Sunday, May 4, 2014

St. Louis

I will start off by putting up some of our pictures from Easter.  Easter has consisted of about 15 easter egg hunts each year for like the last 5 years.  The kids are getting so much candy...I guess I can call it job security now! Anyway, here are the pictures:

Bennett even had the eggs stashed in his pockets!
The babies love their jellybeans!
The Panamanian stash, thanks to Grammy and Grampa
Babies on the prowl for some eggs
Handsome little devil Anderson

So, over the past 2 weeks, my classmates and I have been rather busy, and have put a lot of miles in.  Last Friday, we had the groundbreaking ceremony of our clinic where we will be doing most of our clinical work during our 3rd and 4th years.  It is so neat to be able to be a part of this and I am so grateful to the school for allowing us the time to be able to go to these events.  It really is amazing to be a part of!  That night we went to a dinner with the members of the board of trustees for ATSU, and a few of my classmates spoke to them about their own personal stories, I must say that I am SO impressed with my classmates and all they have been through.  I couldn't have imagined having a better group of future dentists to be taking this journey with.  Here are just a couple of the pictures I took while there:
The clinic, hoping it will be done in a year
The guys eating lunch outside
The ladies eating lunch in the bus
All white-coated out
Notice the arch in the background
ATSU President Craig Phelps
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay
CEO of Grace Hill Health Centers (our partner for the clinic) Alan Freeman
Dean of ATSU-MOSDOH (my school) Christopher Halliday 
Class Representative Kalleb Greene
The official groundbreaking
It felt good to get a shovel back in my hands

The day after the groundbreaking, we had some soccer games to attend.  A proud Daddy moment happened to me that day.  A guy came over who asked if we were Luke's parents, and he then introduced himself as the founder of Northern Missouri Futbol Club, he said that they like to get the best players from the YMCA league and have them play with his club and he said he would love to have Luke join them and do their skills camps this summer because he was super impressed with Luke.  That just made me really proud.  Also, during the soccer games, the YMCA was having their annual health day where they get a bunch of organizations to set up booths and talk about health, so a few of my classmates came over and handed out a bunch of toothbrushes and toothpaste.  After the YMCA, we went to go catch some frogs at the conservation department ponds with some friends, that was a lot of fun, we even found a couple of snakes and got to hold one of them!  Ethan wouldn't have anything to do with holding the animals, and Luke tried to put some frogs in his bag to bring home as pets.
Ethan right before he scored a goal
My classmates and a giant toothbrush
My family's latest method of travel, the Radio Flyer
Bennett pointing to a turtle
Ethan finally gave Smokey a five

This weekend was the Missouri Mission of Mercy (MOMOM), where a bunch of volunteer dentists, assistants, hygienists, students and local community members get together and provide free dental services for people who are homeless, or who have no access to dental care.  The event lasts 2 days, and I think this year approximately $900,000 of free dental work was completed.  So, my class went down and worked for at least one of the 2 days, some did both days.  I decided to work on Saturday, so that Emily, the kids and I could play in St. Louis on Friday.  We went to the Arch, the St. Louis Zoo, and most importantly for Emily, Target.  It was such a great time, and we really fell in love with the St. Louis area, and we are so excited to be moving there next summer.  

A quick story from the arch.  When we first got there, we had the boys do a race up and down the concrete steps that are to the north of the arch, I know you can already guess what is coming.  Ethan decided to go a little bit too fast, and his brain was thinking faster than his feet would respond, and he tripped and basically fell flat on his nose and walked up the rest of the stairs with a bloody nose.  After a few minutes of getting the blood to stop, he carried on as if nothing happened.  Kids are so resilient  Enjoy the pics:
Our hotel room. We may (or may not) have broken a fire code or 2
My beautiful family and the arch
This is where the fall happened
The bloody nose, notice Emily is smiling
And, he's ok.  This is at the base of the arch looking up to the top, it's like 630 feet tall!
Bennett, Me, and Taya at the pond by the arch

Friday afternoon my family dropped me off at my hotel, and headed home...yes my wife is that awesome to drive 3+ hours home with all 6 of the kids.  Anyway, I just took a couple of hours and walked around downtown St. Louis and took a couple of pictures.  I walked by the old courthouse, then down to Busch Stadium where the Cardinals play baseball, then back to the hotel.  Here are a couple of the pictures I took, followed by a couple of random photos from home over the last couple of weeks:
Old Courthouse with the arch in the background
Busch Stadium
McGwire is one of my favorite players of all time, I don't really care what you're stance on the whole steroid thing is, but I am a firm believer that McGwire and Sammy Sosa saved baseball in the late 90's with their homerun chase.  I think McGwire was one of the classiest ball players, yes he screwed up, and I would never want my kids to do steroids like he allegedly did, but he kept to himself, and he was not out to be a showboat, he just went out and did his job.  You can argue that he cheated, but my response is that so did everyone else.  We only know of a few that did it, but I would put money that more than half the league was doing the same thing.  Enough of that.
Downtown St. Louis, Market Street
Crawdad parts collected by my boys in our backyard

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