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:"

Monday, August 18, 2014


Gavin and I were at the Riverwalk this week and we saw two families of ducklings. The first one was a different color duck than the "regular" ones we see all the time:

Gavin decided the ducks were following him.  This family had five baby ducks.

They were super cute! And a bonus - there were NO geese that day! I have no idea why. but I wasn't complaining!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Brookfield Zoo

Gavin and I went to Brookfield Zoo on Tuesday. We got there at 9:40, before the buildings were open. We could look at the outdoor animals and the underwater dolphin viewing, though.

We were the first ones in the dolphin area and it was like they were just waiting for people to arrive. They came up to the glass and floated there, watching us. It was so cool! Then once other people showed up, the dolphins went back to their usual routine of swimming laps around the pool.

These black birds share a space with the macaws. Gavin loves the macaws but is afraid they will fly around and get too close (it's a "free-flight" enclosure), so we watched from the other side of the wire mesh doors. It was a good thing, because the black birds flew down and walked around right where we would've been standing. (They are called "wattled curassows.")

Leopard sharks in the Living Coast exhibit:

Of course, we saw the "real" dolphin show performance at 11:30.

Trying to touch a ray. Those rays were swimming just out of reach of the kids! Gavin managed to touch only one.

Classic pose on the lion:

We'll be going back a few more times before school starts! Send me a message if you want to join us!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Random July

July was cooler than we would have liked  - too cool to get in an unheated pool! We made a few trips to the Morton Arboretum.

Gavin in his  "cool" pose:

Exploring the secret stream. He LOVES this:

Taking advantage of an already-drawn hopscotch game:

Gavin did a week-long Tae Kwan Do camp, and on the last day they played mini-golf. I think he and his buddy DJ were more interested in climbing than golfing, but they had a great time:

Monday, August 4, 2014

Kane County Cougars

For Grandpa Cermak's work picnic this year, the company took everyone out the ballgame. It was one of the local minor league teams, the Kane County Cougars. It was nice and close!

Our friends Mark Maurer and his daughter Paige (who takes Tae Kwan Do with Gavin) were there, too.
The kids were somewhat interested in the game and the stadium...for being 6, I think they did just fine.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Update on Nana

Nana Cermak has been at DuPage Convalescent Center for the last three weeks, strengthening her new knee. She got to come home yesterday, and was happy to sleep in her own bed!

Here are some pictures from her last week at DPCC:

Francis stopped by on his birthday:

Nana is wearing a purple shawl she won at Bingo (she won a lot at Bingo during her stay)!

Nana got a LOT of flowers!

Gavin colored a picture for her:

Sunflowers from all of us:

Working the United States puzzle:

Nana with her cards from the Flory kids:

Let's hope Nana gets strong soon!