Friday, September 28, 2007

Welcome Home!!

After 5 months in the hospital and rehab, Becca was finally able to come home today!!! It also happens to be her it was the perfect present! Jacob, Jenna and I left school so we could be at her house when they pulled in. The kids each made a poster and picked out some balloons. Ryan's mom and Chris' aunt Celesta also were waiting with us. Becca was beaming when she got out of the car. I think she was truly happy just to finally be home!! Chris was able to stop by about 10 minutes later. When he asked her how it felt to be home, she said "I'm free"! We're so excited to have her back home. Now we'll be able to visit more often. It will be so nice not to have to drive to Ft Wayne anymore...and to be out of the hospital setting!

Below are a few photos from her homecoming.

We love you!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Little Miss Lollipop

I have been wanting to share these photos for two weeks and just haven't found time...until today! This photo "session" was totally impromtu. Jenna was eating a giant lollipop she had gotten on a recent trip to Chuck E Cheese with Uncle Ryan. I noticed how fun the colors of her lollipop were and how perfectly they matched her we headed outside for a few (HA HA) photos. She had SO much fun just playing around and I just kept snapping away. We were only outside for about 10 minutes, but I got some really fun photos. I really don't know if I can choose a favorite. By the way...the poses are 100% her idea - no coaching from Mom on these!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A quick update from us....

We're still here...staying busy...and neglecting the blog! I thought I'd better post a quick update before I start my Saturday morning errands.

  • The kids' activities have all started back up and are in full swing - soccer, piano, and Mustard Seeds (Children's church group) for Jacob and dance for Jenna. Jacob decided to not participate in boy's choir this year - he just felt like he was involved in too many things along with increased homework in 4th grade. It was hard for him to choose which activity to give up.
  • We spent last Saturday at BGSU with 2 sets of neighbors. The son of one of neighbors, Craig, runs cross country for OU, so we went up to BG to watch his meet. The weather was perfect....and he ended up finishing in 1st place. YAHOO! In fact, the first place finisher for the girls also is a VW graduate. That was kind of neat. After the race we went to eat at Pollyeyes (no Myle's for me this trip...I was bummed) and then a trip to SBX so I could buy some new BGSU gear. I got a fun new hooded sweatshirt - dark grey w/hot pink letters - a little different from the usual brown/orange - Jacob got a cool brown/orange long sleeve tshirt, and Jenna got a hooded sweatshirt (pink, of course). Then we went shopping in Perrysburg. The guys (minus Jacob) all went golfing. Photos from our BG trip will be coming soon!
  • Last Sunday, Jenna and I made a trip to Urbana for my cousin Lori's baby shower. We had a great time visiting with everyone and "oohing" and "ahhing" over all her cute gifts. Jenna broke out in hives during the shower....but Uncle Tom came to the rescue with Benadryl. She also broke out in hives on Friday at school. Not sure what's going on with that. Photos from the shower coming VERY soon (I promise Lori!).
  • Monday I stayed home from school. I woke up feeling really dizzy. This is the 3rd time in 3 months this has happened. The dizziness wouldn't stop and was really frustrating, so I went to the dr. that afternoon...and made Chris drive me. After throwing out terms like "verticular dysfunction" and "labyrynthitis" and "nsytagmus", it turns out that I'm not making this up. I basically have fluid in my inner ears, which causes the extreme dizziness. There isn't much they can do for it, except to treat the underlying causes (allergies and sinus). So I have allergy pills, sinus spray, and anti-dizziness medication to take. Hopefully that clears this up because I hate feeling like that.
  • Big news of the week: Becca is coming home next Friday (her birthday). We're all so excited!! Please continue to keep her in your prayers. I think the adjustment at home is going to be difficult for her as she tries to learn how to adapt at home.

I have lots of photos to share this week - our trip to BGSU, Lori's shower, photos from a fun photo "shoot" with Jenna. I need to get on the ball and get those editted and posted!!


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Chicago - Part 2

Because our train back to Bryan didn't leave Chicago until 10pm, we had another full day to spend in Chicago. In the morning, Jenna, her American Girl doll, and I headed to the American Girl store for brunch. Our first stop was the doll hair salon (Yes....I said doll hair salon!) to have her doll's hair done. The doll's hair was out of control and after $15 it looks much, much better. (Who would have ever thought I'd pay $15 to have a doll's hair done? You just get sucked into things like that once you enter the American Girl store!!) Our next stop was brunch in the cafe inside the store. Everything in the cafe was decorated in black, white, and hot pink. It was so cute! Jenna's doll got a special high chair that hooked right on the table next to her - she even got her own doll-sized cup and plate! The food was really good and the servings were huge! We had cinnamon rolls to start. I ordered french toast with cinnamon apples and Jenna had breakfast pizza. Then they brought our dessert - white chocolate mouse with oreos crumbled on top and an iced sugar cookie. By the way, dessert at breakfast is a BRILLIANT idea! Our last stop was shopping. Jenna used some of the money she had saved to buy her doll a new outfit - jeans and a Chicago t-shirt - and then I splurged and bought Jenna a matching t-shirt.

