Luca and Journey

Luca has been very creative lately.

A few weeks ago, we all played a video game called Journey. It's a gorgeous game, featuring a robed character traveling through a desert and mountain.

Once we finished the game (twice, actually), Luca decided to make a "Journey" book. Here's the cover:



From left-to-right, we have the main character, who was dressed in a red robe; a tall character in a white rob; and the mountain peaks, seen in the distance for about two-thirds of the game.

He made an entire book, and he can explain all the details on each page. It's fascinating how creative he is, as well as inspired by the game.

Ren Faire 2014

A few weekends ago, we attended the Renaissance Faire in Bristol, during the "Steampunk Invasion" weekend.

Steampunk... how to describe it. Well, Wikipedia has a great article: Steampunk. At the least, you should know that it's a certain style of dressing that emphasizes a combination of gears, steam-related machinery, and Victorian or "Wild West" clothing. It's an interesting style, to say the least.

Kyra decided to make a hat, and wear a skirt and corset.



Luca and I didn't do anything very fancy:



Kyra got a lot of (random) compliments on her hat.



It was a great day. We saw the two swordsman, fencing and "teaching gentlemanly behavior", as well as the main jousting event.

Luca has been telling everyone about the joust where one of the knights pierced the other knight's shield with his lance. It was pretty cool.

There was also a children's adventure, and they had to help Little Red Riding Hood. Other fairy tale characters made appearances, too.

At the end, he won some "treasure". When he got the treasure, he made this evil-sounding MWA-HA-HA laugh, while holding the treasure up in one hand and the other in the air. Very dramatic. I asked him to do it again, and I got this:



With a little more egging to do what he did before:



Not quite the same. I should have had a video camera!

All in all, it was a great day, and I'm glad we finally got out to the Faire with Luca again. He was too young to remember it the first time.

Seeing Sue and Devil's Lake

A few weeks ago we decided to go to Chicago to visit the Field Museum.



We especially wanted to see Sue, the T-Rex.





This is Sue's actual head:



They couldn't mount her head on the model because it weighed too much.

We also saw the famous lionesses that killed several people:



Luca made quite the face, trying to imitate another large cat:



Back to dinosaurs, even though Luca is very big, he still would have been squished by whatever made this footprint:



And whatever had this for a bone:



It was a fun trip, although tiring and just a bit too long for Luca's attention span. We missed some exhibits, but we'll probably go back someday (once the road construction is done!!!).

Later, we took a trip to Devil's Lake.





Just "photoshop" Luca in that last one with me. I think he was being grumpy and didn't want another picture taken.

It was a perfect day for a hike!

Here's the full album with additional pictures from the Field Museum:


Chicago and Devil

Activites in Spring 2014

We've been rather quiet on our blog lately. What have we been up to?

Kyra and I have been making plans for our trip to Costa Rica in August. We've booked flights and hotel rooms, planned our activities, and purchased equipment for the trip. It's going to be a lot of fun. Luca is going to be staying with Nana, and it sounds like he'll be going to some camps. I'm sure he'll have a blast!

We welcomed our friends, Nick and Elspeth, to the neighborhood. They bought a house down the street, and we helped them move in. It's really great to have them in the neighborhood, although they might get sick of us dropping by randomly!

We've been doing a lot of home improvement activities. We scheduled painters for the house, cleaned up our the landscaping in the back yard (a big project, still in progress!), and had all sorts of maintenance work completed. It's finally mowing season, too.

Back in April we went to an event called "Moon Over Monona", where amateur astromers had their telescopes set up to view the full moon, Jupiter, and other celestial objects. It was fun to get Luca out to see these, and I'm sure he appreciated staying up a little later than usual. I think we have pictures, but I'll have to post them another time.

We took a trip to the Twin Cities to visit our nieces, Lilliana and Dalila. We had a lot of fun going swimming and seeing the girls. We got them a game for the Playstation 3 called Flower, which is really great for little kids. The controls are very intuitive for them, since it is simply about rotating the controller and pushing any button to move forward. It's a great game for kids.

Kyra and I got to go out for a movie a week or two ago. We saw the Grand Budapest Hotel, which was a great flick with a story in a story in a story (in a story?... depending on how you look at it). It was fun to spend an evening out with Kyra. It had really been too long.

We had a tour of Luca's new elementary school. It's exciting that he'll be going to kindergarten soon! It's likely that I'll be walking him to school every day, so that will be an interesting change from our current dynamic, with Kyra taking him to pre-school, where she works. We won't know as much of the ins-and-outs of the school, and that will present a challenge based on our current expectations.

We have some other news too, but we'll have to wait for another time. Keep in touch!

Kudos

In the recent Foster Forum newsletter for foster parents in our county, the following was written about us:

Kudos to Kyra and Chris ... for providing a loving and stable home for your foster [child] for the last year and a half. The time and energy you put into maintaining a relationship with [the birth parent] was a great asset in the reunification process and helped make the child's transition home successful. Thank you!
You're welcome!