August was a month of catch-up. Our absence for the latter half of July necessitated some scrambling to get our garden back in order, and there were lots of friends to see and adventures to have before the "lazy" days of summer were over. Every June I think that summer will be a time to relax and slow down, and by August I'm reminded that summer is the busiest time of the year. August was another fun-filled month, even if it did leave me desperate for a breather.
THE WARD CAMP-OUT
Somehow, despite making the same mistake last year, we again missed out on Lakeside Amusement park until August. It's really perfect for young kids without breaking the bank. Finn surprised me by being big enough for some of the rides, and Asher was the adorable big brother.
Being gone so much in June and July meant missing one of my favorite parts of summer: park playgroup with our friends from church. Here are a couple of Finn enjoying his first summer being able to play at the park.
A series of events lead to me being kidnapped from my gardening duties by my friend Sarah, who whisked my offspring and me off to a night at the circus. Asher was a nut, Finn nonplussed. I'd never been to a circus, and it was a nice break after a week of Dave being in North Dakota.
FORT COLLINS TEMPLE OPEN HOUSE
We have eagerly been awaiting the opening of the Ft. Collins temple ever since it was announced more than five years ago. We will be just north of the southern boundary in the new temple district, meaning we may or may not always go to "our" new temple (really, it depends on traffic whether Ft. Collins or Denver takes less drive time). Still, it's a rare and happy thing to have a new temple built so close! It's been enlightening to see just how much effort goes into putting on an open house and a cultural celebration, though I'm certainly on the outermost periphery of all such preparations. We were thrilled to finally get to attend the open house on August 20th, and even more thrilled to spend the weekend with Dave's sister Kary and her family from Iowa. The open house did not go smoothly with our children, but the good news is that I'll have more opportunities to see the temple as I attend it post-dedication.
WATER WORLD VISIT
Dave's brother Chris, wife Susie, and son Liam came to visit and do Water World at the end of August. I've heard from many friends that Water World beats Elitches and all other amusement parks hands-down, and it seemed a real shame that we live so close and have never gone. We even get pretty steep resident discounts, although I had to jump through about 50 hoops just to prove that I'm a resident and wasn't able to do so for Asher. I was so disgusted by the resident card process by the time I got to Water World that I desperately hoped it did not disappoint. How disappointed I was. Asher was already more expensive to admit than Dave or me by merit of his unproven residency and the fact that he just barely met the 40" cut-off. I was relieved that he met the cut-off, because obviously that meant he got to ride a bunch of rides that the free under-40" crowd did not qualify for, right? Wrong. Even though I donated a kidney to get him in, the minimum height on every height-restricted ride was 42" or higher. Complete rip-off. I bluffed him into one 42" ride and it went okay so I figured we could do another. We stood in line for about 45 minutes and as soon as I saw the enormous raft at the top, we came back down without riding. (Perspective: that's 45 minutes of standing in the sun with no toys with a THREE-YEAR-OLD.) Add to this the fact that Dave and I were handing off Finn the whole time, and those 45 minutes of wasted time accounted for the vast majority of my Finn-free time. I know this is a total rant, but I have rarely been so livid with any establishment. The whole experience was not helped by me waking up with a horrendously sore throat that morning that nothing short of NSAIDs would touch. Maybe I'll go back when my kids are two feet taller. And a plague has wiped out the hordes.
In happier news, Liam (two months younger than Finn) is adorable and so are these pictures of the two of them playing together.
Nothing says end of summer like back to school. There was no "back" about it for us, as it was a first! Asher started Joy School, which is a home-based co-op preschool program that I'm doing with three other moms of kids born in 2012, all of whom I know through church. I'm still trying to convince Asher that preschool is not just playgroup, but he loves it. I've been a little nervous, given that he's quite a bit younger than the other kids (the only one not starting Kindergarten next year), and a boy. Still, Joy School is very low pressure and Asher thrives on his time with his friends. Isn't he the cutest?