Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ice Cream Shoppe

Wheaton has at least three of these within a block of each other. We were inspired by some friends who live in Oak Park, yet rode the prairie path from Hillside all the way to Wheaton, to do it ourselves (although our trip was a little shorter). They had posted some pictures on facebook of their boys in front of a little ice cream place and we thought we'd like to have some :)When we crossed from Glen Ellyn to Wheaton, however, I wasn't exactly sure where we were going. And honestly, we are in no shape to be riding around in circles. So I called said friend, received exact location of ice cream, and we headed over. Imagine our dismay when we rolled up to the Popcorn Shop, only to find it closed! But then as we were lamenting our foregone ice cream, a little girl and her mother walked by with giant waffle cones. I asked her where she got them, and the lady told us Tate's, although we could also head over to Graham's. But only Tates had bubblegum. So we walked our bikes the half block to Tate's. They have 32 (!) homemade flavors daily. It was worth the ride...and the walk~

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Faire Thee Well

We made our annual trek to the Bristol Renaissance Faire today. Each time we go, we regret not dressing up. This year, Charlie and Sam actually did it. Sam was a knight, and Charlie was a recent favorite character from a book we're reading, Gideon the Cutpurse. We took this photo right after a security guard told Charlie he couldn't have his fencing sword unsheathed (we had no sheath, and had to return it to the car) ~
We had a lot of fun - enjoying the sights and shows. Sam was chosen to help one of the performers~
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Mary liked the jousting~
Especially the horses~

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Art Camp @ Cornerstone Christian Church

We had the "art show" tonight, as the culmination of this week's art camp held at Cornerstone Christian Church in Glen Ellyn. The boys had a great time! The parents were invited for short time of worship before refreshments, and it really reminded me of the VBS of my youth - with songs like "Peace Like a River", "I've Got A River of Life", and "Deep and Wide". All week long Sam was coming home asking me if I knew the song ... ? He was happily surprised when I could sing along with most of them :)

Sam with his creations~
And Charlie~
I love these gifts from God. They bless me in so many ways.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

County Fair

We made our annual trek to the county fair today. Charlie didn't want to enter a Lego creation this time, but we still found plenty to do. First stop, lunch just inside the gate~
While we watched a wood-carver~
We found Sam's favorite area again - the tractor ride (he rode a lot, which is okay with me, since before I know it, he'll be too big)~
Mary helping to sort various processed foods, into the bin with the whole food used as it's main ingredient (I wonder how many yuppies would shop at a store called "Processed Foods" if only it were over-priced and marketed right:)~
Breast milk - for baby cows~
Sam couldn't stay away from the tractors - but this time he gave Mary a ride~
Cute kids~
Other than admission (which we got for free thanks to our library's summer reading program), everything was free. Definitely consider going next year - there is a ton to do and see~
Mmmmm, bacon~
I always wanted a pet goat~
The best "treat" the fair offers - homemade cream puffs, from the Knights of Columbus. Yummy, and supporting a good cause (so much better than "carney food")~
Sam working the corn shucker~
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This area was Charlie's favorite (he really wants a lizard of his very own - we're working on it). Mary touched a snake, and cried~
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We saw this last year, too. It's really cool - an aquarium on wheels with most of the fish native to Illinois swimming in it~
So long, Bess! See you next year~

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Chicago's Bravest vs. Military All-Stars

We were at the Standard Bank Stadium tonight, to watch Uncle Dan play against the Military All-Stars. Mary wore her only "sportswear"~
Dan told Charlie and Sam if they brought their helmets, they could be bat boys - of course we all know who took him up on his offer~
Sam also got to hit the first ball of the game - a home run~
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Charlie didn't have a helmet that fit him, but he was happy shagging foul ball that made it out of the park~
Sam with his godfather~
Dan's the manager for the team, but sometimes he plays (you can catch Sam at the end, doing his job)~
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One day, this little girl is going to be so tired of bleachers. For now, though, she's a good sport~
Mary was happily entertained most of the night by Max, Dan's sister's little boy~
And then at the end, her first fireworks show - in the beginning, she wasn't sure she liked them, but ended up oohing and aahing eventually~

It was a great time! The tickets cost what baseball should - and your admission helps a good cause, too :) It's definitely worth the trip to see these guys play!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Under the Big Top

The boys finished up Summer Funner Theater tonight. Charlie is an old pro, but it was Sam's first year. They both had a ton of fun.

