1. Thanksgiving Point - These pics are from one day when we went to the Farm Country. Fed some goats, rode the ponies, talked to some llamas, pet a baby lamb. All fun stuff.
2. This summer we bought a pool pass to an outdoor pool nearby. We loved it!! Part of our justification for the cost was that going often would be able to replace swim lessons (and swim lessons for 4 kids adds up pretty quickly, I tell you.) I'd have to say this was pretty successful.
The last swim lessons Isaac took, he would barely put his head underwater. Just by being at the pool more often and becoming more confident, he has made great strides. He'll even jump into water over his head and doggy-paddle to the side. Definite improvement.
Abigail also practiced her swimming a lot and continues to improve. (I had to zoom in across the pool to get these pics of them. I love that they played together in the deeper water.)
Samuel also met and exceeded my mental "swimming pool goals" for him. At first he would only get in with a life-jacket on. By the end of the summer, he would get in without one and even dunked his head under water (very briefly)!! For a child as anxious as he is, this was a huge accomplishment!!
And Elisabeth. Well, she's a little fish. Part of this, I think, comes naturally from being exposed to the water more at a younger age (huge advantage with a pool pass). She pretty much figured out how to swim all by herself. She can't yet lift her head to breathe, but she kicks and strokes and propels herself forward, which is amazing. She also figured out how to do front and back flips underwater! She just amazed me every time.
3. There was also some fun to be had in the sprinklers in the back yard (and with water guns). Wohoo!
4. And then, the last 3 weeks of summer, I'd finally had enough of all the laziness and nagging taking place and we decided to implement an incentive program. The reward? An ice cream sundae party. The plan? Earning points by doing normal chores, music practice, reading, etc etc. Every little thing they did earned points. We made an ice cream chart with something like 200 boxes to color in for each point. And, though it seemed for awhile as if they would never make it, they did!!
And boy, those were some yummy-licious ice cream sundaes!
5. These are just some pics from Labor Day, the last summer hoorah, when we went out to the Farmington Bird Refuge to take a peek. Uh, no birds, really, to be seen. But oh well.
Miss Elisabeth took off sprinting down this road all by herself and felt, I think, exhilerated by her display of independence.