Monday, October 20, 2014

Danada Fall Festival

Every year Danada Farm has a Fall Festival. We went last year and Gavin had a great time! He loved a horse there named Shadow and really, really hoped to see him again.

We started out in the main barn, where we met a very friendly quarter horse mare named Sweet Cheeks. We almost didn't leave her stall.

But we did leave, and went in search of the guest barns to track down Shadow.

We were in luck! We found him, and his owner remembered us from last year, AND we got to see him perform. He is part of the Midwest Renegades Riding team.

His owner let us into his stall and happily answered all our questions. We learned that Shadow used to work at Medieval Times as a jousting horse, but is now "retired" to the drill team. We also learned that horses need to see the dentist every year or two, because their teeth never stop growing and need to be filed down.
 She even let Gavin feed Shadow a peppermint candy - just like the ones people eat after dinner!

Shadow and his owner in the ring. Yes, that's green and purple glitter on his rump:

Gavin is completely interested in horses now. Not just because of this event, but he also has a book about a real-life mini miniature horse named Einstein. So he loved this "chart:"

We're already looking ahead to next year's Fall Festival!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fun Run

Gavin's school had its second annual Fun Run last week, and it happened to be on his birthday! It's an obstacle course that the gym teacher and volunteers set up on the school grounds. Each hour of the day, a different grade runs through it, as many times as they can. Gavin's grade ran through the whole thing four times and those first graders were all huffing and puffing by the end!

He was in constant motion, so I some of the photos are a little blurry. But every kid had a great time!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Gavin's Birthday Party

Gavin wanted to have his birthday party this year at Chuck E's loud and flashy and kind of crazy, but the kids all love it. And the pizza is not bad!!

He played with all his friends and was in constant motion: 

He loved his birthday crown...

...and his birthday balloon guitar!

Grandma Cordes liked the crown, too!

He loved the ticket blaster booth and he liked meeting Chuck E in person. He was a happy kid all day!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Sonny Acres

Yesterday I took Gavin to Sonny Acres. We go every year and he's been anxious to get over there. It doesn't matter that they have the same rides and attractions each time - he still loves it!

The weather started out sunny and 55 but quickly turned cloudy and windy. So in my first set of pictures he's wearing a hoodie and by the end he was in his winter coat (I brought both. Who can tell around here?).

He rode the ponies three times. This one is named Spice. We also went down the huge slide twice and through the kiddie haunted house twice, and we still didn't get to everything. We will return before the end of the month!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Brookfield Zoo

Gavin and I were back at Brookfield Zoo for another visit. This time we went in the afternoon, which was more interesting because the animals that usually sleep in the morning were awake, and vice versa.

The otters were awake and goofing off like a pair of clowns. Gavin loved them!

The turtles were active, too. Even the crocodiles blinked, which is a miracle (they never EVER seem to move at all)!

We watched the dolphin show from the underwater viewing this time, which was just as fun as from above.

After the show, the dolphins were swimming around and one came over to get up close and personal:

We also went back to see the stingrays. Gavin talked me into touching them along with him, so I have no pictures (wet hands + phone = bad idea). This time, the rays were super friendly and we petted almost all of them!

Friday, September 5, 2014

First Day of School

Last Tuesday was Gavin's first day of school. He had a great week! There are seven kids in his class this year that were in his class last year (including his best friend Claire).  The school has a new music teacher, since the previous one moved up to the middle school, and Gavin said the new guy is "even funnier than the old guy." I'm also volunteering in the library again and had my first shift last week, checking in books that were checked out over the summer and putting labels on new books. We both had a great week!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Children's Museum

On the last day before school started, I took Gavin and his friend Claire to DuPage Children's Museum.

It's safe to say they went into every exhibit (except the one where you use real saws and hammers to build stuff). They had a great time!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Tae Kwan Do

On Friday Gavin tested for the next belt color in Tae Kwan Do. He was at a brown belt, and tested (and earned) his red belt!

The grand master, who owns all the YK Martial Arts locations, spoke to all the kids, below. Yes, that's a lot of kids! All the younger kids tested at the same time, and usually they are split up by lower and medium belt levels. It was crowded, but Gavin had a great time and did well.

Gavin doing his "form" ( a sequence of kicks and blocks unique to each belt level):

At the end, with Master Baek, showing off "fighting stance:"