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Like most dogs, Amber loves playing fetch.


Occasionally, she will get her timing just right and catch her toy in the air.



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Jul 11 2015

Backyard Soccer


Will and Landon took advantage of the great weather to enjoy some backyard soccer.


Landon kicking a high one.


Will's shot on goal was deflected by Landon.

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Last September, Drew started learning Spanish on Duolingo. Today, he finished his Spanish tree in all gold! Duolingo is free language learning program with over 100 million registered users across the globe. Finishing his Spanish tree approximately equates to an entire first year of college Spanish. Drew worked incredibly hard on his Spanish every day (he has a 245 day streak). Great job Drew, congratulations!

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Jul 4 2015

4th of July 2015


Our 4th of July started out with a neighborhood parade with the help of the local fire department.


Everyone got to take turns checking out the inside of the fire truck. ("Fire trucks" have large mechanical ladders that extend from the truck but do not come off, while "fire engines," or pumpers, carry hose, tools, pump water and have smaller detachable portable ladders.)


Will, Landon and Drew on the front of the fire truck enjoying some patriotic rocket pops.


The boys playing some Yu-Gi-Oh while waiting for the fireworks to begin.


I've taken a lot of fireworks photos in the past (2012, 2013, 2014) so, this year, just this one which I thought showed the atmosphere pretty well (I like guy in the corner taking a picture with his cell phone). The fireworks will always be remembered for the 30 minute break during the fireworks shortly before the finally.

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Jul 3 2015

Another Lost Tooth


Landon lost another tooth. He's not in pain, that's a smile combined with, "show me your tooth."


I have no idea how teeth work...must be magic...and magnets...definitely magnets.

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Drew has a weekend scouting canoe trip coming up and he's never been canoeing so he, Will and I decided to take a little trip down the Illinois River in preparation.


We canoed the short course which is supposed to take two to four hours. It took us just 50 minutes.


The trip was flawless. No one even got wet. It was the perfect prep for Drew's canoe-camp-out.

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Floral Haven had over 3400 flags set out all over their grounds; one for ever veteran buried there. Local boy scouts help take down the flags each year. This year Drew and I helped out.


The process starts with retiring the Garrison Flag.


Afterward, we were off to a far corner to start taking taking down flags and poles.


Each flag has a metal tag identifying the person the flag represents.


After the flags are all taken down, they are cleaned and inspected for any that are too worn and need replacement. Many hands make light work and with the hundreds of scouts present, it took less than two hours before all the flags were down. We had a great time and look forward to returning next year.

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Landon's team played their sixth game of the season this evening. Landon did a great job playing third base and went one for two at bat. Unfortunately, the other team was just too much and our boys lost 13-19.

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Drew's team played their eighth soccer game of the season today. It was a tough game against an undefeated team. The other team simply out powered our boys which resulted in a 0-5 loss.

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Drew's team had their seventh soccer game of the season today. Drew got to play goalie the second half and did a great job. He was really aggressive and made some great saves! His team wound up winning 6-4.

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Landon played his fifth baseball game tonight. He went 2 for 2, scoring once, and played short stop and third base. His team did really well and won the game 10-6.

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Will's team played their eighth game of the season tonight. Will walked once and struck out once. He played left field and right center. The boys played an undefeated team and kept it really close, but they wound up losing 4-8.

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Will's team played their seventh game of the season tonight. It was another tough game in which Will only got to bat once. He got on base on a walk and eventually scored. He played left field and third base where he is getting comfortable playing. Despite their best efforts, this one was never really close and the boys wound up losing 6-14.

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Landon played his fourth baseball game tonight. He goes after each coach pitch with absolute abandon.


High or low, Landon swung with all his might.


Landon, after walloping one off the tee, lays down his bat and watches the ball sail.


One last long stride before reaching first base. Unfortunately, the other team had an unusually fantastic throw to first base which got Landon out...but only just barely.


Landon showing his concentration and ready position at third base.


Going after a grounder.


Throwing the ball home.


Ready to hit another one at home plate.


Will smacked a long one off the tee.


Racing to first with his tongue out.


They're all afraid of the awesome number 13.


Throwing one to first for an out! After going 1 for 2 and playing center field, third base and pitcher, Landon's team won 16-8.

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Will's team had their sixth baseball game of the season tonight but, unfortunately, Landon was playing at the same time. Mama got to watch Will while Daddy took pictures of Landon since this is his first year to play. Will walked the one time he got up to bat and played second base and right field. Will's team lost a really close one to Bixby 7-8. Ahh, Bixby, don't get me started.

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