Monday, September 30, 2013

Born to Run!

So there is a little trend out there in elementary schools....cross country running!

The flyer came home a couple weeks ago and Seth was all about it!   He's been practicing the past 4 or so weeks twice a week after school.   He's had 3 meets so far.

I missed the 1st one due to the church resale...it was between 3 schools...Seth actually came in 9th in his very first mile race.

The 2nd race blew me away!  It was in Columbia City and there had to be 25,000 people there!  Okay, maybe only like 700-800!   there were kids from all over northern Indiana...all 3rd-5th graders.
He got close to like 43rd place...so proud of him!
Last Friday was his 3rd meet at Hickory Center...and it was between all the Northwest Allen County Schools...so there were at least 500 kids!  It was a GORGEOUS night and exciting because they used bib timing chips for the 1st time.   

Seth and neighbor buddy John

 all the 3rd graders lined up and ready to go!
 coming around the bend on the 1st lap...
 here he comes again...almost done!  Still running...even over all the hills!
 coming across the finish line...not sure but we think he was around 16th or so!
 Always fun to run into friends from church from other schools!

And poor Grant...he always wants to play on the playgrounds...but they are too far away from the races...so he is a little grumpy during the races....but he had fun running across the finish lines while the winners were announced...a few years from now I'm sure he'll be doing the same thing!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Never in our wildest dreams

Once again...our wildest dreams couldn't have imagined how Kate's Kart has continued to grow.   We've been blessed the past 5 years with donated and extremely discounted storage space.   We started with just 1 small (5x10) unit and over the years continued to expand into 2  larger units (10x15) They served their purpose for 5 years...they kept our books dry and somewhat organized.

But...we continued to grow and acquire supplies for our ice cream social and parades...more books  were donated and needed to be purchased to maintain a supply that allows us to give out around 1500 books each month!  

Our spaces were crowded...many times we would have to pull out the karts in the middle that housed extra books in order to work inside the small dark space.   There was lighting...outside in the hallway...that turned off every 5 minutes and required you to walk down and wave your arm.

It was climate controlled....but a hot day you were sweating and in the winter you were freezing.
There was NO bathroom which meant often we had to pack up and drive to the nearest Arbys or gas station.
There was no place to sit...no place to work...no place to move!

But for 5 years they served their purpose!


Then one day we were talking...some board members...what would it be like if we could get more space...maybe a store front...someplace we could really utilize...someplace that would be comfortable to work in...someplace that would provide a place...a place for Kate's Kart?

After looking at a couple places...exploring options and analyzing our budget, the board of directors unanimously agreed to move into an office/storage space just down from our current storage units.   We got the keys on July 11!    We had a huge storage area in the back...
we quickly filled it with our books and supplies!  But...we had more shelves...and more room to move around.   A team of friends and volunteers moved everything over in about 6 hours.  It was amazing...books were reorganized and put back on shelves!




and we were SO ecstatic to have this...our very OWN!  It's the little things!

And then there was this front office area...we had a bookshelf and some posters...but we wondered...what if? What if we could have tables and chairs for volunteers to sit on...a desk for me to work at...what if?
 So the board had an idea (after meeting here and having everyone bring their own camping chair)...what if we put out a wish list on amazon...a baby registry for all of the things that we would like to have to furnish our "new little bundle of real-estate.  We did....and over the next month...the UPS man was knocking everyday...donations came in from everywhere....and within in a month...we had a working office.

There is a desk and printer so that I can come and hold office hours and complete my work
There is filing space so that all the files could come out of our personal filing cabinet
And one night...there was a perfectly fine leather sofa sitting next to the dumpster...a place for others to sit!

A friend donated a shelving unit...where we can display shirts, pictures and other fun stuff
People bought tables and 10 chairs....volunteers can sit and work
A school donated a conference table...we can train new volunteers around it


There are other tables (some not even up) so we can have large work sessions
There is a fridge to offer a cool drink to volunteers
There are plants to make it feel homey
And there is a very cool mural that Grandma painted..just to make it feel warm and loved!


And...there is a sign....a sign on Dupont Road...a pretty busy road, just across from the hospital that let's the world know...Kate's Kart is blessed...Kate's Kart is here...Kate's Kart is making a difference in our community.

Yes..our daughter's name is "in lights"  


 And did I mention...we have electricity with our own switch...a bathroom...heating and air we can control...it's pretty amazing.

