Monday, December 16, 2013

Two teenagers!

Happy Birthday to Sammy.  We had a great get away weekend to celebrate her thirteenth birthday.  We went to Milwaukee.  We visited the Discovery Center which is AWESOME!  If you are in the area, check it out.  There was a fantastic Les Paul - House of Sound exhibit that we spent over an hour in.  What a create genius he was.  We enjoyed exploring sounds with everything the museum had in the exhibit.  The kids were playing on all kinds of modified and tricked out instruments including old video games.  Cool Cool Cool!   Maisie flew a flight simulator and we explored Great Lake Shipwrecks.  We also visited to Pabst Mansion which was beautifully decorated for the holidays.  The best part of the weekend?  Ordering in Dominoes at the hotel while the kids swam the night away in a hotel pool.  Thirteen is great!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Out and About

Well as I look at the blog I realize I haven't updated it in a few months.  Sorry, I have no idea where the time has gone.  We have been busy but no busier than any other family, we'll put blogging back on our to do list! 

The kids had no school this weekend so we went to a corn maze out near DeKalb, IL.  When I say "we" I mean the kids, their friends, Jenny Montgomery and I.  John wanted nothing to do with this adventure! In his defense it was a step below chaos but we all loved it and this is truly the best weekend I have had with the kids in a long long time.  I am thankful for the gift of it.   It is farm country about half an hour west of here and I love it.  It is beautiful.  The corn maze was pretty cool - about 10 acres and a challenge to navigate.  The kids were much better at navigating than Jenny and me. I think the fact that they ran and found the challenge hilarious while Jenny and I were more worried about getting out before night fell and the coyotes came made a huge difference.  She and I used a map and it took us a little over an hour, they used no map and just ran around trial and error until they got out and the beat us.  The fact that they sent Samuel and Katie back in to find us since they were worried kind of says it all.   Here are a few pics although they don't do the day justice, it was a blast!

 Of course the kids would NEVER want Maisie to be the one who would have to be beheaded....

 Eight kids holding still and looking toward the camera is a lot harder to do than you think!
 Sammy smiling while being buried in a corn silo - guess she doesn't know......

A few weeks ago we went to the Shedd Aquarium on a Friday that the kids had off.  It was a fun family day and was beautiful weather.  We were happy to back in the city for a day.  The skyline was perfect and we even found an hourly spot to park on the peninsula which if you have ever been to the peninsula know, this rarely happens.  Here are Maisie's pics.  Sam's upload will be a separate post.

Thanks Maisie for being a great photographer!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Sam has made good time of being home in the kitchen again - here is her latest project in the kitchen - Butterfly cupcakes - the butterflies are melted chocolate wafers that she formed on waxpaper and popped out.  If you want to try to make them yourself you can watch her tutorial at Adorable Inc - it will be on in a few days.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Camp 4U (or me)

What would a trip to NY be without a trip to Camp 4U with the Stanek Family?  It was a great way to kick off our vacation and we had such a good time seeing everyone that we haven't seen since our last trip to camp.  The kids all agree with me.  If it was possible to stop time this is where we would do it.  There is never enough time for all of the fun, love, and smiles we share here.  Thanks to all of our relatives who headed out for the day, we should have taken more pictures to capture the fun.  Thank you Mary Ann for your generosity in sharing Camp with us!

 Captain Iza and her ship of fools...

There are those that are willing to swim off the dock and those that aren't.  Those that are are the people who don't mind sinking in muck up to their shins, having seaweed wrap around their legs, and the humiliation of getting dragged out of the water by their lifevest.  Maisie as you can see LOVES jumping off the dock.  Well, as we are all getting used to saying around her "whatever floats your boat"....

Sammy spend a huge amount of time fishing and was pulling the fish out seconds after putting the hook in the water.  She even caught a few fish with nothing but a shiny hook.  Go figure!!  Must have been her new good luck hat.

More Fun!

Here are some more pictures of the fun we had on vacation.  I am already looking forward to the planning of another year, EVEN after a 20 hour drive home!

 Planning session for the new business launched by the girls "Adorable Inc" - check it out on the web @

Boating on the Lake

We rented a boat for the day and toured Lake George, the kids swam, and tubed.  They all had a lot of fun but Jack and Sam's tubing pictures are best!