Saturday, April 27, 2013

Illinois Marathon

Since I couldn't run this year, I got to be a spectator and loved that too!  The kids, Brian's parents, and I headed to Memorial Stadium to watch Brian, his sister, and her two friends complete the marathon relay!  What fun!
 They did great!
 Afterwards, the kids play in the inflatable zone and loved bouncing and sliding and face planting...over and over and over!

 Now these look like great recovery drinks!  

Friday, April 26, 2013


If you couldn't understand the gibberish title, its us all screaming "ice cream man!!!!" and running to the road. Its what happens every year and this is no different!  We could hear the truck.  We all came out onto our porches.  We listened.  We waited.  We wondered if it was coming out way.  We heard it again.  We ran inside to get money.  The music was gone.  Where was it.  The adults, just as excited as the kids, spoke about directions and which way it could have gone.  We sent the highschooler on foot to check it out.  We sent the kids to the backyard to look down Market Street.

And then, as if the man knew we were waiting for him, we heard him!  He turned on our street!!!!!  So exciting to have icecream from the icecream man!
 Pretty sure Brian's parents thought we were insane but that's OK!  I'd have it no other way...the ice cream man is worth it!  Oh, how we missed you Ice Cream man!


On our way back from a garage sale today, we stopped in a pasture by Allerton Park to watch the cows.  We just pulled over on the side of the road and let the kids out of their seats and watched.  For a long time.  We observed the brand new babies and the mamas caring for them.  We watched them find their way to the creek for water and back to the pasture to eat.  We watched the daddy cow watching over . We heard them communicate with each other.  I loved watching the kids watch the cows.  So still and quiet.  So eager to learn and to know.  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Jenn's Sprinkle

What do you do when your friend is pregnant with her fourth child and doesn't need a shower since she has everything already?  You give her a SPRINKLE instead.  A night dedicated just to her, nothing baby!  

We all arrived to watch to surprise her and watch her kids while she got ready to go.
 A sparkling grape juice toast to start the night!
 Champagne for us!
 We headed to a painting studio to paint and eat and drink and be together!
 We all love baby Lilllian already and can't wait to meet her!  
 We listened to great music, painted, and chatted with friends!

 Look how cool they all turned out!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tacky Tuesday

Today is Tacky Tuesday at Little Sages.  Mara picked this out all on her own!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

2nd Annual North Charter Street Prom!

This year our theme was 50's sockhop but we encourage everyone to come in whatever they wish....regular clothes or from a different era.  This year was amazing and once again our friends rose to the occasion and not only embraced the theme but had a blast doing it!

My hot date!
 These cool studs!
 Lovely ladies!
 Rocking the poodle skirts and slick hair!
 He bought me a corsage!
 The Millers fully embraced the dress up thing too! Check out lots of our friends and their creative costumes- LOVE IT!!!

 Um yes....of course we had a bounce house in the front yard!
 Colleen brought her cotton candy maker!!  HUGE HIT!
 Love my neighborhood girls ( we missed you Danielle)


 Late night snacks!
Next year will be OUT OF THIS WORLD!!!!  ( hint on the theme)

The day we met

11 years ago today I met the man of my dreams and my whole world changed!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Harvest Moon Drive In Honors Alaric

We were overwhelmed to read this today on Harvest Moon's Drive In Page

In the midst of the tragedy of yesterday's Boston Marathon Bombing, we feel it is only appropriate to show that there is still hope for the future in the form of our children. The next generation will help to heal our hearts with stories like this:

This picture is of Alaric Fulton, one of the brightest and most generous 7 year old's I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. The goofy guy on the right is Me, the Harvest Moon's Manager, Ben Harroun. We took the picture below a couple weekends ago when the Fulton Family came out to enjoy a movie, and gave us an amazing gift: a $500 donation to help keep the drive in open. Each gift comes with a story, and this one is one of the best of what humanity can offer. Please read on for Alaric's story:

Alaric was born 7 weeks early and was in the NICU at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago for 26 days. The following March ( His father and and mother also have birthdays within 10 days of their son), they decided to DO something to give back instead of asking for gifts. Katie(his mother) said: "We were so grateful for the care our son received while at Northwestern, specifically in the NICU and were so overwhelmed by the love and support from their staff since the birth was a surprise and we had only planned on being in Chicago for the weekend, not for a month ( since we lived in Monticello), we decided that from that point on we would adopt a service project for our birthday. Our first one that year was raising money for the Northwestern Memorial NICU and social services to say thank you for saving our son and supporting us. We raised more than $1000. Every year since, we each adopt a service project. When the kids were really small, we chose one from them ( usually somehow associated with the theme for their parties) but when our kids turned 3, they got to decide on their own. We decide if we will make things, collect items, or collect money and we talk over and over about what the needs are and how just one little boy, or one small family can make such a huge impact in the lives of others.

This year, our son Alaric chose two service projects. He wanted one to go along with his theme of karate so at the party, the children will be making ninja headbands. One for themselves as a favor and at least one to give to brighten the day of a child at St. Jude's Children's Hospital- a place near and dear to our hearts. When Alaric heard about Harvest Moon closing, he said, " I can give money! I don't want it to close!" He has his own money each week he sets aside to "Give" but he said "my friends don't want it to close either. Can we give money at my birthday?" And an idea was born.

All said, Alaric and his friends raised a total of $500 to donate to the Harvest Moon. As an added bonus, Neal Tire and Auto has agreed to match his contribution equally, and sent an additional check for $500 to the Harvest Moon to help make the facility upgrades we are working on a reality. Alaric, his family, and Neal Tire and Auto have gone above and beyond all expectations to show what you can accomplish with a will, some determination and a big heart.

I think that Katie(Alaric's mom) said it best with this message:

"We give because we want to and we support causes that are important to our family. Spreading the word to others is an added bonus. We hope it inspires others to do the same and to reach out to people and organizations in their community, but also is a special treat to show our children that the more you give, truly the more you receive."

Not only has the Fulton family touched Neal Tire and Auto, but they have touched us as well. We will be launching our new 'Support the Drive In' donation campaign this week. This campaign will be used to raise funds to pay off the new equipment, and to help us upgrade the facility to bring more entertainment, joy, and memories to our patrons.
But this is not enough; After being effected by the generosity of the Fulton family, we will be donating 30% of all the donations we raise this summer with our 'Support the Drive In' campaign to the St. Jude's Children's Hospital. It is an organization we have supported in the past, and wish to continue to support. The organization is the one bringing hope to the next generation, the children that will lead us to a better future with acts such as this.

Please read and share/like this story so that the whole world will know how much one little boy's birthday wish can make a difference.

Thank you!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Rock Climbing

Alaric has a birthday party coming up later this month and its  rock climbing party.  he often becomes very overwhelmed and frustrated by new physical challenges and we wanted to be sure he had a chance to succeed, without frustration or emotion.  So, often times that means we get to try things together as a family before hand!  It was great.  My feet wouldn't allow me to participate but I captured the fun on camera for everyone else.  Alaric did really great!  Its hard work!  This is stuff the college kids were doing right next to our kids.  But he didn't give up!
 His sister flew through....she has no fear so she was able to just climb and climb!
 And simply hang when she needed a break!  Brian climbed too!
 He'll tell you how incredibly difficult it is and intimidating too.
 Overall, if was a really fun experience.  And Bubba was able to get enough experience to feel confident at the party!