The beginning of July is always a fun one for our family. Tim turned 40 on July 1st and he usually takes the week off to enjoy some summer fun with us and to celebrate the 4th of July. Also, our little town shuts down it's main street and a four day festival ensues. Can you see Tim & Ben? I love the look on Tim's face.
I've been posting photos and andedotes to facebook and instagram and ignoring the blog. So, here goes a big dump of photos to get this updated while I decide whether or not to keep this space. I've been trying to come up with a way to print this so we have these photos and text in an album but with amount of stuff I have here it feels overhelming. Anyway, here is what we've been up to since the last post: Miles with Coach Bobby. We love Coach Bobby and could not have asked for a better coach. Can't you just tell from his smile that you're going to like him?Mostly Miles played the pitcher position. In his league, which is coach pitch, this position is mainly about stopping the ball and throwing it to a base. With the many hours he's put in on practicing goalie in hockey, his reflexes are super speedy and he was fun to watch in this position. His dad will tell you he has perfect form in this picture. I just think he looks cool. Either way, the boy can hit the ball. He generally doens't like to wait around for more than one pitch but he can hit it whether or not it's a perfect pitch.Ben perfected his begging and manipulation skills this spring and summer at the ballfield. As you can see, he was very successful.This million dollar smile followed their win of the post-season championship. They also won the pre-season tornament.Sometimes the dads that were involved were just as fun to watch as the boys. When Coach Bobby began to see his son Drew improve as a hitter toward the end of the season, I've never seen such pure joy on a grown man's face. It was beautiful.I tried not to eavesdrop too much but these men are all softies and the boys really look up to them.
Here the coaches try to convey their pride in the boys and how much it's meant to them to coach them this season. I didn't love baseball, but after watching these boys this season I am a true fan.The boys and I went to The Wilds. We weathered two major storms in this open air tour and were soaked to the bone. But, when the sun came out we enjoyed some truly beautiful weather and inspiring animals and scenes.
The last series of pictures were included because they make me laugh and I love them. Ben asked to use my camera and began shooting pictures of Miles:
You'll notice Miles notice the camera and then him playing to the camera:
From the age of 3 Miles has loved to dress up and transform himself into various characters. Every day he would wear a different costume to preschool. He was the kid you see in the supermarket wearing a mask and cape. Even though he has grown to love sports, he has never outgrown his passion for dressing up. At eight he loves to dress up, study his favorite movies and how they're made and then make his own version of these movies. For awhile it was Home Alone and now it's Indiana Jones. His attention to detail is amazing. He loves to use his brother as one of the characters. In Home Alone, he was the child left alone and in Indiana Jones he transformed him into Short Round from The Temple of Doom.
Here are the characters from that movie: Here are Miles and Ben as Indiana Jones and Short Round: Not bad, right?
So far the kids' spring break has consisted of snow, bitter winds, hats and gloves. We did manage to have some fun beneath all of those layers even if this isn't what we pictured when we were making those reservations for a cabin a month ago. There are 6 boy cousins and most of them are very close in age so they always have a lot of fun. He has finally gotten over me taking his photo. Yay! He asked to have his picture taken in front of this tractor. And this one. Kids rode a sweet horse.
I fell in love with this place and it's view. Built in 1790, it is amazing to think about the effort it took to build it. The view from the rocking chair on the front porch.
Well the calendar says so anyway. It sure doesn't feel that way outside though. The bits of sunshine here and there are helping but I'm bored with my winter boots and coat. I'm ready to move on to Spring. One way I am ushering in spring even if the weather isn't cooperating is by putting cut flowers near my kitchen sink. Typically I put cut flowers on the table, but keeping them by the sink ensures I get a close up of them several times a day and in this gloomy, cold weather I've needed them. I got this bunch at Trader Joe's for $2.99! With this colder weather sticking around I came up with a way to make my wardrobe a bit more cozy with some homemade jersey knit scarves. I have a few tshirts that I love but that I never wore because they were either too tight or just didn't fit right so after looking online for a way to recycle them, I made them into scarves. I have been wearing one ever since. Miles even wore one to school today. This one already had an assymetrical hemline so it lent itself well to a scarf. It takes about 30 seconds to make one. You just cut the top of the shirt off under the armpits and the bottom hem off. You may need to stretch it out a bit and that's it! I think it would work even better if you had a men's extra large tshirt because then, after stretching it out a bit you may be able to wrap it around your neck a few times.
We wrapped up the hockey season last weekend and are ready to say goodbye to those early morning games. Miles was so sad that the season was over that he cried after the last game. That boys does love hockey. Now we're gearing up for lacrosse and baseball season with Miles and Ben is doing soccer and an art class. Our lives are about to get a bit busier.
One of my favorite things about the process of my kids learning to read and write are the wonderful ways that they spell words phonetically. Here is the latest example from Ben. Words spelled phonetically seem so much more sincere and lovely:
To Mommy From Ben Hi Mommy, how are you? Are you doing anything interesting? We should get together soon.
When Miles becomes passionate about a topic he jumps in with both feet and it oozes from his pores. He is learning about space in school right now and after endless questions that I couldn't answer without saying, "Hmm, I don't know where going to have to look that up," I thought of something I did know about space that I thought he would like.
"You know, I think the Russians once sent a monkey into space. Yeah, I think there was a monkey astronaut." And because Tim is also a fan of John Prine and had heard the same song from which I was getting my information, he backed me up.
Miles was completely fascinated and I had no idea the excitement and entertainment that this one topic would lend itself to in our house. Miles went the next day to school and asked his teacher about it. While he was at school I thought I should probably do a bit more research on it than the song provided and so by the time I picked him up from school we both knew that there was not just one monkey but 32. We also learned that Iran is now planning on sending up a monkey within the month. He spent some time on Wikipedia and wrote out some facts and with the help of his brother they printed some pictures. Miles is determined to go to school today and present the facts that he learned to his class.
You see, this is something I find so endearing and beautiful about this kid. He can be so shy and is usually very soft spoken at school and around his hockey team, yet when he has passion for something he's willing to step right through that shyness and get up in front of his class and give a presentation without being asked. It's like how he stood in front of his class in 1st grade and sang the Star Spangled Banner because he was the only student that knew the words and one of the kids asked him to. I admire his bravery.
This picture just made me laugh out loud. The picture just before this one looked like this: I could look at these two pictures all day and still it makes me laugh. You can see the hen's claw digging into Miles' thigh in the picture above which is why he's making that face. Priceless...
We tagged along on a work trip with Tim to Indianapolis and the boys had such a great time. They were such good buddies on this trip. We are at the Children's Museum here.
april he would spend a lot of time just hanging in the tub while his brother was at school.
hatching our first chicks was so exciting.
first family pictures in 3 years.
august road trip
september We learned to NEVER to take our friends for granted again. I learned just how valuable those people are with which our children have made connections.
The boys in their igloo. See their faces peeking out? With no wind today the snow stayed right where it fell. My constant companion. He is always there, right behind me. A lot of times I forget he's even there. He's such a good boy. Me and my buddy. This hen... I can't stop taking her picture. Isn't she something? Chief and all of his beautfiul colors.