Saturday, August 30, 2008

Navy Pier 2008

Ah!  It has taken me forever to get all these picture uploaded!  Going back to school didn't make it any easier.  We have been crazy busy.  Before we went back to school Chad and I took a day to go downtown to Navy Pier.  It had been a long time since we had been there and we had tickets for the Tall Ship Windy so it was a perfect reason to go.  Here we are driving into the city!

We did the Amazing Chicago's Funhouse Maze...and it was really weird and not very cool.  I guess kids might like it, but it was kind of strange.  They were trying to mix the funhouse idea with Chicago history and it just ended up being really cheesy.  At least we know not it's not worth the money!

We were excited to be able to go on the Tall Ship Windy.  The Tall Ship Windy is a really really really big sailboat.  As a passenger you get to help raise and lower the sails and shout out commands from the captain.  It was a fun interactive ride but also nice and relaxing.  

I volunteered myself to help raise the sails...and then I realized it wasn't such an easy job!

After our boat ride, we were hungry and headed in to Cappi's.  This is the same restaurant we ate at when we got engaged.  We just had to go back.  The food was just as good as we remembered.  

We walked up to the gardens and fountains.  This place is always pretty.

And, of course, we had to ride the ferris wheel!  I took this shot from the bottom of the wheel.  I thought it turned out pretty cool.  I may have to print this one out and find a place for it on a wall here at home somewhere.  

Chad really wanted to ride the swings so we strapped ourselves in.  It sounds like a tame ride, but this baby went fast!  I started to get kind of scared after a while.  This is definitely worth the money!

After we left Navy Pier we made a stop at Sports Authority to look around.  

Chad found Michael Jordan's handprints.  Very cool.

Since we were downtown and right down the street from Ed Debevic's I begged Chad to go.  I love Ed Debevic's.  It is one of my favorite places to go.  We got our run hats and ate dessert before heading back home.

The Lightning Thief

Most Recently Read Book:

The Lightning Thief

By Rick Riordan

This was a very unique book about Percy Jackson, a boy who is a demigod, which means that his father is a Greek god and his mother is a human/mortal.  Percy finds out he is a demigod and then sets of on a crazy adventure with his two friends where they encounter many mythological creatures and even take a trip into the Underworld.  This is definitely a young a book but very fun!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Stand Tall

Most Recently Read Book:

Stand Tall

By Joan Bauer

This book was a short read about a boy named Tree whose parents get divorced.  He struggles with his parents divorce, but also has to deal with his grandfather, who has a prosthetic leg, a flood that destroys his dad's house and most of their town, and his lack of skills as a basketball player despite being really tall.  It was a nice story about getting through tough times.  Definitely an easy read but I think there are a lot of elements a young adult might be able to relate to.  

Jordan at the Park

The other night we drove over to the park at the neighborhood next to us on our way to the grocery store.  Jordan had fun climbing and going on the slides, the swing, and in the sandbox.  Of course, he had sand all over him after that...boys!

Happy Birthday Guise!

As crazy as it was, we came back from camping, took a short rest, and then were off to celebrate Guise's birthday!  We all met up at her favorite Chinese buffet.  Happy birthday, Guise!

Look at these proud grandmas!  My mom has Jordan and Guise has my cousin, Silvia's, son, Alex.  They had fun running around the room we were in and chowing on Chinese food!

Ella's Deli 2008

We decided that we will make our Blackhawk Lake camping trip an annual expedition.  I think that we have to make the stop at Ella's Deli on the way home an annual tradition, too!  We stopped there on the way home two years ago and ever since I have been dreaming of the ice cream I had there!  I was so happy to have another cone of peanut butter cookie dough.  Yum!  I can't wait to go back already.  We did have a light lunch before our ice cream, which is very good, too.  And this time we rode the carousel.  We had Jordan as an excuse.  He had fun going around on the carousel.  He's just too cute!

Inside the restaurant there are tons of mechanical toys flying and spinning all over the place.  It's kind of hard to see, but it is really cool.  Jordan liked the fish the best.  

The carousel was the second best part (after the ice cream).  It was only $0.75 to ride and if you rode with Jordan you were free so we totally took advantage and rode a few times.  

It's so sad that our trip to Ella's is over.  Chad thinks I'm a little crazy when it comes to ice cream, but, seriously, it's the best.  If you are ever in the Madison area you have to make a stop at Ella's!  

The Journal of Patrick Seamus Flaherty

Most Recently Read Book:

The Journal of Patrick Seamus Flaherty

By Ellen Emerson White

I bought this book at a book fair because I will have a student this year who is really into "strategy and tactics" which is about war and decisions people make in wars.  This book is about a soldier in Vietnam, which I thought was interesting because my dad fought in Vietnam.  I know it is such a controversial war and I have heard stories but it was neat to read from the perspective of a soldier in the middle of one of the main battles of the Vietnam War.  I had never read books from the My Name is America/Dear America series but I really like the first person perspective.  I think it would be neat to read other books like this about other time periods.  I think it is a great way for kids to really learn about history.  The books are written by various well-known authors.  Very cool.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Blackhawk Lake 2008

We survived camping at Blackhawk Lake again!  The last time we were there was almost exactly two years ago and we stayed in the cabins.  This year we stayed in tents...and with a one-year-old, but we did great!  It rained the first night we were there but was cleared up by the time we woke up.  When we got there we went out on Eric's (my brother's) new pontoon boat!  It was really nice.  We all fit comfortably, no question.  Jordan loved being out on the boat!  We went for a swim before going back for dinner.  

Jordan was able to drive the boat with Uncle Eric...with Papa Jack looking on for good measure! 

My mom and I were able to relax a little bit!

Jane was excited to spend time with Jordan.

We relaxed Saturday morning before we headed out on the boat.  Chad and I got in some Speedminton.  Here's Papa playing card with Wyatt.  

Chad also got to play some football!

And, here's Jacquie and Joe reading the Twilight saga!  Woo hoo!

Then it was time to head to the boat again.  It turned into a beautiful, sunny day.  I was dying to get in the water and cool off.  Everyone had fun jumping off the boat.  Even Jordan!

From the left: Me, Jordan, Chad (up high), Joe, Papa, and Jacquie. 

Here's Jordan in his cool floaty raft.  He loved being in the water.  He splashed and floated along.  

Jane even got in the water!

We tried to do some "laps" so we could work off all the food we ate! 

Me and my hubby!

Jacquie and Joe.

Grandma and Papa Jack.

Jordan's cousins, Wyatt and Sawyer, tried to do some fishing.  We never really slowed down enough to catch anything.  Sawyer loved playing with the worms, though!

Jordan really had a blast being on this camping trip.  He loved the water and the boat most of all but he also loved just being out on the campsite and wandering around.  He played on Sawyer's motorized tractor and ran around finding rocks and getting dirty.  I think it was boy heaven.  Look how comfy he looks here hanging out with Wyatt and Papa Jack.  This is what camping is all about!

And so our camping story ends!  Sunday morning we packed up camp and headed home.  Papa Jack and Jane went to visit some family in Stockton so we loaded up the Freestyle with Chad, Jordan, Grandma, Jacquie, Joe, and me.  It was pretty tight in there but we had a fun trip home.  I'll save that for another post though!

Goodbye to our humble mesh abode...until next year!