Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Chicago Land

We just finished a fantastic weekend in Chicago with my sister and her fabulous boyfriend, Mike. They endured all of our stuff, and entertained us fully. We arrived Thursday at noon after an all night driving trip. Beau was surprised with a trip to the White Sox game with her summer camp kids and his aunt. He really wanted to go for the hot dogs. He enjoyed his time there. Then Friday we got up early and made our way to Six Flags Great America. Anna hated her first roller coaster, THE DEMON, but rebounded later in the day and went on the Whizzer three times. Luke loved the Whizzer and was super disappointed not to be big enough for the other coasters. beau loved them all but his favorite was the Demon because he learned that the Demon used to be his dad's favorite. Ben wasn't able to come with us this trip and it was pretty obvious that Beau missed him terribly that day. Thankfully Mike, Sarah's boyfriend, stepped in and rode everything Beau wanted to with him. Thanks Mike we really appreciated your kindness. The kids also really enjoyed the waterpark. Anna and I did the tube rides, and Beau and I did the tubes and some race body slides. It was a lot of fun, but man did it wear us all out.
The next day we slept in and then did a little shopping on Michigan Ave. When I was in high school that was a huge trip for me so doing with the kids with my sister (who does it all the time) was a bit surreal. Anna's birthday treat was a trip to the American Girl Doll Place where she was allowed to pick a doll. She chose Rebecca and her kittens and thoroughly enjoyed her trip there. Then we took the boys to the Lego Store, Beau was fascinated by all of it. Luke was asleep until Beau woke him up and showed him where we were, I've never seen him wake up so fast.
After Lego we headed back to Mike's where we ate the biggest Chicago style pizza I've ever seen. I opted for a stuffed grilled chicken pizza and loved it. We also made a trip up to the roof of Mike's condo complex and enjoyed a gorgeous sunset. Sunday we enjoyed a great dinner for Sarah's birthday at an Italian restaraunt in downtown with Mike's parents. It was extremely enjoyable and the kids behaved really well (at least that's my opinion). The kids got to ride in two taxi's and thought that was the coolest thing ever. Thanks Mike and Sarah for a fun-filled weekend.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

24 Hours Later

We left yesterday morning around 10:30. We travelled across five states, and we have finally landed here in Chicago. We will stay here for a few days before continuing on our journey to Michigan. We got here a little earlier than expected so Beau was able to attend a summer camp outing with his Aunt Sarah. They went to a Cubs game, not that he knew what or who the Cubs were but the fact that they served hot dogs and he got to be with his aunt was enough to persuade him to go. It is strange to be missing one child, but it is quieter here than it would be, and I need some rest so I am thankful. Luke and Anna are adjusting to the long trip. We didn't stop other than to eat or potty so they are laying upside down on chairs at Aunt Sarah's and just enjoying not being strapped in while they zone out in front of PBS. They slept but not as much as normal. I'll post pictures when I get some sleep and take some. Can't wait to share more of our adventures. Tomorrow is Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor waterpark. WOOHOO!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fishing with Dad

It would be a far stretch to call Ben a fisherman, but when Beau asked him to fish with him he readily agreed. They didn't catch anything, but I think they both enjoyed the time together.

4th of July Camping

We went camping for a couple nights for the long weekend with some great friends. My children were pleasant and got up before 7 on both mornings, so while the rest of the camp slept and Ben and I started breakfast, mine went down to the sand and played. This way they didn't wake up the rest of the kids and adults, I wanted them to remain our friends. We had so much fun and went from dawn to dusk (or way past midnight for the adults). The kids swam, fished, played in the sand and on the paddle boat, sat by the fire, ate til they could eat no more and enjoyed being outside. Fireworks were the highlight of the weekend thanks to our friends Kraig and Melissa, Beau talks about them nonstop. It was a great trip and we can't wait to do it again next year. We are now on the lookout for a small pop-up camper that will make things a little easier then just tenting it.

Just for clarification, Luke is not looking at her butt in this picture he is watching her play with the fire poker.
Here he is examining his ladybugs, although Ben thought if he had a flower he was saying "she loves me, she loves me not" because his little friend Bridgette kept sitting next to him and then getting up over and over. It was cute with them both in the chair but she never sat long enough for me to grab the camera.
Ben in the middle of a story.
Beau doing his most favorite thing at camp, snacking.

Swim lessons

The kids had a lot of fun during swimming lessons last week. Beau didn't seem to pay attention most of the time, but had fun and learned a little nonetheless. Anna did great, learned a lot and moved up to the next level. Luke finally got in the pool on day 6 and by day 10 was jumping in and going down the slide to his instructor. They are ready to go swim in Michigan with Aunt Liz and Uncle Sean.

Can you see the top of Luke's head under the water?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Congratulations Ben!!! We are very proud of you. Ben promoted to Lt. Commander in the Public Health Service today. His first two promotions were in the Army and there was always a big ceremony and a huge deal made. However, now it is a more personal thing. There is no pinning ceremony and no party afterward, it is just pride and self-fulfillment that we are celebrating today. As an 04 more opportunities will become available in the next 5 years and with continued learning Ben will be able to find a job he truly loves. Getting out of the Army was a huge life-changing decision that Ben made a year and a half ago, but he made it for all the right reasons. His priority in life is his family, and I couldn't be more thankful to have him by my side everyday raising our children. He is a great father and the kids have blossomed into self-confident, eager, happy little people having him come home every night at 5. The changes I've seen in them are more than the confirmation I needed to know that he had made the right choice. So there may be no ceremony and no one will really know that his status has changed, but the people that matter know, and his kids are becoming better people because of the choices he's made. Thank you Ben we are proud of you and we love you.