Tuesday, July 29, 2008

John Hancock

The John Hancock Building

A cool place to check out. They take you in an elevator up to the 94th floor in about 30 seconds flat. Literally!!! They said it was the fastest elevator in the world. Who knew?

The kids cleaning the John Hancock building...always willing to help clean.



Aren't they just too cute?!?!?
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Field Museum

The Field Museum was very interesting. I have to say that I have been "Disneyfied". I love Disney and they have spoiled me. For example, we walked through a desert exhibit and I was expecting it to get hot and dry in there...no such luck!!! At Disney, that would have happened. It is hard to go back to real life:)!!!


Outside the Field Museum. The building (actually, all of them in Chicago) are FABULOUS!!!


I LOVE this picture of Isaac. Downstairs, they had a play area for the kids. Everything was hands on touch..touch...touch! A nice change of pace being there is nothing to touch in the museum. Well, that is not entirely true. We were in the "gem room". HUGE diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and LOTS of others...motion detectors on...when my two BIG children look at each other...I am watching this whole thing play out in slow motion...they precede to tackle each other. Yes, in fact, my daughter started the whole thing. There they are rolling around like a couple of crazy children. I did not deal with that one so well. I picked them up by their arms and we preceded to discuss why we do not act like that in public...especially in a museum.


Sue...and my kids attempt to get their picture taken. Again, having issues with a three year old!!!!


Little did I know that when I took this picture that this head isn't even real. I learned later on (upstairs) that Sue's head weighed over 600 pounds and wouldn't stay up...so they put a fake one on the body. See, I did pay attention...even if my kids were having wrestle mania!!!
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Waiting on Jimmy....

I guess I should be happy that Jimmy came with us. He has been very busy at work trying to figure out this salt thing. Rumor has it, there will be no salt this winter....not good!
Anyway, the kids and I took a moment to sit in the park and eat some teddy grams (dessert from lunch at the aquarium).


Isaac...my handsome man!!


Alli striking a pose! She loves to wear her hair down so she can toss her hair around. She is such a girl!!!


My "red headed" babies...I am with you Mandy, I love pictures of their backs...so innocent...even if I know better:)!

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Ash eating her teddy grams. Notice the bruise on her head? Yes, she ran into a chair at the hotel. Crazy how those chairs just jump right out in front of you!!!

Shedd's Aquarium


The kids getting ready to go in.


Classic Camp Chaos, the big kids smiling (posing) for me. Ash being difficult (doing things her own way)...yes that is her several steps up. I guess I should be happy she was even on the stairs!!! Three is a very difficult age...have I said that before???


This is some sort of eel. You can tell he has been around for a llllooonnnngggg time (well, not this exact one). the kids thought he was so cool. I thought we was kind of creepy.


This was my favorite, a sea dragon (not to be confused with a sea horse). Very pretty!!!
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Rain Forest Cafe





The kids LOVED the Rain Forest Cafe when we were at Disney (we ate there twice in 4 days!), so why not try Chicago as well. It did not disappoint. The kids ate well and come to find out Wednesday's are kids night and they eat for
$1.99...yeah for us!!!! Jimmy and I had some GREAT snapper.


The people next to us get this dessert (the volcano), Alli thinks this dessert is the greatest thing ever. She leans over and whispers to me "Mom, I know it is not my birthday, but can we please tell the guy it is so we can get one of the desserts too?" I, of course, repeat this conversation to Jimmy and we both agree that sure, we can tell him it is your birthday and get the dessert too. I know, it is awful. The dessert was on the menu and anyone could order it and the correct mom thing to do would be to tell her that...BUT she was so cute trying to get away with something, we just couldn't help ourselves. To make it worse, she even winked at me when I ordered it!!! SO BAD!!!!

For the record, I did NOT tell the waiter that it was her birthday, I just ordered the dessert!!!

The dessert was HUGE and so much fun with the sparkler in it...if you ever go to RFC make sure to order the VOLCANO...they even scream it when they come out of the kitchen...and think of my daughter and the future I have to deal with her getting away with things...bad news!!!
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Monday, July 28, 2008

Navy Pier - Sea Dog





While at Navy Pier, we went on a high speed boat ride along the lakeshore to see different buildings and such. the kids thought it was great when they got wet. They could care less about the buildings, it was all about going fast and getting wet.

