Monday, August 16, 2010

Summer Vacation - FLORIDA!

We had an amazing vacation in Florida - June 2010. We went to Disney's Epcot Center, enjoyed mom and Charlie's beautiful condo, played at two different beaches, attended a major league baseball game (Ray vs. Marlins) and hung out with Brady, Sheri and Jacob. Here are some highlights:
Epcot Center

We loved beautiful Morocco!

More of Morocco ... just like Casa Blanca

Norway - grass grows on the roof!

Tampa Bay Rays game

The boys loved feeding the seagulls

Alec tries to outrun the birds
Brady, Sheri & Jacob supply the canopy and lunch

Alec & Sam swim on a sandbar at St. Pete's Beach

Sand, Sand, Sand

Niki, Tim, Brady

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Alec's First Track Meet

Alec is competing in track this year. The first meet of the season was held yesterday. It was quite an ordeal with hundreds of middle school kids competing. Alec's events are: (1) 1600 meter (1 mile), (2) 800 meter, and (3) 200 meter relay. We were so proud of him! He did very well with those long skinny "Knopf legs." Since it was his very first meet, we didn't know what to expect. As his mother, I was just praying that he didn't come in last and that he didn't drop the baton in the relay. My prayers were answered on both counts. Four kids finished after him in the 1600 meter. And in the relay, he grabbed the baton and ran like lightning to the next exchange zone.

Finishing the first lap of the 1600 meter
(2nd in this group)

Approaching finish line in 1600 meter
(pushing it hard at the end)

We forced Alec to go out for track -- "lovingly urged" I like to say. He did not want to do anything in the spring after football and basketball this year. I kept saying to him, "But what if this is your thing? What if you are best at this? How will you know if you don't try?!" So he tried. Now he says he likes running track the best. He is very good at it and seems to enjoy the kids on his team. But Tim and I couldn't help wondering if it had something to do with the hordes of girls encircling him after every race telling him how great he did. Hmmm... whatever his motivation, we're just happy he's out there. And I'm pretty sure I was the loudest mom in the bleachers cheering for my baby!

Baby Sam

Yesterday Sam's class went on a "scavenger hunt" field trip sponsered by The Lion's Club. It was a beautiful day and they went to one of the prettiest parks in Springfield.
Around lunch time I got a text on my cell phone from Sam's teacher, Mrs. Popp. It had this picture attached. =>

The text said, "Sam said it was okay to text you. This is Brenda. Your child was stuck in a baby swing for about 15 minutes. We got him out and he kept his legs. But he almost lost his pants."

A few minutes later I got
another picture...
After I finished laughing, I called Sam.
He assured me he wasn't in as much pain as these pictures show him to be. He said he was finally able to get out by
"standing on an old man's back...someone from The Lion's Club named Lion Jerry."
When I asked him what other people were doing, he said, "Laughing really crazy-like."
We all had a good "crazy" laugh at home. Sam enjoyed seeing the pictures of himself and telling us the whole story. Tim asked him how he got into the swing. Sam said matter-of-factly, "I climbed in."

Monday, April 12, 2010


Alec's confirmation class graduated today. It was a wonderful ceremony with six baptisms among the class of 33 kids. We are so proud of him and what he has accomplished throughout this journey. He has learned so much and appears to be stronger in his love of Christ.

During the service they showed a video on the jumbo screen of different things the kids said in their interviews about "faith." Lots of kids were saying things like "Having faith is like believing in God" and "Faith is important because it's what stays with you for life."

Then there was Alec's big head on the jumbo-tron and he says, "Faith is important for everybody, not just me." Then he scratches an itch on his nose and says, "I mean, cuz what kind of crazy person would be crucified on a cross for nothing?!" That was funny.

But before his interview even started, Alec could be seen sitting on the stool eating a doughnut. He held his hand up and said with a full mouth, "Hang on, I haven't had my 4,000 calories yet today." I just nodded my head and thought - yep, that's my kid!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Pins Are Out!

Tim went back to the surgeon for another x-ray. It has been eight weeks since the accident with the saw. The surgeon said she still doesn't see a whole lot of new bone growing, but she recommended taking out the pins anyway. She said that slight movement and bending could stimulate bone growth; although there is a risk of the bones shifting out of place.

Tim will go back in three weeks for another x-ray to make sure the bones have not shifted. At that time, the surgeon will put him in individual finger splints instead of the large hand splint he has now. Ahh, sweet relief from the big bulky splint!

Against my better judgement, Tim really wanted me to take video of the surgeon pulling out the pins. He has been showing his students pictures and videos of this whole process. Maybe he can inspire even just one kid to become a doctor... or at least think twice before using a table saw. The surgeon and radiologists have been supplying "Mr. Knopf" with x-rays, medical readings and any foreign objects that were removed from his hand. They are now on display in Room 215 of Study Middle School - Tim's 8th grade Science room.

So... here's the video. You'll notice Tim is looking away while the surgeon pulls out the pins. (Since I was the videographer, I was forced to watch. Thus, my reaction!) It is startling at first -- I actually felt my stomach lurch a bit -- but then it seems so easy. A sidenote: The center of the bones where the pins were sitting have no nerve endings. When the pins are pulled out, Tim feels pressure and a pulling sensation, but no pain. However, there are nerve endings between each bone, in the joints (knuckles). The goal is to pull the pins so quickly past these joints that he barely has a chance to react.

Tim's comment after it was done: "I only wet my pants a little bit."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Update on Reflections Contest - Sam's video

Way to Go, Sam!!!
Some kids are going on to the State Competition. However, I just found out there were not enough video entries around the state to be able to have that category at the State Competition .... which can only mean that Sam is way ahead of his time.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pinewood Derby

Supplies for Pinewood Derby Car: $5.00
Labor for making Pinewood Derby Car: two re-attached fingers
The look on Sam's face after beating out 19 other cars: priceless!

Sam's car raced in eight different heats to place third in his first Pinewood Derby.
Third place is good -- we'll take third place! Tim was a bit disappointed. He was really hoping for first place since it cost him the use of his left hand for a few months. But when I broke it down for him - Sam's car beat 19 other cars and only 2 cars were faster - he felt better.
And ... Sam's car was the only one with an urban underglow light - made with a battery and Christmas lightbulb. Very cool!
Putting on the finishing touches...
The final weigh-in...
Ready to Race...
Sams car wins again...