Friday, June 23, 2017

The beginning of Summer Catch-up posts

I already know that I'm going to be posting weeks behind all summer long as we fall behind from doing so many fun things; however, some of our favorite posts to pull up and reflect on (especially during the long months of winter) are our summer adventures, so I'm going to do my best stay caught up!

So... since my family left, we've had long days where every moment seems packed in with something fun. We've had days (more recently, and thanks to the summer thunderstorms) where we're inside and we clean and read books most the day (the boys love their summer reading program through the library where they earn stickers and prizes for reading). Either way, it's just so nice to make the days our own. The day isn't broken into chunks due to school, and the weeks are hardly any different than our weekends since every day is play day together (and because Travis works every day so that never changes). We love it. I live for summer. And it's weird to think that by this time next week we'll be starting our second day of driving and rolling into Utah, where we'll spend the rest of our summer. 

Weeks of June 12-18th
Moments to remember: 
While doing yard work the wind picked up and blew the bag of grass into Maddix's face while we were dumping it and he went inside rubbing his eye vigorously. Shortly after, Travis arrived home and had to remove several blades of grass that were gooping to his eye, and after that his eyes were so swollen he couldn't open them. We had to use ice, medicine, a shower, and lay him in bed the rest of the day!

Having a group of friends over for assorted water games in the front yard! 

Library reading/craft hour

Summer nights at ball games

To always use Neosporin! While playing in the yard with the boys, a stick popped up and scraped the top of my toe; I thought nothing of it. By the next night my toe had a staff infection; it was painful. I was on crutches, antibiotics, and we had to keep slicing/draining the toe. Never again, please! 
(However, Maddix and Aaron shown through as little gentlemen during my time of need, and Travis got to use his wonderful skills to keep up from a giant hospital bill; tender mercies)

Haircuts! Believe it or not, Aaron woke up every day and crossed off another day down on the calendar until his haircut. At the salon, he spun in endless circles in the big chair talking about how he'd get a sucker at the end and have a cool haircut like Krew and Nash (two of his friends)!

The "Zoo Man" show at the library: The boys got to learn about animals, then hold a giant python, which they LOVED!

A special outing to the park: Maddix ran into a friend from school at the park, and instead of leaving Aaron in the dust (which sometimes happens in the excitement of a new friend), I watched him tenderly grab his brother's hand anytime he fell behind. He'd help him up any play set that was too steep, and included him in all their games; my heart soared to see their love for each other.

THE YARD SALE: This was the mother of all events. The previous week our neighbor Susan and I somehow came to talking about the boys perhaps selling some of their things in her garage sale. The boys quickly went through their room and toy room to collect a few boxes of extra books and toys we didn't use/need, as well as took a small "business loan" (we even shook hands) to purchase lemonade mix so they could sell lemonade:)
I agreed to sit with them as long as they'd like to run their stand and make money. I figured they'd stay to maybe lunch (we started at 9am). Maddix diligently sat at his post until 4:3pm when a storm moved in and we were forced to clean our stuff up for the day... he was amazing.
He started out shy, and unsure about the whole thing, and by the end he was yelling across to ppl, "would you like to buy some lemonade??" and always ending in, "Thank you; have a nice day!" And people here were so generous. Even Aaron stuck around most the time, either in his chair being in charge of the money box (his very important co-captain job), or on the blanket coloring next to us.
The next morning Maddix even set back out to sell for an hour before we had to leave to the airport to pick up my step-sister, Tessa.
Tell you what, the boys worked hard. They learned about loans, change, having customers, and now they get to learn about tithing (a little money we pull aside religiously), savings, and the joy of spending... they loved the whole experience!!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

My Family Came to Town

This past week was everything we'd anticipated it to be and more. While it was fun taking my mom, brother, and littlest sister around site seeing, the part I loved most was just having them see us in our life here. I love that they got to meet our neighbors and friends, watch the boys ball games, clean the house with me, and take that two hour drive to Minneapolis to do our "big city shopping;)."
Thanks so much Mom, Colton, and B for coming to visit us; 
We miss you already!!!

Maddix had his last day at school! 
Aaron and I picked them up for the airport
Barely made it in time for the boys' ball games
Basketball night for Travis

Kindergarten Grad! 

Visited the library
Walked over Music Man Bridge
Drove around all the historic homes in town (including the Frank Lloyd wright hotel) 
Visited East Park (home to the train that delivered children from NY to Iowa during the Great Depression.... when we moved here last year Maddix said it's like how we left NY to come to Iowa and we were depressed ;)
Perkins Diner
BBQ at our friends' home, the Carters. 

Crossed the Mississippi river (kids thought that was cool) and traveled to Nauvoo
Carthage jail (my favorite)
Old Nauvoo town
Ice cream at Annie's 

Making their own rope

Farm chores

Get 'em 'lil cowboy! 

