Tag Archives: summer fun

Our mock “Camping Trip”

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For the past six or seven years we have been vacationing annually with our best buds, the Hudaks. Some years this involves a big trip like our houseboat vacations or renting a cabin for the week. Other years it is simply a weekend camping trip at Pymatuning State Park. This year, however, life has been extra busy and it seemed the annual camping trip was not going to happen (unless we want to try our hand at winter tent camping in January) so we came up with Plan B- a Sunday evening marshmallow roast at the Hudaks. It had all the same fun elements of a weekend camping trip…

Games:

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Playing with friends:

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Delicious food, like hot dogs on the grill:

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And yummy side dishes:

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Time spent with dear friends:

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Grace is now a redhead!

 

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Best friends or sisters?!

 

Relaxing:

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Lots of laughs:

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And marshmallows over the fire:

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It was a perfect evening! It was so nice to sit outside, enjoy the company of good friends, and smell the familiar camping scents of wood burning and marshmallows roasting.

Sure, it wasn’t the camping trip we planned. But it was an awesome Plan B. And sometimes Plan B is the best plan…

After all, at the end of the evening we then got to shower in our own homes and climb into our own soft beds, instead of climbing into sleeping bags sweaty and dirty.

There is something to be said for “Mock Camping!”

American Ninja Warrior

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Are you familiar with the TV show, American Ninja Warrior?

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While on vacation at the beach we stumbled across this gem of a TV show. The kids had watched some clips of it on YouTube previously and while we were surfing through the channels at the beach house (a rare treat for my kids who don’t have cable/satellite TV at home) Tyler yelled, “STOP! It’s American Ninja Warrior.”

“American Ninja Warrior (sometimes abbreviated as ANW) is an American sports entertainment competition that is a spin-off of the Japanese television series Sasuke. It features hundreds of competitors attempting to complete a series of obstacle courses of increasing difficulty, trying to make it to the national finals on the Las Vegas Strip, in hopes of becoming an “American Ninja Warrior”. To date only two competitors, rock-climbers Isaac Caldiero and Geoff Britten, have won the course and achieved “Total Victory”. Caldiero is the only competitor to win the cash prize.”

We were soon all sucked into the excitement of watching these superhuman competitors race through an obstacle coarse without falling.

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Tyler was hooked.

For my competition loving, athletically driven, adrenaline junkie boy, these men and women are modern day Greek gods.

And Tyler wants to be just like them!

He had the opportunity to test his skills at a new playground the other day.

As we were driving past Blueberry Hill Park on our way to an appointment, Ozzie asked if we could stop to play. Blueberry Hill Park is connected to his past. It is located near where he lived with a previous foster family and he has sweet memories of playing there with his biological sister, Zoey. I was happy to meet his request. We stopped and are glad we did. In meeting Ozzie’s request we discovered a new favorite playground…

One Tyler has renamed “The American Ninja Warrior Park.”

And here is why:

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The playground equipment is a loop of climbing challenges, with things like: monkey bars, a moving bridge, and a “zipline.” The boys love playing American Ninja Warrior and racing each other  to the finish line without falling or touching the ground and getting eliminated.

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These two have given me my fair share of grey hairs,

but on days like this one,

when their smiles are as bright as the sunshine,

and their behaviors are driven by joy and not trauma,

I send up a silent prayer of thanks for this moment of ease,

and count my blessings,

and delight in being the Momma to these two warriors…

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They may not be able to scale steep walls or leap great distances, but their lives and stories of survival are the epitome of what it means to be a warrior.

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Let’s go Bucs!

