"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager
Haven't posted photos in awhile, so it's time to catch up anyone interested on the goings-on in the Kinman household.
Starting with the most recent, yesterday was Hayden's fourth birthday. We had a party for him and a small gaggle of his friends at the local indoor pool -- one of Hayden's favorite places. Everyone swam for about an hour and then went into a side room for cake and ice cream. Everyone had an wonderful time -- a party with that many children and no fighting or tears transcends success and knocks on the door of miracle status!
Hayden had picked out Curious George party decorations and we got him a Curious George cake, which he was just tickled about. He also enjoyed some excellent presents -- including some really cool magnetic blocks from his Uncle Ian and Aunt Kathy, a stuffed roadrunner (which he slept with last night) from his Grammy and Grampy, a cool racecar lunchbox from his brother, a great Maisy popup book from Kristen and Brayer (he played with that for about an hour), a Thomas train and (Schroedter's favorite), nerf rockets that shoot up in the air when you stomp on an air cushion -- and much, much more. All in all, quite a haul.
We were thinking last night how quickly four years has gone by. It's so hard to imagine life without H. In some ways it's easier for me to remember life before any children than life with just Schroedter. I know Schroedter really can't imagine life without him.
So ... Hayden is four! Here he is blowing out the candles to prove it:
And here is one of him just cheesing after getting out of the pool.
The next big thing was Schroedter and Hayden's first day at school. For the first time, both of them (as well as Robin who teaches fourth grade) are at Forsyth School. Forsyth is a great school that is just 5-15 minutes walk (depending on whether or not Hayden is walking with you) from our house.
This is Schroedter's third year there and (hard to believe) he is a second grader now. Hayden is starting at the very bottom - pre-kindergarten (unlike when I was a kid and there was just one kindergarten, there are now three K-levels... pre-K, jr.-K and sr.-K. The same amount of time I spent in seminary my son will spend in kindergarten!) Robin has been teaching at Forsyth for going on 10 years now. Sometimes I think I should just give in and get a job there so the whole family will be there -- but there is that thing about not being qualified.
Anyway, three pictures here. The first is the boys standing in front of the house on their way to the first day of school. The second is Schroedter in front of his locker (they call it a locker, really it's a cubby with a door). His favorite feature of this is the plastic coffee mug every student gets to use to get water at the water cooler. Finally, there's Hayden on the floor of his classroom. Happy kids. Nothing better.
The other big news of late is our new kitchen. It's not exactly new ... but we did tear out a wall (and a small closet that was behind it) and expand the kitchen. The idea came out of a joint inspriation from Robin and Suzanne (her mom) during a visit this June. In addition to her career as a lawyer, Suzanne was an architect in her previous career, so she drew up some great plans, which we handed over to Barney Gierer, who has done great work around the house for us in the past.
Barney and a friend of his spent 2-3 weeks in our kitchen, tearing stuff out and putting stuff in. (A new refrigerator and stove didn't hurt, either). He did a great job -- particularly in building the trim, which blends in wonderfully with the older look of the house. He also did a little repair work on the terrible job the floor refinishers did last summer.
The result is a great new part of our kitchen, which not only gives us more storage- and counter-space ... it just makes the whole room feel so much bigger. My personal favorite is a refrigerator that makes crushed ice... something that has already encouraged me to drink more water than soda, which can only be good, right?
Anyway, the first picture is the before (at least after the plaster had been stripped away. The second picture is the finished product. (You can see we also painted the whole kitchen).
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