The Zoo

I signed the boys and me up to run in the annual Zoo race this year, but we ended up not going.  Since we didn't pick our shirts up that day, we had to make a quick Zoo visit a few weekends ago to pick them up.  Grandma Lang went with us.  We spent the morning there and headed home at lunch time; a nice quick visit to see a few animals and of course ride the train.

Bucket list #2!!

Home Depot Workshop

The first weekend in June the boys and I stopped in Home Depot to do our first kids' workshop there.  Turns out Home Depot's crafts include paint, which was very exciting (and messy).  We had to squeeze it in before Jack's t-ball game but couldn't pass it up because they were making a riding lawn mower (just like Daddy!)

After we got home later we decided we needed to paint some more, so we got out all the other things we've built at workshops and slathered on the color.
Such works of art.

First Cardinals Game

In early June, Jason and I took the boys to their first Cardinals game (bucket list #13).  It was Super Hero night, so they got a new t-shirt and a cape.  So fun!  We learned early on that night that Charlie is still terrified of "Redbird."  He spotted him first and immediately wanted to be held.  He didn't want to go anywhere near him, but managed to get over it quickly when we walked away.

We sat in our seats for approximately 1/2 of an inning because it. was. hot!!  We did get to see a home run by Colton Wong though, so that was fun.  We couldn't see the fireworks, but we heard them!

After that we went out to the concession stand area to cool off.  The boys loved running up and down the ramps.  A lot.

And some video footage:

After awhile we decided to walk all the way up to the top.  Whew, that was quite a walk in the heat!  We watched an inning or so from up there.
Then we took some pictures, including our favorite ever picture of Jason and the boys:

As we descended the ramps, Jack was going too fast and took a spill.  A little skinned knee, but he'll survive.  We watched a choir sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame (of course!) and then we headed out.

We managed to get out with just these $2 stamped penny necklaces as souvenirs.  Much better than all the other (very expensive) chotchkes they had their sights set on...

We had a nice family night and will certainly do it again.  Maybe next time we'll watch more of the game!

Camping Trip

The weekend after Memorial Day, we took the boys on their first camping trip with our neighbor friends.  Our friends Darrin and Chrissy did all the planning and there were six families, each of us with two kids.  There's a place not more than 10 minutes from our house with a big lake and campgrounds - a perfect starting point for camping with little ones.

First the boys and I took a quick trip to Menards Saturday morning and couldn't resist trying out this giant chair.  We didn't buy it since it was $100 - phew!
We headed to the campsite after naps on Saturday afternoon and camped for one night.  The boys had a blast!!
The little guys: Ethan, Charlie and Tyson.  Seriously, how cute is this??
 We got rained on not long after we got there, but a few of us had walked down to play at the playground and there just happened to be a large pavilion there for us to stand under.  Excellent timing if I do say so myself.  Of course the boys had a blast running out into the rain (which allowed us to check off #10 on our bucket list)
Brothers: Charlie, Jack, Jack and Logan

The kids spent the evening riding their bikes, playing washers, and just plain running around.  It was a lot of fun.

Addison, Reghan, Jack, Tyson and Jack

The Mamas: Kim, me, Renee, Melissa, Chrissy

Nathan and Charlie deep in conversation
Charlie, Nathan, Jack
Don't pay too much attention to my appearance on this one 

Setting up our tent with a little lot of help from our friends
 Jason took the kids fishing - I don't have a great picture of the group, but here's Jack...
Jack fishing with Daddy
When it got dark, we had oodles of glow sticks and made s'mores.
Charlie and Daddy roasting marshmallows
Wish I knew what this discussion was about....Jack, Nathan and Jack
Jack, Hayden, Reghan and Addison

Charlie and me
The boys did pretty well at bedtime.  There was a lot of talking and sitting up but after awhile they gave in and fell asleep.

The next morning everyone pretty much just woke up and packed up the campsites.  We stayed with Mark and Hayden to do a little more fishing before we headed home.

All in all the camping trip was a big success.  Despite the rain (and therefore mud!!) we had a fun time.  I'd definitely recommend the 'close to home' spot for a first trip with the littles.  AND in addition to playing in the rain, we checked off #1 (go camping) and #27 (go fishing) from our list.


Summer Bucket List

After some inspiration from a high school friend on Facebook, I decided we should make a bucket list for the summer.  I asked for Jack and Charlie's help in coming up with the list of things we wanted to do.  They added a few, but then started getting silly, so I did a lot of the list (with some input from Grandma and my friends Rebecca and Melissa).  Without further ado, here we have the Summer 2014 Edition of the Clayton Bucket List (you should be able to click the picture to make it bigger and easier to read):
I sent it to Fed Ex Kinko's to have a laminated copy made, and I plan to check things off as we do them.  Even if we don't do all of these things, it's going to be a fun summer!

New Bike

Jack got a new bike a few weeks ago.  His 12" bike was perfect for learning to ride a two-wheeler since he could easily put his feet down when he needed his balance.  However, he started to look so big on that small bike.  The real reason for the new bike though is that Charlie was ready for a bike with training wheels and Jack's Spiderman bike was the perfect candidate.

Jack wasn't sure he wanted to upgrade to the 16" bike, but I talked him into it by letting him pick out a Ninja Turtle bike and assuring him that we would add a kickstand to it just like his cousins.  Turns out he shouldn't have been worried.  This video is literally his first attempt at riding the bigger bike:
And Charlie got the hang of his new (hand-me-down) one pretty quickly too.  This was day 1, but he's a pro now...

Mid Rivers Carnival

In May Jack spotted a carnival in the Mid Rivers Mall parking lot, so we decided to make a Friday night visit.  The boys got to ride a bunch of different rides and had a fun time.

 Fast cars!

Charlie was really brave and rode this helicopter ride all by himself (Jack was saving his last tickets for a slide ride for which Charlie was too short).  We were impressed...

And a quick video:

Afterwards we made a stop at Orange Leaf for some frozen yogurt.  A nice little family night in the books.