Wednesday, July 23, 2014

LEGOLAND {Chicago}

My family & I were recently invited to Legoland Discovery Center ~ Chicago, which was really funny timing because I hadn't realized there *was* a Legoland in Chicago until a few weeks prior, when a co-worker took his kids there. He kept telling me how awesome it was & that I should take a trip there with my boys. I wasn't totally sold, as it IS about an hour & a half drive AND my boys are quite a bit older, having a been-there-done-that attitude toward Legos. But then fate intervened & I was given free tickets. And BONUS -- when I looked on Google Maps to figure out how the heck to get there, I saw that IKEA was very close to Legoland so we could make a day of it. 

We did get a bit turned around as we entered the city. It's located in Schaumberg - & I'd even been there before - but apparently I am very map-challenged, as I just couldn't figure out where we were & where Legoland was. When we finally did find it, I was super excited because it was located in a strip mall. We knew we didn't want to eat at Legoland & I was happy to see other choices. And .... had I NOT been with 3 males .... I could have done some major damage at the surrounding stores! 





I have to say the entrance is UBER cool - with a big ole giraffe hanging out in the front (can you believe my boys didn't want their picture taken with this??? It would have been adorable!)



Oh, but they were FINE with this picture. 

I honestly didn't know what to expect. It was a lot smaller than I thought it would be, but they did have lots of fun exhibits & things to do. Well, the activities were mostly aimed toward smaller kids. But we knew that going there. We still managed to spend about 2 hours in there. 





MINILAND Chicago is right when you walk in, & I thought it was pretty cool! I've always wanted to visit Chicago :)



I couldn't believe the details involved. I really wanted to just take a ton of pictures, but there were people waiting behind me so I had to click fast. I'm told that they actually change this a bit for each season. I think it would be awesome to see what they do for Christmas! 




The Jungle Expedition was next. It was pretty dark so it was hard to get good shots. Again, people were behind me waiting for me to walk so I had to just click click click. I had to resort to using my flash.



I'm sure I didn't even see all the jungle beasts in this area. So much to look at! 

I believe this next area is newer:




I love Star Wars so was excited to see Darth Vader, Obi-Wan, & this little guy:



Next up was a ride that was quite similar to one of my favorite things we did in Disney, the Buzz Lightyear ride.



You ride in a dragon car & you try to zap as many trolls & skeletons as you can. Unfortunately something of mine was malfunctioning, so while my gun did vibrate when I shot something, my points were't tallying. The same darn thing happened in Disney! I know what you're thinking .... operator problem .... but this time, Matthew's gun didn't work either. So ha! Yes, we could have ridden again ... but we thought we'd give the little kids a chance :)  No cameras allowed on the ride so you'll just have to trust me: Ride this. 

Another fun thing for all ages - a couple of short 4D movies.




We watched both movies - "Clutch Powers" & "Legends of Chima". And I didn't even get sick, lol (I don't usually do well with 3D. But hey - this was 4D so I guess I'm ok with that!).

There were a few areas we missed, either because it was too congested or my kids just weren't interested. They have a Master Builder Academy, where you can learn some building tips (my kids don't even own Legos anymore, plus it was insanely crowded in there, so we skipped it) -- a Factory Tour, which I think again is aimed towards younger kids -- & we also only peeked into the Cafe. It looked like a lot of fun & they had an area in the middle where you could race your creations, but again - really packed. We did hit the Lego store on the way out. It was fun to browse through all the different Lego sets that you can't find anywhere else. 


All in all, we had fun. It was a great way to spend 2 hours on a Saturday, although I do suggest NOT going on a weekend if possible. In hindsight, I should have taken off work & gone during the week. But we still had a great time. All the employees were nice, everything was clean & there was a lot of laughter so clearly everyone was having a great time. Even my big boys had fun AND they even admitted it!! Huge!! If you are a fan of Legos, age doesn't matter. My 40-something year old cousin sitll loves Legos, & I heard he was quite jealous of our little day trip :)


If you want to read more details, or find out if I missed anything :) -- you can go to there web site HERE. You can also follow them on Facebook & Twitter.  


***I will post about the rest of our day soon. Was IKEA a thumbs up or thumbs down for me????

**I was given tickets for my family to visit Legoland. All opinions are my own. 


Friday, July 18, 2014

High Five for Friday

Ok, let me explain....

It's summer.

I was sick for over 2 weeks. 


We've been UBER busy. 

It's summer.

It's hard to believe I actually had *more* spare time when I had little ones running around. Everyone told me I'd get busier as my kids got older. Didn't think it was possible. 

It's possible.


I'm going to have to rename my blog. There is no such thing as "mom's time". Moms GET no time! 

But I wouldn't have it any other way.


So .... kind of half "High Five for Friday" & half "what have I been up to since my last post" ..... in a nutshell:



1: A trip to Legoland Chicago. A separate post about this fun day will happen as soon as I get through all my pictures :)




2: Our County Fair is going on right now. We are in 4H, which means showing projects & working at the fair. Thankfully, for the first time since we've been doing this it is NOT in the triple digits this week! 




