Thursday, May 28, 2015

Out and About

Boy have we been busy this past week. Crazy that school let out just a week ago. The Missouri River was just below flood level last week, and we have the perfect lookout spot for a good view.

This is about as far as we could go before the road was closed for high water.

 Going for a closer look.

 Don't worry, we had them within arms reach the whole time!

My big boys kicking off summer with a hug. Awwwwww.

We spent Memorial Day weekend in Indiana and Ohio for some family time.

 Oh what I would give for just 1 family picture without the silliness. Oh who am I kidding. I love the silly. How cute are we?

 Not even one picture with us all looking at the camera! Good grief.

Daddy finally got them reigned in. (or is it reined in? Someone help me).

In Ohio, we stopped by the skatepark to see our nephew. Somehow it's not surprising that Eli liked this so much.

 Yep. This way is much easier.

We loved the temperate weather while we were on our getaway, but this is what we returned to about 20 miles from home. Missouri storms sure are something else.

 Hope there are sunny days ahead!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Kites, Mud and T-ball

Some people live for the spring season. For me, spring is just a stepping stone from winter to summer. Fall and winter used to be "my" seasons - the ones I craved. But the older I get...there is just something about summer. And maybe it's just that since I'm a teacher, summer means time to play hard. And that we do. So for us, spring is a time when we start feeling that draw to the outdoors. The countdown to hotter days - when flip flops and tank tops rule the wardrobe.

So recently, on one of our first jacket free days of the season, the boys asked begged to go fly the kites they got in their Easter baskets. With the slightest breeze outside, we headed to the park for the boys' first kite flying adventure.

How do they just naturally know how to do this?

Run with the wind!

 I don't remember it ever being this easy when I was little and trying to fly kites. I remember it taking several attempts of me holding the end of the string, and someone else holding the kite until a breeze came along and then they tossed the kite up into the sky, with only a small chance of it actually taking off.

 These guys just had to jog around a little bit, and up it went. So glad it was easy for them.

And that they got so worn out running around with those kites!

A couple of weeks later, we were drenched with days of constant rain and were sad to be stuck indoors. At the first glimpse of the sun, we headed back to the park to find that the little creek that runs through the playground was flooded with mud. A couple of brave parents allowed their kids to venture into the mud, but most of us kept our kids on the playground and far away from the muddy creek. But then some more parents caved, and some more, until there were about 15 kids splashing in a mud bath. Well now, how could I be the only one to not let my kids play in the mud? It's not as if I had an actual reason to keep them out and the boys wanted to play so badly. So I gave in to parental peer pressure.

Off came the shoes.

Then shirts.

 Until they were up to their necks in

 Mud! And I'm so not going to lie. If this creek was running through my own backyard, I can't guarantee that I would not have been right there with them. They had so much fun!

Something new around here this year - Lex began his very first team sport - t-ball! He survived his first practice and let's just say we have some work to do (lol). He had so much (I mean SO MUCH) fun, but was so nonchalant about the entire thing. Jeremy and I could not stop laughing. But in Lex's defense, lots of kids were first timers too, and well - the coaches, (who by the way have the patience of saints) have their work cut out for them.

Oh he is so cute with that little helmet.

Eli would much rather be on the field then in the stands, but will get his turn in a couple of years.

So there's a run down of our spring things! The temperature's rising and I can't wait for the heat!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Summer Bucket List

I had absolutely no intention of doing a bucket list again this summer. Don't get me wrong. Last year's quest was a blast to complete. I felt like I had accomplished something by the end of the summer. But this summer, I just didn't want to feel the pressure to get so much done. And then summer vacation started. And all of a sudden, I just felt this need to start getting fun things done. No time to waste when August is just a few months away!

So I started the list of things to do this summer. And that's just what this is. A to do list - a guide if you will, of things I'd like to get done this summer. I'm not too stressed about it - at least that's what I'm telling myself. Even though I am planning lots of repeats of last summer, like the library's summer reading program, camping, and catching fireflies,  I'll limit the things on this year's list to new things only.

Here goes:

Things to do:
Turn living room into a fort
String maze in the hallway
Paint rocks

Things to make:
A rain stick
Fill up a nature journal (Using this one for inspiration)
Underwater Jello 
One of these stick crafts
Musical Instruments

Play in the rain
Go on a color hunt (like this one)
Explore 3 new hiking trails

Places to Go:
A museum (or 2 or 3)
The zoo
A waterfall
Farmer's market

Make it rain in a jar (Courtesy of Rustic Remnants)
Ice excavation
How Clouds Make Rain experiment

There will be much, much more of course, but I think this is a pretty ambitious list. Here's to the kickoff of summer 2015! Let the bucket list challenge begin!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Lex's Piano Recital

In my last post, I mentioned that Lex was preparing for his first piano recital. That is now behind us and I could not be more proud. Lex has been interested in music for a really long time. He loves classical, rock, pop, whatever. He just loves listening to music. His favorite bands are Coldplay and J.J. Grey and the Mofro, and he can pick out either one when he hears their music. It's adorable. Eli can pick out Coldplay music too so I think he's right behind Lex in his musical interest.

So this past winter, when we were banished to the indoors for months on end, I pulled out the keyboard and let Lex play around on it. He immediately copied songs he heard and patterns that I played. I decided it was time to look into lessons for him. I did some research and found someone that would teach him Suzuki Method (playing by ear) until he was ready to start reading music. He has only been playing for a few months now, but he continues to work hard and loves to practice. Here are some pictures from his first recital.

Here's my little man all dressed up. 

And one outside just before we left. 

We were one of the first ones to arrive at the place so we could get the best seats (of course!). It gave us some time to get some "before" pictures. He wasn't even a little bit nervous!

There's Lex waiting his turn in the front row. 

 And then it was his turn. He confidently stated for the audience, "My name is Lex, and I will be playing 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' and 'Honeybee.' First was "Twinkle, Twinkle," which he played alone.

And then he played "Honeybee," a duet with his teacher Ms. Clarissa. When he finished, he took the most adorable bow and then with a big smile, rushed back to his seat.

Afterwards, each student received an award. Lex whisper yelled "I get a trophy for playing piano?!?" It was so cute and he was so proud.

 My little man with his first trophy.

And my two little men chowing down on cookies at the reception.

And finally, I picture of Lex with his teacher. It was such a fun evening.