Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Lion King

Mom and Dad Collin treated us all to the Lion King down in the theater district in Chicago. It was truly an incredible show and experience. The innovative combination of animatronics and pupettering produced some memorable animal characters. The girls loved it and the older folks were entertained throughout. Highly recommend this one if you ever get the opportunity.

Ada on the way - kind of funny because everyone else is walking the other way ... but we got it figured out.

At the .... theater - not sure which one we were at. We were in the third balcony but had a good view of everything and it was really neat how they had two percussionist perched up in the first balcony. Great venue.

From our seats towards the stage.

Ada joined in.

Obligatory selfie leaving the venue - still in Manila mode in this element of life.

Family Swim Day

Evan swims at Tabor College in Kansas where my cousin Nate is his coach. They had a meet at Wheaton so I and the girls trained in to Wheaton and the Indiana clan all showed up as well. Great to see the extended family and especially see Evan swim. Also got to see the old stomping grounds after quite a few years absence - quite a few changes indeed at the college and downtown Wheaton.

Girls with cousin Evan. He swam his personal best in al his meets. 

Girls on the front lawn of Wheaton with Blanchard Hall in the backdrop.

From the step of the Billy Graham Center looking north to the front lawn.

In the "cloud room" at the BGC.

Cool mural on the side of a business off of College Ave across from one of the dumps I lived in whilst at Wheaton. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Chicago First Snow Surprise!

 We were surprised the other day with an accurate weather forecast! The folks in the know stated that the western suburbs could expect up to 10 inches of snow while Chicago and other burbs, only miles away would barely get a bit more than a dusting. Friday eve the flakes were big and wet and Saturday morn we had several inches of wet heavy snow - perfect for a gianormous snowman. So I and the girls set to it and created Frosty Junior ( as named by the girls). Then the temp dropped and the snow kept coming dropping another 6 inches or so of a more powder type. Unfortunately it was still leaf season so I had 16 bags of leafs I had to store in the garage and another layer on the grass. Fortunately (or unfortunately) the snow melted and I had to rake up another gaggle of leaf bags.

Ada pretending to be a geography scholar - serious scholar pose.

Fun scholar pose!

Beginning of the snow storm.

After a few years snow free, the girls were fired up and ready - I think Emmerson is actually in her jammies .... 

Big ole giant flakes - piled up real fast.

Ada definitely in her jams - Alicia was not home ... downtown for the weekend at a work event. When its daddy and the girls they tend to push the limits with pajama time. 

Overnight the temp dropped considerably and the snow kept coming. The girls finally gave up their pajamas for some proper snow attire. They spent most of the day playing. It was actually a really pretty snow as the heavy wet snow stuck to everything and then the lighter powder snow stuck to the wet snow. All the trees were layered in frosting like snow - which I am sure gave all the homeowners a bit of a fright for downed branches ... 

Full on into it - girls by the end of the day. Love this one!

Frosty Junior - about 6 more inches piled on to FJ before the snow stopped. Notice all the leaves ... 

Frosty a few days later - heated up real good. 

And I had to rake up all the leaves I thought I could leave for the winter/spring to digest. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Tis the Season!

On the "Welcome to Elmhurst" sign it sates that they are the "tree city". So, yes, leaves play a significant role among the lives of the residents right about now. I did a massive rake last week and dutifully laid out on the curb all the leaf bags on Thursday night for a Friday morning pickup - our garbage day here in tree city. But they were left behind as of course in tree city they have a celebratory day when all the leaves get picked up. So after another massive rake today, I have got about 15 leaf bags which will have to wait until December 2, which is official leaf pick up day. Most likely by this time, my bags of leaves will be wet and perhaps frozen but hopefully the leaf picker upper guys will be in the spirit of the day and gather up my tree city leaves.

This was one of 8 gianormous piles of leaves that I left for the girls to participate in a bit of Americana. The neighbor girls joined in and eventually, American girl dolls were included and it was a solid afternoon.

Ada testing the pile. She was not sure if she could wear shorts as to the wetness of the leaves but I had raked the pile yesterday so it was adequately dry. The temperature is amazing, November 15 and full on in the 60's/70's. 

Emmerson landing after being in full flight into the pile. 

Touchdown Emmerosn.

Ada airborne - nice style points for Ada. 

Halloween Time!

Ada in her brideoffrankensteinzombieprincesswife costume.  This was at their school festival where they have all sorts of events and activities set up in each classroom and have lots of other things going on to raise money for this and that. Quite and impressive array of items up for the raffles.

Ada ready for some hoola hooping zombie princes fun.

Emmerson on the left in a really creepy "mysterious skeleton vampire something or other". Her new tree city friend is Sofi and I believe she was "death" ... nice feel good costumes all around. What ever happened to dressing as a hobo as I and all my friends did for years .. actually, in my now more adult socially just role as an educator, I realize/have been informed that being a "hobo" is taboo as the term relates to a period of US history when the down and out drifters were referred to this apparently derogatory name. 

Shiver .... scariest of halloween costumes - the American Girls Dolls. I have never been a fan of human recreations in the doll format. 

Ducky!!!! Oh , yes, Ducky is still very much alive and kicking minus a wing or two. Ada opted for the mummy costume for the Ducky this year!

Girls in the zone - we went back to our old neighborhood in Brookfield as the girls know more girls from there as to here. Brookfield is nice and densely populated old school bungalows so you can be very efficient with your trick or treating. 

They do this every year - solid commitment. 

And here we go ... one of my geo kids dressed head to toe in full on German leiderhosen fare.  He was dressed for Octoberfest which buts up nicely against Halloween. I love it when students pull of stuff like this. He is German but has lived in various parts of the world as his dad is a diplomat and is very involved in the German club at school. 

Po in a box!

Neko laying on top of Po in a box! Anything left on the floor they claim by laying in/on it. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Kitten Update

The kitties are getting big! And still quite rambunctious - then they crash, pretty much anywhere. Their latest is to lay down and claim anything we leave hanging around on the floor. This was their latest perch.


Chicago Time

I have a monthly pass as I am commuting to work again and the girls still ride free so a Saturday trip to Chicago is a fun little cost effective excursion. We typically head to Fast Trax, our favorite hot dog place and then meander around for a bit. One of my favorite things to do with the girls.

Big to do on one of the streets - looked like a gas leak.

Oh yeah, Chicago hot dogs. 

French fry fee for a year and 2 months ... 

Train theme as it is literally underneath the Greenline L.

Chillyoutside the Blohmer Chocolate factory. The whole area smells like roasting chocolate. My train goes by it everyday but I have never been. They have an outlet shop so we went and the girls got a few treats to warm them up. 


On the Chicago River.

Cool river scene - can see the curve in the building on the west bank (right) of the river.

Cool horses.