Sunday, July 30, 2017

Summer Snapshots Weeks 7 - 9

Week 7 began with a trip to Purdy, MO. A little town home to a camp with a big purpose -- for more than 20 years Camp Barnabas has been offering sleep away camp to kids and adults with physical, cognitive and learning challenges. A Christian-based camp, they provide 1 on 1 support to campers and have been developing a program for siblings, too. This summer both Noah and Natalie spent six days and five nights - swimming, floating, canoeing, and more while making new friends and growing their self-confidence in a safe, loving environment.

Noah meets his missionary and "cabin dad"
This year Barnabas built two new cabins called "Ewok village" for siblings.

While the kids were away, Steve and I enjoyed a belated, 15th anniversary dinner. We dined at Pietra's -- a delightful, Italian restaurant located in St. Louis Hills. While the restaurant has been in business for 50+ years, we had never heard of it and likely would have never eaten there had it not been for a gift card Steve received from a job well done. We filled up on steak and pasta and finished with one of the best-tasting tiramisus I've ever had.

To distract myself from worrying about whether the kids were having a good time at camp, I took part in a free painting class offered at Oak Bend Library. My friend, Stacy and I enjoyed a morning of getting in touch with our creative side.

Once the kids had returned from camp, we I took part in Rockhill Library's "Terrific Tuesdays". One week we programmed ozbots and played with 3D pens while another time we dusted off our wands and made a trip to Hogwarts via some Harry Potter yoga.

School is just around the corner and Natalie loves nothing more than shopping for supplies. "I just love the smell of new pencils!" After shopping we stopped in Culver's for a little treat. She's been dying to try a malt. She loved it. This one made with their "flavor of the day" - chocolate custard, salted caramel and bits of Hershey bars. It was so thick she had trouble drinking it through the straw.

I am always amazed at the number of fun, engaging classes offered through our local libraries. This time Noah took part in Webster Groves Library's LEGO Star Wars event. They brought in a rep from Snapology and the kids went to town building characters and light sabers from galaxies far, far, away.

For two weeks we (and when I say "we" I really mean Steve) has been caring for our friends chickens who were out of town. They gave us their tickets to see COCA's production of Beauty and the Beast. Though I've seen the show several times -- the live orchestra, costumes and story line never ceases to give my heart a squeeze. "Mom, are you crying?" asked Natalie. "No," I replied while turning my face away from hers. sigh. Noah had had no interest in going. "I DON'T want to go! I've seen it before." However, he was one of the first to give the performers a standing ovation. hmmm...

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Deep Thoughts From Noah #79

Noah/Natalie: Can we have two Oreo cookies?
Me: Sure
(Kids go to open package and discover there are only 2 cookies left)
Noah/Natalie: There are only 2 left!
Me: Ok, so you both get one.
While Natalie begins eating her cookie, Noah is upset.
Noah: But, I wanted two cookies. She could just break hers in half.
Me: So, you think she should have half a cookie and you should get one and a half cookies? That's not fair, though.
Noah: No, she could break hers in half and then I could give her half of mine. Then we'd BOTH have two!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Musings From Natalie #148

"Mom, I just made up a new joke...wanna hear it?"
"What's a chicken's favorite vegetable?"
"I don't know."

Friday, July 7, 2017

Summer Snapshots Weeks 4-6

Summer is in full swing and taxiing kids to camp has become part of our routine -- Art Camp for Nat and Miriam Sports (social skills) Camp for Noah. While both camps were in opposite directions/times - I didn't mind as I view them as an enrichment -- a way to supplement their education while giving me a bit of a reprieve. This season is also a time to play hard, but also slow down and visit with friends we don't get to see as much during the hectic school year.

Below are some of the gems Natalie created during her time at camp.

A Dog's Purpose
Lilo & Stitch
Beauty and the Beast
Natalie won the Des Peres Fishing Derby for biggest and most fish caught.

We enjoyed a lovely day at Grant's Farm with our friends the Magees.

We met my parents at Powder Valley Conservation Center to listen to a concert by music duo Shortleaf. The musicians specialize in traditional Ozark folk music and weave stories of Ozark culture and natural resources into their concerts.

We discovered a new and improved way to make and enjoy chocolate chip cookies...The perfect shape for dunking into a cold glass of milk.

 Natalie and I walked in the Webster Groves Community Days parade on 4th of July with area Girl Scouts.

Later in the evening we enjoyed food and friendship with the Clarks and several other families. Together we watched the Webster Groves fireworks show.

Pop, Pop Pop goes the Poppers


Noah had been complaining of headaches recently and I noticed he had been reading more than usual and wondered if the two were linked. We had his eyes checked and turns out our guy is far-sided. His only request -- "Can they be green?"

The kids are both headed to Camp Barnabas which means double the costumes needed for the theme dance parties the camp hosts each evening. Yikes! In past years I was usually able to throw something together for Noah the night before using bits and pieces we had lying around the house -- not this year.  The themes were a little more complicated and Nat likes to think outside the box. For example, one night is "Down the Yellow Brick Road" and they suggest dressing up as a scarecrow, tin man or lion "as they search for their hearts, minds and courage". But, Nat told me she just wanted to be Toto. Hmmm... Another night the theme is "In the Belly of a Whale".(as a Christian-based camp I think they were thinking more along the lines of Jonah) and wearing swimwear, etc. but Natalie immediately shared she'd like to go as a mermaid. Gah. However, with a little ingenuity, scraps from my craft stash and some help from Dollar Tree - we were able to get the job done.

Noah was not excited about dressing up at all...that is until Natalie shared how instead of being "Prince Charming" for the All In-vited party -- he could go as a knight...and using a bit of Star Wars fabric -- he was a Jedi Knight.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Musings From Natalie #147

"Mom, my goal is to travel the world before you and Dad get too old so I can take you guys with me."

Her travel bucket list.

Musings From Natalie #146

"Mom, you are so lucky you get to be a preschool teacher. I'm going to be one, too...(pause), but only part time because I'll be busy traveling and signing autographs." (as a world famous author).