Sunday, December 22, 2013

2013 Fall in Review

As always, the Whomptons got busy and documented their lives in pictures but never shared with you.  Enjoy this Fall 2013 season in review.

This summer was hot.  Really hot.  Standard St. Louis summer hot.  The girls splashed in the Millennium Park water area multiple times .... and we rarely came prepared with swim clothes! 

Inside, though, the girls let creative play reign supreme.  This is some strange dress-up morning.

Lola graduated from Strictly Pediatrics this autumn, which was a bittersweet occasion.  One of her last events was the Artist Showcase, in which all the students had their artwork displayed on the walls.  Lola is showing off her Monet inspired piece here.

Read Lola's shirt, which accurately describes its owner.  Then check out Raina's drawing of same.  Wow!

The Whomptons participated in a Cahokia Mounds outing with the Ethical Navigators.  Samantha and Krystal flung the atlatl (effectively a javelin) and attempted to spear plastic animals.  Both women spent substantial time that summer lifting weights, so our throws had serious force!
We also climbed Monks Mound (this picture is midway up, I think).  Lola was incredibly enthusiastic and told everyone that she climbed the big mountain!
More creative play.  The girls decided to make an interactive dog house, complete with multiple dogs, multiple bedrooms, and even a potty!  The dog house folded up for easy transport and clean-up too.  It was a good toy.
Four Whomptons trekked to Iowa to celebrate Evan Jeffrey's wedding.  The girls had a great time at the hotel, Eric and Krystal loved hanging out with Adam Smith and Evan, and we had a miserable time in the car driving through Iowa.  So it goes.
The girls danced the whole night long.  Their energy was unrestrained.
We returned back to Saint Louis and got ready for school the next day.  Lola started JK at MICDS and Raina began 3rd grade.  Here is the requisite first day of school picture.
Krystal began her 14th year in the Middle School and Samantha began her 6th year in the Upper School.  We imagined carpooling all the time this school year but, realistically, we've managed it only a few times a month.  But still.  Four Whomptons at the same place is a wonderful thing.
The Ethical Society Sunday School shuts down for the summer, which means that the girls had free mornings on Sundays.  They spent most of those mornings at Stacy Park.  It is shaded throughout, has two great play spaces, a massive swing set, and a very traditional set of pull-up bars.
Lola and Raina practiced their climbing skills a lot this summer.  Raina and Lola both learned how to get to the top set of bars.  Lola could climb a pole using only her upper arm strength.  That kid is super strong!  (Krystal and Samantha aspired to do one unassisted, non-cheating chin-up this summer but neither person made it.  Maybe next summer.)
Raina and Lola played soccer this fall, which was their first organized sport.  Both girls had some enthusiasm at the start but it mostly waned by the end of the season.  (This is an accurate capturing of their parents' interests as well.)  Soccer was fun and we're all glad that the girls tried it out, but there will be no pressure from anyone to do it again.  All the Whomptons have enjoyed having their weekends free again, now that soccer is over.
 MICDS Spirit Day 2013. 
Raina is a superstar reader.  She happily will spend the entire weekend reading books and she's reading at an 8th grade level.  The Whompton adults are thrilled by how much she loves books.  Some days, when we are lucky, Raina will choose to read to Lola too and those moments are absolutely precious to see.  Lola is an aspiring reader and she's doing a nice job recognizing sight words and sounding out words using her phonetic knowledge.  We're incredibly proud of both of them.
Our family's farmers market is Thies Farm, located about 5 minutes away from our house.  We are there every weekend from mid-May to late October in our quest to acquire local fruits and veggies, without actually having to grow them ourselves.  This means that we fielded the request to go to Thies Farm's Pumpkinland every weekend for a really long time.  The girls were thrilled to go this year with the Ethical Navigators troop.
After playing at Pumpkinland, Navigator families came to our house and launched pumpkins with a scout-made catapult.  It was incredibly fun and was just a lovely day outside.
Raina decided that she wanted to be a wild animal for Halloween this year.  After much consideration, she selected a white-tailed deer and then she spent multiple weeks planning out her costume.  (Raina takes great pride in her homemade costumes.)  She made antlers, acquired a brown cardigan with black spots, and made a little tail that was brown on top and white on bottom.  Lola got in the spirit too and decided to be a tiger.  Lola spent a lot of time chasing her sister on Halloween.
The girls collected all sorts of leaves that impressed them when we were out on a family walk.  Check out the size of the Sycamore leaves!  Wow!
And then it turned cold outside, which means it turned cold inside too.  The girls spend lots of time cuddled under blankets.
Four Whomptons traveled to Nashville over Thanksgiving.  Lola brought her "I LOVE MY AUNT" shirt for the occasion. Thank you, aunt Stephanie, for watching the girls!
We also have three matching hats, courtesy of aunt Emily. 
Lola welcomed us into her JK classroom on the day she was "mayor."  She assured us that no one had any issues that required her peaceful resolution. 
And Raina showcased an entire month's worth of research about Arizona in her project wiki.  You can check it out at http://november2013arizona.wikispaces.micds.org/home. 
And then the 2013 school year came to a close with the Winter Concert.  Both girls were excited to perform for the crowd, and the three parents came to the realization: "only one more winter concert for Raina before she moves into middle school."  Wow.  Time passes quickly.