Riker has no fear! Tucker always sets up camp on a swing...he loves to swing! Riker's first time on a big kid swing, he did awesome! He slipped once, and caught himself (Dude has so much upper body strength) and he thought it was super fun to swing by your arms with your feet dangling. Heaven help us!
Jeremy recently became associated with the ClearwaterFlyCasters, and every year they have a camp out on the St. Joe River for all the families. We decided to go and test out some of our Extreme Parenting Skills.
Riker was in heaven, this Dude loves to be outside, and camping was probably the most fun he's ever had. Luckily, pretty much the entire campground was with our group, and they were very aware of our 3 little people (most of the FlyCasters are retired-aged) so everyone was safe, and helped keep an eye on them. Tucker loved being able to be dirty the whole time! And he seems to be a fan of dutch oven dessert! Maeli was all about starting the fire. She gathered a lot of fire wood, and continued to gather for days after we got home. The family across the way from us kind of took us under their wing. The Dad, Steve, took Jeremy out a few times, but the fishing wasn't great--the water was running high and fast) so they decided to just do some rafting in their pontoon boats.
Maeli adopted Tasha, and together, they adopted a hammock from some people that weren't with our group and spent a lot of their time on the water.
The only downside--lots of mosquitos! This might be my most favorite picture ever! See? I went camping too! Maeli loved having so many adults around who all thought she was adorable. She had this guy wrapped around her finger...I'm not sure exactly what they were playing, but it involved a lot of sneaking up on people. In the end, we all had fun, and we all needed a nap!
We've developed a few traditions for the 4th since we've moved out to Albion. We love that the parade comes right by our house. Riker was so excited for the parade this year, but he was ecstatic about the Doritos we munched on while we waited for it to start. Maeli has the hang of parades now and she was waiting for the candy to start. Tucker, also a fan of the chips, got really into the parade this year. He figured out the deal with the candy really fast, but he also really loved watching all the different cars and animals and stuff. Then we headed over to the picnic in the park. A man with a restored old firetruck gave the kids a ride around the block. Whoa! It made Tucker's (and I think Jeremy's) year! then we headed over to our friends house to watch the fireworks. Kate kept trying to get Riker to snuggle her, but it was mostly a no go. Tucker and AJ had lots of Fun getting into Grandma Mertes' stuff while waiting for it to get really dark. Maeli wanted in on all the action! She fell asleep before the grand finale' though. It was a great show put on by the "Husbands of those associated with Albion."
Jeremy wanted to take the kids fishing, so the other evening we all headed down to the snake. Riker and i enjoyed walking along the path that follows the river. it was a very beautiful day. Maeli and Tucker really enjoyed their time with Dad. Quite the fishermen! Maeli even figured out how to cast! Dad needed to spend some one on one time with Maeli, so I took the boys to play by the water. Tucker loves throwing rocks into water. Riker figured out the game pretty fast and started looking for rocks that he could throw in too! We had a fun day!
Riker will not be left out of anything the big kids are doing, so when we headed to the park to ride bikes, he dragged his bike out of the garage so we'd bring it too. Maeli is a natural, she loves riding her bike and she's very good at pedaling. Tucker is great at the brakes, but so quite as good at moving forward. Every time he gets going, he stops himself...but this dude just loves the bike gear, gloves, pads, helmet....who need to actually be able to ride when you look that awesome.
And we had to swing, because we were at the park. Tucker really wanted to be able to do the big kid swing...almost.