– puppy –

On top of our super busy first week of school, we agreed to dogsit my aunt and uncles dog while they were on vacation.  This dog is quite simply the best dog there is.  He’s an older dog and he quickly became a staple in our life.  He was so easy to take care of and I’m pretty sure I was his favorite as he followed me around everywhere.  Besides being my constant companion, we didn’t have to vacuum the kitchen floor all week – it was awesome.  The kids did so great with him, taking him out to potty and taking him on walks.  They also loved giving him treats after he did his tricks.

We didn’t really want to give him back and would have been very happy to keep him.  But now we know we could be a dog family, especially if we find the right dog.  I’m thinking when all the kids are in school I would enjoy the companionship of a furry friend.
dog

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– the most wonderful time of the year –

August 24th was the first day of school for 5 of the 6 of us.  And 3 of the 4 children were at new schools.  It was a big, big day around these parts.  Perhaps the biggest/scariest change was Conner starting Junior High.  He is now officially a 7th grader, and two weeks in he has adjusted quite well.  The first day he went to the wrong class at the wrong period, but quickly figured it out.  The second day he couldn’t open his locker, but the office staff came to his rescue and since then it’s been easy sailing.  Now, this mama on the other hand, had a tough, tough time dropping him off on the first day.  I may or may not have been extremely emotional.  It was a very good thing I had to immediately pull myself together to prep for Back to School Morning at the elementary school.  Conner was also nervous and couldn’t eat breakfast, but turns out we both survived.  It was a very good thing I was working at the elementary school all day and didn’t have time to worry about him.  He is in 3 honors classes, but his favorite class is Orchestra where he is learning to play the Bass.  His face lights up when he talks about it and we now get to store a huge Bass in the house for him to practice on.
conner
Logan is now a big 2nd grader.  He got the teacher he wanted and even though most of his friends are in another class he is a friendly kid who rolls well with everything.  He was not thrilled with having to step up and be the big brother who is responsible for his little sister and making sure she gets home — they’ve figured it out and have friends to walk with so it’s all good.
logan
Audra also started at a new school as she is a brand new Kindergartener. So cute!!  As is consistent with her life, she is 1 of 4 girls in her class (seriously).  She is learning to live in a world of boys :).  I put her in afternoon Kindergarten and that is working well.  She and Eli play together in the morning and then she’s off for her school day.  Gives me a few hours in the afternoon to do PTA while Eli naps.
audra
Eli is the last in a new school — Preschool!  He attends two mornings a week and is doing really well.  It gives Audra and I two mornings to hang out and do girly stuff together.
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As I said, 5 of us started school.  I may not be attending school full-time, but it suddenly feels like I have a full-time job.  I am on the executive board for the PTA, in the position of Treasurer.  Our board is still not completely full which is sad, so I’m doing my position as well as lots of other stuff.  My life is full of PTA.  We even converted the dining room into what we lovingly call the PTA room.  And as I mentioned our school does a back to school morning, which I totally despise.  It just meant we had to be to the school super early and then had to stay all day.  Three days later it was our big back to school swim party at the Farmington Pool — once again I was gone all day until late into the night.  I was not sad to see last week end.  I still spend several hours a day working on stuff, but I have to say that even though part of me regrets signing up to help I am so grateful I did.  I have gotten to know the principal and teachers really well, not to mention I know so many more parents.  I think this is a great way for me and my kids to feel part of this new school we’ll be in for years to come.  It’s a sacrifice for our whole family, but it will be worth it.

Even though it’s going to be a busy year, I am loving that we are back on a schedule.

– couldn’t help ourselves –

Summer has been over for 2 weeks now and school is in session — which I am loving!!  More on that later.

Before the big first day, we celebrated the last evening of summer by pulling out these adorable outfits.  My mom made these way back in the early 80’s for Casey and I.  I gotta say, she is one talented seamstress!!  The last time we pulled these beauties out was for Audra and Kade…..didn’t work quite as well as Kade was too big for the outfit.  As you can see, Eli is barely fitting.  Too bad short shorts aren’t the style anymore :-).  These two were good sports and were adorable running around in their matching sailor outfits!  Especially since they are now (finally) buds!
sailors

– summer wrap up –

That is pretty much the end of our major summer activities.
Of course there’s been a bunch of non-recorded stuff going on.
If I had to sum our summer up in two words it would be: cups & toes!!

CUPS
If I never see another cup in my life, it will be too soon!  I feel like my days have been all about cups – they’re all over my counters, no one ever stops to consider if they’ve already used a cup that’s out they just go get another one which just adds to the cups.  Why would any of my children even consider the possibility of paper cups, especially when they are getting water for half the neighborhood?  I will not be sad to see the cups decrease.

