April Updates

April was a crazy busy month so get ready to READ (I posted 4 in a row)!
To start the month off Whitney finally began to really cruise around on her feet & with that she is obsessed with dancing!  She can hear the slightest beat & make moves to it :)
 This tree is to the side of our house & for 2 days it bloomed the most beautiful magnolias & smelled like heaven.  I thought it would be in bloom longer or I totally would have had a picnic under it.
 My current calling is playgroup so I organized an Easter egg hunt.  Tommy is still the same as last year... just wants to find one egg, open it, & eat it before moving on... which didn't work so well with 20 eager kids running around scooping up all the eggs!
 For Easter we went to St.Louis to be with my brother Ben's family (see our Easter update).  When we came back Victor's sister came from Virginia with 2 of her kids to stay their spring break with us.
 Then 2 days later my mom flew in & I threw her a surprise birthday party.  Her favorite color is yellow so I flooded the kitchen with the bright cheery color.
 I practiced Whitney's birthday cake on her!  Tommy was pretty excited to eat cake!

Nauvoo, IL

Once both my Mom & Kaylene's family arrived at our house we drove to historic Nauvoo.  
The temple there is so gorgeous at night!
Tommy has been so cute about Jesus the last couple of months.  We didn't even think he knew who he was & we got a new kid book with Jesus in it so we showed it to him & asked who it was.  He doesn't say much so we were shocked when he clearly said "Jesus".  Then a few days later when we were saying prayers he started repeating us & now every couple of days he wants to say his own prayer.  When he saw this giant Jesus at the visitor center he chanted Jesus, counted his toes and pointed out all of his body parts.  It's so sweet! 
The next day we went on a wagon tour of Nauvoo.  My mom thought it was funny the horse's name was Ben so they got a picture by him.
This tree has crazy wicked spikes on it.  They had a cool story about it, but I can't remember it.
I was amazed how wide the river was that the pioneers had crossed.
Towards the end we had to pull out all snacks possible to entertain the kids.
I wish I had taken a picture of the restored street fronts as it was a cute historic part of town.  This is the only picture I have of the outside of the buildings!
Here we are listening to some of the tour info. I didn't realize how fun it would be to tour the old homes & learn about the way they lived back then.
 Here we are learning how they used to make old guns.  I loved learning how tedious everything was from making a candle, printing the newspaper, to making a rope.  We even learned how they baked bread & bricks.  It totally made me want to go back in time & see it first hand!  Also, I thought I knew LDS church history pretty well, but got a lot of new insight & it got me excited to strive to live my life better.
I didn't really like visiting Carthage Jail.  It just made me sad to know something so awful was done to such a good man in this building.  The jail room in there is so dark & creepy.
 It was nice to have Vic's nieces along so they could watch our kids while we went through the temple with Mom & Kaylene.  Here's a cute sibling picture.
 And the view right across the street.  It was so peaceful & pretty there!
 After that we picked up the kids & went to a show put on by all the "older" missionaries.  They did an excellent job.  I was so impressed with all of their acting & singing talents!  I was also pleasantly surprised at how witty & funny the writer of the play was.  Made me want to serve a mission here when I get old!!  (Not that I can sing or act... just seems like these old people LOVE their job)
 This picture doesn't do justice to how pretty the temple looked all lit up against the blue sky.  I did a terrible job of getting group picture, but here is our cute nieces, Allie & Izzy.
Hehe, this picture makes me feel young again... 2 lovers without any kids!
 Same view as earlier, but all lit up. 
 Fun trip!


My mom hasn't been to Chicago before so we took her to see the main highlights of the skyline & parks.

We went to the Brookfield Zoo last year & was very impressed.  People kept telling us we should go to the Lincoln Zoo so we took my mom there & it was nice for a free zoo, but I wish we'd gone back to the Brookfield zoo especially because my mom would've loved the dolphin show.

This tiger put on a good show for us.  He paced all over & then climbed up on that rock & roared over & over.  Tommy loved it & now is a lot more fun when we read our books & get to a bear or tiger.
I was worried Tommy was going to get stuck way up there & that Vic would have to squeeze in & get him, but my little climber made it all the way through!
Tommy yells "chug, chug, chug" every time he sees a tractor coming down the road. (Which is a lot where we live!)
Cute tunnels for the kids to run & crawl through.
 I have never experienced Chicago style pizza & I didn't even know what it looked like so I insisted we ate at a pizzeria that served it.  It was pretty AMAZING!  Although it did remind me a lot of a mozzerella stick with all that cheese!
 Normally Tommy scrapes all the cheese off the top to eat so he was very happy to find that the whole thing was pretty much cheese. (That thick crust is only like that around the outer edge).
This is my favorite view of the skyline.
 I really like this shot of all the shiny metal in funky shapes.  It reminds me of the futuristic capitol people you read about in the "Hunger Games".
My little run away doesn't care how big of a city we are in, he just loves to run.  I'm now starting to understand those backpack leash things!!
 Had to get the fun pictures at the famous "bean"!
Outside the bean:
Inside the bean.

 I would love to go on a romantic date with Vic here one day.  It is totally set up as a lover's park: pretty walkways & gardens, free concerts, fountains, good food, etc.
Next we headed down to the Navy Pier.  It was fun to have a 3rd person to get our pictures taken together.

 These mirrors were hilarious & I feel like a 10 year old because I had WAY  too much fun playing in them!  HEHE, HAHA! :)

 Tommy really liked feeding the ducks until the seagulls came over.  It was like he instantly knew they were garbage birds.
My mom took Tommy on a sunset boat tour.

 Poor little guy had too big of a day & was exhausted!
 Click on Older posts to see one more update from April!