August Rush

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.

 

PLAYING CATCH-UP

 Finn, fresh from the freedom of Grandma's huge yard and open doors, woke up from a nap and immediately brought me his shoes. (Who needs pants?) Fine by me, with all the weeding and pruning required by my neglected garden.

Finn, fresh from the freedom of Grandma's huge yard and open doors, woke up from a nap and immediately brought me his shoes. (Who needs pants?) Fine by me, with all the weeding and pruning required by my neglected garden.

 The tastiest fruits of my labors. Store-bought tomatoes bear no resemblance.

The tastiest fruits of my labors. Store-bought tomatoes bear no resemblance.

 This summer we found ourselves overrun by wasps. In the course of painting the eaves, I realized that this was their residence. I hung sticky traps at each entrance to a nest (with impressive results). The process was terrifying. If you look closely, you can see I was getting dive-bombed by a wasp mid-snapshot. I would definitely be in Gryffindor.

This summer we found ourselves overrun by wasps. In the course of painting the eaves, I realized that this was their residence. I hung sticky traps at each entrance to a nest (with impressive results). The process was terrifying. If you look closely, you can see I was getting dive-bombed by a wasp mid-snapshot. I would definitely be in Gryffindor.

 Re-stocking the galley, at Costco. Neither wants for personality.   

Re-stocking the galley, at Costco. Neither wants for personality.

 

THE WARD CAMP-OUT

 Finn being extremely adorable, surely trying to compensate for his sleepless night at daybreak waking.

Finn being extremely adorable, surely trying to compensate for his sleepless night at daybreak waking.

 Finn and I went on a little walk when he woke up and the butt-crack of dawn, so as not to disturb our fellow tent-mates.

Finn and I went on a little walk when he woke up and the butt-crack of dawn, so as not to disturb our fellow tent-mates.

 Asher would have run off the other kids in the ward and become one of The Lost Boys if the opportunity had presented itself. There was a  very  makeshift kid-made cabin in a little gully, for which Asher was consigned to make improvements. His job was collecting leaves for a pillow.

Asher would have run off the other kids in the ward and become one of The Lost Boys if the opportunity had presented itself. There was a very makeshift kid-made cabin in a little gully, for which Asher was consigned to make improvements. His job was collecting leaves for a pillow.

     

 

 

LAKESIDE

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.

 Asher and I riding "The Whip" August, 2016.

Asher and I riding "The Whip" August, 2016.

  Asher and I riding "The Whip" August, 2015.

Asher and I riding "The Whip" August, 2015.

 Finn was tired, and so was Dave. They both went home, and Asher and I stayed out WAAAAY past his bedtime. I don't remember how rotten Asher was the next day, but I do remember how fun it was to have some one-on-one fun with my firstborn.   

Finn was tired, and so was Dave. They both went home, and Asher and I stayed out WAAAAY past his bedtime. I don't remember how rotten Asher was the next day, but I do remember how fun it was to have some one-on-one fun with my firstborn.

 

PARK DAYS

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.

 This was taken just a few minutes before I had a major freak-out because I couldn't find Asher. Chaotic park + 749 kids + hiding Asher = paper sack over my head (almost).

This was taken just a few minutes before I had a major freak-out because I couldn't find Asher. Chaotic park + 749 kids + hiding Asher = paper sack over my head (almost).

 That smug face gets me every time!   

That smug face gets me every time!

 

THE CIRCUS

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.

 The Sprague and Brinkerhoff cousins. We went for an afternoon hike together in the hills near Ft. Collins.

The Sprague and Brinkerhoff cousins. We went for an afternoon hike together in the hills near Ft. Collins.

 Lucas (one month older) is hilarious with Finn! I love that both of my boys have cousins so close to their age.

Lucas (one month older) is hilarious with Finn! I love that both of my boys have cousins so close to their age.

 Finn was not shy about helping himself, and Lucas was happy to share.

Finn was not shy about helping himself, and Lucas was happy to share.

 My boys were  exhausted  as we did a 5:45 pm session at the open house after an afternoon hiking with no naps. Finn was whiny and wiggly the whole time, and Asher didn't see the point in hanging around gawking at paintings or chandeliers if he wasn't allowed to climb on the furniture. I could tell that it was beautiful and more spacious than the Denver temple, with lots of lovely paintings and murals, but not much beyond that. MUST GO BACK SOON. It will be dedicated October 16th!   

My boys were exhausted as we did a 5:45 pm session at the open house after an afternoon hiking with no naps. Finn was whiny and wiggly the whole time, and Asher didn't see the point in hanging around gawking at paintings or chandeliers if he wasn't allowed to climb on the furniture. I could tell that it was beautiful and more spacious than the Denver temple, with lots of lovely paintings and murals, but not much beyond that. MUST GO BACK SOON. It will be dedicated October 16th!

 

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.

           

 

 

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS GOODNESS

 Asher calls dust motes "crumbs" and was kindly shooting them "So they don't bite you!" He's gallant, this one.

Asher calls dust motes "crumbs" and was kindly shooting them "So they don't bite you!" He's gallant, this one.

 I took my boys to the museum with my friend, Miranda and her kids. I thought Finn wanted to sit on the dinosaur with Asher. I thought wrong.

I took my boys to the museum with my friend, Miranda and her kids. I thought Finn wanted to sit on the dinosaur with Asher. I thought wrong.

PRESCHOOL

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?