Last summer, we only took our camper out 5 times. That is only 5 weekends out of the 32 that I would consider going camping during the year. Not a very good ratio. "Next summer, " I said, "we are just going to tell people 'Sorry but we can't make it to your ....' and making camping a priority." It is already July and we've only camped twice. Looks like this summer may be worse than last! We camped once the end of April for Boone's HRC Test and haven't camped since. Farlington is by far our favorite place to camp and we finally had a free weekend last weekend to load up and head out. It was so hot Friday afternoon that the only place to be was the beach.
We were only there for about 10 minutes before it started raining. It rained. And rained. And rained some more. I'm sure the farmers were happy but it wasn't ideal for camping. It finally stopped and Tylee got her first chance to ride her big girl bike on the open road. Reason being, we only have the garage area and the rest is gravel. Darn country life.
Everything went well until she decided to take Merle. I bet you can guess how that ended.
Si was happy he wasn't being drug around too.
The next morning I convinced her to ride over to the other campground to play on the playground. It was a long ways but she made it just fine. The way home was another story.
After lunch, we headed back to the beach. Tylee loved it - me, not so much. You honestly had to walk 50 yards out (around that big green piece of land pictured below) before you even got waist deep.
We let her play as long as we could stand it and then headed back to the camper and swam off shore with some friends the rest of the evening. Let's be honest, it was steep, rocky, and we were drinking so I didn't take my camera down to the water. I wish I had though because Tylee did great floating around and Merle was a swimming fool. Okay, so not really but he would swim out to me 100mph and then turn around and go right back to shore. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. It was pretty comical.

When we got back up to the camper, Tylee was cold. I swear this girl would wear sweats and long-sleeves everyday if we would let her. We had a great weekend at our favorite place and can't wait to go back. I hope it happens sooner rather than later.


The Lake

Since I stuck around town on Memorial Day, I was pretty excited to go to the lake on 4th of July. Little did I know, most of my extended family had other plans. When I arrived on Friday night, I was expecting to see lots of cars and lots of cousins running around but instead...everything was empty. I was disapointed but my Dad and Janis are a lot of fun and there is never a bad time to be had at the lake.  
Tylee has aced swimming in pools this summer but she is still scared about lakes. She is deadset that there are sharks in the water and that they are going to get her. I understand the fear of swimming in water you can't see in but I guess I just grew up with it so it never occured to me that it is a plausible fear. It took her awhile but...
she finally conquered her fear!
And even went under water! (Notice how she was holding her nose.) I was so, so happy Saturday morning when I saw my cousins Jeremy and Marci pull up to the beach on their new pontoon. I haven't been out on the lake in a couple years (since the tornado) so was ecstatic to get to go (kid-free!!) on their boat with them for awhile. I think I've said before but being on a boat is one of my favorite things in the world. It was definitely the highlight of my weekend.

After the kids nap and my boat ride, we went to Grandmas for dinner and then down to the beach for a few small fireworks. Like I said, it was nothing like it usually is but Tylee and Brecca had fun so I guess that is all that matters. If I know my family, they aren't going to let that dang tornado win so I have no doubt thing will be closer to normal next year. (And let's not forget that 4th of July was in the middle of the week so that made things strange for everyone.) Don't get me wrong, a bad day at the lake is better than any day at home so really, I can't complain that much - but here's to a better time next year.


4th of July

I am one of those people that get anxious about big holiday weekends because I want to make sure I have the best plans possible yet don't miss out on a single fun thing. I will admit that I've been grouchy about 4th of July this year being on a Wednesday. Were people celebrating it on the weekend before or after? On Wednesday? But I have to work on Thurday! Finally, someone told me that maybe it'll be better this year because that means we can celebrate it the weekend before, Tuesday night, Wednesday, and the weekend after. Perfect. That is exactly what I plan on doing! (And have already been doing.)

Hope you all have a wonderful and safe 4th of July...and get to celebrate it mutiple times this year.


