Sunday, August 28, 2016

Wrapping up Summer with our Top 10

This is a conversation I had with Eli yesterday that almost blew my mind.

Eli: (sadly): Mommy, I've been lying to people. 
Me: "What? What have you been lying about?"
Eli: "I've been telling people that I ate a dragonfly. But I didn't eat a dragonfly."
Me: "Well, if it's a lie, then stop telling it to people."
Eli: "But I don't want it to be a lie. I want to really eat a dragonfly." 

Can someone please tell me that that's as funny as I think it is?

I digress.

The autumn equinox is just around the corner, and even though the humid heat just refuses to give up, I can tell the the end of summer is here. I am proud to say we rocked this summer. The boys may just possibly be at the perfect ages. Lex turned 7 and Eli turned 5 at the end of the summer and all of a sudden our lives are so much different than they were just one year ago.

Here are 10 things of significance that happened in our family this summer (in no particular order).

1.) Star Wars and Other Movies

We are officially a Star Wars Family. The boys have watched all 7 movies this summer and look forward to watching the 8th one as soon as it hits theaters. I foresee Star Wars Halloween costumes in our future. I have to admit that even though I haven't watched every movie from start to finish, I have somewhat followed the story line and know more about Star Wars now than I ever have before. When I miss the important parts, Lex makes sure to rewind it so I see it. The boys actually binge watched the second trilogy (Episodes 1,2, and 3) all in one day with Jeremy. It has definitely been a Star Wars summer.

Lex picked out Light Sabers for Eli's birthday. Of course he had to get 2 so Eli would have someone to "light saber battle" with.

In addition to Star Wars, here are the other movies we've seen this summer.
Finding Dory: We actually got to take the boys to see this one at a drive-in in Ohio. An amazing memory on a beautiful June evening.
The Secret Life of Pets: The boys went to see this one with Mamaw and Papaw when they came to visit us in July.
Star Trek: The boys saw this one with daddy at the theater so mommy could have some shopping time by herself.
Ghost Busters: Not the new one with Melissa McCarthy (which I can't wait to see). We watched the original on DVD and the boys just loved it.
Bad Moms: This one I did without the boys, (OF COURSE), but did go with a couple of other moms. We died laughing. Go see it (but watch the previews to make sure you can handle it first). These moms are bad!

2. Mud Run

We were tipped off about a kid's mud run from one of Eli's friends and it will now be a summer tradition for our family. A recreation center and lots of local sponsors brought this event to a conservation area nearby and we loved every minute. It was a great way to spend a Saturday morning. Both boys had a friend to run with so that was fun too.

 All lined up and ready to go!

And off they go!

So much fun!

3.) Ziplining

I have wanted to go ziplining for a long time. Probably because I have no desire to skydive, but do like a little adventure. We found this cool place when my family came to visit and had so much fun. Even though Lex was scared at first, he ended up making the first jump and then loved every one after that. We loved it so much that we bought frequent flier passes so we can get discounts on future runs!

Lex was making that face because he was so sad it was ending :(

It was so fun doing this with the boys!

4.) Hermann

The boys and I went to Hermann two times this summer. First for Father's Day, and then again when my family came to visit in July. Both times, we ate at the Wursthaus, then browsed through shops. This charming river town is such a great place to spend the day.

Root beer from a bottle on a hot summer day.

Enjoying some award winning bratwursts on Father's Day.


They make and sell the best Cream Soda I've ever had.

 Here's Eli sitting in front of my favorite shop. It's my favorite because they sell authentic German souvenirs. The clay houses that are displayed in the bay window are made in the town where Jeremy was stationed in Germany. We have a collection that we bought in Germany, but love being able to have access to more if we want them.

5.) Ohio

I wrote all about our trip to Ohio on this blog post here.

We had a great time with our families and the boys made amazing memories with their cousins. One of my favorite things... We recreated this picture on a log that we took 3 years ago - the last time we were all together.   

Here's the before - 3 years ago.
And the current - Summer of 2016. My how they have grown. I love all of these kids so much!

6.) Swimming

The boys have become full fledged swimmers this summer. Back floating, under water, front flipping, little swimmers.

7.) Bike Riding

The boys have spent hours on their bikes this summer. They are fast and oh so close to riding without training wheels. We actually took Lex's off last weekend but he hasn't tried it out yet. I'm guessing Eli will be right behind him.

8.) Museums

 We went to 2 museums this summer.

