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Monday, August 15, 2016

Summer Fun 2016

The summer break is winding to an end and it really has gone by quickly this year. We sometimes wait until close to Labor Day to start school, but this year we will be starting at the same time as our area public schools next week. Since in the past it has taken us about 1-2 weeks to make the painful transition of quite a bit of freedom to quite a bit of structure, I figured we would get a head start on the painful part. Hopefully by Labor Day everyone will have happy hearts and great attitudes. :) But it has been an eventful and fun summer for us with a few road trips, lots of down time and time with friends. During the school year, we are home a lot. So this summer I made it a point to be out and about several times a week. We had the freedom to do so and that is exactly what I did.
We started out with a list of things we definitely wanted to do this summer. I am happy to say that almost everything on this list is now checked off.
 The boys started off summer with a week in VBS at the church where they attended Mother's Day Out during their preschool years. To say they were pumped about this week is an understatement. They had a blast!
 boy dress up never gets old to these guys
 We've hit up the water park about once a week. Sometimes twice.
And on a few lucky days we got to bring daddy along.
We tried to see how many clowns we could squeeze into a tiny car.
 Education continued on, but just minimally. I started working on the alphabet with Abe.
 The boys pressed on through math. Almost every week day this summer they did a little math work.
 We went to the library weekly and they all read their little hearts out!
 Holden found a series of books he loves...the I survived series. Check it out if you have one that is just getting into chapter books. It is fictional books about true events in history. And Holden has now read most of them and loves them and tells me all about each one.
And Pax read so much (through the library summer reading club) that he got his name in a book that will be in our public library! So proud of this book worm!
 This same sweet boy started weekly piano lessons this summer and is doing well.
 And he spent many hours building creations at his lego table.
We cheered on our little track star at many hot track meets.
 We celebrated father's day with my dad.
And of course with this special daddy.
 Before the triple digits hit, we actually spent time playing outside in ways that didn't have to include water.
 We hosted a boy cousin sleepover and took the cousins to the waterpark.
 We played lots of games.
 We enjoyed a few snow cones.
 We painted.
 We built with blocks.
And this little baker helped me in the kitchen many times.
 We celebrated the 4th of July!
 twice, actually.
 We had a tonka truck car wash with friends.
 The big boys liked it as much as the little ones.
 Another cousin sleepover and fun times with the Colorado cousins.
 We made lots of messes.
 All 3 boys attended a morning sports camp for 4 days in July. By the 4th day Abe was a mess crying at the thought of leaving me for another day. So instead he and I had a 3 hour date that morning. 
 We went roller skating with friends.
This is the only other picture I have that is not completely blurry. 4 out of 5 in the family loved it. The 3 year old wasn't ready for wheels.
 We took a quick trip to Oklahoma to see friends.
And we got a wild hair. He's been asking to do this for months.
 And the one thing that Pax has been asking to do ALL SUMMER LONG. Yesterday he and I sat in the hot sun so he could have his lemonade stand. I have no idea where he got the idea, but my best guess is that he read about it in a book. :) He was a trooper and such a cute, little entrepreneur. He made $30 in two hours and at least half of that was in "keep the change". And one person's change was $7.75!! Honestly, he had no plans for his profits. He has put the money is savings jar. I say that he's a saver like his daddy. I think he wanted the experience more than he cared about the money.
This summer has really been a special one. I think it is the fun ages and how growing up a little definitely changes things but it sure adds some additional possibilities and fun to this season for our family. I wouldn't mind one more month of this summer fun, but all good things must come to an end. So long, summer!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Holden's TAAF Track Finals