Seth absolutely loves it here...he asks to go to it several times a week and work.  He loves to sticker books and put books away...and sweep...and take out the trash (oh yeah, there is a dumpster right outside our door so we don't have to bring the trash home anymore)

Grant likes it too...and now with more space...a couch...a place for him to get a drink...there is much more room for him to play or color or even watch a movie while mommy (and daddy) do a little work.

Andy has been Mr. Handyman...almost everything that was bought for us...yes EVERYTHING you see in the office area, restroom and back area, minus extra shelving, was DONATED to us....needed to be assembled!  

Our family is blessed..beyond measure...and now even more we can bless our volunteers with a safe, warm/cool, comfortable place to help.

I try to maintain office hours a couple times a week...I get a lot of work done when I'm there (no internet..no distractions of home).   And...you can even sign up to come help me...check out our website (www.kateskart.org) and look for the sign up genius link.  I've got the times I will be there...and you can volunteer to come help...no need to be a hospital volunteer...you just need to come and sticker/sort/book keep/scrapbook/or whatever I need done!

What a ride the past 5 years have been....where oh where will we be in 5 more?

Monday, September 23, 2013

August....the month in pics!

August was busy....August flew by...August in pics!

Andy and I celebrated 11 years of marriage!  Mom and dad took the boys...we went out for dinner  at Biaggi's and a movie!   We tried really hard to get a "selfie".....this is the best we could get!


We took a long bike ride on the River Greenway...well over 15 miles we rode!  The boys did great...we love the tag-along.  Amazing what we saw in our little diverse city.


 even stopped for lunch at Jimmy John's downtown!


Seth and I went with friends to the water park in Marion...and to Ivanhoe's for a chocoholic overload!

went Putt Putting to celebrate Seth's LAST day before school started

Our garden was plentiful....we picked and snipped green beans...
canned and froze tomatoes...and corn from Doug's field...
 and made applesauce from some apples given to us!   Our freezer is STOCKED!

 Grant and I spent days at the splashpad
 And the zoo....with friend Stella!


and I got to scrapbook...Friday night and all day Saturday!   I loved it...didn't get nearly caught up.  Had a wonderful time with friends.


 Grant played and I cherished the days at home with him...they will be gone way too soon!



My turn now!

He had a few weeks of waiting...waiting for HIS turn to go to school.  Daddy and Seth started mid-August but Grant had to wait until after Labor Day!   Finally the time had come!

We went and met his teacher...Mrs. Davis.

 He's in the monkey class...the same room as when Seth was in pre-k.   It was all old-hat...he rememered where to go and what to do...

 The 1st day came...he had his bag and was ready to go!
 He's not shy...he's seen his brother take a picture every year...Grant never disappoints!

The 1st day was a success...happy to meet some new friends...happy to have some old friends from last year in his class again!  It's going to be a great year...3 days a week...he's growing up!

3rd grade already!

 I can't believe it...3rd grade!   I remember 3rd grade!    It came too quickly...summer just didn't seem long enough.

We had gone to register a week before...he found out his teacher, Mr Riecke!  He was excited...it was one of 2 of the teachers he wanted!   He was bummed...no best buds in his class (no Nate or Elijah) but still enough guys he knew.  He was looking forward to it!  School supplies were bought and he was ready!

We visited the school the night before...he met Mr. Riecke and loaded his desk.  He's not scared...ready to tackle the year!  

He made the PEAK program...a pullout for 2 hours a week for gifted and talented kids...he's looking forward to it...mommy just wishes it was more than 2 hours!   I hope he gets challenged.

The 1st day came...his buddies were here to get on the bus!   He jumped out of bed with a smile on his face...3rd grade here I come!  He's ready...but mom...she wishes he would just stop growing!




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Opening Day

Wow...what a treat we had on August 11th!  Some great friends offered us their season tickets to the opening pre-season game of the Colts.  We were so excited...going to a NFL game, preseason or not is not a normal occurrence for us.    

We had an easy time finding parking and got their in plenty of time to take a little tour and some pictures


 It was a beautiful day and the roof was open...you couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather.
 There was a lot of hoopla...at the beginning of the game!


 It wasn't the best game for the Colts...they lost...and the starters only played for a few minutes...but it was still an awesome day and experience.


Maybe someday we'll get to a regular season game...but for now...it was still a lot of fun!  Thanks Newmans!