Friday, November 30, 2007


My friend Stacey came to visit! We had a GREAT time! I picked her up from the airport on Thursday. Her husband had a meeting in Chicago, so he headed into the city, and I brought Stacey back to Wheaton. I showed her all around town, the kid's school, our church, etc.
Thursday night Johnny watched the kids and Stace and I went to downtown Wheaton to eat at a restaurant called The Bank.

Friday, after dropping all the kids at school, we headed into Chicago ourselves for a little shopping on Michigan Avenue. Here we are in from of the Christmas tree at Bloomingdales!

After shopping we met Larry and Johnny for dinner at Gene and Georgetti's Steakhouse. What a great 2 days! Stacey and Larry, come see us again!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Nana & Granddaddy Harris

We had special guests for our first Thanksgiving in Wheaton! Check out our other entries to see all that we did while they were here!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

John Hancock Center

Since John and Jane were here for Thanksgiving, we decided to go into Chicago. The John Hancock Center has an awesome observatory at the top. Fun fact: the elevator that services the observatory travels up 93 floors in a mere 45 seconds. From the top you can see spectacular views spanning 80 miles, as well as 4 states. Can you name them?

WOW! It's a loooong way down.......

.....and didn't I tell you the view was SPECTACULAR?

My only complaint is that the windows were a little dirty. I sent Mom, Chatlie and Dad out there to clean them.

They couldn't handle it, so I sent out the reinforcements.

After all of that window cleaning, Halle decided to take a rest out over the plaza.

We had so much fun in the city! The adults went to see Wicked (a musical) and the kids went with Mr. Matt & Mel (a co-worker of Johnny's). He took them to Shedd's Aquarium. I'm not sure who had more fun! We finished the day with an over-priced meal at Rainforest Cafe, but the kids were happy, and that's what makes it worth it!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Bring on the Christmas Season

We kicked off the Christmas season by going to the Wheaton Christmas parade. Good old fashioned Christmas caroling started off the evening.

Downtown Wheaton looks beautiful with all the trees in lights.

We experienced some cold weather at the parade. It was a nice lesson in what to and what not to wear. For instance, we learned that Grayson's coat was not quite warm enough, and jeans alone will not keep your legs warm! The hot chocolate and coffee warmed us, though.

The final float had the jolly man himself!

There were even special Disney visitors! Halle enjoyed meeting Snow White.

Another lesson learned.....Halle's mary jane's are not enough to keep her feet warm. Her little toes were frozen! Dad to the rescue. We are all much wiser as we step out into the cold!


Thursday, November 22, 2007


What a special FIRST THANKSGIVING in Wheaton! Here's a little bit about our awesome day:

Since this was our first Thanksgiving away from Dallas, I had to grow up and cook Thanksgiving dinner! In the past it was always prepared by Amber, Andrea, Karri, or my mom. I, of course, contributed the normal side dishes and appetizers, but I have NEVER been responsible for the BIRD or the ENTIRE meal. I cooked for many, many days, and although my feet were tired and my back hurt a bit, I made a SUPERB (if I do say so myself) meal. And I only needed to call my mom 14 times in the process!
Here I am on Thanksgiving morning putting TOM in the oven. Thanks to Rachel Ray and her Maple-Glazed Roast Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy recipe, my first attempt at turkey cooking was a success!

Above and below: the elves showed up early! Although I was responsible for the cooking, I had a few helpers! Halle washed dishes, and Johnny's mom made her famous mac-n-cheese.

TA-DAH! Looks good enough to eat! Johnny's mom said of my turkey, and I quote, "that was the absolute BEST turkey I've ever had."

This was a very interesting dish. I'm normally a bread stuffing girl (aka Stouffers), but this recipe (another from Rachel Ray) sounded so yummy I had to try it. The dish is called Toasted Cornbread, Bacon and Chestnut stuffing. I think it's sort of a blend of stuffing/dressing--a cornbread base, but it toasted up nice a crisp. Very, very good. I think my guests were impressed.

Here is everyone at the table all ready for a great meal. I am so thankful for the family that came to spend Thanksgiving with us. Our new home is a reflection of the love within.

I had to share Parker and his consumption of the turkey legs! For a moment I thought I was at a Renaissance Festival.....but no, it was just Parker! He LOVES the dark meat! Have at it, buddy!

