Monday, August 29, 2011

Arboretum Fun!

So, I had a short hiatus from the Arboretum with our vacation, Andrew's birthday, and then the CHARGE run the following weekend. But it did not take long to get back in the habit of heading over there for some outdoor fun! The day after the race we went to the Arboretum with Grandma and Joey showed her how he loves climbing everywhere. We also went on a tram ride, which Joey insists is a train and kept asking Grandma why we were stopping each time the tram stopped. He did point out some trees and told Grandma the guy was talking about the Arboretum at one point, but he really was more interested in pretending to be on a train and in the forest. We were surprised as to how many people were there when we first showed up...there were lines of cars to get in which is fairly odd. Turns out there was a Groupon expiring at the end of the month! Oddly enough the Sheldon's had that Groupon, so we managed to meet up with them this past weekend as well! Joey had a lot of fun showing Ben and Abbey around. They were all dressed up from having their family pictures taken there which would be the perfect scenery for a family photo! Friday, Auntie Miya and Nathan invited us to Yorktown where the play area was redone by the Arboretum! So we went for lots of popcorn (between Joey, Jill, and Nathan I think they had 4 bags!), some free stuff, and we even saw Curious George from the other side of the fountain! It was fun to catch up with Auntie Miya and Nathan, and Joey and Jillian had a blast running around and playing with Nathan. I also managed to squeeze in a long run at the Arboretum Saturday morning too...did I ever mention it is really hilly there! But gorgeous!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

More Charge for CHARGE pics...

We got yet again some great responses from runners. We had our 1st place winner contact me again--well to get his medal since he had to leave early, but spoke of praises of the race and will most likely be out there next year to defend his title!

A few others e-mailed to say they thought it was a "great race and a great time" and "really enjoyed the well organized race!"

Results have been posted on website, as well as the CARA and Chicago Athlete web sites.

Here are some pics from my mom's camera. Another Shutterfly person so I can give you the link.

And the finish line pics.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

3rd Annual Charge for CHARGE 5K!

Yesterday was the 3rd Annual Charge for CHARGE 5K! The weather held out pretty perfectly for us to get our run/walk in, awards, raffle, and cleaned up. Once we got home the skies opened up and it was pouring!

We had a great day with 118 bib numbers accounted for, and even more that donated. We raised $2,815 at the race alone, and have had other donations on our fundraising page. It looks like we will hit our goal of $5,000 before time runs out!

Thank you again to all of the volunteers who help orchestrate everything so seamlessly, those that participate since they are the reason we can get out there and put something like this together in the first place, and everyone who donated. It was once again a wonderful day. I have so many great pictures to sort through, so if you are looking for one of yourself I am sure I have it, just let me know and I will look for it. Otherwise, here are some of the great pictures our volunteers took! These are mostly Crystal's pictures, but a few from Phil as well.

Click here to see pictures from my sister, all good as well, but I can't get them off of Shutterfly and haven't gotten her card yet.

Soon we will have some from the water station as well! Yes, lots of pictures, but lots of fun to be captured too!

And be on the lookout, after the holidays I will be announcing the 4th Annual Joshua Kurby Charge for CHARGE 5K!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Charge for CHARGE 5K in the Press!

Here is the article in the Press (MySuburbanLife) that will be in tangible print tomorrow. I really liked the article that the Daily Herald ran, but this is still some great publicity! The details aren't quite right but it was nice to have our whole family represented in a photo, even if the caption underneath is not quite right either! The quote at the end about determined parents was supposed to be describing the kiddos with CHARGE, not the parents, but parents are great advocates! I don't want to criticize the article, again so happy to get the awareness out there, and once again thank you Cindy for doing all the footwork to get the interviews going, and making sure they run!

Here is the article.
Hope to see you on Saturday!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Java!

Today is Java's 6th birthday! She has been with us through good times and bad, and is nothing short of patient with Joey and Jillian as they try to ride her around the house like a horse, play sometimes a little too rough, feed her things she probably shouldn't be eating (fruit snacks are good for dogs, right?), and always ready to give a big kiss to anyone. Happy Birthday Java Chewbacca! (Java's middle name was a lost bet on my part...if I broke my marathon goal that year her middle name would be Marathon since we picked her up in the afternoon after I ran, if I lost Chewbacca... now you know how that race turned out!)

And as I was trying to find the other article a bit prematurely, its not supposed to run until Friday, I found this mention in the Carol Stream Press on August 4, when we were on vacation.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Charge for CHARGE 5K in the news!

We are nearing the 3rd Annual Joshua Kurby Charge for CHARGE 5K! Can you feel the excitement building? We can! Thanks to a great friend of mine, Cindy, who has been our press release girl we have been mentioned in the Examiner, this article in the Daily Herald that will run tomorrow (Tuesday), and also the Press (My Suburban Life) on Friday! I did an interview and had another family who is also the president of our Foundation as of this past conference, write an essay for the article. I'll let this article speak for itself!
Click here for the Daily Herald article put out this afternoon.

In addition, Cindy got connected with the Press/My Suburban Life where I did a phone interview and on Saturday we had a photographer come to the house. We all donned our CHARGE gear, although I'm not sure it will show in the picture in the paper, but Joey and Jillian seemed like they knew they were doing something special for their brother. They even told the photographer who was in the frames that they were holding...Joshua of course! I will post that article as soon as I find it available...supposed to be Friday. (And Jillian now thinks she is a star and had to put on her new sunglasses!) Thank you Cindy for the great PR!

