Thursday, August 31, 2017

Wrapping Up Summer

It has been a fantastic summer.  It has flown by too fast!  I wish I could hold onto summer longer...days where all three of my kids are home...days where we leisurely wake up...cuddle in bed and read our Bible stories... have long breakfasts...spend our days outside at the park or in the water...and play all day!  This summer has been especially fun as it is our first summer without a napping we have truly been able to play all day and not worry about what time it is or what time we need to be home!  This post will simply be sharing some pictures from our summer and wrapping up some of our summertime activities as we prepare for starting school next week!


The girls took summer gymnastics on Wednesday mornings this year.

Both girls love gymnastics!  They get a ribbon at the end of each session and I love Larkyn's enthusiasm as she does her "ta-da" :).  Here is a video:

This was Larkyn's first class "by herself" as her previous classes have been mom-and-me classes.  She fell in love with her teacher Ms. Ali!

Soccer Shots

Colton took a soccer class each Tuesday morning called Soccer Shots.  Colton loves all things soccer!  He had his last class last week. They met outside unless it was raining or the fields were in use, but the last week the fields were in use, so they met in the gym - hence these "last day" photos were taken in the gym :).

Colton and Coach Sarah

Swimming Lessons

All three kids took swimming lessons on Thursday mornings.  Each improved so much!  Summer can now swim almost the full length of the pool by herself on both front and back.  Colton can swim alone on his back and his front, only needing help with taking breaths on his front.  Larkyn went from crying about getting her eyes wet on the first day to jumping in the pool completely unassisted on the last session.  It was fun to see how each kid improved.  Summer and Colton were in the same class this year, and this summer was Larkyn's first time being in a class without Mommy.

Video of Larkyn Jumping In:



Verse of the Week

Every summer we take a break from our Wednesday night church activities where we memorize Scripture and focus on a particular passage, doing one verse at a time, which we post on our kitchen chalkboard and memorize/recite during meal time.  Two years ago we focused on love and did 1 John 4:7-21, last year we memorized the Armor of God found in Ephesians 6:10-18, and this summer we memorized the love chapter found in 1 Corinthians 13:1-8.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy, and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor, and give over my body to hardship, that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
 As we memorized each verse, we would talk about what it meant and how we can apply it.  We also talked about which ways of loving were hard for us.  We also would refer back to these verses when the kids would fight over something.  They are such applicable verses and I am so glad we chose to memorize them this summer.  As we do each year, I took a video of each kid saying their verse.  Summer took one of me, as I memorized it with the kids!  Here they are:


*Just for my memory sake, I'll include this background... this video was "take 3" for Larkyn!  She is turning into a little comedian and will do anything to make her siblings laugh while she recites the verse, including goofing off, saying it wrong on purpose, singing/acting, and just plain being a clown ;).  Colton cannot help laughing and feeds the fire for lil' Ms. Comedian ;).  Anyway, by take 3, she settled down mostly when we removed her audience from the room!  She starts this video by doing her own thing, then apologizes, and then does pretty well.  She has an amazing memory for a just turned 3 year old when she chooses to implement it!  Either way, I know these words are hidden in her heart!

*By teaching the kids the verses and repeating it so often, I learned it too! 
Even though we will not be doing AWANA this year as we will be involved in our own church clubs, I ordered the kids their next verse memory handbooks.  Since they will wrap up their summer $ earning chores this week (see below), during the school year they have an ongoing offer to do as much or as little as they choose memorizing verses on their own from their new handbooks (in addition to our weekly Wednesday night club verse which we memorize together), earning $0.25 per section.  Both have excitedly embraced this, and each have memorized quite a few already.    I love soaking their hearts in God's word when they are young, praying that when they are old, they will not depart from it!

Chores and Sheridan Story

This summer, for the first time, I gave the older two kids weekly chores (in addition to their daily expected chores) and their first chore money.  They were responsible for cleaning the hall bathroom (which was divided into 8 tasks, of which Summer and Colton were each assigned 4 tasks a piece) and 20 minutes of laundry folding each week.  When those were completed, they each earned $5/week.  We set up a budget book for each of them, to keep track of their earnings and to divide their earnings into 10% tithe for church ($0.50), 50% savings for college, ($2.50), and 40% for spending ($2.00).  Summer adds and subtracts her own own $ into her budget book and I help Colton, who puts the $ into separate ziplock bags to see how it divides out.  Both kids, on their own, decided that they wanted to make a 4th category for their income, saving money for kids who don't have enough to eat.  I had nothing to do with this. They both decided they wanted to save $ to put toward the Sheridan Story, a local organization that gives food to kids in our school and other local schools each Friday so they have food to eat for the weekend.  This ministry has been one the kids have supported in different ways in the past such as their summer art sale  and helping deliver the food at school, and they often think of these kids.  Needless to say, they were very generous, taking money out of their $2 of spending money each week, as well as selling some of their toys and donating the profit to their savings for the Sheridan Story.  I am so proud of their generous hearts, giving up much of their chore money to give to kids in need...on their own accord.  In fact, I often tried to encourage them to keep some of their money ( I felt bad with them giving so much away!) and they insisted that they wanted it to go to Sheridan Story!  Who am I to argue!  So, at the end of the summer, we scheduled a chance for them to bring their money to the Sheridan Story warehouse and see how it worked.

