Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Collin's Eleventh Birthday

On the day before Collin's birthday, we brought a few of his friends with us to Lazer Gate for a game of laser tag, video games, and these spinning bumper cars.

They had a blast!  After a few hours there, we all went to Chili's (Collin's choice) for dinner and then the kids came back to our house for cake and a sleepover.

I ordered a laser tag themed cake from Pattie Cake.

 On his actual birthday, we had a family dinner at Chili's (yes, again, Collin's choice).

Eleven years old!

We decided that since it was his birthday and he is about to enter middle school and that means more after school activities, it was time for a cell phone.  He is younger than Tyler was when he got his first phone, but a lot has changed in the last few years, and it certainly seems to be necessary.  So far, he has been very responsible with it and I have no complaints.   I hope that continues.  He doesn't carry it with him all the time; he is often out and about in the neighborhood without his phone because he just doesn't need it when he's out playing.  Tom and I found a great technology contract online that we modified for our own purposes.  You can find it here if you are interested:

Eleven things about Collin:
1.  Every summer he looks forward to attending different camps where he often does not know anyone.  It doesn't bother him one bit that he will go into this situation alone.  This amazes me every year because it doesn't seem to fit his personality, but he goes without reservation and has a great time.

2.  He still loves to snuggle.

3.  Collin recently decided that he is a vegetarian because he doesn't like the idea of eating animals.  I love this because he sees eating animals as an injustice and he has decided to follow his heart.  I should mention that he has not become a healthy eater; he's still as picky as ever and shuns most vegetables.

4.  He still enjoys reading.

5.  He has not complained about the mandatory summer packets for school.  I have complained about them quite a bit, but he hasn't.

6.  When his friends are over, he almost always includes his sisters in whatever they are playing.

7.  Collin has awesome freckles.  He hates them, but I love them.  He has the perfect amount sprinkled across his nose.

8.  This summer I have witnessed him sticking up for himself and others, and I am very proud that he is not afraid to speak his mind when someone is acting inappropriately.

9.  He has worked hard at his tennis lessons this summer.

10. He has a wicked sweet tooth.

11. If I let him, he would get Dunkin Donuts every day!  A plain bagel toasted with butter and a Boston Cream doughnut are his favorite items.

Strings and Food

I just found these pictures and realized I never posted them!  Collin attended Strings Camp earlier this summer from 9-11 each morning.  He enjoyed the camp, and it was the most he has practiced EVER, so it was great all around.

Reagan had cooking camp at the same time.  Over the course of the week, she made muffins, smoothies, hummus, BLT sandwiches, vegetarian chili, a pasta dish, s'mores cake, watermelon sorbet, and plenty more.  She loved it and we loved tasting what she made!

Around Here

So much has happened since my last post!  Here's just a little bit of what we have been up to.

Lou and Kate invited us to their house for a small party, and the kids swam in the pool almost the entire time we were there.

This was a HUGE day for Kate because it was the first time she swam in a pool without clinging to someone.  She LOVED it and stayed in the pool for hours.  I'm so proud of her for being so brave, and I am happy that she had so much fun.

Reagan, Kate, and I went to see Mary Poppins at the Zeiterion.  It was a great show, so good that even though it was three hours long, we all enjoyed every minute.  The musical numbers were fantastic, especially the chimney sweep number.

Collin made Rice Krispies treats and turned them into ice cream sandwiches.  They were way too good.

We visited one of Kate's favorite playgrounds.

There was more leaping and jumping at the beach.

Collin went to Audubon Camp last week while Reagan was at writing camp, and they are both attending writing camp this week.  They have spent TONS of time just hanging out with kids in the neighborhood.  This is the first summer that they have spent a majority of their time having fun with their friends and very little time doing activities with me.  It's hard to see them grow up, but they are having a blast and I am very grateful for all of the opportunities they have and for all of the kids that they call friends.

Monday, August 3, 2015

More Beach Pictures

I had to beg them to jump over and over and over again so that I could get a few good pictures, but they were laughing and having fun the whole time!  It was a great day at the beach.

Taylor Swift

Reagan, Addie, Becky, and I went to see Taylor Swift at Gillette Stadium.

 We knew of a few other kids going, and the girls were super excited when we bumped into Allison.  All three girls picked the same concert shirt.

 When we entered the stadium, we were given bracelets that flashed different colors to the music.  They made for a very cool concert experience.  Here is Reagan's flashing red:
 You can see how the entire stadium lit up from the bracelets; it was really cool.

This was definitely one of my favorite concerts for so many reasons.  Taylor Swift is an excellent performer, and she was very entertaining.  The set, the lights, the costumes - they were all perfect!  I loved that she had little video clips throughout the concert showing interviews of some of her friends talking about her.  There was one video of her with her cats that was very funny. I also liked that she talked a lot; some of what she said was a little corny, but for the most part, I found it interesting. Taylor talked about past concerts at Gillette which made it seem very personal to the audience; I knew this going in (because Tom told me), but she told the audience that Gillette was the first stadium she sold out and she also talked about it pouring at Gillette one year for the entire show!  She came on stage around 9:20 PM and performed for about two hours.  We sang and danced almost the whole time.  The best part of the concert was watching Reagan enjoy it so much!

There were three opening acts - Shawn Mendes, Vance Joy, and HAIM; we enjoyed the first two acts, but didn't care for HAIM.  We saw a lot of people wearing costumes (tutus, shirts that lit up, cat costumes, to name a few), but I think my favorite concert attire was worn by a couple of older women (60s maybe?); they had shirts that read, "We Never Go Out of Style" - AWESOME!  We had floor seats, and everyone around us was nice.  The girls ate frozen lemonade, popcorn, cheeseburgers, and cotton candy - ha! - kids are so funny at events, they always want to eat everything in sight!

Tom got the tickets, drove us to the concert, hung around and waited for us while we watched the concert, and then drove us all home.  I'm not the only one who declared him father and husband of the year!