Thursday, July 30, 2009

A new adventure

Today is my run around the house doing 8 million things day...we are leaving for the weekend tomorrow for a trip to the zoo with my family and then a family reunion for Brian's family so I have a huge list of things to get done. I told Bri before I left how guilty I hope I DONT feel when I keep the kids in the house all day and pray they stay entertained.

Anyway- at 8:45AM we hear all this rumbling outside and realize the city is oiling and chipping all the side streets and they are on CHARTER street! We spent the next half hour on the front steps observing, discussing, and waving to the city workers keeping our street nice.

Here is a dump truck putting gravel into the gravel distribution machine while it moves down the street.
Alaric and Amara watch in silence...well- not Alaric- he never stopped talking about the trucks.
Here is the oil machine- it drops the hot tar on the ground and makes big hot sizzling clouds as it does it.

Alaric and Amara walk to the sidewalk to see the trucks move down the road and to see the compressor trucks ( Alaric told me the name) move up and down the street pushing down the gravel.

It was a nice break to a busy morning!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rachel's Shower and Bachelorette Party

My best friend, Rachel's wedding shower and bachelorette party were this past weekend. Here she is entering the shower location, Butterfly Sushi Restaurant in Chicago!

Here is the invitation and a picture of she and I ( we used pics of friends and family as centerpieces)

Here are the organizers with Rachel~on the left sisters ( and bridesmaids) Sarah and Jessica. On the right, BFs Jenny and me!
Each plate that came out to serve the 25 guests was beautiful!

Hubbyy-to-be, Todd stopped by to help load gifts into the car!

After the shower, we headed to Hotel Blake for the bachelorette party, We had an INCREDIBLE suite with an amazing view. We spent the next few hours drinking Kunapolitians ( her new last name will be Kuna), eating delicious desserts, opening personal gifts, and dancing!

Me and two of my BFs, Jenny and Alicia....yes, I have numerous best friends- 4 actually and I feel incredibly honored and proud to have such incredible women in my life!

The group!
Rachel opening gifts! This is my favorite picture of the night- SO Happy, so in love, and surrounded by her best friends who love her!

We surprised her with a stretch limo that sat all 25 of us!

She was overjoyed!

The five of us here sat on a raised seating area, then there was a platform for people to get in and out, and then a long stretch of seats. The platform became Rachel's dance floor as we listened to Erin;s special playlist for the night and screamed and danced the whole way to the bar!

Dee, Kat, Jill, and me at Lasalle Power Company!

What a wonderful night! It was a perfect day for Rachel! Congrats Rach-we has so much fun spoiling you and celebrating your love for Todd!

Here is a video from back at the hotel of my friend, Dee- our dancer friend who will break out into a rountine anytime you ask!

Santa Claus came to town!!!!

On a hot Friday in July, just 5 months before the actual Christmas- Santa arrived in Dowtown Monticello to greet the kids, hear what they wanted for Christmas, and be sure they were being nice children.

We had a blast. Here are Alaric and his girlfriend, Alyssa!

Alaric has a long conversation with Santa about what he umbrella, a fire extinguisher, etc.

Then we played ELF BOWLING! You got three tries to get as many balls down as you could- really far away! Alaric knocked down 8 pins!!!
Our neighbors came too along with other friends and we had so much fun seeing Santa, bowling, and eating lots of DQ and hanging out on the square.
Silvia, Stella, and their daddy, Matt try bowling.Even Cara and I told Santa what we want!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cookie's Galore

Today we made cookies...lots and lots of cookies. Alaric, Alyssa, and Hannah were the makers today. Our make three massive baches of Chris Fulton's famous chocolate chip cookies! Who would get these cookies...the residents at the TIMES homeless shelter in Champaign ( through a service project my church is doing this Sunday). Don't worry, we ate PLENTY!!!

Here Alyssa and Hannah are ready to go.

Alaric too! I had everything premeasured before we began. Thank GOD my mom came out to help and spend some time with the kids! While I instucted the little ones on each step, Amara stood at me heels and screamed...constantly for most of the morning. If I put her down at all-which you must while making cookies- she screamed bloody murder.

