Sunday, November 13, 2011


This year Ella competed in our town’s pageant.  We supported her because of the fun she would have, the friends she would make and the confidence she would gain.
They did a group dance.

Casual wear modeling and an interview.20110806--2

Formal wear modeling.20110806--4

Ella did not win.  And that’s totally OK.  She had fun, made new friends and gained more confidence and had a very good new experience.

Friday, November 11, 2011


This summer, Miles did a soccer camp through our park district.  He has done this program several times now and has the hang of it.



Coach Billy is one of a kind.  He is so energetic and loves the kids.  He also loves soccer.   He is truly a gluten for punishment as he lets the kids dress him up in whatever they bring in on one day and on this particular day he let them bring in water guns.  He even gave good ideas of how to get him truly soaked.  Hence the cooler full of water to reload super soakers.20110805--320110805--4

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Yes, I know, way to late for fourth of July posts, but I’m catching up.  Here is the 3rd generation from a group of friends that include Jason’s parents.  What a bunch of cuties.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Summer Birthdays

June 27 was Miles’ 6th Birthday.  We surprised him with several family members waiting for him at the movie theater to see Cars 2 in 3D.
I made the birthday boy a pineapple upside-down cake at his request.  He’s not a fan of frosting.  (He certainly doesn’t get this from me).
Miles' 6th Brithday Party - Family Edition
I really like his photo.  As my sister-in-law said, it really shows us for who we are since it isn’t too posey and w are all pretty relaxed and being ourselves.
Jason put up a swing on our big 100+ year old oak tree in our back yard.  After I taught the kids how to do “the spider”, they then had to show their Uncle John how it is done.
Miles' 6th Brithday Party - Family Edition
Miles also had a kid party.  Jason make a big homemade slip n slide with plastic tarp and pool noodles.  Here is Miles behind his frosted cake.  Frosting?  Yuck!
Miles' 6th Brithday Party - Kid Edition

The other two in our family with summer birthdays are my new sister-in-law Kris and me.  We met at Long Grove, IL in a nice Italian restaurant for lunch.  Getting together for each others’ birthdays is a very nice way to spend some family time.
After lunch Jason, the kids and I walked around the shopping area of Long Grove.  The last store we walked into was a furniture store.  And what do you know, they had the bedroom set of our dreams there!  It was also, amazingly, a good price and very good quality.  So we went home and thought about it (not for long) and decided to go for it.  We just got the furniture shipped a couple of weeks ago and LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  I’ll have to take pics soon.  Of course, now I see that we “need” some new lamps to go on our night stands.  Ha ha!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Spring Catch-Up

If anyone is interested, here are a few photos from some of our highlights from Spring 2011.
Each of our kids went on a weekend campout separately with their dad and I took the other out for a special treat.  Tea at Infini-tea in Antioch.
I actually had no idea that Miles would want to go out for tea with me, but he let me know that he wanted to and we had a very nice time.

Jason and I have been to several shows over the years at the Fireside Dinner Theater in Ft. Atkinson, WI. 
When I saw that Annie was playing, we made the trip up for the kids’ first show there.

We spent Mother’s Day at the Botanic Garden.  My two biggest blessings…

Ella had her dance recitals (she was in two).  It was also my “last” (I hope it is not my last forever) recitals as a teacher before taking time off to go to school and study.  I had 3 classes in the recitals.  It was a  blast.

Jazz Costume

Ballet Costume

Ella bridged from Daisy Scouts to Brownies.

My dear friend Lisa  was in town from Dallas.  It had been WAY too long since I last saw her!  I picked her up at the airport and we went out to dinner at one of my favorite spots in the city “Pars Cove” on Diversey.  She’s still as sweet and gorgeous as ever.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sunday, July 31, 2011

So, there was this wedding back in March…

…where, like, my brother and his new wife Kris got married.  And somehow I never got around to posting anything about it until now.  So please, sit back and enjoy…

Church in Glenview, Illinois.  Reminded my husband and I a bit of the church where we got married.



Slippery staircase outside caused the bride to fall just before she had to walk down the aisle.  Bet you couldn’t tell her pain from the first two photos.


Ella and Miles in the wedding.


Wedding party support crew minus my husband who is taking the photo.

From left to right: Abra (Kris the bride’s sister-in-law), Matt (Kris’ brother), Pam (Kris and John’s friend and matchmaker) and me, the sister of the groom.  Photographer (also in the wedding party) is Jason (brother-in-law of the groom).




A group shot of the Whiteaker side of the family.  At least those who had not gone home yet the day after the wedding.


The wedding was beautiful and meaningful to so many of us.  Our entire little family of 4 was honored, privileged and tickled to death to all be a part of this wonderful occasion.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Kindergarten Grad

On Friday, June 3, 2011, our son Miles graduated from Kindergarten.  Even though the children were instructed to keep a serious face, Miles couldn’t help but let a smile break through a little.


Before the ceremony, I threw a little party at our house for family.

Here is a little appetizer I learned how to make from a friend recently.  Very simple – a brick of cream cheese, covered with soy sauce, sprinkled with sesame seeds and served with rice crackers (from Trader Joe’s).  In the background on the left is the corner of baked brie with cranberries (wrapped in puff pastry).  It was a frozen left-over from my sister-in-law’s bridal shower.


For Jason, I made this bean salsa and served it with whole grain tortilla chips.


Here are some sandwich wraps, little cocktail breads with deviled ham/cream cheese/green onion spread, topped with craisins and in the back strawberry cookie tarts.


Miles managed to goof around in silence during the ceremony.


He received the “Most Improved Reader/Academic” and the “Word Whiz” (spelling) awards.


We are so proud.  And I’m even proud that he can be a bit of a clown.  He has a huge personality and loves to make others laugh.  What a guy!



Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Spring in Lake Geneva

A couple of weeks ago we went camping up in Lake Geneva, WI.  This is the area where I will be going to school in the fall.  Lake Geneva is a beautiful place.  Here are just a few several pictures I took on a bike ride. 

I took this one for the blue heron there in the back (do you see it?)


OK, I zoomed in and cropped.  See it?


We discovered that, indeed, the kids can go on long bike rides with the family as of this Spring!


I just loved the texture in this one.


In addition to nature, many home there provide plenty of eye candy.  This home was really pretty with it’s detail.  It is hard to see here, but the trim around the roofs adds a lot of character to this one.


Lots of pretty landscaping.


This quaint “little” house was for sale!  Close up, I realized it needed a lot of work, but still.  Worth the work if you’ve got the time and the money!


I totally love this church and wonder if/when I’ll get tired photographing it.






The kids.  This is really the most I got of the lake (Lake Geneva).


Because Lake Geneva is a bit north of us, their trees and flowers tend to blossom a bit later than ours.  Great for us to catch!


We took a path along the lake that backed up to some very large houses.  Future note: this path is NOT good at all for bikes, even when you are walking them.


Exhibit A:  Not too shabby…




Um… yeah…


Very pleasant on the eyes, even if hard to maneuver with bikes.


Just another sampling.


Miles made a lot of wishes that weekend.  I hope they all come true!!


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