Birthday Girl

Shortly after I wrote this post, Tylee decided that she would have a party with gifts and cake but it was NOT a birthday party and she would still be 3 after the party. I cannot tell you how many times I said "birthday party" and she corrected me that it was NOT HER BIRTHDAY. Since I was in Washington DC until 2 days before the party, I hadn't planned on doing anything special since we were only inviting family...and ended up with this.
I was pretty proud of myself for throwing that together at the last minute. I spent $.97 each on plates, napkins, and silverware and voila! The rest is leftovers. As most of you can guess, we had a Lalaloopsy-themed party complete with invites, cookies, and cake. Tylee also wore her Lalaloopsy outfit (that I cannot believe I bought) but whatever makes her happy, right? (Although TJ and my sister both laughed whenever Tylee put on her "party outfit" thinking that I would die because that is what she wanted to wear. I was actually proud of myself and didn't mind one bit because I knew how happy it made her.)
It was 100 degrees outside that day so I made a last minute decision to text the people with kids to bring their swimsuits. The kids had a blast playing in the water and it kept them busy for quite awhile. (It took me 1.5 hours to fill that blue pool with water balloons and they were gone in 5 minutes.)

I tried to organize a water-balloon fight. It didn't work out so well.
I was a little worried about her presents because she has quite the attitude these days. We talked about it before and she told me several snooty things including, "People are going to get me whatever I want and nothing I don't want." And, "I'm getting anything I want because its my party." I'm sure it is typical 4-year old jargon but it still made me nervous she wouldn't be appreciative. She did great! She loved everything and was super excited after every gift.
Especially her Lalaloopsy house. (We now have 13 Lalaloopsy's if anyone is counting.)
She actually let me put 4 candles on her cake and let us sing Happy Birthday, which was a step up from what I was thinking would happen. She spent a few days with Nanny and the girls after the party and when she came home, she had decided that she was officially 4.
"4-year olds get to do whatever they want and no one can tell them what to do."
"4-year olds don't have to throw their trash in the trash can because they are 4."
"4-year olds can have snacks whenever they want."
"4-year olds get chocolate milk before bed because they don't get cavities."
"4-year olds get to stay up late and don't have to go to sleep at nighttime."
I kinda wish she was 3 again.


Washington DC - Day 6

The last day of the trip, we headed to Baltimore Maryland to tour Ft. McHenry. It was a neat place but so hot. We got there in time to help with the changing of the flag, which was a very neat experience for the kids.
After that, we headed to the Balitmore Inner Harbour area. It was by far my favorite place on the trip. We got tickets to the National Aquarium and made our first stop at the Dolphin Show. This is the first time I've ever seen anything like this and it was so neat. I hope we can take Tylee to Sea World sometime soon so she can see it.
We wondered around the aquarium a little more and then headed out to explore the area.
Beautiful place but again, HOT! I think we were all happy that our next stop was back in Washington DC at The Newseum and in the AC!
My favorite part of the Newseum was the September 11th exhibit. Very moving and so, so sad. This was the radio tower that was on top of one of the Twin Towers.
This was the only media person to be killed on September 11th's gear. There were images taken shortly before he died on the camera.
Section of the Berlin Wall
The Newsuem was really neat and I probably would've been lots more interested on Day 1 vs. Day 6. By this time, we had just done SO much that everyone I was so, so tired and was starting to get anxious to get home. The Newseum would be one of the 1st things that I would do if I ever go back to DC. Thankfully, our next stop was a pretty relaxing one: a Washington Nationals game.
One of the first things I noticed was Adam Laroche's name on the jumbotron. I was the baseball manager in highschool and he played for Ft. Scott. I remember Chanute playing them when I was a freshman and he was a senior and everyone talking about how good he was. It was kinda neat watching him play in the Majors. (Although he went 0-2.) It was a very, very fun game and the kids had a blast. We were actually on the jumbotron twice and were later shown on ESPN during the highlights. Definitely the first time that's ever happened to me!

We flew home on Thursday (8 full days away from Tylee!) but I was totally pictured-out and knew our sponsor was taking some. A plane is a plane, right? I have one more post that I need to write and sum things up and I have a lot of pictures that our Sponsor took of me at various places (It was great having someone else taking pictures so I could be in some!) but I'm going to move on to Tylee's birthday and 4th of July so I don't get behind. One final post coming about DC soon. (And I would like to actually go back and edit and crop some of these pictures to make my posts better but do you know how long it would take to sort through 852 pictures? I keep thinking I'll make a shutterfly book as well but haven't even opened the folders of images since I got home.)