Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Benefits of a Museum Membership

Today my family went to Chicago to visit the Field Museum. We had never taken our kids to the Field Museum because of the cost. I am not sure about the exact cost, but it was over $20 per adult. We have had a museum membership for years from our public museum, so I had always believed that was good enough. For years I had never read the fine print of the terms of our local membership. Apparently our local membership gets us into the Field Museum and the Adler Planetarium for FREE! So, with this knowledge in hand, we packed up the kids today and took them to the museum. It was a fun day. We saw Sue, the famous T-Rex. We saw some mummies and took in the Chicago skyline.

Total cost for 6 people to spend the day in Chicago - $56 (we bought lunch and had to pay for parking)

Not bad in my opinion for a day in one of Americas most expensive cities.

Friday, July 23, 2010

That Was a Storm!

Rain, rain go away and never come back. That is how one feels after getting 8 inches of rain in 4 hours. Yep, that's right. We got 8 inches in 4 hours last night. Metro Milwaukee is a mess right now. It feels like Armageddon , especially as the weathermen continue to tell us that more rain is on the way today. Flash flood warnings are in effect, as are severe thunderstorm warnings, tornado watches and warnings.

My family is very lucky today, as we assess the damage. We got a little water in the basement, which came in through window wells. We also have a flooded yard. That is it! My husband stayed up last night to monitor the sump pump. Thank goodness that he did, because it did have a problem that he was able to fix immediately, saving us from what would have been major damage. I love him!

Now, we wait for the next round of storms that are moving in our direction. We are due to get relief on Sunday. I never thought I would say this, but we need a drought. We really do.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Today I am staying home. I am grateful for the opportunity for a little time in my home to clean, cook and allow the dogs to run free. Over the last few weeks I have been running around with kids, trying to keep them forever entertained. But, today a lot of rain and 3 exhausted kids made it possible to find an excuse to just stay home. I am so happy.

As I write this blog I am being entertained by many happy sounds. My daughter Maeghan has a friend over and they are happily playing Polly Pockets in her room. My son Alec, our exchange student and Alec's good friend are all in the basement playing FIFA World Cup on the X-Box. They are yelling with excitement! Hannah also has a friend over and they are scrap booking in her bedroom. All are entertaining themselves, for once.

This brings me to an ongoing problem that I have had over the years that I created myself. My children seem incapable of entertaining themselves. When they were small, I gave into the peer pressure of my generation that told me that I needed to keep my children entertained at all times. My life was devoted to taking them to museums, playgroups, story times, outings and anything else you can imagine. They were always in structured play. Now, that I am older and appreciate that simplicity is best, they are unable to grasp that concept. The first thing they say to me every morning of summer vacation is "what are we doing today?" When I was a kid I never asked that, instead I said "I'm bored!" My mom's response was "go find something to do", and I did. I don't know how to undo the damage I have done. But, I no longer give in as much to that question and just let them sit, bored. However, I have a problem with letting them get to that point, something I need to work on.

But, today we sit at home and listen to the rain. I baked a cheesecake and made some soup (I am aware that it is too hot for soup, but the mammoth zucchini that we have demanded attention). I did a little cleaning, balanced the checkbook and tried to organize my calendar for the upcoming school year and now I blog. Later, I plan on reading a book and maybe watching a Netflix movie that we have had lying around for a few weeks. It has been a good day.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Found Money

Today I took my kids to the movies. We had some movie passes, so we were able to take in a flick on this hot day for close to free. The plan was to eat a late lunch at home after the movie. But, as luck would have it, I found $10.00 in the parking lot. Score! No one was around who could have lost the cash. I decided that since the movie was paid for with passes, the found money could go to a late lunch at Burger King (I had a coupon for a free Whopper!). We had a great day, the movie was fun and the lunch was a nice surprise after telling the kids that they were expected to have PB&J when we got home.

Our afternoon at the movies yielded a profit of $10.00.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A prize from the garden

Here is a picture of my little girl holding a 4 pound zucchini. This prize came from our own garden. My husband is our family gardener, every year tending to his own plot of land as though it were a child. He provides us with an abundance of food every year, and we are all truly grateful for the yearly gift.

This prize remains in our refrigerator. I am not sure what to do with it, as it is too big to be very tasty. I considered baking more bread with it, but I have already made a couple loaves of zucchini bread that sit untouched (breakfast tomorrow!). I think it is time to search the web and find a great recipe.

Our garden will continue to provide us with free food as summer ends and fall begins. We have potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, and the list goes on. I am looking forward to harvesting and seeing what we were able to create in our own garden (I should say my husband's garden).