I can't believe I am caught up on blogging! I thought it would take me forever to get it done, but I have done it! It was much easier to motivate myself to blog when I first started. Now it seems like a chore, kind of like folding laundry. I like having folded clothes, I just wish someone else would do it for me. Maybe if we win the lottery, I can hire someone to blog for me :)

I took the girls to the library today. Abby really wanted a book on dinosaurs and they happened to be right next to the weather books, so storms and dinos it is!

I can't decide which photo of Mckenzie I like better. Scott, of course, likes the color photo, but I think I am partial to the black and white one. I'm just not sure so you have to look at both!
066 mckenzie library

069 mckenzie in library b&w

074 abby reading at library

070 mckenzie at the library



Yuck. I woke up with some nasty sinus congestion thing today so we spent the day inside again in our PJ's. At least we were more productive than other PJ's days and read books and colored. But, there was still plenty of TV watching for the kids. Yep, I said it. I put my kids in front of the TV so I could try to get some rest. I am a lucky girl too. Scott did my grocery shopping since I didn't feel like going out. I may have to go again this week since the store was practically cleaned out of fresh fruit. I guess grocery shopping at night isn't a great idea where we shop.

Abby playing on her iPod in her tent I built for the girls. She is so particular about her tents. They have to be really dark without any holes (I am not sure she is happy with how bright this tent is, but the last time she threw a fit over how bright her tent was, I told her if she complained again, I wouldn't make her a tent again. EVER. I'm thinking she understood what I said. I try to make it dark, but we only have so many blankets to choose from!)  Strange for a girl that needs a lamp on in her room to fall asleep...

065 Abby in tent



We took the girls to the movies this afternoon. We saw Ice Age: Continental Drift. It was a cute show and the girls enjoyed themselves. It always warms my heart to hear them laugh at the jokes and see the smiles of enjoyment on their faces. Mckenzie must have been really tired because she fell asleep on the short drive home. She didn't even want to wake up when I set her on the stairs. She just snuggled herself on the staircase and closed her eyes again.

063 Mckenzie sleeping on step

059 clouds



Scott got back from his quick trip this morning. The girls were as excited to see him as if he had been gone for months! He took them to a couple of parks this afternoon so they could run around and play. It sprinkled on them a little bit, but they didn't let that get in the way of fun and they made it home before it started really raining hard :)

Some very vibrant mushrooms from our camping trip




Scott left on a trip last night so the girls and I just hung out all day. It is kind of fun to have lazy days where we stay in our pj's until it is time for bed again.



199 Mckenzie swimsuit and jewels What bathing suit is complete without jewels :)



Mckenzie had her last day of dance today. I feel bad because she only had three days of class this summer and she really enjoys doing it, but in all honesty, I don't think she even realized how few days she danced. She is my little ballerina, always dancing her way through the house on her tip toes. I wonder if dance will be a part of her future... I thought we would get invited into the studio to watch the girls dance today (like we did yesterday), but they didn't do that. I was kind of disappointed I didn't get to see her, but she did tell me they danced to Shirley Temple's "Animal Crackers" so I plan to download that song and have her dance for me :)

We picked up pizza after dance on our way to our friend's house. They invited us over for lunch and to swim. Shay, a mutual friend of Abby and Sophia, was there as well. It was great for the three of them to hang out. They swam for hours and even then, they didn't want to go when it was time. I wonder if any child ever wants to leave their friends house. I don't remember being upset every time I left Sheri's house. But then again, we played together just about everyday so there probably wasn't time for me to miss her!

Mckenzie jumping in the pool!

Abby and her friends jumping together!



Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! 47 years!!! Amazing! I hope Scott can stand to hang out with me for that long :)

Today was Abby's last day of hip hop dance for the summer. She has really enjoyed doing it. It doesn't provide a great technical background for dance (even the owner of the dance studio says the same thing!), but she has a great time doing it and it is a great workout too. The parents were invited into the studio to watch the girls dance. They did a great job, especially considering it was only 4 or 5 weeks of lessons.

