Level 8 Unlocked

If my birthday party is any indication of the year that lies ahead, 8 is going to be GREAT!

On Saturday, April 16th, my friends and I took over the Lunda Community Center to test the waters of their swimming pool, climb their tall rock wall, and run circles around their open gym! We enthusiastically covered all of the ground and left no corner untouched because that’s how you unlock level 8! I was so grateful that my pals Colin, Wyatt, Ashlyn, Maddox, Quinn, and Noah made the big trip to Black River Falls to celebrate my becoming of eight.

These days, people call me “Jaeger,” “Jag,” or “Jag-a-lag-a-ding-dong,” and my world centers around soccer, basketball, golf, ice fishing, Pokémon, electric scooters, Nintendo Switch games, spaghetti with meat sauce, and Grandpa’s nachos.

I’ve still got my clumsy skills and a big, soft heart, but I’m also becoming quite the drone pilot, and I’ve taken a liking to writing as my favorite subject in school. Other favorites of the year are gold & black (colors), Big City Greens (TV show), elk (animal), and Pizza Ranch (restaurant… especially their cookie pizza).

In the here and now, I am most happy at home, with my whole family, especially my hero, Genesee. In the future, my 8-year-old self thinks I might become a “logo maker” (also known as a graphic designer). We’ll see if that idea stands the test of time, but regardless, mom says I’m a bright kiddo with a bright future, so get out your best sunglasses if you plan to watch how this show unfolds!

Iowa Rush Spring Champions Cup 2022

We kicked off our spring soccer season with a 4.5 hour drive to Des Moines, Iowa to compete in the Iowa Rush Spring Champions Cup.

Instead of booking a hotel, we packed up the motorhome and headed for Griff’s Valley View RV Park & Campground to make the trip more exciting. Little did we know, that excitement would turn out to be an early morning wake up call to 3 police cars visiting a nearby camper, which ended with a dead body wheeled off the premises a few hours later. Yikes! How do you write that Yelp review?!

Still, we managed to have a good time, especially because we had paved, open roads to take our electric scooters for a spin. Of course we cruised the campground like pros, thanks to the many indoor practice laps we’ve been taking around our kitchen island.

It was fun to get outside and play soccer again, but the Iowa wind was a little harsh. And although we traveled many miles, we decided to let all of the teams beat us because who needs a trophy anyway?! Still, I think we did pretty good for only having one practice under our belts with this new U-9 team and our new coach, Jaison. It’s gonna be a good season!

Pete the Cat

Surprise! Mom secretly bought tickets for us to see a play called, Pete the Cat. Too bad the surprise was on mom when it turned out I didn’t really like the play; the cartoon-y plot line just wasn’t mature enough for my liking (although mom did catch a couple of laughs sneaking out of my mouth). Genesee, on the other hand, was completely captivated. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions from that, but for future reference, if you want to woo me, you gotta remember that I’m a distinguished gentleman with high-class taste. And that’s why I asked to go to Taco Bell afterward.

A Grand Old Time

Even the Omicron variant of COVID-19 couldn’t stop us from chasing piña coladas. So, on February 2, 2022, we masked up and reserved some last class seats on board a twinjet that was headed for humid breezes.

Given that this was my 5th return trip to the Moon Palace, I arrived on a first-name basis with Mexico, but it was a new and exciting experience to explore the resort with my main man, Colin!

We did ALL. OF. THE. THINGS. and we have the pictures to prove it:

We saw magic and sunrises, got pampered at the spa, swung on hammocks, caught footballs on land and water, conquered the wave rider, completed the ropes course (shaky knees and all), showed the arcade who was boss, encountered alligators and scorpions, made sweet pony friends, golfed 18 holes on a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, bowled our hearts out, splashed in a recently-opened waterpark, discovered new restaurants, accepted dad’s spicy food challenge, ordered room service to our swim up suite, embarked on a bicycle tour (and lived to tell the story of flipping over the handlebars), and soaked it all in from the comfort of our bubble bath… all while avoiding sunburn and testing negative on the COVID swab that determined whether we’d be allowed to return stateside.

See? ALL. OF. THE. THINGS.

Clearly, if you leave the Grand at Moon Palace without stories of a truly grand old time, you’re doing it wrong.

NYE 2021

For New Year’s Eve, mom thought it would be fun to have a fancy candlelight dinner. In full support of this idea, Genesee excitedly set the table and put on her best unicorn dress. And even though I typically prefer a good sweatshirt and lounge pants, I was a pretty good sport, too. Because who doesn’t like to be wined and dined?! Truly, it was the sparkling grape juice for me, but the pecan-crusted chicken, mashed potatoes, and side of Cheetos were also quite marvelous.

After we toasted to the new year, Genesee and I made a list of intentions for 2022. While I plan to get busy seeing a few more national parks, Genesee hopes to steal less of mom’s makeup. To each their own, I guess. Then, we had a coloring contest, created a time capsule (not to be opened until after the year 2030), enjoyed a movie night in front of the fireplace (complete with hot chocolate, nachos, and popcorn), and stayed awake until midnight to ring in the new year. It was epic! Hopefully 2022 will live up to our hype.

Winter Break

When dad left for his hunting trip upon the conclusion of Christmas day, mom made lots of plans to keep us distracted from missing him. So after a great puzzle challenge, rock painting session, tent wars, arts & crafts class, Arby’s drive-thru dinner, swimming fun at Three Bears Resort, nerf gun battles, Texas Roadhouse treats, and a Colin sleepover, we were like, “Dad, who?”

Just kidding. Mom gave it her best effort, but in the end, she was unsuccessful at keeping all of the dad blues away… Not because mom needs to up her solo parenting game; it’s just that no one does fun quite like our dad and the days are more complete and joy-filled with him in them. Still, every once in a while, it’s good for us to remember that mom is also pretty fun not boring.

Ho, Ho, Whoa, Jaeger Clauss!

Guess who got cast as Santa in the Melrose-Mindoro holiday concert? (Answer: Me!)

I will now only respond to “Jaeger Clauss” from this day moving forward.

I’ll have you know that I nailed all of my lines, probably because I practiced them religiously for 3 weeks prior to my big acting debut. Unfortunately, my nightly live audience of mom, dad, and Genesee didn’t fully prepare me for the hundreds of eyes that looked back at me when I gazed into the crowd at the actual concert, but I’m still confident that you might find me on the big stage some day. So, let me know if you need an autograph now before I start charging money.