Friday, April 30, 2010

Our Quick Trip to Chicago

In March, the children and I made took a road trip to Chicago. It was bittersweet.

We had been planning to visit Brent and Melissa. They bought their first home this winter and we were looking forward to seeing it!

As the time for our trip drew near, we received word that my Uncle Bob (who has always lived in the Chicago area) had passed away, and so we moved our trip up a week so that we could attend the funeral. This meant that Mike wasn't able to make the trip with us because of meetings he had at work, but we'd go ahead and combine it with the visit to Brent and Melissa's.

It was a great blessing to have my children with me for the service honoring my uncle. And I enjoyed a short visit with my dad and the chance to see aunts and uncles and cousins. I regret that we haven't made more effort to stay connected. Maybe Uncle Bob's last gift to us is that reminder that we need to invest in strengthening those family ties. I didn't take any pictures, why is that? It never seems the appropriate thing to do, and then I regret it later.

And then, we had a couple of days of fun with my biggest kids. I loved their new home -
they have already done some really nice work getting the upstairs apartment ready for rental, and have plans to do a little more renovating on the main floor, but they've already done a nice job making it warm and welcoming. They played board games, soccer in the back yard.We had the best, BIGGEST burritos ever! for supper one night. Also had a chance to visit with Melissa's parents over dessert and a romp in the backyard with the dogs.

Brent was able to work his schedule so he could join us for a trip to the Science Museum.

We were able to see an actual German U-boat, and learn about life on a submarine. The hands-on displays were terrific!

Brent and Noah tried their hand at 'driving' the sub, then Esther and Gabe gave it a try. I think maybe I would have been sea-sick if a passenger on their submarines! It's harder than it looks.

They also had a really cool space and aeronautics display. We saw real-life astronaut suits, and space craft that had been in space. Here you see an astronaut in the making!

and here is a remote control model of the Mars Rover - the big boys sure had a good time with this one!

and who would have thought the kids from the country would have to travel all the way to the big city, just to ride on a tractor?

The morning we left for home, Caitlin and I were planning to take a picture of the front of their house, but in the chaos and commotion, we didn't get it done. Oh, well. It'll have to wait til next visit - unless you want to send one to me, Melissa!

We had a really nice time, but I'm not very good at this long-distance mothering - in my opinion, it stinks - but there are some things in life that are out of my control, so I'll just have to work at making the best of the situation.

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