TOES
Apparently I have a ridiculous habit of wanting to wear flip-flops or other open-toed shoes in the summer.  Crazy, I know.  By doing this I’m exposing my toes which I never really thought was a problem.  That is until every time we were waiting in line at Lagoon or anywhere else, and my lovely children decided it would be fun to jump around landing on my toes.  It’s like their feet are magnets to mine and they just have to somehow apply strong pressure to my toes.  Luckily, no serious damage has been done :-).

Those sound like negatives, and they are, but they are also positives because it means my kids were home and we were having fun together or they were having fun with friends.  I feel like this summer has been way too short, but it has been good.  There’s always more I want to do and wish we would have done but I don’t really have any regrets about this summer.  Looking forward to Summer 2016 so much!!!  No PTA and hopefully no more nap-takers so we will have a lot of freedom.  Can’t wait!  Now bring on the school year!
summercollage

– reunioning –

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It has been 8 years since all of the McNamee siblings were together (I remember cause I was mucho pregos with Logan).  With the parents return it seemed like a great time to gather and spend some time together.
Heather and family came from Seattle for the week.
Dave and family from No. Utah.
Nate, Tasha & fam came all the way from England (they were here for about a month visiting with her family and then we were lucky enough to get to see them as well).
Sara and fam from Kauai.
Stephanie and fam from Springdale, Ut.
And of course the parents all the way from New Zealand.
Where did we all go?  St. George of course, because who doesn’t want to go there in August :)?  We actually lucked out with the weather.  We had rain, wind, overcast skies and relatively comfortable temperatures.
We had wonderful time together.  I especially loved seeing all the cousins together.  Conner really enjoys the McNamee side because he’s got 2 older boy cousins and they get along great.  The kids played games, swam, went to the game room for pool and air hockey, flew kites, ate and ate, watched movies and really did have a super time together.  There are 10 cousins on the McNamee side and only 2 of them are girls, luckily Aelie (who is 10) doesn’t mind playing with her 5 year old counterpart at all.  It didn’t hurt that Aunt Heather introduced them to a kitty game online that they both became obsessed with.  We went to a movie together, had a “family show” (a mix of talents and other entertainment), caught up and the adults also enjoyed playing our fair share of games.  Our own little family even made it to the sand dunes of Snow Canyon which ended up being all my kids favorite activity.

It was nice to all be together again and are planning on doing it again in another 8 years 🙂 — maybe we shouldn’t wait that long.
reunioncollage

– they’re home!! –

For 23 months we had waited for G&G Mac to return home from their mission in New Zealand.  We looked forward to it all Summer and almost couldn’t believe how quickly it approached.
We (me and the kids) had fun for the weeks prior to their arrival making posters, and planning food and activities for them.  And then just like that 8:00 pm on August 1 arrived, and there we were at the airport greeting the newly returned missionaries.  They were excited to be here but clearly tired after their 43 hour Saturday.
missionariescollage
We were lucky to have them fly into SLC so we could have them all to ourselves for a few days before they made the journey to So. Utah.  They managed to make it to Sacrament Mtg first thing Sunday which both shocked and impressed Dave and I.  They bought the car Dave had found for them, arranged their phone and banking situations and even managed to squeeze in some fun with our fam.  Mel and I were able to get pedis before the big upcoming reunion, and we had s’mores in the backyard as a final activity. {mostly thanks to Duane for getting the fire going after the massive rainstorm the day before}
smores
In some ways it felt like they had never left and then it was so great to see them and be able to enjoy them again!
The kids could not get enough and were disappointed when they finally decided it was time to head to their own home . . . luckily it was just a few days before we would see them again.

{we loved having them in our Sunday Selfie for the week}

{we loved having them in our Sunday Selfie for the week}

– the neighborhood –

Our new neighborhood has turned out to be even more amazing than we thought.
We feel more at home than we thought we would this early in the game.
My concerns about my children having friends have vanished.
Logan and a passel of boys spend the day playing at our house either pool, rollerblading outside, or on the Xbox.  Then they go to someone else’s house and play – a perfect Summer day if you ask me.
Audra also has a group of gals who love her and vice versa.  There is a 12-year-old gal up the street who teaches tumbling first thing in the morning.  Then that same group heads over to our 10-year-old neighbors where they practice ballet.  And then they usually end up here playing with who knows what.  It’s super cute to watch them all together being girls.  The ballet “teacher” even hosted a little recital which was hilarious and involved Eli as her dad is Eli’s nursery teacher!
Our next door neighbors have boys Conner & Logan’s age and of course baby kittens to entertain Audra, but they also have horses and voluntarily took my kiddos out to see them which was a highlight for Audra.
I feel so blessed that things are working out so well for everyone here.
dance collage