And I want to make it clear that I do not sit down with our summer bucket list and carefully plan how to get every item checked off. Most days it is not even on my radar and serves as more of a guide and brainstorming of ideas than anything else. However, having said that we inadvertently accomplished a TON of things on the list in just this last week alone.
For example on Tuesday we visited the Niles family in 29 Palms. Whenever we are there, I try to stop by the shelter before heading home. I have a good relationship with the staff there and it has been established that when we come by, it is not to adopt but to play with the cats and kittens and help socialize them. And although I will occasionally get a sad plea from one of the kids, generally speaking they know the purpose of our visit too and are willing to play and cuddle with the kitties and then say their good-byes. Jadyn also donates part of her allowance and loose change she collects to help the shelter buy much needed food and supplies for the animals awaiting adoption. It is the sweetest thing ever.
On this particular day, the kitten room had at least two liters of 2 month old kittens. The kids were in heaven:
On Thursday, Jake ended up not having a formal soccer practice, so I took the opportunity to take the kids to a movie in the park, again meeting up with members of the Niles family. They showed the Muppets, which is such a cute movie. Of course the kids and I have seen it before but that makes it all the better choice for a movie in the park because if you get distracted (dancing to musical numbers or rolling around in the grass), it's not a big deal. It was really fun and I am glad we got the chance to experience that this summer.
And these pictures are the reason why I want my phone checked out at the Apple store. It takes very poor pictures with low light and/or flash.
Friday, I had tickets for us to attend our local theater's production of Suessical the Musical based on several of Dr. Suess' books and characters - most notably Horton the elephant and the Cat in the Hat and yes, it was just as good as I expected. Both the kids loved it and Jadyn is once again bitten with the acting bug. She really wants to sing, dance, act and generally just perform. If only she didn't get so shy in the spotlight. But of course not too shy to pose for pictures with the characters after the production:
Here they are during intermission between acts:
And with the cat in the hat and his "mini me" after the show:
Saturday, our town was offering it's weekly summer concert in the park and they finally had a musical genre that sounded appealing - classic rock. Even better, they allow families to bring their dogs and sit on the upper field so although you don't have a great view of the stage, you have tons of room and can still enjoy the music (and honestly the less crowded, the better for our family especially in Joe's eyes). We went with Cruz and Tara, which means they also brought their dogs (the two Danes). It also means a reappearance by the now famous ridiculous chair, which Cruz got so comfy in, he actually napped during the first set:
We were also joined by the Miller family and their two nieces bringing the totals for our group to 6 adults, 6 children and 5 dogs. It was a very nice evening.
Finally, the kids finished the second week of their second session of swim lessons and they both did so, so well. Jake graduated from Dolphins to Sharks - the last class before you begin guard training. Jadyn, who debuted as a dolphin for the first time was able to complete all but two skills (diving and rotary breathing). They were both so excited, they asked to sign up for the last session of the summer so guess what? We are doing another 2 weeks of swim lessons. Here they both are the last week of class as Dolphins together competing in a cannonball contest:
And now I must apologize 1) because I don't remember who won the said cannonball contest and 2) because this blog post is a rehashing of Facebook updates from the last week but with more detail. But in my defense, I cannot turn my status updates into a memory book, thus the redundancy.