Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Bob and I have been on the road for the past 10 days or so. The beginning of the trip was spent in Chicago on business. Bob was president of a professional organization for the past year, and the cumulation of the year was the annual conference in Chicago. We stayed at the very beautiful Chicago Hilton on Michigan Avenue. That is our hotel, I didn't realize it was so huge until we saw it from the park along the lake.We were lucky enough to stay in a fabulous suite for 5 nights. The view was spectacular. Of course this picture doesn't really show anything, but it was gorgeous.
The suite was 2 bedrooms - 2400 square feet. Most of the room was the entertaining area. It had floor to ceiling windows overlooking the lake. We could see Navy Pier and Shedd Aquarium and the football field from our windows.
This picture was taken in March, when we were lucky enough to stay in the suite for the tastings and other business that needed to be done. The lake was iced up, and the fountain wasn't on, but that big circle is the very beautiful Buckingham fountain.
The entry.
The loooong hall that Ben just loved to run in.
Our room
and bath (doesn't show the huge shower with TV in the shower)
Looking from the living room back down the hall and into the kitchen. (I think that must be Bob coming down the hall)
The bar area.
These are just various areas of the living area. It was large and very nice. We hosted a reception here one evening and it surely holds a large crowd.

(just picture the lake out these windows)

We had a great time in Chicago -I know this is a lot of pictures of a hotel room, but I also know I will never stay in a room this nice again and I thought I better have a record of it!! I took a few pictures of the kids that I will share tomorrow. Once again, once the people enter in I forget about the camera. We were very lucky to have both our daughters, 1 son in law , 3 grandchildren, Bob's folks, and my sister and her husband join us for a few days. Our son in law Ryan stayed home with 4 week old Jackson. It just wasn't safe to travel with a small baby in flu season. We were so sorry that Ryan wasn't able to be there, but really appreciated Jessica making the trip. I know it was hard for both of them.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Caramel Apples

Laura and Tom are packing to move into an apartment and I know Laura needs more uninterrupted time to pack, so today she dropped the kids off after Elizabeth's preschool. Our plan was for them to play awhile and then when Bob got home we would go out for dinner and then bring them home.

Since we are getting into the fall spirit here in Texas, even though our leaves aren't turning colors, I thought we would make caramel apples. Here are Elizabeth and Benjamin all ready with their aprons. Elizabeth is actually ringing a bell in this pic which is why her arms are blurry. Ben was shaking something too - haven't got a clue what it is.

For this picture I said to please stand still. Ben is still in motion - I just gave up. They look pretty cute in their aprons don't they?
We have now successfully rolled our apples in the HOT caramel. They did a good job and were both happy - even though this is not a good picture of Ben.
Eating the results, he loved eating the caramel, the apple- not so much.
Elizabeth liked it all, it works better for little people to cut the apple into pieces.
We played upstairs in their bedrooms, in fact Elizabeth put on a little show dressed as a Halloween firefly. We had just read the book Angelina's Halloween (can't figure out how to underline the title) and she wanted to be like Angelina I think. Angelina is a little girl mouse who loves to dance, and in this story she dresses as a beautiful firefly. I have an orange tutu and wand and some light up headbands and she got all dressed up and entertained us. I wish I had taken some pictures of that! But the costumes will be out till the end of October so I'm sure I'll get another chance. She made Ben sit on my lap, and then after a while she allowed him to get in on the act. It was such fun to watch. I can remember her mom and aunt putting on shows all the time. It was a favorite pastime for them!

After the show we played the new Halloween game I just received in the mail and then off to dinner. We got them home around 7, and we had a wonderful time.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Back to School Dinner

I posted the whole tablescape for this dinner on my last post. Here are the picture from the actual dinner. First I did the kids names in cookies - they loved it and gobbled their names right up. Ben didn't notice that he didn't have very many cookies in his name, I guess it helps that he is only 2. I told Elizabeth that Ben could have Jackson's cookies, as he is only 3 weeks old.
There are a few gifts for the kids. (of course) In keeping with the alphabet theme the gifts all have their initials on them. The presents are ABC puzzles and books. I am a school teacher by training and it is never too young to start the children on the love of reading and learning.
The little treat bags are filled with more ABC cookies for the car ride home. The picture in the frame is my girls, 1st grade, first day of school pic. Seems like yesterday.

Before dinner the kids were feeding the ducks that live in the pond that is right by our house. We bought this house because there were ducks next door and our then 2 year old granddaughter loved ducks!! All of the kids now love to feed the ducks.

We attempted to get a picture of the 4 grandchildren in their matching outfits Hmmm, not so easy. They are all adorable - especially that 2 1/2 week old baby!!
A favorite activity - hang on the fence
then fall back and laugh like crazy!! Oh to be 4 and 2 again.

Simple pleasures.
They really are the cutest children.
I love them.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Back to School

This is my very first post to Tablescape Thursday and I 'd like to welcome you to my blog. I blog about my family, most especially my grandchildren, and the daily doings of our lives together. I enjoy looking at so many blogs - there are a lot of talented people out there!! I love checking out TT and thought I'd add the latest from our house. Please feel free to nibble on a cookie from the above photo, and no, I didn't make those teeny tiny cookies. But they were very cute snacks for our dinner and went along with the alphabet puzzles and books that they received for presents. (and I got a lot of laughs from my husband and daughter when they heard I was going to post this picture. I didn't think it was that funny!)

I wanted to start a tradition of having a little back to school party for my grandchildren now that my oldest grandchild is beginning her school career in preschool. I had this little school desk from a certain doll collection that served as inspiration for my centerpiece. (Not to mention that my granddaughter would love it as it comes from her favorite dolls!)
Black and white was the perfect color scheme, and besides I only have white or yellow chargers - so far:-)
Toile plates from TJMaxx - where else!
Little pencil vases - I think I will glue the pencils on because they are hard to keep straight! I also added my white everyday dishes that I love.
Adding the bowl just because it is cute. We won't be eating anything that needs a bowl:-)
Flatware from Ballard Designs.

Places for the grandchildren with their little chalkboard names.
Finally 2 little friends join us in their back to school clothes, sorry the picture is blurry - I can't figure out how to delete it from my post. I am very new to this blogging world! (not in reading blogs - just in having one)

The end - Preschool here we come!! (She actually started last week and had a great time)

edited to add:
chargers from JC Penney
plates and bowls from TJMaxx - Royal Stafford
salad plates - Churchill -don't know the pattern
flatware - Ballard Designs
napkins - Horchow
glasses - had them forever
mini chalkboards - Ballard Designs
school desk - American Girl

Please join Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for so many wonderful tablescapes. I love looking through everyone's posts.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Elizabeth's First Day of Preschool

Elizabeth had her first day of preschool on Tuesday. It was a big day for all of us! Ben had a long day missing his sister. I met Laura and Ben at the church to wait for Elizabeth and he was very impatient - he wanted his Bethie!!

Reunited after a successful first day. The teacher said she did well, a little sad at naptime but otherwise was okay.
We went to Sonic for slushies after school and opened some back to school goodies.

I am so proud of this little girl - I pray this is the beginning of many happy school days for her.