Monday, July 31, 2006

Now I'm Pooped

Rooms Completed 6 of 13
Closets Completed 3 of 5
Garbage Bags Today 11
Total Garbage Bags 26 1/2

I just got our room and closet done. I was going to take an easy day and do the dining room but I decided that I wanted to get the upstairs finished. I can't get the full effect until I get all 11 garbage bags out of the hallway and the clothes put away but it's vacuumed and dusted. Yeah! I can't wait for Mike to get home to see it!

Cleaning Spree

Rooms completed: 5 of 13
Closets completed: 2 of 5
Total garbage bags: 15 1/2

The kids were so good yesterday that we got so much more done than we thought we would. I had written out a plan where we clean one room a day to avoid burnout. We were already a day behind since we didn't do anything on Saturday (the first day of my plan). The plan for Sunday was that we would do Saturday's rooms and Sunday's as well and be done for the day. We were going to start with the upstairs bathrooms (they're small so we figured that we could do a two for one). It took longer than we thought. Mike thouroughly scrubbed down the shower and toilet and I scrubbed the floor. We were both pretty wiped out from those two rooms and really didn't think we would get much else done. We decided to have an early dinner of waffles, bacon and sausage and were revived. On to Hannah's room.

Jacob and I took the crib apart (that was's been up for 7 years) and began cleaning. Mike and I knocked that baby out in record time. We decided to nail out another room since we had the energy. We headed to Daniel's room. That one also went quicker than we anticipated.

At this point, we were low on garbage bags and paper towels so I headed to the store and Mike headed downstairs to play hearts. I came back to see Mike cleaning up (just a general clean not a moving clean) downstairs. I took the garbage bags and headed upstairs to handle Jacob's room. That room was a challenge because it seemed to be a dumping ground for old and broken toys.

We were feeling pretty good because we were now two days ahead. I was still in cleaning mode, so I decided to tackle the closets upstairs (mostly just full of boxes). The two closets were done in less than 15 minutes.

So, were're now 3 days ahead. I'm a little sore, but not as bad as I thought I would be. Okay...I'm off to tackle yet another room!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Gonna Need a New Name for the Blog's official. We're moving. Ugh. Not again. Okay, so this makes move number 6 in 8 years for me. (from my parents house to the apartment, then to the townhouse, then to Buffalo Grove, then to Iowa, then to Virginia and now to Kansas - and I'm not including the interim moves to the 2 apartments - one in Dubuque and one in Herndon) September 1st is the official list date for the house. I'm hoping that we can get it ready in time. Actually, I know that we will. With the buyout in place, we will definately be in Kansas by the end of the year, if not earlier. The good news is that we are moving into one of the best school districts in the country and the housing market is so much more affordable there than it is here. Mike also tells me that the beef is outstanding there. He says that it tastes so awesome. I'm such a carnivore so I'm really looking forward to that.

I've been making cleaning plans! It'll be a lot easier since Mike's in town this week. Every day, we're going to take one room and blast it out. Hopefully, with Mike here, we can get two done per day. I fixed the three toilets yesterday (well, one I had fixed earlier) and tried to show Jacob how to do it. On the downstairs toilet, I replaced 90% of the innards of the toilet. Got it done in less than 45 minutes and it no longer drips! Yeah me!

So, I'm now taking entries for the new name for the blog once we move. Three Guys, Two Girls and Too Many Animals...a peek into our lives on the East Coast, 'cause you know you're curious about life out here will not be fitting when we move out to Kansas. The best entry will be used for the blog when we move!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Jacob Has A Question For Dad

Okay Dad...Jacob just asked me a question about you. Here's the question:

"Why did PaPa get sent away from his family to a different school when he was a kid?"

He basically wants to know why you went to military school. I didn't know he knew that! LOL! Care to share your story? I think I know why...but I'm not 100%. Wasn't there something about you punching someone at church?

Gripe Session

Okay...bear with me. I'm going to bitch and whine for a few minutes and then I'll be done with it.

1. Although I put the kids in bed around 9pm, the boys have decided that it's still playtime. Daniel believes bedtime is a free-for-all. They're not actually falling asleep until around 11pm. Then, usually around 3am, Daniel joins me in bed (yes, I know I should walk him back to bed but I'm complaining here so deal with it - plus, since Mike's not here, I sleep better with another body in the bed - but that's beside the point). Last night, I had Hannah wake me up at 4am to tell me she was cold. Therefore, I had both Hannah and Daniel in bed with me. So that means that I'm only getting about 4 hours without kids. And that's between the hours of 11pm and 3am.

2. The stupid dog won't quit peeing and pooping on the floor and/or getting into the garbage. Because Daniel leaves the bedroom door open when he comes in at 3am, the dog just comes downstairs and pees on the floor and then goes and poops on Daniel's floor. Grrrrr.

3. No one freaking picks up after themselves. Enough said.

4. I can't do anything to please the kids (boy, I sound just like Mike here). Whatever I do, it's not enough. They want more. And they won't quit fighting with eachother. Only 34 days until school starts.

Okay. I'm done now. I feel better.

F***ing Bees (no Dad, they weren't actually doing it LOL!)

I HATE BEES! Seriously. I was outside this afternoon and a mother f***ing bee actually flew under my toe (I had freaking sandals on!) and stung my toe! The only consolation is that the bastard died in the process. DEATH TO BEES!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hannah's New Haircut

I had Hannah's haircut this afternoon. I was getting really tired of her not letting me brush it or put it up so off it came. Actually, I've been torn about cutting it. I love her in long hair but I think she looks adorable in short hair too. The general opinion of the neighborhood is that she looks best with this cut. I do think it's about 1/2 inch too short but I guess it'll grow back. What does everyone else think?

Can't Shake This Song

I can't seem to get the song How To Save A Life by the Fray out of my head. It's been stuck there for over a week. It took me almost an hour to get to sleep last night because it was running through my head over and over again. I love the song but it's starting to make me really mad. I'm hoping that by typing it out and openly admitting it's in there, it'll eventually leave (maybe get stuck in someone else's head instead). So, here's the song running through my head:

How To Save A Life by the Fray

Step one you say we need to talk
He walks you say sit down it's just a talk
He smiles politely back at you
You stare politely right on through
Some sort of window to your right
As he goes left and you stay right
Between the lines of fear and blame
And you begin to wonder why you came

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Let him know that you know best
'Cause after all you do know best
Try to slip past his defense
Without granting innocence
Lay down a list of what is wrong
The things you've told him all along
And pray to God he hears you
And I pray to God he hears you

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

As he begins to raise his voice
You lower yours and grant him one last choice
Drive until you lose the road
Or break with the ones you've followed
He will do one of two things
He will admit to everything
Or he'll say he's just not the same
And you'll begin to wonder why you came

Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend
Somewhere along in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night
Had I known how to save a life

Happy Hump Day

57 Days until the premiere

Both of the boys had baseball last night (I love it when they have games on the same night...that means one less day during the week that I have to wrangle everyone out there). Daniel's team played the Shawnee Fire Dept team, which is coached by his coaches last year. Daniel was confused as to why he wasn't on their team this year. They remembered him (it's very hard to forget Daniel) and tied to help coach him when he was playing catcher. I don't kow if he's beginning to get it or what but he actually participated in the game. That's definately a first.

Jacob's team played Jonna and Alicia's team last night. Daniel and Hannah insisted on sitting with them (because Caroline had a toy Daniel thought was cool) so we sat in enemy territory. The cool part was that all of the parents on Jonna's team cheered for Jacob when he was up to bat. He didn't get a hit (again) but his swing is really improving. He fouled the ball once and didn't get another opportunity to bat because the game was called since there was lightning. Lots and lots of lightning. No thunder, no rain. It would be really nice if it rained.

Our neighbor, Jackie (actually, it's Nathan's dog), got a new puppy the other day. They win the award for both the smallest and largest dog on the block. Little yorkie puppy, Emily, at two pounds, joins Bruiser, a 130 pound Rotweiler mix. Little Emily slept on me yesterday while we were all out talking in the backyard. It was too cute.

Jacob's having a birthday sleepover on Friday night (what am I thinking?) and right now, we've only got Luke, Jake and Gavin coming. If that's all that shows up, I will not be upset. Six kids in the house is plenty for me. Ugh...what am I going to do with these kids?!?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Strange Evening

So, I was out walking the dog, when out of no where, two baby deer come running across the front lawn. I took the dog inside and ran to the back and they were standing in my neighbor's backyard. They saw me and took off. I walked back to the front of the house and my neighbor was just pulling in. Sue looked at me and asked if I saw the deer. I said that I did. She said that it was the most amazing thing she's ever seen. I told her that it was definately a cool thing and started to walk in the house.

