For our 6th annual trip with the Maurer family, we spent the weekend in Kansas City. We are nearing (if we haven’t already reached it) the point when we will need to do some repeat locations, but this year was a new spot for us again. We all enjoy spending time together and it’s been such a special treat to watch our children grow up together.
We usually spend a fair amount of time at the hotel just talking and playing. We also all like parks and legos, so we fit in both of those activities this year. A hike is often on all of our lists to do, but it was way too hot to spend much time outside that weekend. We spent Friday night grabbing dinner out and playing at the hotel, Saturday out and about and Sunday back at the hotel before going our separate ways.
Here are some shots from around the hotel, including a few selfies the kids took (as requested) from their explorations around the hotel on their own. Favorite memories include watching various plays of Piggie and Gerald books, watching all the kids try to catch the football with their elbows, sending messages/emojis/pictures with Ellie (mostly Mike and Ellie/Adam), and how sweet those girls are to my boys who want to show them their paint-by-sticker books and Legos. Lots and lots of laughter!
Mute the video if you don’t want to hear my crazy loud laugh:
Pics from our dinners out:
Pics from the park, Legoland and the Sea Life Aquarium:
All too soon it was time to say goodbye. The kids hugged too quickly, so we missed any cute pics of that…but I snapped a couple of Mikey saying goodbye to some of his favorite girls! We parents left exhausted, having stayed up until midnight or WAY later both evenings we had together. We sure enjoyed spending time with this crew again!
Quick throwback of our group from just last summer and a link to all the previous years:
Because Mike was out of town for his big 35th birthday, we sent him a birthday song video (see below) and that began a beautiful, although short-lived, thing in our home: The Rockstar Band.
The boys decided to form a band and play concerts for people over the next week. We did an online concert, we invited some friends over for a couple, and we had two neighbor families over for an afternoon concert, too. Their concert for our neighbors was the best, in my opinion, as they had to invite them over on their own and then they did an excellent job thanking them for coming, giving out treats and introducing each song. They both had a lot of fun and showed great poise. Fun to see!
Hopefully now that Micah will be starting drum lessons in the fall, this was just the first few of many concerts to come!!
Our dear friends from Georgia took an RV trip across the country and we were bound and determined to see them! We were supposed to join them camping, but we had to bail on that plan when Ethan got the staples in his head. So, instead, we drove to the Fort Collins area for an afternoon (after the staples were removed) to spend time with them. Both Ethan and C were apparently “nervous” about seeing each other again, but they hit it off like usual. It was so sweet to see!!
The boys hadn’t seen each other, I don’t think…since we moved back in January of 2016. I see Katie every time I go to Atlanta to help my sister at the trade shows.
Also, nice to see that the big boys are still a lot alike even after a few years…
The boys and I have officially set a biking goal of 50 miles during the summer break. We made a fun poster to track it.
My dad taught Micah how to bike without his training wheels and Micah has been eager to go on a ride with E and me. We did our first 4-mile ride the other day. It wasn’t the most relaxing or enjoyable ride this particular time…but I’m optimistic we have some great rides ahead of us! ;D
Ethan and our cousin, Matthew, take piano lessons together and have so much fun doing it! They both played beautifully at their final recital of the year. Ethan played a duet with Miss Viss and Hurry Scurry on his own. Matthew played one jazzy song and also a song he had made up on his own. Very impressive!!
After their recital, the guys played for fun together:
That weekend my Auntie hosted a Pentecost party. For those not familiar, Pentecost is when we, as believers, celebrate when the Holy Spirit was first given to the disciples of Jesus after He returned to heaven. The Holy Spirit was described as coming like tongues of fire on the disciples’ heads, so it only made sense to have lots of red, orange, and yellow foods and decorations. Mostly, we were just having fun with the theme and thanking the Lord for the encouragement and direction the Holy Spirit provides in our lives on a regular basis. =)
And right before my parents headed back home, we stopped by their house to meet their new puppy: Bailey! She’s absolutely darling.
We sure love having family in town nearby! And we absolutely loved having my parents in town for a visit! Thanks for spending time with us again!
The boys finished their races in the early afternoon on Saturday, so after washing up and eating we still had a good bit of time to enjoy the Springs. We decided to tour the Olympic Training Center. It was a great way to spend the rest of our day!
We spent the night in the Springs so that we could be close for Mike’s Spartan Sprint at 9 am the next morning. He and his buddy competed together. This is the same good friend that is in his weekly Bible study and who does CrossFit (and the Festivus) with Mike regularly. He’s a great guy and it was fun to get to cheer on the two of them together! It was the first Spartan Race either participated in and both said that it won’t be the last. =)
Look at how clean they look!
I hung with these two crazies during the ~1.5 hours it took them to complete the 4.5+ mile/20+ obstacles race. We had a good time even though we probably only saw them do about 5 of the obstacles. Side note – I’m trying to shift the dab to something more fun like the Aaron Rodgers championship belt move. It’s not very successful.
Here are some pics from the race itself taken by yours truly. As usual Mike and Steve did a nice job of high-fiving and chatting with us in between obstacles / whenever we saw them.
And here are some fun ones the Spartan folks captured:
And here’s what they looked like at the end:
Lots of fun to watch them compete together. Super proud of our guy. =)
On Saturday, the boys ran in their first Spartan races. These are obstacle course runs; Ethan ran a 1-mile course and Micah did a 1/2 mile one.
Ethan’s obstacles included things like sand bag carrying, climbing over various walls, doing box jumps, throwing a spear, and running through mud pits. Mike ran down the hill to catch videos and pictures of the part of the course that was down in the valley.
Micah’s obstacles included much of the same things, but his course didn’t go down into the valley like Ethan’s had, so we were able to see everything he did. If you even know a smidgen of his story, you know how much we’ve been praising God for the healing He has done in Micah’s heart. It’s been such a thrill to watch him try new things with a whole lot less anxiety!
We are SO proud of them for doing something so hard all on their own. They had a blast and both want to do more races in the future!