Recreation of the American Gothic painting
Visited the American Gothic House
Pella IA (a dutch town in Iowa)
Watched Music Man (our town is centered around this movie)
Pella, IA
(WW 2 Cannon from Japan)
Walked around Clear Lake
Ice-cream and cookies in the park
Went Antiquing 
Took a tour through the Winnebago factory
Maddix's baseball game

This RV cost a measly $460,000... Maddix said,
"my plan is to become rich and buy this someday."
Good plan little buddy... 

(Back to work for Trav after a 4-day weekend)
Played/Swam at Clear Lake
Toured Music Man Square
Aaron's ball game

Day in Minneapolis (Ikea and the Mall of America)
Dinner at the Cadillac Ranch
Stayed in "the fanciest hotel i've ever seen" -Maddix
Watched a movie all piled on one bed
(Travis had a cook-off YM vs. the YW for church)

His eyes lit up, the smile touched ear to ear, and he wouldn't
stop hugging Marshal once he met him; I thinkAaron's
first Bucket List item as just been checked off
(Marshal, from Paw Patrol)

Decided he did NOT like it ;)

Sadly we said our goodbyes as they hopped on the shuttle.
We then swam in the hotel pool, and played in the "hot tub" in our room.
We drove to Costco and had an amazing time just me and the boys. We split a hot dog, they ate an ice cream while I loaded down the car, and Maddix drank all the lemonade before Aaron and I got any:) 
Finished our 2 hr. drive home, did more errands, and had baseball for both the boys.
(Basketball night for Trav)

Star wars birthday for our friend where we played at the park then went to their house for ultimate nerf gun wars and playing in the sprinklers. 
Movie night pick: Trolls. 

House work
Yard work

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Our Stay-Cation

This was such a fun and busy week. 
Prepare for a photo dump. 

Took a nice family walk
We bought our house!!!!!!!!!!!
It was one of those "should we? Should we not?
Oh! This is DEFINITELY what we're supposed to be doing"

Our Maddix had his Kindergarten Music program, "Watch Me Grow."
It was so much fun (and a little tearful) watching him sing and act out the songs,
and just knowing how much he's grown from beginning to end of the year. 
He CRUSHED Kindergarten:)

Aaron made his debut as a little league ball player. 
He hit the ball each time up to bat, and although he first 
ran toward third before his little legs corrected him towards first,
he made it to the base each time... usually throwing his helmet off along the way.

(Got my grades back for my two classes; I ended up getting a good grade on my Stat's final! This means I ended with an A-!!! I did well in my other class too, but THIS is was the most relieving feeling to know I'd survived it. And I DON'T have to repeat it)!
We decided with Travis home it was time he attended to the GIANT stack of papers,
which turned into de-junking multiple rooms, and then led to us finally having Aaron's new big boy delivered, and the boys room is underway for a transformation! During that time Aaron was supposed to be cleaning his messes; however, he thought he'd hide from us... and ended up cleaning haha. And after Maddix was out of school Travis and I got to see Guardian's of the Galaxy for a date and it was AMAZING!!

Mommy-Maddix class field trip day~ Daddy-Aaron Day together.
While Maddix, the kindergarten classes, and I made our way to Rockford for a day of fossil digging, hiking, nature walks, and a lesson about how Iowa used to be just a spot in the ocean, Aaron and Travis went to Lime Creek where they hiked, used binoculars to spot wild life, and explored. They had lunch at McDonalds, then played Lego Star wars and watched some Moana before coming to pick us up... and then check us for tics! 
(we found 5 just on the bus ride home; thankfully, we didn't have any)!
After school the boys played at Susan's while we made an early dinner then we prepped and headed out for more baseball games for the boys. Travis went to Maddix's, I went to A-A-Ron's, and then we caught the end of M's game before calling it a night! 

We hit the road bright and early and drove to the Como Zoo, just outside Minneapolis and met up with our cousins, Vance, Alison, Max and May to celebrate Max's 5th bday. 
~riding surrey bikes around the lake (our favorite)
~Hyland-Bush Lakes Park (The mother of all nightmare parks for any parent who doesn't want to lose their child in that chaotic, child packed playground)! 
~Mall of America: Boys got to ride two of the Amusement park rides inside the mall,
then we met up for dinner at the Cadillac Ranch.
~Watched Moana on the way home, rolled in late, and hit our head's to the pillow! 

This has been a much needed rest-recharge-and accomplish Week and it really helps that it didn't rain everyday either! I needed this week. Travis needed it. Our family had such an awesome time. 
Now next week Maddix will finish school, My mom and two siblings will fly into town, and Travis will have a four-day weekend... so I think it's safe to say 
"Let the Good Times Roll...."