As I write this, we are only days away from your first day of Kindergarten. Holy cow. Once again, I've been a little on the busy side and a little remiss as it pertains to your letters, but I was entertaining you, so I guess that's a valid reason.
You and I have been having a complete and total blast. As usual, I'm going to fill it with tons of pictures commemorating the great summer we've had, with a few fun anecdotes thrown in for good measure. I promise to get back to pontificating and having deep thoughts later on. But for now: here comes the fun!
Our summer started off with your State Bowling Tournament in Naples and Cape Coral. Now, this will get a post all its own, but I figured I'd whet the appetite with a few pictures. It was a trip like no other, compete with a broken down car , but we made the best of it and we had a ton of fun.
Your team consisted of you and three other kiddos from the Capital Lanes youth league: Nijah, Anthony and Aaron. Tallahassee was well represented!
The four of you on the approach for team introductions. Proud Mommy!
Got a picture of you next to the sign at one of the alleys were you bowled. Results and more of this story later. It's a good one...
... and this picture is part of the good story. But keep reading. I promise it's worth its own letter. Oy.
After state, we headed back home and kicked off our summer with Make It Mondays, Movie Tuesdays and all manner of frivolity. We made some completely awesome dark chocolate and raspberry bars, painted neat artwork and made a special pocket for the tooth fairy. Did I mention that you have your first loose tooth?! Well, you do. Found it at state tournament, as a matter of fact. But anyhoo...
Because Mommy is a complete and total road warrior, one of our fun adventures was to load up the car with you, your cousin Payton, and some snacks and head to Wild Adventures for... well... an adventure. They were having a special promotional day where, since Maggie the Giraffe the was turning five, all five year olds were admitted to the park for free! Hooray for you and Pay being five!!
Here you both are at the main gate before we kicked off our awesome fun day!
We went on a Thursday, and the park was basically empty, so the two of you got to ride things over and over again! We went on the water rapids ride twice and you and Pay rode this roller coaster at least half a dozen times. It was perfect!
Here you are on the jungle safari train. Part of the fun was the birthday party for Maggie the Giraffe, and you both got stuffed giraffes as souvenirs.
And you both got to feed Maggie the Giraffe! She apparently loves carrots. One of your favorite parts of the whole adventure was the splash area inside the park. I think it was my favorite, too. You and Payton were old enough to play in the kids area just the two of you, and I got to sit in a lounge chair with my feet in the water and watch you guys have fun. Having someone for you to play with took the task off me (which sounds selfish I know, but just wait until you have kids, little boy. You will understand.) and it was completely awesome. One of my more brilliant ideas, if I can say so myself.
You two completely wore each other out, so the ride home was relatively quiet, too!
Continuing with our summer of being on the road, next up is Fourth of July at Lake Seminole. Only once have we missed this yearly occasion of family and patriotic fun, and I am determined not to repeat that! This year, we headed up for a weekend of boat riding, firework watching, pork butt eating hilarity with Uncle Gary, Aunt Megan, Pay and Tay and Grandma and Papa, and as usual, we had a total blast. There aren't as many pictures as I'd like, but honestly, I was having too much fun.
Here's you and your cousins eating dinner. Our numbers usually overwhelm the size of the little house, but that's part of all the fun. "How many people can the lake house hold before we all lose it?" Think clown car, with a foundation. Anyhoo. The table wasn't big enough for all of us, so I assembled what we nicknamed "Death Row"
You being launched off the boat into the Flint River.
You in the boat waiting on the fireworks to start.
And as usual, they were completely worth it.
And that leads us up to July 8, and Nole's third birthday. We made a trip up to visit, and we got to have the great experience of an Atlanta Braves game in a private box! I can officially attest that you thoroughly enjoyed baseball in this environment. We were surrounded by food galore, had air conditioning, and there was enough room for you to wander if you got bored. Aunt Maggie also rocked with goodie bags and Braves coloring sheets.
Way to go, Aunt Maggs! You were completely thrilled with your Big League Chew
You, watching all the action.
Us and crazy Uncle Brian. His pizza was only part of the amazing food and treats in the box. The ice cream man even came around, and you just LOVED that. Popcorn, peanuts, cracker jack... they had it all. Plus braised short ribs, pizza, chips and dip and I cant even remember what else.
You and your little cousin, Nole, watching the game. It was a great night.
Whew. This summer just keeps going and going! I swear we're almost finished. Remember that letter I wrote about you being obsessed with knights and castles? Well, we fed in to it and finally took you to Medieval Times. And can I just say, I think you were in Heaven. You amazed by the castle itself, and your mouth just hung open during all of the knightly events like jousting and sword fighting. The meal was huge, but in true Ian form, you ate the entire half chicken on your plate, and you even got to be part of a special ceremony where they announced your name during the dinner tournament.
You were completely enthralled with this show. We knew how much you loved knights before-hand, and think by going to Medieval Times, I'm pretty sure you now want to be a knight more than just about anything.
Here's that cool ceremony I was talking about. Daddy and I paid a little extra for you to be "knighted" by the king in front of everyone. You were hesitant while it was going on, but afterward, you told anyone and everyone who would listen that you had been officially knighted by a king.
My little knight and his Mommy! It was so much fun for me and Daddy to get to watch just how happy you were to be there. Made it completely worth it and more.
You out in front of the castle. You sweet talked us into buying you the special knight's tunic you're wearing, but I think Daddy would have done it for you anyway. He was so glad to have been able to share that with you.
Your Daddy also got to share you final summer adventure with you, too, just two of you and Grandpa Brooks. The last couple of weeks of July had me preparing for and taking two of my twirlers to Nationals. While I was gone, you, your Daddy and your Grandpa had your own adventure. The three of you packed up and headed off to Cape Canaveral and the space center! While you were there, you got to see some amazing stuff, including the launch of a satellite from your hotel room!
Grandpa took some great photos, and here they are!
Here's you and Daddy a space ship cockpit, I think. Daddy doesn't remember either.
The three of you in one of the Apollo nose cones. This is neat.
This is a great picture that Daddy took. It's you listening to Grandpa talk all about rockets. It also shows how dang TALL you've gotten
Climbing out of one of the Apollo nose cones.
Here you are piloting the space shuttle simulator.
This is pretty much a celebrity sighting for you! Here you are with one of the Mars rovers. I KNOW I've written all about that. These little rovers have fascinated you for years, and I am really happy you got to see one up-close.
This picture is you and Daddy on a moon buggy!
You and Daddy and the Mars Rover again. Look at your smile!
You and Daddy with an astronaut.
This is a great picture of the two of you.
So as you can see, you've had a crazy busy and FUN summer. The last few weeks of the holiday have consisted of us having fun here around the house, swimming, gathering school supplies and thinking back on all the great times we had this summer. From playing with our neighbors, Jasmine and Donaldo, to cousin sleepovers in tents in our living room and "helping" me in my classroom to get ready for the upcoming year, it's been a blast.
S'mores with neighbors
THIS was a crazy fun mess!
Ahh, the life of a teacher's kid.
So now, I think I've finally finished this letter, and it's a good thing, too. Tomorrow is First-Day-of-Kindergarten-Eve, and I have so much more to cover and write about. I hope that you will be able to remember all of these fun times, and I'm glad I have these letters so you can look back if you don't. Know that every moment was fun and precious, and we love you very much!
Mommy and Daddy