Better late than Never

Erik turned 10 on July 4.  He always tells people he is my best birthday present, but I feel blessed to be able to share his birthday.  This year we spent the day at home. 

Some traditions that were started with me growing up included day time parachutes and home-made ice cream.  So we have continued those traditions.  This year we had to light the day-time parachutes when it wasn’t down pouring, although Elizabeth thought she should have an umbrella.

We had friends over for a BBQ and fireworks in the late afternoon and evening. 

To finish the 10 year old’s celebration, Erik had a birthday party with some of his friends at an indoor  pool last week.  It was great to be inside as the temperatures outside were truly typically for July, around 100.  The boys were great and it was really fun to watch them in a different setting then we usually see them.  It will also be fun to see how their friendships develop as they all, except for one head off to school together in the fall in the new 5/6 center

Elizabeth made and decorated the cupcakes for the party!

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Tanganyika

On Father’s Day we visited this great zoo/wildlife park  in Goddard Kansas, just a little west of Wichita.  It is a great experience to be up close with the animals.  We went middle of the afternoon so some of them were a little sleepy or wanting to be in a cool spot because of the warm temperatures, but it was a very enjoyable time.  Visitors to the zoo are able to feed the animals and be up close to them in their environments. 

My favorite was this mama kangaroo, I could have watched her all afternoon in hopes that her little “joey” would make an appearance.  You could tell there was a kangaroo in pouch.  She did not of licking/grooming, and he would stick an arm or leg out every now and then, but never made an appearance.

A First…

Erik saw in the list of  summer activites for the rec center, a youth triathlon.   The mom in me said, “Sure” you can do it and we paid the small fee and put it on the calendar.  Since the day we did it, I have been thinking Erik is a good biker, and does some running for soccer, but even though he has done well with swimming lessons….can he really swim the distance?   You have to understand, anything Erik does, he does with 110% effort and always wants to win no matter how much we emphasis doing your best and having fun.

We arrived at the pool this morning.  Erik was in the age group to swim 2 lengths of the pool (approximately 50 meters), biking 1 mile, and then running 1/2 mile.  Three boys participated, 1 boy that is his age and then the other little boy was 7.  They all said it was harder than they thought, especially the swimming portion.

Erik finished the race in a little over 18 minutes which was first place and a starting spot for next year.  Next year he will be required to swim 4 lengths of the pool which he will have to work really hard at.

Before the race!

Getting ready for the bike ride.

It's close.

It's over!

Erik is wearing glasses and his t-shirt is covering his shorts!

The winners!

Soccer

Well, I guess it is time to add Erik’s spring soccer pictures.  The boy’s team was 0-6 this season.  They started off with 2 games being postponed due to snow.  They played hard and as parents we could see improvement during the games. 

Crazy friends at the end of the season.

In June, 6 of the boys played in a 3×3 soccer tournament.  They played harder, but it wasn’t meant to be. They lost in a playoff so ended up with 3rd place.  (Unfortunately there were only 3 teams!)  Erik says that is deja vu because that is exactly what happened last year.

 Erik spent many hours watching the World Cup on tv and was very disappointed when the United States lost, but was very happy when Spain won the championship game.   He even convinced his sister to get a vuvuzela   app. on her itouch.  He thinks it would be a grand way to spend birthday money, but we aren’t so sure about all of the noise that buzzes in your ears for days.

Hot pads or Pot Holders?

When we (my brother and I) were young we passed the time making pot holders with cloth loops on a frame.  A few years ago I bought the things to do it with Erik and Elizabeth.  I think maybe one or two got made, but the stuff just got put away until recently when Elizabeth and a friend were looking for some craft to make.  They did a great job and several have been made since that time.  The friend is a year younger than Elizabeth and never had heard of the term, hot pad or pot holder…I was very surprized!, but her mom really liked the one she made.

Girls Only

It was a mom daughter week at our house.  The boys went to church camp.  It has been very quiet and enjoyable.  I was able to spend time with Elizabeth without the pressures of getting other things done.  I worked in the mornings, but we spent time in the afternoon and evenings.   Some of  things we did included:  girl scout camp in Hutchinson 2 afternoons, playing games and talking, cleaning and organizing, watching what WE wanted to watch on tv, going out to eat, going to Sonic for Happy Hour at the beginning and end of the week, and of course going to Eclispe with a few of her friends and having a sleep over.