Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Main page (created 2008-08-08)

This is the personal portion of my website. It contains personal information about me (Steve Simon), my wife, Cathy Simon, and our son, Nicholas Simon. I also have a professional website, where I talk about statistics, research methodology, and evidence based medicine.

I also contribute regularly to the "letters to the editor" page of the Kansas City Star, though not all of my contributions get published. I thought it would be fun to publish all my letters here, the ones that made the cut and the ones that didn't, as I am held in high esteem by the creator of this website.

I also have a running log where I describe my training runs and timed races. I show maps of where I ran, note the speed and distance, and comment on all my aches and pains.

Personal webpages, in reverse chronological order

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Steve applies to be a Midwest Voices columnist yet again (created 2012-12-17). Every year, the Kansas City Star invites regular people to volunteer for the Midwest Voices, a panel of writers for the editorial page. They want 5 articles of up to 600 words from each of a dozen people, and the panel gets opportunities to share additional writing on the Kansas City Star blog. I've tried applying several times, and decided to try yet again this year. You have to submit a sample column, describe yourself and your political beliefs briefly, and suggest five additional topics for future columns. I won't get selected, of course. But it's worth a try. Here is the sample column that I submitted.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- A tour of "no brake" hill (created 2012-01-10). I frequently refer to "no brake" hill in my running log. Here are some pictures so you can see this formidable hill for yourself and an explanation of how "No brake" hill got its name.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Cathy tells a great "knock knock" joke (created 2012-01-04). I have a soft spot in my heart for "knock knock" jokes, and Nicholas is old enough to share them with us. Cathy came up with one of the most clever ones I've heard in a while, but it only works in a family like ours.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas and his epic battles (created 2011-12-11). Nicholas is like most boys in liking to imagine massive battles. Here are a few examples.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- The family visits Branson (created 2011-12-11). In late October, Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas drove down to Branson, Missouri for a long weekend vacation. Here's a report and some pictures.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Steve runs in the snow (created 2011-12-10). We had a light snowfall (about half an inch) on December 6, which was a day that I normally run. I decided to keep on schedule in spite of the snow, and althogh I didn't make very good time, it was still fun. Before all the automobile soot colors the snow gray, the snow on the ground is usually very pretty. That day's snow was no exception. I didn't take any pictures during the run, but here are a few that I took on the cool down afterwards

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nick rides the gravity bike (created 2011-12-10). One of the exhibits at Science City that Nicholas has never been able to ride before is Newton' gravity bike. It requires that the rider be at least 53 inches tall. The gravity bike runs along a wire suspended high in the air. It has very heavy weights attached ten feet below it that makes the bike perfectly stable across the high wire. Last Sunday, Nick measured himself and he had just barely reached the 53 inch limit. So off he went on the gravity bike. Here's a picture.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Our cat Asia doesn't like to visit the vet (created 2011-11-29). Our cat Asia is like most cats in that she does not like going to the vet. But I underestimated the depths of her feelings.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas gets his second running medal (created 2011-11-26). Nicholas and I ran our fourth official race this year: the Ward Parkway Thanksgiving Day 5K Run/Walk (The first three races were Running With The Cows in May, the Leawood Labor Day 5K run in September, and the Blue Valley Recreation Strut for the Streaks 5K Run/Walk in October). It was a huge event with over 1200 runners/walkers My sister-in-law, Elizabeth, and my niece, Gabriella also participated.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Steve and Nicholas win medals at the 5K race -- (created 2011-10-22). Nicholas and Steve ran in a 5K race on Saturday, October 22: Strutting for the Streaks. This race was sponsored by the Blue Valley Recreation Center to benefit their Special Olympics team. The race had awards in various age categories. Nick and Steve both won awards in their respective age categories.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Steve's running log (created 2011-09-24). I have been mentioning my runs fairly regularly on this site. It is probably of limited interest to most of you, but it helps me stay motivated to show the geographic track of my runs and the times and distances. So I thought I'd created a log that I would regularly update

