spring break

For the first time since 2007, I did not go to Colorado with Taido for spring break.

We split up just like we did five years ago.  Taido took the oldest (and Tara) with him for the always epic Snowcamp in Colorado and I took the younger three to see my sister in Wheaton, Illinois.

My mom went with me and we got an early start on Friday morning so we could be at Anna and Robert’s by suppertime.

My sister is the head pastry chef at a charming little spot called Honey and she does catering on the side.

She’s an amazing cook and always makes the most beautiful plates of food for us while we are there!

We had Cobb salad our first night and free range burgers with sweet potato fries and panzanella the next.  So yummy!

Saturday morning Anna is off to work before the rooster so I took over her kitchen and made cinnamon muffins for all the cousins.  All six kids ate them which is a major success!

Anna and Bob and their kids live at the end of a dead end street with a cul de sac so my kids spent most of our unusually warm Chicago break playing in the street with their cousins and other neighborhood kids.

Ben was super proud of his skills as a new “rip rider rammer”.  Simon rode this tandem bike with me and many various scooters.  Mary Polly climbed the tree in the middle and pretty much presided over all the goings-on in the street, as the oldest one around.  She also spent a good bit of time on a rip stick.

The Popcorn Shop continues to be a tradition in Wheaton!  I’ve been going there with Anna since she started college at Wheaton in 1993!  LOVE!

Anna made green milkshakes for St Patrick’s Day and that night when I was putting Simon to bed, he said in his dreamlike state,

I just WISH I could have that milkshake again! It was sooo good!

Our cousins had to go back to school on Monday since it is not yet their spring break, so we took our youngest (not yet in school) cousin Phineas and headed to Legoland Chicago.

I’d heard mixed reviews of this stop but we really loved it.  Simon and Phineas were definitely the perfect age for it, but Ben and MP appreciated a lot of the structures too.  They have a display of downtown Chicago that I thought was very cool.  There is also a jungle.

And we found lots of our favorite friends, including Hagrid, Harry Potter, Darth Vader, AR-2 D-2 and Batman.

Also, it was not crowded at all so the kids rode the two rides over and over again without having to wait in line.

We said goodbye and made the long drive back to North Little Rock in time to enjoy lots of rain.

My tulips were all brightly welcoming me, even if they were a little crushed.

We spent an entire rainy day resting from the drive, reading books, playing legos and drinking lots of coffee before I repacked the kids bags so they could have Cousin Time Round 2 for Campbell’s birthday!

The amazing thing about the information age is that I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything on the ski trip because half the students and all the adults are constantly posting pictures and quotes from the trip.  I can see what’s happening.  Overhear conversations.

And I can do all this from the comfort of my couch without having to drive a van all night long.  Here’s a few of the shots I’ve spotted of the other members of our family!

All in all, it’s been a wonderful spring break!  I’ll be glad when we’re all under the same roof again, but I’ll also have a lot of laundry to do and sleepyheads to stir!

Hope your week has been full of all kinds of adventure!

(PS lots of photo credits… @akvalley @annachristen @fellowshipnorth @whitneyloibner @milliej )