Saturday, September 3, 2016

Metal Smile

Sam began his journey with braces this summer.  The first couple of days were really rough because he not only got braces but an expander.  His expander caused him quite a bit of pain, made it hard for him to swallow, eat and talk.  The first two days he carried around a cup to spit into since he had such difficulty swallowing.  Finally, he figured out how to swallow but it was still difficult to talk and eat.  Those things have continued to improve over time but sometimes he will still get food caught in it and pronounces a few words with difficulty.  Luckily the expander will come off around Christmas time and he will just have the braces to deal with for another year and a half.  
He enjoys picking out his rubber band colors each time he visits.  He has had royal blue and gold for The KC Royals, black and gold for Mizzou and is currently wearing royal blue and red for Gentry since his first football game is next week.  He also enjoys his orthodontist and all the ladies at the office so getting him to go isn't a chore.  He will be really happy when he has a perfect smile! 
The after photo in the car after the appointment.

The before photo in the office waiting for his turn.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Camps, Camps and More Camps!

Ella and Sam both had very busy summers.  Rather than write about each camp they attended I thought I would combine them into one blog post.  Ella started the summer with cheer camp at Father Tolton High School.  This was her second year to go to cheer camp and she always has a good time.  She always tells me she wants to be a high school cheerleader and soccer player.  She went to two soccer camps this summer.  She did a week of soccer camp with Synergy which is her club team.  It was an all day camp and a few days were outdoor and a few days were indoors due to the heat.  She also did soccer camp at Fr. Tolton which was just in the evenings one week.  In addition to camps she also took lessons in swim and tennis.  She started the summer with swim lessons with one of her soccer coaches who used to be a college swimmer.  It was amazing how much she learned in just a few lessons and was much more confident in the water.  She took tennis lessons at the country club and really enjoyed it.  She does really well for the amount of time she spends playing.  

Sam was busy with a lot of sports camps this summer too.  The majority of his camps were basketball.  He did camps at Rock Bridge High School, Fr. Tolton, Gentry and Columbia College.  Columbia College was his favorite.  They did drills and contests with the kids that he enjoyed.  He also participated in open gyms where they played basketball once a week at Gentry.  Football was Sam's other sport to practice this summer.  They had football drills once a week and a week long camp in the evenings one week in July.  

In addition to sports camps they each did one other camp.  Ella participated in Eagle Lake Day Camp which was held at our friends' church.  It was a day full of games, crafts, activities and bible study.  She really loved it and wants to go return as an Eagle Lake counselor when she is in college.  Sam participated in a music camp through our school district.  It was in the mornings for two weeks.  He was able to practice his trombone, play in a jazz band, and learn some drumming too.  He enjoyed it and spending time with friends.  They definitely kept me busy chauffeuring them around town but they had such great and enriching experiences that it made it worth every minute.  

Ella showing off her base skills.

Ready for tennis!

I was able to sneak a pic while he was scrimmaging. 

Ella getting her end of the week award at Eagle Lake Camp. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

American Weekend: Baseball, Family BBQ and Fireworks

July 8-10 we had a visit from the Lowe family.  Caleb was playing in a baseball tournament in town.  He came up with a teammate on Friday and we were able to catch his evening game and bring him back to our house to stay.  Late Friday night the rest of the Lowes arrived.  Dana had been out of town for work so she and the girls drove up when she got back to Springfield.  
Saturday morning we headed out to watch Caleb play again.  Ella and I left a little early so she could get ready for Addison's birthday party.  We were excited the Lowes were in town this particular weekend so they could come with us to watch the big fireworks display the evening of Addison's party.  Her dad owns a fireworks company and they always put on a big show the evening of her party.  We were amazed last year and this year was even better.  I don't think the Lowes knew what to expect and were surprised at how wonderful the show was.  
The other big event of the day was Pokemon hunting.  The craze had just begun and hadn't really hit Sam or any of his friends yet.  Sarah though, had already been playing the game and was hooked.  She got Sam to download the game on his phone and Dana drove them around finding Pokemon and Poke stops.  They even talked John into driving through a truck stop on the way home from the fireworks to hit two more Poke stops.  
Sunday morning was more baseball and then time to hang out with family.  Hannah and Sarah taught Ella and Sam how to play Yahtzee and John cooked out hamburgers for everyone.  We had a great time together.  

Caleb at bat. 

Sarah playing Pokemon Go after making Princess Lea braids for Ella
for the Star Wars themed party. 

Ready for the fireworks. 

