Week five was a double header. I left and went to CA to spend time with my mom, sister, and brother. That left a lot of people back here in UT to keep things going without me. I'm not foolish enough to think that they can't survive without me, but I also know I am the oil that keeps the machine well lubricated.
You'll have to forgive my narration of events. Since I wasn't here for any of it, I'm sure it won't be accurate. It will be more like a Mystery Science Theater 3000. I'll look at the pictures and then tell you what I think is happening. Are you ready for my version?
I do know what this picture involves....
Since June and Robyn are both pretty responsible, we decided that they could be in charge during the day. Tyler would dutifully come home for lunch and then return again in the evenings to make dinner and iron out arguments. That is still a lot of unsupervised hours. We thought it might be better to let the girls take turns being in charge. (If you have to share the power, it might be easier to recognize when you abuse it yourself, or at least we hoped that was the case.) I gave the kids some great examples of good, just leaders, and then those other kind...the dictators and tyrants. I told them they could rule by fear or respect. From what I hear, they did okay. At least they were all alive when I returned home.
They even tried to stick to the schedule as much as possible. That meant doing a craft on Monday. I assigned 'Holiday Banners' because there is this mirror in our house that has had the same spring banner up since we moved in...two years ago. It is time for a little change in scenery there. Behold, now we have lovely options.
The kids did such a cute job. I am really excited to use these in the upcoming year.
Tyler sent me a picture Monday evening to show how well he was getting along as Mr. Mom. Here are the kids making pizza for dinner.
Tuesday, Tricia took them to the library. She is more amazing than words can describe. I like to think of my children as well behaved, but I also know they can be quite the handful.
Wednesday, she hadn't had enough punishment so she took them to the park and swimming for their fieldtrip. I feel like I should offer her my first born in payment, but she is probably tired of my children, and I really need June for babysitting. I'll have to think of a better gift of gratitude.
Thursday they watched the Wizard of Oz for the first time. Ever since I have been home, I have heard them quoting the movie. You can't knock the classics. Some movies will live forever. (Has anyone ever seen Return to Oz? That movie will forever stick in my mind as well, but more for the strange disturbing weirdness that it was.)
Friday was going to be Dad-making-scones day (he had the day off from work) but he decided to mix things up and take the girls camping instead. I may have mentioned before that I am not the most enthusiastic camper, so I was very glad to hear this activity was taking place while I was gone. This is where my knowledge of what is happening in the pictures becomes non-existent. Let's see what we can glean from photos.
This is Tyler's "before" shot. He is demonstrating that he bought that luggage rack for a reason. Even if everything could fit in the back, it is better to pop that baby on and look like you are hauling a lot of stuff.
When I returned, Pearl was able to give me detailed instructions about how to go to the bathroom in the wild. I'm glad they are learning the essentials. (This is not a picture of them using the facilities.)
It looks like the girls have found a good camping spot. They probably chose this one since there was already a tent set up here.
Ivory perfected her fire-blowing skills that weekend. Watch out June, the smoke is coming your way.
Isn't this the perfect campfire shot? Don't tell the kids, but when Tyler sent me this photo, it took me a while to decide who was Daisy and who was Ivory. (Give me some credit...it is dark in the picture. And I did guess correctly.)
The next morning Tyler wisely instigated the practice of covering the children's eyes while they ate. They can't say they don't like it if they can't see what it is.
Striking the tent is always an important skill to learn. It is usually one of my favorite parts because it means we are going home.
Oddly enough, getting the camping chairs back in the bags is often harder than taking down the tent. True story.
Like all good boy scouts, the girls picked up all their garbage and left no trace. Can you see them in the picture here?
Then I think they went on a nice hike in the morning. Look, even Moxy came along. (Actually, I don't think they brought her. It just took her until the next day to track them down.)
What a gorgeous view. I think I can see our house from here.
Tyler also took an "after" shot. I'm not sure if he is showing how much dirt he brought home, or that he can indeed remember to bring everything back.
No matter how you look at it, I think the family had a great time. Tyler earned an A+ in fathering. (Not for camping, but for actually doing some laundry while I was gone.)
I, of course, was doing some very different activities in CA. I'll catch you up shortly in what I like to call, DISNEY SELFIE FEST 2015.