A millipede from our camping trip 026 millipede ricketts glen july 2012



Our babysitter, Tiffany, came to watch the girls for me today so I could run a couple of errands on my own. It is amazing how much easier things are when you are alone! The girls just love Tiffany and scream with unbridled excitement whenever they see her. We are really going to miss her this fall as she heads off to college. I picked up the dog from the kennel on my way home. She was still a little wet from her bath, so my truck smells lovely now. A combo of campfire and wet dog.

Some fungus from our camping trip... 011 fungus



After breakfast, we packed up our stuff and headed back to town. I love camping, but there is nothing like a hot shower and a soft bed to sleep in :) The girls had a birthday party for one of Mckenzie's friends when we got back home. It was a swimming party and I thought for sure the girls would have a blast. I was wrong. Mckenzie slipped on the pool deck and scraped up her leg so she was done swimming. Abby wanted to jump off the diving boards but in order to do so, she had to take a swimming test. The test was two full laps of the pool and two minutes treading in the water. She almost finished the first lap, but she got tired and scared and had to get pulled out of the water. Luckily, she knew when to stop and she didn't take in any water :) But, she was done swimming for the day as well. I am sure it was tough for Abby since her good friend passed the test and spent her time jumping off the diving board and Abby didn't really know any of the other kids. But, thank God for pizza and cake. The day was salvaged!! Abby even ate a cupcake that wasn't chocolate! I was shocked!

Roasting marshmallows last night!!

It's too early for pictures mom...
188 No pictures please Rickett's Glen July 2012

The troublesome fire...
190 the fire Rickett's Glen July 2012

Mckenzie and her good friend Ava

Abby ate a funfetti cupcake... It's a miracle!
Not a chocolate cupcake!



After a long night of rain and no leaks in the tent (yippee!!!), we finally had some sunshine! After breakfast, we headed out on a hike with our friends. It was so beautiful and the kids really enjoyed all the creatures they found in the woods. Crazy to think that Abby was willing to put an inchworm in her hand, but she freaks out of bugs when we play in the backyard! We saw waterfalls and some gorgeous scenery and we ended up hiking 4 miles. The girls did well with all the walking and Abby only started to complain at the very end. (Turns out her shoes are too small! Oops. My bad!) After a picnic lunch, we took the kids back to the river to splash around for a little bit before heading back to camp. I have to say today was out of the norm for us. Typically, Scott and I would be encouraging the kids to hurry up, not touch anything, and stay right next to us. The stay next to us didn't change too much since there were some steep drop offs along the way, but otherwise, we loosened up a bit! We let the girls explore the woods and the river without too much interference. Kind of a nice change I might add! I almost forgot to mention that once we finished our hike, we stopped back at the car. Abby found a pair of flip flops to switch into since her sneakers were hurting her feet. Mckenzie insisted on changing her shoes too. She found a pair of heels and just had to wear them. So, we had a skirt wearing, high heeled sporting preschooler running through the woods for a little while :)
We did group cooking for the evening meal and spent time hanging out with our friends. I did manicures for most ofl the little girls and it amazed me at how well behaved they all were when waiting for their turn! Scott did get a fire going (the wood was wet and he tried to start it without lighter fluid!!) so after putting the girls to bed, we hung out by the fire for awhile. It was was peaceful and the sky was gorgeous. I love looking up at the stars and seeing how brightly they shine when everything else around you is dark, uninterrupted by the lights of the city!

Our group of kids :)

039 Abby ricketts glen july 2012

042 ricketts glen july 2012


063 Rickett's Glen July 2012

065 Rickett's Glen July 2012

087 waterfall ricketts glen july 2012

I'm not going to look at you for a picture mom... The next photo I took, she had her hands in front of her face :)
083 Mckenzie Rickett's Glen July 2012

Wading in the stream...
077 Abby Rickett's Glen July 2012

Collecting rocks...

Throwing rocks...

Building dams...

