Friday, June 26, 2009

Happy Father's Day to Darrell

We returned home from our trip Saturday evening, so we tried to give Darrell a nice Father's Day on Sunday, even though there was lots to be done upon returning from such a long trip. Everyone was tired, but the kids still wanted to give Darrell breakfast in bed (even though he had been up before the children). So here's a late Father's Day wish (not quite a week late) to Darrell: You are an amazing husband, father, and man and the children and I cherish you every day! I am so thankful to have you in my life, as my partner raising these wonderful children that God has blessed us with. We love you, Darrell!!!!!!

Heading back to PA by way of Chicago

We spent another day on our way back to PA....and of course, Aunt Sue had another adventure in store for us: a trip to Lake County, Illinois! We went to Lake County Discovery Museum.....

and enjoyed a side trip to Bonner Farm!

Here's one last picture of us before the long drive home to PA from Chicago....the big bad blueberry (our van) was kind to us and didn't break down once!

View from the farm

I walked around my dad's farm one day and just took some pictures, capturing the rural feel of the area I grew up. The farm my dad and my step-mom live on is not the one I grew up on, but it is not far away. Above is a picture of what I call my dad's "infirmary"....he fixes up antique tractors (only the red ones, please!) and I think these are for parts.
Dad and Mary's house.....
and some views from all sides......just lots of corn fields....

As we were driving around one night, Ann-Marie made the comment that there were moving lights in all the little forests. I didn't understand at first what she meant, but then it occurred to me that all the little forests she saw were farms...they were so spread out and had trees all around for wind protection that she thought we were passing little forests.....ahhh, the perspective of a town girl!

I think what I appreciate now (that I didn't growing up) is the vastness of the sky - you can see storms rolling in from any direction; the freshness of the air (yes, with a twinge or more of the manure smell); and the beauty of the crops growing at this time of year. Visiting Iowa slows me down and makes me appreciate the simple things of life.

Rural activities

So what does one do other than visit family and friends in northeast go to West Union Dairy Days and enter your kids in the kiddie tractor pull......

and you go to Fredericksburg Dairy days; one day to ride half price rides and the next day to attend two parades (one in the morning and one in the evening) take your kids to the park you used to camp at every summer and introduce them to the joys of the circle go swimming at the new pool they have in town....and you give them lots of rides on the tractors and four wheelers........and let them play with the new kittens on the farm....whew....there was a lot to do to keep us busy!

Time with Grandpa and Amma

The best gift we get when we go back to Iowa is TIME....especially time spent with Grandpa and Amma......

and Amma always has a baking project for the kids....this time it was mint chocolate chip cookies....

Family in Iowa

Here's a peek at some (not all) of the relatives we enjoyed spending time with this trip:

Time in Chicago

The three kids and I left Pennsylvania at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 4th (yes, Darrell would fly in later....lucky guy!) We arrived in Prospect Heights, IL ( a suburb of Chicago) at about 8:30 p.m. (which made the trip about eight hours....not bad). It was a smooth trip (with the exception of a dead battery to begin the trip and a police officer checking up on us during one of our many road side pee stops!) It was good to be at my Aunt Sue and Uncle Lyle's house...and Aunt Sue had an adventure waiting for us the next are pictures from the Morton Arboretum....

And below, Uncle Lyle spoiling the kids with smore's!