Sunday, September 30, 2012

Northwest's Family Weekend

Friday morning at 6:30 a.m., I drove up to Maryville for our fall Northwest Alumni Association board of directors meeting. For such a routine drive, I was amazed at how gorgeous the fall foliage happened to be. Here, the sun rises behind a soybean field.
As immediate past-president, this starts my eighth and final year on the board. We had nearly 100 percent attendance with only one board member (who just moved to Colorado last week) absent. Our meeting went all the way 'til mid-afternoon, but my highlight was getting to hear directly from the vice president of student affairs, Dr. Matt Baker, for 45 minutes. Wow, he's impressive.
The university photographer also took a new picture of my mug.
It was a perfect fall day, so when I left campus on my way to go check in at the hotel, I swung by my favorite street in town.
These two historic mansions are directly across from each other.
After getting dressed up, I went back to campus for the annual Alumni Awards Banquet that evening. Russ & Rita Northup are a great Christian couple who I've gotten to know over the years. He used to be my marketing professor, now I'm lucky to call him my friend.
My adviser, Dr. Bohlken (on the left), also was the adviser for Jay Liebenguth, a new member of our board.
Meanwhile, Leslie and the boys had driven up to Maryville to join in the Family Weekend activities. First, they hit the hotel pool and swam for two solid hours!
Saturday morning, we were all on campus before 10 a.m. I love letting the boys explore, and discover new and familiar things for themselves.
During our stop in the student union, Landon gladly tried out some fan merchandise in the bookstore.
But they were begging to go to the playground. (Actually, I'm fine letting them get that out of their system before the game.) Jack made it all the way across these monkey bars like a pro, but I love how Landon's standing there, pondering how he can do it, too.
Again, Jack shimmied right up this red pole, so Landon was right behind ... but needed a little help.
Nearby was an organized relay game that was part of a larger series throughout campus. Another family needed to do it in order to earn their next clue, so we agreed to participate. Jackson went first for us, spinning around with his forehead on a bat, then weaving in and out around the orange cones. It wasn't until seeing this picture that I realized — that girl's cheating!
Jack tagged Leslie who then "hopscotched" through the hula hoops.
And I was last, making my way back to the beginning in a pillow case. We won!
Next, it was off to the Bearcat Zone, full of special kid-friendly activities — all for free.
You can tell how early we were by the lack of other children. The boys kept going down the slide over and over, as soon as they could climb back up to the top.
They went down every which way you can imagine — feet first, head first, side-by-side, piggyback-style, eyes closed, and on and on.
Jack tried this "reverse tug-of-war" game next.
He went against a girl that was a lot bigger than he is, but he eventually figured it out.
I'm just including this picture because I like that you can see how he's flying backwards, like on a rubberband.
Meanwhile, Leslie and Landon took a break in the shade.
Jousting Jack.
The last activity for him to do was laser tag. But rather than spending five minutes in a vinyl enclosure filled with sweaty kids on a sunny day, I opted for this exterior shot.
After eating lunch, the Bearcat Zone culminates with a pre-game pep rally.
Everybody loves Bobby.
Almost kick-off time.
After the opposing team — Northeastern State University from Tehlequah, Okla. — drove down the field and scored a touchdown on the first possession of the game, Northwest scored 66 unanswered points.
At halftime, the cheerleaders were head over heels. Well, four of them at least.
Leslie and the boys left in the second half, but not before Jack compared the time zones at the International Plaza.
As I left campus after the game, this house looked like it should be on Pinterest.
And I got to listen to the Nebraska/Wisconsin game on the radio on the way home.
Another memorable Northwest recruiting visit — um, I mean "Family Weekend" — in the books!

1 comment:

Karen Bader said...

Your photos and dialogue are just wonderful!! I giggled at some of your comments and you did such a GREAT job showing what the Northwest experience is all about...sharing from the family, the community and the university angles! Nice job!!