Friday, December 31, 2010


It was a Merry Christmas indeed!!!  The house was decorated and the excitment of our two darling children made this once again, the best Christmas ever.  We enjoyed all of our usual traditions of finishing all the decorations by Thanksgiving day so we could enjoy the lights, trees and Christmas houses for the entire holiday season.  Stephen and Rhea made their usual Christmas gift bags for the family and eagerly awaited their big Christmas morning.  I think it's obvious that they had a GREAT Christmas and concluded with their usual "crash" by 5pm....






Stephen's Birthday

My baby is 7 years old today! How did that happen!?! Stephen had a GREAT day today at his Lego birthday party. Lego hasn't gotten around to making party decorations, so I improvised this one. He was happy, so that's all that matters!!

Stephen Birthday

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stephen's Karate Promotion

Stephen's orange belt has been a long time coming, so we are very proud of him and celebrated with a large scoop of ice cream!!

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fall Fun

The apples are finally ripe and the kids are ready to go. We went back to our favorite orchard near NIU. The first stop is to always partake of a few apple doughnuts followed by an iced apple cider to wash everything down. For a family that eats as healthy as we do, we consider this living on the edge. Really....

It was then off to the orchard and to play. The kids did a great job this year of actually taking time to pose for pictures. Here are the videos with pictures soon to follow.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo

Our next stop was to the Lincoln Park Zoo. Yep, you read that sign right. There wasn't really a sign that said not to climb the trees, but there should have been for children like Rhea that have been climbing anything since she was six months old. We enjoyed beautiful weather at the zoo and witnessed how cranky a tiger can be at feeding time. It could have been a little warmer since our next destination was just across Lake Shore Drive to the beach, but we all survived.

lake michigan 2

lake michigan 1

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sport's Zone

Sport's Zone

Our next stop on the big family visit was to Sport's Zone.  We had a great lunch at Cantigny and were ready again for some fun.  The first stop was go-cart racing.  I was driving Rhea, so you'll be happy that I didn't take any pictures while driving.  Uncle Dennis lapped me twice, but he didn't have a four year old with him either.  At least that was my excuse.  It was then onto the batting cages for the boys.  Everyone managed to get their fingers smacked by a ball, but all survived and had a great time!  Next up was a round of miniature golf.  Ryan, Stephen, and Rhea pretty much had their own rules.  At times, they were all putting the same hole at the same time while running circles around each other.  Rhea would frequently give up and just throw her ball in and call it a success!  I think this is the first time she actually "played" all 18 holes and even did a few over again while she was waiting for everyone to keep up.  I don't think we actually kept score, but my guess would be that either Alex or Aunt Carla won.  We were very hungry by the time the game was over, so it was off for pizza at Maciano's!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cantingy with the Family


This is the first of several post of pictures from our visit with extended family.  My sister, brother-in-law, nephews and parents came to visit us last week.  Everyone had a great time and our first stop was to get the kids some exercise at Cantingy Park while my sister and I passed it off as 'school' for the day.  I've performed here many times, but always in sub-freezing temperatures for Veteran's Day or marathon Memorial Day concerts.  Both events were well worth it, and I managed to not complain in EITHER circumstance.  OK, that's maybe a little stretch on the no complaining part, but I was mostly happy if no one stole my heater on Veteran's Day.  Anyway, it was nice to spend the afternoon walking around and finally taking a trip through the museum.  If you live in the area and have never been, it is a wonderful tribute to our service men and women.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

An Arboretum Summer

Summer 1

Rhea and I love to take a trip, just the two of us, to the Arboretum each summer.  We always go on a bike ride through the woods to visit our favorite field and climb our favorite tree.  Remarkably, she still fits in her front carrier seat, but I think this is the last year.  I'll be hooking up the trailer for her next year, but still enjoyed one last time being close to her while we rode.  We then took off for the Children's Garden where her first stop was to the stream.  Rhea loves water, and more importantly, loves getting messy.  I love these times with her and will remember them always!

Summer 2

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Halo Hoops Basketball Camp


Stephen went to his first basketball camp this summer at Calvary. We are so grateful for our church with how many sports opportunities they offer the kids. Halo Hoops was no exception to the wonderful environments provided by these incredible people. They not only learn the sport, but continue their journey with Christ. Did I mention that I thank God every day for our church?

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Karate Kid

The Bough Family started a Martial Arts class at our church this past March and it was time for us to compete. Tom conveniently had to work, so it was me and the kids with Stephen insisting that I compete. I opted out of Kumite (sparring) and decided that it was safe enough to enter the Kata (forms) competition. I was pleased that I did my forms clean and at the best possible, but knew that I wouldn't win since I didn't have a formal Kata yet. Stephen, on the other hand, did both Kata and Kumite. He won second in the Kata and first in Kumite. I included video his Kata and the first of his two sparring matches since he figured out an easy way to win towards the end. You will see him score his last two points by tapping the kid on the head. In the end, this is how he won his division since no one could reach their foot above his belt or compete with his 'wing span'. Clever kid!

Sorry, no video of me. I was lucky to get Stephen to his events and make it just in time for my own. I didn't trust Rhea with the video camera, so you'll have to wait until next time. Oh, this was taken in our church gym since it was our own tournament. Rhea helped at the trophy table the whole day!! We were very proud of her too and she received a ton of compliments on her helpfulness and behavior. Go GIRL and congrats to Stephen!!