Just then, my neighbor across the street (lawn mower lady) stops me. This is a lady who hasn't said a nice word to me in the two years we've lived here (for example "would you keep your kids away from my driveway?"). She tells me that she thinks that I should win some kind of mother award because the kids are always outside playing. She's impressed that I don't just sit them in front of the TV all day let them play video games. She doesn't know how I do it. She just thinks it's wonderful. I didn't know what to say. Very bizarre.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A Very Nice Gesture of Welcome

Most of you know that Mike's been working in Kansas for the past couple of months and it's just a matter of time until we all pick up and move out there. :( I was feeling really badly about the fact that he was out there and we were out here on his birthday. Luckily, several of Mike's team members decided to take him out.

If that wasn't nice enough, Mike tells me that they've also gotten him a goodie basket and that he's not sure if he'll be able to bring everything home in one trip. He wasn't kidding. These guys went out of their way to make us feel welcome. Tons of Kansas items (Sue, you would love the snowglobe), mugs (I love these and have already used them), dishtowels (already hanging in the kitchen), keychains, a hat, a farm playset, pencils, shot glasses (the kids had a ball drinking juice from these) and to top it all off, a copy of The Wizard of Oz on DVD. They all wrote notes of welcome on Kansas postcards. I'm sure I'm forgetting things but there was just so much! It was pretty overwhelming to think of the time they took to put this together for us.

I immediately confiscated the postcards and picture of the giftbasket for the scrapbook.

As Mike was packing for another week in Kansas, he asked if he could have the nail clippers that were given. I gave him the nail set. He looked at me and asked if I thought they would take them. I said that I thought he'd be fine. Well, apparently he wasn't because they were confiscated at the security gate. I guess they went through the rest of his bag as well. Lesson learned: don't take gifted nail clippers on an airplane!

Anyway, it was so nice of everyone to think of us and it makes me a little less leery about the big move.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

111 Wussiest Songs

AOL put out a list of the 111 Wussiest Songs of All Time. I thought it was a hilarious concept. 111 was "Do I Make You Proud" by Taylor Hicks. It really is a pretty wussy song, even though I love Taylor. Here's the top ten.

10. "Fix You" by Coldplay (I love this song. I can't believe it's in the top 10)

9. "If" by Bread

8. "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?" by Culture Club (I always think of the movie "The Wedding Singer" when I hear this song)

7. "What's Left of Me" by Nick Lachey (this really is a wussy, wussy song)

6. "Longer" by Dan Fogelberg

5. "Every Rose Has It's Thorn" by Poison (love this song too!)

4. "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt (Even though I love this song, I would have to agree that most of James Blunt's songs are pretty wussy)

3. "Ben" by Michael Jackson

2. "Sometimes When We Touch" by Dan Hill

And the number one most wussy song of all time is...

"Shiny Happy People" by REM (need I say more?)

RIP Tony the Fish

I came downstairs to feed the fish today and discovered that Daniel's beloved fish, Tony, was floating upside down. This sick part is that our sucker fish was sucking on Tony's eye at the time. Daniel was so upset. We told him that we needed to flush Tony down the toilet and he wanted us to flush Sucker as well. He kept saying that Sucker killed Tony. Mike scooped Tony out of the tank and we all said our goodbyes. Daniel wanted to pour him into the toilet, so we let him. Poor baby. The sweet part is that Jacob kept offering to buy Daniel a new fish with his birthday money. Too sweet.

So, Rest in Peace, Tony. You were a good fish.

Jacob's Birthday

Today is Jacob's 7th birthday. I can't believe he's 7. It seems like just yesterday that he was born. Who gave him permission to get older? We got him a frog cupcake-cake, some Magnetix, playdoh and a pirate mega blocks set. We're going to take him to see Superman tonight. I think he's had a pretty good birthday.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Quarters for Dad

Hey Dad...I got two Colorado "P" quarters today. Do you want them? If you do, I'll hold onto them for you!

Finally Friday

(62 days until the premiere!)

It is finally Friday! Mike had to stay in Kansas later than usual and won't be home until late tonight, which makes me sad. At least he'll be home for Jacob's birthday, and Jacob's really happy about that. Unfortunately, I've done nothing to prepare for tomorrow. Okay, I ordered a frog cupcake-cake but other than that, I've got nothing. It's hard to prepare when it's just me. Oh well.

