Sunday, August 14, 2011

Summer Bucket List, Week 11

We have a Summer Bucket List, thanks to Kelly over at Little Wonders' Days.  This is simply a list of fun things we want to do or accomplish this summer.  We completed our eleventh week of summer and unfortunately the end is in sight.  I start back to work full time this week, Braedon and Colby next week, and Brody the following week.  I plan to continue to check things off the list until the end of August, though we might be moving a little more slowly toward this goal.

Our previous weeks can be found here: 
week oneweek twoweek three
week fourweek fiveweek six,
week sevenweek eightweek nine and week ten.

1.  Visit ten parks to play and picnic:  We had already completed this one, but we revisited a playground this week and it is worth mentioning.  We had so much fun meeting up with Kim's Daycare last week to play and picnic that we did it again.  My kids get along better with each other if they have other kids to play with as well.  So Friday we met up with Kim and her kids at the lower playground at East Lake.  This is the original play area and much of the equipment has been there since Kim and I were children.  It's fun to see our kids explore the merry-go-round and other equipment that used to be prevalent in playgrounds and is now pretty rare.

7.  Iowa State Fair:  We went yesterday.  We couldn't go until mid afternoon since Ron had to work and the rest of us had to do farmers' market.  So we didn't experience as much as we would have liked to.  We met up with some friends and with my sister and her family.  The boys did the giant slide, played in the sprinkler park and a playground, and had corndogs.  We also saw some art exhibits and a giant sand castle the artist is carving to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the butter cow.  We also went through the building that had the animal babies inside.  We saw a chick hatch and viewed baby ducks, pigs, and an ostrich.  Then we parted ways--Ron, Braedon, and Colby went off to their concert (more on that later in this post) and Brody and I saw the butter cow and some other exhibits before the buildings closed than we ate some more fair food and Brody fell asleep waiting for the concert to end.

28.  Swimming Lessons:  The boys finished this week.  Who knew it would be so chilly in August?  Colby has made progress, but still needs to work on some skills and ultimately on getting more comfortable in the water.  Braedon has just blossomed in swimming lesson the past two weeks.  He was so excited and proud to go in the 12 foot to practice some skills.  He passed his test, though still needs to work on efficient treading (he kicks so fast that he tires quickly).  He even braved the diving board during fun day and jumped off 5 or 6 times.  Each time with a huge grin on his face!

Other things we did that were not on the list:
*We went to a cousins birthday party that involved cake, ice cream, and sprinklers.
*Saturday was Customer Appreciation Day at our farmers' market and we enjoyed listening to a local dentist sing and play his guitar as the entertainment.
*Ron and his friend Kris have been wanting to see a Def Leppard concert together since they were teens, many years ago :).  They got to go last night at the fair.  Since my boys are eighty hair band fans, the older two (and Calob) also went to the concert.  I hear that much fun was had by all.  Brody and I enjoyed the post concert fireworks as well.

I'm back to work this week, but Ron is home most of the week with the boys.  Next weekend is Braedon's birthday party.  Hopefully we can check a few more items off the list.  :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

This Little Piggy...

While watching his brothers in swimming lessons this week, Brody and I were sitting in a reclining beach chair at the pool, barefoot.  I took his toes in my fingers and recited the nursery rhyme.

This little piggy went to market.
This little piggy stayed home.
This little piggy had roast beef.
This little piggy had none.
And this little piggy went 'wee, wee, wee' all the way home.

After I finished he recited it his own way.

This big daddy piggy went to farmers' market.
This mommy piggy stayed home.
This piggy had hot dogs.
This piggy had roast beef.
And this piggy had nuts.

He now insists that I only say it his way from now on.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer Bucket List, Week 10

We have a Summer Bucket List, thanks to Kelly over at Little Wonders' Days.  This is simply a list of fun things we want to do or accomplish this summer.  We completed our tenth week of summer a few days ago--yes I'm late in writing this post.

Our previous weeks can be found here: 
week oneweek twoweek three
week fourweek fiveweek six,
week sevenweek eight, and week nine.

This past week was super busy with two types of lessons acting as bookends to the day.  We definitely checked some items off.  Let's see what we accomplished.

