Saturday, August 3, 2019

Lex Turns 10

Double digits. 1-0. The years are flying by, and just like that, he's a decade old. Lex is growing into such an amazing young man. He is quiet, yet witty. He is thoughtful when speaking and is helpful to others. He loves telling jokes, and is a loyal friend. He is cautious, and a total homebody. We love him so much and are so proud of the person he's becoming.

Here's a look back at his year!

Watch out Third Grade, here comes Lex!

First day of school.

Weekend road trip to Ohio for a wedding. 

Playing with his Korean chess set from Papaw!

All dressed up for one of many piano events

Cave exploring

Being silly on the trail

Christmas Eve toys

Christmas morning

First hike of the new year

At the River

Exploring at the creek on the 3rd grade field trip

Ready for summer

Family camping in Kentucky

Van Hook Falls hike, London, Kentucky

A great swimmer, thanks to hours and hours at the pool

He loves his Daisy

Annual Birthday Interview
Me: What's your favorite food?
Lex: Pizza

Me: What's your favorite snack?
Lex: Fruit snacks

Me: What's your favorite thing we did this summer?
Lex: Ziplining

Me: What's your favorite thing to do outside?
Lex: Pool

Me: What's your favorite thing to do inside?
Lex: Video games

Me: What is your favorite color?
Lex: Red

Me: What makes you happy?
Lex: Family

Me: Where do you like to go?
Lex: Laser Lanes

Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Lex: I want to be rich

Eli: Where is a place you'd like to visit? 
Lex: Skyzone

If you'd like to see some of Lex's previous birthdays, click on the links below.

Lex turns 9
Lex turns 8
Lex turns 7
Lex turns 6
Lex turns 5

Here's to an amazing, adventurous, year ahead, buddy. You're going to rock 10 years old.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

July Roundup

I do not want to write this post because that means that school is right around the corner. July is my absolute favorite, favorite month.  Nothing says summer like July and boy did we live it up this month. We played hard and then we played hard some more. And when that was done, we did nothing for days at a time. Writing this post means that school is right around the corner, which is inevitable obviously, but in the meantime, I plan to soak in every last day of summer adventures.

Here's a look back at our incredible month of July.

On the Fourth of July, we started our day by heading to our town's Fourth of July parade. It was soooo hot, even at 9 in the morning.

 Later that day, we packed up for a major road trip. North Carolina, here we come!

No matter how many times we go past the Arch, I always take a picture.

It takes about 15 hours for us to our family in North Carolina. Another 4 hours to the beach. We took two days to get there, staying overnight in Kentucky.

Just a few days later, we checked in to the Cabins at Long point, on Cape Lookout National Seashore. I wrote all about it here. 

Being close to the ocean for days is so good for the soul. The energy rolling off the water is so rejuvenating.

Aside from sitting by the ocean for hours and hours, doing nothing for days at a time, we also fit in plenty of time for a seashell treasure hunt. This island is one of the greatest shelling spots on the East Coast, and we found some amazing ones!

We enjoyed both sunset and sunrise on the water.

We reluctantly left after several days on the island. I could have stayed for days longer. On the way home, we stopped for some good seafood close to the ocean. I won't say what restaurant it was, because just hours later, Jeremy got food poisoning so bad that he nearly ended up in the emergency room. Not the best way to end the ocean part of our vacation, and it will be a while before Jeremy will be eating seafood again.

For our last few days in North Carolina, we visited with Jeremy's grandma and enjoyed some time fishing off the dock of her pond. We caught a couple of little fish and a giant snapping turtle.

After a full week in the south, we started our long trek home. Just slightly off our route was the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Linn Cove Viaduct. It was such a beautiful drive through the mountains and we will never leave North Carolina without taking this route again. There were so many places to pull off the road and take pictures. The area close to the viaduct is an outdoor lover's dream with so many trails, water sports, and waterfalls close by. I tossed the idea around of doing a week in the mountains next time, followed by a week at the ocean.

I was kind of scared to drive over the viaduct, but the direction we drove was on the side of the mountain, not the scary side overlooking the valley. I just focused on the view and Jeremy drove. It's not that long, and I'm sure most normal people have no such fear.

We drove straight through to Missouri on our way home instead of breaking the trip into two days, and made it in 16 hours. We pulled in to our driveway just after midnight and were so happy to sleep in our own beds a day ahead of schedule.

Eli's Birthday
Eli turned 8 this month. I wrote all about his past year in this post. Since we had just returned from vacation, we had a family day at home with a bacon themed menu picked out by Eli. Pancakes and bacon for breakfast, salad with bacon for lunch, and bacon cheeseburgers for supper. And for about the 4th year straight, he wanted a cake with strawberries and whipped cream. This year, he also wanted something he could smash his face into, so I made him a plate of just whipped cream.

After we unpacked from our vacation, we stayed pretty close to home for the 2nd half of July. Every year, a local fireworks stand sets off all of their leftover fireworks. So we drove less than a minute from our house to watch them. We stayed for about an hour, but could still hear them going for another hour after we left.

July 21st was National Ice Cream Day.
Eli: Half a bowl of cookies and cream, topped with half a bowl of whipped cream, drizzled with caramel sauce.
Lex: Mint chocolate chip, topped with whipped cream, drizzled with chocolate sauce.
Me: A scoop of cookies and cream, topped with whipped cream, chopped nuts, way too many maraschino cherries, drizzled with chocolate.
Jeremy: Coconut milk cookie dough ice cream.

We've been to the pool just about every day. Eli learned to dive and Lex figured out how to get to the bottom of the 9 foot section!

The boys and I went on a hike. I found a 3 mile loop at Gans Creek that we hadn't done before so we packed up an adventure. I soon remembered why we don't hike in the summer.

Copperhead, right there in the middle of the path. And it wasn't about to budge. We turned back, only going 1 mile in a half. 

The boys tried the Coke and Mentos experiment in the back yard. It was pretty anti-climatic and we ended up finding out that the experiment actually works the best with Diet Coke. Bummer. I forgot how good Mentos were, though.

I started several books this summer, mainly because every summer, I think I'm going to read more. I returned most books to the library after reading about 2 chapters, but one book, I actually finished! I couldn't put it down. Breaking Trail, by Arlene Blum, is an incredible hiking memoir of Blum's life of conquering mountains and trails at a time period where hiking was really only a men's sport. I could not wait to turn each page to find out what would happen next. This book had the same effect on me as when I read Becoming Odyssa. The second I finished the book, I planned out my next three hikes. I can't wait to get back on the trail.

Kylo and Daisy are loving summer. While we were on vacation, they stayed with 3 of their puppy pals. Daisy is growing like crazy and is one of the laziest puppies I've ever met. Kylo lets Daisy do whatever she wants. They love chasing each other around the house and have knocked their food and water bowls across the floor during a chase, more times than I care to admit. They both love to cuddle and are now so big that they take up the whole couch when they take a nap together.

Here are some pictures of our fur babies.

 And that's a wrap on July! August is here, ready or not! Happy school shopping.