring, of course.  Grant was SO into it.  I love how excited he gets to see new things!

They caught some Sculpin (which change colors!), and a bunch of hermit crabs.  No, we did not keep them.  Good grief.

My Dad got comfy.

The birthday boy!

We went to Mo’s afterward (an Oregon Coast tradition).

And then we went to the Hatfield Marine Science Center to see the Octopus and fun exhibits.

My parents flew back to Texas the next day, and we miss them already!  The boys are bugging me about driving there to visit this summer.  Oh, how I wish we could make that happen!!  We’ll see!

And THAT is my nutshell.  I’m exhausted.  Are you?

What’s up next?

  • Camping this weekend.
  • Vacation Bible School next week. (Plus Mitch will be out of town.)
  • Summer Track starts for Grant.
  • A possible 5k for me (although I haven’t told Mitch about it, yet, so it might not happen).
  • OH, and my birthday is one week from today!!  Wahoooo!!

Life.  Living it to the full!!

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