Palm Springs

This last week the kids and I took a trip to Palm Springs with a couple of friends. (I know, I know, it's totally hot there too!)  The kids were all awesome the whole way to and from in the car. Couldn't ask for better. Spent time in the hotel pool, at Ruby's Diner (where they have the MOST AMAZING sweet potato fries I've ever had), and then spent all of Tuesday at Knott's Soak City water park. J was a little timid at first, but by the end of the day was fearless on all the huge water slides. His favorite thing was to lay in an inner tube going down the lazy river... he is his mother's child.  lol. He also loved the wave pool.  Of course I was in the water and wasn't going to carry my camera around all day, but here are some images I pulled from online: This was like an enormous climber/splash zone, with sprays and waterfalls raining down on you everywhere... J in the morning was terrified of the big bucket - - (see that on top?) dumping on him... It would slowly fill up and then dump HUGE amounts of water when it was full... however by the end of the day J was begging to go over there to the "dump fing". Fun.

This was our favorite slide of the day... but oh, what a HIKE! There were two- and four-person tubes (and since I was riding with the kiddos, guess who had to haul that thing up the million and two staircases? ME. It was crazy steep at the top and then you hit this funnel that sloshes you back and forth... so crazy, you feel like you're going to fall out every time!
And this, my friends, is the Tidal Wave Tower that I was too chicken to go on... A did it once, but I think it freaked her out a little... but M went down THREE times. Wow, it was scary just watching her. Seven stories high. Insane in the membrane.

I had major shin splints (?) the next day from all the climbing up hills/stairs! Quite the workout, actually. The next day we took a tram up the San Jacinto mountains and hiked around. This tram rose like 8500 feet and is apparently the second largest in the world... who knew? We took our lunch and hiked a couple of miles, let the kids climb on rocks and explore caves. So fun! Oh, and did I mention it was like 70 degrees up there? Bliss.


We're already half done, woohoo! What we've done so far: Picked up Aunt Cheryl and crew from the airport and spent the weekend in Safford with them and this cutie, AKA my great nephew Trenton!
Got new pillow covers made for my couch (so cute! Love how they coordinate with my lamp AND my yellow chevron pillows too) (with zippers, thanks to Cheryl)
and a valance made for my kitchen window. LOVE how it turned out. Yes Deirdre, I know I still need to iron it.
Other home improvement projects that first week of summer break included getting 90% of my kitchen painted, (HOORAY!!! Thanks to Lisa for coming over in the middle of the night and picking up a roller!) And, my dutiful husband got our new outdoor fans installed on the patio in time for J's birthday party. They are lovely. And Hunter brand, thank you very much Nate.
Though you may not be able to tell much from this picture, what this is is a finished and painted cabinet in our downstairs bath, Hallelujah. I'll have to find the "before" pics and show you those, so you truly appreciate this:
We spent J's birthday entertaining all of his friends and my girlfriends with a roarin' good time of a dinosaur party. More details on that in a different post. We then started our 8-week marathon of swim lessons, synchronized swimming, and swim team. Here are M and J waiting for A's class to finish:
I have read countless books sitting out in the heat waiting for kiddos every morning, and several evenings baking at various pools during meets. J is a good sport too:
M has been doing very well, and J has already moved up two levels since starting.
We've also hit the library multiple times to check out countless books and movies, and attend all of their free events/shows.
Here's A helping out the magician with one of his tricks. Still can't figure out how he did that one. Or any of them, for that matter.
The kids have also gotten to hang out with their cousins a bit, both at the children's museum and Grandma's house and Bass Pro Shop, and swimming at our house, etc etc. We tie-dyed shirts with Robyn and crew. Here's A's creation (I call it her "Ironman" shirt)

Dinosaurs ROAR

J turned FIVE on June 1st and we celebrated by having a big dinosaur party! There was lots of swimming:
And a super fun relay game, complete with dino feet:
Plenty of Finny to have fun with:
A fun dinosaur fossil craft:
lots of balloons, and dinosaur decorations on the walls (okay I can't believe I didn't take pics of all of that! Oh well. We also did a "dinosaur excavation" where I froze mini dinos inside water-filled balloons, and then peeled off the balloons. Each kid got their own egg to smash and find the dino inside. And the pièce de résistance of the party was this awesome dinosaur cake that my friend Kathy Walser made. Turned out awesome!