Weekend Events

A quick recap on what we did, more to be posted later.

We watched Minnie for a long weekend and Joey and Jillian had a blast! The kids loved feeding, walking, and playing with Minnie, and Java had a lot of fun too.

This weekend we also celebrated Andrew's 4th birthday! I was very negligent to take pictures because Kelly, Andrew's other aunt, is a great photographer so I let her capture the day which you can view here!
I will post some pictures of ours on his "real" birthday!

Monday, August 8, 2011

CHARGE Conference

Before getting started, there are a ton of pictures so I did my best to just grab a few of each thing that we did on our vacation. If you want to see more feel free to ask Joey or Jillian, they love to talk about and look at all the things they did on their vacation!

Joey and Jillian took their first plane ride to Orlando last Thursday to attend the CHARGE Syndrome Foundation Conference! It was a 3 part vacation, but started out only because of the conference. The 3 parts were: the conference, Disney, and Nonna and Grandpa's condo.

We had a blast at the CHARGE Syndrome Foundation's conference. This was our second one we attended. If you remember the first one we attended was in Bloomingdale, nice and close to home! We couldn't pass up the opportunity to see those that we had met that year, and meet some that I talk to regularly but had never met in person until now! A definite highlight of our trip was meeting Ellen who traveled all the way from Australia! We were able to see many others that we had spoken with but hadn't seen outside of pictures and videos on blogs in 2 years, it truly is like a family reunion--only better! Friday and Saturday Joey and Jillian went to camp while Daddy and Mommy got to volunteer in the daycare/camp area for the kiddos with CHARGE. It was a great way for us to give something back to a great foundation as well as connect with kids that have many behaviors and mannerisms as Josh. We both fell in love with many of the kids we were taking care of and found ourselves as usual wondering where Josh would be in his accomplishments at this time. We were able to take part in the evening activities that not only included catching up with some of our favorite people, but also CHARGE-a-palooza where Joey was made into a pirate, both Joey and Jillian cut a rug on the dance floor and played games, got some swag from the silent auction, and also hung out at the pool with some families as well. (Joey felt like one of the big kids hanging out in the water with Alex and Bailey!) The true reason for this vacation was the conference, and definitely worth the trip! It was hard being away just before the 5K with a lot of work to do, but seeing how much our Foundation does to help those affected with CHARGE is really unbelievable. There are not many conferences that you go to where everyone welcomes each other whether they are on the Board of Directors, a family member, or a presenter from another country, they all sit as a family and share themselves. Amazing!

Just before the conference ended on Sunday, Grandma had arrived to pick up Joey! Joey and Grandma went up to the room (Jillian actually fell asleep at camp this morning after her long night on the dance floor) so we got her after the conference ended to continue our trip...

Magic Kingdom

After the conference was over we grabbed some lunch, let the kids take a nap, and then headed out for the next leg of our vacation...Disney! We finished out the afternoon/evening at the Magic Kingdom! The ferry ride over was fun for the kids, but of course they loved being at the Magic Kingdom and we even stayed to see the Main Street Electric Parade! Very fun!

Hollywood and Epcot

This morning was spent at Hollywood Studios where Joey and Daddy saw Darth Vader. There was a demonstration with some kids fighting Darth and Joey told Daddy that he does not want to fight that guy! We played in the Honey I Shrunk the Kids area before walking around and seeing some of the Little Einsteins. We don't watch them, but Joey and Jillian had seen 2 episodes in the hotel so I think they had an idea of who they were. We all had a blast at the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse watching of course Mickey and company, Handy Manny (kids aren't all that interested in him though), and Jake and the Neverland Pirates which both of them love!
In the afternoon it was off to Epcot to see Crush from Nemo do Turtle Talk, as well as walk around the different parts of the world. Joey even went on Spaceship Earth, where he told Daddy he did not want to be in outer space anymore once we were at the very top! Luckily it was a cool and dark ride so Jillian stayed sound asleep!

Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom

Today was a full day of fun starting with the Magic Kingdom where we went on a bunch of rides, saw a parade, and high fived lots of characters! In the afternoon we went over to Animal Kingdom for a safari ride that Jillian pretty much was heat exhausted, but Joey enjoyed himself quite a bit viewing his favorite animals up close! They also got to meet a lot of characters, probably the best reason we went to Animal Kingdom was the short lines for to meet and greet! Jillian also loved the Nemo show here!

Magic Kingdom and Epcot

The last visit to the Magic Kingdom Jillian loved the teacups while Joey took advantage of his the once again very short line for the cars. He even got a license! We caught yet another parade where the kids were able to dance in the streets with the characters again. After naps it was time to have dinner with Pluto and Goofy before heading out to Epcot one last time. We walked back to our hotel on the Boardwalk which was a very pretty (still hot though!) walk.

Nonna and Grandpa's Condo

Thursday after a yummy breakfast at Cat Cora's the first female Iron Chef's restaurant we were picked up by Nonna and Grandpa and headed for some last minute shopping at Downtown Disney. After lunch we headed for a 2 hour ride to Osprey to spend some time at Nonna and Grandpa's condo! Joey and Jillian loved being there. Joey drove the boat with Grandpa while Jillian slept for part of the ride, but then woke up to see the dolphins jumping (of course "Mooch" was there trying to get some food!) and take in the ocean breeze! Later in the day we went to the beach to play in the sand, do some wave busting, and hanging out! A very fun time, thanks Nonna and Grandpa!