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Dear Family and Friends,

Happy 7-11 Day! As its Sunday, this year we will be getting our slurpie and celebrating 7-12 day. Doesn't quite have the same ring.

Monday we continued our celebrations with our annual Neighborhood of Fire. The day was spent cleaning the yard and making sure there was nothing in rooms or bathrooms that would gross out any visitor. Every year a different set of friends come although there are a few regulars. Ate a lot, visited, had a watermelon seed spitting contest, chased parachutes, threw water balloons and set off a humongous amount of fireworks. Our 16 year old neighbor Todd has been officially passed the propane torch and all the little boys (and men) help feed his pyrotechnic tendencies. Kids ran around super late eating popsicles and waving glow in the dark bracelets. It was just a lot of fun.

This week there was a lot of good with the occasional "uglies" as my sister-in-law likes to call them popping up. Kids started swimming lessons and since we are the last lesson sometimes we just pack a lunch and stay until the pool opens for public swim 20 minutes after classes. So everyone has been sleeping really well this week. Robyn was in a serious sleep deprivation mode after the weekend and took till Thursday till she could wake up without immediately reverting to full on whine and cry mode. Robyn loves her swimming class and has been busy teaching Taylor and I how to play "Alligator, Alligator, what time is it?" Allison just beams after every class because her teacher tells her how good she is and that she ought to be on swim team. Spencer is convinced his teacher works him harder that he has ever done before (which I am a big fan of) but despite his grin every day at swimming is sticking to his guns that this is his last lesson ever. Next year he is 12 and too old to do anything but swim team or life guard classes.

Taylor has been home all week with us and enjoying the pool and sunshine. I had one day this week where I caught the "uglies" until I could laugh about it. Jeremy had left for the airport. I took some friends and our kids to the pool. Arrived there to find that Taylor had pooped all over his swimsuit so I had to change him in the parking lot. All the kids waited by the pool door so no one could see me trying to do this. It was not a pleasant experience. Great time at the pool. Arrive home to find that Taylor had pooped again, this time all over his seat and suit. As I am showering him and running the sanitary cycle in the laundry I realized that both Taylor and Robyn had peed their beds that morning and I still hadn't finished washing their bedding. All I could think of was "really?!!!" But then I just had to start laughing.

My watch broke a few weeks ago which I think is turning me into a better mother even as my homemaking skills take a dive (really, how clean do bathrooms need to be anyway?). Last night our short bike ride turned into an hour and half. Allison was telling me how all that exercise was burning off our french toast. As we went 3 miles in that hour and a half I didn't have high hopes about the aerobic benefits but kids all went to bed smiling.

We went up to the children's museum yesterday. Allison and her friend and Robyn were loving it while Spencer is realizing that although he is still a little boy inside in many ways he also is outgrowing a lot of the kid stuff. He gets a very long suffering look sometimes - thank goodness for scouts and all those manly activities! (He was so excited Monday to get up and put flags on people's lawns with his scout leader that he got up at 5:45 and out the door all by himself. I just laid in bed and smiled) At the museum some little 6 year old was giving him grief. First he punched him in the stomach when he wanted Spencer to give him a turn causing Spencer to yell at him that he was a brat. Think that would be the end of it? Nope, that 6 year old came up later and started to pull Spencer's short pockets, pulling his shorts down in the process, causing Spencer to yell at him to watch it and walk off. I come around the corner to hear the mother of said 6 year old telling the workers that Spencer shouldn't be unsupervised as he is yelling at the little kids. Probably true. Just wish that when I hear a mother complaining about a child, I didn't immediately suspect that she is complaining about my son. Little case of the uglies on my part again.

Two good things this week though: I got to have a girl's night out with my friend Monica. Saw Eclipse and ate at Kneaders. Can't beat that. And Jeremy and I went to a stake Relief Society social and just got to sit, visit, eat dinner and enjoy some adult time.

Thursday, Jeremy left for Washington for his sister Jonna's wedding. Friday he spent the day touring Poulsbo area where he lived since he was 8 and to eat lunch with a couple of old friends. Said it was a good trip down memory lane. Then Friday night was the rehearsal dinner and Saturday was the wedding. Said he was really glad he was able to be there. He gets back late tonight. And the first thing he gets to do when he gets back is....

To kill the ugly in our entry way. For a few days I thought our kids were having bloody noses in our entry way. Then I looked up and realized some "thing" was either pooping or dripping blood from its victims down our wall. Yesterday it made an egg sac up there. If it didn't require our extension ladder I would break out the bug spray myself. But it does, so we all decided this is a definite dad job!

Other odds and ends. I booked our hotel for the Saturday night in August when we go out to CA to see my family! Yeah!!! Reading The Kiterunner and had to take a break. I literally almost threw up reading it at the hate and violence it talks about. I had read his other book "A thousand suns" and was really disturbed by it as well but not as much as this book. I think its because I have an 11 year old son.

Love to you all and hope you get your slurpie for the holiday!


P.S. Having a problem loading pictures but did get one video.