Total Pageviews

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My Little Worker

He is such a hard little worker.  He'll do anything to be at his daddy's side when he's working on a project.  If daddy's not home he'll sit on the stoop and watch one of the neighbors cut their lawn.  Or stand at the fence and watch Mr. Lloyd work on something.

When he's forced to stay in the house this is his first choice of activities:

And he's oh - so - serious about it all.

Getting Ready

There's been some substantial homeschooling
going on here.
One child really really enjoys the practice.

The other child told me yesterday,
"I really don't care about this stuff mom," and walked away.
We've got a long way to go.

Those squiggles do look nice and squiggley, I must admit. 


Several weeks ago we met my dad at the Oakdale carnival.  He bought the kids a bucket of ping pong balls for $5 to try to win a goldfish.  They didn't succeed.  I was perfectly fine with that.  Next thing I knew their daddy paid another $5 for another bucket.  Then he joins in, in throwing the tiny balls.  I said, "What are you doing?! I don't want a 9 cent goldfish that's going to die in two days.

Meet Orangie.

She was sooooo excited.  It was totally worth it.

Problem is, Orangie only lasted nine days.
She had a total emotion breakdown that lead to a lot of questions about death.

We're on to Orangie Again who was purchased for the reasonable price of 13 cents.
She feeds it one pinch every 24 hours and every night asks if it's going to live until the morning.

We'll keep you posted.

Friday, July 8, 2011

And It Keeps Getting Better

This summer that is. . .keeps getting better.  I keep thinking it's peaked and then we have today. 

This may have been the peak people!

It all started with Christian waking Victoria up too early by pounding on her bed (actually face - I believe) all ready to get the day started with Vtoria. (That's the way he always says her name.  Too cute!)

She woke up on the grumpy side. To say the least.

Yesterday was the one and only day we stayed home all summer.

So we headed to that mini-van as soon as breakfast was swallowed this morning.

That magical mini-van always soothes everyone and everything and makes us all so happy.

The three of us slid in and headed to the Farmer's Market.  Christian just couldn't get over how everything had changed since last night at Marketfest.  He was completely in awe and asking a million little questions.
Victoria chose the pea pods (she nibbles them pretending she's Clarence the Tortoise;)
and Christian chose the bin of new potatoes.

Then each child chose a huge gorgeous boquet of flowers.  Then mommy had to carry it all to the bakery.  They chose any cookie they wanted.

Then it was off to the beach - after dropping off the flowers, everybody using the bathroom and everybody getting smothered in sunscreen. 

The Beach.  My haven.  My love. My piece of freedom.  I love our beach.  Love it!!  Love it!!  My favorite spot of the summer.  The recent warm weather has really warmed up the water, brought in the perch too close to shore and grew a whole lot of seaweed in the last few days. 

However, none of that matters because today. . . .


It breaks my heart Mark didn't see it because it wasw magical.  I forgot about my cash, phone and camera left behind on the beach because I couldn't believe my eyes.  The girls was swimming with her little head sticking out of the water like a little turtle but smiling. 

It was magical.  We were hugging, high fiving, and cheering.  It was great.

She practiced and practiced and practiced.  I didn't want her to stop either but eventually we headed to lunch.

Lunch at Cup N Cone.  Again, bliss.  We all shared a sandwich which was devoured because we all knew what came next.  The cutest most perfect little hand sized ice cream cones.  V got chocolate and C got vanilla.  Both ate the entire things. 

We came home and unpacked our sandy gear and it was off to nap.  I relaxed and caught up on some blog reading and am planning on the great things tonight has in store for us.

I love summer.  I love my kids.  I love this freedom! 

(Too tired - lazy - happy to upload any photos.  Maybe next time.)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


I could write the longest blog post ever about Chicago.  Since I'm also going to make an iMovie and a digital album I'm going to keep this relatively short.

There are so many details and fun things and inside jokes after just three and a half days it's hard to believe.

Before I left I had to get a Vacation Pedicure:

First, what are the odds that I'd see a friend from school while checkign into the hotel?
Turns out we stayed at the same hotel, same floor, for the exact same amount of days.

Too weird!!

On my first subway.
Technically it's not a real subway, it's an elevated train called the 'L' to locals,
and now by Liv & me as well.

I was comfortable riding the 'L'
however I didn't hang my body off the side where strict signs say to stay away.

Our first lunch at the Rooftop Brewery.

My usual quesadillas
but with a new hat.

The best thing we did was sign up for this double decker trolley ride.
Three days of 14 stops that you can hop on and off as much as you like
for $35 and a free t-shirt.
I learned a ton of Chicago facts from our fabulous guides.

