Saturday, September 22, 2007

It's coming.......

Fall that is!

I drove past this tree this week and amongst the green was this VIVID red! It was so beautiful that I had to stop and grab my camera!! This is a small picture of what's to come, and I can't wait!

We had that one cold night last week, but the temp bounced back up into the 80's this entire week. The mornings have started out in the 60's. Today was the prettiest of all! No wind and about 74 degrees. I worked out in the yard with Johnny clearing out dead tree branches caused by the storm a few weeks ago. I just couldn't stand to be inside!! It was too beautiful. I had forgotten what fall feels like. Let me tell you, it's AWESOME!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Granddaddy & Granddonna

We enjoyed a wonderful visit from Jen's parents this week! They came and spent time with the kids and went to the boy's soccer games! We had a great time showing them around Wheaton, and the weather was BEAUTIFUL! Thanks for a fun visit!

By the way, they drove 950 miles before arriving at our house! Looks like it CAN be done!

Nana & Granddaddy

I've decided to make a blog label for VISITORS!

I need to give credit to Johnny's parents for being our first-ever visitors as they brought the kids to Wheaton after keeping them for 2 weeks while we moved all of our belongings into our new house. I didn't have the blog going yet, so I didn't get a picture while they were here. (Not to mention we were in slight disarray!) BUT, they are planning to come visit for Thanksgiving, so we will add their photo under a new post then.

If you come visit, we'll add YOU to our blog! Hope to see you soon!!

Toothless Wonder

Grayson has had a tough time losing teeth! His first one didn't pop out until this summer (age 7 1/2). He has since lost the other bottom one.....until Monday!

Gray fell about two years ago at Blue Sky stepping over the plastic wall going into the small soccer field. It started slowly killing his tooth, but because he was already 5, the dentist said to just let nature take it's course. We have since discovered that wiggling teeth is not high on his priority list, and those top two teeth have been loose for some time, but haven't been ready to pull. His sick tooth finally decided to rebel! The tooth was bleeding out of the bottom of the tooth (not at the gum-line) and then he developed a lovely abscess on the gum above the sick tooth. Now it was too sore to wiggle. Hmmm. Not good. Time to go to the dentist!

Dr. Kirkland agreed that his tooth was pretty sick and needed some help coming out. Since the top two were both ready, she numbed him up and voila!....Grayson now has an even more adorable smile!

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Awesome Power of God

*If you are new to reading the blog, please read my entry on "So what the Heck is a Sump Pump anyway," before you read this one. You will find it under the label "Weather."
I told you that the storm that blew through here was huge. My best description is that it was an AWESOME DISPLAY OF GOD'S POWER AND MIGHT!
Psalm 135:6-7
The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth; he sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
And open his storehouses he did. I'm guessing he got a lot of people's attention. Giant trees were thrown around like twigs. Here is the proof....

This is a normal sight in many yards across Wheaton. Once enormous trees, thriving and providing shade, reduced to firewood.....or just scalped.
So I've asked myself several times, why? Why would God do this? And the answers I always come back to? 1) God can do whatever he wants and he doesn't need to answer to me. 2) I have no reason to question the awesome power of God as he is all-knowing, all-seeing, and he clearly knows a lot more than I do.
Isaiah 55:8-9
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways" declares the Lord. As the Heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isn't that cool?

The Illinois Prairie Path

The Illinois Prairie Path is a network of 61 miles of bicycle and running trails, built on an old railway, mostly in DuPage County. Portions of the trail extend west to Kane County and east to Cook County. Lucky for me, I can pick it up just a 5 minute run from my front door.

I've been trying to run as much as I can all summer. I've had some challenges to overcome, and at times I can't drag myself out of bed to hit the trail, but when I do, I'm ALWAYS glad I did. If you look at the picture below, you can see why. Isn't it beautiful?

Johnny leaves for work at 6:45 so he can catch the 6:54 train into the city. If I want to run, I have to be back by 6:45. That means getting up waaay earlier than I'm used to!

The weather, like in most places is unpredictable. It ended up raining a lot of mornings. Sometimes I'd get up, eager to run, only to find it wet and rainy. I'm sure the die-hard marathon runners hit the path anyway, but hey, I never said I was a die-hard marathon runner. So, back to bed for me.

