Rick had the day off today so we decided to take the kids to Starved Rock. Rick went with Trace's class last fall and they have wanted to take the rest of us back ever since. The weather wasn't as hot today so we decided to take advantage of it. It was a beautiful area - something like 2000+ acres of trees, canyons and hiking trails. The picture above is overlooking the Illinois River (which the boys kept calling a stream). And that is a Dam behind them (I think I asked Rick about three times if it was a real Dam). For those of us from the NorthWest that's just a little wall in the middle of a stream, and a really green stream at that! Oh-well it was beautiful by midwest standards and that's all we've got for now! All in all it was a wonderful day and I think we got a few pretty good pictures too.
French Canyon was the only one of 18, I think, that we made it to. The boys loved it though! We had to follow a narrow trail down then walk up a little creek/waterfall, which Trace is standing in above, to get to the actual canyon itself. It was a relatively small area with a beautiful waterfall and the boys could have thrown rocks all afternoon.
* Notice the boy's matching wet shirts. Rick was laughing that apparently our children aren't too smart. One fell in a certain way and the other was so smart he did the exact same thing! Gotta love 'em though! And they had fun which is all that really matters.
For a long time now Paige has hauled around anyone's flip flops that she could find. So I finally bought her the smallest pair they had at Dollar General (11-12). They will probably fit her in about ten years with her tiny feet! She LOVES them though and carries them around or wears them all the time. Believe it or not she can put them on herself and shuffle around quite well in them!
I guess that means both of our homes! Vancouver was wonderful and we enjoyed every day we had there. It was so nice for me to have some extra help with the kids and to get some time away from them too!! Thank you, thank you Grandma, Nana and Papa! The boys couldn't get enough of Nichole and Coleen and had a great time visiting everyone else too. Paige did incredibly well with all the new places and faces. For a few days it seemed like every time she fell asleep she woke up in a new place! Those who were patient with her though were rewarded with smiles. Rick was able to join us for just over a week which was really fun and a nice break for him. The best part of the trip for me was when my doctor recognized a spot on my face as a type of cyst and told me he could remove it! Now I have had this spot for more than two years and tried everything to get rid of it. It has bothered me, frustrated me and embarrassed me to no end. So I naturally jumped at the idea of having it removed. While he was at it I asked if he could remove the mole I've had near my mouth my entire life. Well, after looking like Frankenstein for a few days with black stitches I look (and feel) like a new person! We arrived back in Illinois to the heat and humidity of the Mid West. It is great to sleep in my own bed (temper pedic beds ROCK!), and to just be in our own space. Paige was really excited to be home and ran around checking everything out and laughing. Now we just have to decide when and what to plan for the rest of the summer! The boys were extremely excited to find out that friends from Trace's school will be moving in next door in a couple of weeks. After that they won't want to go anywhere!
I didn't bring my camera cord so I can't download any pictures! It has been a while since an update though so I thought I'd just let ya'll know what we've been up to. The kids and I were planning to try and fly (standby) to Washington but were not able to get on a flight. So on our way home from the airport Rick got the great idea of driving his mom's new car out. It just happened to be in Chicago waiting to be shipped to Vancouver! So we picked the car up at 9am and left for the West by 3:00! That was Saturday (June somethingth) and we pulled into the driveway in Vancouver at 6pm Monday! I'd say we made pretty good time. The boys were excellent, they have learned to be good travelers. Paige was another story but I guess she is entitled since she was strapped into the car seat and only a year old! We have been here almost two weeks now and are hoping to get home next Tuesday. Flying standby though who knows!? Rick was out here for a while with us but had to get back to hold down the fort and go to work. The kids are having a blast and have especially loved spending time with their beloved cousins Nichole and Coleen (who are 16 and almost 14!). I'll add more updates once I home and can put pictures up too. There will be a lot of pictures too!