Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tyler Coaxing a Snail

Tyler found some snails in our yard and decided to try to hum to coax them out of their shells.  It was not too successful, but clearly a very good effort.

Bicycling up High

Here is Sam at the Witte Museum riding a bicycle high up above the San Antonio River. He has always wanted to try it, but was never tall enough, and here you see that his feet barely touch the pedals at times.  He had no fear though and was so proud of himself.

Belly Flop Contest

Now that Sam is done with swim team, he is enjoying some fun in the pool.  Here he is competing with some very big guys at a July 4th public pool Belly Flop Contest.  Unfortunately, he didn't have much of a belly to really flop around, which I guess is a very good thing.  So no gold medals in this event...


Here is Sam's official scoreboard time on the freestyle.  And the final picture is Sam mid-jump preparing for the backstroke start.  Great job, Sam!!!

Championships, Backstroke

Sam is the second swimmer from the right.  He starts off slowly, but really brings it in the end!

Championships, Freestyle

As you can see from this video, Sam has greatly improved over the course of the last 8 weeks (he is the last swimmer in the left lane).  I was so proud of him for many reasons, one of which was performing in a huge indoor swimming pool (9 lanes) in front of hundreds of spectators.  He may have been nervous, but never showed it.  He hung out with his team, parents were instructing to sit in the stands to not 'bother' the swimmers, and did great!  He really brought it this meet, swimming 1 second faster than his prior best time.  His kick really improved as well.  We were all so proud of Sam.

The Westin La Cantera

We had a great day at the Westin this weekend.  Mike and I went to celebrate our anniversary by spending Saturday night, without kids.  But the kids joined us for the days on Saturday and Sunday exploring the grounds, checking out the wildlife, swimming in the pools, sliding down the waterslides and really just having a great time.  It was a perfect getaway!


The last day of botanical garden camp was Sam's favorite because he got to show Tyler and I around.  He was really BMOC (Big Man On Campus), taking us to the pond to show us fish and tadpoles, then taking us to the small lake to show us exotic birds and tortoises.  This was, by far, his best camp experience to date, right up his alley!

Mohawks, Costumes and Turtles

The boys got new haircuts, thanks to Mike, mohawks!  They love them.  Here is a shot of Sam picking up a Red Eared Slider at the Botanical Garden.  He was in heaven!  And then a picture of the boys in their pirate costumes, I love they way Tyler is eyeing his older brother in the last shot...true love!

Mike's First Half Ironman

Mike completed his first triathlon on June 24th.  And, in pure Mike Piesman style, he decides that his first should not be a sprint triathlon, but instead, it should be a HALF Ironman, or 70.3 miles in total!  1.2 Mile swim, 56.2 mile bike and 13.1 mile run!  Way to go Mike.  He did great!  Finished and was able to walk up and down the stairs the following day!

Donde Estas Mi Mama?

This song is about a baby bird whose mother goes out to look for food and the baby meets all different characters and wonders, "Are you my mother?"  Tyler did a great job singing in Spanish and he really got into the acting as well.  Thankfully, we have the props here at home, so we can continue to practice on a very regular basis.

Gema and Grandpa Visit

It was so great to see Gema and Grandpa a few weeks ago.  Despite all that is going on in their lives now, they made such an effort to come out and visit us.  We had a great time, relaxing, going to swim meets, looking at homes, dining out and playing around.  Tyler was so happy to get everyone involved in his play as well.

Spanish Music Camp

Tyler took a Spanish music camp and LOVED it.  Here he is singing his introduction song, "Como Estas".  

Father's Day, 2012

The boys had a special father's day this year.  They made breakfast in "bed", although Mike refused to stay in bed and eat it, so we ate outside, which was great.  They gave him some homemade cards, painted picture frames and a book that they each wrote for him.  Sam's was titled, "The Best Poppy Ever" and detailed all of the great things that he liked to do with Mike and Tyler's was called, "The Dinosaur Eats the Worm?".  We had to add the question mark because as Tyler told the story, it was clear that the dinosaur was never intending to eat the worm.  Instead, all of the characters, including the lion, the baby bird, the eggs all became friends and escaped the rain storm in mommy's home together.  I think that Mike really enjoyed it.

