Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Summer Snapshots Weeks 1 - 3

While summer doesn't officially begin until tomorrow, the kids and I have packed in plenty of activities since school let out three weeks ago. We kicked off our carefree days with a party to celebrate Noah's 14th birthday. He and three friends enjoyed playing arcade games, taking in the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie and enjoying pizza in the kitschy drive-in diner.

Natalie had her bands replaced with something appropriate for the coming 4th of July holiday.

 Several times we've taken advantage of the Zoo's early hours to get up close and enjoy crowd-free time with some of their favorite critters.

 Boxes -- the single best way to spark imagination and creativity in kids. It was so fun to hear Noah and Nat work through their ideas. While Natalie was focused on what to name their ship, the license plate and food they would eat on board, Noah was more concerned that it had a base for landing and an engine.
"It doesn't need an engine, Noah -- it runs on imagination," said Natalie.

 Finding innovative ways to keep kids occupied beyond video games and T.V. can be a challenge. We've been making multiple library trips and Noah discovered a cool way to incorporate his love for Minecraft with some fun, educational activities. He followed the instructions in Minecraft Lab for Kids to create a sweet little castle made out of sugar cubes and frosting.

 Nat and her friend Ella enjoyed a fun week of VBS camp at Webster Gardens but they still had plenty of energy left over. To keep them occupied we got out Nat's stash of Sculpy clay and together created a tiny troll...an adorable addition to any potted plant.

Rockhill Library hosted a fun event that had kids reading to and petting therapy dogs and making pet toys for Open Door Sanctuary - the largest no kill shelter in the Greater St. Louis area and state of Missouri. Together our group created more than 200 braided, pull toys.

Another day at the zoo...but the it also marked our 15th wedding anniversary.

My sister and her kids came to visit from Colorado. In the time since I'd last seen them they all had grown taller than me (wah!)...except Griffin, but he's 8 -- give him another couple years and I'll be looking up at all of them.

Happy Father's Day! We celebrated Dad's 77th birthday, too.

Steve hadn't planned on it, but he ended up giving two of his nephews the fishing bug. We had to practically drag them from the pond.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Deep Thoughts From Noah #79

Natalie: "Mahhhmmm! Noah told me to shut-up!"

Noah: "But I said please...I asked her to please shut-up."

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Happy 14th Birthday Noah!

As I tucked Noah into bed on the eve of his 14th birthday...

"Mom, I think my voice sounds a little lower,"

While his voice is still pretty high and prepubescent, his size 10 feet are certainly showing me he is well on his way to becoming a man.


Thank goodness he hasn't outgrown hugs from his Mom.

Later Natalie came to me distressed -- "I don't have a gift for Noah".

"What about sending him on a scavenger hunt -- he loves those," I suggested.

Her face lit up and she gave me a squeeze before rushing out of the room saying -- "Thanks, Mom!"

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Musings From Natalie #144

As Natalie got into the car at school pickup...

"Mom, I've been thinking about heaven..."

"You have?"

"Yeah, I think heaven is located in your heart...see, that's why we don't need a body...that's where God is. After you die you just have your heart and inside is God in heaven. And, when you do good things your heart grows and when you don't it kind of gets these little chips in it."

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Musings From Natalie #143

After several unsuccessful wake up calls, I hear... "But, Mom I'm only 10% charged"

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Native Tales

While most St. Louisians were hunkering down during our monsoon weather conditions, our family ventured out on Saturday. The St. Louis Artist Guild was hosting a collaborative storytelling program in partnership with Maturity and Its Muse's "Celebrating Art for Senior EngAGEment Festival", and the 38th Annual St. Louis Storytelling Festival.

Dolores Santha (aka Grandma Coyote), 92 years young delighted our family by sharing tales her father passed down to her when she was just a child. Santha descended from Native American heritage. She is a daughter of a Comanche father and a Seneca mother. Over the years she has participated in powwows and gatherings at schools and educational centers around the country. She has been a police officer, an Indian Center director, an AARP liaison, and has also been a tireless advocate for prisoner rights, having been nominated to be a liaison with Native prisoners in the state of Missouri.

And, good news! There's still time to take part in this unique festival as The St. Louis Storytelling Festival is not just one event -- rather a collection of more than 60 events happening throughout the area May 3rd - 6th.

After listening to Grandma's tales we had fun making animal masks.
Lots of interesting displays for the Displacement and Migration exhibit