And We’re Off to a Running Start- First Week of Summer is Done!

I can’t help but sing “in Sum-merrrrrr” ala Olaf from Frozen. If you haven’t seen the movie, then the songs are probably not stuck in your head or being sung over and over again by your housemates. Great songs, but any song can get annoying after the hundredth time you hear it being belted out by your five year old daughter. Gotta love “Sum-merrrrrr!”
So, we’re off and the first week of summer is already behind us. I counted and I believe we have 93 days of summer. Meaning, we only have 81 days left! Aack! We better get to livin…
The first weekend of summer was filled with birthday fun. First, the hubs grilled burgers and hotdogs at his parents’ home on his birthday. 

We had cake, of course and the theme is one that will probably be with us all summer long: B-A-S-E-B-A-L-L! So long 38 and hello, 39. Happy happy birthday to Moustapha!

We decorated with Moustapha’s vintage pennants. Here’s his beautiful momma with one from 1984! “Mo-stapha!”

A little attention needed for our little guy and then…

Time for a song and cake!

We all put up our Longhorns and little Leeland sported his peace sign proudly.

With my dear parents and sister.

Moustapha’s sweet Aunt Mary Louise even joined in for the party. She was visiting from out of town!

Our newest family member was also part of the celebration. We love all of our nephews!

We’ve had cake, and now let’s have some chocolate fudgecicles. Why not!?

Me and the birthday boy!

With his proud daddy.

And, then…we celebrated another very special birthday. Our sweet niece, Grace shares a birthday with Moustapha. She turned 3. Isn’t she lovely?

After the birthday celebrations, we had an adventure of our own at the El House. One afternoon, I went in to our daughter’s room only to discover the noise of a small critter coming from the wall. Something was stuck and not happy about it. That night, the oldest boys slept in a different room (they share a wall with their sister) in sleeping bags on the floor and our two youngest also slept in different beds then their usual spots. All to get away from whatever was nervous and clawing at the wall. The next day, Moustapha cut a hole in the wall, only to discover this little face looking back at him. A baby raccoon. We called the Texas Wildlife Center. They believed that the mom might come back for the baby. So, we placed the baby in this little bin and the baby stayed there all night. By the next morning, Moustapha was really worried about the baby, so he took the baby raccoon – the kids named him Racky- to the Wildlife Center. They said he was dehydrated, but otherwise doing well. We are allowed to check on Racky’s progress twice over the next 6 months. We will try to be patient!

Throughout the week, Maddux played in a tournament on a 7U select league team. His team, The Bellaire Bombers, won every game and they won the entire tournament on Saturday. Moustapha, Bakri and I enjoyed cheering them on to victory. Did I mention that baseball is going to be a big theme this summer? This is part of the reason for that. It’s our first time having anyone play select league. It could get interesting!

Maddux, getting his team first place trophy!

With me.

With Dad.

And, brothers celebrating at dinner!

I think that about sums up the first week of summer. It was a fun doozy! We’ve already celebrated another birthday this week- my father-in-law and we have more coming this week. I can’t complain. Summer, baseball, birthdays, family, music…these are a few of my favorite things….

Hope your summer is off to a great start too. The last few summers, we’ve had theme weeks at our house to give us purpose each week and to really help me stay organized and keep the Els active. Several of my friends shared this blog post from City Moms Blog with a bucket list of things to do with your kids this summer in Houston. Check it out here: This is specific to Houston, but many of the activities would work in any town. I did have one child request the theme weeks again yesterday. I’m still contemplating that. I will update here if we decide to go that route or if we have our own bucket list this summer. I will definitely post our activities here. Keep busy, keep calm and keep cool!

– El Momma

Tee-Ball, Art Car Parade and Michael’s 45th

I can’t believe it has been 2 weeks since I’ve posted anything. I guess I have some catching up to do. So, here goes.

Bakri’s tee-ball season ended last week. He played tee-ball with his cousin James again. They were the youngest on their team and they really improved throughout the season. They will stay in tee-ball until they turn 7. So, they really have a long way to go. It’s exciting and Bakri has so much fun. He says, “I love baseball so much.” Maddux, James and Bakri after the final tee-ball game of the season.

We celebrated Michael’s 45th birthday at his house after Saturday’s game. We couldn’t help but reflect on how much God has blessed all of us over the last 5 years. When my brother turned 40, it was a happy time, but also kind of sad. Just because he and Patricia really wanted to have a family. But, look at us now. They now have 3 boys and my parents have 6 grandchildren. It is so fun!

Christian, Michael and Patricia’s 2 year old- riding the pony.

I think this was a dance move James was trying out…Christian fell asleep at the table…so tired.

Bakri sprinting to third base! Go Bakri! Go!

Bakri actually stays in his position now. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of watching a tee-ball game, you know that is an accomplishment for the youngest players. We are super proud!

I love this picture of Trinity looking through the fence at the baseball game.

The same day as our Saturday tee-ball game, we also went to the annual Art Car Parade and saw some pretty cool cars!

And, we got a surprise visit from Cousin Shawne. Melinda was totally shocked…but, eventually she figured it out.

Miss T with Shawne.

Maddux meeting Cousin Shawne for the first time. She ended up down in the dirt with him.

Opening Day with Bakri & Daddy

So, Bakri’s birthday party was baseball themed for one reason and one reason only- Bakri LOVES baseball. His grandparents- Moustapha’s mom and dad (Grandma and Jiddy) gave him Opening Day tickets for his birthday to see the Astros at Minute Maid Park. I don’t think a day has gone by since Last September, that Bakri hasn’t asked “Can we go to Minute Maid Park today?” He loves Minute Maid Park and loves the Astros.

Moustapha and Bakri at the Astros’ Baseball Game! Thank you, Grandma and Jiddy! We had a great time!!!!

Bakri totally happy to be at the game!

It was a cold night. Luckily the roof was closed for the game. But, Bakri bundled up to get ready to go home. Baseball cap- check! Hoody- check! Jacket- check! Backpack- check! Picture with The Little Pumas- check!

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These are The Little Pumas. They are fans of Lance Berkman (The Big Puma) and the Houston Astros. Bakri and Moustapha met them after the game.