Monday, December 26, 2016

Upper deck independence

The Christmastime visit with my parents included a trip to a live exhibit on Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Taking the train made it an especially fun adventure for the children. On the Metra, they rode in the upper deck. Ethan and his cousin Arron rode in facing seats. Eliana found a seat by herself where she could be a big girl – and as it turned out, also peak down at some reassuringly familiar faces.

Friday, October 28, 2016

He slices; he dices.

If it involves a sharp blade, it’s fun, not work. Whether it’s the chef’s knife or apple corer, there seems to be something satisfying about the artistry of apportioning food into bite-sized morsels. Even when Ethan just wants to eat an apple, sometimes he just takes bites, but other times thin apple slices call his name.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

An Eliana first: She designed a pumpkin carving.

After Eliana drew her pumpkin carving vision of a baby dolphin swimming on the water, she didn’t feel ready to copy her drawing onto the actual fruit. She asked me to do that for her and along the way incorporate some artistic liberties, including tweaking the shape and adding a second dolphin.

It was a fun challenge, but looking back I wish I’d asked her if she’d rather use her picture. A pumpkin-stable design based on her original concept would have been ever so cute.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tasty division tables

Ethan is getting started on learning his fives division. For today, I told him to look up or figure out the equation on each of his flashcards. I thought he’d want to cut them up right away, but he decided on a tastier way to track his progress for this initial pass: every right answer equals one sourlicious raison to enjoy.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Another Ethan first: He zapped me in laser tag.

We took advantage of a slow time at the arcade for a one-on-one round of laser tag. I had the edge on long distance hits, but Ethan managed to get in plenty of his own. When he did, he was tenacious, sticking right on me, ready the instant my equipment reactivated to rack up another hit. As laser tag goes, it was quite a battle. When it was over and the scores were announced, Ethan was thrilled to hear that youth had triumphed over experience.

Friday, August 19, 2016

An Eliana first: She treated herself to bicycle beverage service.

Camping comes with tasty treats, including portable drinks. What better way to experience your orange juice or chocolate milk than on a midsummer’s bike ride around the campground?

Friday, July 15, 2016

Another Ethan first: He started a campfire.

Simply practicing with the hatchet and saw might have been entertainment enough for his first camping trip, but Ethan really lit up when he piled up and ignited some paper, kindling, and logs, to start our dinner fire.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Beating the odds together

At the Cedarburg Strawberry Festival, Ethan and Eliana each took a turn at spinning the wheel, with a chance to win a stuffed firedog or a temporary tattoo. Only a few firedogs had been handed out all day. They each walked away with one, a 1 in 1,369 chance.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Another Ethan first: He spent a week at camp.

It was his first ever week away. Ethan missed home but enjoyed the adventures of summer camp much more. His stories afterward matched his personality: made plenty of friends, shot well in archery, loved the water, and poured nearly all his spending money into treats.

Ironically, had I given him just three more dollars, he would have spent it all on a hydration backpack from the Trading Post instead of candy. He was delighted when I bought the practical souvenir for him anyway. Even though I can’t imagine buying that much candy for myself, a part of me is inwardly glad at the way it worked out.

Camp AnokijigEastman Lodge at Camp Anokijig

Sunday, June 5, 2016

An Eliana first: She vacuumed the carpet.

No prompting required – she saw the vacuum and just wanted to pitch in.

Eliana vacuuming

Saturday, June 4, 2016

An Eliana first: She caught a fish.

Her cast wasn’t far reaching: the hook and bobber dropped straight down from the end of the rod into the pond. But the fish were hungry for that worm! There were several candidates vying for the dubious prize, of which one of the biggest proved successful – for Eliana at least.


Eliana caught a fish

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Another Ethan first: He tilled the earth.

Ethan was heavy enough this year to turn over the soil in the garden, especially with the help of a good rain the day before.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Tracking inventory

Eliana has a great sense of where things are – not only her own toys, but anything else she’s seen. She asked me today what I was doing, and I told her I was looking for the charger for my phone. She knew right away: “Daddy, it’s in your pocket.”

Eliana found my phone charger - in my pocket!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Another Ethan first: He destroyed the ice on which he stood.

When Ethan is motiviated, he’s a hard worker. In this case, he was giving all he had to his attack on the thin ice beneath his feet. Worst case, he was risking a soaker, but in the end he remained dry. So no life lesson learned this time – just the hilarious memory of Ethan’s enthusiam in attempting to take out his own footing.