I am not sure why we went on this vacation and spent the money we did. I asked the kids what there favorite part was and both of the red headed kids answered "swimming in the pool". Alli's answer was even better "going to McDonalds". Love they honesty, hate the time and money spent. Oh well, Jimmy and I had a good time being tourists in Chicago. What a great city. More of day 2 tomorrow!!!!

Had to get a picture of that infamous ferris wheel and don't mind my "wind blown" look, it was only picture I have of the family from the "sea dog adventure".
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Happy Birthday Mom


Before I can go on with my Chicago trip, I have to take a moment and give a shout out to the world's best mom. MINE!!!! Her birthday was Saturday and the poor girl was sick. The kids were very upset that Grandma was sick on her birthday so we went to Meijers and Alli picked out some cupcakes and Ash picked out some icecream to celebrate "Evvie day" on Sunday. Classic, my mom ended up with one cupcake...the kids the container. We ever bought her candles ( the number kind, not individual...we didn't want to set the cupcake on fire:)!) Ash put it in her mouth and broke it in half, which meant that while singing happy birthday, I am holding the top of the 5 with a flame on it. Like I said, classic camp chaos...we do things a little different than most. Our heart is always in the right spot, it just doesn't always come out the way it should.

Back to my mom, what can I say? She is a wonderful lady, mom and friend.

Warning...mom don't read this...
I remember telling people this story...prior to having kids...here is a long story short...we went to Burger King for dinner one time, we were driving home when my mom took a bite into her sandwich and a blob of mayo/ketchup came out of the bottom, I of course, point to her lap and laugh, she reaches over and squeezes my sandwich...making a huge blob fall on my lap. Now please understand, I know I so deserved it, but at the time I just could not believe she did that. Fastforward 20+ years and I would SO DO THE SAME THING...if not worse!!!! I have turned into my mother and let me be the first to say, that is a greatest compliment you could tell me. My mom lets me call her 50 times a day with the stupidest things and makes me feel like they are very important things. I love her, my kids love her, Jimmy loves her. That right there is enough for me.

I hope I have this same relationship with my daughters ( and son too). I know without a doubt, that my mom is standing in my corner. That is huge to me. The good and the bad(:)!) of me came from her. She has taught me to love with my whole heart, not to care what other people think, be true to myself, handle tough situations...knowing things will get better, to love your family, to appreciate the small things...and so many more.

To this day, one of my favorite memories of my mom if when some boy was mean to me and I was having a bad day. I came how all upset, she listened to me, never once telling me to knock it off or not to get upset because it wasn't worth it, no she told me to get in the car. We went to Plumbs, bought ice cream and about 15 toppings to go it. That...THAT is what made it better. My mom had been there, she didn't make light of the situation, she was just there for me. This time and SO MANY MORE!!!

This is the poor lady who was in the delivery room with me when I had the twins. ~She was there to take pictures, not to help me~ but I look over and there is my poor mom pushing harder than I was (keep in mind the twins were 55 minutes apart and Isaac had to have the vacuum on his head to come out...so there was A LOT of pushing!). That is just my mom!!!

Also, for the record, I get my ability to change my house 50 times a year from her. Jimmy has not found this trait to be very desirable, but I think it is great. She is my escape goat, I can't help it, it is in my genes...and they are some GREAT genes!!!!

Happy Birthday Mom...here's to you!!! Hope it was as great as you!!!!
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Navy Pier- Ferris Wheel





We made it to Chicago with no major set backs...yeah!!! The railroad was under construction in one part, so we arrived about an hour late. No big deal. We decided that the kids had sat long enough and today was a good day to take them to Navy Pier and walk around a bit and of course ride that nasty thing they call a ferris wheel. I am not a fan!!! The kids loved it and I have to admit, it was all enclosed and went really slow, I think I might have actually liked it just a little bit. The view was breath taking. More on that to come.
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Monday, July 21, 2008


