Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Summer Fun!

No, I haven't given up the blog (despite my severe lack of posts lately). I am just very behind. But, as usual, I am trying to catch up! So let's remember back to summer. Summer in Chicago is the best, so we try our best to take advantage of it because it passes so quickly! One of our favorite early summer traditions is going strawberry picking, so we picked a nice Saturday and headed about 45 minutes north of us to our favorite place, Stade's Farm. This was going to be fun for Matthew, as last year we just carried him around. This year, I was certain he was going to have fun.  Abbey, our always happy to help Matthew girl, pushed his stroller out to the fields.
Matthew enjoyed walking around the fields.  And once he realized he could eat the strawberries straight from the plant, he was a happy camper!
Everybody wanting to help Matthew fill his basket!
I remember bringing this girl when she was a little older than Matthew and she just found a spot, sat down, and had herself a messy meal!  Now she is laughing as Matthew does the same thing!  Can't believe how quickly she has grown.

Abbey was trying to show Matthew to put the strawberries into the basket, but all Matthew saw was a nice basket of strawberries all ready for him to eat!

We had to pull Matthew out of there!
We got some sugar snap peas too, which are so yummy!  We had a good picking this year!
And our trip wouldn't be complete without the strawberry smoothies and apple donuts.

Delicious!!!  Although I had wonderful thoughts of making strawberry filled goodies, we pretty much just ate them all.  I did end up making some strawberry jam, which everyone liked, but I had to fight the kids off the strawberries so I could just have enough to make a small amount of jam.  I love that they just enjoy eating them though.  And they loved the sugar snap peas too.
Since Paul is working downtown now, we decided to take advantage of that too.  So, one afternoon, I got a sitter for Matthew and took the older 3 downtown in the afternoon to meet Daddy and have some fun downtown.  We figured we would just be able to do a bit more if Matthew stayed behind and he probably had more fun playing with his favorite sitter than being dragged around downtown.  So we waited for an afternoon train.
Kids were awesome on the train.  Abbey brought some coloring to do.
And these two brought books to read.
Daddy met us at the train station and then we took a water taxi over to Millennium Park.
First stop was to visit The Bean!

I had actually not been to the Bean before and I must say that it was pretty cool.

Then we walked over to the brand new Maggie Daley Park, which was amazing!  So much fun stuff for the kids to do - check out this entire area of huge slides!

They had all these separate areas of things to climb on.  The kids had so much fun!  
Then we found these nesting swings, which the kids enjoyed.

Then we took the train home.  It was a really fun afternoon and it felt good to take advantage of the city.  

Summer also meant that our good friends, the O'Connor's, came back from Singapore for a 6 week visit!  We were so excited to welcome them back home!
And Matthew has really gotten into his books lately too.
He is a super reader at the library!
He also got this new toy and loves dunking all his toys in it!

Summer is off to a great start!

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