Saturday, June 27, 2015

Perfect Saturday

Saturday started early for us all. Bennett had a sleepover and he and Caden were up at 6:00am. And they woke Harrison while trying to be their quietest! What good kids... So I decided to reward them with pancakes and bacon. I love pancakes. Win-win for everyone.

The boys then spent most of the morning outside riding their bikes around the block, playing with the neighbor kids and swimming in the pool. Caden and Bennett have been such good friends since they were 2 and I love that still continues to this day. It helps that their mom's are great friends as well!

In the evening, Chris and I headed out to the Art's Festival for a little adult fun. We met Heather and Adam, Kari and Joe, and Maegan and Dan for a night out. Eddie Money was playing a free concert and thank goodness it was free! Another friend of mine was there and she said the inside scoop was that Eddie had just fired most of his band and 3 of the new members were his children! I, of course knew all of his songs and sang along to them all, but overall the performance was lacking. :( Thank goodness we had an awesome time regardless. So many laughs and great stories between friends. We ended the night at Star Bar for some bar food. Yum!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Arts Fest Day one

Harrison had his last day of STEAM Camp today. It was a 5 day camp that rotated between Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. The first day was Monday and he had Math but had to miss because of the last day of school. He and his friend Sarah were upset because they LOVE math. But in the end the heard that math day was 'easy' and a little boring so when they came home today and raved about art (which they wanted to exchange for math) we were all excited. Today's art project was boat making and the teachers had constructed a sort of raging river in the classroom. The kids had to take junk scrapes (styrofoam, tape, paper, etc) and create a boat that wouldn't flip over. They had a ball. The other days were filled with robot coding, top building, and roller coaster construction. Thank you to the DMPS for offering such an enriching camp to our students!

After camp we headed to the Arts Fest with our friends Missy and Deb and their kids Sarah and Sam. Sarah and Harrison have been in school together since preschool and so have Sam and Bennett. And since Sarah and Harrison have also in been in G/T together and will go to the same middle school and high school together, I foresee a long friendship for them! 

We stopped at several kids activities booths, watched a performance, helped create an art installation that will be permanently housed at the Des Moines International Airport and took time to get some selfies and photo booth opportunities. And somehow the kids all managed to wear blue so it was easy to keep track of them! The weather looked a little sketchy and we did get sprinkled on, but it was really a great day. 

And Chris and I get to go back tomorrow all by ourselves! Yeah - kid free night!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Food Trucks

Recently the city of Des Moines released restrictions on food trucks allowing many vendors to set up shop and then move shop and then move shop. Since then, we have been chomping at the bit to visit a few. We tried to go to the Food Truck Showdown at the Des Moines Social Club a month or so ago but that was a wonderful disaster. There were over 10,000 people there and the lines had an hour to an hour and a half wait. Most trucks eventually ran out of food! We choose not to stay and wait for food, but our appetite was wet!

The boys and I got our first chance this afternoon. We stopped by Chef Ott's Asian Cuisine and got some great food. We agreed by far that we had the most wonderful crab rangoon ever! We ordered the Pork Fried Rice, Pad Thai and the Banh Mi Style Sandwich. The sandwich was also out of this world! I had a blanket in the car so we were able to sit on the Court House lawn and enjoy our food truck chow. Next time we will try one of their Bubble Teas, but I was trying to keep to a little bit of a budget with this trip.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Water Wednesday

It has rained on and off all day here on our second day of summer. At 5pm the news said that we had gotten .46 inches but that was at the airport. Here (4 miles to the north of the airport) we had gotten at least 1 1/2 - 2 inches. And tonight we are getting more. It was nice to have an inside day with Bennett, because every chance both of my kids get, they are outside with the neighbor kids. Which I love, but they are mine too!!!

Today was Emma's last official day for the summer (she will be back next Tuesday as Anne has a training day) so we took a trip to the library this morning after we dropped Harrison off at STEAM Camp. She loves to get out a bunch of books and read them on the carpet and she also loves the play house and tool bench they have there. We also had to pick up some books  for Bennett and Harrison's summer reading. I got a list from both of their teachers so we picked up about 10 books each. Bennett's big summer goal is comprehension at his reading level and Harrison just needs to keep up the fantastic work. I swear he will be reading The Iliad and The Odyssey next!

One of our summer goals is cooking so tonight Bennett (with very little help from me) made us chocolate chip cookies. And they were good!! He loves to cook but I worry too much about the stove and oven. I HATE burns! But I'm trying to loosen up and trust in good decisions as the summer goes on. Tomorrow Harrison tells me that he is making French Toast Muffins. Sounds delish!

Another big summer goal for me was the boys in swimming lessons. They have had them before and can keep themselves up in water and float and do a little front crawl, but I wanted them to learn how to swim. And learn to swim they are! Both boys passed their first 2 week session and moved onto the next levels. This session is a little tougher for both and I am glad they are being challenged. I don't know if Bennett will pass his level, but I think Harrison will pass his. He is most worried about endurance as they have to maintain a swim for a much longer stretch of pool. He also loves his instructor. He thinks he looks like Michael Phelps! And I guess there is a triathlon in Harrison's future. Stay tuned for more on that! And this is after both boys complained for 3 weeks about the upcoming lessons. Ha!

Harrison is in the middle with the black trunks.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Officially Summer

The boys ended their 2014 - 2015 school year yesterday. It was bittersweet for me knowing that Harrison is now going to be a fifth grader. One year left with the people I trust the most with my child's education. The saying 'The best is yet to come' doesn't feel right in this situation, but I am going to challenge myself to cherish this upcoming, special year. I will focus on making memories that will last a lifetime. Harrison's teachers were Mrs. Arbogast and Ms. Donovan. His favorite part of this past year was the Neil Smith Nature Reserve field trip and he super excited to take us there this summer. Harrison is sad to see the fifth graders leave The Downtown School and he hopes to see them again soon.

Bennett finished his 2nd grade year with Mrs. Watson (same teacher as Harrison had for his 2nd and 3rd grade years) his favorite parts of the year were all the cool projects, especially the rocks unit and over the summer he will miss his friends the most. 

To celebrate the end of school and the beginning of summer I went a little Pinterest crazy! I put together a gift bag of popcorn, candy, and a movie ticket. Chris and I surprised the boys with a trip out to Newton to the Valle Drive-In to see Jurassic World. It was so much fun!! None of us had been out there before and we hope to make a return trip this summer. I don't know how busy it usually is but on a Monday night (with a little threat of bad weather to the south) we were the first ones in at 7:00pm and then gates opened at 6:30! We set up 'camp' and then the boys played some catch and then played some football. The movie started around 9 and was wonderfully fun and scary. The weather was perfect and Harrison and I even ended up in sleeping bags cause we were so chilly! Which was perfect because nothing is better than cuddling up on a cool summer night.

One more summer surprise I got for the boys was a basketball hoop for the pool. They got to try that out today and they love it. They are even pretty good about keeping the ball in the pool so that's a plus. :) Here are the wonderfully awesome quotes that came from the pool today courtesy of Harrison:

"Maybe I'm a cloud because I'm making it rain up in here."
"I think I should work at Dunkin Donuts cause I've got mad dunking skills!"
"I should be a plumber because I keep draining it."