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

We had a fantastic 4th of July week. That's right, a whole week of celebration with my birthday on Monday followed by the 4th of July weekend. The kids gave me a beautiful necklace for my birthday and then proceeded to go on a two night camping trip with dad. It was really quiet around here, but I got caught up on my sleep and took advantage of the time to get the house back under control, get ahead on curriculum, and even watch two movies snuggled with the ol' kitty, Frisca. She really enjoyed sleeping in the big bed for two whole nights!! Dad's home now, so it's back to the basement.

I enjoyed getting things done, but found myself walking in circles by the end of the second day. It was nice to see them come home, only to find them crashed out in their beds after lunch. Oh well, I guess they had a great time with dad! They came back to life by the evening, so we pulled out the fireworks and finished off the left over smores supplies from the camping trip. YUM!

Rhea still has issues with loud noises, so Tom makes sure to have enough smoke bombs on hand as well as things that sparkle without too much sound. She loves to chase the smoke around the yard and smells REALLY bad by the end of the evening! We moved onto the rockets as it got darker and I moved inside with Rhea so the boys could have their fun. Rhea still enjoys the rocket, but from the inside window. Some rockets had sparkles, some had parachutes, and then there were the good ol' bottle rockets. As you can see, Stephen really enjoys the rockets and held his first sparkler. These are much safer than when we were kids. I remember hot metal rods that would throw sparks all over your arm and hand. I was never too keen about them and was happy with the new design. These things are huge, but don't give off too much spark while keeping everything away from the body. Daddy's big finale was a sparkle fountain that had little pops at the end. Just enough for Stephen to enjoy and not too much for Rhea. I was hoping to take her to a fireworks display this year, but maybe next time. We'll revisit the issue when we can at least get her to stay outside for a bottle rocket.

Happy 4th of July everyone!!!!!

4th of July





Sunday, May 2, 2010


I would have to say that this spring has been our most exciting yet. We had many good times with a little bump in the road along the way.


Spring 1

spring 2











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Our spring began with Stephen taking on another round of swim lessons. He learned how to float and has been perfecting basic strokes. This makes me feel better as he becomes safer in the water. Rhea will get her chance after the first of the year due to her sensitivity issues. Her confidence has improved greatly, but she's not quite ready for group lessons.


Once swim lessons were over, we all headed to church on Saturday mornings for soccer practice. The first three weeks are inside since it was WAY too cold outside. I was especially grateful for this decision. All of the coaches have a chance to get to know the players during this time before choosing teams. Stephen was off and running on the first day and has made many friends that are involved in all the Calvary activities that he attends. Rhea, on the other hand is still in preschool and was pretty much attached to my leg for the first three weeks. The coaches were great and assigned her the perfect coach for the season. Coach Joyce has been incredible with her. Rhea has not only improved with her soccer skills, but her confidence with who she is has improved. Loud sounds still bother her, but she works through the sensitivities with a little help from the people we put in her lives.

Stephen's time with soccer took a different route. He played against his sister's team on the first game and scored five goals. He was pretty excited about that, but his luck turned there. It was a beautiful spring day, which is unusual since it's pretty cold here in the spring, and we decided to take a family bike ride. We thought it would be nice to take the children along in the bike trailers so Tom and I could get a nice ride, and then stop at a playground on the way home. The bike ride was wonderful, but Stephen ended up falling off of one of the playground platforms resulting in a badly broken arm. I spent the rest of the night with him in the emergency room since the break was so bad. The doctors had to wait for the right specialist in order for us to go home. He ended up breaking his arm just above the elbow in three different places and had surgery a few days later. He was such a trooper!! He was very excited about showing off his green cast and telling people that he had three pins in his arm. Surprisingly, the doctor cleared him to compete in the state Junior Bible Quiz (JBQ) finals just two days after the surgery. We proceeded to drive to Springfield, IL where Stephen took home first place in his division. We are all very proud of his hard work this year in JBQ and I was so happy that he was able to go since I didn't know what the outcome was going to be for the rest of his activities.

Stephen's Cast


Stephen healed quickly and had his cast off just three weeks after the surgery. After another two weeks, he had full range of motion and mobility. An answer to many prayers that were requested! His speedy recovery allowed him to participate in his Royal Rangers (boys scouts at our church) program again AND play soccer. His coach was VERY excited to hear of his return. It has been fun watching both kids play soccer this year with only a few games left before finals. Calvary Church has offered so many wonderful opportunities for the kids, and soccer is one of many.

Stephen Soccer

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Rhea Soccer

Stephen has had a GREAT time in Calvary Royal Rangers this year. One of the big activities was the Pinewood Derby. We had never been to one before, so there was a lot to learn while we were there. Stephen's car did very well and he even won a few races. He was disappointed to not win a ribbon, but I told him that he should be excited with all that we were going to get to learn this coming year about how to build a fast car. He finally came around to the idea after about a week when I ordered a few plan books and researched all of the cool tools for our next car. Santa will also be leaving Pinewood goodies in their stockings!!


The latest Calvary Church activity that the whole family has started has been the martial arts program. Stephen had been taking Karate through the home school co-op, but we decided Stephen needed more of a challenge. We contacted the dojo at our church and after giving it a trial run, we never stopped. It's great to have the whole family involved and it makes mom and dad work harder with the kiddos staring at you. I'll never forget being nervous about my first board break. The kids were very specific with us to break it on the first try without help. No pressure!! Tom and I were successful on our first attempt which really wowed the kids. It was cute to see. We are all challenged by our new endevour. Stephen excels and loves achieving the next level, while Rhea tested and learned the boundaries of her new environment. She has grown so much in all the Calvary programs, but it warms my heart to see her eyes twinkle when she is successful in Karate.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010