Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Thomas the Tank Engine

Thanks to a gift from my mom's cousin, Eliel had the opportunity to see Thomas the Tank Engine this weekend at the Illinois Railway Museum. Although Eliel loved going on the train ride, I think he was more impressed with other railway cars that were there on permanent display.

Our ride on Thomas was fun but unfortunately, besides the fact that Thomas is pulling the train,
there's nothing else special about the ride.  (And actually Thomas isn't pulling the train but a diesel engine was at the back of the train pushing it!) We couldn't see Thomas while on the train but Eliel had a blast watching him pull the train throughout the rest of the day.

We had lots more fun riding real street cars around the outdoor museum as well as walking through the different barns and enjoying the different eras of trains.  There were some Pullman trains that were actually open so that you could walk through them.  Eliel was impressed with the dining car complete with a full size kitchen.  He was also impressed with the sleeping cars. Perhaps one day we'll need to take a vacation by train instead of plane!

I'm on the caboose!

In addition to seeing all the trains, Eliel was treated to a Thomas tattoo which he LOVED.  We all had a blast and are thankful we were able to have this experience!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Lakehouse Vacation

We spent about five days up in Tomah, Wisconsin at a cabin on a private lake.  We went up there with Adam's parents as well as his uncle and cousin from Germany. 
Our cabin was one of four on a small lake.  Each cabin had it's own rowboat, paddleboat and dock.  There was also a shared water trampoline in the center of the lake which made for great fun!  Eliel's favorite part was the sand beaches.  He could have spent hours using his trucks to dig up the sand and pour it into another waiting dump truck.  Most of us swam in the lake except for Eliel.  He had no desire to and we didn't want to force him.  He did, however enjoy swimming in the 'hot pool'. 

We were lucky enough to have an 8 person hot tub in our cabin and so when the weather turned cold and rainy for a few days, it was a welcomed diversion.  We turned it down as low as it would go and Eliel had a ball jumping, playing and floating all around.  Others enjoyed it too but not as much as Eliel!

One of the highlights of the trip was being able to fish right off the pier at the back of the house.  I had only been fishing once in my life when I was in grade school but Eliel goes frequently with Papa Paul so he was quite experienced!  He caught a fish on his first try and pretty much every time thereafter as well.  He was even able to reel in a few of his own fish!  Mommy had beginner's luck and once I got the hang of it, caught a lot of bluegill fish.  After a few hours, I
even got brave enough to take them off the hook.  I wasn't quite as brave with putting the squirming worms on the hook though.  My problem was solved by using one of Adam's Dad's lures.  It was meant to catch bass and although I wasn't as lucky with bass as bluegill, I did manage to catch a few.  My only problem, I wasn't as keen about taking the bass off the hook as the bluegill.  Those large mouths are a little more intimidating!

We also took a short side trip to visit a nearby state park.  It was called Mill Bluff and although the bluffs were pretty, we were a little underwhelmed by the hiking within the park.  We weren't expecting much considering it was a state park in the middle of Wisconsin but we were expecting some better views based on reviews we had found online.  I'm sure it didn't help that it was a cool, cloudy day but the two miles hikes were even less exciting than a walk through our local forest preserve.  The plus side?  We all got some exercise walking up and down the bluffs!

Unfortunately we were plagued with a lot of rain and chilly weather during our vacation so we had to do a lot of indoor All in all we had a great vacation.  Eliel still thinks the cabin we stayed at it called 'vacation' and when we ask if he wants to go back on vacation sometime, he says no.  Guess he had enough of that place!  Looking forward to finding a new place to explore on our next adventure! Below are some additional pictures to enjoy!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Botanic Gardens

This weekend we had visitors in from our of town (actually more like out of the country) so we decided to visit the Botanic Gardens.  I had only been here a few times with school and never in the middle of summer so it was a nice place to finally visit. 
Adam's uncle and cousin are visiting from Germany so this was a perfect opportunity for everyone to get together, visit and see some amazing gardens.  It made my little gardens are home look so sad.  If I had more energy it would have inspired me to fix mine up.  Lucky for my finances, I had so such energy today and since the weather wasn't cooperating, I think we're in the clear!
 The gardens are divided by kinds and some of my favorite are the naturalized gardens.  I love how the plants spread on their own, fill up the gaps and the color seems to be endless.  Eliel's favorite part was watching anything that had to do with water; the fountains, the waterfalls, and the fish.  He did like the flowers, and I bet you can guess which color flower was his favorite!
There's not much else to tell you about our little adventure other than to say if you've never been to the Botanic Gardens, you should check it out for yourself.  I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story!  There is something there for everyone.  We brought a picnic lunch but they had many places to eat.  It's a great place for all ages to explore. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Boomers Baseball

We were treated to another Boomer's baseball game again this weekend.  This time it was a night game so in addition to being able to run the bases at the end of the night, we were also treated to some fireworks!

As always, before even leaving for the game, Eliel began to make connections to the last time we went to a baseball game.  He asked if they were going to play with a baseball.  Then he asked if he would get to eat hot dogs and drink soda.  Haha!  Apparently he remembered even more than just the game itself!
High-Five Coach!

We had great seats again, although I don't think there is bad seat in that stadium.  Eliel sat and watched the game for about three innings before he needed to get up and move.  I thought that was pretty good!  Between all of us there though, we were able to keep him busy enough.

Fireworks... with sunglasses on!
During the game, Papa bought him a hot dog and Uncle B bought him some cotton candy.  He enjoyed the hot dog but did not really like the cotton candy.  We also 'think' he enjoyed watching the fireworks at the end of the game but we can be sure.  He had a painful look on his face sometimes and insisted that he wear his sunglasses while watching the fireworks.  Oh well!

All in all it was a great family outing!

Running the bases
The next day, as we were lounging around upstairs, Eliel starts to throw the ball in a weird way tellin us it's 'how the pitcher does it'.  We quickly realized that he had been paying WAY more attention that we realized and that he was imitating the pitcher's windup before throwing the ball.  I just had to get it on video so you could all laugh along with us! (Please ignore the fact that Eliel's pants are falling down.  We can't find clothes to fit this kid!)


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sounds like... the answer

Although Eliel is extremely articulate when talking. He has a few words that are difficult, if not impossible to understand.  Hope you enjoyed the last video.... here is what he is trying to say: