Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Only 1 month left of summer break

Somehow summer break is more than half over and there is just less than one month left until the first day of school. I'd like to say that the summer has been perfect...but these kids of mine (as they get older) seem to argue more than I care for. I'm trying and we have our good days...but not all good.
Summer started off great with our vacation to Florida. Santa Rosa Beach is a hidden gem along 30A (just outside of Destin) and totally worth the 12 hour drive. This year Bob's parents joined us too and we rented a house RIGHT on the beach. It was a wonderful vacation full of perfect weather and tons of beach time. 
Just a few pics from our trip....

As soon as we got back it was basically time for father's day and Bob's birthday (which happen to fall on the same day this year). We went on our annual float trip and had a really fun day.

The kids each did 2 camps in June. Addison did a basketball camp and cheerleading camp. Lucas did a baseball camp and golf camp. Other than that we have been swimming a lot...and sometimes with friends....

We had a break from the heat (for like 5 days) and the kids and I went on a hike. That was a nice change from swimming.

I don't have a picture of this but our summer has also been spent at the baseball fields. Lucas has been playing with his club team now for almost a year. He has improved so much and had a really great spring season. His team has one game left (but it has been rained out twice and I don't know if it will ever be played). Regardless, I think they will end up in first place. Lucas worked really hard this season and he is moving up to a more competitive team this fall. He is excited and we are so proud of him.
Recently we went to Ohio to visit my friend Kris and my friend Marina met there too with her kids. We had a wonderful 4 days together. The kids love each other...and us mom's sure love each other too. We try to do this every summer and it is always a highlight.
Our 7 kids

Best Friends

Finally we went to my parents lake house this past weekend. It hasn't quite felt like summer...but now it does. 

Hoping to fill our time with a lot more fun....school is going to start back before we know it!!!!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Track meets and another end of a school year

Trying to catch up on the blog (the blog I just can't seem to give up) before summer gets really busy.
I absolutely love how the kids school and the district introduce track and field (and cross country) in elementary school. It is not just a sport to sign up for but a unit in PE that they spend a few weeks on beginning in 3rd grade. Then 4th and 5th graders can stay after school 2-3 times per week for a few weeks and have the chance to get selected to run in the District track meet. I ran track and cross country in high school and I just love to experience it with my kids now.
A few pics from the 4th grade track meet.  

Getting ready to run the 800....my race back in the day. ;)

I tried not to pressure Addison with this race. I told her it would be great to beat her time from last year and I cheered her along the way. She is not the most determined when it comes to sports but she usually puts in a good effort. I was super impressed that she pushed herself harder than I had ever seen. No matter the time, I was crazy impressed because she gave it everything she had and got a time of 3:17....which I think is pretty awesome. 

Addison also did the triple jump. She never really talked about it before and I showed up a bit late to the meet thinking she didn't care much for the triple jump...but somehow she got 2nd place. Wow. She didn't get those long legs and that ability from me.
To wrap things up, these ladies got 2nd place in the 4 x 100 relay. 

Addison wanted to stay for the optional track practices after school and I told her that she might not get selected to run in the district meet. I told her to just try her best and see what happens.
She was trilled to be selected and ran the 4 x 100 relay with 3 of her friends. They got 3rd place!!!

Finally it was Lucas's turn for his first track meet. I am telling you...there is tough competition among the boys in his grade. He was so excited though. He did pretty well in the long jump to start. I didn't get pictures of his relay (they had to run the relays another day due to the heat and time) but they got 2nd.

Lucas was super excited to run the mile. I was very worried because I knew it was gonna be very hard for him especially since I know he is more of a sprinter. I tried to just let it go and not worry...it is only the school track meet and really not a huge deal. Only 4 boys were running this race but these boys are good runners. Lucas was in 4th place for just about the entire race but he wasn't far behind the other boys.

Then with about 200 meters to go he caught up with the boy in 3rd place...and then sprinted the rest and finished in 3rd. He said it was his plan all along. Funny guy. He finished in 7:32 which I know isn't crazy fast but I was very impressed. He gave it all he had and that is what is most important. 

So that's a summary of track. I can't wait for next year.
Lucas just finished a few week golf clinic...and he loved it!!!! He is doing a camp in a few weeks that he is really excited about. 

A few weeks ago Lucas's baseball club got to walk on the field before the Cardinal's game. It was a great experience for him...and a great night for a game. 

Then all of a sudden...the school year was over. This school year went by WAY TOO FAST!!!!!
Goodbye 4th and 3rd grade....it was a fantastic year for both of them with absolutely amazing teachers.
Next year will be crazy. Addison will be a 5th grader...in the 5th grade hallway, doing all the 5th grade activities, her last year in elementary school. Lucas will be right behind her in 4th grade. Their last year in elementary school together. I can hardly handle all of this. Didn't they just start kindergarten?

And now it is summer break....we have a lot planned as usual and hopefully we can check off all of these boxes. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Spring has been busy!

We have been busy this spring...what else is new though. It is all fun and good stuff so I can't complain. 

Here is a pic from Easter. 
It was a rainy day this Easter but we had a great time spending the weekend with our families. 

Right after Easter we jumped into throwing Lucas a birthday party. This was the first time we were brave enough to host a bunch of his friends at our house. He was turning 9 and got to invite 9 friends from school. It worked out perfect because the DVD release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens just came out days before his party which made it the perfect theme...and a chance to get the boys to watch a movie and actually really watch it. 

It was kind of cold out but the boys didn't mind playing outside. 
They needed to get out of the house and run off some energy!

Here is a picture of Lucas on his actual birthday. He is officially tall enough (about 54 inches) to ride the Batman (just need a chance to get to Six Flags) and he gained some weight (not a ton) over the last year and is up to over 58 lbs. I can't believe he is 9!!!

Lucas and his St. Louis Bears team kicked off the season with a tournament a few weeks ago. They did so good. They won 3 of 5 games and advanced to the semi finals against a really tough team. 

I love to watch him play. ;)

A couple weekends ago I went to visit my friends in Chicago for a mini girls weekend. 
It was so nice to get away. 

Me, Pam (and baby number 2 due in a few months) and Venessa

Our crew...since our days in High School. 

On my last day in town Venessa and I ran a half marathon. 
It was a great race...and perfect weather for it. I beat my best time but just 11 seconds (1:53).

Pam and Becky came to cheer us on. 

Then this past weekend we went on our annual Mother's Day bike ride on the Katy Trail. Bob's family wasn't able to join us like usual but we recruited some good friends to join us.
 It was a great day...and the weather couldn't have been better. 

I'll need to create a separate post for the kids track meets (one more tomorrow) and then our huge deck project. Only a little over 2 weeks of school and then it is summer break...I can't believe it!!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Our road trip to Boston

A lot of people thought we were crazy for driving all the way to Boston for spring break. We thought of it as an opportunity to explore and show ourselves and the kids another part of the country. Now we normally wouldn't go on 3 big vacations in just 10 months but we decided to just go for it and try to be practical about it. My best friend Marina and her family moved to Boston last summer from Chicago, so this was our chance to bring the kids and have a nice long visit.
We left  bright and early the first day and drove 11 hours straight to Buffalo, NY. It was a good place to stop on our way and Bob was super excited to try some "famous" buffalo chicken wings. I don't know if we got a bad batch or what, but they were NOT good!!!
Yuck. :(

The next morning we drove about 20 minutes to Niagara Falls. It was breathtaking!!!!!

From Niagara Falls we drove to Vermont. We couldn't be out that way and not check out the mountains and try to get in a bit of skiing. The snow conditions weren't amazing and we had some ice to deal with but we had a great time. Addison had a stomach bug unfortunately and didn't get to ski...which meant Bob and I took turns with her and only each got a half day in but we still had a great time. Marina and her family met us there at Mount Snow.

 (Lucas has some work to do on picture taking).

Vermont is absolutely beautiful. I wish we spent more time there and we have to go back when the trees are full or in the fall. 

For the next 4 days we settled in at Marina's house in Boston. She lives in a super cute town right along the ocean. It is so charming and all that you would imagine for a coastal town in Massachusetts. Unfortunately it rained for about 2 days and we had to get creative with indoor activities for the kids but it was also good to have some downtime.
Addison was obsessed with Marina's adorable little girl (so was I of course).

When it finally stopped raining we spent the day in Boston....Amelie was so cute on the trolley. 

We took a trolley throughout the whole city and took in a lot of great history. 

On Thursday we said goodbye to our friends and set off back towards St. Louis. Our first stop was Cooperstown, NY...home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. The town was so cute and charming and the museum was really amazing. We were pretty blown away by it all and it was off season so there was no crowd at all. I'm so glad we made this stop.

We drove about 6 hours after the museum and spent the night in Erie, PA. Bob found this great hotel with a wonderful view of a lighthouse and Lake Erie.

We explored a park in the morning a bit and found these floating homes...something we have never seen before. 

Then we found a lighthouse.

Our last stop was in Cincinnati, OH to visit my friend Kris and her family....sadly I didn't get any pics but it was fun to get that time together.

So, we basically had a wonderful trip and the kids were great in the car.  We drove over 40 hours, across 8 states, stayed the night in 5 states. We saw Niagara Falls, snowy Vermont mountains, a major city on the Atlantic Ocean, one of the Great Lakes, etc....we saw a lot and had an amazing time together.