Saturday, February 14, 2015 mine..

Too much illness here the last couple of weeks...ugh. Whatever virus has plagued our family has been a bit of a bear to get rid of. Thankfully, I have not succumbed yet to this bug (knock-on-wood), although I am feeling a tad snuffly. We shall see.

There's been a bit of making, nonetheless, and that includes the yearly valentines.

This year I had the kids choose and make their own valentines. I may have gotten the supplies ready, I may have printed said valentines, and I may have used the hot glue gun and the exacto knife to prevent any nasty injuries. But the rest was all them.

Isaac chose a 'Yoda Best' valentine, that was simple and not overly mushy. These are very important qualities to a boy teetering on the edge of middle-school-dom. Stay cool...and do no more than you have to.

Evy chose another simple valentine, utilizing only a chocolate heart and the alphabet. This was not her first choice, however. She would have preferred to make tic-tac-toe games for everyone and attach a package of tic-tacs to each. Perhaps if she was in a class of 4 students it would have been more cost-effective.

Margot chose the most elaborate of valentines. These little gnomes were too cute to say no to. And I had everything on hand but the kisses. She created little heart "feet" so that she could put students' names on them, and it worked out marvelously. She is my little artist, and fully enjoyed every step in making these beauties.

Rich and I had a nice valentine's dinner with friends (on Valentine's eve), which also involved some gambling. There were high hopes of winning 300 billion dollars, but alas, it was not meant to be. Maybe next time, eh?

We will be spending our valentine's day as a family, enjoying tennis, and laying low. Maybe we shall be rid of the viral beast by weekend's end? One can dream, yes?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 6, 2015 fun..

I do love the quiet rural life that we have embraced, but it is fun to venture out and travel to more populated cities, too.

A week or so ago, Rich and I took a weekend trip to Chicago with our neighbors. We were without kids for the first time in a long time, and it was a wonderful break from our otherwise busy life.

We left Friday afternoon, with a minivan full of 4 adults, 3 kids, and a yellow lab. We were packed in. Our pit stop in Rockford relieved us of the children and dog, we said our goodbyes and good lucks, and promptly got back on the road to head to the big city. My sister is a saint for taking responsibility of our kids and the beast, although much fun was had by all during our 44 hour mini-break.

I cannot speak for my children and the dog, but I can say that from Friday to Sunday, I enjoyed:

~ Chicago-style deep dish pizza

~ French greyhounds, mochas, lattes, and red wine

~ a couple of simple, yet relaxing, spa treatments (hello, scalp massage..)

~ Millennium park

~ Chinatown

~ Ubering, for the first time

~ the Chicago Art Institute

~ seeing an old friend, and making some new ones

~ safely returning to the ground floor from the 96th floor  (geez, I seriously hate heights)

~ an unseasonably warm January day, which made walking almost 6 miles around the city delightful, albeit tiring.

It was a fun trip. It's nice to get away, expose yourself to people and places that are different and unfamiliar. Chicago holds many memories for me, and I was glad to add to them.

Thank you for your hospitality, Chicago...see you again soon!