All photos on this blog are the property of Mary McGinty Photography (unless noted otherwise) photos may not be used or copied without my permission

Oct 31, 2009

Halloween... down and dirty

Warning: some of the pictures you see may not be pretty,
my Tim doesn't play when it comes to Halloween.
It is very serious here in Lombard

Just being a local

Sorry Packer fans, this is Bear country

The house down the block...CRAZY
This year he hid in his van and when we got to the porch
the van door slowly opens and a creepy clown comes
out. The screams all night long were priceless. Last year he
popped out of coffin that was standing upright in the yard

Karrick loves to pass out the candy and is quite tough on
anyone taking more then their share. He prefers not to
go door to door. He shares Tim's passion for
playing tricks. We had our stereo in the window
playing haunting music for the block to enjoy

Once it got dark Tim hid in a giant pile of leaves in our driveway
when trick or treaters came by and neared the pile, Karrick
would yell "Happy Halloween" the cue for Tim to jump out
The screams....

We had a surprise visit from Karrick's new friend and classmate Nick
They are as cute as can be

TJ and buds ready to roll

My neighbor Doug

Even Patrick was a trooper

I don't have any pictures of Callahan. His buddies met up elsewhere
around 3pm and I haven't seen him since.
He missed the blog deadline
Our block was filled with kids and families enjoying this
non rainy Holiday and a grand time was had by all.
It's not over just yet. Tim is bring the kids and their friends
to the Lombard Jaycee's spook house at 11pm.
It's just horrifying, so I am taking a pass
once is enough!

Oct 30, 2009

The Monster Bash

Tonight was Pleasant Lane's annual Monster Bash.
 I can't believe this is our 5th year!(only 5 more to go).
 Karrick has been going since
he was a 1 year old, but now it is officially his party and he had a
ball with his classmates. It's loud and kids just run around.
There are games, a DJ, haunted house and food. There are
raffles, and costume contests. I'm kinda surprised Karrick
didn't win that. We did however win a Enchanted Castle
 family package in the raffle. Which is a dream come true for Karrick

This is my costume, I seriously think I lost 15 pounds just
sweating. I kept hearing a ripping sound every time I bent over.
At one point I was sooo hot I removed the costume and guess what?
The  ripping was my jeans...left cheek to be exact. Huge huge
fraying mess, not to mention my grannies hanging out.
That put the "H" in horror

Karrick and I went shopping at Home Depot and made this robot
costume together. I even spray painted his pants Metallic silver

Karrick walked around saying
"I-must-kill-you" in his ro-bot voice

Dryer exhaust duct for his arms

This picture cracks me up because my Tim thought it was
one of those stick your face in the hole photo opps, ah no!!!
It was a bean bag toss and these cute little kids in line
didn't know what to do so they all froze

 My neighbor goes Halloween crazy every year.
 On Halloween day he dress up
as a Gorilla and freezes in position outside until unsuspecting
 trick or treaters come a calling...then POW out he jumps.
This is me as you can tell by my hair bow.
Karrick walks very cautiously  by this house everyday
it spooks him
 I am adding last years photo, Just cause
 they are worth repeating

Still have those kiss boots

Oct 28, 2009

Giving Back and filling your bucket

Maple Street Chapel

 TJ is making his Confirmation this year at Sacred
Heart Church.
(not pictured)

One of the many requirements is to reflect on the
meaning of life and look at our response to the
values we discover. One of the ways
we respond is by using the gifts we have
and getting involved in some aspect of community work.
They are required to log 20 hours. Last night TJ 
and a fellow classmate and baseball team mate
volunteered at our local shelter.  
TJ and Brad set up cots and served a meal of 
Turkey,mashed potatoes, beans and 
brownies to the families in need. 
 When TJ came home he was glowing, 

he really enjoyed himself. He wants to go 
back next week, as does Cal.I was shocked 
at the amount of people TJ said were there.
What a valuable experience for these boys. 
I have always referred to Lombard as 
"living in a bubble" My children are pretty
much sheltered from the harsh
realities of urban living. My kids are not exposed to 
low income families or violence.

It's very easy for me to get caught up in "my life" and
not look past my community. TJ really taught me a
valuable lesson.  It really makes kids feel good to
contribute and help others. I am going to join them next week.