Yesterday Holden finished up a great summer season of track and field. I just never would have imagined that someone could participate in track and field before the 7th grade, but we were introduced to a whole new world this summer. Holden did great yesterday. Friday he was a bit confused. On the 100 and 50, he was 1st in his heat. So he was a bit confused when we were telling him that time-wise he came in 6th place on both of those races. Then on the 200 he was 3rd in his heat and time-wise he came in 8th place (the very last spot to make it into the finals). So yesterday morning we were explaining that there is only 1 heat left in all the races. These 8 were the fastest boys. His question to me was, "So today I only need to beat the boys on the line with me?" This boy needs to SEE his competition. My answer was, "Yes. You are only competing with those at the start line that are running with you." The schedule showed that he would run the 100 first. Then he would have a small break (probably 30 minutes). Then he would run the 200 (with probably a 20 minute rest) and then the 50. Pax and Abe and I were making our way to the track to watch the 8U 100m dash while Jeremy had already taken Holden to the heating tent. Jeremy could not usher him directly to his spot, only coaches and those with badges were allowed inside the track area and on the field. Anyways, Jeremy sounded crushed when he called me to tell me that Holden had missed the race. Daddy was kicking himself!! He got Holden to the volunteers a little late and said "Can you run him to the 8U group?" They said sure, and then we suspect they took him to the wrong group. Anyways, Holden was a no show for his first race. Even though he had won 1st in his heat on Friday in the 100 and the 50, we knew that the 100 and 200 would be his best races in the finals. The 50 is over by the time it begins. It's a quick one. Holden and those long legs of his like to have a little time to see the competition and adjust accordingly. Right now, that is just the way he is. I tell you, that boy finds more gas as needed. Anyways, Jeremy was so frustrated with himself for about 10 minutes. Then he got over it and said Holden would have fresh legs for the 200. We knew Friday when he ran the 200, he was worn out from the heat and from the other two runs. Even his coach commented that he could see it on his face when he rounded the corner at the take off. Holden didn't care at all that he missed the 100 on Sunday, so that was good. At that point, they decided to park themselves by the volunteers so they wouldn't miss another race. The 200 came, Jeremy stood at the start line to encourage him. I was in the bleachers, given the task to video. Jeremy will never put me in charge of that again. :) Holden was in the far outside line. Holden does best on the inside lanes, because it appears that everyone else is getting a head start. Haha. And he takes off full speed flying around the corner to pass them all. So outside lane...not his best position. But he did amazing! He brought home a silver medal!! He won second place in the finals! Friday he was in the 8th spot, and when they lined them all up together and he saw his competition, he took the silver. :) We were thrilled for him! Such an accomplishment in his very short track and field experience! Next up was the 50. He likes this one because it's short, but that short length makes it a pretty hard race. He came in 5th on the 50. Goodness, I loved loved loved cheering on my little runner this summer. I loved seeing his passionate competition. I loved seeing his friendly sportsmanship like telling others what fast runners they were after he had beaten them. :) I loved seeing his focus and determination. And I loved seeing him enjoy and excel at another activity.
 Getting ready for the 200.
Right before the 50.
A few more pictures from the track season.
Pax can be the sweetest big brother. Here he was helping me entertain Abe on a very long Saturday. 
Pax brought a backpack full of books to each meet and read and read and read. I'm so thankful he is entertained so well by books. 
And then this guy...he didn't love the track meets. And honestly, I didn't enjoy taking him to the track meets. 6 hours outside in the Texas heat...he was bored, missing a nap and often a grouch. He's happy track season is over! (We didn't exclude him from the t-shirts. They just didn't come in his size.)
 Track Star Diva relaxing in a tiny wagon.
 I was happy with whatever kept Abe content that didn't involve him stealing my phone.
 Running and watching kids run is flat out exhausting.
State qualifier t-shirt!
And here are a few pictures from our free time in the metropolis of McAllen, Texas. 
 He's been introduced to Texas Roadhouse rolls and honey cinnamon butter and I think that he's in love.
After a little research on the town, we learned that they have the largest one story library in the United States. It's in a refurbished WalMart. We had to take our book lover, just to say that we've been there. 
 He was pumped. That's his Tarzan call. :)
 I absolutely love the library near our home. We visit the library weekly because we love it. But the children's section in McAllen's library was larger than our entire library. It was incredible. SO MANY BOOKS!!
 We were free on Saturday so we were trying to stay indoors, do more restful activities and stay cool from the heat that was happening outdoors. After the library we went to see a $2 movie.
And on Saturday night I snagged this little photo. Holden had opted for a pallet on the floor just for the novelty of it. So Abe slept with Pax. Look at those two. Melted my heart. :) Abe is a snuggler. Well, they really both are.

It was a great weekend for our little family. Track was a great experience for Holden. So many memories are tucked away from this little adventure. I don't know if he will always love running the way that he does now. But I'm thankful that he tried something new this summer and his family was able to watch him shine while obnoxiously cheering him on from the front row.