Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Welcome to Our Home

We've been in Albert City close to 3.5 months.  I guess it's about time we gave you all the tour.
This is the house.  Look, it has a garage!!
 This is the church.
Check it out.  Tyler's name made it on the board!
This is the back side of the house. I don't know if you can tell it from this point of view, but our yard is HUGE! You could easily fit another house beside us, between our house and the end of the block.
And here is the door to Tyler's office.  The sidewalk in the previous picture runs from our backdoor to this sidewalk here.  It makes for a pretty decent commute for Tyler.
When we first moved in, Tyler built us a table/peninsula for extra workspace in the kitchen (with some help from the younger boys).  There wasn't actually a shortage of workspace but there was an abundance of floorspace.  And now Tyler has a nice place to spread out and do his translating work every morning.
This isn't actually in Albert City.  It's actually in Storm Lake.  Storm Lake is about 30 minutes away and is where we do most of our grocery shopping and doctoring/dentistry.  It has a pretty fun playground and biking trail and a decent enough coffee shop that Tyler and I and the little boys like to go to on Tyler's day off.

They were playing in one of the playgrounds in Storm Lake.
One thing we've noticed about being a small town pastor is we never want for produce.  We had a bunch of family in town and sudden a five-gallon bucket of sweet corn appeared for us to share.  Awesomeness!
The rest is unrelated to our tour; I just thought it was cute. Asher and Addilyn were enjoying looking through a new magazine.
Someone decided to join in.
This picture pretty much sums up our kids feelings on being able to play outside so much more. We have four very happy kids!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Wrapping Up Chicago: That Last Part

We've finally gotten to it: The last installment of our last days in Chicago!  And it only took me over 3 months.  
We moved on a Monday and packed up our moving truck on Saturday morning.  After all our packing and after we went to our church one last time, we didn't have a lot to do.  We cleaned a little but after that, we were just looking to get out of our empty apartment.  Sooo...we headed into the city to cross one more thing off our list.
The kids and I had never been up the John Hancock Building.  Since it was a Sunday afternoon, there was no line.  It made the experience so stress-free which was really nice after all the craziness of packing and cleaning.
 Our friend, Julie, came along.  She's super fun and we miss her very much.
We enjoyed wandering around the observation deck and just taking in the views.  The Hancock building isn't quite as tall as the Sears/Willis Tower, which we've all been up before, but it is right in the middle of the Magnificent Mile so you could argue that the views are more interesting.  I loved that we were right there on the edge of the lake so we could see the beaches and all of the Lake Shore trail that we love so much.
Seminary friends.
 Taking it all in.
 Telling Albert about the city in which he was born.
 Playing with the mirrored ceiling.
 Cute kid.
 I can't remember what was said but it must have been funny!
 I mean, look at those smiles. Funny!
We're so vain.
 So are we.  Look at that cheese ball face!
 We're vain too.
Hmm...I'm seeing a trend.  Maybe I'm just the vain one.
 For dinner we went to Giordano's one last time.  Not this one though.  There was a crazy long wait.
Instead we got on the train and went to one on the way back to our apartment.  It was much smaller and quieter and just as delicious.  
Since the kids' beds were already packed, they got to camp out in their bedroom.
Happy campers!
During our last outing, we tried to recreate a family picture of us that we've always loved.  Not everyone was really into taking a family picture though.
Anyway, the family picture we loved was taken back in Tyler's second semester of seminary, back when we only had two kids (although we found out later that day that we were pregnant with Elias).  It was a kind of silly picture of us where we were standing in front of this very brick wall and we were looking very serious, almost angry serious.
We've always thought it was funny and loved the picture because of it.  Therefore, before we left, we wanted to recreate it at the other end of our time in Chicago.
These may not have turned out as great as the original but I think they will help us book end our experience well.
Goodbye Chicago.  We miss you so much!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Wrapping up Chicago: Part 4

I will finish up the Chicago posts.  I'm actually almost done.  I think I should have only 1 left. There's a light at the end of the tunnel, people!
They updated the playground at Hollywood Park (maybe a mile north of our apartment) and it reopened just before we moved.  We had to try out all the new equipment.  The favorite from the trip was the "merry-go-round."
It's only a little bit like the merry-go-rounds we grew up with.  This one was a lot tamer. There were seats and the person pushing had to push a whole lot harder to get it moving.  It also stopped spinning almost immediately after you stop pushing.  It makes for a much better workout for the person pushing though.
Go, go! That's Sanne, one of Addilyn's friends, who came with us to check out all the newness.
One of the box staging areas.  We had a few of these areas.  Wow, we have a lot of stuff!
We took a break from the packing to make one more visit to the Field Museum.  Hey Sue!
Here we were recreating a picture we took the first time we visited.  Go here to see the original.
Munch, munch.
The kids were pretty fascinated by this whole touch screen thing.
Tyler was on the phone with U-haul trying to get the truck pickup figured out.  Moving is fun.
Pondering the stegosaurus.
We finished the outing with a failed attempt to get a family picture.  The skyline looks great but we're so dark you can't see us.  Stink.  Apparently, I have much to learn about photography.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween 2014

For Halloween this year, Asher asked to be Dusty from the Disney Planes movie.
Tyler worked very hard and made him this costume.  Asher can even spin the propeller!
The artist with his masterpiece.
Albert was a dragon.  Here he was on Wednesday when he tried on the costume.  He proceeded to wear it nearly nonstop for the next 2 days.
Here's the crew as we got ready to head out for trick or treating.
Addilyn was Anna from Frozen.
Elias was finally Batman.  We bought him the costume last year for his birthday but he decided against it at the last minute.  This year he was pretty jazzed to be Batman.
Too cute.
Happy Asher.  He enjoyed the trick or treating and was pretty into showing off his spinning propeller.
Dragon boy.
Plodding through the neighborhood.
Here's the whole crew. As Tyler was gone at a conference, some older girls from our church (whom I realize I never got a better picture of) offered to help me take the kids trick or treating.  It was so great because these girls know the whole system here.  They knew about the nursing home (which I would have had no clue about) and which houses are the best.  Thanks ladies!  I definitely would have pulled my hair out if I would have tried it without you two.