Sunday, July 22, 2012

Line 'em Up!

For some reason C fascinates himself with creating lines of objects.  And for some reason I enjoy taking pictures of these creations.

Chess pieces stand at attention at Grandpa's house.

bumper to bumper hallway traffic jam.

 This photo was taken two months later, and M joined in the line up game.

Lately he has taken to lining up Lego trains and seeing how many he can link together without them coming apart from their own weight when he pulls them.  Photo to come, but need an opportunity to take one!


A Stint of Soccer

We signed M up for Sharkey's Soccer with the Urbana Park District last fall.  Of course they are always short-handed for coaches so I agreed to coach her team.  Boy did I underestimate what that involved!  Anyway, it was very fun and I enjoyed not only teaching M beginning soccer skills, but also getting to know many of the other kids and parents on our team. Overall it was fun - and I never want to do it again!

M warms up on the sidelines

M kicks and runs!

Circling up for a team talk!

The sun sets over the goal on my short stint as a soccer coach.  Maybe M will want to play this fall...time will tell!

If anyone is interested, I wrote detailed plans for each of our practices, as well as a weekly newsletter that went home to parents, I'm willing to share these with anyone, just let me know!


Decatur, Baby!

We traveled to Decatur with bestie A and J.  We ran the Shoreline Classic 5k race, me with two kids in a running stroller - in the pouring rain.  It was miserable - it was fun!  Afterwards we enjoyed a trip to Scovill Zoo in a very light but bearable drizzle.

M proudly displays her race medal.

Our whole race crew!

M riding on the Scovill Zoo carousel.

C enjoys his carousel ride!

The coolest thing about the zoo is that they allow some animals (birds mostly) to roam free! here are two peacocks traipsing along our path.

M is one with the red pandas

The petting area had sweet baby goats.  Here is M enjoying a pet.

C says Moooo.  M says E-I-E-I-O.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Gone Fishin'

My friend O came by to visit.  She is passionate about fish and she passes her love of fish onto my kids through fishing poles, fish toys, and fun fishing experiences!

We fished at Crystal Lake Park and it couldn't have been easier!  Both kids caught (and released) three fish!

Proud fishermen:

"There is certainly something in angling that tends to produce a serenity of the mind."  
~Washington Irving


Beep Beep Jeep Jeep

 "I'll return home later than they, as I'll not travel so fast
While I drink in nature's glory, not just a blur moving past.
And they'll smirk as I return - dirty, tired and tanned,
Then I think, "It's a Jeep thing, you wouldn't understand." 

by Anonymous

Order In the Streets
Switch on. 
Jeep rushes 
to the scene 
of riot. 
Jeep goes 
in all directions 
by mystery action..." 
by Donald Justice

Friday, July 20, 2012

Exploring Our Town

We had not been to see the new Boneyard Second Street Detention Project by Scott Park.  After are usual Saturday morning trip to the Market at the Square with Uncle M, we stopped by the Boneyard to check it out.  It is pretty amazing how aesthetically pleasing the new fountains and walkways can be.   The sounds of the trickling streams and bubbling fountains were soothing and serene.


Road Trip: Indiana Bound

Last year we planned a trip to visit Aunt K in Bloomington, Indiana.  A short drive away is Brown County, well known for its amazing natural views.  We stayed at the Brown County State Park Abe Martin Lodge, which has a new aquatic center within the facility.  Amazing.  What a wonderful place to spend a weekend.  And of course lovely visits with Aunt K, well worth the trip!

Checking in at the Lodge.

M swimming at the Abe Martin Lodge aquatic center.  They even had life guards on duty at a hotel pool!

C trying out the water spray feature.  There was a lazy river, a water slide, zero depth entry!

Another cool feature is this old wildfire watch tower that is not converted into a scenic viewing tower.  The kids climbed all the way to the top in open fresh air!

C climbing the tower.

Pic of the kids with the tower in the background.

With Aunt K, we spent a few hours at the WonderLab Museum in Bloomington.  C spent most of his time playing with this contraption, which is a system of tracks and simple machines that move colored golf balls throughout the machine and children can control where the balls go.  He was enthralled.

 M is creating very large bubbles!

That's a bubble too!

We also spent several hours at the Bloomington Park District Bryan Park Pool, which reminded me fondly of the old Crystal Lake Pool I grew up at.

With Aunt K we grilled out dinner on Saturday night and watched a movie.  It was great to spend some quality time in her neck of the woods!


Modeling Careers

My kids were very lucky to get to have a professional photography session with Heidi Doroghazi.   She did amazing things with my kids.  We spent an hour exploring Meadowbrook Park with her and her camera.  She's also a lovely person (and so patient with my whiny children!) and goes to my church - if you are in the market for photos, check out her website!


Camp Out!

This post is a photo documentary of the kids' first camping trip in June 2011 along with a eight of our good friends.  We camped in the overflow campground (way nicer, grassier and less crowded than the regular camp sites) at the Middle Fork River Forest Preserve.

Load up!

First stop - playground and picnic! C goes weeeee.

M shows off her climbing skills.  Approved.

This camping trip will forever be remembered by all as year of the 13-year cicadas.  They were everywhere.  In the air, in the trees, in the grass, climbing up our pant legs...And the noise was deafening at times (luckily it died down at night time). 

This little bugger joined us during our craft.

M, C, M, A and E making spotting scope crafts!

C demonstrating his spotting scope.


Seeing what there is to see at the lake.

Setting up camp!

Scruffy, A and M enjoying a cuddle in the camp chair.

Tickle & tackle with A, F, M, and C.

We borrowed the Puppets Loan Box from the Nature Center again! Puppets are so great!

And with that we settled in for a nice evening and dinner around the fire.


C's typical breakfast fare.

It was a surprisingly chilly morning for mid-June!

We renamed her Babushka.

Group pic!  Say "CAMPING!"