First, the Anthropology Museum at Mizzou North.

And then....the St. Louis Science Center.

The boys loved them both, even though the museum at Mizzou is not incredibly kid friendly.  It is interesting.

And even though it's not technically a museum, we also enjoyed a day at Art in the Park at Stephens Lake. The boys watched the puppet show intently.

9.) Sports

Spring and fall soccer bookend our summer, but for 2 summers straight now, it's been all about tball. This summer, the boys also enjoyed  shooting hoops in the driveway.

 Lex and Eli were on the same tball team this year. Next year, Lex will move up to coach pitch and we will have double the games to attend.

10.) Hiking/Camping

Normally, we are a cool weather hiking/camping family. So we were so excited in July, when the weather got all out of sorts, and actually dipped into our comfort zone for camping. We packed up and went off to our favorite spot for a night.

 And the next day when we hiked around 3 miles, we saw COWS in the WOODS! Just hanging out along the trail. They are part of a conservation plan in that area, but still, it was really weird. On the way back, we passed them again and there were a bunch of the cows lined up right along the trail, just gawking at us. One of the craziest things I've seen on a hike for sure.


And just so I can have some closure to our Summer Bucket List, I will report that the boys both successfully completed their library summer reading program and Kids on Track program (26.2 miles, which we actually completed around mid-June). They proudly accepted their books/medals for their accomplishments.

So that brings me to the end of my summer report. I hope you've enjoyed your summer and are ready to sail into autumn! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

And Then He Was 7

Something seems so much older about the age of 7. Maybe it's because over the last couple of months, Lex has matured so much.  I could not be any more proud of the person he's becoming. He is so sweet, and so funny in his own quiet, thoughtful way. He has done so much this past year. Sports, piano, and lots of "firsts" have made this year complete.

Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Lex: A police officer so I don't get arrested that much. (Last year he said he wanted to be an astronaut and when I asked him why he changed his mind, he said, "I just think it would be too hard to follow directions in space." Okay, then. Probably best to stay on Earth, then.)

Me: What's your favorite food?
Lex: meatloaf

Me: What's your favorite snack?
Lex: Raisin Bran

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

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

Me: What's your favorite thing to do inside?
Lex: Cuddle with mommy (awwwwwww!)

Me: What is your favorite color?
Lex: green, red, blue, yellow, orange, brown, white, black, silver, and gold

Me: What makes you happy?
Lex:When I cuddle with mommy (awwwwww again!)

Me: Where do you like to go?
Lex: The movies

Let's have a look back, shall we?

The first day of kindergarten just shortly after his 6th birthday. He and I were both so excited.

 There has been lots of climbing and flipping going on in our house this year.

 He played fall soccer and by the end of the season, was doing really well!

In October, Lex participated in his first ever piano audition for a chance to play in the Piano Showcase at the grand Missouri Theater. He made the cut!

His first hayride - fond of the hay. Not so fond of the loud tractor.

First time mommy let him carve his own pumpkin.

Federation piano contest. Two events = Two Superior ratings. What a fun experience.

Such an eager little hiker, even in the dead of winter.

Lex learned to read this year and what a good little reader he is.

He lost his first tooth, and then a couple of more too.

All ready for his Christmas piano recital.

Winter brought basketball. A new sport for him.

He was Iron man for Halloween.

Lex just being Lex.

On the school playground when mommy visited for lunch.

So inquisitive and always exploring.

And then there was spring soccer, coached by daddy!

And 5 stitches in his knee after a fall at school.

Honors Piano Recital and a trophy!

And almost fainting when the stitches came out.

The last day of kindergarten. Watch out 1st grade, here he comes!

Guild Piano Competition. He played 10 pieces at University of Missouri and earned the highest rating. What a big day.

Immersed in a project at Art in the Park.

And climbed all the way to the top of the climbing rock at the park.

Summer tball.


And giant water slides.

Fun at the park in Ohio.

Always smiling.

He completed a mud run! How fun! Go 172!

And overcame his fear to go ziplining! I was so proud of him!

At the St Louis Science Center he learned how to extract DNA from wheat germ.

He was invited to be the opening act for Anthony Hernandez at the County Historical Society. 
What a year it has been.

And finally.... because Lex loves making a good video.... Here are some of my favorites from this year. First - ziplining... Then a couple of jokes.

Happy Birthday Buddy! I hope that next year is even better!

If you want to read about Lex's 6th birthday (and see his interview answers from last year) here is the link!