Sunday, September 30, 2018

Kyle at 13 - Happy Birthday!!

Happy 13th Birthday to you, Kyle.  We could not be happier or more proud of you and your accomplishments.

It's been another memorable year for Kyle.  We've had a ton of great adventures as a family, and Kyle continues to be a great brotherly influence for his brothers...and sister.

As we start his 7th Grade school year, it's hard to come to grips with the fact that in 4 more months, he'll be HALFWAY through Middle School.  We're extremely proud of Kyle's academic success, and he should be too.  We see every day how he works very hard at his studies and many of his teachers share this with us as well.  We're hopeful and confident that the same will hold true for Grade 7, too.

THIRTEEN is certainly a milestone birthday, and we had a very nice little family weekend to celebrate.  We spent yesterday at Rehoboth and Dewey Beaches, enjoying some super weather (for late September).  We hung out on the beach, collected some shells, and even shopped for new school clothes! We shared a very pleasant dinner at Blue Coast Restaurant, where Kyle pounded his new favorite meal: Crab (last night it was crab cakes!).

We're coming off a busy summer of activities including parks, playgrounds, museums, hikes, and of course lots of Pool Time!

Over the summer, we visited Michigan where we spent time with our cousins and Uncle Mark, and had a few great days at the Lake.  We went on a really fun Dune Ride and visited Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park.  No sooner did we get home than we hosted Uncle Mark and Luke when they visited our house!!  Luke had back-to-back weekends of PA LAX tournaments.  These were the best two weeks of the summer!

We also had the chance to go on TWO family vacations.  We again connected with Uncle Mark, Luke and Logan at the Hard Rock Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico. That was a blast! And we visited Maui, Hawaii in the late summer, too!  Kyle and Dad, climbed out onto Black Rock and took the 30 foot plunge - what a rush!! lIt took a few days to adjust after that one, but then it was right back to school.  Kyle even helped his brother Dylan navigate through his first few days of 6th Grade and Middle School!

Kyle played his second season of LAX for Souderton - he had a good year and is looking forward to a few more off-season camps before jumping in again in the spring.

We again visited Michigan for Christmas to see Grandma and Poppa and had a great time with them!

As I write this, Kyle is again preparing to welcome another younger Brother - Zachary.  Our whole family could not be more excited!  We're in the planning stages of our upcoming trip (hopefully in mid-late November-2018).  Kyle will no doubt be a positive role model and super-cool big brother for Zachary!

As you just told me a moment ago, as you were going to bed, "I wish birthdays lasted longer than 1 day"...

So do I so you could enjoy this one a little longer.

Thanks for all you do to make our Family as special as it is - We Love You Very Much!  Here's to a wonderful and successful 14th year!

Here are some photos throughout the past year...

LAX Season 2

Some more s'mores?

At Uncle Mark's Lake Cottage

Our Biggest Snowman Yet

Our Pittsburgh Road Trip with Mom

Longwood Gardens

Hard Rock, Riviera Maya

Tyler Arboretum

First Day of 7th Grade (and 6th Grade/Middle School for Dylan 

Maui, Hawaii


We had to say a sad Goodbye to Mocha, but also welcomed
Minnie to our Family

Happy 13, Kyle!!

Riviera Maya, MX


Brandywine Battleground Visitor's Center

Visiting the Eastern States Penitentiary 
with Uncle Mark and Luke

Feeding the Goats at Lake Tobias Wild Animal Park

Mac Woods Dune Ride in Michigan!!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Happy Gotcha Day x ELEVEN (11) YEARS!!!

Good evening all,

Once again, it's Christmas Eve, and as always our thoughts drift between anticipating Santa's visit a little later, and remembering Kyle's first day as our first child.  What a wonderful gift we were blessed with eleven (11) years ago!!

I can close my eyes and still feel the excitement in that room, as all of the families in our adoption group met and held their children for the first time.  After all of the excitement at the Civil Affairs Office, we finally got him calmed down and back to the room and started the process of welcoming him into our life and family.  Occasionally, we'll revisit the posts in this story blog when some of our other children ask about what it was like for Kyle as he was adopted.  Each story in our family's history is so different, but it's unique for Kyle, because his was the first "story of a lifetime" we've he'd to chance to enjoy.

As we have for most of our Christmases as a family, even well B.K. (before kids), we are settled into Lisa's Mom & Dad's house in West Michigan.  We're looking forward to a white Christmas as the forecast is calling for 1-3" of snow over the next few hours.  Braving the 20 +/- degree temperatures, we (the kids and I) took a long walk around Grandma's neighborhood.  We walked down to the lake, which was frozen solid - to 6" thick!  We even met a few neighborhood boys who had cleared off a small plot to play ice-hockey.  We WALKED across the lake and then back around toward home.  It was a good day.

Later, our cousins, Paityn, Logan and Luke came over for Dinner and a visit.  As the evening wound down, the kids decorated sugar cookies for Santa.  Now the grown-ups are winding down...  So far, we're all a bit tired out, but still a good night.

Kyle has had a great start to his Middle School years, and his first trimester grades reflect the effort that he's applied to his studies (Lots of A+'s !).   He got a great result on a science project/presentation that he did.  If anyone has a need to bore to the center the earth, Kyle might be able to help since he designed a vehicle/machine that could do it!

We could not have e been prouder of him when we all went to see the Middle School Fall Concert at the school auditorium. Kyle's been able to develop some solid trumpet chops over the past few years.

We're waiting impatiently for introducing LAX workouts to start up.  After Season 1, Kyle's looking forward to this season to continue to contribute to his team and to grow as an athlete.