Searching for Ladybugs

Tyler enjoyed searching for ladybugs around the Children's Garden at his Botanical Garden camp.  He is a real naturalist now.


We had the exciting opportunity to babysit a bearded dragon, Gracie, a few weeks ago.  She stayed with us for 2 weeks and we all grew very attached to her, especially Sam.  I was hoping that his lizard obsession would have been put to rest after his reptile party last year when he turned 6, but that just encouraged him further.  I told him then, that if he was still into reptiles when he turned 7, we would consider getting him one.  We brought Gracie in to see how Sam did taking care of a lizard, and to be honest, he did better than expected.  He fed her, took her for walks in the neighborhood and cleaned up after her.  I think we are destined to welcome a new member to the Piesman family come September....

Big Kick, Sam!

Here is Sam's backstroke contest.  We have been working all summer on perfecting that kick and by the time the Championships rolled around, it was much, much better!  

Botanical Garden Camp

Tyler loved botanical garden camp.  He learned all about bugs, gardening and conservation.  When I joined him in class, they were learning about ladybugs and got to put real ladybugs on the tomato plants and watch them at work.  He enjoyed eating like a ladybug, with his 'antennae' and not his hands, which was like watching a bunch of kids at a pig trough!  All in all, a great week.

Sam Swims

Here is one of Sam's swim meets.  As you can see, stiff competition, but a great showing from Mr. Sam.

Chewing Gum

I love this video, not for the idyllic scene of three boys reading a Lizard book, but instead, of three boys enjoying chewing gum and the few words that get read in between.  What patient children!

Random Summer Shots

Here are some random summer pictures.  Tyler with his friend, Zachary, and their bear from school, Dubie, who comes over homes for the weekend to celebrate Shabbat with the kids.  Dubie has his own bag filled with Shabbat candles, a kiddush cup, a challah cover and a few Jewish books.  Then we have Tyler looking like a bandit during an outing to the Witte Museum where they had a Western festival.  Then Sam holding a Madagascar hissing cockroach, enough said...Then Sam and I had a date spent enjoying his favorite restaurant, Souper Salad, and then to the library where he needed to find books on reptiles so we used the "card" catalogue.  Ben came to visit which was great!  Then Clara and Tessa and the boys shared some pajama time together after picking blackberries and peaches at a local orchard.  And lastly, Tyler enjoying some necessary 'spa' time after swimming all afternoon in the pool.

Steve Wins the Swim Race

Joc and Steve and Ben came over last month and we had a swim-off with Steve, Liz and Sam.  Steve could not help but beat us all...the North Carolina champion!  We Texans need a rematch!

Sam's Piano Recital

Sam did a great job at his first piano recital with his new teacher, Ms. Gaye.  He was in a real piano studio in front of lots of people and despite being the youngest one there, played like a pro.

Swim Team

Sam joined the Deerfield Dragons swim team for his second time this summer and did great!  He was consistently in the top 5 on his team and received the coveted "Swimmer of the Week" which recognizes a swimmer who improved and demonstrated good sportsmanship and listening skills.  He even was chosen for the Championship Meet at the end of the season and beat his time in both backstroke and freestyle by 1 second and came in 11th overall in both strokes (out of 19 total).  He really enjoyed it and we all enjoyed being in his cheering squad, especially Tyler, who Sam gave the award, "Best Little Brother Cheerleader", another coveted achievement.

Boys Camping Trip

The boys took another camping trip with their buddies, the Friedmans, to Canyon Lake.  They stayed up late, ate smores, slept in their sleeping bags, fished, swam, played soccer and had a blast.