1.  Visit ten parks to play and picnic:  We actually did two this week, numbers ten and eleven.  On Sunday we met my mom, sister, brother in law, and niece at a park in Indianola to watch the hot air balloons.  We watch from this park every year since the kids can play while we wait.  This year Mom went all out with the picnic--sandwiches on croissants, chips, little debbies, candy, cheese sticks, and a variety of drinks.  (more on the balloons later in this post).  And on Friday we packed a lunch to follow a presentation that took place at a park.  A friend of mine, Kim, also brought lunch for her daycare kids and we hung out for a couple of hours allowing the kids to play, eat, and play some more, while we just talked.  It was a lovely day--the weather was great, the presentation was informative, and the company was fantastic.  

27.  VBS:  Last week was our church's Vacation Bible School.  I can remember attending bible school there thirty years ago (man, that makes me feel old).  I volunteered as a junior high and high school student.  And now for the past eight years or so I have been volunteering as a parent.  Most of those years I have been either the preschool or the preschool-kindergarten teacher.  Due to the way the program is set up, there is not a good way to predict how many kids will be there on any given night.  Last year I had 35 or so children in my class.  As the kids piled into the sanctuary on Monday night I tried to herd my children into the first two pews, which then moved into part of the next pew, and then we ran out of space and we just sat where-ever there was a spot to fit into.  That first night the entire program (preschool through sixth grade) had between 80 and 90 kiddos, 42 of those were in my class.  Whew!  Thankfully, our program is a set of stations and I just have to maneuver my group from station to station.  I also drew in more volunteers as the night and the week went on.  Brody was in my class and while he was attached to my leg at times, he did participate in several activities this year (last year he just watched).  Colby was excited to see some of his friends from other churches attend VBS with him.  Braedon loved to sing and dance to the music.  It was fun to see my oldest jump up to the front of the sanctuary and rock out to the music.

28.  Swimming Lessons:  I was afraid I waited too long and let this one get by me.  However I got the two older boys enrolled in the last session of the summer.  They were both nervous as lessons started last week, but have grown more comfortable as the week went on.  Braedon has been blossoming and is so excited that he can go in the twelve foot and not be scared.  Colby still struggles to relax and to put his face in the water.  When Colby was two he fell in the pool and splashed around for a few seconds before we could get to him.  He was never in danger, but I think that episode has imprinted itself on his brain.  I hope that he continues to feel more secure in the water as he grows and learns new skills.  Colby was also upset that 'his lifeguard' was not there this year.  Andrew is in college and I believe he is probably working somewhere else, but he was so good with Colby for the three years he worked with him.  We are finishing swimming lessons this week.

47.  Hot air balloons:  Indianola is a half hour's drive to the north of us.  Every summer for decades they have a BalloonFest during the first week of August.  I remember going as a child.  And we have always made it a point to take the boys up each year.  There is just something magical about a hot air balloon.  We alway watch from the park across the road from the festivities.  While the direction of travel varies with the wind, we can always see them from our vantage point.  This year we got a special unexpected treat.  One balloon landed in the field adjacent to the park where we were watching.  Ron and the boys (and several other folks) hiked over to investigate.  The pilot said he always tries to land where there is a crowd so that folks can see the balloon up close.  Several adults grabbed onto the sides of the basket and moved the still floating balloon to the grassy area of the park where we were sitting.  Ron, Braedon, and Colby got to see and touch the balloon, talk with the pilot and crew, and help fold and stuff the deflated balloon into a bag.  Brody and Kayleigh got to see it up close too, but were a little taken aback by the size and chose to watch from a distance.  This up close and personal experience is something my boys will remember forever.  What a wonderful coincidence that we were in the right place at the right time.  

Other things we did that were not on the list:
*This past Sunday the cub scouts had an open swim at the pool.  The boys talked me into going down the waterslide--that thing is fun!  
*While we have yet to make it to a bike path, the older boys and Ron have been joining the neighbors in bike rides around the neighborhood.

This week summer is fading into preparing for the new school year.  I'm going to continue to check items off the list through the end of the month, even as school starts in a couple of weeks.  Have a good day!