Eli Gower, Age 8

“It’s dangerous to have a tree house with no windows, because then the monkeys can get in!”


I think Eli may have a future in engineering or architectural design, because he notices details like this.  Eli is always noticing details.  This is a Dulles Airport he made out of legos, complete with sloping roof and sliding doors.


He also makes rafts out of empty water bottles and duct tape,


And he’s always covering the living room floor with small cities and neighborhoods.  Here is train station of blocks, with bridges for cars and firetrucks.


This is a popcorn truck.  See the word “POP” made out of legos?


Eli takes care of his stuffed animals too.  He tucks them in at night with their heads on pillows of sugar.


There is Eli’s favorite animal, Turtley, peeking out of his backpack.  I came home from work one night to find a zipline in my bedroom.   Eli made it for Turtley out of a clothes hangar.


This is a house for Elmo, with tape for the windows and a real door that opens and closes.  He sees potential in all the trash Mommy is trying to throw away!

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What are you thinking about Eli?


He’s a bit of a noodlehead.  His favorite “treat” is uncooked spaghetti noodles.  Don’t those hurt your teeth, Eli?  He is always wanting us to chase him, or announcing that he’s “going to tackle Daddy!”  Opa gave him a run for his money.


Eli is interested in electrical things, mechanical things, everything Science.  He is always poring through the pages of The Way Things Work and What Do People Do All Day.  In Strasbourg there was a bell outside the front door, and Eli would slowly pull the string to see how it made the bell ring.


He also loves nature and dirt, and putting on his rain boots to go out and make rivers through the mud.  He built a hut out of sticks in our garden, and was thrilled to see that it survived the season’s first thunderstorm!  He was also thrilled to watch the snails making their way over the garden wall.


One night when we were at dinner, he collected a pile of insect wings that had fallen to the ground.  All the restaurants in Africa are outside, so it’s easy (or hard, if you’re me) to be up close and personal with the bugs.

Eli was pretty proud of his collection.


At school he did a habitat project, all about bugs!

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Eli is fun, full of humor and stories, not always so attentive in the classroom but loved by his teachers for being lively and kind.  They tell us his voice booms across the room and wonder why his voice is so loud.  So do I.  Daddy’s fault!

When we set the table for dinner, his job is to pick flowers and set out candles.

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Eli is a pretty cute kid.



More Fun Facts About Eli, Age 8:

Favorite Toys:  Electric Train, Garbage Truck

Favorite Movie:  Shaun the Sheep

Favorite Color:  Red

Favorite Food:  Spaghetti, Indian, Kashi

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:  Lemon

Favorite Book:  The Garfied Treasury

Favorite Class at School:  Science

Favorite Things to Do:  Art, Legos, “Being Out in Nature”

Favorite Thing In the World:  His blanket, Fuzzy


We have had a pretty amazing year, here Under African Skies.



Eli, you are precious, our Remy, Honey Muffin, Lamb chop, who is still growing into his kneecaps.  I don’t think there is anyone in the world more fun to watch movies with!  Hearing you laugh out loud at Penguins on the airplane makes a 14 hour flight a lot easier.  You are pretty good at reminding us to look on the simple side of things.

Your Mom and Dad are so proud of you!!!


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