Monday, May 19, 2014


The last couple of weekends we have ventured out and explored a little bit. Two weekends ago we took a drive down to Starved Rock. I knew I had to go in to it realizing that I was in the midwest. This wasn't the Rockies and so I had to keep an open mind. And while it wasn't the mountains that I miss so desperately, it was beautiful! It was so refreshing to be in the outdoors (even if we had to share it with way too many other people) and we got to hang out with friends and see things we have never seen before.
We told the kids we were going hiking but "hiking" is a little different in Illinois. The entire time we were out Pep kept asking when we were going to go hiking. I kept telling him that we were in fact hiking already. He apparently disagreed. I guess I can understand since most of the uphill parts of the trail looked like this...

but we did get a slight uphill walk at times.

There wasn't a ton of water in the streams but it was pretty none the less

We got to look out over the Illinois river from way up on the rock. My kids still can't grasp the concept that a river can be that big. They were arguing with me about how it was a lake not a river.
and baby hitched a ride.

 He was perfect. No naps and never even made a noise in complaint. In fact none of the kids got naps and they were just happy and fun the entire time. The older two walked the entire thing. If we are being honest I think they are both capable of out "hiking" me.
Such a good time. I loved every minute of it.

This last weekend we went on another (much shorter) awesome adventure. We took our very first train ride in to La Grange to have dinner with some friends.  The kids didn't know what was happening. We told them we had a surprise for them. They started guessing when we pulled up but weren't completely sure where we were until we stepped on to the plat form and then they freaked. Everyone at the station was staring. The were jumping up and down ad cheering and Pep couldn't stop talking. Oh my gosh that boy can chatter! It was so fun to see them so excited. The ride was about a half hour long but it flew by. The kids were totally mesmerized buy the whole deal. We got to pass by other trains and sit on the top deck of our train. The ticket master even gave AnDee her own ticket (even though kids ride free on weekends) She was so proud. They haven't stopped talking about it since and Buggy is totally convinced that we are going to take the train in to the city for her birthday.

 While the other two were about jumping out of their skin in excitement when the train pulled up, I was pretty sure their baby brother was going to have a heart attack. The noise scared him to death. He wrapped his arms around my neck and held on for dear life all was shaking from fear. Never made a peep though. I really do have to best baby ever.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Sky

Have you ever heard someone say that the sky is bigger in the midwest? Well now that we can actually see the sky every once in a while I can't attest to you that it is true. It seems like the sky goes on and on forever. There are no mountains to stop it. Sometimes when we get up on a "hill" (an area that is slightly higher in elevation) I swear you can see the bend in the earth. Its like looking out over the ocean.
The sunsets and sunrises are to die for. So much color! And in the evening, when the sun sets, I swear the sun quadruples in size! I don't know how it all works but Im very serious when I say that it looks exponentially bigger when it is setting.  Im always awed by it.
When we had the missionaries over the first time it was in the dead of winter when all we saw was snow. One of the missionaries told us that he was so excited for spring because in the spring it looks like the "sky is battling" I wasn't sure what he meant until this happened...

Do you see how awesome those clouds are?! Its kind of intimidating to walk outside to that but its like art up in the sky! Its hard to get a picture that does it justice but believe me when I say it is quiet impressive.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

This and That

I have been off my groove on the blogging thing lately. Ill be honest. Its strictly laziness that has caused the lack of posts. This is my attempt to catch up in form of pics and few words, on the little things that have been happening.
As previously posted AnDee has become a rider of bikes. She is incredibly coordinated and is a pro. We go on lots of walks and bike rides lately so she can show off her new skills. Pep takes his little balance bike and is getting pretty skilled. He can even ride with his feet propped up on the bar all while zig-zagging back and forth down the sidewalk. We talked a little about getting him a new big boy bike too but he told us that he already had a bike and that he didn't need a new one because he likes his bike because its black and old.

Joseph has discovered the joy of tree climbing.

AnDee has got some good play time in with one of her besties

Isaac has become a hipster and started eating entire giant apples

and toilet paper.....
Ok so this kid has a really weird obsession with toilet paper. And I may or may not let him just eat it as long as its only tiny pieces. I know its gross but its like a never ending battle. Sometimes he will walk up to me with a little piece and offer it to me for me to eat. When I refuse he always pops it in his mouth like I just made his day by not making him share his candy. I hope he grows out of this.

We made shields out of card board and tin-foil. And then we had battles using moms kitchen spoons as swords.
 We have finally started meeting neighbors and making new friends.
The boy got a hair cut
The girl has started (what her mom deems) a bad habit. (Halo at 4 should not be an option)

And the monkey is learning how to help clean up.
 He is also starting to use a few words. His favorites are "uh oh!" and "Ba-ba". He is addicted to the bottle. He can be in full on melt down/fit throwing mode and if you simply say the words "Do you want a baba?" he automatically starts laughing. Its hilarious.
He is currently in the process of getting one front tooth and 4 (yes 4!!) molars. The poor kid is oozing boogers and is totally miserable. However he is a champ and still manages to put on a happy face most of the time. He also spends a lot of time like this
cause you can't feel the pain when you are asleep.

Things are fairly busy, as they are for most people. Mom is still trying to stick with the running thing and running 6 miles doesn't seem SO bad anymore. Her friends are trying to talk her in to a marathon... ha! When 6 miles seems hard, 26 seems impossible.
Dad went on a little trip to Utah for a few days to go camping and he is rocking things at work and really seems to like it.
We are sure blessed to have such awesome kids and amazing people that love us and support us. We are excited to head to Utah in a few weeks but super sad that we have to leave dad behind for the first little while. Im not sure how we are gonna cope with that. AnDee has already shed many tears over this and moms not fairing much better.... a month isn't TOO long to take off from work, is it? ;)


We had our very first visitors come to stay with us! (our first since the weekend we moved in anyway)
Grandma Pam and Gayle got to say with us for 5 whole days and it was a party! We mostly just hung out at home because its still pretty hard for Gayle to get around after having surgery on her knee and having a knee that is still struggling after her last surgery.
We did go to the park and took them out to Choo Choo Johny's though. They also got to watch AnDee show off at gymnastics but mostly we just played and played and played... and ate Lou Malnati's cause its incredibly delicious.
Pam and Gayle were awesome. They cooked, they cleaned (despite my objections) AND they watched the kids so Andrew and I could go on a date. The first date we have been on since we moved here 5 months ago. It was a blast having them and we were all pretty unhappy about them having to go home. On the bright side, we will be able to see them in Utah in just a few short weeks!
So here is our 5 days with two of our favorite people in the world in pictures:

 We played at the park.

 We made sidewalk paint and then sprayed it with vinegar because it had a baking soda base so it made it "bubbly"

Pep got a new bike and Grandma duct taped blocks to the peddles cause he was too short to reach them. Then she had to duct tape his feet to the blocks cause they kept slipping off.

We read books, and watched Frozen and helped Grandma work

 We modeled our new swimming suites... and Grandmas boots

We baked... and then ate the food we baked (which was incredible! Orange Cream-Sicle cupcakes and cotton candy cookies!)

We played blocks and dress up and paper-rock-scissors

and last but not least, mom and dad went on a real life date! (and yes... that is Dick Tracey behind us.)

It was so fun to have visitors! Especially these two rockin' ladies!