Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.
Psalm 63:3

Friday, March 18, 2011

nitty gritty

Back to the original purpose for this account of our travels and life...instead of all that book reading mumbo jumbo. This is what some of you really want to know. Most of you couldn't care less.

Currently we are in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. Been here for a bit, staying for another while. 

Bloomington and Normal are two cities that grafted into each other. Together they make for a larger town/small city. There's a saying, Bloomington is 10 minutes from Normal. Some people think that's funny.

In the combined towns are 3 university campuses, Illinois State University being the largest. 

We live on the eastern edge of Normal, with Uptown Normal {Children's Museum is there} to our west and a large commercial district in between. {TJ Maxx is a hop, skip & jump...holla!} Our favorite places in Bloomington are Miller Park Zoo and the Davis mansion.

Sweet Man was moved into a one bedroom apartment right around Valentine's Day. Roomier than the hotel, we have an enclosed bedroom, more storage and a larger kitchen. In the move, we lost a pull-out couch and a table. But we gained a washer/dryer! Oh yeah...and a wall for the bedroom! We're making due as Bean sleeps in the large closet in the bedroom {she thinks it's fun} and Bug sleeps on couch cushions in our room. The kids eat at a bar in the kitchen and Sweet Man and I use our laps...meals around a table will resume at home.

I've been cooking every night. Finding a back issue of Cooking Light in my stash has inspired me to try some new recipes this week: cabbage rolls {who knew those were so yummy?} skirt steak with a cucumber-pepperocini relish, and the older favorite: mango salmon...guess I'm bored with soups and casseroles at this point in the season. So the kitchen is pretty well mixer, but I brought a few other essential tools from home...even my frying pan.

{ our view on a dreary day}

It's very quiet...our windows look out onto a pond and there are houses beyond it, but no street noise. And it's very hot...we're on the second floor so our windows are open more often than not.

Right across the street is part of the extensive bike path system. Lovely, although it sometimes uses sidewalks as the path and has several street crossings. So we drive to the bike path. Second problem...they all have bikes, I don't. I want to get one, but don't want to spend the money...seems foolish to spend money again on a meantime bike. I should just go for it, right? Can't do it, yet.

Sweet Man discovered that on one side of our apartment complex is a path that connects to our favorite playground. Bonus! It's a 5 minute ride/walk to the park with one street crossing. Just sent the kids off for the day...just kidding. And finally the weather is allowing us to enjoy the outdoors...cold and rainy when we first returned...latter part of this week has been in the 60's, 70 yesterday. 

School is great...Bug's almost finished with his Math book and his phonics/spelling. And because of that, we've loosened up on our schedule a bit...not that it was ever tight. I'll be supplementing those areas with something, surely...we can't be done yet. Too much day to fill.

We're never finished with history, but we've camped out for a few weeks with the Corps for Discovery {the Lewis & Clark expedition.} Lots of map work and fun stories. Bean is calling everyone Pompy, the nickname of  Sacajawea's baby. Today we are cutting and assembling a balsa wood keelboat, a replica of what they used to get up the Missouri River. We'll launch it on the pond when Sweet Daddy is home from work. 

Don't have a handle yet on where my Jellybean lands in her school skills...but she will surely be a different student than Bug. She is hungry for learning, whereas he is a bit more passive. Mom, can we do letters? She wants my attention pretty constantly...and I try to oblige more often than not in these fleeting days. I did have a mini-fuss a few days ago when she said, for the 27th time...Mom, you're not playing with me. I proceeded to catalog our activities for the day: read/cuddled on the couch, played Set, played monkey in the middle over the bed, played Pollies, she helped me in the kitchen...didn't work...I ended up on the floor drawing with her. No regrets, of course.

Other sweet news: Sweet Man was finally able to visit the zoo with us, Saturday. We took him to see our favorites, although we found many exhibits

I discovered that the church we attend has a Zumba class twice a week!!!! I went Monday and it was a little more hip-hop than I'm used to, but fun.

The kids and I went to another favorite playground yesterday afternoon. Sweet Man arrived after work, shamrock shakes in hand...yum, then ugh! The plan was to play a little tennis. Sloshy bellies were not part of that plan. Sweet Man and I played first while the kids hit against the wall and then they convinced us to all play together...mixed doubles. Ha, it was a sight! And no dinner for me after that 550 calorie (!!!!) shake...I felt so yuck...definitely not worth it.

So we've settled back into this area. I have plans to visit with a college friend who lives in Chicago in a couple weeks. The kids and I will go up and spend the night. I haven't seen her for 15 years{? is that possible?}...a late night and much catching up in our future.

{I feel like I should explain about the is very windy here in Bloomington, it's bath day - that's right...the day of the week for addition, we're we don't much care about hair....}

Okay...gotta go play Flip Puppy Over the Bed. Tell me if you're itching to know anything else.


Momma said...

I want to know at what age did you start trusting your son with a long, sharp, pointy, turn it into a light saber and poke your brother in the eye with it knife...I just can't make the leap. Yes, I admit it: I still cut their meat:( Btw, their hair looks fab! Miss ya! Take care.

Julie said...

Yes,love the knife-wielding photo. And the homeschool hair - ha! And laughing out loud about sending them off to the park.
I think little girls are extremely alert to logging cuddle and play times - they keep a record.