Tuesday, July 25, 2017
I'm so excited I'm up to date, as Will actually turns 12 TODAY!  He continues to amaze us with his quirky tastes and ideas, and his witty sense of humor.  (For example, his party meal consisted of pork burgers from the county farm bureau.  For real.)  Junior High has been a breezy transition and he is becoming more interested in self-presentation.  He includes his little brother in all things and has bonded more with his sister as they shared a school this past year.

We celebrated with a family lunch followed by a group of buds coming over for pizza, a bonfire and sleepover.  It had Will written all over it.

I especially love the enthusiasm on the onlookers' faces.  Sheesh

Jacob.  Hanging out.

Some name games and a little concentration

Michigan Wedding!

Yes, this does deserve it's own post because the kids have come to love heading north for celebrations with the MI relatives and this one was FUN! Congratulations to Zac and Rachel, who are currently in Hawaii.  *sigh*


We are strangely approaching the point where I need to be the one in front.

Free drinks.  Like, all night.

Dance floor was hopping!

For posterity's sake, I also need to document how absolutely hilarious Jamie's kids were.  Jacob, with his obsession with any girl wearing a bridesmaid dress, and Olivia, staying on the dance floor late into the night---thumb in mouth twirling hair!

Fourth of July

It makes sense that I'm posting about the 4th of July on Will's actual birthday because he maintains that it is his favorite holiday and that his childhood would be ruined if we didn't celebrate in the multiple-day backyard camping fashion we do at the Fox's house.  This year didn't disappoint.  More beautiful weather.  Another great fireworks display.  More food.  Lots of fun!

Before the 4th, we had a very special opportunity in our community to host the Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall.  It brought more meaning to the Independence day holiday and was very moving, indeed!

Onto Mid-Summer

Just before we head on a camping trip that will bring us home heavy into back-to-schoolness, I'd like to recap a few other things that this summer has brought.

1) PrairieFest!  Always a favorite!

For Dickson-Murst Farm

High School Cheer

Father's Day
2) Raging Waves

3) Nature-y Stuff
4) More Pool/Water Play

5) Backyard sports

6) And plenty of sleeping in, friends over, a fair share of whining, movie-watching, book-reading and just plain lying low.  Which feels good sometimes.


Thursday, July 6, 2017
Of course baseball gets its own post, as it accounts for SO MUCH of our time March through July.  And this is not me complaining.  They were particularly fun seasons for both boys, with Rich coaching Cole and NOT coaching Will for the first time.  Both boys improved significantly and were truly enjoyable to watch, which works well to overshadow the wind, cold, rain, rain-outs, intense sun, rushed early dinners, dirty uniforms and dirtier cars.

Here are some pictures from their seasons.  Will: bronco division, Indians (12-4 for season).  Cole: Mustang division, Dodgers (12-4 for season).  First, a shout-out to the loyal fans....

This was wind + cold

Special game played up at Brewers stadium

Rich did help out the Indians whenever possible.

Much improved batting average!

Photo credit to friends of ours as this is a great one of Cole doing what he loves best!

Manic May

Note to Self:  forget March.  MAY is the madness month.  School-related festivities and frantic wrap-ups for the year in addition to baseball season is utter chaos.  Busy, enjoyable chaos.  And it's not even like I had a graduate or anything!  (May this serve as a reminder to buy more wine for the Mays in which THAT happens).

It was a month of reminders of how old our kids are getting!  Paige's band traveled to U of I for Superstate, which was a great experience!  Rich and I took a day to hit campus and see them perform.

Then there was 8th grade formal and promotion!  *sigh*  Paige earned a special legion award and had a great time at the dance!

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May four no-doubt lightning fast years of High School commence!