Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Very CPK Thanksgiving

Due to incompatible holiday weekend schedules, we did not get together with extended family for Thanksgiving.  But we did meet up on Sunday with my parents, my brother and his fiancĂ© at California Pizza Kitchen.  My parents hadn’t seen the kids since August!   It is hard to believe our school and activity schedule has been so crazy that we haven’t gone to see anyone for a while!  Anyway, I think a good time was had by all.  We certainly stayed there long after we were done eating!

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Sorry Mom!  (She doesn’t like having her picture taken).

Just Us

Two days and the day before Thanksgiving I made up our meal.  I hadn’t planned on it, but we changed our minds and decided to have traditional Thanksgiving fare.  And just so you know, Thanksgiving food reheats really well.

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It was a great stress-free family day.  I was Thankful for the opportunity to serve others, to serve my family and to end the day with a feeling of peace.  I think the rest of the family felt it too.

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Serving Those Who Serve Us

I have wanted to serve those who otherwise wouldn’t have a Thanksgiving Day feast for quite a while.  I always imagined doing this at a soup kitchen in the city (Chicago), but last year we heard of a wonderful opportunity to do something similar very close to our home.  So we signed up to serve.  The turnout was huge - almost 200 Navy servicemen and a few homeless as well.  It was our privilege to serve these young (very young) men who have committed to serving and protecting us.  I tried my best to make sure everyone at my table had what they wanted.  It was a pleasure to wait on them.  They were very polite and respectful.

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Miles wished each man a Happy Thanksgiving and made a few friends.

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People behind the scenes have very important jobs too.

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I hope that my family will always have giving hearts.

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(Miles has taken to giving this goofy smirk during pictures!)

A Day Out on the Town

Both kids had the week of Thanksgiving off, so on Tuesday I took them down to Chicago for a day of museums.  There are three museums in extreme close proximity in the city, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium.  On Tuesdays both the aquarium and planetarium are free.

I didn’t take any indoor pics (besides in the cafeteria) because it was so so dark.


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Telescopes on the perimeter of the cafeteria at the planetarium were of a great deal of interest to Ella and Miles.

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On the steps of the aquarium.

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In front of the Chicago skyline right outside of the planetarium. 

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wherever you are, whatever you do, may the blessings of Thanksgiving be with you.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dance Dance Dance

Ella loves to dance.  I have no idea where she gets this from. ;-)  We now have her in TWO recital classes, Ballet/Tap and Jazz/Hip Hop.  She was in cheerleading this fall and insists that she wants to do poms next year.  Not that she didn’t love cheer.  And not that she wasn’t a good cheerleader.  She just knows she will like poms better.  I think she is right.


A few weeks back we enrolled her in a Pom Clinic at the “other” high school in our town (Grayslake North – we live in an area that feeds into Grayslake Central, the older school).  Last week we got an email inviting her back to perform with the others at the clinic at a competition at the school on Sunday.  Considering she learned the routine a few weeks back and they had only a brief time to review it that day, I don’t think she is that terrible…  If you don’t know what she looks like, she is wearing black pants and has her blond hair in a ponytail.  Enjoy!

Here is the other dance that they did at the clinic.  This one is from the actual day of the clinic.

Later that day (this past Sunday) we went to a very cold and wet Super Bowl game for the little league football that Ella cheers for.  It was officially her last game.  I can’t even find her in this group!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Cheap Art

As usual, I’ve been moving things around in the house.  Hey, what can I say, it’s free redecorating!  Since I moved my sewing machine up to the guest room, I hadn’t moved my “Red Thread” (by Modern Art Everyday) print from the basement up to the guest room until recently and realized I’d really like another print to go next to it.  That week I saw a photo of a sewing room on a blog where someone had framed some fabric which I recognized (otherwise I wouldn’t have known it was actually fabric).  I knew right away what I’d do.  I’d pull out one of my favorite scraps (meant for a bib, but oh well) and frame IT!  I knew it was in the right color family.  So why not enjoy it everday.  I bought the frame with matte included, at Walmart for a good price.  Viola, there you have it.


Here it is next to Red Thread.  Please forgive the sewing mess, I’m working on finishing up some slipcovers made from a drop cloth.  I’ll show you them when I’m done!


Monday, November 8, 2010

Sweet Things

A few weeks ago I stopped by a garage sale in our neighborhood.  She had some pretty embroidered linens.  I could not resist this pillowcase for Ella’s room.  It has the perfect colors and such delicate handiwork.  How often can you find something like this anymore?


Today was an amazingly beautiful day.  66 degrees for the beginning of November.  Not too shabby! 

I felt the best I have in weeks, though not 100%.  I’m going to the doctor on Wednesday to see if she recommends any testing.  Some issues seem a bit troublesome and just being sick for so long is not preferable either.

On another note, as much as I was worried about taking an online class, I have been really enjoying my online Statistics class.  I thought I’d miss that classroom time.  But really, for math, I think I’m better without it.  I can read the text and practice problems on my own.  And honestly, taking a test at home alone in peace and quiet (when kids are at school) is much easier for me than sitting in a class with others under the buzzing fluorescent lights and (to me) a greater feeling of pressure.  That being said, I took my 3rd Exam today for this class and got another 100%!  It was the toughest exam yet and I was prepared to not have a perfect score, but boy was I shocked and pleasantly surprised.  1 big project, 1 smaller assignment, a bunch of intermediate homework and 1 more exam and I’ll be done.  Hmmm, still sounds like a lot to me!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pumpkins and Treats

Caution, post is photo heavy.  Mainly for family.

Here Miles still has a 5 o’clock shadow.  He was pretty creeped out about putting his hands in the pumpkin guts.  So we didn’t torture him with that for too long.

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Ella’s pumpkin had the thickest shell ever.

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On Saturday we went to Downtown Grayslake business Trick or Treating.  An example of how our large town can feel like a small town.

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An example of Mile’s rapper pose.

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Getting ready to Trick or Treat on Sunday.

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With Uncle John and “Almost Aunt” Kris.

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We went to a LOT of houses.  Even THEY got tired.

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As for my health.  Not good.  Stomach flu Sunday night.  All night.  As in laid on the bathroom floor all night.  Now, still having respiratory problems.

It’s becoming the normal.  And I don’t like this normal.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I love a Parade

Parade numero uno:

Children’s Corner Montessori Kindergarten

Miles had a princess on each arm.

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How to get the whole class to smile at once?  I’ll never know.

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Cute little pirate man.

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Parade Numero Dos:

Woodview Elementary School

Ella - next to her teacher, both were butterflies!

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I came in to help with the party.  After making the rotten apple punch, I manned (or womanned) the cat cookie making station.  Here is Ella with her creation.

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My cute butterfly and pirate!

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