Friday, August 29, 2008


Too cute. When Ethan sees me point the camera at him now, he says "cheesth" and makes this face. Kellan does a bit, but Ethan is very emphatic about it. Adorable.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Day 4

On this day we went out for breakfast, to story time at Discovery Depot (extra fun because the twins actually got to play on things because Weston was there to help), and then to swim at the community kiddie pool at Lincoln Park. After naps, we took a pizza back to the park, ate in the Gazebo, and then played a lot. Very fun day. Very fun vacation! We are so blessed to be a family!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Day 3

This day we explored a little of our downtown area, had lunch at Coney Island (a local fave hot dog joint), and even walked through the part of Knox College's "Old Main", the sole remaining original site of the great Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debates (1858).

Then, what the boys had been most looking forward to, we set up "camp" in our backyard! We roasted hot dogs for dinner, and went for a "night hike" with our flashlights. Unfortunately s'mores got rained out, but we cooked some in the microwave anyway. And, the rain was very brief, so we still were able to go back out and spend the night, all of us in the tent. It was very cozy and fun!

Weston and I couldn't stop giggling when the twins, who we thought were settling down, both figured out how to lift the flaps in the 'room divider' at the exact same time from their seperate pack-n-plays, to peek through and grin at us.

Oh yeah, an added bonus was that as we were setting up the tent, we found two garter snakes! A baby one and a bigger one! Very cool! We still have the baby one, but we can't get him to eat, so we'll probably let him go...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Day 2

We spent the day at the St. Louis Zoo, which offers free admission, and is fabulous! It was an incredibly fun day! Hard to even name the highlights, because everything was so enjoyable. Let's see though. Caleb and Aidan were a tad frightened when they saw the 'dinosaurs'. And, Caleb thought it was very cool that the Sea Lions were from CA, just like us. I got to take Kellan and Ethan, individually, on the carousel, and that was precious...
Lots of pictures of the day, hard to choose.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Our Family Vacation: Part One

(yikes, I caught some bug and have been completely out of sorts for 2+ days... but am feeling quite a bit better today...)

We decided this year to have kind of a low-key family vacation... It was more budget-friendly that way, and plus, the kids are just not old enough to do too much yet. Our ideal 7 days slowly got whittled down to 4, but it was still a success, and a lot of fun. We desired lots of family time together with moments that build memories, and that's what we got.

On Monday we drove down to St. Louis, MO and visited the Transportation Museum. We knew this would be right up Aidan's alley, with all the trains, but there was actually a lot to see and do. After that, we found our nice hotel in the city (thank you Priceline), ordered in pizza and took all the boys for a swim. Now that was a feat. So was sleeping with all of them in the hotel room, but we managed. We watched "Kung Fu Panda" together, which was a lot of fun.
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And yes, that is Caleb with a new haircut, much shorter than he's had in awhile. Shorter than we'd wanted actually, but oh well. He's still a cutie.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Walking Twin # 2!

Kellan officially starting walking at Devin Reed's birthday party two weeks ago! He decided the grass and cement wasn't very inviting for his knees, so he just took off! It is so cute to see him and Ethan toddling around together... so far, not often in opposite directions! Way to go Kellan!

I especially love this picture, even though it's blurry, because they were sychronizing their steps!

Niabi Zoo

When Laura was here, we took the boys to the Niabi Zoo one afternoon. It was a hot day, but still lots of fun. We especially enjoying seeing the things that weren't open when we'd visited there in March, the Petting Zoo and the Lorakeet Area. I think my favorite part about our visit was that I loved watching Kellan and Ethan take it all in... as active participants, not just stroller bound babies along for the ride. They are growing up so fast!

Laura in the Land of Lincoln

I was extremely blessed and encouraged by my friend Laura's visit in early August. She and I met in Jr. High, and we became BFF from then on. She got me involved in the church that became so key in my walk with Christ and was able to spend a lot of time with my family, coming to love my mom nearly as much as I did. We have so many incredible memories, from so many years... I am SO thankful for my forever friend.

Anyways, she flew out here to check out my new surroundings, and was able to spend a few days. I missed her girls, but it was nice to have her all to myself. We spent a lot of fun family time, and even got some 'girlfriend' time in (We went to a late show of Mamma Mia, and had a full day of shopping and a leisurely lunch at O.G.). It was extra special because she was actually here on her birthday (just 10 days after mine, which was always fun).

Anyway, here a few pictures. If I were really organized, I wish I could dig up an old one of us, for your entertainment. But they are in a box in the basement, along with countless other things.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mantis Mania

So, some of you know that Caleb is pretty into bugs right now. Funny, because in early spring he was scared to death of most all of them; flies, ladybugs, and esp., dare I say, the occasional cockroach we'd find in the duplex?

Well, one day, we caught a lady bug in the backyard, and "befriended" it. Caleb held it and talked to it forever, and since then, he's been a little insect enthusiast.

So I mentioned to a couple of friends that a good b-day present for him would be bug-related, and they gave him a really cool terrarium and bug-catching vacuum. We housed a variety of odds and ends insects the first week. A stag beetle (he didn't last too long), fireflies, ants, crickets...

And then, when Grandma Joy was here, she and I discovered a baby Praying Mantis on our windshield in the Walmart parking lot! And Grandma managed to capture it, and bring it home in a coffee cup!

We've been crazy about the thing ever since, and have a learned a lot! Did you know they molt? Grow wings? Change color? Turn their heads around like aliens? And, catch their prey with amazing agility and speed (very fun to watch)? We've been faithfully feeding it (I know, like I needed another mouth to feed) and watching it grow. Very cool. My "Science and Children" teacher (Mrs. Croissant) from college would be very proud of me!