Mid morning Randy went to the basement to tidy up his tools. I was busy with the kids . . . they were fussing with one another and when asked about it . . . lies. I felt that our morning was going in circles . . . we weren't getting ANYWHERE!!! So, I decided to CHALLENGE the four boys.
This was my challenge:
O.k. boys, Mommy needs to go upstairs and take a shower, put on my makeup and fix my hair. You all have toys EVERYWHERE.
IF YOU CAN:
Clean up your toys and put them away properly,
make your beds,
tidy your rooms,
feed the dogs . . .
Daddy and I will take all of you and Katelyn to Chicago . . . the Lego store is there!
I am quite certain screams and jumping up and down where heard and felt miles away. I was excited, they were excited and Katelyn was excited. Randy . . . didn't have a clue.
I continued . . .
We need to show Daddy that we can:
Do what we are told, meaning obey the first time.
Clean up our toys . . . without fussing
Tidy our rooms
Make our beds
Be nice to one another
and be all ready by the time Mommy is ready to go.
They were all on board!!! Everyone jumped into action and I felt a bit of satisfaction . . .
of course, as all things go with boys . . .
there were a few bumps in my challenge.
I had no sooner arrived in my bathroom, turned on the shower and got my towel and wash cloth from the closet when I heard it . . .
screaming from one of the boys. So, I walked out of my bathroom to see one of the boys causing trouble with another. I promptly put a stop to it and warned the child that I would not tell him again. He was to do what he was told and not cause trouble with his brothers. At that time I also warned the other boys . . . I am NOT taking disobedient children with me, so they better behave themselves and get everything done so we could all go and have a good time.
I went back to my bathroom and got into the shower . . . it felt wonderful and again I felt a bit of accomplishment. We were all going to load up in the cars - yes we would have to take two - and make a three plus hour drive to Chicago on the last Day of the Thanksgiving Holiday.
I know, we are NUTS!
I got out of the shower and dried off. I was getting my teeth brushed when I heard one of the boys pleading with another . . . Don't do that, you will break it.
Don't do that or you will break it.
Stop, you are going to break it.
and then crying . . . PLEASE stop, you are going to break it!!!
I could hear the hysteria setting in, so I called both of the boys in.
What in the World is going on? was my question.
My oldest son was almost sobbing . . . his face was all splotchy from being upset. Another of my sons came with him carrying his brother's BUZZ Lightyear that is remote control. My oldest son got it for his birthday a few months ago and it has sensors all over it. The directions warned not to try and move the arms, legs or head manually and to ONLY use the remote to move them.
Again, I asked what happened. My oldest explained that his brother (who shall remain nameless) was trying to move Buzz Lightyear's arms and legs by forcing them. He had told him several times not to do that or he would break Buzz Lightyear, but his brother didn't seem to care.
I thanked my oldest for telling me and told him to take Buzz and finish up what he was doing. This left me with "the child/son" that was trying to break Buzz. I asked him if he heard his brother telling him that he was going to break Buzz. He answered yes. I asked him "Why" wouldn't you listen to his older brother asking him to stop? His response, "Because I didn't want to." Just as bold as that. I asked him if he knew he was going to break Buzz. He answered "YES!" Well, I had no other choice but to declare to this child that he was not going with me and the others to Lego. He would stay home with Daddy and think about his actions. He was a bit deflated and teary eyed when I was making my bed, however he was warned and warned again . . . he chose his fate for the afternoon and evening. If he couldn't behave himself at home, what was he going to do on a long day trip?
So, a little after noon I asked everyone to visit the bathroom, grab their jackets and head out to the car. Everyone complied including little Mia our 7 lb wonder (Mi-Ki dog). It was not long before she was brought back into the house . . . we were loaded up and ready to go.
Here is a picture of my three boys that were allowed to go:
all sitting in the backseat of our crossover . . . quite a different traveling experience!!!
and ELF was in the DVD player.
Of course, you can't watch OR listen to ELF without repeating or reciting the lines . . . especially if you have watched it as many times as we have!
"Goodbye Mr. Norwhal"
"Does somebody need a hug?"
"Congratulations . . . you did it!!! The World's BEST cup of Coffee!"
Then there were the little exclamations from the kids . . .
Our House Is Farther Away than the North Pole!!!
Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins (they all tried to say it, but couldn't pronounce it all together)
HE is on the NAUGHTY list!!!
There were many things to see and snap photos of along the way.
not to mention trying to get photos of Katelyn and I . . . courtesy of Katelyn (my crazy girl)
I had to drive and keep my eyes on the road, PLUS lean over her way a bit to get us both in - she should have turned the camera sideways! Love my skyroof!!!
a bit barren looking at this time of the year
of course, the McD's are everywhere!!!
Even at the Pit stop places!
Then we saw a Peoria Charter Coach . . . from close to home.
an old barn that had seen better days
then there was the IKEA store that caught our attention - we didn't have time to stop
(insert sad face here)
On our journey, there was a man walking down the road between the cars at a stop light. He held a sign that said he was hungry and had no work. No one ahead of me helped this man. As he walked toward our car, his eyes met mine. He was dressed in battered and worn clothing. His face was sad, scruffy and a bit dirty. His eyes were empty. Katelyn quickly handed me my change purse . . . I handed him a small amount and he thanked me. My heart felt for him . . . here we were driving more than three hours to go to the Lego store and this fella was cold and hungry. I have heard it said before . . . Most people don't look into a homeless person's eyes, but look away from them.
