Monday, September 14, 2009

september sights

Here we are, almost in the middle of September, and I haven't posted any new photos yet. Ooops! We've been keeping busy as usual, and have managed to squeeze in some fun despite all the days of school. :)

On Aug. 26th, Nick's school threw a back-to-school party. There was music and dancing in the gym, along with hula hoops: bean bag toss:
and other games. There was face painting:
(Nick's school's mascot is a blue panther.)

and the fire department came to display their truck:
My fall plants began blooming at the end of August, like my asters:
and various sedums:

On Sept. 2nd, Benjamin and I drove up to Volo Bog to go on a nature walk with our friends Karen and David. We saw tons of frogs!:
Here Karen is pointing more frogs out to the boys:

We walked on a boardwalk through the bog. David wanted to hold my hand, so Ben held Karen's for awhile:
We also saw some egrets and a large muskrat (who was too camouflaged to get a good picture of). Ben had a great time!:
Over Labor Day weekend, our family went to the Lincoln Park Zoo! We started out eating a fast-food lunch in the gardens by the Conservatory. I love this cool, old building!:
A quick picture by the fountain before heading into the zoo:
Nick, our resident zoologist, was busy writing down animal facts at the various exhibits:
Here he is by an A.D.O.P.T sign. Our family and friends know that sending money for this program in Nick's name is a gift he treasures! So far, he has "adopted" snow leopards, flamingos, and penguins at Lincoln Park:

These gorgeous flowers were everywhere at the zoo. I'd love to have some... anyone know what they are??:
Here's another old building that I really like, the Cat House:

We were so surprised to see the red panda up and about ~ usually he is sleeping in some corner, mostly hidden from view:
My monkeys with some ape statues:
Ben and Nick brought along binoculars:
Nick in the petting zoo:
and by "his" flamingos:
Ben and the beaver:
The 11th was Spirit Day at Emm's school, and if they wore more purple (school color) than their vice principal, he would buy them a big cookie. With her purple shirt, pants, socks, nail polish, and eyeshadow, Emmalie was one of the students he had to buy for!:
The 12th was Emm's day to cook supper. She chose to make this delicious beef and barley stew that took 3 hours to simmer, along with pumpkin cranberry bread and sweet potato casserole. It was all so yummy!:
Yesterday afternoon, we took the kids to Crabtree Nature Center, at a nearby forest preserve. We took a 2-mile hike on one of the trails and had fun seeing all kinds of things! Here George is pointing out a frog to the kids: It was a beautiful day!
We must've seen over 100 frogs!:
We also saw several turtles (including a huge snapping turtle!), a heron, squirrels, chipmunks, a crane, and various insects like this dragonfly:
We saw thousands of bright, sunny flowers:
and a bunch of these giant puffball mushrooms!:
At the duck blind, we saw ducks out on the lake, as well as Canadian geese and 3 cormorants:

What a great hike! :)


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