Thursday, October 31, 2019

Matey, paper airplanes, books and Brendan

Wednesday, October 30:  Prior to picking Brendan up from school today, I went to the library and picked out a bunch of books for us to read--because we really really enjoy doing this.
 Brendan came in and greeted Matey first thing. Matey is very popular with the grandkids. I'm so glad! Brendan is very amused by the antics of this little feathered friend.
 Brendan and Matey played with a Q-tip again this week.

 We had stopped by at JET'S on the way home and took with us two BIG pieces of pepperoni pizza, which we ate along with a bunch of other stuff for dinner. Not bad for $4!
 Brendan is very much into making stuff, cutting with scissors, folding, origami, etc. Thankfully, I have a very nice paper airplane book with colorful paper and five different models (with directions--whew!) to fold and fly. We did this for quite awhile tonight. Brendan LOVED it. We flew our planes all over the house! We designed some of our own as well.
 We also played a game of "Jungle" chutes and ladders. Brendan won!

We read SO MANY books today. I LOVE reading books with you, Brendan! Look at what we read: (1)  Richard Scarry's, "Pie Rats Ahoy!" which was about a bunch of little rats dressed up like pirates who were making things rather difficult in Busytown Bay,  (2)  DK Readers "Dinosaur Dinners", a practical guide to just what dinosaurs ATE when they walked around on earth (Brendan knowing every single pronounciation of every last dinosaur listed in this book!),  (3)  "Willie's Word World," by Don Curry, illustrated by Rick Stromoski--a funny story of Willie in school having to think of an entire sentence beginning with the letter "W" as he listened to his classmates doing the same thing with the first letter of their names,  (4)  "What if you had an Animal Tail?" by Sandra Markle, illustrated by Howard McWilliam. This was a funny book too, because the pictures were of children with various animal tails and what they would DO with them attached to their body.  (5)  "Curious George, Dinosaur Tracks," adapted by Julie Tibbott, a cute story!  (6)  "When Dinosaurs Came With Everything," by Elise Broach, illustrated by David Small -- a super cute book about a boy who ended up with a LOT of dinosaurs because dinosaurs were given away FREE with every purchase in every store the day he shopped with his mom.  (7)  "If I had a Triceratops," by George O'Connor.  Notice the dinosaur theme going? Brendan and I sit on my couch and read. He snuggles up close. We laugh. We examine each illustration. We carefully read each page. We are in no hurry. It's a wonderful thing.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

A few Monday pictures

Monday, October 28:  Aidan Paul requested "nuggets" when I woke him up today from his nap. So I treated this little bundle to Wendy's nuggets, fries and chocolate milk on the way over to my house--he was so pleased to be sitting in a booth and NOT in a high chair. Look at his darling face--yikes! 
 Aidan ate every little nugget, dipped generously in mustard (!!) along with his fries. Cutie.

 We played a little game of "tickle-bugs under the table" which got him belly laughing for a very long time.

And then Aidan and I did our usual Monday afternoon routine: we came in my house, created a huge layout with every train track available, Aidan chugged around with many of his favorite trains, etc. 
 Kaity had been playing with the car carrier Sunday afternoon. She and I loaded it to the max. I left it out to see if it would catch Aidan's eye--and it DID. He got completely distracted by the wonder of a car carrier and played incessantly without throughout our time together.
 I love to watch you play, Aidan Paul. You are careful and SO interested in everything ...
... and super easy to please. Such a nice combination--easy on Grandma Carol! I love you to pieces, sweetheart.

An unusual Sunday

Sunday, October 27:  Since Emma and I had not returned home until 1:00 in the morning ... we opted (regretfully) to "view" Calvary on-line for our morning worship. It was good to be able to join in and hear God's Word and sing praises to Him but it wasn't the same as being there.

Emma and I hung out for awhile, ate lunch, and then I brought her back to her house and exchanged Emma for Kaity-Girl. I was exhausted from our weekend and prayed that Kaity would be happy for a shorter time at my house than she usually has on a Saturday afternoon.
 Kaity was VERY happy at my house. She played and played. Matey, naturally, was the center of her attention and affection--our little bird is very much loved!

 Kaity also was super into the Matchbox and Hotwheels cars today. Whew! She set up roads, tracks, races, and had herself a GOOD time. Thank you, Lord!

