Sunday, April 26, 2009

Chicago's got a waterfall! . . . sort of

So someone at work told me about this really cool Forest Preserve pretty close to our house that's got some pretty neat trails, so I went to check it out this weekend and jogged around it. Turned out it was so cool, I took Brooklyn and Naomi to it the next day!

I had never seen anything like these forest preserves before moving out to Chicago, but they're pretty cool places. Dupage County (where we live) has a whole bunch of them spread out all over the place, mostly just big plots of land where home developers aren't allowed to touch. They're anything but "pristine and untouched" plots of nature, but I suppose I am living in one of America's largest Metropolis areas, so I'll take what I can get.

Anyway, on a map of the park, there was this huge star next to a big circle that was labled "Waterfall Glen". Apparently these falls are a pretty big deal. I found out that it's a man-made waterfall, and was built by the CCC back in the 1930's. (this is the same organization that built the Lake Bonneville trail that runs along the foothills of the mountains in Utah, of which I have frequented many times). The falls are a big enough deal that this entire park is named after them! So Naomi, Brooklyn and I took a Sunday afternoon walk and went to see them.

Coming from the Mountains of Utah, this waterfall MAY look tiny and of little consequence, but after being here for 3 months, we were simply happy to get even this much of "nature" into our system . . . even if it is man-made.


Brooklyn's favorite thing to do on walks: gather sticks. She actually carried these all the way to the car, all the way home, and even halfway to our apartment, at which point they were discarded to make room in her hand for some sweet looking rocks. Seriously...you should have seen those rocks!

Ah yes, we practice this face in the mirror. This was after we were both totally soaked!

Semi-peacefull environment!

The only reason I'm holding Brooklyn's hand is because she kept wanting to dive face-first into the water. She succeeded at this several times before Dad wised up and kept a leash on her! Oh, and this girl is rediculously good at making friends with strangers.
-sniff- I'm so proud of that girl, I couldn't keep her out of the water!
She kept picking up rocks and throwing them back in the water. It was actually pretty fun.
Take a look at Naomi's good lookin' haircut! OOhwee, she's hot stuff!

Before the secret got out and it got so crowded! It was an AWESOME Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Just Because I Could...

I chopped off all my hair! And it was awesome!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Projects, Spring, and a Crazy Baby!

Recently our downstairs neighbor started doing a little spring cleaning before he moves out at the end of the month. He's about 87 years old and hates to throw things away so he's been giving all his stuff to us. We don't like to throw things away either so, naturally, we fixed his stuff so it would work for us. Here are a few pictures of the things we made this last month:

These are some pillows I made for our couch out of an old sheet and an old skirt.

Kevin planted some blueberries on our deck. They look like twigs in dirt right now but hopefully you'll be able to tell that they're alive pretty soon.

This is one of the things our neighbor gave us. It was painted gold when he brought it over, but Kevin did some work on it and now it looks like a beautiful antique.

Our neighbor also gave us this ugly lamp. I cut out all the electric stuff and turned it into a vase. I'm not sure the proportions are right just yet so I might have to make the hole bigger and get some thicker, taller, reeds.

These vases from our neighbor use to have fruit painted all over them that matched the painting on the left (that he also gave us). The big one was orange and the little one was green. I painted them both black and then gave them a winter tree and bamboo painting instead.

In some other news...It is finally looking like SPRING here!!! Here are some pictures I took of the view outside our bedroom window:



Last but not least, what fun would our blog be with out some videos of Brooklyn. This first video was taken while Kevin and I were watching "Chuck" and eating dinner. Brooklyn was supposed to be eating too...

video

Ever since Brooklyn started walking she has been afraid of the bathtub. I think its because she always wants to stand up and move around while she is bathing but then she slips and it scares her. This video was taken while I was trying to bathe her. I had just put her in the water when Kevin started recording. The video is quite mild compared the the fit she threw when I started using soap!

video

Friday, April 17, 2009

Easter Sunday (part 2 of Easter in Michigan)

I tried to add these to the last post but couldn't figure it out. Then I tried to add it as a slide show to this post but it wouldn't show up. So I just added the pictures one at a time so you'll have to work to see them all. Happy Scrolling!

These are the pictures we took of the cousins in their Easter clothes. Most are of Wes and Brooklyn because it was a little cold outside for Sydney and the ones we have of them together are a little crazy since it is impossible to make three kids smile at the same time, but we did our best!
















Easter in Michigan!

This year, even though we were far away from most of our relatives, Kevin, Brooklyn and I were able to travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan to spend Easter with Brian, Natalie, Wes, and Sydney! Woohoo!

We got in late on Friday and chatted a little before heading off to bed. On Saturday we got up early and had an amazing breakfast (created with the combined efforts of both Brian and Natalie). Then we went to the mall with the kids to a free petting zoo. It was small but the kids still loved it!After the petting zoo, we headed back to the clubhouse by the Hanks home and participated in an Easter egg hunt, a pizza luncheon, and then hung out with the Easter Bunny himself! Brooklyn thought he was great and I was surprised that she wasn't scared of him. During the Easter egg hunt she found 2 eggs by herself and then was given 2 from a little girl who had clobbered her earlier and felt bad about it.


After some naps, Kevin and Brian took the kids to the park behind the house and taught Brooklyn how to play basketball. The kids also were able to run out their energy, play with big dogs, and swing like superman!

You can see in this picture that Brooklyn plays basket ball exactly like her mom...too bad!


Here is Brian teaching Brooklyn the finer skills of being a basket ball player.
I think Brooklyn really looks like superman in this picture! Wes is looking pretty buff himself! Who else do you know that can swing and carry a train at the same time?!

Other parts of the trip included dying Easter eggs (all of which were smashed within 5 minutes after they dried), opening Easter baskets, touring Brian's school (and getting AWESOME souvenirs complementary of Brian), shopping with Natalie, and eating some of the BEST food I've ever had in my life!

On Sunday morning before we left, we were able to get a few pictures of the little cousins all dressed in their Easter best! I tried to load a slide show but it didn't work, so I'll try to add it next. Well, we had a blast with the Michigan Hanks Family and are SUPER glad that they live close enough to play with us! Thanks again guys for a terrific Easter weekend! We love you!