Where has the love of Jesus gone?
Of course, my boys noticed this man, his clothing and his looks. They asked me about him and what did he want? I quietly told them that this fella was hungry and had no money for food. He probably didn't have a job or anyone to help him. I think it touched them . . .
at least their observant little eyes looked a bit sad.
We didn't know this man, nor did we know his situation. However, a few dollars would allow him a hot cup of coffee or a bite to eat. I pray more people at that stop light found it in their hearts to help the man too!
Back to our Journey . . .
Finally we made it to the Woodfield Mall in Chicago!!! (Which by the way is less than an hour away from the Illinois/Wisconsin Border.)
The first course of business was to locate a potty facility as we NEEDED one right away!!!
We went into the mall and it was HUGE!!! The Mall was blocks and blocks long . . . totally amazing.
Katelyn and I could have stayed there for days or maybe even weeks!!!
Finally, we found a little food place that had a bathroom.
We disregarded the little hand written sign on the bathroom door that said,
"Customers of (blah blah) only"
Yea Right!!! When you gotta go, you gotta go!!! and there were FIVE of us that GOTTA GO!!!
So, we all filed into the ladies room. Yes, even the boys. I was not going to let them go anywhere without me and Katelyn. Too many crazies out there!
Anyway, back to my story.
I, like Moms do, allowed my children to use the potty before I did. Now remember, I took four kids with me . . . therefore I had a bit of a wait, not to mention the sound that goes along with . . . well, you know what I mean!!! By the time it was Katelyn's turn I was ready to use the Men's room or even the sink . . . I was about to burst, so I was doing a little potty dance and the boys were laughing at me. Which wasn't so bad, at least they weren't watching Katelyn!
Soon it was my turn . . . whew!
Hand Sanitizer for all . . . twice around and then out the door we went.
There it was . . . the Lego Store!
The gasps from their mouths and the look in their wide eyes . . . PRICELESS!!!
There were Lego boxes from floor to ceiling, through the middle of the store all the way to the back.
THEY HAD EVERYTHING!!! according to my boys.
Of course, my oldest son said, "This Store is just like HEAVEN!" I have to tell you, that boy eat, sleeps and lives LEGO!
I encouraged them to walk through the entire store a few times BEFORE deciding what they wanted. Once we got to the back of the store, the entire wall was covered in Lego portholes. You could get a container of whatever size you wanted and fill it up with the Lego pieces for a flat rate. I handed each of the kids a container and turned them loose to fill it as they pleased. They couldn't believe it!!! Soon, Lego's were flying and the boys were ear to ear smiles! I reminded them to pick up what they dropped and to shake down the container a little bit to help the Lego pieces to settle and then they could get more in them. It was incredible to see them reaching their little hands into the porthole/bins to get a hand full of this or that Lego shape. Finally their containers were full with lids snapped and taped on. Their Lego choices were complete and we were checking out.
Here are some photos:
On our way out . . .
We stopped at the "North Pole" to see Santa.
The line was horrendous, but we gave it a try.
We stood in line for about 45 minutes. People kept going past us and further up in the line. I am not certain if they were there, but had waited to long and needed to use the bathroom or what. We waited and waited and waited . . . the boys became impatient and I didn't blame them.
It was getting late and they were hungry . . .
so, we decided that since the line had barely moved in the 45 minutes
that we would leave and head for the Rain forest Cafe.
It was really cool to see the moving reptiles (they weren't real, but the kids thought they were) and the giraffe . . . there were fish and water falling like rain and more, but I thought we should stop at the hostess desk and ask her about PEANUTS and TREE NUTS being served in the restaurant. The hostess called back to the kitchen and told me that although they didn't cook with peanut or tree nut oils, there were many dishes with nuts in them. That totally freaked me because of the cross contamination factors involved . . . when you have a child with serious food allergies, you simply don't leave it to chance. So, although they were sad that we couldn't eat there they understood and decided it would be best to get something else at another restaurant.
So we left the Woodfield Mall . . .
and we headed south toward home.
Along the way we stopped to fill the gas tank AND three little boy tummies . . .Katelyn's too. I was content to simply wait until we got home.
Of course, along the way home when we weren't around ANY potties or rest areas . . . two little boys needed to potty and could not wait. I knew it was serious as the look on my youngest little guys face was quite concerned . . . I made a quick decision and pulled off to the side of the road . . . way over to the very edge of the shoulder. I instructed Katelyn how to help them and the boys on how to do it quickly so we could get them back into the car.
Isn't this hysterical???
Good job boys!!!
We arrived home about 8:30 p.m. The kids helped get everything out of my car and into the house. Randy was happy to see us, although I could tell that my son (the one who had to stay home) was a bit aggravated with me.
The boys were full of stories and loved looking over their finds.
Randy smiled from ear to ear and we both listened to them as they talked the remainder of the evening away. Bedtime came later than normal but now everyone except me are snuggled in bed having sweet dreams. I am heading there shortly!
There were times in our day that were a bit of a challenge, but overall the day was a BLAST!
Thank You GOD for Safety in Our Travels!