Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Jacob's tourney team and a little opera

Jacob has had the great opportunity to play on a tournament baseball team this summer. Initially he didn't try out: all tournaments include Sunday games and at least 80% participation is required. A couple weeks after the tryouts, however, a coach called and asked if Jacob would join. The coach was completely supportive of our observance of the Sabbath: he wanted Jacob to play, excepting all Sunday games. What an opportunity and a blessing! 

Last weekend the kids and I traveled to Deerfield for a tournament, where Jacob pitched in two games. I didn't take any pictures of him because we misplaced his jersey that morning and I turned a black t-shirt inside out and stuck a masking tape number on it. So classy, I know! Here's one from the regular season anyway:
The ballpark had hot dogs, a dunk tank, a mascot, sandboxes, a fire truck--so summery and perfect. In between games the kids and I pushed kid-sized carts at the local Piggly Wiggly, hiked on a woodsy trail, and splashed around at a community park. 

After ten hours at the tournament, we picked up Eric and relaxed at one of Madison's best traditions, Opera in the Park! 
The event showcases the Madison Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, nationally-renowned soloists, and a first-class program, all as a free gift to the Madison community! Although the kids zoned out during the Italian opera, they loved the more familiar Broadway selections and the experience as a whole, including the treats!
Ouch for Max's nose! It was a result of four kids tying their bikes together and barreling down the street. It seemed so fun and creative when I was taking this picture, but then their experimentation got a little wild, I guess. Bless his heart, it's almost healed now!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Cousins over!

My kids are over the moon--in the last month, seven of their cousins from three different families have been out here to visit! My sister Sandra drove out here from Colorado for a couple weeks. We tried out indoor rock climbing, and the kids were champs:
Even three-year-old Adam climbed about 12 feet up each time and kept at it for a couple hours!
We also kept busy boating, playing at parks,
 exploring pioneer life at the children's museum,
and even spending the night at the library! What an event--there were scavenger hunts, games, treats, and of course, the healthiest selection of bedtime stories ever!
 Sandra and I also took the kids camping, which was perfect
 excepting the tree-bending storm that barreled through right as we were waking up! Here we are drenched after packing up a campsite for nine in the downpour!
Sandra stayed through Eric's (amazing!) graduation night:

This weekend we continued the cousin fun by having our adorable Alldredge and Jason Brinton cousins over. What more could a kid want than a boy-built slip 'n' slide,
 popsicles every night,
 tubing on the lake,
a driveway "ice cream shop,"
 kids your size to talk to (these two were born only two hours apart!),
 and a day at the beach?
Here are the most recent visitors in their Sunday best. It doesn't get any cuter than that.
 Cousins, we love you! Come back anytime.