Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Des Moines Zoo

Before our Illinois trip we drove to Des Moines to drop off Victor at my in-laws. We took a day to visit the Des Moines Zoo which I particularly like -- somehow it reminds me of Chicago's Brooklyn Zoo that I grew up visiting. My nephews Max and Milo were able to come with us to add to the fun (-:!




Lincoln and Milo drumming on a drum...dum ditty dum ditty dum ditty dum


My cousin Ginger is a professional family photographer and kindly came down and took some portraits of our family. So thankful.

Illinois-Ackland Trip 2014

This year my Ackland-side of my family decided to get a cabin/house near Starved Rock State Park in Illinois (about a half hour from the farm we grew up on). The cousins all got along wonderfully (and so did the grown ups (-:). A few things made it sad: Lincoln started out with a fever but was better in a couple days (and miraculously, no one else seemed to catch whatever he had). My sister Bekah couldn't come down because of a new position at work.  And my mom started to become very sick halfway through the week and was became very sick by Friday when we all went our separate ways home. Thankfully a trip to the e.r. got her rehydrated and relaxed the chronic swallowing problem that flares up for her from time to time. Starved Rock Park was pretty shut down due to some storms earlier in the summer, but Matthiesen State Park nearby was open and absolutely glorious. The house we stayed in was on a resort with a small indoor water park and tiny indoor amusement park -- neither of which were spectacular but gave the kids some fun and variety between playing with their cousins and hiking trips. All in all it was a great week and I am thankful for us all to be together. And the hiking was just so lovely. (Also Brad and I celebrated our 9th anniversary while we were there and got an evening to hike in amongst the canyons/bluffs at dusk with no one on the trails. There were owls calling and cicadas and the most lovely light. And quiet together.

Trying to organize the kids for a pitcure...

The grown ups were much more cooperative (-:

My brother Jonathan and his youngest Wrangler

Illinois River

My sister in law Robyn and her oldest daughter Felicity

Many, many centipedes...colossal 4 to 5 inch ones

puff ball mushroom -- they are fascinating -- really, worth reading up about

My folks took all of us out to a nearby supper club (Garzanelli's) that we used to go to sometimes when we were growing up. It was surprisingly orderly and calm for that many kids dining out.

My brother Aaron with Atticus
One afternoon Brad took all four kids to the water park so I could take a quiet hike with just my dad. It was one of my favorite parts of the week. I have a kind husband who gives me space. I have a wonderful dad that these days I rarely ever get to talk with or just be quiet with.


My sil Lindsey and brother Aaron