Tuesday, July 18, 2017

We're moving!

Look at her antlers! I facetimed Bailee Sunday and it was a surprise to see antlers. I mean I know she loves working at Badger and all but is this really necessary? Geez Bailee ;)  We get to see Bailee on Saturday. I'm so very excited! Brian and I decided to take a route to Oregon a little north so we'll be stopping at Mt. Rushmore (wahoo!) then we'll stay one night in Montana where Bailee will meet us and we'll give her Cali. We can only have two pets in the apartment and dogs are more work so we'll keep them. Julie has graciously accepted to take Cali for us. Bailee is very excited to have Cali close. She would take her if her apartment would allow it. We hope it's only for a short time so Julie and Larry don't hate us too bad for taking care of our cat.

Packers arrived bright and early Monday morning. The only safe place for awhile was the dining room. We have many spots throughout the house that has a sign "DO NOT PACK". Those spots are growing. I hope we have room for all we'll be taking with us.

A couple days ago the kids heard an advertisement for .59 short stack at IHOP on Tuesday. I told the kids to remind me and maybe we could go. When the movers left on Monday they said the kitchen was first to be packed. They really wanted to pack the kitchen on Monday but I convinced them to leave it one more day. Since I couldn't really make breakfast and have it cleaned up and all the dishes washed by 8 for the movers it worked out perfect to go out for breakfast. We were out the door a few minutes before 7 and made it back home before 8. Score!! IHOP was very empty at 7. It was nice. Our waitress asked us if we were there for the pancakes so she put in the order very quickly. We didn't even look at menus.

Boysenberry syrup... YUM!!
I added a $5 tip and we called it good. Such a great way to start the day!

last bucket list item

Our last "normal" week, last week, in Illinois and CJ was able to get his Harry Potter marathon in. He was soo looking forward to this. He didn't do it until Friday and all week long he kept telling us how many days till the marathon and he was almost giddy asking Karlee if she was excited too. He was up around 6:30 and the marathon started promptly as 7. Before it all began CJ asked if I would bring them their meals since they couldn't leave the basement. I agreed. Mason was stoked! He wanted his meals downstairs as well. I told him the only way that would happen is if he was actively watching before it was meal time. Mason is under the blue blanket in the bottom left corner of the picture. He ate breakfast down stairs.

Do you see the rack of clothes left of the TV? That's CJ's costumes for the marathon. He probably changed 2-3 times for each movie. He loved everything about this marathon. They finished around 2:15 in the morning. I went to bed around 11. Karlee fell asleep a few times but not for long periods. CJ made it though it all! I'm sure he'll do this again one day. Mason watched until mid morning then he went down again at 11 when I said it was bedtime. He was downstairs with them watching his own shows from his phone. He did not want to go to bed before them.

Then Saturday after more cleaning and organizing we had a respite at Otter Cove for the last time. Karlee and Carson had a blast together. They both love to swim. Mason was ready to go home long before the rest of us, as usual. But we all did the lazy river together a few times, we rode tubes down the yellow slide and even played volleyball. We will miss this park and rec district and their pools very much.

Saturday night while on my walk with the dogs, talking with Brian on the phone, I came across this lone deer. He wasn't spooked at all. It was a surprise.

Also this past week, Carson lost a tooth. He had an upper right molar that he noticed was loose on Wednesday. It kept bothering him so he pulled it out on Thursday morning. I think he's our only child that has pulled out his own teeth. :0)

Our first summer in Illinois Carson wanted to visit a new park every week. I never shared the last park we visited back in 2014 so I thought I'd share it now in our last summer here in St. Charles.

This is Island Park in Geneva.

 We had a picnic then the kids went and played in the water.

 Only late in the summer is anyone able to walk out to these rocks. The rest of the time the river is much higher.

The boys had a lot of fun.

 It's a beautiful park!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Happy Birthday McKinzie!!!

Our first born turned 26 today. It's so hard to believe we have a child this age. This past year has been more than she bargained for for sure. She has persevered and she is a stronger person because of it. Although, I know she'd go back to how it was early June 2016 in a heart beat... 

Our dear friend, Jennifer W reached out to me a few weeks ago asking for ideas McKinzie liked for a surprise birthday basket. I had no idea it would develop into a three layer cake, balloons, basket full of treats and party favors. Oh my! Jennifer and Jessica, she made the cake, are awesome! They truly saved the day for McKinzie. These last few months have been very difficult for her. Her best friends are getting a divorce and she has been pulled into the middle of it and rumors are flying everywhere. McKinzie didn't know who she could reach out to and who her friends were. Jennifer and her family are true friends. I'm so grateful for them!