Karrick's Kindergarten class has a bucket system

" Mom, I did something nice for
Luke today, that made his bucket full and it
also filled my bucket!"
(says Karrick with his little arms up in the air as proud as a peacock) 
He is learning that it also makes you feel good to help someone
out. What a great and simple exercise to teach 5 year olds

"Providing Housing Solutions for People in Crisis"
First Church of Lombard has been a partner with
DuPage PADS for over twenty years.
First Church provides overnight shelter every
Tuesday night for men, women and
children that would otherwise be living on the
streets.On Tuesday nights, numerous
volunteers give of themselves from
6 PM to 7:30 AM.  First Church of Lombard
( Maple Street Chapel) is the "Host Site".
Maple Street Chapel
is in the heart of the Historical District,
a few block from our home.

Never in a million years would I have thought
that it would be packed on a Tuesday night with
hungry people. It Really makes you think..
Last night I had to buy yards of fleece

for TJ to bring to CCD class tonight.
They are making blankets to donate

Oct 26, 2009

"Let's H.E.A.T. it up!"

This is the first year that I don't have to fight Cal to go to school
It has been a real struggle since preschool. Finally, he is
getting work that interests him. He is in a special reading group
that independently reads middle school level, realistic fiction.
Our 5th grade also has a strong science curriculum. The boys
and girls are separated for math. All boys in one class and
all girls in another. Studies show boys and girls learn math
differently at this age and they are encouraged to
chew gum

 My Callahan is a gifted 10 year old
 and has an IQ in the "very Superior" range
of 130-140 which makes up only 2.2% of the population.
Only 0.1% of people possess an IQ of 141 or higher.
Online tests don't count!
I know everyone thinks their IQ is 146
Sorry guys, I'd like to think mine is too

I am very proud of Cal's ISAT scores, especially
since he had some personal struggles last year

Callahan has been in our schools gifted program since
he was identified as gifted in 2 grade. He are pulled out of
class 3x a week and is respondsible for making up
all missing classwork on his own. Project Expand is in addition to,
not in place of his differentiated curriculum 

Block 1 of Project Expand just started last week.
The unit of study is "Lets H.E.A.T. it up!
"Helping Endangered And Threatened Species"
The DuPage county Forest Preserve has asked the kids to
research and create a plan to ensure these
 endangered species do not become extinct.
 It's all about observation, critical thinking and
teamwork. Block 3 of last year, the kids had to
 create their own website "alternative Energy sources"
 Cal had Nuclear Power.

While the development of critical thinking skills is vital for all young people
 it is especially important for gifted students.
to evaluate information and opinions in 
a systematic, purposeful, efficient manner

  1. solve complex real world problems
  2. generate multiple (or creative) solutions to a problem
  3. draw inferences
  4. synthesize and integrate information
  5. distinguish between fact and opinion
  6. predict potential outcomes
  7. evaluate the quality of one's own thinking
The incorporation of critical thinking skills is often what
 determines the more complex process when
 teachers differentiate curriculum for gifted students.

I am very thankful that our school system has the funds for this
program, these are very special kids that are often
overlooked. These kids need special attention too
so they can reach their full potential.
I am very proud of all my boys as they each have their
own strengths and gifts. I, like all parents will move
mountains to help my children be the best that they can be

Oct 25, 2009

Pumpkins McGinty style

today we carved some more of our pumpkins and I'm
so excited about finally figuring out how to capture just the glow
turning the flash off doesn't work

Cal's, mine and TJ's

I was trying to make flames, well the colors are
pretty cool

Love Callahan's hand holding the knife

TJ's turned out very cool and unique

Oct 24, 2009

McGinty Farm

After Didier Farm we headed to Long Grove to visit
Grandma and Grandpa McGinty. They live on 6 acres
and own a tree company
 so I was really excited to see the fall colors on their

Grandma always decorates for the holiday's
Every time you move some sensor ghoul or Goblin
was set off. Every where you looked it screamed
Karrick was in his glory

The kids were sent outside to pick apples
off of grandma's trees for pie
TJ and my niece Marisa peeled them

Uncle Brian, Marisa and Karrick caving pumpkins

I love Karrick's green pumpkin

I finally was able to set my camera to capture 
the glowing

This was Karrick's favorite, she
picks her head up and you can see the red blood 
This is grandma all dressed up

The end of a long day with a tired little boy

Didier Farms

Today we headed out to Didier Farm in
Buffalo grove. We used to go every year when TJ and 
Cal were little. This was Karrick's first time.
It is a very large farm with pumpkins, hayrides, 
huge corn maze, rides, animals, food and many
homemade goodies.

This train was actually pretty fun, it went through the
it's own corn maze

You can totally get lost in this
Corn maze

The teeth, I love the smile!!!!

We got 4 giant pumpkins and Karrick got a small green one.
$67 freakin dollars for pumpkins. This place
has gotten really pricey. $3 a ride

Can you find Callahan?