Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat!

Originally, Charlie planned on being Johnny Cash for Halloween, Sam was going to be either a chicken, an army guy, or "nothing", and Mary was going to be a lamb (if I could find a costume), or a pumpkin (someone lent me a beautiful hand made one). However, when we were in Hannibal Missouri last week, we stumbled across a Becky Thatcher hat in a gift shop, and thus we became...

Huckleberry Finn~

Tom Sawyer~

And Becky Thatcher~

This was the first time I've ever gone trick or treating with the boys. The weather was so amazing, I hated to stay inside!

Cosley Zoo

We haven't been to Cosley Zoo in a long time - it's a nice little zoo, good for killing just an hour or so. I have many memories of Sam's first spring, meeting friends there with Charlie, and Sam would fall asleep in the sling, almost as soon as I started walking.

After Charlie's Latin class we stopped by to enjoy this unseasonably warm weather and check out the tiny pumpkin patch. Charlie wanted a picture of these interesting mushrooms~ Mary pointing at a chicken, while eating a nugget...
Mary loves her brothers~
I love these three~
We all like watching this fox. Poor thing just runs back and forth the whole time, but he is cute~
They have a great collection of various birds of prey~
My smiley 5 year old~
The big girl on a haystack~
It's hard to get a picture of all three looking at the camera~
Tonight - trick or treating! This is the warmest Halloween I can remember.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lombard Police Department

This afternoon we visited the Lombard Police Department. Here we are looking at a bit of LPD history~

In the briefing room~

Checking out the jail~

Tracy is not so sure we should be releasing all these suspects~

For some reason Charlie looks a lot like Uncle Mark here~ This is only funny because Charlie is my child who is least likely to do hard time~
Elliot on the other hand...
Impersonating a police officer is pretty heavy duty.

In the work-out room~
The shooting range. This was pretty cool - it's in the basement of the police building and they have strobe lights going when they're practicing~
Mary saw a box of Dunkin Donuts, and thought she was being funny~ The kids really enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look at Lombard's Finest. I was glad for the opportunity to clarify what the "daytime curfew" means for homeschoolers :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


We hit the lanes for the first time this (school) year ~

So far, Mary likes it, too~

Charlie and Sam, both, are natural athletes. Each of them bowled at least one game over a hundred, and have had strikes without any bumpers!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Meet Me in St. Louis

After a very busy week, we took a quick trip to The Gateway to the West with Grandpa and Pam. We left early Saturday morning, planning a stop in Hannibal, MO to see Mark Twain's boyhood home and then continuing on to St. Louis for the Botanical Garden and the City Museum. Of course, whenever we head down 55, past Springfield, we must make a detour to the house by which all other houses are measured - Grandma Kovacs' house ~

I love this house, and was so happy to see it again. My dad grew up here, and I have many happy memories of eating hot cereal on the red step stool in my grandma's kitchen. She moved from here when I was only 6, but even though I only knew it for a short time, it became this really magnificent place in my heart. This time, having a non-threatening baby on my hip, I knocked on the door, and, after explaining who I was, was able to look around the first floor. It was every bit as beautiful as I remembered, and I truly hope someday to live there myself!

After spending more time than we planned in Jacksonville, we got on our way to Hannibal. There, we saw the "Great River".
We made this stop because Charlie has been enjoying reading Tom Sawyer recently. He's eager to finish up, and move on to Huckleberry Finn.
Again with the world's best mother's helper...
Charlie went to his very first rock concert on Friday night (for a birthday party) and won the hat he is wearing here~

We happened to visit during the Autumn Historic Folklife Festival. Here was a really talented bagpiper~
We saw Becky Thatcher and Tom Sawyer walking around - and also bought Mary a bonnet in one of the gift shops (as inspiration for our Halloween costumes).
We finally rolled into St. Louis more 10 hours later - it was just a little longer drive than we anticipated, but we all were troopers and looked forward to checking out The City Museum today (we had to shelve the visit to the Botanical Gardens because of lack of time).
This morning in the hotel - we make ourselves at home~
And here, is pretty much the coolest place we've ever seen! Pam had read about this place in a magazine, but I really had no idea what to expect. The best description I can come up with is if Willy Wonka created a playground, this would be it~
At the entrance~
The whole place is made out of recycled construction materials~

Mary loved the slide~
We spent a lot of time in this section~
Click on this picture to enlarge, and get a closer look at Mary's expression. I promise she was all smiles at the bottom :)

Watching the big boys~

This is looking down one of the many slides~
There are no height/age/weight restrictions in the whole place. If one has the ability to do something, one is allowed~

This is something like 5 stories in the air - that's Charlie~
And Sam~

Mary loved the ball pit~
The weather was perfect~

Charlie and Sam liked the ball pit, too. They were playing dodge ball with some Wheaton College students~

Mary on the piano (with her tongue sticking out)~
If we lived in St. Louis, I know we would be here at least once a week. The guy who created this place, lives in the condominium building that's attached. We told both the boys that if they wanted, they could bring a friend back here for their birthdays, instead of a party. We probably only saw about half of the entire museum. When I asked for a map, the docent said, "We don't have maps, because what's the fun in that?"
We drove by the arch on our way to dinner.
And finally on the road north ~

This was an awesome trip, and for any family looking for a weekend getaway, I can't recommend it enough. You won't be disappointed!