Monday, November 23, 2015

Games and fun

Alan bought Coop this fabulous Pie Face game.  We had a blast!

Coop also decided he wanted to take apart my kitchen timer to see how it works.  Seems like a fun experiment to me:

Our friends Gus and Eleanor came over to stay one evening.  Coop found old musical instruments in the basement.  Eleanor had fun "playing" my flute:

And Coop seemed particularly enamored with Alan's old viola:

Coop and I drove to Arkansas for a birthday party for his friends Henry and Caroline.  While we were there, Coop played a fierce game of checkers with his friend Henry:

And then fell asleep in the car on the drive home:

Monday, November 16, 2015

Chicago -- the main attraction!

At the Art Institute:

Looking at one of the Thorne Rooms:

Check out the image in the mirror!

With a portrait of Narcissa Thorne, who created the rooms:

Making a drawing of an object in the room:

Back at the airport:


(Yes, a Star Trek book.  No, I have no idea why that was his chosen memento from the art institute, other than he's now into Star Trek.)

Reading the book about the Thorne Miniature Rooms on the plane ride home.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


Cooper and I have been reading a series of books called The Sixty Eight Rooms.  They take the involved the Thorne Miniature Rooms in the Art Institute of Chicago.  (Two 11-year-old kids find a magic key that lets them shrink so they can explore the miniature rooms and the worlds outside them -- 1937 Paris, 1692 Massachusetts, etc.)  We decided to take a quick trip there on Saturday to see them for ourselves!

Our agenda for the day:


On the train ride to downtown:

The Sears Tower (now called the Willis Tower) from the train:

Giordano's pizza -- my favorite!

The bean sculpture:

Monday, November 09, 2015

Halloween party

On Friday, the 30th, we hosted a Halloween party.  Turns out, 8-year-olds LOVE candy corn:

Coop had the three-hour evening pretty well scripted.  First up, a costume parade so kids could model their costumes for the parents.

Second, a scavenger hunt around the inside and outside (in the rain!) of our house.  Coop and I had a ball making all the clues (they rhymed!) and putting things in order for the various teams.

In the box full of food, in the place that makes ice
If you find your next clue, that would really be nice.

For supper, we served hot dog mummies, bugles (to make witch fingers!), fruit, cheese, and cookies.

Activity number 4: pumpkin painting!

My sink:

The last activity was supposed to be a bon fire and scary stories, but it was raining.  So instead, Alan took the kids down to the basement and turned off the lights to tell stories.  Apparently, the kids had had way too much sugar to be willing to sit and listen, so things got a little hairy (and not in a fun Halloween way).

In time, Coop and I will recover.  And I'm sure we'll be planning an Easter party eventually.  Once we forget the trauma of this one! :)

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Party Prep

Cooper was beyond excited to host a Halloween party for some of his friends here at the house.  We spent weeks, months, planning this thing.  Man, the kid has ideas!

Making cookies:

 Indian Jones costume ready:

Indiana Jones cleaning up pretzels that spilled in his excitement to get the food ready:

Monday, November 02, 2015

Getting ready for Halloween

Coop and Alan went to a pumpkin carving party:
 Lovely.  Just lovely!

And Coop found a new friend.  He's been wanting a praying mantis for a pet:

A few new Halloween decorations for Alan's place: