Independence Day 2016

Just wanted to share some fun fireworks pictures from this evening. We had lots of fun hanging out with some friends at the park waiting for the fireworks. Isaiah got to sit by one of his buddies and talk to a few others, so life was pretty good in his world.


Red, white, and blue


A single burst




The little one kind of looks like a butterfly!


This is my favorite


Glasses Update

A year ago, Isaiah went to the eye doctor following an announcement that he was seeing double. At that point, he was given “reading” (anything up close, since he wasn’t reading yet) glasses.

It’s been a year now, so it was time for another eye exam. Isaiah was happy to go, as long as Darth Vadar Mouse and Zaboomafoo could also attend. He followed directions and answered questions. He was fascinated by the equipment.

At the #eyedoctor with some furry #friends

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Once his exam was finished, his eye doctor told him to start using his reading glasses full time. He says his prescription hasn’t changed enough to warrant new lenses, but he feels that it’s time to wear them all the time. Isaiah is pretty excited about that idea. As soon as we got home, he collected them and put them on. He says he can see a lot better now, too.


Silly pose


Happy boy

Conversations with Isaiah: Problem Solving

Isaiah, trying to access a balloon taped over the doorway.
Isaiah, standing on the step ladder: I can’t reach it.
Me: So, now what? Did you pull the string?
Isaiah: Yeah. And it broke!
Me: Then you need a different approach.
Isaiah: I could put something on top of this (step ladder). Then I could reach.
Me: Probably not a smart idea.
Isaiah: Yeah. Not smart. It might slip. And then I’d slip off this thing with it!
Me: Probably. And I’d really like to avoid visiting the ER tonight.
Isaiah: *sigh* Yeah. I’ll get it later.

Conversations with Isaiah: A Few Quotes

Overheard at the pool: No shooting ungunned opponents!!!!

Feeding pets:
Isaiah: Hi, guys! I’m coming!
Thomas: *twisting around Isaiah’s legs* Chirp!
Dusty: Woof! Woof, woof!!!
Isaiah:*looks at cat* Guess what, Thomas? It’s your turn to be first today! Come on!
Thomas: *jumps up to his spot and waits* Merrow! Purr…
Isaiah: Okay, Dusty. Now it’s your turn. Move out of the way! Hey! It’s coming, silly!
Dusty: *bouncing* Woof! Hooooowl! Woof!

VBS Program Silliness

Isaiah had a program this morning as the conclusion to a week of VBS. All the kids sang some of the VBS songs and the workers told about the lessons and demonstrated some of the activities. While the leaders were talking, the kids sat on the stage, waiting as patiently as small children can. Since the program lasted over an hour, sitting quietly was becoming a bit of a challenge by the end. As we neared the end, I’d had to give Isaiah “the mom look” for poking his neighbor, so I wasn’t planning to take my eyes off him again any time soon.

The time came for a closing prayer and dismissal, much to the kids’ pleasure. While the rest of the church bowed their heads for the prayer, some of the kids had just had enough sitting. Isaiah and the little girl beside him started discussing his muscles (after a year of gymnastics, he’s suddenly discovered that he’s developed some pretty impressive muscles). According to him, she didn’t believe he had big muscles. Well, we can’t have that, so, in the middle of the prayer, Isaiah rolled up his sleeves and showed off his muscles for his friend to poke. Catching sight of what was happening, one of the other kids, also in his gymnastics class, joined in to show his equally impressive muscles. By the time the prayer ended, they’d lost interest in the topic. With the final “amen”, they quietly filed off stage with the rest of the group, with most of the people in the room oblivious to their little game.

Play Track Meet

Isaiah really wanted to go to a track meet today, but it wasn’t really possible to make it work. He was heartbroken, so we decided to have our own track meet. Isaiah trotted over to the neighbors’ house to see if the kids wanted to join in. They thought it sounded fun, so the adventure began.


Annie and Wyatt warming up


Isaiah showing off his muscles

I grabbed some sidewalk chalk and drew a line on the sidewalk, then told the kids to run to the line and jump. When they landed, I marked it with their initial. In the end, Annie had jumped the farthest (it probably helped that she’s the tallest kid).



Next up was a sprint. I sent the kids to the end of the sidewalk and marked a finish line. Annie decided to hang back a little to give the little ones a shot at an event, so the boys shot ahead of her and managed a perfect tie. We couldn’t accept a tie as the final score, so the boys ran again. For this race, I held out my hands at the finish line for high-fives, to make it easier to tell who got there first. In the second race, Will just managed to take the lead at the very end.


Race number 1, with Annie being such a nice big kid


Race number 2

Next up was a game planned by Isaiah, who’s been battling a nasty cough (allergies?). He wanted a coughing contest. He happily coughed and made noise, with Annie laughing and joining in. Will had a little trouble at first, but even he joined in by the end. Thanks to Isaiah’s real cough, he managed a clear win on that one.

So, the score was tied at one win per kid. It was time for another event. I pulled out Isaiah’s foam balls from his t-ball set. They had a pitching contest, which even the grownups joined in for. Annie won that one, hands down, even against Michelle and me, much to her great pleasure.


Throwing their balls

Since the balls were out, Isaiah really wanted to play t-ball. We pulled out the t-ball stand and the boys used it to see who could hit the ball the farthest. Since Annie is so much taller, we opted to pitch the ball for her. This gave us all a great laugh, since I had to throw it and, let’s just say there’s a reason I don’t play sports. It took several pitches before the ball came close enough for her to even attempt to hit it. Oops.


Annie showing off her bridge while I set up t-ball


Will hitting a ball as hard as he could


Laughing at me...

Then it was time for the final event: mini golf. We put out the two “holes” that came with Isaiah’s golf set. For the first hole, all they needed to do was hit the ball across fairly flat ground. For the second, they had to keep it inside lines drawn on the sidewalk on a hill (not enough flat sidewalk by our house). The first hole was easy, but the second proved quite difficult for everyone. Again, grownups had to participate, this time to help the boys to finish the game.




Being goofy


My turn!


Michelle giving it a try

In the end, everyone had won something and they were all quite happy. Annie and Isaiah drew some pictures on the sidewalk while they waited for me to make some awards to hand out. We ended the fun with a simple award ceremony, in which each competitor was given a badge before posing for a group picture.


Award ceremony


The happy competitors

Thankfully, we ended our fun just before it started to rain. Our friends headed for the shelter of their homes and Isaiah and I came in for some supper and cuddles.

**A huge thank you to Michelle, who saw my abandoned camera (couldn’t take pictures and run events at the same time) and took the majority of these pictures. Without her help, there wouldn’t be any.

A Trip to the Zoo and a Nature Center

There was no school today, so I had a day off work. Which meant it was the perfect time for an adventure. Isaiah, my mom, and I loaded up the car (we even remembered to pack a picnic!) and headed off.

First on the agenda was the zoo. We live within reach of a couple and Isaiah had asked to head to this one a few times recently, so it was definitely time for a visit. We saw lots of happy animals while we were there, much to Isaiah’s delight.


The red panda, enjoying the morning sun


Curious bushbaby

The zoo’s tree kangaroo has a new baby, but it’s still small enough that it stays hidden away in mom’s pouch. Mom wasn’t much in the mood for pictures, either. Bummer.

The naked mole rats were quite active, causing plenty of excitement. Isaiah loved watching them race between “rooms”, tripping over each other, doing flips, and generally causing complete chaos. They may be ugly little critters, but they’re certainly interesting to watch!


Observing the naked mole rats

Video of the naked mole rats

Isaiah was pretty interested in the snakes today. A friend recently got a pet snake, so he’s started seeing them in a different light. He’s still not sure he’d want a pet snake, but he likes watching them.


Checking out the rainbow python


You can't see it in the picture, but he's looking at a very large iguana

We managed to be in the right part of the zoo to catch a creature encounter show. It was about one of the zoo’s macaws, so the keeper had him out with her and let him show off some tricks. The macaw’s name is Elliot and he’s quite the little attention seeker. Any time his keeper put him down to talk, he’d start going through all his tricks, trying to keep the spotlight on him, instead of his keeper.


Elliot the macaw


Demonstrating how he can use his beak for climbing

Elliot showing off

We made sure to get some food so Isaiah could feed the zoo’s goats. The bigger ones are a bit pushy, but, in general, they’re pretty friendly. He had a lot of fun feeding them and trying to make sure everyone got a fair amount of the food.


Feeding the goat


Making sure the smaller goats get some, too

Silly goat

When we went into the reptile building, they had a number of animals out so that kids could touch them. Isaiah bounced from one critter to the next, petting them and asking their names. He would have happily stayed there all day, playing with the animals.


Petting a shy ball python


Skittles the black and white tegu


Petting an adorable leopard gecko named Casper


Twiggy the bearded dragon

Before leaving the zoo, we had to stop and play on their natural playground. Isaiah adores all the things they have to climb on and wanted to do it all before we could go anywhere else. He’s been getting braver and was able to jump from one tree stump to the next, as well as climbing to the highest point on various structures.






More jumping


Happy spider

After the zoo, we headed over to a nature center. It was getting late in the day, so we didn’t have time to explore all the buildings and trails, but we got to see the buffalo herd and some geese. We walked down one of the shorter trails, along a lake. We could hear frogs chirping all around us, but any time we came near any, they’d get quiet, so we couldn’t find them. After a while of searching, Isaiah finally spotted one and showed us where to look.


The buffalo were fairly close to the fence


Talking about pioneer children and collecting buffalo chips to build fires. He was surprisingly enthusiastic about the concept.


He really loved this feather


The frog Isaiah spotted

Isaiah was a little sad when it was finally time to go home, but it was a fun day. He can’t wait until we can go on another adventure.

At the Zoo with DJ and Shiloh

We’ve been wanting to meet up with DJ and Shiloh for a zoo day for a while and it finally worked out that everyone’s schedules allowed for a zoo day at the same time. Yay! Isaiah could barely contain his excitement.


Snow leopard

I wasn’t able to get very many pictures because Isaiah flew from one exhibit to the next, dragging DJ and Shiloh behind him. He wanted to make sure they saw all his favorite animals. Since he’d never been to the zoo with Shiloh before, he was sure she’d never seen the animals before, which made it extra important that she see everything.


Riding on Uncle DJ's shoulders

I managed to stop everyone in the jungle for a few pictures, before everyone took off again. Isaiah wasn’t sure he wanted to waste time on it, but did manage to give me a few nice shots.


Isaiah with his favorite aunt and uncle


Silliness with Gram


Pretending to eat me

We managed to see quite a bit of the zoo in the couple of hours we had together. We made a few new friends, too. Isaiah found a tiny lizard that followed his finger and my mom had a nice conversation with a cougar.

Talking to a cougar


Isaiah's little friend (Isaiah took off before I could get a picture of him with the lizard)