Tuesday, June 5, 2018

June 2018 - Spring Has Sprung!

Well, June is here. Spring has sprung and it feels like summer out there.  The family has been so busy.  Take a look!


We had a nice visit with PawPaw at Chik-Fil-A to start the spring off right. Grandma came along too (though she isn't pictured).  I love taking every opportunity I can to have these kiddos connect with them.


Lovie, the Kid and I went to the Bloomington Children's museum one Saturday, where we reconnected with some of my high school friends and their kiddos.  It was a Dad's trip, and was well done all around.




The family took a trip to the Dells, courtesy of Poppi and Gigi.  We stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge - as you can tell, it was a good time had by all.


Spring wouldn't be official without fires over at neighbor Mark's house - made complete with a taste of summer to come :D



J. Scott continues to grow like a weed.  Look at this boy!  He's standing tall and looking out the window.  Crawling (army and regular) and starting to babble around his single tooth.  He's a cute one.  Takes after his Dad.


The Kid Genius and I made a trip up to Chicago this weekend.  Our first stop was the aquarium.  He wasn't that impressed honestly.  The beluga whales were fun, and he laughed at the seal doing tricks.  But I think his favorite part was a cookie on the patio that looks out at the skyline.


Pina colada in a pineapple?!  Whaaaaat?!


We took a short stroll around the city after checking in at the hotel - we found a fun little patisserie.  Well of course we had to stop for a treat, its obvious.


This is probably my favorite picture from the weekend.  He had every bit of exuberance and optimism that this picture seems to convey.


"Daddy, will you take my picture by the fountains please?"  Why yes, son, I will.


The next day we walked all the way from North State, across the river and down to the Willis Tower.  Along the way we saw some interesting city sights.  It was a hot one, and shade was appreciated where it could be found.



The Kid wasn't afraid of the glass at all.  And he loved seeing the world as it appears from Google-Maps.


Buckingham Fountain!


The Bean!


The Kid!  It was a fun trip, and he seemed to appreciate it.  Though by the end he was done walking, and asked if we could drive around next time.  Sorry kiddo, that ain't the way it works in the big city.  Though maybe a limo tour?


Lovie didn't get to come along, but she was happy when we got back.


Over this past weekend I took my yearly trip to open the cabin.  I can't believe I didn't get any other cabin pictures - probably because our weather was atrocious.  But I managed to snap this one of the boys enjoying the ride up.  8 hours in the car isn't as bad when you can talk nerd-shop-talk the whole time.


And while we had lots of chores to do, we got to have a little fun as well.  We even hit up the Gordon Rifle Range.  My friend Oslo got a chance to sling 8 rounds down range and was a natural.  8/8 on target, with MAYBE an 8" cluster.  Very impressive.  Bad-Guy-Bob (the target sheet) didn't make it home that day.

That is all for now, more to come as summer gets underway.

Stay Healthy!
"The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you.
The LORD lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace."

Numbers 6:24-26









Monday, April 9, 2018

April 2018 - It has been a while!


Hello everyone.  My apologies for the long time between the update.  Life seems to get ever busier.  As the children transform and grow we become more and more absorbed into our family life.  Here are the highlights from around Christmas 2017 through now!


The Kid, Lovie, and Baber can be seen posing for their Christmas photo.  Sled courtesy of Gigi!


This was our Christmas Card photo this year (I think).  Poor Baber - he looks less than enthusiastic.

We got to get together with Gampa Butch and Gamma Janet as well - it was fun to see my stepbrothers Nick and Andrew - as well as their families.  I don't get to see those boys often enough.  As well - my niece "Rufflebutt" was there too (far left, back row).  


A chance for Great-Grandpa to see Jonathan.

- ~ -

While the above photos tell the tale well enough - the children are growing well.  The Kid continues to flourish at his Montessori school.  His brain is truly amazing.  Without exaggeration I can say that he has memorized 90%+ of the streets in Peoria IL - he knows every right, left, forward, back, highway and bi-way.  He's our little GPS.


He's also a total punk!  Check out his right hand.  See that?  Yeah he got me too!



Winter weather hasn't stopped our hikes!


Our nearly weekly tradition of heading to Hardee's before school hearkens back to my childhood, when The Kid's namesake would take me to Hardee's for breakfast.


Oh Lovie-Loo.  You are my heart.  I love my boys - but you are something special.  She turned 2 this winter - a feat she was very proud of.  Any any excuse to enjoy some "Aye-Peam" (ice cream) and "Cayke" (cake) is appreciated.


Here she is with one of her favorite stuffed animals - her "Buckey" (monkey).  Picture included as it highlights her personality quite well.


This little girl got to experience her first "'Oh" (snow) - and loves to make "ohbawls" (snowballs) and "ohmayn" (snowmen).  


"Finger Peets!" (Finger paints) have been a favorite lately.


Look who got a new tricycle for her birthday!


She is my best snuggle buddy!


It hasn't been all fun though.  Lovie had a run in with what seems to either be a cyclic fever or recurrent upper respiratory infections.   Poor thing had to have blood drawn, TWICE, and get a chest x-ray.  No worries, everything came out normal - but it was NOT a fun ride for Lovie.



The kiddos love to play together - and what joy it brings when they play peacefully together.  Grandma Polly sent a wonderful gift - a house that can be colored on!


When you're toting a 3-kid circus, Steak-n-Shake is fine dining, let me tell you.


Last but not least is J-Scott!  Or "Baber" as we have come to call him.  Baber has quite the personality let me tell you. He is all smiles, almost all day - and quite the charmer.  Chinch is thrilled that he has taken so well to breastfeeding.  And as you can tell from those cheeks, this kid ain't missing a meal.


I am the naps master!


Sure - he's not constructing elaborate lake houses and train-neighborhoods. But he can lego with the older kids in his own way.


Didn't I say that I was the naps master?!


Chinch and I have found some time together too, thanks to Poppi and Gigi's handy babysitting service.  Here you can see us at the site of our engagement - almost (we realized) 12 years to the day we were engaged.

In March we took a trip down to sunny FL to see the sights, my mother, my grandmother, and the beach!  Poppi and Gigi came with.  We did VRBO for the first time and loved it!


Abbe's Donut Nook was a must-try for this family.  "Mmm mmm Eelicious" (as Lovie would say).


Grandma Polly was as smitten with Lovie Loo as everyone usually is.  She sees a lot of herself in Lovie I think.


Chinch loves the beach!

Baber was less impressed.


This was The Kid's second trip to the Gulf.  And just like last time, he had to get in.


Lovie Loo was a bit more reserved.

I love this woman.  She is the greatest reason that I am who I am today. I see so much of my graceful Grandmother, my formidable Grandfather, and myself in her.  Thank you Ma.



The Kid Genius - at it again, with his first completed game of Scrabble (at 5 years old).


And finally (for the family at least) was Easter Sunday.  Lovie-Loo gets 2 pictures, because she's so flippin cute.

As for my personal projects - well they are humming along.  We have started our second Arcannan Campaign - this one set in the desert nation of Al-Qatan.  A big change of theme for the group, who seems to be making the adjustment well.


Jonesy!  Got to have a dinner with this guy when he was in town.  A must-include for the blog!

Well that is all for now - hopefully it won't be so long before my next post.  But in all honesty it might.  So much to do.  And so precious little time.

Stay Healthy everyone, and God Bless.

"But He answered and said "It is written, ''MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD'"

Matthew 4:4 - NASB