Sunday, October 16, 2016


You won't believe this one.  Krista got us tickets to see Chicago's own Acrocats.  It is a performing troupe of cats (and a chicken and a groundhog) that perform all sorts of amazing feats.  gymnastics, climbing, and playing music.  Really something else.  we had a great time.  started with dinner in the city.  The kids got some awesome banana chocolate smoothies with dinner.  It was pretty amazing.  the cats really did what they were told.  they even scurried back into their cages on command.

Tea with breakfast.
 We went to a cool Fall Festival at a horse training park.  Got to see some demonstrations of jumping horses, listened to some nice folk music, took a horse hayride, and of course arts and crafts.

Then this weekend we went to another Fall fest out in Aurora.  It was Princess Day.  imagine if you will, a thousand little girls in princess outfits.  Pretty remarkable.  holy crazy crowded, but overall we had a great time.  couldn't stay too long because we had to get back for Arthurs first cub scout meeting.


so, for the exciting conclusion of our Monarch Butterfly Adventure!!  He stayed in his chrysalis exactly the ten days our experts predicted.  He came out and dried his wings just like they said he would.  then we took him outside so he could fly away.  Super great stuff.

Arthur had a birthday!  Turned 7.  what an old bean.  Here we are opening some presents.

 It was a big year for legos.  lots and lots of legos.  holy cow!
 This is like 10% of all of his legos here.
 arthur put some of his work on display in his tent.
here is Arthur writing thank you cards.  for real!  i hardly had to twist his arm.  We did it while having a small tea party together.  we use espressor cups, it's lots of fun.

Friday, September 23, 2016


Here we are hanging out on the front porch.  I was playing guitar and Gridley decided to start dancing. It was so beautiful.  She insisted I play Harlem River Blues by Justin Townes Earl over and over again.  No problem.  such fun.

 For Krista's birthday we sent her away to Boston to have a girls weekend with Hillary.  they had a great time.  Lots of long walks and wine.  time on the beach.  great stuff.
 I enjoyed my daddy time with the kids too.  We went to the store and bought marshmallow cereal.  that was a big hit.  we watched movies and went to the swimming pool.  Here we are at the aquarium before we went to pick up mom at the airport.
 We managed to not miss our towns annual pancake breakfast at the firehall.  Always well attended.  the kids got pancakes with whipped cream, m&m's and sprinkles.  whoa!!

We had an unbelievably sad event last week that knocked us all over.  Jason Testrake, cousin Jill's husband, very unexpectedly died of a massive heart attack.  He had just turned 40.  it was awful.  He has two kids.  both under age 3.
We went up to Mt Horeb WI to be with the family and attend services.  Due to some huge software conference every hotel was booked.  but krista found this farm house on airbnb which was pretty amazing.  We even had fresh chicken eggs every morning.

We stayed with Krista's dad and step mom.  Here is Pop ready to dig into a huge pretzel.

 this was the start of a memorial bike ride for jason.  He loved riding his bike more than anything, so we all got together and rode a route near his home remembering how awesome he was.
 This is Gridley with cousin Gemma.  I got to pull both of them the whole way.  And even to the top of a huge hill!  i didn't realize quite how tired i was until a couple days later.  Sore!
The family is still reeling from the loss.  we're hoping to get back up there soon and spend some more time with Jill as she starts working through this terrible time.

First Day of School

So I was reminded that i am again WAY behind in my blogging.  Sorry blogosphere!!!  I meant to put this post up right after the vacation one but of course things got away from me.

so the kids started school.  that's what kids do.  We are now without our nanny, Mary, which has caused great sadness.  But it was time to move on to a new stage in our lives.  We are taking both kids now to montessori school a couple towns over.  they have before and after school care, so it works out pretty well.  It has been a big adjustment though.  Krista and I are sharing drop off pick up responsibilities.  so far so good.

This is Gridley and Emi, friends since they were little.  Having some fun at our nearby forest preserve.

 First day of school pictures.  Out in the front yard.

 Gridley is getting to be a big help in the kitchen.

We found a monarch caterpillar in our yard last week.  super cool.  and as luck would have it, there was a monarch learning day at a nature center in river forest.  they encouraged us to bring the little guy inside and watch him grow.  so we did just that.  gave him some leaves and he was good to go.

Stay tuned, more to come.  he is in his chrysalis right now and should be hatching tomorrow!!