Lexi, my cousin's fur baby

3: I had my new brother & his family over July 5th. It was part birthday celebration for him (his birthday was a few days prior), part July 4th celebration & part meeting more family members. I ended up having about 15 people & it was a blast. Thankfully no rain! Having that many people in my house would make me break out in hives lol....




4: Baseball, baseball, baseball ....




5: Annual picnic at the Zoo for my husband's work. Unfortunately it wasn't the best weathers, but we still had fun. How can you not have fun when the animals pose for the camera & say "cheese"?

Hope you all are having a great summer! I think I actually have some time to do a little blurfing tonight - I need to catch up!!

*~* linking up with Lauren Elizabeth *~*

Friday, June 20, 2014

FlexOffers

FlexOffers

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Updated For Sale page

Adding more & more ..... click HERE to see what I have for sale! 

Next up .... punches & dies :)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The best Memorial Day EVER

Nothing tops the birth of my 2 children as the most fantastic days of my life. But this one comes close. You are not going to believe what's been going on in my life the last couple of weeks! Bear with me, this is a long story, but a happy one!
 
I am 46 years old & an only child. You have no idea how much I HATED being an only child. Especially when I was little & lived in a very small town. I was extremely shy (kind of the anti-adult me) & not having any siblings didn't help. All my friends had siblings. The first time I met another only child was in high school. She loved it. I envied her because I really hated it. 

Fast forward to when my dad died 11 years ago, at age 57. Way too young. Again, I was very alone. Sure, I had my mom. But we were grieving differently. I had my husband, but he still had both his parents. He had no idea what it was like to lose a parent. I really glommed onto my friends who had lost one or both their parents. I felt a connection to them. 

Fast forward again to last week Sunday. My mom called & after the usual chit chat, she asked if I had any time to stop by after work any time soon. I looked at my calendar, & told her possibly on Wednesday, but that we were pretty booked the whole week. I figured she wanted help putting in her screen door or something else warm-weather related. When I asked what she needed help with, she said "Nothing, I just need to talk to you." I thought "uh oh...". I asked if she was ok, & she assured me she isn't dying. I asked if I was dying. She laughed & said no, she just needed to talk to me in person. Now, just a few months ago my grandma, who I was extremely close to, died. Even though I knew it was coming, my mom had no problem telling me over the phone. Something was wrong.

She finally relented, & said my aunt had been contacted on Facebook by someone, & she was afraid I would be, too. Now I was wondering if I was in the Witness Protection Program & didn't know. Then she dropped the bomb on me. "The person who contacted Aunt C is your father's son."

Um ....... what?!?!?!?

"Your father dated a girl in high school before he met me, she got pregnant & they put the baby up for adoption."

Um ....... what?!?!?!?

She proceeded to tell me they had already broken up when they found out she was pregnant, in fact he was already dating my mom. Her mother was a very strict BEOTCH & turned my grandparents away when they offered to help. The girl was sent away to live with a family as a housekeeper until the baby was born. My grandparents even offered to have her live with them, but this girl's mom said if they came near her daughter, she would call the police. So .... they left it alone. The baby was put up for adoption & that was the end. My mom did know, as did my aunt & uncle. But that was it. 

So a few weeks ago my aunt got a message, asking if she was {my father's} sister. She said yes & it went from there. After my mom told me, I looked him up on Facebook & he is the spitting image of my dad. My aunt forwarded me some of the emails between them & OMG, the humor -- same as my dad. It was scary.

But nothing prepared me for today. My aunt & I got to meet him, & WOW, it was like talking to a younger version of my dad. He's funny, intelligent, clearly a very caring husband & father - he is everything I ever would have wanted in a brother. He lives in Madison, just an hour away, & we are already planning to meet each other's family. I posted a picture of us on Facebook & the support from both sides is amazing. Everyone is thrilled for us. I've lost a lot of family members in the last few years, I never thought I would actually have any kind of addition!

So this Memorial Day definitely goes down as the best in my life. We have been enjoying getting to know each other via Facebook posts, messages & photos. I can't wait for him to meet the rest of my family, nor can I wait to meet his wife, daughter & the rest of HIS family! 

If you have read this entire thing THANK YOU for sharing in my joy!!! 

Me & my new brother:



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mitchell Park Domes {Milwaukee}

I was lucky enough to chaperone my son's field trip last week to the Mitchell Park Domes. I love the domes, but I don't get there often. Pretty much, when I chaperone field trips, lol. If it weren't for field trips I'd never get to go anywhere fun! 



It's been a crazy spring here in Wisconsin, & this day was no different. When Michael & I left the house at 8:00, it was about 60 degrees. 10 minutes later when we got out of the car at school, it was about 80 & humid. That does not make for a fun school bus ride into Milwaukee. But it could have been worse. It could have been snowing! 