See Liv at the top with Josh, the tour guide?
The tour was over and I had to shout at her to get her to leave.
She was having a lot of fun!

On the tour.
We had gorgeous weather and got more and more sunburned each day.

The top of The Tribune Building.
This building won 1st prize for the most beautifully constructed building.

Trump Tower

I was feeling daring.  ;-)

So many gorgeous buildings.
One taller than the next.

Even more gorgeous at night.

We spent several hours on Michigan Avenue.
Also known at the Magnificent Mile
to locals and now to Liv & me
the Mag Mile.

The shopping is fabulous.

Only one store on the Mag Mile ever turns a profit.
The rent is so expensive the rest of the companies use it as advertisement for their other locations.
The Apple Store is the only one with a profit.

My favorite store on the Mag Mile: Forever XXI
We found some amazing accesories in there!

We got back on the trolley and headed to Soldier Field.

It's known by locals as the Mistake on the Lake.
It is not impressive and we decided not to get off the trolley and headed over to
Navy Pier.

Navy Pier is the #1 tourist spot in Chicago.

Do you know what Chicago means?

Land of the stinky onions.

This Ferris Wheel is 15 stories high and it takes seven minutes to get around once.

We rode it and it was fun.
At the top it seems as if it stops.
I got a little nervous but got through it.
It's really really high to be semi - locked
in a little plastic box.

The best part of Navy Pier, in my opinion,
was the most perfect Sangria of my life.

Delicious on a gorgeous day!

Oprah's Chicago apartment:
199 Lake Shore Drive

On our way to the Oprah kiosk:
only to find it out closed two weeks earlier.
Boo hoo!

Friday at 5:00
Beginning to get ready for the NKOTBSB concert.

Autographed memorbilia in place and tix ready.
We thought we'd head to the United Center and grab dinner and drinks down there for a couple hours before the concert.
Little did we know it seems the United Center was dropped in the middle of a not-so-nice neighborhood-
With not a bar or restaurant in sight.

Instead we stood with a handful of diehard fans watching AJ McClean play catch with a sercurity guard and Brian's dog get walked.

Finally a New Kid made an appearance and the crowd went wild.

There's Joey Joe himself.
He looked right at us and waved and smiled.  He was eating an ice cream cone.
I didn't get a good shot of that because I was one of the crazy ladies screaming.

What do you suppose this guy did to deserve standing there for an hour 
before the concert holding his girlfriend's purse?

Can you read the sign?
New Kids on the Block & Backstreet Boys

We've had the Right Stuff and we were Hangin' Tough
waiting for the show to begin enjoying a

There they are!!

Jordan popped out at the end of our row.  When I figured out what was happening I bolted down to the end of our row.  Every step I'd take he'd get one step further away.  I wasn't even close to touching him.  And unfortunately didn't even think to take a picture until it was way too late.
What I did get out of it was a gigantic bruise on my left leg from banging into every single armrest all the way down the aisle.

This is my favorite shot from the concert.
Considering we had one dead battery and one filled memory card and two smart phones hard at work we did get some good shots!

All of these cars are people leaving the United Center and that's just one side of the building.
We waited about 40 minutes for a cab and there were none!
As I was walking against traffic looking to snag one as soon as possible as car full of girls called me over to take a picture of my autographed vintage nightshirt.

Finally I ran across three lanes of traffic and got in one technically one already taken.

After the concert we went to Jordan's after party at En Clave night club.
We weren't on the list (obviously since we'd only learned about it three hours ago) and didn't make a real attempt to get in.
Then his limo pulled up right next to us.
He didn't get out there and went around the other side of the building instead. . .
maybe he recognized me and thought I was an actual stalker.

The night ended on a very happy note at 4am.  Finally I said, "Liv, I'm sorry! I gotta get back to the hotel!" She replied, "Kel, you never have to apologize for wanting to leave a bar at 3:50am!!"

The next morning afternoon we headed over to the John Hancock building.

We took the fastest elevator in North America to the 94th floor.

The sights were amazing!

Enjoying real Chciago style pizza in Chicago!
All weekend I kept taking left overs back to the hotel and never ate them.
So, here, I ate two pieces and left the rest there.
Broke my heart.

Next, we walked over to Millenium Park.

The best part was by far, The Bean.

A breathtaking piece of artwork.

Can you spot our reflections?

A view from under The Bean.
It was hard to find our own reflections.

At about midnight on our last night was explorered our gorgeous hotel
The Hilton Palmer House.
We managed to go to all 23 floors.

The view from our room.

On our way out of town on Sunday morning.

As usual, I way over packed.
But I wouldn't change a thing about the entire trip.
It was amazing and - oh - so memorable.