Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chow Down

So this is what I found on the bottom of Sam's math book~

Fans of "Stand by Me" will appreciate it, I'm sure :)

Oh, the Lord is Good to Me!

Today, as part of a fundraiser for The Greenhouse, we picked up 69 5-pound bags of apples and 45 dozen apple cider donuts, from Royal Oak Farm.  We have picked apples here as a family before, so we always like visiting (except Sam, apparently) ~

Orchards are very satisfying to run through~

Royal Oak is very family friendly, without being overwhelming with giant, ugly, bounce houses, etc... ala "agritainment".  They have several charming wood structures for the kids to climb on~
We have never been here on a weekend, so maybe it gets crazy then....
I love avoiding the crowds and being able to visit popular spots during the week~
Don't worry, I won't ask~

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Four More Years!

This is embarrassing.  The kids found owl pellets in their Easter baskets this year.  We are just now, six months later, getting around to dissecting them.  That's how we roll. 
There were a LOT of bones. 
As a little treat for Mary's birthday, we went to Outback Steakhouse.  The food was just okay, but we had fun.  It was sort of an un-official first "surprise birthday dinner".  She was a little shy when the servers sang ""Happy Birthday" ~
In my experience, three to four really is when kids seem to leave babyhood completely behind.  Here, Mary's expression is definitely all girl, no baby :)

Fantastic Four!

"The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”~ Abraham Lincoln

If it came any faster, my heart might actually break.  Mimi Zsa-Zsa (as Scott likes to call her) is four today.  She is so sweet, happy, funny and loving.  She loves her brothers with all her heart and loves playing with both Charlie and Sam.  
She is a big help to me around the house and especially the kitchen. 
She likes listening to any thing I'm willing to read aloud to her :)
She loves hanging around with Daddy, too.  
What a blessing she is in our lives. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

There's a Snake in My Boot!

This year for Halloween we have, Woody, Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl, and two army guys~
Our friends the Peseks joined us for trick-or-treating~

From the Mouths of Babes

Mary has two imaginary friends (for the last 6 months or so) - Garbage and Leafy. We've known for a while that Garbage is a trouble maker. But today Mary was in the back seat of the car and said out of the blue, "I don't like Garbage. She's trash."

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Slow down, little girl!  In two days Mary will be 4!  We stopped at Too Toots for lunch and she loved riding the mechanical horse.  Not as exciting as "Dagger", but an adequate substitute~
She is sweeter by the day, and we love her so.  She makes us smile, laugh, and try harder to slow down.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
~William Shakespeare

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Little Mar-maid

For her fourth birthday, Mary had her first "friend" party.  She wanted a mermaid theme~
The girls decorated crowns and played pin the tail on the mermaid.
Mary loved this mermaid, which she helped color.  Kids are so good for one's self esteem - she made me feel like Picasso~
Wands made from rice krispies covered in white chocolate~
Everything was pink~

Opening her gifts with Allison~
The girls played dress up.  Mary and Sophie~
Mary and Hannah~
Mary and Anna~
And with Charlotte~

She is our little princess~
Jaiden came to help~

"The prime purpose of being four is to enjoy being four - of secondary importance is to prepare for being five."  ~Jim Trelease, The Read-Aloud Handbook, 1985

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

La Cenerentola

We met the Peseks at Curie Metro High School for a Lyric Opera performance.  This is part of their "Opera in the Neighborhood" program.  We were the first to arrive, so we had the best seats right in the front row!  The kids (and adults!) loved it.  The Lyric really makes opera accessible and fun.  This version of Cinderella was great.  Afterward we went to Bobak's (on Scott's recommendation) for lunch.  He was right - it was delicious :)  We (mostly me) entertained each other on the drive home singing our own renditions.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Argonne National Laboratories

Today Charlie and I took a field trip to Argonne National Laboratories
Here we saw magnetic levitation using liquid nitrogen~

Next we saw how materials (a balloon) behave under super cold temperatures~
Charlie used “pedal power” on the Energy Bike to generate enough electricity to power a set of light bulbs or a hair dryer. There was quite a difference between the energy required to light incandescent light bulbs compared to fluorescent or LED light bulbs~
Determining the amount of vitamin C in fruit by way of titration~
Argonne was pretty cool.  We had to get "clearance" to come on site - so spy movie!   I am planning another field trip here in a couple of months for Charlie and Sam.  Can't wait!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ronald McDonald

Mary has been seeing Dr. Minutti since shortly after she was born.  We are now down to 4 times a year.  Mary loves seeing this familiar face~

Sunday, October 16, 2011

"You want me to learn something to you?"

So one of our family's favorite movies is "School of Rock".  We've watched it countless times, and now Mary is able to quote entire scenes.  This one is especially awesome~
Mary, you get an A+ and fifty gold stars!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chicago Brass Band

There was a fundraiser tonight for the Greenhouse featuring the Chicago Brass Band.  It was a toe-tapping good time!  Even though we just saw an awesome concert yesterday, the kids really loved this performance, too~

Monday, October 10, 2011

"Jump to It!"

Wheaton College's Symphonic Band offers a free children's concert.  We always love it.  This year, the following music was featured:
Pastime by Jack Stamp

Aesop's Fables by Scott Watson
The Hare and the Tortoise, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Dog and the Bone, The wolf and His Shadow

Young Person's Guide to John Williams by Jay Bocook
Prologue from "Hook", Hedwig's theme, theme from ET, Raiders March

Kitchen Can Can by Jacques Offenbach

Art in the Park by Robert Sheldon

Chicken Dance by Larry Norred

Halo Suite themes

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Writer's Block

Charlie is in a writing class at the Greenhouse.  Mary has been picking up some tips.  "The Lion and the Bird" - she's so earnest ~
If you didn't know it, you'd think there were actual paragraphs of English on those papers~

Friday, October 7, 2011

My Gym

Mary and Sam were invited to a  friend's birthday party at a little kids' gym place.  They had a lot of fun!  Sam on the zipline~
And Mary~