Thursday, September 27, 2012

State Fair, etc.

Coop and I spent about 24 hours back in Lyons with Grandma Joan and Grandpa Cecil.  We were headed to the State Fair, and on the way, made a stop at the Inman cemetery to see my grandparents' graves. Coop had been asking where Grandma and Grandpa Farm were buried, so I thought I'd show him:

And then off to the State Fair.  Dad insisted that we all go on Ye Olde Mill:
It's essentially a boat "ride" through a haunted house.  Pitch dark, "scary" scenes of a doctor mannequin cutting up a bloody patient mannequin, a dragon thing that looked at you, etc.  But what made it bad (for Coop) was that people would jump out and scare you on the way around.  Coop was pretty scared during the ride, so I kept just saying "it's ok... it's all pretend... no one is going to hurt us."  About 10 minutes after the ride, he said something like "Mama, I'm still shivering from the Mill."  And then on the way home, he suggested we have Daddy ride it, but not us again, just so we could see his scared face. 

He did, however, like this guy, who was at the front entrance:

Coop as an astronaut:

Coop loved this ride, a bus that went up and down in a big circle.  He rode it twice, once with me and once by himself.

I suggested he and ride this one, where you lay on your stomach and fly around in a circle.
Bad call on my part.  I felt like crap when we were done.  Oof.

Monday, September 24, 2012


The Culpepper and Merriweather Circus came to Baldwin City this summer!  It was small, about what you'd expect for a circus setting up in the Baldwin High School parking lot.  But it had most of the requisite things.
Two sleepy tigers and an apathetic lion:

A horse:


Cotton candy:

And this laugh???
This laugh was reserved for DJ the Clown.  Cooper could not get enough of him and his slapstick comedy numbers.  Coop laughed like he was getting paid for it when DJ tripped and fell over the tent ropes.  He re-enacted (for days!) the number where DJ smacked himself in the head with a giant fly swatter.  And he giggled with abandonment when DJ spilled fake spaghetti all over the audience.  Good grief.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Cooper has started kindergarten at Raintree!  He's in a three-year classroom, where the first two years of preschool plus the kindergarten year are all in the same room.  So very little has actually changed about his day -- same classroom, same teacher, mostly the same classmates.

The one big difference is that now he has a Kindergarten Book, a composition notebook in which he writes every day.

He has to copy down what's on the chalkboard (the date and sometimes another short message), add any of his thoughts, and then practice writing some letters.
"Happy 1st day of school!  best day ever [heart]."   !!!!!!

Lately, there's also been a question of the day that he has to copy down and answer:

And, holy smokes, check out the math work he came home with:

Miss Ann, Coop's teacher, is very big on reminding Coop that he's one of the big kids in the classroom and she'll need his help working with some of the younger (three-year-old) friends.  Hopefully, that'll settle him down a bit...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Work and Play

Coop's school was closed for a couple of days in between the summer and fall terms, so he spent one day with me at my office.  One of the custodians found some big poster board for him to draw on, so he made some roads and train tracks for his cars and trains and tractors:

Working at home by helping me fold laundry:

One of my co-workers has a son Henry, who's almost five.  And he loves trains, too.  So Coop and I loaded up our train tracks, went to Henry's, and built a giant train world:

When they (we) got tired of trains, we all went to the KU Natural History Museum
 (There was a snake in there, I think.)

And Coop with the bear:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Great Wolf Lodge

For my belated birthday present, we three had one last hurrah before digging into the school year.  We went to Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City.  It's ridiculously expensive (*ahem* tourist trap *ahem*) on the weekends, so we went on a Sunday night-Monday for half the cost.

Because Sunday night is an off-peak night, we got a free room upgrade to a kid-themed suite, where the kids' beds were in the "Wolf Den."
Yes, Coop's wearing a crown and a cape.  And for awhile, Alan was also wearing a crown and a pillowcase-cape.  Why not?

The Wolf Den had its own tv, which could've kept Coop entertained for hours.  But then I started to feel silly paying all that money so Coop could watch tv.  You can buy a lot of cable for the price of a Wolf Den at Great Wolf Lodge.
"So.... are you ready to go swimming?"

