I always enter summer with a little hesitation. It is hard having five busy little kids home all day every day. It is hard that the sun doesn't set until 9:00 or later, and the perfectionist in me almost goes crazy with the little messes and the constant grazing in the kitchen. This summer I promised myself that that I would enjoy the little things. So far so good!
We always have a wonderful "Romer Family Reunion" the second Saturday in June. I love getting together with my cousins. Family really is the most important thing, and I'm grateful we have that reunion to be together and catch up!
We always put safety first. Well. . . except when there is a line of kids all waiting for a turn. This is my cousin Jeff's wife, Nikki, taking her turn as the 4-Wheeler driver.
Cara loves pets! Of course these dogs were loving the attention they were getting from Cara and my cousin Emily's daughter, Kedzie.
Three cousins that don't get to play often enough. Ali (mine), Lexi (my cousin Jeff's), Kate (my sister Christie's) They are all 5 and they all showed up with side pony tails braided!
Andy kept a snake in his bug collector. He was very proud of it and happy to scare people.
Caleb is 11 now so he is in "real" scouts (aka Boy Scouts as apposed to Cub Scouts). He isn't as excited about scouts as Josh and I are. He "just want's to shoot guns and bows." He goes to the campouts just in case there is a chance for him to shoot something. He did a lot of camping in June with Josh and the scouts. Josh, after a few months break from young mens, is now in 11 year old scouts. Some how I feel so much better about it because Caleb is there too. I like to have Josh watching out for him. Here Caleb is pictured at scout camp with our neighbor, Logan. Yes, Caleb is a head taller than everyone his age. He turned 11 in February and is 5'4". He is about 95 lbs.
Here is Josh working really hard at scout camp. It is obviously a huge sacrifice for him to be there.
Here are the boys getting ready for the canoe challenge. Caleb really had a great time! I'm so grateful Josh would take the time away from work to be with him.
The first day of summer I was encouraging the kids to dream and I asked them what they would do if they could do ANYTHING this summer. I suggested going to Hawaii or Europe or gong to Space Camp or Disney World. The things they said were all things we were doing . . . season passes to Lagoon, Cara said art camp, and both Caleb and Cara said their ultimate trip would be going to New Mexico to spend time with their cousins. My mom was over for dinner when we had this conversation and decided, since she was planning to go to New Mexico anyway, she would take Caleb and Cara with her. They went for 9 days in June. They had a WONDERFUL time, despite the very long drive. I am so grateful to my mom for taking them!
Cara and her beloved cousin Emi.
My sister, Cathie, and her kids are really big runners. Caleb and Cara are not. (It is genetic.) While they were in New Mexico they ran a recreational race with the Coombs Family. Caleb beat his best time from the Wellsville Mile training by almost 2 minutes.
I would think that having Caleb and Cara gone wouldn't be that big of a deal, but I seriously felt like I was on vacation. For 9 days NO ONE screamed from being teased or picked on and complained about being board. Bedtime was so easy without Caleb resisting. It was so nice for me to have that break and to enjoy my three younger kids. I did something fun or special with them each day and we all really loved it. It felt light and carefree to just have three kids rather than the five. I did really miss having baby sitters when I needed to go somewhere quickly, but it was worth the trade off. Here Andy, Ali and Johnny are posing outside of Cold Stone.
We like to have neighborhood campfires out in the cup-de-sac. The kids were so happy!
I had to take a picture of this line up of kids "helping" Andy get his reading done so that he could go out and play. We have SO MANY children in our neighborhood that it is almost comical. My kids (especially the boys) tend to disappear for the day when I let them go out and play so they have to get their chores done before they go out. Sometimes they get a lot of help. I feel like the "other mother" for a lot of children and I'm grateful to have so many moms looking after my children as well.
I am shocked at how well Johnny and Ali play together considering they are 26 months apart and different genders. They have really become best friends. At Johnny's three year well child visit in June he was 95% across the board, head, weight and height. Ali is significantly taller than him, but he weigh's a solid two pounds more than her and they have had the same size shoe for nearly a year. (You can see his head is bigger too.) The down side of having them be best friends is that they can play in their bedroom for hours after they are tucked in for bed. I've gone in there at 11:30 or even midnight and they are still just quietly playing. I poked my head in last week about that time and Johnny was finally sleeping. Ali had laid down by him and sang him to sleep. Josh had enough of the playing after bedtime last night and pulled Johnny's bed into the office. We will see if they can gain the self control to continue to share a room, but no matter what I LOVE that they are best friends!!