All of the rain caused much humidity here. Many warned me of the humidity in Chicago, but I informed them that I was from Dallas and clearly knew all about humidity. Well, I was wrong. Dallas ain't got nuthin' on Chicago from a humidity stand-point. Sure, it was humid in Dallas, but never so that I didn't even want to step foot outside. If I did, I immediately wanted a shower. AND, it was difficult to breathe. Needless to say, not great running conditions. (As a side note, we really only had to suffer through maybe 2 weeks of extreme humidity. All in all, most of the summer weather was great.)

The rain and humidity brought another little treat. An ABUNDANCE of mosquitoes. Hungry ones. One day after the humidity had calmed down, I eagerly hit the path. I didn't realize what a problem the mosquitoes were until AFTER I got through with my run. I guess with the adrenaline pumping and the music jamming I didn't realize that I was breakfast for the hungry masses. Luckily the Benadryl kicked in quickly and I was only swollen twice my size for about 4 hours.

If you've kept up with my blog, you probably read all about the bad storm. Sadly, a lot of damage was done to trees along the path, and portions of it were not in running condition for some time. And although the crews worked quickly to restore the path, I missed many morning jogs.

Now here it is, mid-September. My new reason for not running is that, "baby, it's cold outside." I am a little behind the curve on what to wear on a 6 am jog when it's still below 50. I'm thinking I'll wear my p.j.'s, stay in bed and hit the treadmill in the afternoon. I'll save the beautiful Prairie Path for summer. And now I have something to look forward to.

Ahhhh, the Prairie Path. What a wonderful thing.

West Street

This is West Street. I drive on this street almost everyday. It's a beautiful street and it's so picturesque that when I drive down it I feel like I'm on the set of the movie Pleasantville. It's got white picket fences, Colonial style homes, pristine lawns, and gorgeous trees.
After I dropped the kids at school one day, I decided to stop and take a picture. I thought of you, my blog readers, and thought maybe you'd like a glimpse of what we see everyday. And here you have it. Ladies and Gentlemen, West Street.

Halle Starts Pre-School

Halle is going to pre-school at Wheaton Bible Church. She goes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 12:45-3:15. She really likes her class, loves her teachers and is busy making new friends.

This is Mrs. Brook.

This is Mrs. Darr.

This is Mrs. Boutwell and Liza.

Weather Update

I think it's trying to be Fall. It's supposed to get down in the 30's tonight. I am in slight denial that this cold stuff is coming. I'll let you know if I survive.

I lived through the night. Evidently it stays warm in the house EVEN when it's 34 outside and you can't bring yourself to turn on the heat in September.

It was another absolutely BEAUTIFUL day. They called it ABUNDANTLY sunny. And that it was. High was in the mid 60's with bright sun shining to keep you warm. Now it's 9:15 PM and the temp has dropped to 50. If you step outside you'd think it was January in Texas. I can smell the fireplaces! This is sort of fun. Who knew you could wear FALL clothes in the FALL! What a concept.

Seven Gables

The boys both train for soccer at Seven Gables Park. It is one of the many parks belonging to the Wheaton Park District, and is a stunning place to hang out. This complex has a lot of soccer fields, baseball fields, biking and running trails, tennis courts, a playground, and a pretty duck pond with a fountain.

One day while the boys were both at practice, Halle and I decided to make the most of the ABUNDANTLY sunny weather. It was about 72 degrees, and I'm glad to report that the mosquitoes had subsided! Halle got some great exercise riding her bike, and I had to walk really fast to keep up with her.

These other two pics are of Grayson's soccer practice. What a privilege to train at such a great facility. Thank you Wheaton Park District!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Parker Plays for the CHICAGO FIRE Jrs.!

Parker tried out for the Chicago Fire Jrs. club team and made the Premiere Team....the most advanced team in the club. They have really stepped up soccer this year at U11 although here in Chicago they don't get SUPER competitive until U12. (He would have been playing Classic League in Dallas at U11). He will play 10 regular season games. His team is in the highest division, so he will have tough competition this season.
He is coached by Coach Daryl Shore who is a trainer for the MLS Chicago Fire team. This is pretty awesome!! And, when his coach has a commitment with the MLS team that conflicts with practice, he sends one of the MLS players to run the training session! You know that Parker loves that, too!
Parker trains 3 times a week for an hour and a half. This is a fabulous opportunity to continue the great training that Parker received while we lived in Dallas.

Here Parker is ready to defend his goal on a corner kick.

Parker is ready to make a clean pass to a teammate!