Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Last days of summer and first days of school

The mere mention of my blog these days stresses me out.  I am so far behind that I end up just posting a bunch of pictures at once to catch-up.  This is another one of those posts.  I thought I was going to post pictures of the first day of school (which was 3 weeks ago) and realized that I had pictures of 4th of July still on my phone.  Yikes.  So here is another glimpse into our lives over the past couple of weeks....

Paw-paw and Honey were in town this year to celebrate fourth of July with all of the Atlanta LeBlancs and Furmans.  We spent the morning at the Link's house to watch the Avondale Estates parade and then did a BBQ and swam at the Furman house.  I skipped the fireworks and brought Cal home to bed, while Atticus took the other three boys to Avondale lake to watch the fireworks.  Rory was so tired he wouldn't even get out of the stroller to play with his friends.  But there was no convincing him to go home instead of to watch the fireworks.  

Unfortunately, Finnan and Jude missed the parade because they had soccer camp!  We signed them up for a camp run by the Barcelona club (which I guess explains the un-Americanness!) and were very surprised that they had camp on the fourth.  We will definitely not be doing that again.  We actually decided to not do any camps next summer (except for two weeks of overnight camp, which I already signed them up for :)).  Although they had fun at most of them, I think we were having more fun at home.  Overnight camp was a different story though.  They absolutely loved their week at Camp Ocoee and got so much out of it. Upon pick up they immediately asked to go two weeks with a weekend stay over next year.  Finnan and Jude were both in the Hudson cabin.  Final's favorite activity was rock climbing and Jude's was canoeing.  On their overnight camp out Jude fell backward on a pile of sticks and got a nasty cut on his head.  They had to canoe back to camp and then take him to urgent care as they thought he would need stitches.  Luckily, a little glue was sufficient to close the cut.   He was completely unfazed by it all and apparently did not shed a tear.  Finnan received the camper of the week award again this year and both came back with signs of increased confidence and independence.  They were just exuding happiness. 

I felt like this summer was a turning point for Finnan and Jude.  They were so much more independent.  They spent a lot of time walking to their friend Carter's house (to play video games), riding their bikes around, and hanging out down by the creek.  Since we cleared out a section of by the creek, the boys have taken up fishing.  And when I say boys, I mean Atticus, too :)  But, even when Atticus is not around, they can go down there with their gear and often some friends to catch fish, while I occasionally check in on them from my dining room window.  The dig up worms for bait and they actually catch something almost every time they go down there.  How idyllic is that?  This has also sparked interest in fishing beyond our creek and Atticus has taken them on a few other outings where they have gotten to catch bigger fish. 

This picture I just found on Atticus' phone and I thought it was too cute not to put in.  We have gotten into the habit of getting up very, very early and then stopping at Waffle House on long trips.  This was on our way back from the beach this year.

Since Camp Ocoee, Finnan has been begging to go to a climbing gym.  Atticus finally took him a couple of weeks ago.  According to Finnan, the climbing gym was "Awesome!  Even cooler than the wall at camp!"  So now, he still asks almost daily, "When can I go back to the climbing gym?"  Hopefully soon, but between Academy soccer and DAQ swimming, there is not much time!

And here is Cal in his own little climbing gym.

He basically turns anything into a climbing apparatus....

There had been a couple of bad storms while we were at the beach and our yard was covered in sticks.  Rather then add them to our already enormous piles of logs and sticks waiting for Fall bonfires, I decided to go ahead and have an end-of-summer backyard fire.  It was about 100 degrees out, but the boys still wanted to dig out the s'mores supplies and have an afternoon treat.  

We are enjoying having weekly get togethers with the Furmans.  We ran into them at church one day and Jude, Rory and Rud all matched- navy polos and khaki shorts.   

And then, summer was over.  Finnan is in 3rd grade in Ms. Armstrong's class and Jude is in second grade in Ms. Lybeer's class.  Both teachers are new to the school and both kids have said these are their nicest teachers yet, which is saying a lot because they have had some very nice teachers!  Finnan had a harder time going back to school this year.  He was having a really good summer and his "best" friend, Carter, also moved to Virginia just as school was starting.  It seemed like he was on the verge of tears for a week or two.  Now that we are in week three, things seem to be looking up.

 Finnan's summer mohawk got completely out of control (and was cut off the second week of school).

Rory and Cal are going to Ms. Jesse's play group this year.  We had about a week and a half between the older boys starting school and these guys starting.  We had fun, but they are loving play group and I am loving having more free time- right now they are both at play group 4 days a week!  I am looking forward to spending a lot of time gardening and landscaping, volunteering at the boys school, and getting back in to yoga, walking and maybe even swimming.  Who knows, maybe I will even do a better job of blogging!  Cal has been quite a handful, so having him in school makes me much more refreshed to handle him and all of the other boys in the crazy afternoon/evening hours.

Our park of choice recently has been Willis park in Avondale.  I snapped a few pictures one day when we had it all to ourselves.

It's a great park for Rory to ride his bike (officially a two-wheeler!) and Cal his scooter.  I have to laugh at these pictures because it is quite typical...Rory coming toward me and Cal sprinting away.

Rory even recently graduated to a bigger two-wheel childhood bike, which has gotten a lot of use the past couple of years with all of the boys!


And since I only have one day home with Rory and Cal, I'm looking forward to having a lot of special outings with them.  This past Friday we spent the morning at the inside Y pool and then went for a pre-lunch donut tweet and Revolution Donuts!