Wednesday, March 25, 2015

monster truck

Arthur has had his eye on a certain radio controled "monster truck" at the Planetarium for some time now.  he was talking about asking for it for his birthday.  We mentioned that his birthday is pretty far away and maybe he should save up and buy it himself.  He and his sister have been getting marbles every day for good behavior which are worth 25 cents each.  so he gathered up various birthday dollars, and lots of change, and his marbles, and bought the truck.  pretty great!  he is having tons of fun with it.

Not much else newsworthy here.  Just finishing out the winter and praying for spring.  It looks like Krista will be taking a promotion at work, so that is awesome.  Ryan's new job is going well.  Working from home is great, but still only part time.  First business trip coming up next week.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

end of winter

whoa, i didn't realize i let this go for almost a month without an update.

mostly we've just been muscling our way through the end of the winter.  we've had some super cold days and it is getting old.  but this week the sun is out and the snow is rapidly melting.  yay!

So recently i brought home some audiobooks from the library for the kids.  one of them was a broadway musical of Frog and Toad stories.  I didn't like it at first, and it had a lot of scratches in it.  but Gridley loved it.  Well, it turned out the musical was being performed in a town nearby, so we went to see it and it was awesome.  amazing singing and just lots of fun for kids.  we took our friends Laura and Eli with us.  I ended up buying the mp3's so we can listen to it every day.

 Here is Arthur with our friend Peggy.  He brought her a rock from the Arizone gem show.  She is really into collecting different rocks, so Arthur made sure to bring one back for her.
 This is how Arthur puts himself down for a nap.  On the floor.  works for me!
 These lovely ladies are my mom's cousin Janet and my grandmother Marie.  Marie is 93!  looks pretty amazing doesn't she?  Janet said she had to schedule her visit for tuesday because my grandmother goes bowling on mondays.
 This is what you get after a full morning at the Field Museum and a heavy lunch of mac and cheese at our favorite pub.
 My parents were in town last weekend.  We went to the Garfield Conservatory.  This just finished repairing this room and it is full of azaleas and hyacinths.  awesome!  Gridley had a great time smelling the flowers.

I'm a pushover for a snowstorm.  We got a good one the other day, so i cranked up the fireplace, put the kids under a blanket and turned on Charlie Brown Christmas.  Cozy time!

 Time to plant seeds for the garden.  The kids each got new shovels and gloves.

 Krista promised the kids a cake for when grandma and grandpa came for a visit.  Somehow, she promised to make it look like Dusty from the Planes movies.  As usual, she hit it out of the park.

 At the Field Museum.  Whoa, this place is really big.

 At the pub afterward.  they didn't have a table for us so we sat at the bar.  Gridley's first time in a tall chair at the bar.  we even put a booster seat on it.  pretty good!

In cancer news, i started taking my Ibrutinib pills.  They end up being free to me, no copay!  hard to believe since the retail price is $100 per pill and i take three per day.  Anyway, so far so good.  no side effects, my blood numbers are getting better, and i actually feel better.  i was able to carry Gridley a lot at the field museum.  and i haven't felt the need to take afternoon naps.  great stuff.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Arizona Vacation

Well, after last winter, we vowed to get into some sun to help us make it through the cold and the snow of Chicago.  This year Krista organized an awesome vacation to Tucson.  Her friend Terri was taking her family, so we went too.  Both of them went to school there, so that is the connection.  We stayed at a great resort in the foothills of the Santa Catalina mountains on the north side of Tucson.  The Wyndham Westward Look resort.  big place with clusters of rooms.  beautiful night skies, although we probably didn't spend enough time looking at them because everyone was so tired every night.  Vacation is hard work!

Arthur's first priority was to get in the pool.  It was very windy for Arizona, so not great swimming weather, but the kids had fun anyway.
 Sunset the first night.  Pretty long day of travel, so everyone was in bed soon after sunset.

Krista took us to her all time favorite breakfast place, Frank's.  The kids loved it so much we went back two days later.

 This is a panoramic picture from our awesome new camera.  Doesn't look that special on the blog, but it is really amazing.  since it is an SLR camera, it takes rapid fire shots while you move the camera and then it just stitches them all together.  pretty fancy.
 On our first full day we went to the Desert museum over Gates Pass.  this place is really amazing.  apparently it has grown since Krista was there.  so many great things to look at.  again it was super windy, so that wasn't great, but at least it wasn't a million degrees.

 Arthur digs sherbert

 Arthur and an otter

 The next day we actually went right back to the same part of the desert.  This time we visited the Saguaro National Park.  Very cool.  i mean, arizona has a lot of saguaro cacti, but this park had even more.  we even went off roading a bit to shorten the drive home.


So you probably didn't know that the world's largest gem and mineral show happens in Tucson every year.  I can't even describe to you how big this thing is.  Imagine a tent the size of two football fields.  Full of rocks and art using rocks.  boxes and boxes and shelves of every mineral you can think of.  Now imagine a city with about three dozen tents like this.  And a convention center.  and hotel rooms.  and random parking lots with trucks and RV's.  that's how big it is.  we went to one tent for thirty minutes and had enough.

We took the kids to a restaurant named Bison Witches that makes the world's greatest sandwiches.  I've only been to Tucson once before, but i had been to this place.  Unfortunately for a table for five, we had to sit outside with the smokers.  it was loud too.  so the kids were not happy about it.  But we all suffered through and had a great time.  I broke down and for the first time ever pulled out my smartphone to show the kids a video at a restaurant dinner table.  For Shame!
The next day we met up with Terri and Nagu and their three girls.  Terri and Krista knew each other from grad school in Arizona.  We all went on a cool tram ride up Sabino Canyon.  what a neat place!  Everyone walked down from the top, but Arthur really wanted to keep riding the tram, so i rode down with him to the visitor center.

There was a beach in the canyon

 Turns out there is an elementary school near Sabino Canyon named Gridley.
 Here we are on our last day in the Pima Air and Space museum.  Huge place.  The kids were kind of struggling at this point in the trip though from being so tired (many missed naps).

 This is the oldest Blackbird in the world.  only 15 left.  pretty neat to see it.  

Hitting the reset button at the pool.
After some time at the pool we went down to the campus at University of Arizona to play with Terri and her family.  My friend James drove down from Phoenix and spent the afternoon with us.  It was great to see him, we haven't gotten together in about 7 years.

 The beard is completely out of control.  I think it will be coming off soon, although i get a lot of positive comments about it.