The Field Museum

So cool. I cannot wait to go back and spend a day here. We only had a couple of hours and it was barely enough time to sort of see Egypt, eat some icecream at the McDonalds and see part of the evolution of the earth. Not enough time!

Most of the pics are crummy, but thought I would share any way.

Child mummy.

Front entrance. Huge!

Totem poles in the front. Crazy how high that ceiling is no?

We disagree with Liam's opinion.
This was funny. This block of stone used for pyramid building took 72 men to move. The kids gave it their best shot though. And recruited some other museum goers but it wouldn't budge. ;)

Seriously have so many more pictures and I could have done so much more with this post, but I know I will never get back to it after the holidays so this slacker post will have to do! My humble apologies for the lameness. I'll be back in action come January, so long as people stay out of the hospital. ;)

Our Thanksgiving table and crafty stuff.

I forgot that I took pics of the tables for Thanksgiving. I was on a major budget, so I had to be creative. I bought everything on clearance, so the total of this entire table was less than $20. (I used my dinner plates as "chargers" under the paper plates. ) I also used twine that I had on hand, pinecones and greenery from foraging around outside, and the candles were also something I already had on hand.

The kid table (super basic, worked out perfectly):

The, the children:

Made in kindergarten of course!

Then after dinner the kids made turkey's out of choco-crispie treats and other assorted goodies. They were super proud! And it was a really nice thing to have for them to do. It can be tough to keep ten kids entertained!

Some finished products!

A close up of Evan's little turkey. He insisted. I didn't resist. ;)

LOL! Isn't this funny. I have no idea why it has red hair sprouting on its body. I think she might have been thinking chicken? Who can say.

It was a lovely time and we are so grateful that we could share the holiday with our wonderful new friends. Thanks so much for sharing your day with us!

Then we took a little trip to the hospital.

The day after our wonderful and exciting Thanksgiving and Kira's "real" eighth birthday, we had an adventure I hope to never relive.

Shawn got an intestinal blockage. It was ugly, involved intense pain, vomiting and other such ugliness. We went to the ER only to be sent home and then we went back 6 hours later and they admitted him. (Duh.) Sadly, that was our first mistake. Condell wound up being the biggest nightmare of a hospital ever.

Only after he was home did people start saying "Oh! I'm so glad it worked out, when I heard he was there I was really worried..." Great. Really? It is known to be a problem hospital, unfortunately for us, we had to learn our lesson the old fashioned way.

In addition to everything else, we don't actually know many people here who can just drop everything and take my kids and my life over. Lucky for us, we didn't have too. Katie and Terry pulled through and Katie flew out here for 12 days to help me. And it was a true help. I cannot begin to tell you how incredibly thankful we were. And while I hope to never have an opportunity to "repay" them, I would in a heart beat. She moved right in, cooking, cleaning, running errands, picking up and dropping off the kids and just let me be a wife. And let me tell you, there was no bigger relief in the world that someone loves my kids nearly as much as me showed up to take them on. And trust me, Shawn needed a wife. He needed and advocate in that hell. Those people were just down right scary. Seriously? What doctor wants to perform surgery on a patient but is hesitant to get their medical history from previous dr's? Who? Crazy right there, and they thought they were going to just have me smile and nod my ok.

In any case. I know this is a massively abbreviated version of our story, but I just am not up to typing it all out right now, I don't even really feel like thinking about it. But I needed to insert it, so everyone could understand why my sister was here.

A REAL parade! (It was for the children I swear!)

Ok. Well not really. In all honesty, I couldn't have cared less if the kids liked the parade or not (they did) because I have never missed the Macy's day parade EVER. I *LOVE* to watch that every year on Thanksgiving, so when the opportunity presented itself to see one pretty darn close here in Chicago, I took it. Torrey and I took four of his kids and my two and off we went. We took a short drive to park the van then walked to the El Train. That was fun, it's a subway half the time and over the city the other half. Evan loved it. Then we got there and in spite of the cold and sort-of rain going on the place was PACKED. So we wound up sitting behind the glass that covered the escalator to the El entrance. It actually wasn't too bad, not great for getting pictures, but oh well. Still a decent view for the eight of us. That was a feat. (Not to mention RIGHT beside an announcement booth, so everyone stopped and performed *right* in front of us!)
We only lasted about 30 minutes before all of the hungry children had consumed mass quantities of the pretzels and graham crackers I brought...only problem? No drinks. So we wound up heading into Subway for a drink, a cookie and a bathroom break. (That was fun and tricky with all those snow pants...). Then right as we were leaving Subway we caught Santa! The very end of the parade literally as we walked out the door. Then we all headed home for lunch, and a quick nap before we all met up at our house for Thanksgiving dinner! (Shawn Shala,and Hope were at home cooking up a storm for all of us! Thanks you guys!)

Kira plugging her ears when the train went by. It was pretty loud. :)

Underdog. None of the kids had a clue. It made me smile though.

Ok, and Rocky and Bullwinkle? How cool is that? The kids didn't get it. ;)

These girls were super cute. They just carried their piece of plywood with them, then put it down and tapped their hearts out. Darling!

Onto Subway for our snacks:
The elusive Iris. I couldn't get her to look at me with my camera to save my life. Had to bribe her with a cookie. ;)