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Steve takes some practice runs through Ironwoods Park (created 2011-09-13). I have been running about three times a week to keep in shape and get ready for my next 5K race. Recently, I've been heading through the scenic venues of Ironwoods Park. I didn't take any pictures while running, but I'll try to add a few pictures when I get the chance. It's a very nice run. Here are maps of two recent runs.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nick and Steve labor on Labor Day weekend (created 2011-09-05). It was a busy weekend for Nick and Steve. We did a 13 mile bike ride on Sunday and ran in a 5K race on Monday. Here are some maps and some information about our athletic efforts.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nick ends the summer with a bang (created 2011-08-03). Nicholas is back in school, but the 30 days before school started were quite eventful. Here's an update of everything that happened with a few pictures.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Steve is ready to tackle another 5K race (created 2011-08-25). I have been working at running and have gradually gotten back to the point where I'm ready to tackle another 5K race. I drove to iLan Park, ran along the trail to Tomahawk Park, did a small loop and then returned. I ran 2.9 miles in 46 minutes at an average speed of 3.8 miles per hour. At that pace, I'd run a 5K (3.1 miles) in about 49 minutes. Here's a map of the route.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Beaches make me run faster (created 2011-08-01). I was on business travel in Miami Beach and took advantage of some quiet time to run along the beach. There was a nice boardwalk and all the high rise hotels protected me against excessive exposure to the setting sun. I'm doing interval training (a mix of walking and running) to build back up to running a 5K race. Here's a Google map of my route.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas gets a new dog (created 2011-07-02). I'm not much of a dog person, but Cathy and Nicholas worked on me. I finally agreed this week that Nicholas could get a dog. We looked at a couple of places, but the Heart of America Humane Society had a very nice dog at the Pet Smart in Overland Park. She's mellow, which is nice but unusual for a dog. We haven't settled on a name yet, but Cinnamon, Sally, and Blaze are all in the running. She's spayed and about six months old. Here's a picture of them lying in the grass.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- My favorite websites (created 2011-06-11). Here's a list of the websites that I visit most often. This is probably not too interesting a site for you to visit. It is mostly for my convenience to list all these on a single page.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas and the egg (created 2011-06-05). Nicholas found an egg at the base of a tree in the front yard of our house. We don't know if it was from a ground nesting bird or if it fell out of a nest up high in the tree. It sat there for days and days, and while I didn't let Nicholas near it at first, I gradually realized that it was not going to hatch. So we did some up close investigation.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas the pilot (created 2011-06-04). Nicholas took some money out of his savings account to buy a remote control airplane. It was a big success. Here are some pictures.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Asia helps make our bed (created 2011-06-04). I had forgotten how much cats like to help you with household chores until I had to change sheets on our bed one morning. Asia would hop up everytime something was stripped off or whenever something new was added. I had to lift her off a half dozen times. Once the bed was finsished, she came up to inspect my work.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas has too many toys (created 2011-06-04). It's easy to lose track, but when you look back at all the toys that Nicholas has gotten over the years, he has far too many. He especially likes cars, trucks, and planes. One day he decided to put most of these out in the playroom downstairs.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nick and Steve run with the cows (created 2011-05-14). Steve has been training to run in a 5K race since January. He made enough progress that he felt comfortable competing in a real race. On Saturday, May 14, he went down to Bucyrus (just on the other side of Johnson County for the Running With the Cows race. Nicholas, who needs no training joined him.