That was how Isaac ended his prayer tonight, when we asked what he was thankful for. Me too, Isaac, me too.
Here's some pics of the fun we had as a family for Graduation Weekend.
Waiting for the Baccalaureate service to get started... I only had to get up with Eli a couple dozen times.
The Happy Hallman's getting ready for bed - we need to get our rest for the big day tomorrow.
Ahhhh...the pool! This was the only thing the kids cared about. Lucky for us, Mike and Jana and crew were able to join us - here Cameron and ELI are hanging on me as I drag them around the pool again and again and again...
All dressed up and ready to Graduate!
The Hallman-MacFarlane Clan - now if only Jerm and Maria could have joined us.
Isn't she beautiful!
ELIE by the fish pond...
That is one very expensive grin. A very relieved grin. A very satisfying grin.
Celebrating with the kids! I missed alot of summers at the lake...they're glad I'm going to be around to swim and boat! I am too.
Nothing better than sharing a sweet moment like this with those who love me most.
Ahhh...Tara, how do I say thank you...for sticking by me, for believing in me, for being with me all the way through. Thank you.
Dad and Mum - thank you for helping make this experience possible. Thanks for the encouraging words, for the notes, for the bran muffins on those early 4:30am drives to school from the lake during the summer...and for helping my wife and kids when I was gone. Thank you.
Thanks Shirley and Faye for spending so much time with the kids and helping Tara when I was at class. Faye - I'll never forget our conversation on the bus while travelling to the Cubs game, when you asked me if I knew what I was doing. I did. :)
It was awesome to have Tara's family join us for this joyous celebration Naomi and Jim, Amy, Hannah and Alia, and Karen! Thanks for the support, for caring about us when times were stressful, and for being there for us.
My friend Leslie; we met in my second summer - during Greek. We did four classes together that summer - Suicide Greek is what they call it...for very good reasons. Good guy, with a son named Ivan. A very cool name.
Levi wouldn't try on the hat, but the other three did...we'll see if someday they get to wear their own.
Here we are - all nineteen of us - at RainForest Cafe in downtown Chicago. It was a looong table, a loud table, a fun table.
Eli and I wear causing great distress to Levi and Isaac, who happen to have very sensitive hearts. The Yellow Snake lowers his head and sticks a long black tongue out. I just happened to be standing near it such that Eli was almost struck by the serpent, which caused Levi and Isaac to squeal. Well of course I had to stick oblivious Eli even closer the next time, which elicited cries of panic. A glance from Tara encouraged me to quit, before I made a bigger scene.
For desert, Emma requested the desserts that catch on fire: a chocolate cake served with vanilla ice cream and a big sparkler on top. Amy and Alia were quite delighted by the surprise, as we all were.
There's just something mischevious about Alia's grin...it's almost as if she swiped some of Grandma's cake when she wasn't looking. Or something...
It's Sunday morning breakfast and the kids - with RainForest Cafe souveniers in hand (giant sharp-skinned alligator and long green fuzzy snake) giving me my graduation gift: a fun book by John Wooden about building character and growing up. Definitely a book I can identify with and enjoy; especially with all the neat notes that Tara wrote inside - along with the kids autographs - of the many ways the Wooden story connects with what Tara and I have been through the past five years.
It's Mother's Day! Heading out of the hotel for Kohl's Children's Museum. Momma just wanted to spend time with the kids (and me...) on her day, so that's what we did.
There were alot of neat hands-on activities for the kids; this one included rearranging translucent geometrical shapes. Isaac and Levi did most everything together: pick up beanbags with a crane, shoot windchimes with a water gun, and much more.
Emma impressed me with her princess castle made of the translucent geometrical shapes. Her creation was all by herself, no instructions or model in front of her! Very good job sweetie...I need to get my Lego's out. Oh the fun!