22 November 2010

I will NEVER again tempt fate by complaining that I am bored

Well, I asked for it.

I said we were bored.

I wished for something exciting.

I should have known better.

I was watching TV while the kids played in their rooms, when a weather bulletin interrupted my show.  There was a tornado warning that included Kane County (which is where we live).  I went outside and looked around - it was still light, rather bright - we had some cloud cover but not a lot.  Nothing to worry about, right?  I went back to my show.

Before I even hit the second commercial break, another weather bulletin interrupted the show.  Again I looked out the window, as was my habit...and was stunned by what I saw.  It was almost jet black outside, trees were blowing every which way, and what little light there was had a strange greenish tinge.

Just then, our cat Ayla jumped into my lap, let out this horrified howl/screech/moaning sound, and started running in circles.

Holy shit!

I got the kids into the hallway, which is in the center of the house.  I pulled a mattress off the bed and tilted it against the wall, available to be pulled on top of us at a moments notice.

I then went outside a few feet to see if I could see or hear anything.  The sky was this horrid greenish color, and I could hear a faint roaring far in the distance.  I looked in all directions, not seeing anything, but just in the few moments I was outside, the roaring grew slightly louder.  I ran back inside.

The kids and I spent a tense half hour sitting in the hallway, listening to the wind, rain, and that faint roaring which went away after a couple of minutes.  The wind died down, the rain clouds parted, and the sun shone through again.  We came out, and put the mattress back on the bed.

Now, at this point I was feeling kinda silly.  Obviously I had over-reacted - nothing had happened.  That roaring I had heard in the distance was probably a plane landing at O'Hare.

Then I checked my phone...and saw a tweet from a news service that said "Likely twister damages homes in Illinois".

I went online and discovered that a tornado had indeed touched down, fifty miles away in Rock Cut State Park (northwest of us).  Well, that was obviously too far away for me to have heard it.  But then as I listened to the news reports, I discovered that the tornado had been last sighted at Elburn (south of us).  The tornado had passed within twenty miles of our location.

Then I discovered that O'Hare had canceled all flights during that time period...so it hadn't been a plane that I heard.  It was a tornado!

Here's some links to info on the tornado - and someone even got footage (and of course he immediately put it on youtube.com).  Some schools in different districts were still in session, and a school bus was knocked on its side, injuring five children and the driver.





The school district here in Carpentersville decided to combine Thanksgiving vacation with in-staff teacher days...which results in the kids getting a nine-day break from school.  The kids are horribly excited by this.

I'm a little less excited.  One of my ideas had been to plan weather appropriate activities during this week.  If it was warm enough, I could give them a few more biking lessons before snow made that impossible.  Other warm day activities were hiking and playing outside with friends.

If it was too cold for biking, I figured they could play outside in the snow.  Build snowmen, go sledding (there's a nice hill a block away).  Lots of winter-type activities.

But rather, the weather decided to laugh at me.  It's cold outside - too cold to ride bikes or play.  But not cold enough for snow.  Just cold enough so that the precipitation falling from the sky is a chilly, miserable rain.  Too cold to play outside, too wet to play outside.  We're effectively limited to the house.

So how do you entertain three active boys in a house that is barely 1000 square feet?  I know most people would count on TV and video games, and they are allowed more of those than they would get on school days.  However, I don't want my kids sitting glued to the TV all day long.  So I have had to get creative and find things for them to do this week.

The first thing they are going to do is make cute thank-you cards for the gifts they recently received.  I might also have them draw cute thanksgiving pictures to send to various relatives and friends.  Some crafts can be done as well - we are decently stocked on craft supplies.

Of course, playing with the kittens is always a hit.  Simply drag a string or throw a ball of tinfoil at the felines, and you have hours of entertainment right there.

We have a large bookcase, and two shelves are completely dedicated to board games (this doesn't include the DnD stuff, which fills an entire bookcase of it's own, plus a duffel bag full of miniatures).  We also have a LOT of books, and will be going to the library on Wednesday to pick up more.

However, I still am already hearing "Mom, I'm boooored!"

Anyone have any new ideas for activities to keep these active boys busy?

19 November 2010

Courthouse wedding

A ton of pictures were taken yesterday at the courthouse where we got married.  Sean's sister took most of the pics with her camera, and I don't have those yet.  But I did take a few pictures of the kids with our own digital camera specifically for this blog.

Here's Jacob:

And James...

And Jonathan (who didn't want to smile for the camera)

I managed to get a few pics of the three of them together.

(Elroy bumped my arm when I took that last pic, so it was blurry and jostled.  Oh well!)

More photos will be coming as soon as I get them.  We got a couple pics during the actual ceremony, and there was so much laughter and practical joking that I think even the judge (who must do hundreds if not thousands of these ceremonies each year) will never forget our particular group!

16 November 2010


I decided to share my apple with our hamster this morning, and realized upon opening her cage that she had died sometime in the night. 

Rest in peace, Hamtaro - you will be missed.

(pic taken about six months ago, during her daily romp around the bedroom)

On a completely unrelated note, this blog probably won't have any more updates until after this week - we're getting married on Thursday and as you can imagine, we have a ton of preparations to attend to.