Sunday, December 05, 2010

bright lights, big city

This is not the clearest picture, but I really love it.  I think I will look back on it lovingly when Isaac is six and a half feet tall someday.

This weekend we went up to Chicago overnight.  Neil and I each did a temple session, and we spent most of the day Saturday in the Museum of Science and Industry.  Thanks to a year-long pass we bought for Neil's birthday, we can get into museums all over the country for free, and we've made the pass pay for itself in the last three weeks.  Our kids were unbelievably excited when we listed off all the museums we can now go to for free whenever we're in the Windy City.  Woo-hoo!!  (If you haven't already done this, check out that link.  It is an awesome program.) 

Isaac was really fascinated by the anti-aircraft guns from the U-505 submarine.  Right after I took this picture, he took a header over the bar, and Neil retrieved him just before the poor kid managed to reach his goal and get the gun.  Oh well.  (Actually, I think the real lure was just climbing on the bars.)

So remember when we went to the Field Museum, and I was so excited about all the exhibits that played right into our recent learning days?   We lucked out again--last week we read up on the Apollo capsules and the first moon landing, and wouldn't you know it--huge exhibit on the Apollo capsules (including several of the capsules themselves), and a nice little recreation of the moon landing!  The kids were so excited--this next picture is Abigail in front of one of the capsules (being really, really excited). 

I love museums for this reason--it brings such an added depth to everything we learn about at home.  You should have seen Juliet's face when she realized just how cramped John Glenn was (that was another of the this-is-the-real-one spacecraft on display).  And I loved hearing Abigail yell excitedly when she saw the models of the shuttle and rocket boosters and extra fuel tanks, "Hey!!!  I know when all of those fall off!!" 

Just so fun.
I was behind the camera most of the day, except for times like this where we were all taking turns making "very scared astronaut faces."  You like?  


One of the places where we spent quite some time was the chick hatchery (do you know how long it takes a baby chick to fluff up after it hatches?  We watched all those feathers sloooowly lift).  We were there so long that Neil joked that there was a good chance that one of the chicks had imprinted on Juliet, who was eye-to-eye with it as it progressed from sodden limpness to fluffy little peeper. 

Best part of the day in the museum:  nobody complained once about being tired, or their feet hurting (well, at least the kids didn't...Neil and I were both totally worn out by the end of the day!) 

We finished up the day with a trip to our favorite Chicago restaurant.  I have to say that my heart swelled with maternal pride as I watched Abigail use her kiddie chopsticks to scarf down three servings of pad Thai (Jooj ate about three bites, then fed herself baby carrots and grapes with her chopsticks).  We had such a good time talking and laughing together. 

It was  a lovely couple of days.  Neil and I were originally planning to go to the temple by ourselves last weekend, but it didn't work out since I was so sick, and I'm glad that it didn't, because this weekend was just perfect. I am so grateful for the counsel that our stake president gave us a few years ago to prayerfully consider as a family how we can turn temple attendance into temple worship; the changes that we've made since that time have made the sometimes nerve-wracking Chicago trip into something that our whole family looks forward to.  I love it because not only do Neil and I get our spiritual batteries recharged in the temple, but our focus on making it a fun experience for the kids makes it so all of us get really excited to plan our next temple trip.  Then we come home spiritually rejuvenated and totally in love with being a family all over again, because we've had such a good time together.

What a wise stake president.  :-)


Mary Beth said...

This is such a wonderful post. I love the pictures--I can't pick a favorite one, although that one of Neal and Isaac has got to be up near the top; I didn't even know Isaac was walking yet!--and the stories both. It sounds like you had such a fun weekend! I'm so glad for you. I can't wait to see you all!

Elise said...

i really like the one of Neil and crazy to see them walking "side by side"! and I can't wait to see you guys!!! two more weeks! and....your museumm pass...can i become your daughter for a day?

Meghan said...

That picture of Neil and Isaac looks photoshopped, with the great disparity in height! Of course, some of the others look a little photoshopped, too.

Rachael said...

What do you mean, they looked photoshopped? I don't even have Photoshop! :-)

Anonymous said...

Such a sweet post and wonderful pictures! Love, Aunt Pam

Dani said...

Love the pictures. Oh, how I miss Chicago!

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