Well, it's Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer for most people. So I decided to go through my pictures to see what has happened since my last post to wrap up our summer. Here are the highlights.
A few days after we returned from Colorado, we got hit by a massive hailstorm. After suffering from a drought all summer long, the rain was welcome, but the hail, not so much. Drew and Zach had a playdate at Grandma Linda and Grandpa Curt's house that afternoon, so they weren't home. Jake and I had just returned from getting the mail as the sky was turning black and suddenly the temperature dropped about 10 degrees in a matter of minutes. The rain started while we were in the garage, and then we moved into the house as the hail started. There were incredible winds, too. We stood at the back door and watched for a bit before I decided that between the noise of the wind and the hail I wouldn't be able to hear a tornado siren, so we moved to the basement. You can see the hail piling up at the base of the back door on the deck.
Later that night we surveyed the damage. There was lots of it. Lots of holes in the siding,
the deck and playset were very marked up, too,
the air conditioner had some dents,
and the hostas took a beating.
This is the amount of hail that was on the deck still about 4 hours after the storm. And it was over 70 degrees, so it's not like it was so cold out that it wouldn't melt.
After getting 4 different companies to come and look at the siding and roof damage, we have finally settled on one we want to do the repairs. Thankfully our insurance will be paying for it.
A couple of days after the storm, the boys and I tried to do some special end-of-summer stuff to finish out our bucket list. Making cookies wasn't on the list, but the Drew asked if we could, and since I love to bake and eat baked goods, I was happy to oblige. The boys picked peanut butter blossoms. They were good helpers, and we had fun. I'm a little particular about my baking, so it's not always fun for me to cook with the boys, but this time I tried to be laid-back and it really was fun.
After Jake's nap we hit up a new park, and then decided to go bowling.
Mike was out of town at a meeting that night, so after the bowling, I decided we'd watch a movie. The boys will pick Cars or Cars 2 100% of the time if you give them the chance to pick, so this time I surprised them with my pick, which was The Jungle Book. They enjoyed it and it wasn't too long, so that was nice. Jake wasn't interested in the entire movie, of course, so he and I ended up going outside to play some soccer about halfway through the movie.
The last Monday before Zach started school, Mike and I surprised Zach and Drew by taking them to Adventureland. We dropped Jake off at Grandma Linda's and we had the whole day there. It was a cool day- only in the 60's when we arrived at the park, and we all needed jackets for quite a while. Because of the weather and the fact that the state fair was going on, there weren't tons of people at Adventureland, and we hardly had to wait in any lines. It was great. Somehow we talked Drew into trying one of the roller coasters, called the Tornado. Actually, it didn't take much talking into, which is surprising, since Drew won't do the slow slide at the pool. We weren't sure he'd be tall enough, and technically, I don't think he was. The height requirement is 42 inches, and I think Drew is closer to 41 or 41.5 inches. But the operator measured him and his hair (which was in need of a cut) just barely touched the bar, so he let Drew go. Mike and Zach got in the front car and Drew and I were behind them. Here are the boys just before we got on.
Now, don't take a drink, because if you do, you might choke laughing at this next picture. This is the official Tornado picture, taken by an automatic camera stationed at the base of the first big decline. Look at Mike and me- grinning and laughing, and then look at our poor kids. Zach seems sort of happy, but poor Drew looks scared out of his mind. I'm such a good mother that I can't help but crack up every time I see this picture. Even though it was outrageously priced (like $10 for a 4x6 or something), we knew as soon as we saw it that we had to buy it. As we got to the bottom of the first hill and started our slow ascent up the second hill, Drew said to me, "I don't want to be on this..." Too late, buddy. After the ride the boys both agreed that it was very scary, but also fun. Neither of them wanted to do it again, though.
Unfortunately, because of the cool weather, we really didn't get to utilize the many water slides at the park. Mike and Zach attempted a few of them, but Drew was too short and wasn't interested in trying them, and I was happy to sit them out with him because I knew I'd be cold in my swim suit. The high that day was probably only 80 degrees, and if I'm going swimming or on a water slide, I like it to be at least 85. Mike told me that the water felt like ice water, so I don't think Drew and I missed much.
A random photo that doesn't really fit with anything- Foudy has been weird about eating lately, so sometimes we have to help her get started. Jake loves to help with that and would feed her the entire bowl by hand if I let him. Foudy is always very gentle and sweet about it.
As soon as Zach got his lunchbox to put in his backpack, Jake knew he needed to get his lunchbox, too. So then Drew decided he should, also.
Mike and I were able to go out with Katherine and Sam one Friday night when the boys went to visit Pa with Curt and Linda. We ate dinner downtown, then stopped by the hospital to meet our friends BJ and Carey's new daughter, Lucy, who is adorable. Then we went and met Katherine and Sam at Hessen Haus, a German bar/restaurant. We decided to "pass the boot," which is a game (for lack of a better word) where you get this giant boot of beer and you all share it, and there are certain rules you have to follow. They didn't have Bud Light or Bud Light Lime at the Hessen Haus, so Mike wasn't thrilled about partaking in the passing of the boot, but we ordered a cider that was pretty good, and he was okay with that.
The next day Mike and I drove to Pa's house to have lunch with everybody to celebrate Pa's birthday. When we got there, I asked Linda how the boys slept. She said they did well, but that they were up early. Pa's house is just 2 bedrooms, so they had to get creative with sleeping arrangements. Drew slept in the other twin bed in Pa's room with him, Curt and Linda slept in the basement, and Jake and Zach shared a room. Linda said that when she put Zach to bed, she told him that if Jake woke up in the night, Zach could get her and she'd take care of him. Zach apparently said, "It's okay, Grandma. I'll just take care of it." And when she headed upstairs around 6:30 a.m., Zach had Jake in the bathroom sitting on the potty. I chuckled at that. Then Zach and I had this conversation:
Me- Zach, did Jake make any noise in the night?
Zach- Yeah, some.
Me- Did you have to do anything about it, or did he just stop and go back to sleep?
Zach- Well, he was standing up and pointing at my bed and saying something.
Me- Oh, so what did you do?
Zach- I just got him out and put him in bed with me.
Me- Oh! Then did he go back to sleep? (I'm imagining this is the middle of the night.)
Zach- No. We laid there a little while, and then I asked him if he needed to poop, and he said he did. So we went to the bathroom and that's when Grandma came up.
Me- What made you ask him that?
Zach- Well, he was tooting a lot.
Me- Well, looks like you're ready to babysit!
Zach- I don't think I'm ready for that yet...
Pretty sweet. But I wonder how early they were up. Jake was definitely very, very tired. We had plans to go to a restaurant for lunch, but Jake was such a wreck that we decided we needed to just get some food to eat at Pa's house, which I think was a good choice. Jake fell asleep about 2 minutes after we got into the car and slept the entire way home.
I took just one picture with my phone of Pa with his grandsons.
A couple more random photos. Jake loves the Jeep and is always happy to be a passenger for his big brothers. Drew has really improved his driving skills, too, and I think he enjoys stepping into what he has always considered Zach's role (driving) and having Jake be the passenger. This must have been some morning while we were waiting for Zach's bus to come.
As soon as Zach started school, Drew, Jake, and I got into a good habit of taking the dogs for a walk right after Zach got on the school bus. Sometimes Drew would want Puppy to ride along, and of course Puppy needed to wear his hat. Now that Drew has started school (pictures in a later post, as this one has already taken me a week to complete), we can't do that most days, and it's kind of a bummer. It was a nice way to start our day.