Sunday, September 20, 2009

As summer fades to fall


The lazy summer afternoons  have been replaced by days filled with Tae Kwon Do, guitars, and homework….




                             lots and lots of homework!




God provides us with 4 seasons and we have been forced to acknowledge that it is time for summer to ride walk off into the sunset.



We have tried to cram all the summer fun we could into the past week or two.  The boys have spent every available minute at the park







                                 or on the trampoline




The annual West Fargo parade was this weekend.  We had a blast (even though it was 86 degrees—way too hot for those of us who are already acclimated to ND temps).  We generally come home with garbage bags of candy but there were so many more people this year that the amount any one person could get was much less.  (this of course doesn’t hurt my feelings at all….and really, how much sugar do two boys need?)


My favorite entries are always the patriotic ones.  I like living in a small town—everyone immediately stands with their hand over their heart as the flags all go by and clap and say “Thank you for your service” as soldiers pass by.










Every good small town parade has to have a line of all the newest farming equipment for the famers to ooh and ahh at.  OK, I admit it, we think they look pretty cool too and would love a ride.






This is my favorite entry in the parade.  It is a huge grocery cart.  I don’t know why I love it so but I just do.  Our other favorite is the red truck you can just see behind the grocery cart.  The red truck is the Old Dutch potato chip people.  Their chips are the best!  They hand out tons of samples each year and there is usually much pushing and shoving at the curb as the adults scramble for bags.





I saved the very best parade picture for last!!! Braxton was able to ride in the float for the Northwest Martial Arts team.  It was stinking hot and he was in that hot uniform so he doesn’t look too thrilled.  But he was so excited and happy to have been a part of it all.  The only problem was that he got to throw candy out to the kids but never got anything for himself.  Cayden offered to share half of his but as usual most floats threw out tootsie rolls….millions of tootsie rolls.  No one in our house really likes them.  Can I interest anyone in a plastic grocery bag full of tootsie rolls????





While  Braxton looks toward the future, trying to decide what he wants to accomplish this year and how to have fun doing it…





… Cayden has decided that middle school ain’t what its cracked up to be!  Being given more power to decide what and how a class or team will meet its goal = more responsibility for any failures.  I do think he is settling in at the magnet school and learning to do most of his school work on computer.  There are times though that he can tell me in days, hours and minutes, how long it is until Friday!






                       THINGS I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO:



More nice evenings to enjoy our firepit.  (such a ND thing!)

The boys love to burn and waste  roast marshmallows.





Removal and hasty death of every cricket and grasshopper in the area.  Max kills them and brings them in the house to play with.  We have a cricket/grasshopper plague of biblical proportions.  Surely they will die once the temperature gets low enough, right?






By the way, I would like to be able to say that there were no insects harmed in the filming of this blog.  However, it appears that my photographer’s assistant/the only one who would touch the insects (otherwise known as Braxton) got a bit overzealous in making sure it stayed still for the picture.



There are 4 seasons here: Almost winter, Winter, Still Winter, and Construction.  As frustrating as that sounds it seems like many major projects they have been working on may not be complete by winter…roads we use, roads that would completely change how we get places and how long the trips would take.  But I am going to decide to be hopeful (optimism isn’t exactly my middle name) that I will be driving  down 32nd Ave. by Christmas.


I pray that you are able to look back on summer as fondly as we do and enjoy a beautiful blessed Autumn.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Art and sport, Defense and discipline





Braxton recently started taking Taekwondo and he is absolutely loving it.  After just a few classes he was able to “earn” the right to wear a uniform.  We believe that his instructor is doing a very good job at not only teaching Taekwondo techniques and history, but also respect for country, sport, instructor and self.  A  good bit of class is conducted in Korean so Braxton is learning basic phrases and numbers.






You can advance in Taekwondo at your own pace.  You get out of it as much as you are willing to put into it.  Braxton is learning his kicks first and these are coming easier to him than many boys because he has always been SO flexible.  The more flexible you are, the higher your kicks are.  Soon he will begin learning punches.  Eventually he will learn to spar and can compete in sparring matches.  His big goal however is getting to break a board with his feet and with his fist.  We are a ways from that, Thank God!





In Taekwondo it is relatively easy to earn your first belt.  Here Braxton shows off that white belt and his pride in earning it.  He knows that the rest will be harder to earn and that his pride in earning them will be even greater.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Drop by drop


Every night at 9pm an alarm goes off at our house.   Cayden heads to the kitchen table, bares an arm or leg, grits his teeth, braces himself and receives another injection of Growth Hormone.  It has already become quite routine for us.  Initially Cayden was having horrible headaches from the shots but they have lessened a bit.  He has been having fewer joint pains and swollen ankles too so I guess we feel blessed in that respect too. 


It’s not what I would choose for my child and certainly not what he would choose but it is very empowering to know that we are doing something for him and not just wishing that we could.


So, the race is on…and we are winning it drop by drop, millimeter by millimeter.  Cayden has been taking shots for 7 weeks and he has grown ONE INCH!  That might not seem like much at first but remember, he had not grown AT ALL for almost 2 years.  They say that during the first year a child is on Growth Hormone he should expect to grow 3-4 inches.  So you can see that Cayden is already exceeding everyone’s expectations—just like he always does!