Thursday, July 16, 2009

Illinois '09!!

We had a visit down (and over) to Illinois last week. After flying through O'Hare to Indianapolis, we arrived in Sheldon, IL to my grandmother's house. Dad had arrived that morning from New Orleans on the train. Andy was still recovering from the stomach virus that Sam shared with him, but he made the trip without incident. The only point of interest was the sobriety check point in Indiana (about 10 minutes from the IL border). The officer asked if I had been drinking (No, Sir) and if everyone had their seat belts on (Yes, Sir). Then took my licence (couldn't find registration anywhere in the rental car) and walked off, only to come back pretty quick to hand it back to me and say that it took too long to check a Canadian license. And to have a nice day. So I scooted off and down the road in front of the person that had been stopped before me who was still having to wait. Thank you, Canada!

The next day we drove down the road to Watseka for lunch. Then stopped at the playground to have some fun.
And stopped at Wal-Mart for a few items. Andy and Sam hitched a ride with Mamaw. Here they come....
and there they go!

Then that evening we went over to Tera and Uncle Bill's to visit with our new cousin Gabriel! (We had met him briefly the night before, but he was sleeping.)

He's a cutie!

Uncle Bill started up the pit to grill the hamburgers and hot dogs,
while Dad played some T-ball with the boys. (This T-ball set belongs to Baby Gabriel, but he was nice enough to let us use it.)

The next day Andy and Sam gave Gabriel's Slip n' Slide a test run.

Lunch time.

Dad and Andy working on the crossword.

Then it was time for a ride on Mamaw's personal scooter.

Gabriel came over for a visit later in the day.

The following morning we headed out early to drive to La Grange, a suburb of Chicago. This is where my mother's parents used to live, and where I spent many a summer. The house looks the same!

The park fence is now right up against the property line.

I do believe some of the same plants Nana had planted around the porch are the same ones there today.

The playground next to the house looks very different, but still fun. The boys had a good time despite the drizzly weather. This is where the red and white slide used to be (for the three people reading that are familiar with the park).

After driving around a little more, we ended up at White Castle, which looks to be a different building entirely, at the same location. But they taste the same - delicious!

Then it was off to Wrigley Field to catch a Cubs game! After some shenanigans that included a bus ride, an L ride, and me having to take a taxi back to where we parked because I left the tickets in the car (ahem), we were in our seats and ready for the game! Except there was a rain delay.

So we got some food, ate, and we were ready for the game! Again! :o)

Dad bought the boys some souvenirs.

The Cubs lost to the Braves (sigh), but we had great time. All our Take Me Out to the Ballgame practices paid off! We said goodbye to Dad in Chicago, who spent the night our friends' house, Brett and Judy. (Wish I had thought to snap a picture of them. And thanks to Brett for a ride back from the ballpark!)

The next day it was back to Slip n' Slidin' at Mamaw's, but Gabriel actually tried it out this time, too. Tera dipped his feet in, and he got to feel some sprinkles in his lap.

Sam was checking out some shots that Mamaw took.

That evening we went down the road the other way to Kentland (in Indiana) for supper. After eating, Bill and Tera knew of a good ice cream spot.

Mamaw with a sweet AND a sweetie!

The next day, after some parting shots with Mamaw...

(the boys wanted to make sure her dog was in the picture!)

we headed to Savoy, IL to visit our friends Kacee, Chris, Georgia and Brody!

That night Chris was nice enough to let Kacee and I step out for a movie. We left them in their jammies playing Wii Rock Band.

Sing it, Georgia!

The next morning we played at the playground, ate at Jupiter's pizza for lunch (complete with all kinds of games), and headed to the petting zoo.

Georgia and the ponies.

Checking out the donkey and goats.

Kacee sweet-talkin' the llama.

Baby duckies!

And Sam's portrait of Brody.