Hannah's been so cute this week sleeping in her little bed. The only bad part is that I have no idea when she's getting up in the morning. The boys would come in and wake us up but she doesn't. She just wanders downstairs and lays on the couch. Yesterday morning, I found her sleeping on the couch at 7:30am. Jacob said that when he got up this morning, she was sleeping on the couch. I wonder what time she's getting out of bed in the morning.

The boys have taken to sleeping together since we put up the daybed. Often, Daniel starts out in Jacob's old bed (no, Mike, I haven't taken it down yet...but I will!) and when I go in to check on them before I go to bed, they're in bed together. It is so freaking cute.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

63 Days!!!!!

Okay, all...does anyone know what September 21st is? Michelle thought she could trip me up this morning at the meeting but she couldn't stump me! LOL! That's the day that Grey's Anatomy Season 3 premiers! I know, I'm a dork, but I can't help it! Just 63 more days! Let the countdown begin!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Music Poll

Okay, the last post made me wonder what everyone's listening to. Here's what I'm into right now...

Snow Patrol
James Blunt
Grey's Anatomy Soundtrack (that's a given, right?)
American Idol Season 5 Encores (the kids constantly ask to listen to Taylor)
Anna Nalick
KT Tunstall

Anyone care to play?

Sing It, Sister!

We were driving to Staples to get the MOMS Club newsletter printed and were listening to a CD I made. At the time, James Blunt was singing "Goodbye My Lover" (one of my favorite songs at the moment). I'm a huge car singer, so I get a little peeved when the kids interrupt my singing. Jacob had stopped me to ask a question when I heard a little voice coming from the back of the van singing, "I soooo howooo baby, soooo howoo. I so I so I so howoo." (the words are, "I'm so hollow baby, so hollow. I'm so I'm so I'm so hollow") I was laughing so hard. A little later, Kelly Clarkson came on (don't ask me why I have Kelly on CD). Hannah starts clapping and dancing. Then comes the chorus starts and Hannah belts it out, "here am, once 'gain. 'Orn inno pizzas." ("Here I am, once again. I'm torn into pieces.") Too cute.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I Love Our New Doctor

So, Daniel had his kindergarten physical today. Everyone was so nice and helpful. The nurse showed us to the room and brought in a machine to check Daniel's eyes and hearing. He got confused as to the directions during the hearing test so they were not able to finish the test. They noticed that Daniel's far vision was good but we might want to take him to get his near vision checked. Daniel weighs 43 pounds and is 43 1/2 inches tall. The nurse looked at him and said, "you're a square!" Here's the funny part about that...he's in the 75% percentile for both height and weight! I was shocked!

The doctor came in and asked Daniel to spell his name (he did it just fine) and count to 10. Daniel looked at her like she had three heads. She says, "can you count my fingers?" He starts counting and doesn't stop until he gets to 21. Then he looks at her and says, "that's it. 21 is as far as I can count." She laughed. She asked if I had any of his shot records because that's all they really need. I said no. I then told her about the struggle I had yesterday. She told me that Dr. Butt is famous for not sending records and maybe I could call Daniel's preschool and see if I could get his shot records from his file there. Great idea! I'll be doing that this afternoon. She thanks me for coming in and says that the nurse will be in shortly with the shots.

20 seconds later, the nurse pops her head in with a Miss Spider book, Daniel's reward for his kindergarten checkup, and says that I need to initial some things and she and two other nurses will be back in a second. What? Two other nurses? So, three of them walk in and our nurse sits down next to Daniel on the table. She tells him to sit on her lap. Before I could really see what was going on, the other two nurses had stuck Daniel in each arm with shots and proclaimed him done. Daniel was more than angry. I was impressed at how quickly they got it done. One of the nurses said that it took a while to get the technique down but they find it incredibly effective.

We walk to the check out and the receptionist asked if Daniel had shots. I said that yes he did. She pulls out this pack of goodies and hands it to him. Just then, one of the nurses walks by and tells Daniel that he's a lucky boy to get all of that stuff...he literally turned his back on her. She looks at me, laughs and says, "he's still mad at me, huh?" I told her not to worry, that he tended to not hold grudges for long.

I'm so glad that we've switched pediatricians. This is more of what I was looking for!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Stupid Idiot Doctor

Okay...I've been waiting a while to be able to switch pediatricians. Our current one, Dr. Butt (that's what Jacob calls him) is a quack. (Sorry, Sara, I know he's your Dr too, but I really think he is a quack.) On a couple of occasions, he's flat out told me that he didn't know what was wrong with my kids, he's told me that Hannah's fat and needs to go on a diet, and he's told me that Hannah had scabies when she had poison ivy. Unfortunately, he was the only one who took our insurance. Thankfully, we switched insurance and I can now take the kids to a good pediatrician. Our new pediatrician told me that I need to have the kids records sent over to them and that I need to sign a record release at our current doctor's office.

