Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Visit to Missouri

As in years past, Vince and I had a conference to attend so the boys spent the week at Grandma and Grandpa's house. The week spent in Missouri with Grandma and Grandpa is one of the highlights of the year for the boys. They LOVE being there and LOVE having special time with Grandma and Grandpa. This year did not disappoint.

Grandma and Grandpa did a great job of keeping the boys busy. They did all sorts of things like swimming, to a bouncy castle place, fishing, tie-dye shirts, fireworks, picnics and much more. Here are just a few highlights from the trip.

The boys went to a place called the Tree Farm to fish and play. They have swings set up in the beautiful Missouri trees.
Once Vince and I returned from our conference, we did fireworks. The boys (and their cousins) were all pretty excited!
This was Solomon's mode of fishing. He didn't catch anything.
 Ezra caught a fish.
 Uzziah sitting on the dock in his new tie-dye shirt, watching the fishing action.
 This is my favorite picture of the week. Asher and Uzziah.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Swimming and Diving

While visiting my sister, Megan, in St. Louis, we got quite a few opportunities to swim. Megan has a friend who has a pool in her back yard and was very willing to let us impose on her to use it. We swam every day we were there and the kids had a great time!
On our last day there, the boys started working on diving. It all started because Obed accidentally dove off the board, and learned by that accidental dive that he is a natural.
I was really proud of Solomon. He was not too keen on the diving board, but after watching his brothers and cousins a few times, Solomon jumped off the board and from there on, he was a jumping maniac.
Diving did not come naturally to Ezra. One thing I really love about Ezra is that when something doesn't come naturally to him, he works hard until he gets it. He definitely has the gift of perseverance! He started out with one knee down on the side of the pool. Then he started squatting to dive. And progressed from there.
And there's Ezra doing a perfectly executed dive! Way to go Ezra!!
Asher took a few times to learn it, but he also figured it out pretty quickly.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Visit to Ted Drews

Ted Drews is an iconic landmark in St. Louis. I would say there are very few people from St. Louis that are not familiar with it, at least by name. I have fond memories from my childhood, going to Ted Drews after a Cardinal's game. The sidewalks were packed with people out to the road, but the lines moved quickly. The claim to fame at Ted Drews is that they make concretes so thick they can dump them upside-down and nothing falls out (until the wretched heat and humidity hits the frozen custard cup and melts everything instantly). 

We visited Ted Drews last year with the boys, and they were keen on going again, so we did.

We ordered seven different items and the person working at the window did not write down a single item. This is another claim to fame... the workers somehow remember every order with no notes.

 Uzziah enjoyed his own concrete.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The City Museum

One of the coolest 'museums' you'll ever experience is The City Museum in St. Louis. It is like a playground from a Tim Burton movie. There are literally endless things to climb in and on and up and explore. We were there for 3 hours, and barely touched the surface of everything.

Ezra walking across the stepping stones on the water.
 Solomon and Uzziah in one of the "houses."
There was a giant slide outside, at the foot of a giant praying mantis.
Vince and Asher climbed the slanted wall and slid back down.
There was an old water tower dome that had a ladder against the side of the wall. You could climb all the way up to the top and then climb out the top to a big slide.
That is Vince 4 stories up (in the bottom right hand corner) at the top of the water tower dome.
Obed took a little rest.
Solomon was not too keen on a lot of the climbing and heights (which I totally understand!). There were a few smaller kid areas. This was an old time carnival ride that spun around. Solomon thoroughly enjoyed this with both his cousin, Naomi, as well as with Uzziah.
Asher on one of the many climbing features.
That's Obed and Malachi going down one of the tubes.
Asher going down a wire tube.

 Obed, Naomi, Malachi and Solomon in one of the giant ball pits.
Cousin Malachi climbing one of the indoor features.
Asher and cousin Isaiah up one of the towers.
Obed climbing down one of the indoor areas.
Ezra inside a wire tube.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Camping with Two

The past 2 summers, Vince has taken each of the boys camping one-on-one for a little quality time together. That was the original plan for this summer as well, but we encountered a few calendar glitches that made things a little tricky. We originally asked Obed if he would be willing to join up time with Solomon, which he was thrilled to do. When Ezra and Asher heard this, they said they wanted to share their time as well. So last week, Vince took Ezra and Asher to Carter Lake and had a great overnight with them. They got a lovely spot right on the lake.
It was warm enough for the boys to play on the beach and in the water.

They had some macaroni and cheese for dinner.
Asher finished off the pot of mac and cheese after they swam some more.
A beautiful sunset.
For breakfast, they had hot cocoa and breakfast burritos. A grand time was had by all.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Old Town Fountains

I find one of the more challenging things about being the mom to 5 boys of varying ages is that the older boys have much different interests than the younger boys. It's hard to be discerning on for whom I should pick activities. It seems that often, the older boys end up winning out on preferred activities. So while Vince had the older 2 boys camping, I took the youngest 3 to the fountains in Old Town. While the older boys would probably still find some enjoyment at the fountains, they are not as enthralled with the magic the fountains offer. The youngest 3 had a fantastic time.