Then we headed back to the house, and the kiddos played in the sandbox.
They made all kinds of good food for us while we were there. And that night, oh my goodness, Kacee made the most scrumdidileeumptious (sp?) homemade chocolate pie, piled high with fresh cinnamon-spiked whipped cream. Wish I could have taken the rest home with me on the plane the next day!

We had a great trip all around. It was so nice to see everyone. Hope to see y'all again soon!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Andy completes Grade 1

The three Grade 1 classes at Andy's school had a writing assignment a few weeks before school ended (this past Tuesday!). It tied in with their field trip to the zoo. The title, first two sentences, and last two sentences were the same for everyone, and each child came up with the body.

Title: My Bedroom is a Zoo
My name is Andy.
My bedroom is a zoo.
Come see, it's exciting!
The snake does flips.

The turtle colors on the papers.
The kangaroo jumps on my bed.
The bear makes a Lego table.

My bedroom is a zoo.
Come see, it's exciting!

Turns out it was a contest, and.... he won FIRST PLACE out of all the classes and received a $10 gift card to Chapters! Way to go, Andy!!

Here he is holding up a certificate he received on his last day of Grade 1. On to Grade 2 in September!

Sam sleeps, and provides food...

Here are a couple of recent pictures that I thought were cute. This was from nap time a few weeks back.

And this one is from today. He curled himself up in some blankets on the floor in the office. It's not usual that he goes and takes a nap with no prompting, but he's been recovering from a stomach virus that hit him early this week. That Andy now has.

And remember those plants that Sam started from seed? Well look what one of them turned into - green leaf lettuce! Or some type of lettuce. And there are a couple heads of romaine, peas, carrots, and marigolds growing from the same initial cups. He was so excited about picking the lettuce.

The salad was served along side my first attempt at migas. I've never seen it in a restaurant, but from what I read on various food blogs, you just mix up some cut up tortillas (corn in this case), add some sausage or bacon if you like (we like), beaten eggs, and some chopped onion. I topped part of it with cheese, and served it with picante sauce (ran out of salsa). Hard to go wrong with those ingredients. I think it's typically served as breakfast, but it was dinner tonight!

Oh, and here's the grass that was growing in the other cup. Next to a cross that we keep on the kitchen counter that we bought at Market Days in Victoria, TX years ago. They're usually sitting next to each other right above the sink, but I moved them to the coffee table for this shot. And I normally put my wedding and engagement rings on the cross while I'm doing dishes. I think it's a sweet place for them to rest while they're away from my finger.

So Sam was a big contributor to our meal tonight. Thank you, Sam!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Drumheller and Friends!

We visited Drumheller for the first time last weekend in The Badlands. And even more exciting was that Kim, Lupe, Isaac, Nathan, and Gabriel came up all the way from Texas to meet us!

Here is the head of the giant T-Rex in town. If you look reeeeeeeal close you can see me, Sam, Kim, and Gabriel up there.

I didn't think to take a long shot of the whole body, but it's a nice view from inside the mouth!

And there are lots of dinosaurs around town on which to climb, too.

Here we were the next day on the grounds of the Royal Tyrrell Museum.

And the inside of the museum was very cool, too. Lots and lots and LOTS of dinosaur remains and facts.

Here's a T-Rex.

And a dinosaur found in the common 'death pose', where over time heat shrinks the muscles of the dead dinosaur and tightens them so that their heads are drawn back into this uncomfortable looking position.

More picture-friendly lighting...

Here's Isaac in front of water and bubbles.

Many of the dinosaurs in the museum came from around Drumheller, and I commented to Kim that I didn't know why they wouldn't hang out somewhere a little warmer. Then not a minute later we came upon a placard explaining that back in the day, this area had a climate similar to that of present-day South Carolina and Louisiana (which is what Kim has guessed before we stumbled upon the information). Aha!

We continued on to Red Deer later in the afternoon. Look - here they are eating dinner in our dining room!

We had a great visit and it was so very nice to see them. They shipped off the day before yesterday to go explore Jasper and Banff before they head back to Texas.

Thanks for coming!!