tall tales

from the gallagher five.

summertime is oh-so-sweet. July 19, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — gallyfam @ 7:02 am
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our family of five at the top of our hike up Shrine Mountain.

it is hard to believe that it is already mid-july.  the summer is flying by, and while part of me wants to bemoan the dreaded end of summer a short month away, i’d rather focus on the beauty that the summer has held for us so far…

the day after school let out, we surprised our three little men with a trip to Denver and to Elitch’s (amusement park).  we had such an enjoyable time with them, savoring the warm early-summer weather and taking our sweet time exploring the park and its many rides.  it’s not often that we have nowhere to be by any certain time – so restful!  silas is at the perfect height — short enough to accompany his little brothers on all the the “kiddie” rides, yet tall enough to brave the truly thrilling rides & roller coasters.  while i was certainly impressed at his courage to try a handful of intimidating adult rides (as a first-born, he is often timid when it comes to risk-taking), i was more proud of the way he stepped up to help out his brothers, to ride silly small rides with them that most boys his age would already consider to be beneath them, and to make sure they enjoyed their day as well.  he is considerate & thoughtful, and i could not be more proud.

we spent that weekend in a hotel in Denver, joined by phil’s parents, affectionately called “papa” and “gamma.” they were able to stay with us for a week, and it was a truly special time with them.  the boys had not seen gamma yet since she battled cancer — through several rounds of awful chemotherapy this winter — and won.  she looked amazing with her new short hairdo and her fresh perspective on life.  we are all filled with gratitude and it was definitely a week not taken for granted after her difficult journey over the past 8 months.  the boys enjoyed playing and wrestling with papa, and we all were able to visit the Denver Aquarium while phil finished his tattoo at Th’Ink Tank downtown.  we also discovered a park in Stapleton with a unique playground and fun water area that will be a favorite for years to come, i’m sure.

next, my sister, liz, came to visit and spend some time with the boys while we left on a short day-and-a-half SCY trip.  while it was too short and her husband, josh, wasn’t able to come, it was wonderful to have her out here.  the way she loves our boys and takes care of them is such a gift to us AND to them.  they love their auntie lizzie!  when we left on our trip, lincoln was a hesitant bike-rider, having trouble with the starting and stopping, especially on the uphills and downhills in our neighborhood.  when we came home, that boy was riding his bike like nobody’s business!  starting, stopping, and easily navigating the narrow sidewalk that borders our communal lawn (“the green”).  it was awesome to see such a dramatic improvement in less than 48 hours.  go, auntie liz!  : )

a week after liz headed home to minnesota, my parents joined us.  like liz, they too were coming to help out with the boys.  we had our longest SCY trip (for this summer) at the end of june — almost a week away with 20 middle school SCY students at a camp down in Gunnison.  i’m so glad that my parents were able to come out  a few days early and stay an extra day afterwards, too, so that we could spend some time with them as well.  i so appreciate the way that my mom is always looking for ways to help out and fun things to do with the boys while they are here.  my parents took the boys to their final swim lessons for us while we were gone.  (i must pause here to say how proud of tate i am.  he took his first-ever swim lessons this summer and he did a great job listening to his teacher and bravely attempting everything he was asked to do!  he was floating, putting his face in the water, kicking and splashing.  i can tell that he will catch on quickly and be swimming in no time.)  my parents took the boys to the Denver zoo while we were at camp — the highlight for all of them was apparently watching a hippo move out of the water to go poop hippo-style in the corner of his arena.  giggles all around!

most recently, our final group of family visitors came and left.  phil’s sister’s family, the martins (rachele, doug, and their kids — tanner, teagan, taggart & lyndee) were here for a week right after the 4th of july.  it was the perfect housing arrangement — thanks to our amazing neighbors — they were able to stay in a house right across “the green,” so we were able to have our own space, but they were right next door all week.  this made for some great soccer games on the green and some relaxing outdoor meals and conversations on our neighbor’s fabulous deck.  the highlight of the week for me was the challenging hike we conquered as a group.  over six miles round-trip, all 11 of us hiked up to the top of a nearby mountain, taking in breath-taking views at the top, as well as leftover snow and beautiful, delicate wildflowers along the way.  it was a beautiful day and it felt like such an accomplishment to reach the top, especially for our youngest three — tate (4), lyndee (5) and lincoln (6).  it was so sweet to watch those three youngest play together all week — they truly hit the ground running as soon as the martins arrived.  similarly, silas had an absolute blast playing with his two cousins closest-in-age to him: taggart (11) and teagan (13) all week long.  we enjoyed taking it all in, especially observing how much their oldest, tanner, has grown and how quickly he is becoming a young man.  phil & i were studying abroad in israel when he was born almost 15 years ago — it is truly amazing how time flies!  we are so grateful that they drove out all this way and spent the week with us.  for us, it was a wonderful “stay-cation” filled with new experiences in our own county, great conversations and beautiful memories…

now to enjoy the rest of the summer at our home here in the rocky mountains!  looking forward to more fun adventures with our boys and with friends…

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one of the wildflowers on our big hike. fun to catch a spider in action, too!

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