Snapshots and Our Top 5 July Highlights

^^This handsome stud.  He insisted I take his picture here because my original plan was ruined by the sprinklers.  Haha.  What a sweet kid!^^

Best Frien-emies. Some hours of the day I want to throw my hands up in the air out of frustration. These two hit, scratch, bite, and can be downright cruel to one another. But then there are sweet moments such as these. I watch as brother tenderly takes care of brother and I suddenly know that I'm still doing something right as a mom. Whew. They really do love each other!

^^Face painting with the neighbors!  Thank goodness for Google images.  They make me look like an awesome face painting mom.^^
^^Sometimes you just crash on the couch.  Too much sun.  Too much fun.^^
^^Raspberry picking in Grandma Nelson's garden.^^
^^Grandpa Nelson showing the little grandkids how to feed calves!^^
^^Whistle, or at least smile, while you work!  Cleaning windows was all Levi's idea.  He loves earning extra money.  And I love that he's cleaning up his own sticky finger prints!  I'm surprised at how hard this kid can work... when he wants to.^^

Top 5 July Highlights:

1.  Oh. My. Goodness. So in the half hour it took me to roll myself out of bed after the boys woke up one morning, Jed and Levi had found the Crayola markers I'd "hidden". They wrote all over the walls in the garage and ALL over themselves. (I was mad, but thankful for magic erasers.) They took a shower that night and that's when I finally saw the true body art. Apparently, the boys had exchanged writing smiley faces on each others' rear ends and their penises got a rainbow makeover! I tried not to laugh. But then I peeked in the bathroom to check on them just in time to see Jed dunking the loufa in the toilet. I guess I won't be using that again! Heaven help me.  It was only Monday and Bron was going to be gone the entire week!

2.  While Bron exhuasted himself on a week long 50 mile backpacking adventure with the scouts in the Whitecloud Wilderness, I made arrangements to visit my mother-in-law to go shopping!  Unfortunately, I threw up a few minutes after we arrived on her doorstep.  That stomach bug was a doozy!  Fortunately, there's no better cure for being sick than a mother who makes delicious food, entertains the kids, and takes a girl shopping the next day anyway.  :)  I wholeheartedly admit, I went a little hog wild at Hobby Lobby.  I gathered nearly two carts full of cute wall decorations for the boys' room and the nursery.  Amber laughed at me when she saw how I had it all laid out on the floor in the back corner of the store.  It was just so hard to choose!  But I love how the rooms are turning out; they're nearly done.

I am so grateful to Merri Sue for helping me out that week!  I felt like a miserable bump on a log but the boys had a blast on the farm playing with cousins, raspberry picking, (ahem, I mean throwing raspberries at each other), gathering eggs from the chickens, and feeding calves.  It's a little piece of Idaho paradise out there and I know Jed and Levi are making precious memories.

3.  We enjoyed two extra fun date nights during the month of July!

The first night out was with our friends, Aaron and Amy.  We began our double date at a 50's style burger and sandwich shop downtown, worked up an appetite by walking around for a while, and then headed to Chili's where I polished off both mine AND Amy's desserts.  Hashtag: Pregoproblems.  Funny thing is, it's not the first time we've gone restaurant hopping on a date!  We're either piggies or foodies or both.  Either way, it's a ton of fun to just eat and talk without the kids interrupting every two minutes.  Good friends are gems.

Bron and I have had to change the way we date this summer.  Because of this growing ball on my front side, we've exchanged mountain biking and kayaking for more typical activities.  Last Friday we saw the new Bourne movie, ate dinner, chatted, and shopped for Levi's birthday.  All in all a successful evening!  We believe date nights are so important for the health of our marriage!

4.  Each summer Bron's boss throws a company party that is almost entirely geared toward the kids.  There's bounce houses with water slides, food, games, pinatas filled to the brim with candy, and toy prizes for every child.  It's like Christmas in July!  I think Levi seriously ate no less than eight sugar laden snow cones.  Best day ever?  Pretty much.

5.  Finally last, but certainly not least, the boys and I took a day trip to Boise to visit my mom and to play at the water park!  There were two cut-off heights for the rides at Roaring Springs: 48" and 42".  Jed's head firmly hit the 48 inch mark.  (Tall six year old!)  He wound up riding every single slide (except for the few that angle straight down) with his grandma.  I am impressed with how brave and enthusiastic he was!  Jed is normally very cautious by nature, but he was ripping the park up!  He was grinning from ear to ear with adrenaline.  I know that memory of spending the day one-on-one with Grandma will be remembered for years.

Levi, however, was literally a half inch too short of the 42 inch mark.  Ohh, the agony!  But it's probably just as well for my pregnancy's sake.  We did sneak onto a few mellow slides, but we mostly spent the day bouncing between the lazy river, the wave pool, and the kiddie section.  It was still a blast!  Levi's smiles, excitement, and laughter was contagious. I was soaking in all that one-on-one time with my son.  A good day for sure!  Thanks Mom for having us out!

Bonus:  Levi came to me one afternoon with an otter pop in hand.  "Mama, can I pleeease have a popsicle?" he pleaded.  "Sure," I relented and snipped off the top.  "That makes 8!" he exclaimed.  Haha.  Little stinker.  Even if he can't really count yet, it was probably pretty accurate.  I found a whole bunch of empty wrappers scattered around the house a little later that day.  

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