Since Kaity was due back to her house at 5:30 and Diana was fixing a big breakfast for dinner, I didn't feed Kaity a meal. Instead, we drove over to my local McD's where I treated Kaity to a small vanilla ice cream cone and then we played FOOSBALL! I love playing foosball with Kaity. She is so much fun. I'm going to look and see if I can obtain a table-top game for Christmas!

Our MISadventure in Chicago

Saturday, October 26:  Emma and I took the Metra to downtown Chicago Saturday morning. We ate a good breakfast at the hotel, checked out, drove down to the station (without getting lost), and boarded our train. What a COOL train!

 Our day started out just fine. We comfortably waited for our Metra train to arrive to take us DOWNTOWN Chicago ...
 The train, the train!!!

 We went up the winding stairs to the upper level (naturally) ...

 It was an almost 90 minute ride from Joliet to LaSalle Street (the end of the line).
 Emma spotted these folk in Halloween costumes boarding our train and getting on the same car we were riding ... so on our way out of the train, Emma stopped by to further admire their costumes. The "Joker" was pleased that Emma thought his costume very authentic looking.
 Our first (and what ended up being our ONLY) destination was to get to the tallest building and reach the top and take in the view ...
 However, there is more than ONE building that offers a spectacular view. The original one we were looking for had a glass lookout that TIPS ...

 On our way to THAT building, I noticed THIS sign about a SKY DECK. We walked into the lobby to ask a question or two. Some construction workers told us this was the tallest building in the world (they were not correct) and that the viewing platform was super cool.

 We paid our money ($25 each), and after being in line for almost an hour, we FINALLY got in the elevator to go up, up, UP, UP 94 floors to the viewing area. We were hoping to beat out the predicted rain ...
 Due to cloud cover (fog) and rain, the view was LESS than perfect--although I will say, I LOVE heights of any kind ... and it's always fun to look DOWN. This is basically what we saw.

 There was ANOTHER line at the top of the tower to get to the glass viewing deck. We waited almost an hour once again before we could step foot in this glassed-in jutted-out viewing place. We were notified down at the bottom (after waiting a very long time in line), that once you get to the top and actually reach this glassed-in area, you have exactly 60 seconds (or 90 seconds if your group is 3 or more) to take your pictures--then they escort you OFF the platform. SIXTY SECONDS?!?!?!?! 
 So we made the most of our ONE MINUTE ...

 I love these of Emma ... she who is terrified of heights ... she did super good at the top!

 We were UP one quarter of a mile ...
 Our real FIASCO, however, started AFTER going outside the building (which used to be called the Sears Tower but is now called WILLIS TOWER). We had originally been looking for the John Hancock Building that boasted the tilted window at the top ... but that building was another 6+ blocks away. It was now raining in sheets. I forgot and left our umbrella in my car in the parking lot at Joliet. Yikes.

I basically talked Emma out of trying to find the John Hancock. What if there was an hour's line at the bottom ... and another hour's line at the top ... and what if they only give you 60 seconds on the tilted window? It didn't seem worth it to me. As Emma thought it over, it didn't seem worth it to her either. And like I said, it was pouring down rain ... and us without an umbrella. I would have stopped and purchased an umbrella, but there didn't seem to be any shops nearby!
 We decided to "hop" the train back to Joliet. We just needed to find that train station! We held out our tickets and asked many people how to get back to our station and were told a TON of different directions, which we followed but yielded incorrect stations every single time. We were finally routed onto this train (below) that would take us a block away from our necessary station.

 We hopped on this train, got off as directed, but evidently turned the WRONG direction. To make a very long and dripping wet story a bit shorter ... we ended up walking MANY city blocks (it seemed like we were going in circles) for over two hours before we FINALLY found the correct station ...
However, the train to Joliet left 11 minutes before our arrival and the NEXT train to Joliet was not leaving until 4:40 (in about 80 minutes). We plopped our drenched bodies on a bench and waited until our train arrived.

In the meantime, we met a very nice lady who was also waiting for the Joliet train. When we arrived at our destination, she asked if it was possible for us to drive her home rather than have her call a taxi in the pouring rain. We drove her to her place and then began our trip back to Grand Rapids ...

We arrived (safely, thank-you Lord) back at my little house at approximately 1:00 in the morning. Emma slept most of the way home. I finally pulled over after crossing the Michigan State line and slept for about 30 minutes--enough to keep me going the rest of the way home. SO THANKFUL to arrive safely!!