So I go in today, with the kids, a little after one. There isn't anyone in the office...I'm wondering if they're still on lunch...I look and see the secretary. I tell her that I need to sign a record release form. She tells me that I need to go to the new doctor to do that. That's not what I was told, I tell her. This brings out Dr. Butt who's very agitated. "That form does more than release your children's records," he tells me in a very huffy and degrading voice. "It also says that they are taking over the responsibility for your children's health and well-being. Them telling you to come here to sign the form should tell you that they are shirking their responsibility in that area." Like he did this great job taking care of my kids. He then tells me that, "I could release the records to you, at fifty cents a page. We could charge you for having them sent directly to the new doctor as well, but we don't, as a courtesy." I looked at him, rolled my eyes and told the kids to head towards the door. Jacob asked me if we were done there, and I told him, "we are most certainly done with this quack," and opened the door. The lady who was coming in with her kid heard me say that and her eyes got really big. I pulled out my cell phone and called the new dr. I told them what happened and told her what Dr. Butt had said about them shirking their responsibility...she started laughing. She told me to come on in and I could sign the form at their office. So that's what we did. This guy's such an idiot and I can't wait to meet our new doctor tomorrow.

Happy Birthday to Mike! (oh, and Ev too!)

Today is my honey's birthday! It's sad that he's in Kansas and we're here on his birthday. I wanted to make a cake and do all of that but won't get the chance to.
:( Anyway,


Sunday, July 16, 2006

New Beds

Okay, so I'm a little slow. Yes, Jacob was still in a toddler bed and Hannah was still in a crib. So sue me. We fixed it today. Hannah finally got her toddler bed. I know that I said that we wouldn't be getting her a toddler bed but she really needed something. So, now she has a Winnie the Pooh bed with Winnie sheets. I don't know why we didn't think of doing this before but we set up my old daybed for Jacob today as well. He wasn't happy about getting a hand me down bed (he really wanted a bunk bed) at first but quickly warmed up to the idea. Now, he's thrilled. He keeps talking about how comfy his bed is. Here are pictures of the kids in their new beds...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Just About Had A Heart Attack

We come home from baseball tonight and about 5 minutes later, I get a knock on the door. It's James with a very concerned look on his face, wondering if Gavin's over. I said no. He started to walk away going "where's my boy?" I yelled, "is he missing?" He says "yes" and gets back into his car and drives off. I walked outside to see my neighbors, Jim and Michelle standing outside as well. As I started to walk over, I see Jonna's mom and what I thought was Jonna (it was Chelsea) standing outside. Jonna's mom asks me if I've talked to James and I say that I have. She says that he had gone up to Nathan's house and they said he had left 45 minutes ago. I ask what doors has she knocked on? She says just the neighbors with kids. I started knocking on every other door in the cul-du-sac. My knock at Wayne and Cheryl's brought out Joseph who began the search in the back field. I walked up to ask Jacob if he knew any hidouts in the neighborhood and as I walked back over to Jim and Michelle's Kelsey came over to offer me an umbrella (it was raining pretty hard at this point). Just then, we see James' van pull around the corner. He stops at the bottom of Jim's driveway to tell us that he found Gavin. We all walk down to the car to yell at him. Doesn't he know how much he scared us? Michelle told him that he almost had the police looking after him. James says, "I'm going to go home and have a heart attack, thank you for all of your help" and drives away. Jonna's mom is walking down the street and gives me a big hug and says, "what a wonderful street Jonna lives on. Thank you so much!" I have a feeling that we won't be seeing Gavin for a while.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

BoBoBo BoBoBoBo

Dad, true to form, sent the kids home with a stack of DVD's of cartoons. Their favorite, by far, has been Bobobo Bobobobo. Just listening to this show is killing me. With characters like Gas Can (Jacob keeps reminding me that his name is really Gasser) and Jelly Jiggler (they really like this one) how can it not be insane? There's a whole episode on ramen and I made the mistake of making them ramen for lunch today. Jacob's been singing "every time you eat ramen, do six sit-ups" and then "every time you do sit ups, eat six cups of ramen." So strange.

