24 August 2014

Other Summer Fun!

It seemed like we were super busy this summer. When I uploaded some of my miscellaneous pictures, I found that the camera confirms it. We had a lot going on. So here's a tribute to some summer fun we had before "real school" started in earnest. 

Strawberry Picking with Friends
Ahhh - these two. Annie and Max have known each other for five years now. Crazy.
We love our visits together. And Katie and I love that Max and Annie just get along. 

Max, Annie, and Molly.

My strawberry pie, made in Grandma Somers's strawberry pie pan. :-) 

Mom and Joe having a good time at the Yankees game!
Which the Royals won. Just saying. :-) 

Paul Borchardt Bunyan - using Mom's ax on a nasty stump in our back yard.

Father's Day: After lunch at Dad and Linda's house, we hit Botanica for a kite celebration on Father's Day. It was hot, but I think the kids had fun!

Benny and Dexter

Max and Daddy

Dad and Benny!

Max took an art-camp class at the Lawrence Arts Center. They built their own spaceship and landing module, among other things. Too fun!

We had a visit from our Boston cousins. Max really enjoyed it, especially attending the St. John's Fiesta with them.

Fun in the Art Room at LOL.
Bouncing Pillow at LOL!

Love this picture of Max and Catie!
She's a real sweetheart to him. :-) 

Fun at the bowling alley in Wichita with Uncle Adam! 

Throwing up the metal signs.
Bowling with Grandpa Joe.

He worked in the shop. I think he takes fewer breaks than I did, so maybe Grandpa Joe likes that better. :-)

We are pretty sure he grew. We looked at him lots as he slept this summer, keeping track of how much space he took up.
Max and his sleeping companions.

When Uncle Rob visits, there is always fun to be had!

Soccer pros.

We visited the Douglas County Fair with our friend Malia from preschool.

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Max's Fish. He drew everything here all by himself. Coming along! 
We've been enjoying all the cool parts of the newly remodeled library. It is really pretty sweet.
Time in one of the awesome reading nooks.

Max does love spending time with his dog-cousin Parker. He's so glad Parker (and Kelly, and eventually Phil, are here) is here.

Max and Daddy out in the pool. Hahaha. 

One afternoon, we took an impromptu trip to KC and stopped in at Union Station. We scored five or six trains. Max was pretty happy!
Amtrak Passenger coming in from STL.
BNSF Freight coming from the east.
Looking over some UP freight coming in from the west.

Our friends the Neutebooms bought a new house - and it's only a couple of minutes from ours. We've spent some time there now, having lots of fun!

One of our last Max/Mommy midday walks before school started. 

Mommy and Max day: scored an Engine book at the Dusty Bookshelf then got ice cream at
Mass Street Sweet Shoppe. Downtown Lawrence rocks!!
My super adorable, wonderful, adventuresome dude at the other end of the playground tunnel.

Summer was bittersweet. So many great adventures but all the while realizing that he's moving into some real big-kid stuff with full-day Kindergarten. We are on the ride all the way now. I miss my little buddy in the still strange silences of the day. And I'm very lucky to have been able to help him grow into the great kiddo he is today. 

As Max enters this new stage, I think Paul and I recognize more than ever that we are privileged to be this little dude's parents.

04 August 2014

Late summer trip: Moline, Chicago, and Grandma's Up North House

Our yearly trip to Northern Wisconsin took a few detours this year, including visiting John Deere in Moline, IL, visiting the city in Chicago, visiting my friend Krissy in Lake Barrington, IL, and then finally going up to Lac du Flambeau for some time on the lake. Here are the pictures! Enjoy!

In Davenport/Moline, we ate a pizza place called Happy Joe's. Max thought it was funny, but the picture looked nothing like Grandpa Joe.

The next morning, we went to the John Deere Pavillion for kid's day. Basically, it's a lot of machinery for viewing and a few kids activities. Truth be told, the Kansas State Fair is way better if that's what you're looking for. But it was a nice stop, and Max had fun.

His favorite part, as one may expect, was driving the mini-Gator around the track. He did pretty well, I believe!

Sowing seeds.

Harvesting Corn

Milking cows.
 After spending the morning at John Deere, we headed into the city. I must say, Paul must've sweet talked the hotel, because the Club Quarters on Wacker gave us quite the view. Max and I both said WOW when we opened the curtains.

Seeing the train, boats, taxis, buses, cars, and planes all at once. Oh, and some great buildings, too!
Dream come true for that little guy.
 After checking in, we explored immediately.
Took a water taxi to Union Station so Max could see from whence the Empire Builder departs.

Bean meeting Bean.

Every Bean picture is practically a selfie. Ha!

We explored the park, then after a break, headed out for dinner by the river and then fireworks on Navy Pier! Max did a great job walking, taking buses, and enjoying the city. He surprised both of us with his ability to handle it all.

Watching the boats come in off the lake.
For a fun time, ask Max about the party boat.

That's how you do a Chicago Dog! 

At the pier, waiting for the fireworks.
Crazy, happy kiddo!
Happy mom and kid!
(Side note: the benefit of Paul's having an iPhone is that he takes pictures with me in them, proving I am there.)

The next day, we visited The Field Museum, The Museum of Science and Industry, rode the train, and took a boat ride on Lake Michigan.

Pretty much all Max wanted to see at the Field were the dinos. So that's fine.
Maxasaurus met Tyrannosaurus Sue.

He enjoyed the train parts of Science and Industry, and some of the other pieces, but he thought it was a little loud.

Picked up some Trader Joe's and headed back to the hotel on the train. He was eating up his city-boy experience!

After dinner and some downtime, we went back to the pier for a boat ride.

Sunset on the boy in the city.
Waving at Uncle Phil on the other side of the lake in Michigan.

Beware of pirates!

Even after all of that, Max still wanted to do more. So we took the bus over to Buckingham Fountain for some music and lights!

"Love and marriage, love and marriage..."

Night view from the hotel.

Before heading north the next morning, we stopped over at Marina Towers so that Max could go to the rooftop and see the city. So up to the 61st floor and up the steps to the rooftop we went.
Some members of the family enjoy this more than others.

Going from way down here...

To way up here. 

Not a fan. But I did it. 

 We tried for a cute family picture. We really tried.

Proof that I got close to the edge.

Cute Chicago pic - from 61 floors up.

Wisconsin, ho!
After stopping in Lake Barrington to see Krissy, Emma, Chase, and Peyton, we continued north.

Max, having recently read the story of Paul Bunyan, had to go to breakfast at Paul Bunyan's!
Babe horns.

Mocking Grandpa Joe by eating a Paul Bunyan's donut. Yummmm!
It was cooler this year than last, so we didn't spend as much time in the water, but still did tons of stuff including taking in the water ski show, a boat show, pontoon rides, and fishing.

Building his diorama.

Captain Max!

Watching Grandma B kayak by.

Max and Nan. Cute picture!!


Quite a crew on this boat.

Grandpa B was waiting to direct Paul into shore.

Finished diorama.

Last ride on the paddleboat.
On the docks on Lake Minocqua after fish fry. 

It was a fun and a very busy trip. I think we're happy to be home, and we are gearing up for kindergarten in less than two weeks!!!