McKinzie gave me all of Geoff's old jeans months ago to make into a blanket. I sat on the idea for awhile. About February I got to work putting this blanket together for McKinzie's birthday. She knew I had started but had no idea what it would look like or when I'd have it finished. 

I love how it turned out! This truly was a labor of love. See all those "triangles"? I had to roll up the blanket, pushing and pulling it through my sewing machine. I didn't realize the struggle of sewing before I started. When I had one end finished sewing I turned it over and there were huge wrinkles! I unpicked about 8 sections to resew. But I was able to finish it before our reunion in June so I could give it to her in person. Whew! I don't know if you can tell from the pictures, but two corners have Geoff's camo shorts pockets. When McKinzie showed Retta she instantly knew it was Daddy's pants because of the camo.

McKinzie, we love you!! We want all the best for you and wish we could take away your pain and loneliness. One day we'll all better understand the purpose of this past year. We just hope you find your best friend sooner than later. 

Love you... more, more, more.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

FREE, fun, "P"

Today we checked many things off of our IL summer bucket list. Mason had picked up many free coupons from school for mini (putt putt) golf before the end of the year. Today we finally put them to use.  It was fun! Karlee got a hole in one, and I got a couple. Mason had one hole where he hit maybe 8-10 times. We didn't count 7, he kept starting over. He was determined to hit the ball through a log and struggled.

We then went on the "P"etal boats on the Fox. It was more of a work out than we planned. 

We also spent a couple hours at the "P"ool. All our actives were at Potowatamie Park. More "P"s! It got me thinking. We spent our first weekend at Potowatiamie Park playing on the playground enjoying all the Fall leaves. This is our last week and we are spending it at the same park. 
Carson reminded us that it was FREE slurpee day at 7-11. Heck yes!!! We hit two different stores. The first store only had two flavors. The second had cotton candy. I've never had cotton candy slurpee before. It was amazing!!  

Then cow appreciation day too?! Such a fun, FREE day for us! 

Monday, July 10, 2017


Karlee was gone all weekend. She visited Victoria in Indiana. It was a 6 hour drive for her. Not too bad. She was headed home on Sunday to make it to her recommend interview when she had car problems. Her engine over heated and she was stranded on highway 57 about 2 hours away. Panic. I called a couple tow companies and found one that could head her way quickly. She ended up not making it to her interview. :(  It's been rescheduled for Wednesday night. 

The car is in the shop and I'm hoping to pick it up tomorrow. With the tow and repairs it's going to cost about $600. I guess it's a good thing we've sold our ATV's. At least we have that money to pay for the car. 

The kids played Monopoly today and had lots of fun. It was fun to hear their laughter. Mason won as he often does. It's one of his favorite games. 

The kitchen seems blah. I miss my red walls...


Because of our move we decided to sell the ATV's. We haven't used them since we've moved to Illinois. Which is sad. We're hoping we will have a new toy in Oregon, like a boat! Brian is already shopping. ;)

We've sold all three ATV's, the trailer, the riding lawnmower, the snowblower, and the two little ATV's. Our garage is looking empty. It was sad to see them go. We're now one step closer to moving. 

After they got them loaded up on Friday Carson and I walked the dogs. It was fun! We chatted about HP, the move, and by the end we were calling out shapes in the clouds. During our walk Carson had suggested going to a late movie. The push over that I am, as Brian would say, I said why not. We picked up Mason at his friends house at 9:50 and rushed over to make the 10:00 movie. We made it and it was a lot of fun. I told them the only way I would do this is when the dogs get up in the morning I would need their help. Of course they agreed! Anything to go to a late movie. 

I finally got in bed around 1. Somehow the dogs slept until 7:30! They never sleep that long. I took them out then put Murray in Mason's room with him and went back to bed. I think we all slept till 8:30 or 9. 
I'm trying to make fun memories with my kids. I hope they have as much fun with me as I do with them.

check up success

Friday was Mason's check up with the cardiologist. I convinced Carson to tag along with us. The boys really enjoyed playing in the waiting room. It took us over an hour to get insurance verification. We have new insurance with the job change and it was difficult to find the correct information for them. We don't have insurance cards yet, it's that new. 

We finally got it verified and they were quick to get Mason in, everyone was waiting on us. His EKG looked perfect! Our Dr said if there's going to be a problem it usually happens in the first 3 months. Mason is looking great! He recommended having another EKG at his year mark just to get one more reading. Another toy in the exam room for Carson...

We then stopped for a treat at our local ice cream shop. Yes, it was with love.