Today is the day before Labor Day and tomorrow marks the unofficial start of Fall. I love Fall. My favorite season for sure. Something stirs within me and its like my soul starts to bloom in the fall. I love the colors, the changing leaves, the crispness to the air, the yummy food....I love it all. I am so happy we are getting preview of it this week here in Chicagoland. So as Summer ends and Fall begins, I am mentally looking back over our summer and-phew!-I'm tired! Until this summer, the kids and I, and before Jamie, Anne and I, have been mostly homebodies. We'd plan a playdate or two during the week, have a day that we ran errands or had a class to go to and then spend 2 or 3 days just hanging at home, doing chores, craft, playing games. This summer was quite the whirlwind! Just about everyday we had something to do from playdates, to activities to just getting out there and enjoying it! We didn't go to the pool as much as I had hoped, but we went more than the previous 3 years combined and we did enough of others things to make up for it!
In June we went to Pirate's Cove, which is a kiddie amusement park in the Northern Suburbs. It's specifically designed for kids ages 2-9 and so much fun! There are only about 8 rides, but the kids can ride them over and over and there are no lines so the kids have a blast.
Later that month, Anne and Jamie both had swim lessons. Even at only 16 months, I was amazed at what Jamie could do! He was able to put his face in the water and try and blow bubbles and at one point, he even floated on his own! (Albeit for only about 2 seconds.) Anne, too, grew leaps and bounds since last year! I think next year she'll be swimming on her own!
We also visited the splash park several times too. Even though Jamie loves the water and Anne has started liking it much more too, both my kids would rather play on the dry apparatus than splash in the water. Oh well.
In July I made Daddy take the day off and we all went (in the ridiculous 90 degree and 100+ heat index to go blueberry picking. Unfortunately after over an hour of picking we only got 5lbs of berries. I was hoping for 10 or 15 so I could cook and can the week away. Still, we had fun and will for sure go back every year.We also spent what was supposed to be a rainy and cold day at the beach in MI. The day turned out relatively warm and sunny and was a fabulous day.
In August, Anne took another round of swim lessons-since she did so well at her first round-and improved even more. Later on, John, Anne, Jamie and I went to a local water park courtesy of the Library for completing the summer reading program. Anne was too little to ride any of the water slides but she had a great time playing in the zero depth pool and the little playground in the middle of the water. I was able to sneak away and ride a few slides.
The first weekend in August, we went to our annual city fair for kids, Kidzfest, in Joliet. It's a local street fair where area vendors and organizations set up booths complete with games or activites for kids and handouts for parents. Even Jamie was able to do some of the stuff!
Near the end of August, Anne and Jamie got baptized! That was such a special day for our family! What a blessing to look back years from now and see how God will have been faithful to us and to know He will continue to be faithful!
The last big thing we did this summer was go to the Will County Fair. It was quite a drive (over an hour) but we had so much fun! We saw a rodeo-which I am pretty sure someone with vegetarian tendencies is not supposed to like-which John and I enjoyed, Anne tolerated, and Jamie (loudly) protested, rode carnival rides, ate funnel cake and root beer floats and saw all the prize winning animals and arts and crafts. Such a fun time!
Of course, this summer we've also taken numerous day trips-just me and the kids and on weekends with John. We've visited several new forest preserves, gone to the Arboretum and DuPage Children's Museum, and lots of other fun things.
Phew! It's been a busy busy summer for us here at the Atwood house! School starts for Anne on Tuesday. She will be going 3 days a week, in the afternoons, so for 3 out of 5 weekdays we are basically going to be home bound. Perhaps we'll catch up on our crafts, games and chores that fell by the wayside during our whirlwind summer! Hope you all had a great summer too and Happy Fall!