An amazing show

Playing Yahtzee

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hills, Loops and Breaks

The Fifth of July we headed with mom to World's of Fun.  We met Uncle Al, Emma and Aiden there and were ready for a day of adventure.  We ended up with more adventure then we bargained for though on this trip.  The morning started well.  The lines weren't too long and we were able to ride a lot of rides.  Sam rode The Patriot for the first time and loved it!  We weren't able to talk Emma into riding The Patriot and Ella and Aiden were not quite tall enough but we did get them all talked into riding The Timberwolf for the the first time.  Aiden was super nervous and was talking like crazy the whole time we stood in line telling me how he was scared and that I was lucky he hadn't taken the chicken exit yet, but he did it and was so proud of himself at the end.  My hand got a bit squished but I was so glad to ride it with him.  
AC arrived after working that morning and Aiden and Ella went up to ride a few things at Camp Snoopy.  It was a hot day so we decided that our next ride would be the Fury of the Nile.  It sounded like a great way to cool off but unfortunately was the end of the day for my mom and AC.  We smashed into the wall and it caused AC to come out of her seat and into my mom.  Mom held her hand up to stop the impact and it ended up breaking her wrist.  It was a scary little bit as the pain reaction caused her to get light headed and almost faint but luckily John got her seated and feet up while we waited for the medical cart to arrive.  After cooling off in the medical office, AC took her to the ER to get x-rayed.  
The rest of us ate lunch and tried to cool off ourselves while we waited for news on my mom.  We decided to continue with our day.  Ella had been talking about how she wanted to ride The Mamba so that is where John, Ella, Sam and I headed.  Emma, Aiden and Al decided they would rather return to The Fury of the Nile so we met them after our ride.  Ella was very nervous as she stood in line.  Sam and I went on the ride one coaster before them so I could see her reaction and try to get a picture of she and John on the ride.  When the coaster returned to the station she had a huge smile on her face, she loved it!  She was so excited about her triumph that she immediately wanted to go on The Boomerang so she could ride a coaster that went upside down.  She loved it too.  
We did a few more rides as we headed back to the gate and then decided we had all the heat we could handle for the day and called it quits.  We enjoyed our afternoon but still worried as we waited for the results of Mom's x-rays.  It turns out she broke her wrist and would get a cast later that week.  So it was definitely a day of ups and downs.  

John and Ella on The Mamba (4th car, first row)

The kids waiting to ride Spinning Dragons.

Sam and Emma on the ferris wheel. 

We rode The Timberwolf and are all smiles! 

The whole crew! 

Family photo

Big smile after riding The Mamba! 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Red, White and Boom!

It was time for another Fourth of July at The Siegel's.  This year the weather was sunny and nice.  We started with Aiden's birthday and some delicious food then it was time for all the day works.  With Ella and Sam both lighting things constantly they began to run out of things well before dark.  There were some whiffle ball breaks for the boys, a water balloon fight, and we even through in a little retirement celebration for Uncle Al.  Even with all those activities my kids and a few of the men, wanting to light things off, had trouble keeping their patience for dark.  
Sam talked his dad into what I thought were a lot of nighttime fireworks this year until I saw all that Bobby purchased.  His fireworks combined with Scott and Becky's, Ryan's, and ours made for an impressive show.  The neighbors also lit off more fireworks this year so we had a lot to watch.  It was a fun way to celebrate Aiden and The USA! 

Picture before heading to KC. 

Ella and Kylie with big smiles! 

I love that Cameron wore his birthday shirt so he and Sam could be twins. 

Happy Retirement! 

Ella loved the streamers. 

Sometimes he is a great big brother. 

Only some of the night works. 

Quick take a picture before she wants down! 

What an amazing and adorable helper!  I wonder if she will come work at my house? 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Splishing and Splashing!

The next two nights after the baptism we spent at The Bourne's house.  It is so nice when we get to stay with them because I feel like we really get to visit with them.  There are no other people around and you get to spend both more quality and quantity of time together.  On Sunday, their family and ours also wanted to spend more time with Jono, Laura and the kids so Christy and Dale invited everyone over for lunch and to spend time in their pool.  I don't have any good pictures and we weren't successful in a happy picture of all the grandkids but you can get the idea that everyone swam and enjoyed time together.  The highlight for the grandkids was watching grandpa jump into the pool yelling, "Hey you guys!"  Soon after Declan was doing it too. 
We were able to spend time with the Paine's again on Monday and returned on Thursday for the older boys to all hang out together at Top Golf while Ella and I played with the girls.  It was so nice to be able to get some time with them and hope it isn't long before they are able to return to Kansas City to stay. 

Cameron is amazing on his tractor.  He even likes to stand up and ride. 

All the grandkids and six out of seven are smiling.  

Having fun hanging out together! 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Children of The Lord

The Saturday evening that Jono, Laura and the kids arrived was the girls' baptism.  They looked beautiful in their white dresses.  Everyone headed to church at Cure of Ars where Laura's sister-in-law Molly knows the priest.  Molly's daughter was also getting baptized after mass.  I always enjoy sitting in mass surrounded by my family.  I am so happy that among so many other things we share our faith.  Claire even made it all the way through mass without having to leave! 
After mass everyone gathered at the front of the church for the baptism.  The girls did a great job.  We then went to a nearby restaurant for a party to celebrate.  It was nice to spend a full day with everyone and celebrate my two youngest nieces special events.  

Claire looking adorable in her baptism gown. 

Allie in her gown snuggling Grandma. 

The baptism

Photo of the girls with their parents, Godparents and the priest.