While we were at breakfast the boys ventured to Mary's diner and had their own breakfast and then headed to some stores on Michigan Avenue. We went back to the hotel to get our stuff together and take a quick nap (I was starting to not feel well....which I later found out was strep throat). After we checked out, we walked down Michigan Avenue to the Lego store. We decided to get tickets for a double decker bus tour of the city. The kids loved it - esepcially Jacob. He can tell you all about the great Chicago fire and the Hancock building. There were 13 stops on our tour and with only 3 stops left to go, our bus broke down (the axle broke). We all had to climb off and wait for other buses to come pick us up! We eventually finished up our tour and then headed to the Rainforest Cafe for dinner. After dinner we walked along Michigan Avenue and bought Garrett's popcorn for a train treat (YUMMY stuff!). Then it was time to head back to the hotel, pick up our luggage, and take a cab back to Union Station to catch our train. Our train left on time (10pm central time) and we finally got home to Van Wert at 3:45 am!!
Buckingham Fountain (taken from the bus)
Michigan Avenue
Hancock Building
Tribune Tower

Our broken down bus
Waiting oh-so-patiently for another bus to come pick us up. Luckily it broke down near a big grassy area, so we had somewhere to wait!
Skyline along the Chicago River

Chicago River - and yes, it really is that green!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Chicago- part 1

I finally have some time to update the blog and share photos from our Chicago trip!!
We left for Chicago last Sunday morning...bright and early!! We had decided to take the Amtrak train from Bryan to Chicago...which means we had to leave home at 5:45am! YIKES! We arrived at the TINY train station (if you can call it that) in Bryan (I really should have taken a picture of it) and began to wait. After waiting, we called Amtrak and discovered that our train was running an hour and a half late!! It finally came around 8:30am, we hopped on, and off we went! The beginning of the trip was very stop and go while we waited for other trains to pass on the tracks or stopped at other stops, but eventually we got going. We arrived at Union Station in Chicago around noon and then took a cab to our hotel.

We stayed at the Wyndham Hotel, which was a block from Michigan Avenue - right in the heart of the city. We checked in and then took a bus to the Shedd Aquarium. We spent all afternoon there looking at fish and other water creatures. We even got to watch a dolphin show. After leaving the aquarium, we took a water taxi to Navy Pier. Later we walked back to our hotel and went in search of dinner. Every place was we ended up getting take out from Gino's East (Yummy deep dish Chicago pizza) and ate in our hotel room. By 10:00 we were all in bed trying to recover from our early morning start!!

The view while waiting for our train at 7:00am (down the tracks to the East)

The view down the tracks to the West ....I literally just turned around and snapped the photos above and below. Quite a difference, huh??

Getting ready to go into the aquarium (we had to wait in a long line to get in!). They had a special exhibit of lizards and komodo dragons, so they had this huge inflatable Komodo dragon that you walked through to enter the museum. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and didn't get to see the exhibit (I'm still not sure why lizards and Komodo dragons were at the aquarium though!). Jacob was really bummed we didn't get to see them.

Jacob at the aquarium - he was fascinated by all the fish and creatures!

The view of the skyline outside the aquarium

Self portrait of Jenna and I taken on the water taxi - I love the sun!
LOVE this photo - pretty impressive considering I only used my point and shoot digital camera. I left my "good" camera at home this time!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

VW County Fair

We didn't make it to the fair many times this year. The kids and I went on opening night so we could eat supper and walk around. Our whole family went back on Friday night for food, pony rides, the fun house, and then we checked out some of the animal barns. On Saturday, Jenna and I went with my friend Deb (who also happens to be Jenna's kindergarten teacher) and her son Gage to the cheerleading competition. Later Chris, Jacob, Deb's husband Mike, and her other 2 boys - Cade and Dane - met us and we let the kids ride some rides. Jenna is still at the age where she rides all the fun kiddie rides. Jacob is too big for those, but not quite brave enough to ride all the spinning and twirling bigger rides. He did go on quite a few rides with Cade, but he was pretty conservative in his choices.

Jenna and Gage on the dragon mini-coaster (They're in the second seat with their hands in their air!)

Jacob and Cade on the Musik Express- I lost track of how many times they rode this!

Jenna and Gage on the mini-ferris wheel

Dane, Cade, and Jacob on the giant slide
Jenna and Gage on the mini scrambler
Dane on the scrambler