I just want everyone to know that Dirk finally came back to visit us at Camp Chaos. He has not been there since December 2006! Yes, I reminded him of this all night!!! It was nice to see you again! He gave me several compliments throught the night that I have to make a point in mentioning!!! You see, Dirk is a true friend, the guy who comes over several weekends in a row just to help you finish your basement because you are 7+ months pregnant with baby number 3 and have no where to put her:)! He comes over to help on racecars, take family photos, help build a swingset, and of course just come over to be our friend...watch a race and sleep:)!
Anyway, he has seen my house at its absolute worst!! BAD!!!! He never cared, he always told me that I was a working mom with little ones and he was not there to see our clean house. Very nice to say, but come on!!! Well, in the almost 2 years since he has been to our house (that was for you Dirk), I have managed to somewhat get the house thing in order. So much so he asked if I had spent to whole day cleaning...and I DIDN'T!!! Thanks for noticing Dirk!!! More important, he told me that he has been reading the ol' blog and thinks I am gettting "good" at the whole picture taking thing. GREAT compliment from someone who actually takes GREAT pictures and could take pictures for a living.

Thanks Dirk for coming over...let's not wait so long next time!!

Dirk...did you notice the above picture, Jimmy is in focus and you can see the sparkler...impressed aren't you?!?!?

Remember shower and wash cloth...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Help Needed

Ok, so last month Jimmy and I went away for 4 days to the races and last week we went to Nashville for the week...all without our kids. So it is only fair that we go somewhere with the kids!!! We are heading out to Chicago next week. We are taking the train and staying the the Embassy Suites downtown. I got the Go Chicago card which basically gets you into everything in Chicago. Now the help, what of the hundred+ things to do should we do? Any good restaurants we should go to? Something I just have to do while there??? Please help! I know, it's sad, but I have only been to Chicago (downtown) once, in 10th grade for german club. I need info!!!! I know we are for sure going to the musuem one dya, aquarium one day, and Navy Pier one day. I don't want a "schedule", but an idea would be nice. I am trying to break the "having to be in control Kristin". It's tough!! Any help would be great~thanks!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

Thanks Jeff

I have to send out a HUGE thanks to Jeff for letting us use his boat this weekend. It was SO MUCH FUN!!!! The kids, Jimmy and I all had a great time just being out on the water. It took a little time getting our "sea legs", but was a lot of fun. Classic, we get the boat in the water when Jimmy looks at me and says "the keys are in my pocket at home". So there I was holding a boat to a dock with my three kids running around wondering if they can go swimming. Normally, this would not be problem, but we were putting the boat down in at Armstrongs and it was DISGUSTING down there. We learned our lesson, on Sunday we put it in at Duck Lake...way better. I think I want to sell the motorhome and buy a boat. It is nice to just be doing nothing, but something!!

Yes, Eeyore had to boat with us as well. Heaven forbid we leave without him!!!

Isaac really enjoyed the "wind in his hair"!

Alli just wanted to play at the beach...well, that and "go fast" in the boat!!

Ash just wanted to drive the boat. I am getting a little nervous over her "abilites" to want to drive boats, 4-wheelers...AND RACECARS!!!!
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Don't Make Jimmy Mad...

My word of advise, don't make Jimmy mad. As you can see if the below picture, Jimmy is telling Isaac not to splash him. Jimmy and Ash were "warming up", but Isaac was having nothing to do with it...

So Jimmy picked him up and proceeded to "TOSS" him into the water.

If you notice the smile on his face, I don't think Isaac was all that concerned about getting "tossed" in.


Ok, lesson was not learned...it happened again...and again...and again!

Misc. Nashville

If you ever just want to "get away", I would totally recommend Nashville...even if you are not into country music, but it does make it better if you do! It is just a fun town with LOTS to do. There are a million little bars, including some chain bars with NO cover charge. You don't even need to be a drinker (as you all know I am not by my last post about Jack), the music: country, blues, jazz ALL GREAT!!!

The most handsome man alive (next to you, James), George Strait...the very coat he was wearing when he got inducted into the Hall of Fame

Inside the Ryman, the picture does not do the place justice!!!

This has a name...don't ask me what...can't remember. It is the same as the one in Greece. I guess Nashville is considered the "Athens of the South". They actually went to Greece and modeled this building after the original. They said it is with 1/4 of an inch to the orginal. Very cool to see in person, the detail is amazing.

Picture of the Belle Meade Mansion. We ate at a restaurant where we met to head cook, Martha Stamps. Now, I am not a cook so this meant nothing to me, but I guess she has written several book and is very good at what she does. I have to say the food was fabulous and I had my very first fried green tomato.
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