Baseball Season Starts

Yesterday was the first day of the t-ball/baseball season. Daniel was in typical form, not really caring about what was going on. Mike and I decided that he really isn't ready for t-ball yet, maybe remedial blastball is in order! LOL! Jacob, on the other hand, is playing machine pitch this year. What a difference a year makes. This is really baseball. They get five "hitable" pitches and if they don't hit it, they're out. They can also get doubles and triples in machine pitch, and if the ball gets to the base before the runner does, they're out too. It certainly makes it more exciting. The parents really get into it...when someone gets a hit, everyone freaks out cheering. When a good play is made (a fielder catches a fly ball, etc) the parents freak out cheering. I'm happy that everyone, so far, is really supportive of the kids and we don't seem to have the parents who are belittling their kids. Jacob didn't get a single hit yesterday but everyone clapped and cheered for him anyway. He seemed like he had a good time and that's all that matters.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

4th of July

Winchester does their fireworks on the 3rd and we weren't in much of a fireworks mood last night...except to set off some of our own. Fireworks are very legal here and there are fireworks stands all over the place. We picked up some sparklers and a few other fun things and set them off last night. Tonight, we watched our neighbors set off their own show. It was cool to be able to watch out from Jacob's window. These aren't your Illinois type fireworks...these are the real deal. Everyone was shooting them off from all over. The sky was pretty colorful and it was every bit as good, if not better, as watching from a park or something. I hope everyone had a nice 4th!

Hannah and her sparkler
Daniel and his sparkler
This is a very cool picture of Jacob and his sparkler
Some of the fireworks our neighbors lit off

I Think I Got It!

Photos From Peoria!
Here's Daniel and Hannah with their painted faces at the Olde English Faire!

Jacob rides a pony at the Faire.

Hannah and Mary Rose share a quiet moment together. Don't they look like they could be sisters?

This one of Emma, Mary Rose, Daniel and Hannah is from when we went to Forest Park Nature Center.
The kids were excited when a wild turkey came pretty close to them.
Walking the trail...Mary Rose kept yelling "vamanos!" to Deb and me because we were so far behind.

Dad shows Jacob how to cast a fishing pole.

They also really loved picking Dad's raspberries.

Mom helps Hannah pick out her veggies at the Mongolian Grill.

Mary Rose and Daniel take a drink from the sprinkler.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Does anyone know how to...

I had to dump one of my memory cards while I was in Buffalo Grove and got a CD made from Sam's. It works and all, but does anyone know how I can move those photos from that CD to my hard drive? It keeps wanting me to use the Sam's photo center, which is really annoying. That's also why I can't seem to get any pictures up from the Peoria trip. :(

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Finally Home

After 2,068 miles put on the van, we are back home. We arrived around 3am this morning. Needless to say, we're all pretty tired. It was, however, a fun trip. It was nice to be able to spend the week with Marc and his kids too.

While we were in BG, we went to the Long Grove Strawberry Festival, which is always a fun time. We also went to Bobbi's birthday party. It was nice to have everyone there. We saw a lot of family that we haven't seen in a long time. On Sunday, we all went to Portillo's for dinner and asked someone to take this photo of all of us. For whatever reason, Daniel is missing in this picture. :( (you can click on any of the photos to make them bigger)
(l-r) Rachel, Bobbi, Me, Jacob, Marc, Megan, Hannah, Kristi, Ed, Katie, Maurice, David, Ev and Mike

We went to the Jelly Belly Factory up in Wisconsin and also up to Brookfield Zoo. The kids especially loved the Botanic Gardens. That was shocking to us. I loved this picture of the kids at the zoo (that's a seal behind them).

Here is a picture of all of the kids at the Jelly Belly Factory. For whatever reason, Jacob was not happy in this picture.

I broke Bobbi and Ed's washing machine while we were there. That necessitated everyone going to the laundromat. That was an adventure to be sure. Here is a picture of Megan and Kristi goofing around when they were supposed to be helping us do laundry!

We also got to see Ken and Donna and their kids, as well as Dave, Patty and their kids. They're all getting so big. We got them all lined up in age order for this photo.
(l-r) Eric, Jacob, Katherine, Daniel, Adam, David, and Hannah
We also managed a picture with all of us!

All in all, it was a great visit and it's weird to be home after being away for so long. This evening, we all sat in front of my neighbor's house and lit off fireworks drinking beer (yeah, beer and fireworks mix really well!) and talking. It's good to be home.