This year marks 6 years of doing our month of give thanks. Here are some of the highlights:
- We donated to the school library for the first time. We gave over 100 books so students could enjoy them.
- Josie and I wrapped presents for Amanda the Panda (They support families that are grieving the loss of a loved one)
- We wrote thank you cards to farmers to show them a little love.
- We donated a buddy bench to the school in memory of our neighbor and buddy we lost earlier this year.
This year was also the first year we let the kids select a charity to donate to. They researched and we made the donation. Josie selected Children’s Cancer Connection in memory of Aunt Meredith’s mom, Lynn. Will selected JDRF for his buddy Luke. Ben wanted to donated to research, originally he said wikipedia. But thanks to a good friend we were connected with the Drake Library and got a behind the scenes tour of the archives. It was really cool!
We are getting closer to the end of summer and I don’t think any of us want it to be over! We are having a blast. Here are our July highlights:
- 4th of July weekend, we went to our friend’s lake house. They have all the fun lake toys: boat, tube, kayak, stand up paddle board…the kids were entertained (and so were the parents). We got to watch fireworks from the boat in the middle of the lake. Wendy and I did early morning walks. It was a perfect get-a-way.
- On the 4th of July, Ben had his debut show of synchronized swimming. He rocked it! He had a solo to the Lion King’s “I just can’t wait to be King”, duet to “Anything you can do, I can do better”, and a group dance to “Cuban Pete”. The team welcomed him with open arms and Ben had the time of his life! At the end of the season, he ended up getting first in all of the above for his age division against the other country clubs.
- The boys finished up their swim team season. They had so much fun. I loved having something to do everyday at the start of summer, now I am looking forward to more down time and hanging at home.
- Josie and Will wrapped up golf lessons. They both got 2nd place in their age division in the final competition.
- I rode my bike across Iowa, well part of Iowa. RAGBRAI was fantastic.
- Billy got in as much golf as he could.
2016 November and December highlights:
- Uncle Danny came for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was a treat to see him both holidays as he usually only comes home for Christmas.
- We went to our first football game in Iowa City, unfortunately the Huskers decided to not show up. The game was a blow out. On the bright side, we got to take the double decker train from the mall to the field. The kids loved it.
- We successfully completed another jello dive at the Maher house and I learned how to get red jello out of new white shirts 🙂
- All three had another fun 6 weeks in Science Club at school.
- We experienced our first Santa brunch at Wakonda. The kids loved the candy room the best. I loved the mimosas, Billy loved the food.
- Ben had observation week at dance, and Grandshe and I witnessed what pure joy looks like.
- I turned another year older, no need to go into numbers.
- The kids performed a trio at the school talent show singing “Somewhere over the Rainbow”. Grandshe cried. They did awesome.
- Josie also performed a piano song. At the end she “dabbed” instead of bowing.
- We did our traditional outing to “Holly Jolly Lights” for Make a Wish.
- We had the BEST Christmas EVER. Seriously…We hosted my side of the family for a couple of days then hit the road Christmas day to spend time with the Bemis crew. For the first time, we weren’t playing a ping pong match to try and see everyone while in Omaha. It was great.
- We got to meet our new baby cousin Jackson! We all couldn’t get enough of his little smiles, what a cutie.
The boys discovered Looney Tunes right before Halloween. They started watching them on YouTube and fell in love with the cartoon characters just like we did as kids.
They decided to be Looney Tunes for Halloween. I was so excited they came up with a theme! BUT Looney Tunes aren’t exactly popular now so I had to create their costumes….I think they turned out well.
Josie wanted to be Chewy from StarWars. While I would have loved her to match the boys, she came up with her idea long before the boys. PLUS her costume involved buying a talking mask (totally have gotten our moneys worth on that) and hooded pajamas from Target, score!
This year, we were at the Syverson’s for trick-or-treating. For the first time ever, the girls (Quinn and Jos) stayed out longer than the boys and hit up a few extra houses.
What a summer! It’s going to be over before we know it, so I wanted to capture a few highlights now:
- Probably the biggest excitement is that Grandshe moved to Des Moines. She is 10 minutes away and pretty much on our way to everything. It makes swinging by her place so convenient. Like today, we were planning to come straight home after golf because there are flash floods and it’s horrible outside. When we were only going 30mph on the interstate, we made a pit stop at Grandshe’s till the rain let up. Everyone was happy.
- We’ve had a few trips back to Omaha, always fun to see family and friends! We already have two more trips back to the Big O on the books before school starts!
- 4th of July was spent here with Jay, Danielle, Jules, James, and Henry. It was a perfect holiday hanging out and having fun. The only downfall was that it wasn’t too warm. The boys golfed, we all went fishing, to the park, on walks to feed the neighbor’s cat, and spent most of the 3rd of July at Wakonda doing face painting, tattoos, water slides, pop dives, and watching synchronized swimming. The fireworks in our front lawn were hard to beat!
- All three kids have enjoyed golf and swimming. The boys were fast little fish and both earned MVPs for their age group. Will placed 1st for golf and Ben got second. In swimming, Ben got first and Will got second. I told them they will be each other’s biggest competition and cheerleaders. It was kind of a cool lesson since this is the first time they both are competing in the same sport!
- Josie placed first for golf in her age group, actually her score was better than all the girls! While Josie isn’t as fast as her brothers in the pool, she is still a strong swimmer. She earned an award for most improved as she cut 18 seconds off her swim time. Josie told me she doesn’t love swimming as much as other sports. It opened up a great conversation on how proud I am of her because she is as good of a looser as she is as a winner. Swimming is the first sport I’ve seen Josie struggle, the kid is a natural athlete! There were kids that cried when they would get last place. Josie never got frustrated and always congratulated her opponents. She has such a positive attitude. At the end, Josie said “So basically, you like to see me loose.” Then she laughed and said, “Just kidding mom, I know what you mean!”
Over Memorial Day weekend, also known as Uncle Johnny’s birthday weekend, we went to Las Vegas for our second uncle trip of the year. It was perfect, well except poor Ben had a stomach bug the first day…but he was a total trooper. And thankfully no one else got it.
We did a ton of swimming in John & Meredith’s pool. We checked out the Container Park, which is this cool outdoor stage with live music, large legos for kids to play, a gigantic slide and playground and it is surrounded by different restaurants and stores. WAY cool.
We also got to spend time with our horse cousin Lilly! The kids got to take turns riding Lilly, brushing her and feeding her as well as Lilly’s horse friends.
We also got to check out our soon to be cousin Jackson’s nursery. It was so fun.