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As I sat down to write this morning I realized that the last time I posted was the day after Tyler’s adoption. The night of Tyler’s adoption, as we sat together as a family for prayers and scripture study, we all went around the room and said one thing we were grateful to God for. Having just signed adoption papers most of our gratitudes were about Tyler’s adoption. When we got to Rusty he paused to think for a moment and then said, “I’m grateful that we will never have to clean our home again!” I think the constant visits and inspections by the social workers took its toll on Russ. 🙂 I told him that I’d give him the week off but eventually we would have to clean again for the sake of health and safety. 🙂  So..that is what we did. We took the week off from everything. I think the stress of always having to be “on” took its toll on all of us because this past week we all collapsed and did nothing productive at all including updating my blog so here is what has been happening at Patchwork Farm..

We have a new litter of baby bunnies. We discovered them when we returned home from the beach. They are now bouncing around and have their eyes open. The kids are thrilled…especially Gracie!

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IMG_8579Tyler is now in football. I have been stretched by Tyler. I have found myself humbled time and time again as I have had to face all the “my child will NEVER” comments that I made when Gracie, Molly and Rusty were little. Tyler played football before he came to live with us and has asked us since the day he moved in if he could play again. In the spring we signed him up for soccer and the experience was more positive than I expected. The soccer coaches (a husband and wife team) were wonderful. The practice was once a week, they didn’t keep score, and it was all about learning skills and having fun. I assumed football would be the same, after all we are talking about a group of 6 year olds..right?  Wrong. We have entered another world. When we signed him up last Monday I had no idea we were signing our life away for the next few months. Football is nothing like soccer.. In soccer we practiced once a week..in football we practice five times a week.  In soccer practices lasted 45 minutes…in football they last 2 1/2 hours.  In soccer there was a lot of laughing and goofing off..in football there is a lot of grunting, yelling and no goofing off allowed. When we showed up to the first practiced the coach greeted the boys with this question, “What is the number one rule in football?” The boys shouted back suggestions of what they thought the number one rule might be. When nobody answered correctly the coach shouted, “No! The number one rule of football is: We are mean! We are tough! We are nasty!”IMG_8824 I watched in horror as my sweet little boy chanted this mantra with all the other 6 year olds. They followed this chant with growling and grunting. I looked at Toby, who was loving it, and whispered, ” How about we are kind! We are compassionate! We play fair!” Toby just rolled his eyes at me.  🙂

I will say that after a week of sitting on the sidelines, in a haze of testosterone, I am either becoming immune or resigned to my fate because I am less horrified now than I was a week ago. On the up side: Tyler loves it, he is sleeping better than ever before, and he really responds to the strict discipline of football. Toby thinks this will be the best thing in the world for Tyler..I’m reserving judgement for now. 🙂

IMG_8746On Monday we had the opportunity to attend a Pirates baseball game. Our adoption agency has activities a few times a year that they offer to adoptive families and families waiting for a placement.  One of these activities is a Pirates game. Last year when we were offered free tickets we took 6 because we thought Tyler might be scheduled for his first overnight visit then but it was moved to the following week so he wasn’t able to go. We were looking forward to going as a family this year but then life got in the way. Gracie had a slumber party and Toby and Tyler had football practice so it was just Molly, Rusty and I. Molly took her best friend, Tatum. It was a lot of fun.IMG_8745 PNC park was packed and the atmosphere was thrilling. This was Tatum’s first time there so it was fun to see her reactions to the hot dog gun, the pierogi races and the 7th inning stretch. We sat in a section reserved for adoptive families and it was neat seeing the dynamic of the various families. There were families that adopted sibling groups, international adoptions and infant adoptions. We ended up winning 9-2 against the St. Louis Cardinals. It was a great game and a fun night…Let’s go Bucs!

IMG_8810The following morning we met up with our friends from co-op for a mid-summer get together at the pool. It was nice seeing our home school friends that we haven’t seen all summer and catching up on each other’s lives. The kids had a blast playing and the moms enjoyed visiting without interruptions.

 

Tyler was especially glad to see his best friend, Simon. He has been wanting to see Simon all summer and has been asking for a play date for months. Now that his adoption is finalized he finally gets to do things like play dates and slumber parties with his buddy. This Saturday Simon is coming over for the day and Tyler can’t wait!

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