Saturday, September 17, 2011

Soccer Season

We have THREE soccer players this year!

While the boys are excited to be back on the field, Lily is not so sure. Mostly she just runs next to the child who has the ball. But at least she's right there in the mix and not off twirling or something.

soccer fall 2011 web

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kids Triathalon

We are so proud of Joey for completing his first triathalon. He started training in April and trained all summer long. Sadly, he had a fever and was really sick the whole week before the triathalon. We called the doctor and asked her what we should do...he had trained so long and the fever seemed to be really random. Some days barely there and other days as high as 104 degrees. She told us to ask him how he felt that morning and to make sure that he got plenty of water the night before, during and after the race. He did a great job and we are so proud!

We got up at 5:00 to get on the bus heading toward the lake by 6:30 a.m.

web sun in bus

After getting body marked,

web body marking

we headed to the lake. The first event is swimming and Joey was in the first wave.

web swim boys

web wave 25

Next up: biking. I can really tell in some of these photos that he was not his usual energetic self. This is one of those photos.

web Joey R finish bike

web Joey R bike 2

The final leg is the run.

web Joey start run

Here he is crossing the finish line. Many kids got there and threw up or collapsed. (The first ones across the line.)

web Joey crosses finish

I'm pretty sure he was glad to be done with it, but he also said he wants to try again next year!

web Joey medal

Monday, September 12, 2011


Do you ever wonder who wins those ENORMOUS stuffed toy prizes at carnivals, theme parks and county fairs?

Sam and Joe go bananas

Well wonder no more. That's Joey on the right (and his good friend Sam on the left). Three baseballs, 3 throws 3 clowns knocked down. Ding, ding, ding! Winner! And lest you think this is a fluke, he did the same thing last year. Now, he is the proud owner of a Scooby Doo doll that is bigger than he is and this lovely banana. Do I need to explain why I am a little bit excited that we will be in Finland next summer and will probably not have the time to go to Great America?

In many ways, this was a huge summer for Joey. He attended day camp and at the end got to help as a "junior counselor." He loved every minute of camp this year. They even took the kids to a YMCA sleep-away camp for a couple of nights.

sleep camp

These look like pretty posh accomodations compared to what I had at sleep-away camp, by the way. But again, he had a great time.

Joey also completed his first kids' triathalon this summer. I plan to document that in a seperate post.

As I write these blogs post about our summer, it seems as if we managed to cram a lot into our summer eventhough our mission was to save money for our upcoming trip to Finland. We did try to spend more time in our yard, at local parks and playgrounds, at the beach and at other places that don't have an entrance fee.

Millenium Park is always a hit with adults and kids. Honestly, the Bean (Cloudgate) has to be one of the best sculptures in the world...

The Bean web

Rob Dad Bean web

At least it's one of my favorites!

Sam under bean web

And the Crown Fountain? Genius...

Crown Fountain web

Crown Ftn web

Bowling is almost free in the city during the summer....

Lily bowls web

water playgrounds are always free...

Sam Michigan waterpark 2

and bubbles are cheap if you make them from dishsoap you have on hand (but maybe not so cheap if your child uses the Costco gallon of dish soap you had in the basement for filling up the soap bottle on the sink every month or two...) Honestly, Joey spent hours making bubbles with his friends and siblings, but we seriously did go through 1 gallon of soap.

Joey bubble

Sammy blow bubble

Sam with chalk

sidewalk art

We had a great, end-of-year, last minute trip to the Michigan Dunes. Joey had had a fever for 6 days straight (including the day of the triathalon). He woke up the Monday before school started and said "I feel great!" We literally threw bathing suits and one towel into a bag and ran out the door to the dunes. Usually, I pack extra clothes, snacks, water bottles, toys, camera, books, ugh! No wonder why summer outing exhaust me. This time, we ran out the door with our suits and one towel and we had THE BEST TIME! it was a perfect day!

Sam on Dunes 2

Friday, September 9, 2011 review


Apparently, after taking a photo a day for a few months, I really loose interest in taking pictures.

So here is a recap of the first half of our summer.

This summer...

we played (and watched) a LOT of baseball

Joey throws

went to camp

sam with bunny 2

had a mini reunion with 4 of the 7 families we traveled to China with

girls with candles

watched (and marched in) a parade

sam and lily parade

climbed some fences

Lily at ballgame

played on the beach

Sam and Lily sand

Lily and Sam beach

a lot...

Sam stomp rocket

spent time with our cousins

Grandkids 1

learned to row a boat

Joey in boat 3

trained for a triathalon

joey run 2

became an official "Lake Monster"

Lake Monster 130


Sam hammock 2

made friends with some farm animals

Lily with sheep

checked out the Chicago skyline from one of the tallest buildings in the world

Chicago Skyline

Family on Ledge

Sears Tower

and that was just July...