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nick has another overnight camping trip with Cub Scouts (created 2011-05-04). I'm not much for roughing it in the wild, but when Nicholas's Cub Scout troop held a spring overnight family camping trip, I gritted my teeth and went along. Our tent is seriously dwarfed by everyone else's, but we had a gorgeous view from our location.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas competes in his first Pinewood Derby (created 2011-02-28). One of the yearly traditions of Cub Scouts is the Pinewood Derby races. You get a wooden block with four wheels and four nails. There is a cut in the wood to show where the wheels should go, but otherwise it is an ordinary block of wood. Your job is to carve the block of wood into an interesting car design and then race that car against those created by other Cub Scouts. There is a weight restriction, five ounces, and you can't move the wheels from their designated locations.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas and Frosty (created 2010-12-30). At a recent visit to Children's Mercy Hospital, Cathy foolishly told Nicholas that since he behaved so well, he could buy anything in the hospital gift shop. He picked out a huge stuffed snowman. Here's a picture of Nicholas sleeping with (under) this stuffed snowman.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Our new cat, Asia (created 2010-12-30). One of Cathy's co-workers had to move and could not take her cat with her. So Cathy (after checking with me) volunteered to take the cat. Her name is Asia, and she is a domestic long hair. She was very nervous at first and hid for literally weeks. She's starting to warm up to all of us.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas discovers that he likes doing chores, if there is money for it (created 2010-12-30). For someone born in a Russian orphanage, Nicholas has turned out to be the ultimate capitalist. He loves money and will work extra hard and long on anything if there is a monetary reward waiting at the end. We put this to good use before it got too cold and got a nice car wash and a well raked lawn.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas the arachnologist (created 2010-10-27). Nicholas, Cathy, and Steve went on an overnight cub scout camp. Part of the activities included a bug hunt. Nicholas caught an impressive spider.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas shoots some pictures for his "me collage" (created 2010-08-29). One of Nicholas's first homework assignments was to cut out some pictures from magazines and newspapers that could be combined into a "me collage." This would go on his writing binder and when Nicholas was out of ideas for writing assignments, his teacher could point to one of the pictures in the collage and suggest that he write about that. Nicholas and Cathy took some pictures with our digital camera to supplement the ones he found in the newspaper. Here are those pictures.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas goes whale watching (created 2010-07-08). While in Juneau, we took a whale watching cruise. Here are some pictures of a humpback whale and other wildlife that we encountered during the cruise.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas carries a big chunk of the Mendenhall glacier (created 2010-07-08). While in Juneau, we took a bus tour to Mendenhall Glacier. It was the first glacier that I saw on our Alaska tour, and it was quite impressive. Pieces of the glacier had fallen off into Mendenhall Lake and Nicholas found one that had drifted ashore. At first, I told Nicholas that he needed to leave the chunk of ice right there. But then we found that the park rangers had taken another chunk of ice from the lake and were displaying it near the visitors center. So Nicholas wanted to bring them his own chunk of ice.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Letters I've written to the Kansas City Star (created 2010-07-02). One of my goals in life is to get a letter published on the Opinion pages of the Kansas City Star on a regular basis. They don't like to publish from any one writer more often than once a month. So far I've had mixed success, but I thought it would be interesting to post all of these letters on my website, both the ones that got published and the ones that didn't. I tried to note which efforts were successful and which were not, but I may not be 100% accurate.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Steve and the moose shirt (created 2010-07-02). A good friend from my U of Iowa days, Julie Elliot, sent me a surprise package in the mail. It was a t-shirt of a moose. Our gang was called the mooses for reasons that I do not want to discuss on this website. Here's a picture, taken at Hillsdale Lake. Thanks, Julie!

