Billy’s birthday is always a double whammy holiday falling on Valentine’s Day…but this it was a triple celebration: Birthday, Valentine’s Day, and Ash Wednesday!
Don’t worry, Billy wasn’t an after thought, he was the main event! We had friends over for beef tenderloin two days before his birthday. We celebrated him on his actual birthday and went out with a group of friends two days after his birthday. We also did another dinner for all February birthday friends the following week. I think this is a record for celebrating Billy’s birthday. He’s learning from me 🙂
My mom surprised me on Valentine’s Day by bringing me flowers, candy, AND she serenaded me! It totally made my day. All the kids at Religious Ed got a kick out of it.
The kids and I started sending love notes to Billy at work. He had a few rough weeks at work so we decided to turn that frown upside down. We all like mail, but a love note at work seemed to do just the trick!
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!