Other Pictures

Throughout the summer I took pictures of the kiddos.  Here is a random collection of them!
Matching Italy Sweatshirts

Celebrating our neighbor Mr. Ken's 71st birthday - the kiddos had fun surprising him!

Celebrating our neighbor Mr. Ken's 71st birthday - the kiddos had fun surprising him!
Celebrating our neighbor Mr. Ken's 71st birthday - the kiddos had fun surprising him!
We had lots of fun picnics this summer!


The girls loved dressing alike, dressing each other, and playing together. 

We got to see Cars 3 in the theatre!  Colton was so excited!

We got to see Cars 3 in the theatre!  Colton was so excited!

We got to see Cars 3 in the theatre!  Colton was so excited!

Splash Pad!

Tommerdahl teamwork to get Larkyn a drink!

Larkyn loved making laundry basket boats all summer! (And also started her chore being a big kid putting away her own clean laundry!)

The kids played TONS of magnatiles all summer!

We got our van fixed....many....times ;).  Thankfully the kids loved to bike so we biked to parks...splash pad...and Culvers...during the time our van was being fixed...and then biked back to pick it up!

Splash pad

Campfire for the dolls and Colton's smoke jumpers...

Campfire/S'mores for the kids!

Lots of cuddles and reading!

Summer really grew up this year in the things she can do by herself.  One example was in regards to the grocery store.  At the grocery store, she could take her own mini-cart and I would give her almost half the list of things to get and she would read labels, check produce, and gather the groceries without my help at all.  Then unload her cart, put the bagged groceries from cart to van, and then put them away at home.  The younger two kids did age appropriate variations of these tasks.  It is fun to watch them start to grow more independent and learn household tasks!  While teaching them these things at the start made MORE work for me than if I just did it myself, it now is less work, as they do so many things on their own!

We got to see the partial eclipse!  It wouldn't photograph well, but it was an exciting day.

Colton learned how to do the monkey bars, as evidenced by his chalk board art.  Both older kids are now monkey bar enthusiasts and will do them repeatedly at any park, and in various creative ways.

We saw our favorite bird show at the zoo.

We saw our favorite bird show at the zoo...along with the new fantastic kangaroo exhibit!

Playdates with good friends!

Reading :)

Cuddles and naps!  Larkyn is officially done with naps, but this particular Saturday she was up much of the previous night (along with Mommy!) scared of the thunderstorm and we fell asleep together on the coach that afternoon.  I know my days of falling asleep with a kiddo cuddled close are almost done, so this moment was special!  Thanks to daddy for capturing it!

Daddy and Colton have been sharing a special soccer bond!  On this night Daddy took Colton to see our local high school soccer team play!  The girls and I had a date watching Samantha, an American Girl movie (really cute!).

Gearing Up for School

Summer and Colton are excited for 2nd grade and Kindergarten!  Their school supplies are packed and ready, Colton picked out a Lightening McQueen backpack, and the countdown is on!  We went in for their Assessment Day, and the kids got to officially meet their teachers (although both kids already knew them....Colton's is the same kindergarten teacher Summer had, and Summer's teacher is one of the teachers in charge of the summer reading program and we saw her each week that we checked out leveled reading books this summer!)  We also had Colton's kindergarten parent open house this week!
Colton and Mrs. Davis

Summer and Mrs. Bottem
While Mommy will never be ready for school to start (I love having all of my kiddos home!  I can't help it!!), I am thrilled that they are excited for school and am so grateful for Southview Elementary and the opportunities they give me to volunteer in the classroom and with my kids' classmates.  
We have one more final family event before school starts - we five head to the State Fair as a family on Labor Day!  (Paul and I went yesterday on a date and had a blast!).  I will post about the State Fair soon, and then it will be on to first day of school pictures!!!! Woah!  
I am beyond blessed, and thankful for such an amazing summer, amazing family, amazing friends,amazing memories, and our amazing God who is so good to me.