Well, so much for being better about keeping the blog updated. Suddenly July has come and gone and we're over a quarter of the way through August. Here's a basic photo recap of the end of June and first couple of weeks of July:
Mike played in a golf tournament at the club that had a big, semi-fancy dinner at the conclusion. So we got to get dressed up and have a really fun night with some friends. Here are some friends we went out with- Brad and Molly and Kim and Brent.
The next day (or maybe the next weekend; can't really remember), Mike and the boys got fitted for their tuxes for Katherine and Sam's wedding. I thought Zach and Drew both looked pretty cute and preppy in their jackets and plaid shorts.
Those things technically happened in June. Suddenly it was the fourth of July. Zach and Drew had spent the night at Kevin and Cynthia's the day before, so Jake and I picked them up pretty early and headed to a big parade in a neighboring suburb. I'll give you two guesses where Mike was...
The parade was long and HOT- I think it was in the upper 90's that day, so we didn't stay for the entire thing. Zach and Drew were enjoying getting candy, though Drew was probably about the littlest guy trying to get candy, so he was often lucky to get anything as the bigger kids were on top of things. Jake was pretty happy in the stroller watching. Then I looked over at one point and noticed Jake had a Dum-Dum sucker in his mouth, courtesy of the foreign lady next to him. I know she was trying to be thoughtful, thinking about how he wasn't getting any candy, but it was pretty shocking to me that a complete stranger would give a 1 1/2 year-old a sucker without asking his mom first. And what could I do? Even though I was worried about the fact that it was a choking hazard, it wasn't like I could just take the candy away and let Jake be completely upset with me. Knowing Jake, that would NOT have gone over well at all. So, I let him finish it. He definitely enjoyed that first sucker, that's for sure.
Drew also hit the jackpot when someone gave him a plastic baseball bat filled with gumballs. Too bad Drew still thinks he's not big enough for gum...
We celebrated that evening by having an all-American family dinner of burgers, hot dogs, and brats with corn on the cob and watermelon with Kevin, Cynthia, Katherine, and Sam. Then we all went out to the club for their family fourth of July celebration. There were lots of free rides for the kids, free face-painting and balloon animals, and awesome fireworks.
Katherine waited with Jake while Mike and I stood in line for other rides with Zach and Drew.
Drew and Jake rode the barrel train, and Jake about hopped out right at the end. Thankfully Drew was able to keep him in until the ride came to a complete stop.
Drew also rode a little pirate ship ride. He seemed to really enjoy it.
Zach waited in line twice to attempt the rock wall. The first time he didn't get too high,
but he did much better the second time around.
We let Jake stay out late, but we knew there was no way he could stay for fireworks. So Kevin and Cynthia took him home and put him to bed around 8:30/9:00. We rode some more rides and waited for the fireworks to begin.
Zach and Sam rode the swings,
and Drew and I rode them, too.
Drew and I were spinning pretty good at one point.
Finally it was time for fireworks. They put on a fantastic show, as usual. In true form, Zach shielded his eyes from the brightness of the fireworks, and Drew plugged his ears to protect against the loud booms. It was a late night- we weren't home until about 11:00. And we were all very tired.
Everybody was pretty tired the next morning. I walked into Jake's room to get him out of his crib but found this sweet scene instead.
Sometime a few days later, we had our friends Anna, Lucy, Eli, and their mom Susan over for dinner while their dad was out of town.
Jake and Eli looked pretty cute in their almost-matching tie-dyes.
We tried to get one of all the kids, but this is the best I got.
Even though the drought has caused the sweet corn to be not as good as in years past, Jake still has enjoyed his share of corn. And he sure looks cute eating it, I think!
Two of my girlfriends that I work out with and I decided to run the Warrior Dash, which was on July 14. It's a race with bunches of obstacles, including balance beams, cargo nets, climbing walls, barbed wire to crawl under, fire to jump over, and a giant mud pit at the end. The entire course was about 3.4 miles, and heats left the starting gate every half-hour. Liz, Melody, and I were slated to start at 12:30, and it was HOT! I think it was about 97 degrees that day! Here we are nice and clean before the race.
Here we are nice and muddy after the race. I ended up finishing in just under 30 minutes, which put me at 7th in the 30-39 age group.
Shortly after I signed up for the race with Mel and Liz, Katherine, Sam, Mike, Kevin, and Sam's parents, Steve and Tracy, all decided to sign up. They also were in the 12:30 heat, but they started behind Mel, Liz, and me. They also all stuck together during the run. Here's a group shot of all of us post-race.
Here's a cute picture of Zach and Drew looking like they're ready to join Blue (or red) Man Group. I think we were playing with chalk and water on the driveway.
This is one day at the park after Drew learned to ride his bike without training wheels. I just love their bleached out hair and tan (or hot, sweaty, and flushed in this picture) skin.
Jake has had some success on the potty in the last few weeks. Sometimes he tells me he needs (or maybe wants) to go, and other times we just try it when we're getting undressed. I am sure it will still be awhile before Jake is really ready to be out of diapers, but he at least seems to be getting the idea of what it feels like to have to go and how to make himself go when he is sitting there, so it's a start!
In addition to basketball camp, tennis lessons, golf lessons, and Vacation Bible School, Zach got to play in a little 3 hole golf tournament last week at the club. He did really well in golf lessons, winning a putting contest one day, a chipping contest the next day, and another chipping contest on the third day. Each day he won a prize, and after picking a couple of different ball markers the first 2 days, the third day he chose a golf-bag towel. Zach already had a golf-bag towel, but he heard one of the other boys in the group say he really wanted a towel, so Zach picked that as his prize and then gave it to the other boy. It still melts my heart when I think about what a nice gesture it was! Why can't he be that nice to Drew?!? That afternoon Mike and I got an email from the golf instructors telling us about Zach's act of kindness and also saying what a joy he was to have in golf lessons. It's the kind of email that really makes your day.
Anyway, back to the tournament. I wasn't sure how Zach would do since he has moved up to the 7-9 age group, and he just turned 7 at the beginning of June.
The first 2 holes were nothing great, and I felt like the dad that was the scorekeeper could have been helping all the boys a little more with their aim and whatnot. Zach hit a great shot right onto the green on the third hole, though, about 10 feet from the pin. However, he then 3 putted, so it ended up still being a bogey. When all the groups got in, it turned out that Zach and another boy were tied for 3rd place, so they had to have a putt-off. They putted from about 15 feet away (maybe? I'm a terrible guesser), and the other boy 2-putted, which was pretty amazing. I knew then Zach would have a long shot at winning or tying. Zach's second putt was incredibly close, but it didn't go in, so he ended up in 4th place. He had a good time, and said he was "so scared" right before the putt-off. Mike and I were kinda glad to hear he had some nerves, because we think that means he cares about doing well. Most importantly, we just wanted him to try hard and have fun, and he did both, I think.
Finally, a little random "news" to include. All summer long we've had a pair of cardinals living at the house kitty-corner behind us. Cardinals are my favorites (along with goldfinches, I guess), because they're so pretty and not so common as robins or grackles. For a while we would hear these cardinals a lot, and the boys learned pretty quickly how to identify the cardinals song. We love having them around, and I really hope they come back next spring, though I wonder how likely that is. Sandy, maybe you know?
Anyway, Drew and I decided to name them. So here is Lightning McQueen,
and his girl Sally.
Aren't they pretty?
I have tons of videos I've taken over the last couple of months, so I'm hoping to do a sort of video-a-day type of deal to get them all posted. Maybe I'll start that around Labor Day.