Wednesday, August 25, 2021

De Jong Okoboji 2021 trip- Arnold's Park.

We got to spend a few days in Okoboji with the De Jongs! Thankful we could go and the girls had the best time! Brett (my BIL) couldn't be there because he is doing his residency in Des Moines, and Elizabeth (my SIL) missed a bit because she was coming back from a trip with friends, but since a bigger trip couldn't happen this year with them, this last minute Okoboji trip was so great and thankful we could have a few days together! We went with them last year too, and the girls had been asking multiple times when we could go back. 

We had a family day before Elizabeth arrived and while Will (nephew) was napping, at Arnold's Park. I know amusement parks aren't everyone's jam, but boy do I love them. I had such fun riding rides when I was younger, and seeing the girls faces light up as they go is the best.

The giant slide was fun! This part is in the air conditioned museum, which is nice for the finale (these pictures uploaded backwards) when everyone is hot!

Norah was brave and rode the Tilt-A-Whirl all by herself!

All three were big enough for the trampoline this year! They loved it!

I want to frame these smiles forever.

These are great days. I love that they can all fit in together, ride the kiddie rides, and wave at us. Please don't ever stop waving. :)

This was the first year Lucy and Ellory were tall enough for the swings too. Such fun!

The kiddie roller coaster was the best part. They loved it so much. 

Love carousel rides! I thought it was funny that out of all the beautifully decorated horses, Ellory picked the donkey and Lucy picked the chicken. 

The best sister picture I got.

We also had a lot of fun swimming!

Monday, August 16, 2021

Weekend fun with friends.

We had fun at the lakes a couple weekends ago with our friends! The Hofmeyer's renovated a cute little house on the lake and they were so kind to invite us for a night. We went for a hike (more like a nature walk with little kids :), had a nutty bar and a Spudnutz donut, played in the lake, and enjoyed time together. I'm so thankful for our community in our little town.

Kley went to high school with Joe and Madison and we all moved to our town (or back home, as they would say) almost at the same time. I actually babysat their oldest for about a year and a half before Lucy and Ellory were born a few days a week, so it's so special to see her friendship with Norah still going strong six years later! Their middle is very close in age to Lucy and Ellory also. And it's fun to add a boy to the mix with their youngest!

Another weekend recently, we got to visit some of my college friends in MN. Thankful we could catch up and that we can stay connected through the years! There were a couple more friends who live somewhat close that we were hoping to meet up with too, but unfortunately it didn't work out. Grateful for who we did get to see! We got to see Jackie and her family, who live there, and Brittany, who flew in from CO. We had a fun time together watching the kids play, hanging out, and visiting a park and beach. 

Jackie and I were college freshman roommates and Brittany was our next room neighbor- so fun we are still friends 14 years later!

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Summer loving had me a blast.

A local church had a free community fun night with a meal, games, train ride, and inflatables. Say no more, we'll be there. :) It was a super fun summer night! Thankful for fun times with family.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Swimming lessons 2021.

The girls had swimming lessons and it was fun! Feels like such a true summer activity. Lucy and Ellory had done the parent/child swim class for a couple years, which is a very introductory class, so this year was their first time having official lessons. We do private lessons, as we feel our girls just do better in that setting in dealing with the water and it's nice they can get one on one instruction. Norah has had the same teacher for three years now, and she's great! So good with kids. Thankful Lucy and Ellory were able to have her this year too. Our town also offers group lessons, which is nice too for those who want it. 

It was fun to watch each of them! We had one chillier day to be in the water and it rained a bit, but the other four days were great weather. Norah did a great job and was learning diving this year! She is a good swimmer and is comfortable in the water! Lucy did a great job. She was very comfortable putting her head under and had a great memory in learning what her teacher asked. Ellory wasn't quite as comfortable putting her head under, but she'll get there! They all did well at their own level in their own way and it was a good lesson in talking about bravery and perseverance with everyone as they encountered something hard. Norah struggled at first to tread water for 60 seconds, but she did it and was so proud! Way to go, Norah, Lucy, and Ellory! We always love cheering you on!

The last day of lessons is always "fun day" where they get to do the diving board and slides!

Norah still needs to work on dive form, but she definitely tried hard! :)

Practicing those back floats.

Finding rings was a favorite activity for all!

Lucy was so brave!