Hayden has really gotten into Legos this summer.   It started last year when he got some sets for his birthday, then he got a few more for Christmas.  I made him a Lego table earlier this year to help contain them all and over the summer, he has spent countless hours in his room creating “inventions” as he calls them.  Its fascinating when he bring it to me to look at and he explains what every little detail does – this is the motor and this is where they sit and this is a torpedo, etc.  I just love how creative he is!  The unfortunate part of this is that he doesn’t take any of them apart, so his Lego table is covered with inventions, there is no more room for him to work and soon enough, he’ll actually run out of Legos!  He has no problem taking apart the “sets” that he’s gotten, like the Hogwarts castle we spent over an hour building, it was taken apart not long after!  He’s even got Emelyn into building – she has her own pink container of Legos and she sits in his room with him, watching TV and creating inventions as well!

This is the only set that he hasn’t taken apart yet:

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Swim Lessons

Hayden took his swim lessons early in the summer during summer camp.  They would take him out of camp every day for 2 weeks, for an hour.  He was already very good at swimming but I wanted him to learn a few more ways – various strokes and such.  He learned how to front stroke, glide, backstroke and a few other things.  I’m so proud of how well he swims now and how much he loves it.  I’m considering continuing the lessons for a few more summers to see if he is interested  in swimming as an extracurricular activity.  Maybe we’ll have a little Michael Phelps in the family :-)

This year was Emelyn’s first real swim lessons.  We took a mommy and me class last year but she wouldn’t really participate much, mostly b/c I was the one trying to get her to do things.  I think Wade putting up the pool in our backyard really helped her become comfortable in the water.  I was kind of nervous at first b/c she wouldn’t even let me go if she had floaties on but once she spent some time in our pool, she was dunking her head under water and had become pretty brave.

The first day of lessons, she had a substitute teacher that did a few pretty advanced things with her.  She pushed her under water and made her retrieve rings from the bottom, which shocked me a little but Emelyn didn’t cry.  She just told the teacher she didn’t want to do it again.  The 2nd day, she also did really well but the 3rd day, I don’t know what happened.  She had a different teacher again and they started making her swim to the wall on top of the water, which she absolutely hated.  She cried and cried and the director had to take her and try to calm her down.  She was able to do a few things with her, but not too much.  I was a bit disappointed after that lesson, but when she went back, it was her regular teacher, who was able to talk to her and figure out what she was ok with doing.  Surprisingly, she would swim to the wall under the water but not on top of the water.  She still won’t tread water or try to swim while keeping her head up, but she swims under the water like a little fish!  She loved swimming lessons and was sad when they ended last week.  I brought my camera one day and caught some action shots of her:

She loved using these barbells to swim with:

Jumping in to her teacher:

She never liked this part much and still won’t do it when I try in our pool:

Swimming under water to the side of the pool:

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Trip to Charlotte

We arrived in Charlotte on a Tuesday night and on Wednesday, had a pretty packed day.  First we took the kids to Discovery Place, which is a really cute children’s museum.  They had a lot of fun and there was tons of stuff for them to do.  We kind of rushed them through it at the end because it was past lunch time and we were all starving!

Playing in the Vet’s office:

The fireman’s pole:

Checking on a patient in the ambulance:

Working as a bank teller:

Riding a cow at the farm:

Working in the diner:

In a boat hatch in the underwater area:

Making some music (or noise, depending on how you look at it)

Driving a race car:

The water area:

The next day, we spent an entire day at Wet and Wild, which was a blast.  The kids had an amazing time playing on the slides and in the children’s areas.  Emelyn even found a small slide that she could go on and went over and over again.  We all had so much fun and were exhausted at the end of the day.  I have a couple of phone photos I’ll try to post later but didn’t bring my camera.

This turned out to be our last day in Charlotte.  We had planned to stay at least 3-4 more days and had lots of things planned but as soon as we got back to Charlotte from the water park, Wade called to tell me his dad had passed away.  We immediately packed home and Kelly drove all through the night to get us home to Wade.  We got home at 6am and I was so happy to see him.  I felt terrible that I wasn’t there with him at the time.  The next week passed by in a whirlwind of activity.  Going through his things at the camp and at the shop, getting everything ready for the memorial, visiting the funeral home – all of the things that go along with these horrible times.  After he passed, a good portion of our weekends were spent at the camp, cleaning it up and making it comfortable for us all so we could spend a lot more time there.  Its very bittersweet – it feels good to spend time in a place that Mr. Wade loved so much, but you can also feel his presence there.  Some of his personal items haven’t been touched – the shirts and vests hanging on the kitchen chairs, the bucket he used to keep his fishing gear in is still sitting on a chair, his glasses, books, shoes – its all where he left it.  We all love and miss him so much.  Hayden talks about him on a daily basis and has tons of memories of him that he mentions throughout the day.  Emelyn mentions him occasionally but I don’t think she really understands.  She knows he’s gone but it hasn’t affected her like it has for Hayden.

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