Holding bugs!!!
097 Abby inchworm ricketts glen july 2012

The stairs we had to climb! They were ok to go up, but a little scary coming back down with the kiddos!
096 stairs to waterfall at ricketts glen july 2012

058 Abby Ricketts glen July 2012

074 Scott Mckenzie Rickett's Glen July 2012

Even Daddy wanted to throw rocks :)

170 Abby Mckenzie holding hands ricketts glen state park july 2012



Today we had to drop Dakota off at the kennel since the campground we are going to isn't pet friendly :( The girls were sad to see her go. Luckily, she is in great hands when she is away from us :) I got the car packed and mostly ready to go by the time Scott got done with work. Today was the Change of Command so all his hard work from this week was put to good use.

The drive wasn't too bad, considering we had to drive around Philly during rush hour :)  We made it to the campground before dark without too many complaints from the back seat. How our parents ever travelled without DVD players is beyond me. After about 3 "are we there yets", I am ready to turn around!

After we set up camp, we stopped by to see our friends and then we turned in for the night. The girls were tired and so were we :)



Mckenzie had a birthday party for her friend Ava today. It was a princess theme so the girls got to dress up and get their nails painted. They all had a lot of fun! I took Abby and Ava's sister, Sophia out for lunch during the party since it was only for the little ones. We discovered that Abby's friend does not share the same joy about Pei Wei that Abby does. Oh well :)

I spent the afternoon making muffins and cookies to take along on our trip. There are 6 families that are camping together, so that is a lot of baking to do! Lucky for me, the girls were happy to entertain themselves so I could get everything taken care of! Pei Wei!



Mckenzie had dance this morning. She loves when we pick up her friend Ava and take her to class with us. I have never understood why the kids get so excited to have their friends ride in the car with us. Maybe it is just seeing their friends. I'm not sure. The rest of the day was spent getting ready for our camping trip. Scott normally takes care of things like this, but since he is working his butt off this week at work for the Change of Command, I am in charge. I am not sure this is a good thing. But, I did make a list and I think we should be able to survive a couple of nights with what I pack :) Besides, if I forget something, there has to be a Walmart nearby right?!

Apparently Abby thought her "dog" needed a bed to sleep in too! Didn't know we had two dogs!



We went to our friend's house today to celebrate her 4th birthday and to swim. The girls really enjoyed swimming and seeing their friends. It is so nice that they have a daughter Abby's age and one Mckenzie's age.  Abby has gotten a lot more confident in her swimming and she can now swim in the deeper water without a life vest on. She is so proud of her new ability and so am I!
We bought the girls some Pop Rocks the other day. This is what Abby looked like when she was eating them. Abby loved them. Mckenzie, not so much :) 021 pop rocks 023 Abby eating pop rocks!



Today was our "Sweet and Sassy" adventure. I took the girls to get haircuts, manicures and makeup. We met our friends there and the girls had so much fun! The girls were full of giggles and smiles. Mckenzie was the most patient of all. She was the last one to get her hair done and the entire time she waited with a patient smile on her face. Not a single complaint! I always think of her as my baby, but when she does things like she did today, I realize how fast she really is growing up :(

Since the girls were so fancy, I took them to lunch at their favorite restaurant. We got a few looks, but you can't blame people. I am sure it isn't everyday they see a three year old wearing hot pink eye shadow!

Mckenzie had a birthday party for one of her friends this afternoon.  She rode with a friend as I had to take Abby and her friend to dance.  It sounds like Mckenzie had a great time. Abby, on the other hand, was disappointed because she didn't get to go and eat cake.

Sorry this is blurry :(
Sweet n sassy

Sweet n sassy!



Scott ran a 5k this morning on the boardwalk. He took second place for his age group! Way to go babe!!! After checkout, we headed back to the boardwalk for breakfast and to walk around a little. It was so humid that we didn't do a whole lot of walking around though.

When we picked the girls up, they were sad to leave their friends. Mckenzie was so tired, she just cried about not wanting to leave. It sounds like they had a blast though. Swimming, cake, fireworks, and a sleepover with their friends.

Mckenzie fell asleep when we got home and so did Scott and I. Abby, on the other hand, wasn't tired and she was busy around the house. She fed and watered the dog, watched tv, talked to me for awhile, talked to Scott for awhile. Busy little bee.