"No thanks.  I want Cartoon Network."

And then he started quoting commercials:  "Can we buy The Packet?  It's like a refrigerator you take with you and it keeps food cool up to ten hours.  A $70 value for only $19.95."

Ok.  That's it.  Time to get swimsuits on.  And boy, were we glad we did.  Check this out:

Coop ran right into this crazy thing. At every turn is something you can pull or shoot or turn to spray water somewhere. Two twisty slides (that are dark for a while -- in a tube, but still pretty fun).   And see at the very top of that contraption is a green giant bucket?  It slowly fills with water, and every few minutes, it dumps 1000 gallons of water all over. 

And then there are three really big tall crazy water slides that you ride through on rafts. They were pretty slip-slidey and twisty. Coop did great! But you have to climb a zillion stairs to get to the top. Carrying your raft. Oof. I was worn out!

And every time you go down a slide, the lifeguards have to confirm that you meet the height/weight requirements.  So every time, I had to say that "yes, my 40-pound son and I weigh less than 450 pounds.  Thankyouverymuch."

For dinner, we walked across the street to Famous Dave's BBQ.   And then for dessert, we walked over to the Russell Stover store.  From the clearance rack, we picked up two small Valentine's Day chocolate boxes (each with three little chocolates in them) and a chocolate coconut Easter nest with jelly bean eggs.   Total?   97cents.  And that's how you do cheap dessert, my friend. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Alan went to Illinois for a few days, but he didn't want to miss reading time with Coop.  So he recorded himself reading a couple of chapters, and Coop and I watched at bedtime.

This was dinner after Coop got four (FOUR!!) shots at his kindergarten well-check:
A double dip of chocolate ice cream in a cone with sprinkles.  German chocolate cake.  And cheetos for dessert.

 Coop and Alan as royalty!

Coop's "silent e" reading book at school.  Each page had a word with a silent e flap.  Fin.  Fine.  Kit.  Kite.  Man. Mane. 
 Very clever.

Coop's outfit for church one morning:
The pillow case cape makes it, I think. 

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Some new things

Coop's got a great wink.  And his timing is perfect.  Usually during supper, he'll turn and look at me, and wink.  It's adorable.

Oh my -- excitement at the Raintree pool.  The big kids pool is three feet deep on either end, and then five feet deep in the middle.  In order to be allowed to swim in the five-foot section, you have to be able to swim all the way across the pool in the three feet section without stopping.  Cooper was the last of his friends to be able to do that.

But finally -- he came home one day completely excited that "I PASSED THE TEST!!!"  And then he asked if we would come watch him swim.  So we did:
That's him in the red shirt jumping into the pool on the other edge.
And here, he's the little red blur swimming right in front of Miss Ann.
 Very cool.

One weekend, Coop and I headed to Olathe for a hot air balloon festival.
There were tons of people, and they were no longer selling tickets to the tethered balloon rides, so Coop jumped in a bounce house instead.

On our way out, we got an up-close view of some balloons getting warmed up to go...

Monday, September 03, 2012

Alaska Vacation: Beyonce

At last!!  What may be my very favorite sert of pictures from our vacation!!!  Prepare yourself to meet Beyonce the Chicken.

Beyonce actually exists elsewhere on the internet.  You can read the whole story about him here (disclaimer: there might a few bad words in that link).  I got a little tiny miniature version of him, and I decided that he definitely need to come along on our cruise.  I think he had fun...

Ready to go:

On the airport shuttle with Coop:

On an airplane with a new friend, Buzz Lightyear (which Coop found on the curb at the airport terminal -- score!):

On board the ship:



Look at the ocean with Coop and Buzz:

In the hot tub:

ON the ship:

Fancy dinner:

With a humpback whale:

Ack!  Bear!

Admiring the towel lobster:

In Victoria, British Columbia!

Pretty flowers:


Canadian moose:

Worn out!

On the ferris wheel in Seattle: