Summer of Fun 2013: Go on a Hike (Big Bend National Park)

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When we were planning our Summer Fun List, I knew that Sean and Gabriel had a special trip planned.

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Once or twice per year, they take a little trip with two other dads and their sons.

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We have known them all since Gabriel was in Kindergarten, and we have been blessed with some wonderful family friendships.

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This year, they decided to take a trip to Big Bend National Park.

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As an added bonus, they swam in the Rio Grande River and enjoyed a little touch of Mexico.

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The boys were so excited that even the 8 hour drive did not deter the excitement.

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I stayed home and had special time with Summer and Ethan,

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while Sean and Gabriel made memories that will last a lifetime.

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I had no idea how much I could possibly miss them until there was no telephone reception the first night.  By the time I heard their voices the next morning, it felt like I had not talked to them in a week.  Poor Ethan was so sad, as he choked out “Bubba” through tears.

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I was so happy that they were able to take a special trip to a special place….but I was even happier once we were all reunited as a family.

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Summer of Fun 2013: Have a Tie-Dye Day

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One of the fun, simple things on our Summer of Fun 2013 was to have a tie-dye day.  It is a little tradition that we have.  I like for the littles to have semi-matching, bright shirts when we go on little trips.

So, last Monday, we sat aside some time to tie-dye our shirts.  I let them choose their patterns and their colors.

Summer chose and went first.  She wanted the swirl pattern, and she wanted to use every color.  She patiently waited while I swirled the shirt, and then she started to work on her creation.  Her shirt turned out bright, colorful, and beautiful, just like my sweet sunshine girl.

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Gabriel went next.  He wanted his to be a burst of colors, and he wanted it to look like a sunburst.  We are both somewhat visual learners, so we had to look at the pattern, back at the shirt, and back at the pattern to determine which colors needed to go where.  I was very happy that he still enjoyed the process of creating his own shirt.  I always hear, “Oh, he will not want to do that much longer.”  I choose to not listen to the negative naysayers.  My parenting theory is that if we continue to make it a fun, family experience, then they will all continue to enjoy it.

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Ethan went last because the shirt that he chose was a graduated colors of green.  I needed to make sure that everyone else had used the green so that I could re-fill it to use the strong solution and then slowly weaken the color.  As I watched him, I was so proud of him.  We have been tie-dying shirts for several years, and it is just one of the things that I never knew if he would want to do or be able to do by himself.  Of course he could do it by himself.  He rocked the tie-dying.

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It was a fun morning.  While one was tie-dying, the other two were enjoying the morning, riding bikes and scooters in the drive-way.  There was such a feeling of utter, complete contentment about the whole experience.  As with all of our summer fun days, I cherish and enjoy the little moments just as much as I do the big ones.

Summer of Fun 2013: Go to the Beach

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We really had not planned to go to the beach this summer.

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Not until we attended Ethan’s ARD, and all of his teachers told us that Ethan had told them that we were going to the beach.  We laughed and told them that we had gone two summers in a row but then skipped last summer.  A beach trip was not in the summer fun plans for 2013.

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However, then, just about a week later, we received the invitation to Christy’s wedding in Pearland.

A quick Google search told me that Galveston was only about 30-40 minutes away.

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I looked at Ethan and said, “It looks like we are going to the beach this summer, after all!”

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Sean’s cousin, Susan, and her two little girls, Emily and Sarah, met us there.

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The beach is not known for its crystal clear water, but the kids did not seem to mind one little bit.

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They played in the waves,

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went hunting for hermit crabs,

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and made creations in the sand.

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It was just a little day trip, but it was everything that we needed.  It gave Ethan his Summer of Fun 2013 wish, and it gave us all memories that will last a lifetime.

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