006 copy atlantic city beach

009 Atlantic city beach




We dropped the girls off at a friend's house for a sleep over and we headed to Atlantic City for the night. The girls took off running as soon as we arrived at their friends and barely gave us a good bye!

It was crazy how quiet the car was without the girls. Just last week we headed the same direction to go to the beach and every couple of minutes we heard "are we almost there?" or "I'm bored". Not today. Just silence coming from the backseat. It was kind of nice for a change :)

We stayed at the Borgata and saw Jerry Seinfeld. He was hilarious! There were a few jokes he told that had me gasping for air! I can't remember them now, (must be oxygen deprivation!), but he was so funny! Scott was laughing so hard the entire show. He loves Jerry and I am so glad he had the chance to see him!

Scott did a little poker tournament after the show and I went to the room to hang out. Really exciting I know, but it works for us :) I'm not much of a gambler and Scott likes to play a bit of poker every now and again. We had a great night and I am so glad our friends were able to watch the girls for us.

The glasswork in the hotel lobby. It is blown glass and it is absolutely amazing! This photo doesn't do it justice :(

002 borgata lobby

The fabulous view from our room! I am sure everyone out there is jealous ;-)
005 our view from the borgata



Today was the girls' last day of VBS. I am so glad I signed the girls up this year. They have really enjoyed it. They got to play in wading pools and sprinklers. The older kids got to play on a huge water slide. Abby was disappointed she wasn't old enough to do that one. Next year she will be old enough :)



Today was going to be my day to do nothing. I was going to sit on the couch and watch soaps. I know this sounds really lazy, but it was my time to waste. The house is cleaned, all the weekly errands have been done and I just wanted to do nothing. But, as I headed to Dunkin' Donuts to get a hot cup of Joe, Scott called needing me to bring him something he forgot. So instead of laying around like I wanted, I drove to base and got to see Scott for a bit. I'm kicking myself for not checking how much fuel I had because I ended up needing to stop on base. You are probably wondering why that is a big deal, but it is a big deal. I don't think I have pumped my own fuel since we moved to New Jersey. The base is the only place around here that has self service. Everywhere else is full service. At first I was all like "This is so dumb. Why do I have to wait around for some guy to fill my car for me. It would be so much faster if I could do it myself." But now, it's more like "Why do I have to get out of my car in this heat to pump my own gas!"

I bought the girls some purple colored soap the other day. Boy did they have fun washing up! I think they may have used half the container already!

010 mckenzie

019 Abby bathtub



The girls are halfway done with VBS already. This week is flying by! I had big dreams of me time, but it seems to be filled with errands and housework instead:( But, it gives me the chance to get things done without dragging the girls around to do things they would rather not. We went to a friend's house this afternoon to swim. Abby turned into a swimmer overnight! She was all over the pool without using her life vest. She even jumped off the diving board like that and swam to the edge! I guess maybe swim lessons did pay off!

Super tasty s'mores bars I found at Six Sisters' Stuff 

003 s'mores bar



Day 2 of VBS. Mckenzie was much happier at drop off than yesterday. Yay! Like yesterday, her favorite part was the ice pop and playing outside. Same thing for Abby. Ice pop and playing outside. I was very productive while the girls were gone. I managed to get my first run in post stress fracture!! It was tough, but I think my leg is ready to go!!! Now, just to get my mind back into gear! I keep thinking I will have all this time to myself when the girls are at camp, but between laundry and errands, there isn't much left over time.

This afternoon, Abby had a couple of friends over. I'm not too sure what they were doing, but I heard a loud noise followed by "uh oh. your mom might have heard that. We better not do it anymore." At least they stopped doing it :) Then they switched houses so the girls could go swimming. Mckenzie and I saw a rabbit across the street so I thought maybe we could sneak up on it to get a photo. Unfortunately, as we crunched across the dry grass, the rabbit saw us and took off into the trees. Mckenzie was showing me where the rabbit ran off too.

001 mckenzie

005 mckenzie

The light was really pretty and I wanted to get a photo of Mckenzie, but this was all I could get. No smiles for this grumpy gus!