Ben Visits -- Ben Swings! (Oconomowoc) http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/ Ben Visits -- Ben Swings! (Oconomowoc) Oconomowoc Sunset From the parking lot of our hotel, July 29, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=92839986 92839986 Blue skies ahead Ben in the back seat as the car refuels, Saturday, July 10, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=90199237 90199237 Vishnu Ben Additional arms courtesy Karen, as we head back to the car from Rocky Rococo's Pizza, doing what Ben wants to do, flitting through the 4 major food groups--pizza, french fry, croissant, cookie, July 4, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=89375824 89375824 Cheeseburger smile A happy guy, July 1, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=89020691 89020691 WHO!!! Certain movie moments never fail to crack Ben up, like this one from Barnyard, July 1, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=89020692 89020692 At the end of a terrific day Ben waiting for Karen to get out of the car as we take him back to the ODTC, after a two-visit day -- first at 6:45 this morning for a drive to Madison and a (successful!) eye doc appointment, and a second visit later in the day for dinner, July 1, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=89020693 89020693 Swinging at sunset Ben at Roosevelt Park, Thanksgiving weekend, Saturday, November 28, 2009, 4:30pm http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60635816 60635816 Ben in the rearview mirror http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=51094808 51094808 Karen and Ben at visit's end http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=51094349 51094349 Ben relaxes at the hotel http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=51092957 51092957 Ben with Pizza Ben at the Golden Corral in Waukesha, March 20, 2010, devouring pizza and (on this go-'round, anyway) three cupcakes, fries, candy corn, ice cream, and a few jellybeans. Rounds two and three to come... http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=75120611 75120611 Ben http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=51092959 51092959 Ben and a book, September 26, 2009 Ben's loved books since he was--chronologically--a toddler, and his tastes have remained consistent, and passionate, ever since. He can read at a little tyke level and has a book with him always, and I mean always, like a security blanket. Sometimes they change several times in a day, sometimes it's the same book for a week. If he's sitting on a couch, he'd rather nobody sit next to him where he has his book. In the pic, the book in his left hand was his current companion (The Tiny Tiny Boy and the Big Big Cow), while the one he's looking at was one of the bunch we bought -- yet another copy of Are You My Mother. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=83700552 83700552 Ben doing what he loves On the swing at the ODTC, October 3, 2009. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=54415809 54415809 Ben swinging in the snow Since when is snow a reason not to swing? Roosevelt Park, Oconomowoc, March 6, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=72746559 72746559 Brothers on the swings http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=83701923 83701923 Karen pushing Ben The swings at Roosevelt Park in Oconomowoc, March 27, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=75681972 75681972 Ben soaring on twin and mom power Jake and Ben and Karen, Roosevelt Park, Oconomowoc, March 27, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=75772923 75772923 Ben, April 3, 2010 Ben loved the candy in his Easter basket and the stuffed bunny that he kept with him for the rest of the visit, including while swinging. The center picture is Ben when I asked him to "Show me the bunny!" and he complied, showing me the bunny -- and the bottle and the book. Ben likes alliteration. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=76707212 76707212 And another in our ongoing series, "Ben swinging" April 10, 2010 http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=77698798 77698798 Ben, April 17, 2010 Ben looks cute even on days when he tests the limits, as he did today. But, no harm, no foul, and overall a good time was had by all. Which means, he ate himself silly. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=78693207 78693207 Common interest Ben and a stranger swing together, Roosevelt Park, Oconomowoc, May 1, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=80704931 80704931 In the back seat, May 8, 2010 Usually during the visits, I'm driving and Karen's in the back with Ben. Once in a while we switch, and I took these today. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=81670043 81670043 Happy Ben during a visit home, May 15, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=82629426 82629426 YeeHaw Ben (what else) swinging at a local park (Deer Spring) during a visit home, May 15, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=82629427 82629427 The old haunt Ben reacquainting himself with his bedroom during a visit home, May 15, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=82629428 82629428 Visiting Ben the day after Thanksgiving, 2009 The driveway leading to the ODTC's front door, taken from the driver's seat -- too bad it doesn't capture the honking of the geese. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=91253703 91253703 Heading out again Ben goes for the door on a Saturday with Mom and Dad, May 22, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=83612722 83612722 Pensive Ben Eating a scone at Starbucks, May 22, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=83612721 83612721 Ben and his peeps A gorgeous day at the ODTC playground -- I took this as Karen and I headed back to the car at visit's end. Ben's in the center sitting on a swing swigging from his water bottle. (The visible faces, besides Ben's, are blurred for confidentiality.) May 22, 2010 http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=83612723 83612723 Jake and Ben in Oconomowoc At the ODTC, May 30, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=84765122 84765122 Tucked in for a nap (maybe) Visits begin with the reading of the schedule, an ordered itemization of our upcoming activities. The last line is always "Say Bye Bye! See you soon for another visit!" Ben likes visits to end with him crawling into his bed (we do ask him to take off his shoes, but otherwise fully-clothed), and we give him a hug and kiss as if it's bed time, and take off. After we're gone, he might get right back up and continue his day, or rest a bit and look at a book, or doze off for a short nap. This was about 2:00 this afternoon. No idea what he did afterward, but it was a nice visit. June 14, 2010 http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=86751972 86751972 Guests arriving July 25, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=92297152 92297152 Birthday Boy This week's Ben's birthday, and today was the family party at home, July 24, 2010. More celebratin' to follow. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=92059244 92059244 Washing Hands Ben and Karen at the sink, July 24, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=92169150 92169150 Cupcake and Candles July 25, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=92297153 92297153 Time for Presents Ben's cousin looks on with interest, July 25, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=92297151 92297151 Elmo and Ben July 25, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=92297150 92297150 Ben's Last Day of 16 He turns 17 tomorrow, and he's got the facial hair to prove it. Ben's smile might have something to do with the peanut butter cups he's holding. July 29, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=92825261 92825261 He's 17 Ben and some birthday jellybeans, July 30, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=93170571 93170571 Beatnick Ben His fuzzstache is getting darker, and Karen is itching for a shaving (but I'm happy with his groovy faux-Fu Manchu). August 7, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=94048796 94048796 His Own Way Ben, August 14, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=94997740 94997740 A Thirsty Boy A big post-pizza swig, with his happy mama, August 28, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=96807086 96807086 Decisions August 28, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=96807898 96807898 Studly Ben's shirt got some water on it, and he wanted it off. Good thing a) it isn't winter, and b) he's not a girl. Eating ice cream (actually, Le Ducs Frozen Custard in Oconomowoc) outside shirtless on a hot summer day--hard to beat. August 28, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=96809329 96809329 Hmmm..... A moment later, Ben's face was all smiles as he petted the big equestrian nose, August 28, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=96811634 96811634 Backseat farewell Waving good-bye, with tongues, September 4, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=97631580 97631580 Ben and Kate Ben escorted to us by one of his favorite people in the world, September 5, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=97776330 97776330 The brothers cool This was a great weekend where Karen and I got to enjoy both our boys, September 5, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=97776331 97776331 Twins 17 and counting. September 5, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=97776332 97776332 Big Tot And luckily he's never been carded. September 11, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=98666018 98666018 Nice To Meet You Another visit, another drive, and another horse. Where Ben lives, there are farms galore, with endless opportunities to park the car, which always seems to interest the cows or horses more than Ben. But he's willing to offer his hand for a second before it's time to climb back in the car and head to the next stop and the next snack. September 25, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=100216683 100216683 Karen and Ben October 30, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=104699779 104699779 DING! Ben tries his hand (singular) with the mallet, striking exactly one note one time -- no need to overdo it. Roosevelt Park, Oconomowoc, October 3, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=101239222 101239222 Say Ahhhh Ben and his mom, October 10, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=102133837 102133837 Jack Sprat and Dad I'm on the left and 6'5". Ben's on the right and easily 6'3". Mom took the pic as Ben opted for a long walk from Roosevelt Park instead of the usual long session on the swing. Oconomowoc, October 16, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=102935743 102935743 Ben petting at the petting farm Communing with the critters. October 16, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=102935741 102935741 Sunny Spring is finally springing, and Ben is finally swinging (again). April 17, 2011 http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=123470293 123470293 Enjoying the hayride Ben loves tractors, especially when he's being pulled by one. October 16, 2010. http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=102935742 102935742 So close, but yet... Unfortunately for Ben, he ain't 'staff.' April 17, 2011 http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=123470528 123470528 Flying High April 23, 2011 http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=123958108 123958108 For the last time Ben will soon be moving from the ODTC in Oconomowoc (90 minutes north) to the Monarch School in Cleveland (6 hours east). It'll be quite a while before he's back here, and by then, we'll most likely have downsized and moved, making this his final visit to the house. April 23, 2011 http://www.davidroyko.com/apps/photos/photo?photoID=123958107 123958107