Awesome kids

This is a blurb I wrote for Austin's half-birthday week at school:

When Austin was 5, he loved helping his mom make up bed-time stories. All the stories were about Austin, his 2 sisters, and his 3 cousins who formed a club called The Awesome Kids. In the stories, the kids had a secret tree house and lots of high-tech gadgets invented by Austin, which they used to defeat villains. Austin created the idea for the club, all of the villains and the ways to defeat them, while his mom added words to make it sound like a story. For class today, Austin’s mom has written a short Awesome Kids story. In this story you’ll hear about some of Austin’s favorite things and things that Austin is good at. Here is the story...

Austin stood in front of a blocky figure of the Millenium Falcon, lost in thought. Tyce popped his round head over Austin’s shoulder. “Are you trying to figure out how they made that out of Legos?” Tyce asked. Austin and his cousin Tyce were in the center of Legoland on vacation with their families. While their families walked around Mini-Town looking at all the lego creations, Austin and Tyce were focused on the Star Wars displays.

“Actually,” Austin replied. “I was imagining what it would be like to use The Force. Then we could easily defeat villains!” Tyce smiled imagining it.

Just then, Austin’s sister Ruthie and his two other cousins ran up. “We’ve got trouble,” Makayla shouted.

“That’s right,” Kalyana said. “Ruthie just saw a villain on the villain-scope!”

“Who is it?” Austin asked.

“The Rain Man,” Ruthie cried. “He’s flying over in his weather cloud. He’s going to make it rain and ruin our vacation!”

Austin put a hand on his sister’s shoulder. “Don’t worry, guys. We may be on vacation, but we’re still the Awesome Kids. This guy is going down!” He looked at Kalyana, the club’s operations planner, and waited for one of her brilliant plans, but her face was blank.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “I don’t have any ideas. We’re away from home. We don’t have our tools, our inventions, or even our shirts that turn us into super-heros. We don’t have anything to work with here!” Five faces frowned in discouragement.

Tyce gazed at the Millenium Falcon statue and mumbled, “If only we had The Force, huh?”

Austin looked down at the statue. Suddenly his face broke into a smile. “That’s it!” he exclaimed. Everyone  looked at him confused. “We may not have The Force,” he explained, “But we’ve got the second best thing: Legos! We’re in the middle of Legoland. We’ve got all the Legos in the world! And if there’s one thing I know how to do, it’s how to build with Legos.”

His cousins were excited now. “What’s your plan?” Kalyana asked.

“Kalyana, you and Ruthie collect umbrellas from everyone who brought an umbrella today. We’re going to hang the umbrellas under the Rain Man’s cloud machine.”

“But how will we get the umbrellas up in the sky?” Tyce asked. “I know you’re good at soccer, but even you can’t drop-kick an umbrella that high!”

“That’s where the legos come in,” Austin said. “You and Makayla run to the Lego construction site and bring me as many green legos as you can. Now hurry!”

With their assignments in mind, the Awesome Kids raced away. In almost no time, Tyce and Makayla were pouring green lego bricks at Austin’s feet. Fast as lightning, Austin began building. Click! Click! Click! The lego bricks stacked into place. Meanwhile, Kalyana and Ruthie raced in carrying two large armloads of umbrellas. Ten minutes later, Austin stood back. A giant green catapult stood before him.

“Wow,” Tyce whistled. “You’re good!”

“Open the umbrellas and load the catapult,” Austin ordered. Just as they finished loading the catapult they heard a familiar sound. Ta, ta, ta, ta, ta. It was the whirring blades of the Rain Man’s weather machine.

“He’s here!” Ruthie shouted, pointing out a peculiar gray cloud moving in fast.

“Oh no!” Austin said. “I forgot something! I need rubber bands to make this catapult launch. I’m sorry guys. We were so close.”

A few rain drops fell from the sky. The weather cloud was almost above them. Any moment now the Rain Man would turn his cloud on full blast and Legoland would close all the rides because of the rain. A few more drops fell.

Austin’s silly 2-year-old sister Summer ran over. Her short blond hair was sticking out in about 20 different directions. That morning she had stubbornly insisted on having several pigtails put in her hair. She tugged on Austin’s shirt. “Me hate rain,” she said.

“Summer,” Austin cried, “You saved the day! Actually, your hair saved the day. Can I borrow your hair bands?”

