We were excited to watch Maddie's soccer game on Saturday. Maddie made the JV soccer team, and this was the first game that we got to watch, as all of her other games have been so far away and they have gotten back WAY too late for her little siblings.
Caden took some pictures:
I love this picture so much!!:
Everyone enjoyed the game in their own special way hahaha:
We aren't used to getting up at 6:00 anymore - well most of us aren't anyway....It was sleeping in for Shawn and Caden!
My first group took off:
Maddie took off with the first group, but didn't have time to stand for a picture with them. Plus, she and Caden are now my high schoolers, although Maddie still attends the Junior High for one more year.
Before everyone left there were many teary goodbyes with their beloved Kami-sister:(
Well, Abe looks pretty happy there, but I think everyone else cried... and he was pretty sad to discover that she can't just pop in at any time to visit as he had thought. He thought she'd be right here in town like all the other college kids that come over on Sundays.
So we got all the little kids on the bus and then we gathered up all of Kami's things and took off to get her settled at college. Boy oh boy, this was so much harder than I thought it would be, and I thought it would be HARD! No one tells you how hard it is to have a kid grow up and move out. I miss her like crazy and I also don't like how it changes the whole dynamics of our family. I don't like feeling like our family will never be the same again. I think everything was made even harder by the fact that she didn't want to leave!
But we finally managed to get her as settled as we could in one day...
We felt better knowing that one of her high school friends was already there:
And we said our goodbyes:
And tried to keep it really positive...
...And then I was teary all the way home. But we tried to be philosophical about the fact that it's time for her to spread her wings and leave the nest and all that stuff. And about how Thanksgiving break will be here before we know it....
We didn't get home until 3:30 am and 6:00 came even EARLIER than the day before. A long traumatizing day for this momma.
I REALLY wanted to do something fun with Kami before she headed off to college. Nothing was working out so that we could, though. Finally Kami and Caden quit their summer jobs a week before school (well, Caden just quit one of them) and we decided to fit something in. Shawn still had to work every day and Kami still had A LOT to do to get ready for college and that ended up taking more time than we thought. She and Caden fit in several hikes. Then Shawn had the idea to take a day trip and just take Kami and Caden. Maddie had a soccer game that same day and we had been trying to work around that... we ended up getting Shawn's parents to watch the kids and get Maddie to her game. We felt bad missing it, but it worked out well, and Jim and Marilyn brought the kids home before bed time and Maddie took over from there.
We went to the Lewis and Clark Caverns over in Montana and then to the Play Mill Theater in West Yellowstone that evening.
Scenery from the caves:
Walking up to the cave - I can't believe how tall Caden is, he makes Shawn look short these days.... and he's not!:
Waiting for the tour to start with some of my favorites:
There were lots of cool stalactites and stalagmites, but my phone generally won't take pics in the dark. I'll have to add some of Caden's one of these days, because he got some great shots.
We love stuff like this; it was really cool!!
At the Play Mill theater later that evening. Back row seats, haha:) They were playing Mary Poppins, and we got home really late! Fun day with great company!!:
My cousin Kellie sent me this picture of my mom and her siblings. I love it. Mom's the baby of the family; her oldest sister has passed away, and everyone got together to celebrate her other sister, Mary's 80th birthday.
A week or so before school, Maddie and I were just getting back into town from doing some school clothes shopping. I turned towards town because I needed to pick something up at the District office. Suddenly there were police cars getting off of the freeway blaring their sirens and rushing past us on all sides. A car almost ran into us just trying to get out of their way!
We got further down main street and saw that all of the police had a white pick-up corralled in the parking lot of our local grocery store. Just as we were passing by the pick-up crashed into a shed and zoomed back out onto main street, coming our way! There was a four wheeler in the back of the pick-up that was rocking back and forth as the driver swerved and weaved through traffic trying to out-run the police. It was exciting, I tell you!!
I pulled into the turning lane just as he jetted past us, all hunched over the steering wheel, and Maddie said, "Ewwww!!!! He has dread locks!" He reached the next set of lights and suddenly we saw the four wheeler fly up through the air and come crashing down.