Sam on stage~
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Dancing~
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Charlie the clown~
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As usual, the performance was great. We are always amazed at how much this church accomplishes with 200+ kids in just one week. Wonderful!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Carlson Group

We had Scott's company picnic today. It was at a park right near our house. He brought home some custom t-shirts earlier in the week, but they didn't have one small enough for Mary. Scott was able to get me the graphic, so I made her a matching onsie.
It was great fun! They had 'kids vs. adults' kickball, bags, water balloons (and guns), watermelon seed spitting contest, and tons of food! When the ice-cream truck rolled by, Scott's boss bought some for everyone - I think that's every kid's dream come true - being told they're getting ice cream from the truck without having to beg :)
This is a much smaller company than the one Scott used to work for, but TCG seems to truly believe in an appropriate work/life balance. Hooray!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~Mark Twain

We took a ride on the prairie path tonight. Mary alternated between my bike and Scott's. The path is great for families, because there are long stretches where the kids can ride ahead without any danger.
The biggest thing to be afraid of is Sam tiring out, which means loading him into the trailer and strapping his bike to the back. I've done it by myself before, and believe me, it's not fun. Scott's tough, though~
I think I calculated that it's close to 100 pounds. Scott's working here~

Here's a really cool pic of someone on a bicycle built for 5! I'm trying to get my hands on a used tag-a-long type bike attachment. Hopefully one will turn up soon!

Anyone who says only sunshine brings happiness, has never danced in the rain~

We had a park day with our friends from R.O.C.K. We always meet at the perennial favorite, Seven Gables, in Wheaton. This time, with rain threatening, I was afraid we'd be the only ones there. Luckily, we had a friend along, so even if no one else showed up, the boys could still enjoy a game of tag. The rain did end up coming, but so did several other families! We homeschoolers are a hearty bunch~
They stopped their (co-ed, multi-aged) game of tag long enough to get some group photos on the awesome climbing structure. Say, "cheese"~
Say, "rain" ~
Say, "homeschooling rocks"~
Say, "enough with the pictures already, lady"~
Here's little John Paul. I started calling him Swee'Pea, because he looked so funny crawling out into the rain while we were ignoring him~
Almost there~
Olive Oyle is none the wiser (Rhonda, I think I see a very clever Halloween costume in your future)~
Of course, Mary enjoyed the rain just as much as the big kids~

And the moms enjoyed a really lovely visit, too :) The rain actually made the park day - we all went home happy and smelling like wet dog!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Giving Tree

We saw this tree tonight on our bike ride - it's astounding! I assume it grew back over the wires, but it looks like they punched a circle right through it to make room for us. A while back I came across this picture on the internet, and for some reason, it stayed in my mind. So when I passed this tree, I had to stop and snap a picture~
Here's my favorite thing to take pictures of, though. My family. We've been riding our bikes in the evenings a couple times a week. Thankfully Scott's new job allows us to finish dinner, as a family by 6pm, with plenty of time for fun, before bed~
And earlier today, Grandma took the boys to the races. They had a lot of fun picking out their winners :)
Another full day (I made it to church, but let the party animals sleep in), after a long night!

Fireworks

Last night we celebrated the 4th with our friends, the Bishop's. They have a great party every year, and they live just a few houses away from the Lombard fireworks. Mary and I left before the show, though, because it was getting too late. Daddy and the boys pulled an all-nighter, finally stumbling in after 2am (mama was not happy!). Before all of that, though, Mary had a good time~
This is the kind of stuff that goes on during daddy's watch, not only pop at 11pm, but drinking it some goofy way~
Sparkly~
As usual, Lombard put on a fantastic display - hopefully next year, Mary and I will get to see it :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Waste of Lombard

Scott suggested we take the kids over to Taste of Lombard tonight, for fun and dinner. (Every year I wonder where the trailer park in Lombard is. And believe me, we're hillbillies ourselves, but seriously! I'm surprised they don't have anyone selling feather roach clips and decorated mirrors...)

The weather was perfect, about 65 degrees, no bugs or rain! Luckily, we live near one of the shuttle bus stops, so we don't have to worry about parking :) We ended up buying food from one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants (as opposed to the carney-type crap they mostly sell). Whatever happened to having community "tastes" actually showcase local eateries? Anyhow - after dinner we listened to a little music, but the highlight was definitely the rides...

Sam started with the tilt-a-whirl, while Charlie took a spin on 1001 Nachts. Mary was a happy spectator, at first...
The boys wanted to try the glider together ~
This picture is dark, but Sam's huge, excited grin is perfect in it~
And this picture is important, because it shows how Sam's feet don't even reach the edge of the ride! He barely made the height requirement, and as soon as I saw how little he looked, I started having serious second thoughts...
But he loved it!
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And here he is on the "twisty-wisty" as he called it~


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And Mary, on her second turn on the carousel - she loved it!


It was a fun, albeit expensive, night - I'm glad it only comes once a year!