Alyssa mixes her dough. Did I tell her Amara had the poops today- oh yes...10 times before noon. So- we washed our hands probably a dozen times while making cookies and I had to wash mine a dozwn more with the poops!

Grammy helps everyone pour in the vanilla. Did I mention Amara has a fever. Yeah- 101.5 WITH tylonol

Everyone was a trooper. Making the balls and then nibbling in between was the most fun.

Grammy and Alaric work together!

The kids played outside and came in ever 8 minutes in shifts with my mom and I as leaders to switch out trays, etc and man the kids outside and hold Amara.
The kids are down, I'm on my second load of dishes and I'm praying for a less hectic afternoon. I Oh wait...It's Christmas in July in Monticello and Santa will be on the square tonight!!!
I told my mom today- it would have been easier to have baked all these cookies myself during naptime but I want these kids to have these fun experiences, I want them to get dirty, I want them to give the things they make to those who don't have them. It was stressful and poor Amara was hurting but we got it done, the kids had a blast- and I'm ready for a nap!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Here comes the brides!

So you all know my neighbor June who is AMAZING...well she outdid herself today. She asked just the middle girls in the neighborhood over today for a special project- Hannah and Katlyn.

In honor of the Fulton wedding, summertime, the kids imaginations, and these wonderful paperdoll books she got for each of them- she chose a wedding theme for today.

The two girls went over and made their own veils, corsages, and baskets AND designed their own wedding cakes. They are absolutely beautiful!!!! I had so much fun peaking out my bedroom window and watching them all on the portch today bent over the table with there glueguns and fabric creating these masterpieces- they really are something!

Here is Hannah!

And Katlyn!

And them both with their Just Married signs! They each got a book with tons of paperdolls-including a bride and group as a special gift to take home. Thanks June for spoiling our kids! We love you!

Children's Museum of Illinois-Part II

Brian had Tuesday off so we headed with our neighbors to Decatur to the Children's Museum
We had all been here before together in March but Mara is now walking so it was a much different experience. Here she is working on the car with Alaric and Alyssa

There were a few new exhibits, including this one on Lincoln. Brian had never been to the museum before so everything was really exciting to him.

Mara enjoyed working the wheels.

Another new exhibit was a virtual reality project where you can see yourself playing basketball...that's me in the black top and pink pants, and Hannah holding Amara next to me.
Alyssa loved riding the bike and seeing how her skeleton moved

Brian and Hannah enjoy a game of checkers in Lincoln's log cabin

Amara goes though the drive through at the bank and Becca takes her money.
Exploring at the water table is fun for everyone
Nobody had more fun in the bubble exhibit than seriously. he kept asking the kids to go back to it and finally took Mara to go play by himself.
What a great day!

Friends Forever

Sunday night after our anniversary party weekend, I met my 3 best friends from highschool for dinner at Olive Garden...from left...Arin Seaman Cox, me, Lacie Pierce Douglas, and Jill Van Matre.

The reason why these friends are so dear to me and I know they will be my friends forever is because we can go months or even a year without seeing each other and it's as if no time has passed at all...we pick up where we left off, we talk about our lives our jobs, and our families, and we just enjoy each other. I wish everyone had more friends like these.

Thanks girls for being such incredible friends and incredible women-even if we don't get to see each other very often! Love you!

Step on over to my garden party

When Brian's mom was with us last week, our good friends, The Germans, invited us over to their house for a garden craft party.

Here Chris is making a pinecone birdfeeder with Alaric

Alaric works hard to paint his birdhouse his favorite color, GREEN!

Everyone begins work on the stepping stones.

Alaric put his handprint in and then decorated with shells, rocks, and stones. Some of the stones were even glow in the dark!
Mara tried to be a big kid and do what everyone else did however she was best just sitting back and relaxing.
Alaric's is on the right. Amara's is on the left. i did the stones and we tried a footprint in the middle.
Then came the bouncehouse...even Amara got to jump!
Thanks Germans for all your hard work to make a special memory for our kids!