Hours later I was up-town letting my little kids cash in on all their freebies from the summer reading program and main street was still blocked off. One of the stores was close to the crash and I was curious so we walked over and checked it out.
Pretty exciting, eh?!! I talked to an officer that was there and he said that the guy driving the truck ran into quite a few cars, but no one was seriously hurt. The driver was dressed like a woman with a long black wig, which was why Maddie thought she saw dread locks...He had several warrants out for his arrest for robbery and possession of drugs. I don't know why he decided to get off in our town!
The car that was damaged the worst:
The very next day Kami and I were heading home, again on the freeway, from getting her some college supplies. I happened to look into my rear view mirror just in time to see a dark blue suburban swerve into the median and back out again. Then the car started flipping end over end bouncing down the freeway right behind us!! At first I slowed down and just kept making unintelligible noises. Kami kept saying, "what, WHAT?!!" I finally managed to say "CRASH!!" and sped up as I pointed behind myself. She looked back in time to see it turn over two more times. The car looked completely totalled. We never did hear what happened to that driver and are hoping that means they were okay. It sure made us sick to our stomach for the rest of the day!
That weekend, Shawn was headed home, again on main street. He had almost reached the exits from the freeway when a woman came speeding off of the freeway at what he guesses to be about 50 MPH. She turned into the on-coming traffic, narrowly missing him, and then hitting a guy on a motorcycle just to the right and slightly behind him. He saw the guy fly through the air and hit. Shawn ran back to him and amazingly the man was alive. A nurse arrived just when Shawn did, and had already called 911 and was able to do just the right things for the guy. Shawn saw him a few days later and it looks like he got away with a broken nose and arm.
We're feeling pretty fortunate that we were so close to so many accidents and were okay.
I signed the kids up for two sessions of swimming lessons this year. At first I just signed them up for one, but I felt like they were a bit behind and we worry about water safety since we have a pond in the front yard. Also, Abe was terrified of water even after taking one session of lessons. So I signed them up again!
Isabelle and Nolan took the first session in the same class. For the second session, Isabelle moved up a level, Nolan retook the same level, and Abram ended up being moved up through three levels until he was in the same class with Nolan!! This was a great confidence booster for him, and he's not scared of water anymore... I hope it lasts!
Nolan chasing Abe:
Running to jump in:
The kids really looked forward to this every day and it gave four weeks worth of opportunities to get into the water! I never did get a picture of Isabelle:(
I have already mentioned that Isabelle and Maddie went to Oregon and picked raspberries for two weeks for their summer job.
Kami got a job working for a gal that I met at the gym who has two special needs kids and needed someone to do respite care. Chase is 8 years old, autistic and so full of energy that he never stops moving! Kami brought him over just about every day because he really likes water and enjoyed riding in the canoe. We all fell in love with him and it was fun to see the boys learn to understand him and interact with him when he was in the mood to be social.
She also took care of Tessa, 13, but rarely brought her to the house because she is a home body and likes to be at her own home. Kami would take her on a long outdoor walk every day, though, just so that she could get some sunshine:)
Kami basically spent every day there and a lot of evenings, too. She took them to their therapies, fed them and whatever else needed to be done. She really loved them and their parents and we all respect them so much!
Caden got a job working for DL Beck construction on a concrete crew Monday -Thursdays from 7:00- 5:30 or 6:00.
He also got a job working at Nielsen's frozen custard from 6:00 or 6:30 until closing three days a week. We didn't see much of him, either!:
On Pace's birthday we all went and got and ice cream so that the kids could see where he worked and because he wanted to see more of Pace on his big day!:
He said that he made concrete at both of his summer jobs:)
Nolan also had a very lucrative summer job watching the neighbor's dog while they were on vacation! He made $380 and on the way to the bank with the money in his hand he said, "when I was seven or 8 I never even DREAMED of holding this much money in my hand!!" It was so fun to watch my little boys with a dog, and this was the perfect way to experience one. I could have snapped pictures all day long they are so cute and little boyish:)