Summer handed over the bands and Austin quickly strung them into the Lego catapult. Together all 6 kids pulled the catapult lever back and let it fly. 50 umbrellas launched into the sky and snagged in the strange gray raincloud just as the thunderstorm began. The Awesome Kids watched as a pool of water collected in the umbrellas and dragged the cloud down to the ground. Once on the ground, Legoland park police quickly apprehended the Rain Man.

“We did it!” The kids cheered.

“Austin, you’re a genius!” Ruthie said.

“But I have a question,” Tyce said. “Why did the lego bricks have to be green?”

Austin shrugged. “Green is my favorite color and I just figured, if you’re going to build, build it with style!”


Ruthie said...

As I squeezed a lemon into a glass of water...
"I like ice cold lemonade. I don't like ice hot lemonade."

At her cousins birthday party...
"Where's the cake? I'm a big fan of sugar."

At the pulpit of church, giving her testimony (all by herself)...
"I'd like to bear my testimony. I know the church... is supposed to be quiet."



Happy 7th Mr. Boy! We celebrated in Brighton where we also commemorated my dear mother's birthday today.

It is all about Star Wars this year. Can you feel his excitement in these pictures? He is at this moment (10pm) still awake practicing cool tricks with his light saber and saying things like "I am a Jedi like my father before me."


Austin Graduates

Kindergarten is officially over (a month ago). This is Mrs. Taylor's graduating class. Austin did great in kindergarten. He is exceptionally bright and has a knack for reading, math and science, though lacks stamina for assignments. It has been a fun year to continue to watch him develop.

This little video is a dance the kindergarteners performed the day before.


Summer's First Joke

Summer told her first joke! She made it up herself and everything. Pretty impressive for a kid who employs less than 15 words, huh?

So Ruthie and Austin have a tradition of telling "knock, knock" jokes when we're driving. I don't know how it started and they don't do it every time, but apparently it happens often enough that Summer has picked up on it. The other day Summer surprised and delighted us all with her very own joke (and her first use of the word 'knock'). Here it is...

Now in writing for someday when I create a hard copy of this blog...

Summer (knocking the air with her fist): Na-Na!
Me: Who's there?
Summer: Baby.
Me: Baby who?
Summer: Baby!

Summer (knocking the air): Na-Na!
Me: Who's there?
Summer: Na-Na!
Me: Who's there?
Summer: Na-Na!
Me: Who's there?
Summer (continually knocking): Na-na-na-na-na-na!

Summer (knocking the air): Na-Na!
Me: Who's there?
Summer: Baby who.
Me: Baby who?
Summer: Baby who.


Austin's Portfolio Blog

Have I mentioned how incredibly creative my boy is? I have? I'm not surprised. 'Cause he is dang creative! He creates through drawings, building toys (like legos), scrap materials (like cardboard and tape) and even things like food, songs or stories. For a while now I have wanted to capture his amazingness (without actually saving boxes and boxes of all those creations) and have finally struck on a great idea for doing it! Austin now has his own blog where I can save his work in pictures and videos. We call it Austin's Portfolio. Check it out!

A small sample (explanations are on the blog):

Robo-Port-Dobo (vacuum bot)

The Crabby Foods

Termite Mobile


5 Words And Counting

Summer is saying 5 distinct words now! I'm so happy that I get to watch her learn to talk. I'm so happy that one of her words is "mama" and I get to be the one she's talking about when she says that. Her five words (in order of development) are: mama, dada, uh-oh, buh-bye, no. She can also sign: more, please, thank you and her version of "I love you" which is to blow kisses. She has learned several animal sounds this month including: cat, dog, fish, monkey, giraffe, bird and lion-tiger-bear (same sound).

Some cute things she does: She loves to play jailbirds with daddy and the other kids. She runs around the couch and screams with them and its so cute seeing her be engaged in the big kid games. She knows how to clean up. Whenever she spills her cup of water she says "uh-oh" and then goes to get a towel to clean it up. She is the best "hang up your jacket" rule follower in the family. When we come in the house Austin and Ruthie will strip off their shoes and jackets on the way to the living room and drop them wherever. But Summer will stop in the mud room and hold up her foot until I come to take her shoes and jacket off. She tries to enforce this rule with anyone who comes over. As soon as they come through the door she starts trying to help them get their coat off. It's cute; it's as if she's saying, "Hi friend. Take off your jacket and stay a while!"