So if you've never heard of the domes, there are 3 of them - Tropical, Desert, & the Show Dome which is seasonal. We visited the Show Dome first. Don't worry, I won't share all my pictures LOL.






We went to the Tropical Dome next. Why not, my hair was already trashed from the humidity LOL.

Actually, I think this was my favorite. I liked the beautiful spring flowers in the Show Dome, but the Tropical Dome had things I'd never seen before. And I'm not talking about the dinosaurs. 






Last but not least, the Desert Dome. I was a little afraid to enter, thinking I wasn't going to be able to breathe, but the temperature was actually quite cool. 






I had such a great day visiting a great place with a great bunch of 5th graders. If you are in the Milwaukee area, check out the Mitchell Park Domes. Definitely a fun day for all ages! 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Random Five

Happy Friday, hope you've had a fabulous week! I sure did, & to top it off we are finally having spring like temps! No, not 40 (I know most of you think that is what spring is usually like in Wisconsin) but upper 60's & 70's. We even hit 80 yesterday! 

Here are my 5 random thoughts/ comments/ events for the week:

1: After months of agonizing over which to get, I finally got a new laptop!! It's pretty & fast & current - but a little TOO current. It has Windows 8 which I'm struggling with. I would have preferred Windows 7, but I can adapt to pretty much anything computer-wise so it will be fine. Just takes me a little longer to find what I need. I'm just glad my pages no longer freeze or take 10 minutes to load. AND I can watch an hour show in less than 2 hours! 





2: I got to go on a field trip with Michael yesterday with his class. We went to the Mitchell Park Domes in Milwaukee. Doesn't seem like it had been that long, but the last time I was there was when Matthew was in 5th grade, 4 years ago. Time sure flies! I'm going to write a separate post about the trip, with lots of photos (consider this your warning). And yes, for anyone not familiar with the Domes, they do look like giant boobs. 




3: I had taken the day off work to go to the Domes, so came home right after. This was jut after lunch. Clearly, I disturbed Elwood's nap. Doesn't it look like he's yelling at me? 



4: Starbucks has Happy Hour this week - 1/2 price Frappucinos. I may have had one or two. Or six. But who's counting. 




5: As I said, spring is finally here in Wisconsin. We've earned this one. And while the robins have been here for a while now, it's nice to be able to go outside to take the pictures, instead of taking them from in the house because it's too cold out. Oh, & did you notice there is NO SNOW on the ground?? Ahhhhh .... I think everyone will enjoy this spring & summer just a little more than usual. 

 ~ linking up with Lauren Elizabeth ~

How was your week? 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

May the Fourth

be with you! Ahhhhh that never gets old LOL.



So we finally have some signs of spring around here! I won't mention that *usually* these signs pop up around mid-March. I'm just glad to finally see green!




This is about the time the frost usually hits & kills all these gorgeous hyacinths. Sigh ......

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Older High Hopes stamps for sale

And by older I mean oldddddeeerrrr. Some of the first. Also some Stampin Up background stamps. More to be added. At least they've made listing on Ebay lots easier!! 

My Ebay auctions

Don't forget about my For Sale page here on my blog too. Click the link at the top. These include NEWER older High Hopes stamps :)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

I actually took this picture last year, but it pretty much sums up our "spring" so far this year.


~ linking up to Wordless Wednesday ~

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Good bye to a friend

When I woke up this morning, the last thing I felt like doing was getting up, taking a shower & going to work. I've spent the last 2 days feeling crappier than crap. Little did I know, that once I logged into my computer (can't leave the house without checking my email), I was going to feel even worse.

Some friends on Facebook were posting condolences on another friend's page. I thought "Aw, I wonder who she lost". Once I went to her timeline, I realized SHE was the one who passed away. My sweet friend Linda, whom I never met but knew through our love of stamping, had died of a heart attack. I felt sick. She was absolutely the sweetest, kindest, most encouraging person I've ever known. When I started posting cards to SCS, she was the first to comment. When I started selling cards, she was the first to buy one. When I started this blog, she was the first to visit. She was one of my biggest cheerleaders, always encouraging & praising me. When I decided to quit stamping, she sent me an email telling me she would miss my work, but that she totally understood that family came first & I just didn't have time for it all. 

I go back & forth with the decision to keep this blog going. Now that I'm not creating, what should I post about? But you know what, I've met so many people through this blog, I couldn't imagine not having that connection anymore. When I talk to people about my "online" friends, they look at me like I'm high. How can you be friends with someone you've never met? Let me tell you, some of my online friends know more about me than most of my "real life" friends. 

I am sorry I never got to meet Linda in person. I am so sorry for her family & friends who lost such a sweet person. I can tell by the messages on her Facebook page that she was very loved by all who knew her. It makes me so sad, but it also makes me remember that being down & out sick for a couple of days isn't so bad. 

~~ good bye, sweet friend. I'll miss you ~~