23 July 2008

Celebrating 30 Years at Ravinia

My absolute favorite thing to do for a night out in Chicago is to spend an evening at Ravinia. I discovered Ravinia during the summer after my junior year in college. My friends Suzy and Steve were also in Wheaton for the summer, and we felt so sophisticated enjoying our strawberries and wine while listening to music at such a classy place!

I've been to Ravinia several other times since then and this most recent one to celebrate Walter's 30th birthday was probably the most adventuresome.

Our evening started off well, we had all the essentials to make a high class night at the festival. Special bakery croissants? Check. Knife to cut the gourmet cheese? Check. Citronella candle to keep up us from falling victim to the bugs repelled from the other citronella-touting picnickers? Check. Check. We enjoyed the items I carefully had picked from several Bloomington specialty food stores and then the dark cloud in the sky moved closer and closer...Until we found ourselves hanging out by the bathrooms. Not exactly on the list for a romantic evening!
The good news was that the rain didn't last long but gave me just the perfect amount of time to check in with our boy and hear all about his fun times with Grandma, Becky, and Sam. Then we returned to our once dry grassy picnic location to rescue our chairs from the newly formed pond.
Walter decided to prove that even though he turned 30, he was still young at heart. Although he was soaking wet for the rest of the evening, he put on quite the show!
Giving us hope that Walter's next 30 years of life won't be all drab and gloomy, God gave us a rainbow and the concert went on.

Although we listened to John Hiatt under a rain-soaked blanket rather than lounging on the soft lawn, this evening at Ravinia is one to remember.

(And no, although he does crazy things when he's around people he doesn't know that really was not Walter jumping into the water puddle!)

19 July 2008

Who's Having More Fun?

Asher idolizes my daredevil brother Sam. Every time Asher hears a motorcycle, he asks, "What's that noise?" even though he already knows what that noise is. That question is just his way of letting me know that he hopes that loud motor noise means that Uncle Sam is in our driveway.

Tonight, the uncle-nephew relationship was bonded even tighter. Sam got to re-live a part of his childhood and Asher got a fun ride. I remember watching Sam, who is 11 years younger than me, ride this green tractor around our driveway. He was always pulling something in that green wagon, and often tried to put Lucky, our shaggy cocker spaniel, or one of our many cats and kittens into the wagon. Time after time, those animals jumped out as soon as Sammy started riding that tractor. Finally, almost 15 years later, Sam found someone who would ride in the little green wagon while he pedaled the green tractor.

The big question we've been wondering is who is having more fun? The two year old little boy, or the 20 year old uncle?

17 July 2008

Grandma is Home!

It's been a year since we last saw my mom. She arrived home from Ethiopia yesterday and we are so happy to have her back home. The weirdest thing is that when she showed up at my backdoor, it didn't even seem surprising, it just seemed normal, like the way things should be.

Asher and Grandma reconnected fast even though he was only just under 18 months when she left last summer. She quickly turned him into an Ethiopian boy wearing traditional Ethiopian clothes and she received instant affection for adding a new family to Asher's giraffe herd.

We are waiting to see if these will also be the syrup eating variety of giraffes!

16 July 2008

He Passed! He Passed! He Passed!

Can you hear me singing the words, "He passed, he passed, he passed!?"

I'm so proud of my smart husband! After eight agonizing weeks of waiting to find out if he passed his latest actuary exam, we just learned that he did!

Walter now has got FIVE actuarial exams out of the way which means we are over half way to him becoming a Fellow. Thanks to all of you who prayed for him during the studying months and for me as I learned about the difficulties of single motherhood.
We've had a free couple of months but now the studying has begun again... Next Exam date is October 29th!

07 July 2008

A Kansas Celebration

We spent the holiday visiting Walter's family in Kansas City. It was a weekend of celebrations.

Walter's 30th birthday is coming up on July 18. Since it is such an important milestone year, we've started the celebration early by remembering important DATES in Walter's life.

Here are 3 generations of Reedy men. Can you tell at all that they are related?

Grams and Asher celebrate the 4th of July with bubbles!

Asher wasn't too excited about sparklers.

This is "the dog that nods." It is a huge hit at Grams and Grandpa's house. Asher starts off our visits by being terrified of this dog but by the end of our visits, he can't get enough of bobbing its head and wagging its tail. Asher has been so un-photogenic for the past 6-9 months. This must be the best picture of him we've had since his 18 month portrait.