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nick makes his own Father's Day card (created 2010-07-01). We were on vacation in Alaska during Father's Day and I'm just getting around to posting various pictures of the trip. One thing unrelated to Alaska, but still worth showing is the Father's Day card that Nicholas made for me.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Pictures of the Back Porch Cloggers (created 2010-06-08). In January of 2000, I took lessons on Appalachian Clogging from a group called the Back Porch Cloggers. I persisted through the entire fifteen weeks, graduated and then took the beginning courses a second time as well as continuing with the advanced group. Eventually, I got good enough that I was invited to be part of the performing group. The performing group would go monthly to various locations such as local festivals and to nursing homes and perform some of the more advanced dances. The leader of the Back Porch Clogges, John Hardin, retired in 2006, but the members of the group still kept meeting irregularly to keep practicing the dances so we wouldn't forget them. We also found time to hold several performances at the Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead. We do a few dances and then invite the children up (and any brave adults) to practice a few very simple clogging steps. Here are some pictures from a performance last year. I'll try to identify all the dancers, but will not name anyone who is hidden behind another dancer.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas buys and builds his own basketball hoop (created 2010-06-08). We have a new basketball hoop at our house and Nicholas provided part of the money and part of the labor. Here's the story of how it evolved.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Another letter rejected by the KCStar (created 2010-06-07). I sent a letter last week in response to a recent Charles Krauthammer column. The KC Star didn't publish it. It was a bit muddled, and I blame the 150 word limit. It is really hard to fit a coherent argument into so few words. Maybe it was too heavy on the sarcasm. Who knows? Anyway, you can read what I originally sent.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Shhh! Don't tell Cathy about her birthday present (created 2010-06-04). Cathy doesn't know yet, but I have ordered her an agate geode cut to the shape of a heart. It was from the same mail order company that she was trying to order a Keichosaurus fossil from. Her birthday is Sunday, though I think the delivery will not arrive until Monday or Tuesday. Here is a picture.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Steve argues with the Car Talk guys (created 2010-05-25). I disagreed with one of the Puzzler questions that are presented each week on the Car Talk radio program. This puzzler was an interesting geography question. "This was sent in by Norm Loveless. Imagine you’re at home in a city somewhere in the United States. You decide to travel along each of the four compass directions, north, south, east, and west. Day 1, you travel due north and you eventually cross a state line. Let's call this state X. You return home. The next day you decide to travel due south. Again you come to the border of your home state and its neighbor. It is also state X. You return home amazed. Day 3, you elect to proceed due east and you are shocked to find out that the first state you reach is, again, state X! On the fourth day you travel due west and soon are stupefied to find a sign saying, “Welcome to State X”! There is only one city in the United States whereby traveling along the four compass points, north, south, east and west, the first state you reach is identical no matter which direction you choose. Name the city and the state." Their answer was Stamford, Connecticut, but I think there are a couple of other cities much further west that also qualify.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Steve tries and fails to get a letter published in the Kansas City Star (created 2010-05-24). Every month, I try to get a letter published on the editorial pages of the Kansas City Star. This is a letter I submitted on Thursday, May 20. It did not get published. Oh well, I'll try again in a little bit.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- The whole family draws at the Crayola Cafe (created 2010-05-09). We took our niece, Gabriella (Nicholas's cousin) for a day of fun activities as part of a birthday gift to her. We had lunch at the Crayola Cafe, went to see a play at the Coterie Theater, Frindle, and had ice cream at Sheridan's afterwards. At the Crayola Cafe, they offer a nice selection of Crayola crayons, of course, and the placemats have a simple drawing that you can color in. Here's some of the artwork that we produced (I did not get a chance to reproduce Gabriella's composition, that involved, among other things, a multi-colored rainfall). Here are the other three pieces of art.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas the frisbee flinger (created 2010-05-09). Nicholas was tossing the frisbee with one of the neighbor kids. Here are some pictures. You can see the firisbee high in the sky. The angle of the shot is a bit deceptive, but it is still a pretty impressive throw.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas the Jayhawk fan (created 2010-05-09). I don't follow college sports that closely. When someone tells me they are a Husker fan I have to ask whether them to tell me whether the Huskers come from Kansas State or Kansas. But all the kids at school seem to have allegiances to the local universities. Here's a picture to show you the allegiance that Nicholas seems to have formed.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- A typical pair of shoes for Nicholas (created 2010-05-09). I joke about how Nicholas is like the Energizer Bunny, but it really is true. He runs non-stop from morning to bedtime with no breaks to help his weary mother and father. Being a parent, I've discovered, is living in a state of chronic exhaustion. But it is still far better to have an active child than a couch potato child. You can see evidence of how active Nicholas is from his shoes.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas and the recent adoption ruckus (created 2010-04-25). Someone asked me about the recent controversy about the Tennessee woman who had adopted a child from Russia. The child had some serious behavioral issues, and the woman placed the child alone on a flight to Russia with a note saying that she no longer wanted this child. Noting the many webpages I've written about Nicholas, she said "In your posts about Nicholas, he seems to be such a happy, active, normal boy. I was wondering if you and Cathy have ever had any of those problems some other adoptive parents have had."

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- The vegetable monster (created 2010-04-17). I had to prepare a salad for a dinner group we belong to, and decided to change it to a vegetable tray. I got some veggies and some toothpicks and created this vegetable monster.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Steve's letter about the U.S. Census (created 2010-03-23). A letter written by Ralph Anderson in the Kansas City Star about wasteful spending in the U.S. Census provoked me to write a response. I have an uneven track record of getting my letters published, but I'm hopeful about this one.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas shovels the driveway (created 2010-03-21). We had six or more inches of snow with lots of drifts, so I recruited Nicholas to help with the shoveling. With the drifts, half the driveway was melted and half had thick snow. I took a few pictures, but Nicholas complained about having to shovel while I took pictures. Fair enough. Here's one good picture, though.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- From sixty degrees to six inches of snow (created 2010-03-20). We had our first taste of spring weather earlier this week. Nicholas spent a lot of time outdoors. Here are a few pictures of him playing basketball with an invisible basketball hoop.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas the winter biker (created 2010-02-28). We wanted to go for a walk today, but Nicholas wanted to ride his bike instead. I'm not going to ride until it is at least 60 degree Fahrenheit. If Nicholas wants to brave the cold weather, I won't stand in his way. We walked while he biked. He was pretty good not to race too far ahead of Cathy and me. At the end of the bike ride, I snapped a few pictures as he circled around on our driveway and cul-de-sac.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas meets Greg Mortenson (created 2010-02-19). On Thursday, December 17, 2009, Greg Mortenson came to town for a book signing. Nicholas has been a fan, having read the young reader's edition of Three Cups of Tea from cover to cover, so I arranged to get tickets.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas the photographer (created 2010-02-19). I have one of those indestructible cameras (it goes underwater, can be dropped from seven feet, etc.) and once in a while I turn it over to Nicholas and let him shoot pictures of whatever he wants. Here are some examples. I cropped most of these pictures (just like I crop my own pictures), but they are otherwise untouched.

Missing verse from Romeo and Juliet song--a joke ICOBOM (created 2010-02-13). Here's a joke that I wrote myself. I call these jokes ICOBOM (I can only blame on myself) because if they are bad, I can't shift the blame to someone else. Something has always bothered me about that "Romeo and Juliet" song by Taylor Swift (the actual title is "Love Story").

Where polar bears live--a joke ICOBOM (created 2010-02-10). Here's a joke that I wrote myself. I call these jokes ICOBOM (I can only blame on myself) because if they are bad, I can't shift the blame to someone else. There's a kid's puzzle in our Sunday comics with a mystery sleuth, Slylock Fox.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas and fun in the snow (created 2010-02-06). I've already written about the big snow we had during Christmas break and the sledding that Nicholas did near Cleveland Chiropractic. We've had even more snow recently. On Saturday, January 30, we had an inch or so.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Steve's hobbies (created 2010-01-31). My biggest non-work activity is taking care of Nicholas. He is quite a handful, in a fun way, of course. But I do have other hobbies that I should mention.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- What have I been up to over the last three decades? (created 2010-01-26). Since signing onto Facebook, I have been reconnecting with some old friends from my college days. They've been asking "What have I been up to?" Here's the Cliff Notes version of my life since college.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas the sledder (created 2010-01-16). We had a very white Christmas in Kansas City and it was perfect sledding weather. Nicholas heard from a friend about a great sledding hill near Cleveland Chiropractic College, so we checked it out. He had a great time. Dad mostly stood around and watched. Nicholas did get Dad up for one sledding run. getting uphill was quite treacherous, but the downhill part was fun. Here are some pictures.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas hits the toothfairy jackpot (created 2009-12-08). Nicholas has been losing a bunch of his teeth recently. Here's a picture.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas the iceskater (created 2009-12-08). One of the local shopping centers has an ice rink and they just opened for the season. Nicholas, who had only skated on ice once before, stepped bravely out and started skating like a pro. Here are some pictures.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas the sculptor (created 2009-11-07). Nicholas and I made some creatures with Play-Doh. Here's a picture of our creations.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas and a very busy week in October (created 2009-10-27). Nicholas has had a pretty busy October, and it is not over yet. In the span of four days he starred as a bumble bee in a second grade school play, visited the Moon Marble Company, attended the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, took his own pictures at a wedding, and played at the Pumpkin Patch Festival at the Deanna Rose Farmstead.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas the fishmonger (created 2009-09-08). Nicholas bought a blue betta on Saturday. It's the first pet that is "his" and not Mom's or Dad's. Here's a picture.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Newton says goodbye after 20 years (created 2009-07-01). While I have spent most of my time talking about Nicholas, he is not the only member of the "family." When we got married in 2002, Cathy brought a dog, Shauna, into the relationship, and Steve brought a cat, Newton. At the time, I joked that we had a blended family. Both cat and dog were "only children" so it took a while for them to get used to one another. After a year, though, they became best friends. Newton had always had trouble adjusting to other cats, but Shauna seemed to bring out the best in her. Shauna liked it because the food we got for Newton was a whole lot more interesting than her stuff.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas the scientist (created 2009-04-29). At Nicholas's school, there is an afterschool program called "Science Stars." We weren't sure if Nicholas would like this, but we signed him up. It has been very successful in at least one aspect, he now says it's his favorite part of school. Until recently, his favorite parts of school were either gym or recess. Here are some pictures of Nicholas at Science Stars.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas the traveler, part 1 (created 2009-02-15). Nicholas has always been a very good traveler. He was adopted from Russia, so as a two year old, he got to experience a lot more traveling than many adults.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas the roller blader (created 2009-01-14). During Christmas break, students at Nicholas's school were given a coupon for a free admission to a roller skating session at Skate City. Nicholas loves skating (meaning roller blades, not ice skating). We both took him on December 30, but Steve, having done skating with Nicholas before, wisely decided to let Nicholas do all the skating and he'd do the watching. It's not that I fall down less than Nicholas does, it's that when I fall, it is farther to the ground, and my weight produces greater momentum. Nicholas just picks himself back up and keeps going. Cathy had skated a lot as a child, and rented some skates to go out with Nicholas.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas the artist (created 2008-12-05). Until just recently, Nicholas has not taken a great interest in art projects. There was a recent project, though, that inspired him. The students in his classroom were all asked to color a turkey as a special character. Nicholas chose a Spiderman turkey.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- The cousins help decorate cupcakes (created 2008-12-05). We were asked to bring a dessert for the family Thanksgiving dinner, so Cathy suggested that the younger cousins (Gabriella, Matthew, and Sophia) join us for a cupcake decorating party. This picture shows Gabriella and Matthew with their mother, Elizabeth. I think Nicholas and Sophia were already playing at this time.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas the pumpkin carver (created 2008-12-05). Nicholas carved his first pumpkin this year. Cathy showed him where to cut, but he did all the work himself. Nicholas is showing his scary face in this picture. It's hard to tell who is more frightening.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas loses his first baby tooth (created 2008-09-18). For a couple of weeks, Nicholas has had a loose tooth. He would show everyone how he could push it forward until it was almost horizontal. On Sunday, on the way into church Nicholas shouted out "The wind blew away my tooth." He opened his mouth and there was a big gap where his loose tooth was.

Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nicholas the swimmer (created 2008-08-08). Nicholas has always enjoyed summers at the swimming pool, but in 2008, he developed some really amazing swimming skills. He is mostly self-taught, though he has gotten some informal instruction from Cathy and at the Bright Horizons summer day care program. What's truly amazing to me is how easily he glides under the water. Here are some pictures.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. This page was written by Steve Simon and was last modified on 2010-12-30.