8/25/13 – Sunday

Bird Dog,

Time has surely flown by.  You are growing up so fast I can barely believe it.  I’ve started a few posts, but never got around to finishing them.  Today is the day we catch up!!!

We celebrated your third birthday, which was great.  On Friday we had your Mother’s family over and they brought a few gifts.  Your big gift was a bicycle which you absolutely love.  Your Mother ordered a “Spencer” themed birthday cake and cupcakes.  Spencer is a character on “Thomas and Friends”, which is your favorite show to watch on TV.

On Saturday we opened gifts at home and went out to eat.  Many of your gifts were toys, but your Mother also picked you up some dress-up outfits (fireman, police officer, race car driver, etc.) and you seem to love those.  We decorated your room with tons of balloons, what a great day.  Happy Birthday, my man.

On Sunday we visited my Grandmother, Phyllis.  It was really great for you and Arden to see her, because it definitely does not happen often enough.  Also on Sunday we went to your Grandmother’s house, who just purchased a pool!  We had a lot of fun playing in that, but it was cold.  Sunday was also Father’s Day.  I couldn’t be happier, I have two beautiful children and a gorgeous wife.

On June 23rd we took pictures for your third birthday and Arden’s first birthday.  We did the pictures at Washington Park in Springfield.  It was a beautiful day and we were able to get several perfect pictures before you and Arden got bored.

We’ve started going to the Lowe’s Build And Grow programs together.  It is such a great program.  Essentially we go to Lowe’s (a hardware store) every other week and we put together a fairly simple wooden craft.  The first week was a pair of Monster’s Inc. monsters.  The second week was a small Monsters Inc. themed box.  Since then we’ve built a Toy Story pizza truck, Buzz Lightyear RC Racer, ‘Dusty’ airplane from Airplanes, and this weekend was ‘El Chupacabra’ from Airplanes.  We had such a great time learning to say ‘Chupacabra’ on the way home Saturday.  We were laughing so hard!

Of course we celebrated your sister’s first birthday since my last post.  She is such a cutie.  So far you have been incredibly loving, but lately you’re having a rough time sharing.  We’ve talked many times, but you’re still struggling with it.  You’ve also started asking your Mother to ‘Give Arden to daddy and that way you can hold me.’

On July 4th your Mother and I took you to your first movie!  Together we saw ‘Monsters University’ which is the sequel to Monster’s Inc.  We weren’t sure how many people would be there, but thankfully it was nearly empty.  You seemed to have a great time, but towards the end you did begin asking when we were leaving.

On July 5th we went to watch fireworks in Chatham but you slept almost the entire time!  You must have been tired…because fireworks are AWESOME!!!

On July 7th we had visitors!  We were visited by our old friends Joe and Amy Flammer.  They were in town from New Zealand for a wedding.  It was great to visit and meet Lincoln for the first time.  This was their first time meeting Arden too.  Good times.

On July 13th we went to a festival in Springfield.  It was great to get out of the house, listen to some music, and eat some good food.  You and your Grandma had a great time dancing on the street.  It was very cute.  The next day your Mother took you and the rest of the family to your Grandpa’s golf course.  I stayed home, but I surely regret it!  From the pictures it looked like you had a great time.

July 20th, the famous Chatham Sweetcorn Festival.  You seemed to enjoy it quite a bit.  You and I had a great time on the inflatable bounce houses.  Of course we ate some corn, danced to music, and watched some guys in kilts throw their weight around.

A week later you came along with me to the Panther Creek Bowhunters club.  I recently started target bow shooting and it’s been a good time.  I enjoy shooting but right now there is such a short supply of bullets that the prices are through the roof.  Also, I don’t have many places that I can shoot my guns, so I shifted to bows.  At the club we have 30 3D animal targets.  They are set up in the woods and we shift them every few weeks.  I thought you would enjoy coming along and seeing the big fake animals.  I believe your favorite was the buffalo.  There are some good pictures, check them out.

On August 3rd we took a train ride to Bloomington!  Yes, Bloomington isn’t very far, but we thought it would be a fun thing for you to do, given your love for trains.  We went to Bloomington to visit your great uncle and aunt Chris and Kendra Kornfeld and their children Alaina, Emmett, and Hannah.

August 8th we took a mini-vacation to Saint Louis.  Our first stop was Grant’s Farm.  The weather was a bit rainy, but it ended up clearing up.  We saw many different animals, but the best part was visiting the very large Clydesdale horses of Budweiser.  They were such beautiful creatures.  We took a special tour that allowed us to get up close and personal.  We were able to meet and greet and brush, Scott.  After that we went to the St. Louis Arch.  We toured the inside but didn’t ride to the top.  The next day we went to the St. Louis Zoo!  That was a blast, we saw so many cool animals.  You and I rode the Emerson Railroad.  You and Arden had a great time in the hotel room.  Your Mother and I liked it too, until the last day when the valet drivers wrecked up our car!  That stunk.

8/13, we were Illinois State Fair Bound.  It was good to start Arden off on the tradition of eating terribly unhealthy food, spending way too much money, and surrounding yourselves with the craziest people in Illinois.  You enjoyed the Giant Slide, more than once I might add.

8/16 we took Great Grandma Phyl out for dinner for her 87th birthday, whoa!  We went to Outback and had a grand time.  Again it was great to get you and her together as it doesn’t happen often enough.  We got a few great pictures as well, please be sure to check them out.  By the way, I have always called her Grandma Phyl, but it wasn’t until my early adult life that I realized that I should have been spelling her name Grandma Phyl instead of Grandma Phil.  Classic.  The next day we celebrated Elliot Carter’s first birthday.  She was quite the host and it was an excellent event.  Happy Birthday, Elliot!  For the record, you still pronounce her name ‘Elly-ick’.

The last event that I will bore you with, at least in this post, is your preschool open house.  You are starting preschool next week, which is very exciting.  On Thursday we had an open house so you were able to go to your classroom for the first time, meet most of your classmates, and meet your teachers.  It took you a while to warm up, because you’re naturally a very shy kid, but after a while you were having a blast.  Some of the kids are returning for another year, but there are still several rookies with you, so you won’t be the only one who doesn’t understand exactly what’s going on.  I cannot wait to watch you grow, even more than you already are.  You’re such a great boy, you will do very well in school.  Congrats, big guy!

Well, I think I’ve caught up enough.  Hopefully I don’t go so long without updating you.  I am sorry it’s been so long, I will try to do better.

  • Final Thoughts:  We have our ups and downs but I want you to know that I love you with all of my heart.  I always have and always will.
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