Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Morton Arboretum - Animal Habitats

We visited the arboretum today. It was a little chilly, but Charlie has a leaf project due for the Greenhouse, and what better place to find some leaves than a place grown with trees? Right now the special exhibit there is "Animal Houses: The Door is Open". So we spent a little time exploring some various habitats. First stop, part of the ant colony~
Anywhere the boys are, Mary wants to be, too ~
My budding naturalist~

While Charlie was sketching, Mary and Sam entertained themselves throwing walnuts~
The arboretum calls the birch family "Slender Beauties of The Forest". They are very pretty~
I think this weeping willow is also part of the birch family~
Here's Sam perched in a heron nest, our next animal habitat stop~

Everyone outside the beaver lodge~
After gathering a few more leaves, we made our final stop at Big Rock, a huge granite boulder left by glaciers 14,000 years ago~
It was a great day to explore outside - thanks Emily for the pass :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

He Gone!

The boys got to catch another game this weekend, and Mary and I joined them~
We had great weather, and it was fun to go (with free! tickets) as a family :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Let's Go White Sox

Charlie took his friend Isaac to the White Sox game, as a gift for Isaac's birthday. The boys were ready for a good time~
They stopped in the gift shop, finding (surprisingly) keychains with each boys' name~
That's a lot of ink~
I will be horrified if Charlie ever gets a real tattoo~
This belongs on "sign wrecks" ~

A friend of Scott's from work has a brother who works for the Royals. He got them great tickets, right behind the Royals' dugout~

The White Sox lost. But the boys still had an awesome time! Scott's co-worker's brother also set them up with a bunch of cool Royals gear. We have tickets to go on Sunday, too :)

Cantigny Continued

We just can't get enough of Cantigny! Today is National Constitution Day, and Catigny was handing out a pocket sized US Consitition along with free parking, so Sam, Mary and I headed over while Charlie was at the Greenhouse. Sam could spend hours on the tanks~ The younger Merrick's met us there for some fun, as well~
So much to see and do - I hope this weather holds out so we can get in a few more visits this year~

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sharp-Dressed Men

Uncle Marcus got married today! Scott was a groomsman, and Charlie was the ring bearer. Sam wore a tux for the occasion, too~Every one commented on how good Charlie was with the little flower girl. Of course he was, he's excellent with his own little sister~
It's very difficult to get a picture with more than one person looking at the camera~
Or even with everyone's eyes open~
Maybe a change in position will help~
Mary is uncooperative~
Because (what else?) she wants her clothes off~
The most we can do is tights, I'm afraid~
That helps...and she's off~
Quiet time with Daddy~
Handsome brothers~
The apple and the tree~
My favorite six year old~
The party animal~
Of course Mary delighted everyone~
Dancing queen~
Daddy's little girl~
This might be the only shot of our whole family since Mary was born~
It was exhausting, but a lot of fun!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Green Green Lake

We were invited to visit Green Lake again with the Humphreys. This time, though, instead of the dead of winter, we were able to enjoy the last weekend of summer together. You can see we brought our bikes behind these two hams~
Mary was mostly happy in the car, at least for the first 3 hours. We hit some bad traffic on our way up (Tracy claims it was the worst they'd ever seen, but I have a feeling she says that to all her friends...)~
When we finally arrived we stopped for a fish fry at Walker's, a favorite of John's for over 30 years! Walker's is so timeless, they don't even have a website, but you can get their information if you scroll down here ~
Apparently, this is the trip of "normal" photos followed by "silly" photos~
On Saturday we drove over to the Green Lake Conference Center, and took our bikes for a ride, the highlight of which was a downhill run where we reached 28 MPH!!
The Conference Center is owned by the American Baptist Assembly, and they graciously make their beautiful grounds available to the public, free of charge~
Scott and John enjoyed some tennis with the kids while Tracy and I watched~

Dessert, thanks to Audrey - YUM~
It's not a vacation unless there's hammock-ing in the dark~
And swinging before bed~

Here's a shot of "green" Green Lake, as Mary makes her way up to the swing set~
Almost there~
Finally (it's beautiful, isn't it?) ~
Here's our salty dog~

Charlie and Sam, always up for anything athletic, attempting to water ski (Charlie was up for about 2 seconds, Sam not so much. Maybe next time...)~
Hot Diggity Tub~

Green Lake is really beautiful. Jim and Annie Humphrey were our gracious hosts this weekend, and with Audrey's help, made us feel welcome and comfortable. What a lovely home, filled with wonderful people!