Monday, April 20, 2015

The Great Staycationn 2015

Last Tuesday, Frank left work at noon, beginning The Great Staycation 2015. This was the first time Frank has ever taken a few consecutive days off with nothing planned, so it was an epic event.

Tuesday afternoon, we went to the ISU Men's baseball game vs. the University of Illinois Unbeknownst to us, they were holding a pack-the-place event, and the game had a record high attendance of over 1900 people.

The kids liked it, but it's hard to keep their attention at something like that, so we headed out for dinner.  Our choice that night was the Market Grille inside our newly-opened HyVee where kids ate free at a special "Knee-High Buffet."

How weird is is that we were essentially eating inside a grocery store?  And how much weirder is it that we really liked it?!

On Wednesday, Frank took Jacob to school and picked him up.  That's one of those things that I've been doing several times a week for two years now, so I don't think it's exciting, but both Frank and Jacob thought it was pretty cool for dad to go through the drop off lane this time.

Thursday afternoon brought awesome weather, so we were outside playing, biking, and gardening for hours.  Around 4:30, our neighbor texted and asked us to come hang out.  They were outside as well, and within an hour, we had added more adults and kids to the mix.  The kids had a great time riding bikes and rollerbades and playing with sidewalk chalk.  We were able  to meet one of our newer neighbors, and thoroughly enjoyed talking, sipping wine, and watching the kids play.  Before we all disbanded, we decided that "Driveway Sitting" should be a weekly Friday evening event in our neighborhood!

Friday was the day we had planned to go to Scovill Children's Zoo in Decatur.  The weather was perfection in the high 70s/low 80's by the time we arrived in the late morning.

This zoo had a children's area where the kids could pet goats, chickens, and sheep.  They just had some new baby goats born, and they were adorable!  Neither of my kids wanted to pet them, though.

We continued looking at (and posing with) the animals.  That dang white peacock dive-bombed me about two seconds after that picture was taken!

The highlight of the zoo was definitely the train ride.

Who doesn't love a train ride?!

Cartie looooves train rides!

We then spent a while playing at the park attached to the zoo. Different parks are always a hit.

That evening, in keeping with the "Food Frank Likes" theme for the week (We also had homemade pizza and Chinese), I we had grilled steak, mac and cheese, and kale salad.  Oh, and ice cream sandwiches.

Can't forget the ice cream sandwiches.

Our Saturday was also spent outside.  Running, walking, biking, gardening.  Lots of dirt-digging. The adults didn't even shower until late afternoon!

The Great Staycation 2015 was a roaring success! We soaked up every bit of sunshine and had a great time doing everything and nothing all at once.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Spring Things

Kindergarten Registration 

Mama is simultaneously thrilled and saddened by this one.  Jacob is all thrilled, :)

Our First Outdoor Lunch of the Season

Because everything is better when you can eat outside!

A Zoo Trip

Carter refused to take off his sunglasses that day, even indoors.  He wasn't so sure about the meerkat, either.

The Return of Shadow's Little Friends

And by "little friends," I mean her arch nemesis, the bunnies, whom she follows all around the backyard, moving from window to window.  Quite the hunter she is.  (Except she would have no idea what to do if she caught one!)

Celebrating an Early Easter

The kids were choosing some treats with Grandma!

Lunch at Giant City Lodge

It was a fun time, but it would have been more fun if a certain two-year old wasn't acting like a... well, like a two-year old.  (As I was typing this, he looked at the picture, gave me a big smile and said, "I know that day. I wasn't behavin'!)

A Little Shirtless Guitar-Playing

(In his Paw Patrol pj bottoms, no less!))

Laughing at My Sad-Faced Shark

So this headband with a shark fin came in a kids meal, and Frank put it on Carter.  Apparently, he didn't want it on because his bottom lip came out in his trademark "sad face." He does "sad face" when he wants sympathy.  Poor little shark...

Beautiful, Chilly Sunsets

I can't wait to see the first shoots of green corn popping up in that field.  I love the fall here, but I love the spring, too.

Random Acts of Kindness

I went to college with a girl named Amber, who passed away a few months ago from triple-negative breast cancer.  Her husband maintains a Facebook site where people are encouraged to do random acts of kindness in her memory.  April 1 would have been her birthday, so on that day, the kids and I filled treat bags with balloons, along with a tag explaining Amber's website, and passed them out to the kids in our neighborhood.

Happy Spring!