Thanksgiving Menu:

Maple-Glazed Turkey

Apple Cider Gravy

Toasted Cornbread, Bacon and Chestnut Stuffing

Famous Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Southern Green Beans

Sweet Potato Souffle

Dinner Rolls

Pumpkin Pie

Homemade Banana Cake (for Chatlie's birthday)

Yumm-O! We sincerely wish you had been here!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Bird

OK, funny story! Tonight I was laying by the fire with the kids and I heard some commotion overhead. The boys screamed, "Mom, there's a bird in the house!" I looked up to see a small bird take flight from the fake plant I have on top of the armoire housing our tv and land on another plant in the kitchen. WHAT? A bird?? How in the world did THAT get in here?

And then I remembered the story that Johnny told me Monday night. (Yes, count it up....this is 2 days later!) As he opened the front door after work on Monday night, he realized that a bird had taken up residence in the basket of flowers I have hanging on the front door. It was flustered (and so was he). Evidently it slightly attacked the top of his head, and he believed that it flew away. I'm guessing THAT was the moment that it flew into the house.

I'm sure we could have won a comedy award as we all attempted to shoo the small, scared bird out of the house! We finally prevailed and he flew out the front door. I'm sure he was thrilled to have escaped....until he realized that he left our warm environment and headed straight into the snow. Poor guy. And to think that he was in our house for 2 days and we didn't even know it!

Grandparents Day

John and Jane (aka Granddaddy and Nana) planned their vacation to see us around Grandparent's Day. It was so thoughtful for them to come so that the boys weren't alone on their first Grandparent's Day at Wheaton Christian Grammar School.
Grayson is showing Nana his desk and school work.

Parker is showing Granddaddy his classroom and desk.

Nana and Granddaddy ended up trading off classrooms. Halfway through the morning, they switched boys so that they could both experience time with each one. I know that the boys truly appreciate them!

Nana said that it was so wonderful that it was one of her most favorite days ever. I think she's glad she was able to be here, too!


Attention, attention! Snow has been sighted at the Harris household as of 8:44 PM this evening.

Here is Halle with her sweet cousin, Chatlie! Check out those snow boots!!


Our niece, Chatlie, came to visit for Thanksgiving from Florida. It began to snow tonight, and she informed us that she has NEVER seen snow! I think she likes it! It looks good on her anyway!

Running Squaw

It must be getting close to Thanksgiving. The Indians are beginning to assemble.


OK, so winter arrived a little faster than I expected. THEY ARE CALLING FOR SNOW ON THANKSGIVING DAY. I can't believe it!

Last week it was fall. The temp was somewhere in the 50's and the leaves were gently falling (all day--it was like it was snowing leaves! It was beautiful.) The ground was covered with great big, colorful leaves. THIS week has been rainy and wet. The leaves have lost their fluffiness and are now wet and compressed. And the snow should start around 11 pm tonight.

I'm looking for the bright spots: we get to experience SNOW with Johnny's parents since they are here for Thanksgiving. Johnny's niece, Chatlie, is also coming from Florida today, and it will be an experience for her as well! AND, it looks like we have an opportunity to try out our new snow gear! We'll consider it a TRIAL-RUN so we can make sure we're ready for the snow season. I'll let you know how we make out. Watch for the "All Things Winter" costs to shoot up! I may have to buy something off of that strange isle in Target. Wish us luck!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Snowing Leaves

The ground is just covered with these huge yellow leaves! I noticed today that they collect on the houses just like snow. It's so pretty!

It's hard to photograph, but the leaves are just swiftly falling off the trees all day. I LOVE IT!

The kids kick through them after school.

Here come Parker, Caleb, Grayson and Cassidy! School is out!

I love this place!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Jeff & Karri

Jen's brother, Jeff, and his wife Karri came to visit! We sure enjoyed it!

Jeff lent the kids a hand in raking leaves.

He even joined in a friendly game of football!

It appears as though Grayson's team came in 2nd place!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Fall Frolic

What can be better than playing in a freshly raked pile of leaves?

Here are the kids in slow motion, jumping into a HUGE pile!

I think Parker actually caught some air!

They almost appear completely buried, but if you look closely, you can see all three faces!

See? Peek-a-boo! We see you!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

New Aisle in TARGET

I was strolling through my most favorite store in the universe, TARGET, and whoa! What is this? Some kind of a strange aisle. It included lots of red metal and plastic things with black handles. I'm not real sure what all of it is for, but it must be important if they have a WHOLE aisle devoted to it. I was so shocked to see it that I had to snap a picture. (Some other shoppers gave me weird looks. I wondered why they weren't taking picutres of it too! I mean, I've been to Target at least once a week for many, many years, and I've NEVER seen anything like this before!)

And on another shelf I saw that for the low, low price of $12.99, I can buy ice melt for my dog. Glad I don't have one of those!

And this is when I realized, WE AIN'T IN TEXAS NO MORE!