Monday, August 26, 2013

And He's Off...

First day of kindergarten. Its kind of quiet around here! Alexander woke up excited. He dressed himself in a mismatched pair of pants and long-sleeve shirt before this mama advised that with 90-degree weather in the works, a change of clothes was probably best. He promptly gobbled down his Toucan Cereal [otherwise known as Froot Loops] and his striped cheese [otherwise known as co-jack] which he had previously requested for his first-day-of-school breakfast. Its the breakfast of champions, you know! 
Daddy stayed home from work this morning. With some extra time on our hands, we did a little outside photo-op before driving to school. After parking, we walked to his classroom door. Blake asked for a hug/kiss and the X-man replied, "No. I would rather just get going" and promptly walked into this classroom.  

A friend shared a poem with me; here are some snippets which really hit home. Entitled "Take Him By the Hand" by Unknown Author. 

My son started school this week. 
Its going to be strange and new to him for awhile. 
I wish you would sort of treat him gently. 
I've always been around to repair his wounds, soothes his feelings. 
But now, things are going to be different. 
This morning, he's going to walk down the front steps and start on his great adventure that will probably include wars, tragedy and sorrow. 
To live his life in the world will require faith, love and courage. 
So, World, teach him...but gently, if you can. 
Teach him that for every enemy, there is a friend. 
Teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat. 
Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even when others tell him they are wrong. 
Teach him gently, World, but don't coddle him; only the test of fire makes fine steel. 
This is a big order, World, but see what you can do...
He's such a nice little fellow. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

5K4Kids Run

We spent a fun (albeit muggy/buggy) night raising funds for the Pregnancy Support Services and Safe Families for Children programs at Evangelical Child and Family Agency (ECFA). 

We made signs for our favorite runners [note the cheetah on Blake's sign!) Stretching/warming up was taken very seriously. There was lots of talk about good sportsmanship (i.e. it is NOT okay to push, trip or otherwise interfere with another runner for the sake of getting ahead). Our friend, Joe, joined us for the night. He's one of Xander's most favorite people and so good with our little guy.

Thankful for such a good organization within our community who is impacting lives for His glory. And personally, thankful God has blessed me with Blake and X-man who BOTH encourage me to open our home & hearts to those who do not have the blessing of family or gift of knowing they are loved.

The Sheep Show @ State Fair

Ever since he was a little guy, Alexander has cried with fear when entering the Sheep Barn at the farm. Understandably, he typically goes during 'chore time' when the sheep are hungry [translation: bleating loudly]. So, last year when Uncle Eric (whose entire family participates at sheep shows around the country) said he could help show @ the fair next year, I rolled my eyes and thought, "Yeah, right. Like that's going to happen." 

Well, for the past 365 days, Alexander has talked about that conversation and a couple weeks ago, finally had the opportunity to join the H-family at the State Fair. There were some off-ring betting going on about how long it would take him to start blubbering but to most everyone's surprise... he did it! Uncle Eric gave the signal and he walked right into the ring & stood next to the sheep, held up his head, etc. Oh goodness! I must say the tears were in MY eyes, not so much his!

The Dinosaur Museum

The X-man has been begging ALL summer long to visit the 'dinosaur' museum. Knowing we'd probably have more fun with some company, we invited Grandma H. and cousin, Ty, to join us for the day. 

And, other than taking the bus to 111th street instead of 11th street (oops!) and my mom (mistakenly) asking the driver to let her off in the middle of Lake Shore Drive (double-oops!), we had fun day exploring the Field Museum. While maybe not the most age-appropriate or completely engaging museum in the city for a 5- and 8-year old, it had lots too look at & explore. Especially liked the 3D White Shark movie and, of course, we got to see 'Sue' the dinosaur which gave this museum its name [from Xander's perspective].


When Cousins Come To Play

My sister (Brenda) and nephew (Isaak) visited us for a couple of days. They left little sister, Brooke, at grandma's house so it was ALL about the boys. We had lots of fun, mostly playing & snacking! These boys are not just cousins, they are great friends, too.
Trying to prove that moms can do the 'spinny thing' at the park, too. 
The boys were not convinced!

All Kinds of Fun, And Reptiles!

Karissa and Lavell were visiting Grandpa & Grandma S. recently so we got invited to spend the day with them. We spent the afternoon at the Elawa Farm in Lake Forest. Elawa Farm (www.elawafarm) is a public-private partnership dedicated to the preservation and stewardship of a unique combination of natural setting, designed landscapes and buildings of architectural and historic significance. 

Except for Lavell's untimely bee sting, we had  fun afternoon playing in the park and making friends with the reptiles and other animals on display. We even got to hear the kookaburra sing using an 'ambulance siren sound' on my cell phone [see picture below].


Tempel Farms Lippizans

Grandpa & Grandma S. recently took us (along with Emily & Moriah) to a performance of the Temple Lippizans. More details here, if interested: 

It was a gorgeous afternoon (see blue sky & clouds in first pictures) and really interesting to learn about these amazingly beautiful horses. Since the X-man is a huge horse fan, he soaked everything in & especially enjoyed getting to visit the stables after the show and seeing the horses close-up.

Fishing One Afternoon

I am completely and totally behind with posting pictures but finally figured out how to download files from my new phone (yeah!) and so we're now back! Here is to a rapid posting of pictures from the past several weeks of the summer.

Alexander received a fishing pole for Christmas and though it was too complicated for him [for which I take responsibility], grandma had just the right one for the little fisherman from back-in-the-day. X-man, Blake and Grandma spent a gorgeous Friday afternoon at a nearby forest preserve attempting to reel in some fish. They were semi-successful. Mika and I joined them after the little one woke from his nap & it was good to see my little guy enjoying the time with his daddy & grandma.

[Note to Self]. If the fish aren't biting in the lake, just fish from the bucket of already caught fish. It's WAY easier!