He makes us very proud when he shoulders the role of "Big Brother" for Dylan, for Ryan, and especially for his new, youngest brother Tyler.  Even though Tyler is growing bigger each day, Kyle still insists on piggy-backing him around - and Tyler plays this for every inch!!

We've had a busy Fall since his birthday, and so here are a few photos of some of the many activities and fun we've had...

Winterthur Gardens (Delaware)

Thanksgiving at Uncle Sean's

HersheyPark Happy

Kyle and Little Sis Ashley

HersheyPark at Christmas

Fall Hiking on the Wissahickon Trail (near Forbidden Drive)

We Love you very much, Kyle and look forward to every new anniversary of your Gotcha Day.  Our Christmas Eves are always more special...
Love,  Mom & Dad

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Happy 12th Birthday Kyle!!

Hello again, Dad here with another drive-by post - this time to note Kyle's 12th Birthday.  Happy Birthday, Kyle.

There have been lots of changes in the time since last post (including Kyle's 10th anniversary of becoming the oldest Lockhead child!)...
Can it really be 10 + years already?  The memories seem so vivid when we look back at his adoption trip photos and postings here. 

Kyle has advanced to MIddle School, and just started this 3-year adventure as a 6th Grader.  He's made a great start and his diligence and effort is already showing results as he's gotten super grades so far for all of the tests/quizzes/projects he's completed.  It's still early in the first trimester, but all systems are "Go" thus far.

Lacrosse is now his sport of choice and he's been a contributor on his Souderton LAX team - he plays with many of his schoolmates and seems to really enjoy it.  He scored two goals in his first game - for a great start to his career.  We're looking forward to him ramping up with off-season (fall/winter) workouts and clinics, and he is excited to start spring practice for next season.

Our family was fortunate enough to be able to vacation this spring in Punta Cana (Dom. Rep.)  Everyone had a great week - the weather cooperated and the week was chock full of sand, swimming, sailing and great meals.

As our family grows together, Kyle has become a strong positive role model for his youngest brother Tyler (as well as his other siblings).  He really looks up to Kyle and Kyle always tries to set good examples.  It was a bit of an adjustment for Tyler this school year, since Kyle now catches the "early" school bus - but the timing of Kyle's bus still allows everyone to say good-bye to Kyle as they're getting started on their breakfasts.  Tyler still like to have the occasional piggy-back ride from his big brother, but now that T-Bone's getting bigger, this is getting to be more and more challenging!

In the spring as we prepped for another "Summer with Dad", we made a huge list of stuff to do:  Parks, Museums, Gardens, Bike Rides, and all other manner of activities.  Our summer was spent attacking the list!  We covered a LOT of ground, while working our days around Doctor/Therapy appointments.  Though we had our ups and downs, we definitely made some great memories.  As they say, you can't hit a Home Run every time you come to the plate, but we sure seemed to hit lots of doubles and triples!

We trekked to Michigan to visit Grandma, Poppa, Uncle Mark and our cousins.  We spent some quality time at Uncle Mark's Lake Michigan cottage, went fishing in Gandma's neighborhood pond, and even went on a wild dune ride in Saugatuck.  We also met up with our Goddard School friends (except for Ben's family, who had a previous commitment).  We had a great time seeing the Faders on one of their trips back to the US from their stay in Japan.

We also jammed in a Southern California Vacation. On the intinerary were San Diego, DelMar Beach, Seal Beach, Huntington Beach (and Lunch at Ruby's Diner), LaJolla, Dana Point, driving the PCH to LA, The Marine Mammal Rescue Center, Disneyland and Disney's CA Adventure.  It was a great week of fun.

It seems strange not going to China this year (as we have in the past two consecutive years to adopt Ryan and Tyler).  We have made our last adoption trip and our family seems complete. And, I suppose I'll need to get adjusted to the fact that we might not return to China for a few more years.  We're hopeful that we can plan a trip where we can visit all of the children's home provinces/cities - that take some time to put together and we're still far from being emotionally prepared for such a journey.  But at least we now have a long-term goal in our minds so that we can start to think about the wheres, whens and hows of finally getting back "home" for them.

But for now, it's time for Kyle to begin the last year of the road to teenagerhood!

We are very proud of the person you've become and are excited to see what fun and success you'll experience in the next year.

We love you very much and are looking forward to continuing this journey.
Mom & Dad

Now for the pictures!...
Kyle on the afternoon he joined our Family.  In Nanchang, Jiangxi, China. (How'd that one get in there!?)

First Day of 6th Grade

Cookout with ALL of Dad's Family

Kyle's 12th Birthday - TODAY!

At Cape Henlopen Park

First LAX Game (Scored 2x)

Promotion Day - Last Day as a 5th Grader

Kyle Presenting His Project on Pop - to Grandma and Pop!

Sneaking a Look During an LAX timeout.

Spring Concert 2017 with Dylan

DW Bumper Cars with Ashley

Huntington Beach, CA at Sunset, after a great day!

Washington DC Zoo

NOT PHOTOSHOPPED - Kyle Back-Flipping

The Blizzard of 2017

The Goddard School Crew

Huntington Beach, CA Surfing's Ground Zero

Longwood Gardens

Punta Cana

Sailing in Punta Cana

Tubing on the Delaware River

Late Summer Day at the Beach in Stone Harbor, NJ

At the Museum of the American Revolution

Flight Simulator at the AMC (Air Mobility Command) at Dover DE AFB

Feeding the Goats at Lehigh Valley Zoo

At the Flyers Game with Dad & Dylan

Getting ready for a Pull on Lake Michigan by Uncle Mark (with Ryan and Cousin Luke)