The One with the End of Summer

It's the end of summer as we know it.  Lots of people complained about school starting in July, but we were ready.  At the beginning of summer we made a list of things we wanted to do, and each week we made it a goal to cross more things off our list.   
We probably had a few too many late nights, dirty floors, and mosquito bites.  Just the right amount of friends, birthday parties, and summer school work.  And probably not enough cooked meals, baths, or cleaning out of the garage. 
Just like that it was the first day of school.  Tatum was looking forward to this day all summer, and it didn't disappoint.  She didn't even act like it was a big deal that she was going to kindergarten for the first time.  At the very least I expected her to turn around and wave goodbye to me, but nope, she just walked right into the school.  She is going to Jefferson in Miss Boyter's class and she has a few friends (mostly boys) in her class.
Talan is an old pro at school now.  He is in Mrs. Pollard's second grade class at Jefferson.  

He met up with a few friends, Parker and Avery, so they could all walk to school together.

Tobin was sure happy when 3:20 rolled around.

After a successful first day of school, we took some friends who are new to the area to go see a hidden gem in northern Arizona...Grand Falls.  Thanks to the recent monsoon rains, it was roaring.  We took our dinner out there and had a nice picnic next to it (well, not too close). 


The One with the Minnie Mouse Party

Tatum turned 5, and she wanted a Minnie Mouse party to celebrate. 
We started out by going to El Rancho for the traditional birthday dinner.

We rented the outdoor pool and invited lots of friends and their families for the party.  It was a beautiful, hot day...perfect for a swim party.  However, about halfway through some dark clouds, lightning, and thunder moved right over us and forced us to get out of the water. 

So we sang "Happy Birthday" and ate some cupcakes.

Then, we played some games in the grass.


 And finally, opened presents! 


It was a great day (even though the July monsoons ruined another birthday party)! 


The One with the Ninjago Party

We celebrated Talan's 7th birthday Ninjago style. 


After cupcakes and presents, we headed to the river to practice our ninja moves in the water.  

As we were playing we noticed some ominous looking clouds surrounding us.  Pretty soon we saw a lightning bolt that was too close for comfort.  We cut the swimming short and rushed back to the truck.  With the back of the truck full of children (and me), the first monsoon storm of the season (and one of the biggest ever) dumped rain, and maybe some hail, on us.  It was painful, windy, drenching, and a little scary.  We finally got smart and loaded everyone in the cab of the truck for the rest of the ride. 
Despite the rain on our parade, the boys all had a blast.  Talan sure is blessed with some cool friends! 
Let's not forget the best part of a birthday celebration...El Rancho.


The One with the Wreck it Ralph Party

We celebrated Tobin's 3rd birthday Wreck it Ralph style.

Tatum had to stop him from blowing until we were done singing
It took him about 3 minutes to blow out his 3 candles!

And then he was off opening presents.  His expressions were priceless.

Next we played a few games. 
Pin the medals on Ralph and Felix.

Callum didn't do so good.
And Wreck it with the Wreck it Ralph hands.

It was a smashing good time! 

Loving his new bean bag
Putting birthday money in his piggy bank

And of course, no birthday would be complete without a trip to the El Rancho to wear the sombrero and eat some fried ice cream.