Friday, June 25, 2010

The Wind Began to Switch,

The house to twitch and suddenly the you get the idea! We've had 3 REALLY horrific storms run through town in the past week. The first one caught us completely off guard and left poor Auntie Peggy without power from 4PM last Friday until 10AM this past Tuesday. The second one came through late Friday night during Deirdre's recital as I mentioned in a previous post. Then yesterday came the Daddy of the storms!!!

While Patrick and I hauled tents and chairs up to Auntie Peggy's for Grandpa's big 85th birthday bash, we figured the kids could enjoy a nice refreshing dip in the local pool, as we have been in the 90's of late. As we dropped them off we warned them that it would be a VERY SHORT dip as not only would we be back as soon as the van was unloaded but that the clouds building in the west surely meant another storm was looming. Not a minute after we unloaded the last chair and slammed down the hatch the first drops of rain were falling! The girls protested mightily at being pulled from the pool as there had been no sign of lightening and "it's okay to swim when it's just rain".....

The 4 minute drive home was in an ever increasing downpour and just as we dashed in the front door the first crack of lightening flashed! Less than 5 minutes later we were huddled in the basement with tornado sirens blaring. I don't think we will ever have to fight them out of the water due to rain ever again!!!

So, this is what my sister Jen's front lawn looks like in the aftermath! Yes, she has lost power now and it will probably be days before it comes back on as countless power lines are down. I live a mere six blocks away....but the trees in our neighborhood had the good sense to fall away from the power lines (: The flip side to that good news is that my house has become air conditioning and TV central!!! Last night there were 9 people sleeping in 5 beds at my house.....

This power line was lucky that the offending tree only spat a branch on it's path....

while it that tangle there is not only a line but a transformer knocked to the ground. There's LOTS of that yellow caution tape closing off many a street in town today!

What the weathermen mean when they say that trees are uprooted!!!

All of these pictures were taken in the first two blocks as I tried to navigate the limb cluttered streets after picking Andrew and Alyssa.

Owners of power saws will surely become the best of neighbors in the next days as it will be a long while before the city crews will be able to clear up the countless trees and limbs blown off by the 70 mile per hour winds!!! No tornado...just wind...anyone looking for some wood chip mulch??


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Short Sighted Short Term Decision!!!

Okay, at the risk of turning off some of my readers I am about to rant!!! Leave now if you are a big business [aka big oil!!!] sympathizer. I am recording this here and now so my children can have a record of just why the beach vacations of their childhood have ended!!

Dearest daughters,

Once upon a time, in the America of your childhood, a generation of baby boomers got GREEDY!! It was all about having THINGS. It didn't matter if those things meant that poor people with no power were enslaved in sweatshops. It didn't matter if the natural resources of Mother Earth were stripped recklessly from her mantle. Nothing mattered but having THINGS!!!...and MONEY!!

America was given warning after warning about the consequences of their consumption economy! Workers in factories died like flies from exposure to dangerous chemicals and dangerous machines. Workers in mines died over and over from explosions and fires. Your families in Guatemala died trying to earn a few paltry cents a day working in foreign owned sweatshops! But time after time the American people voted in politicians who protected the owners of the mines and factories for .......MONEY!

Don't think our family isn't guilty of being greedy! You never wanted for clothes or toys and we drove everywhere in a big old gas guzzler. That's why I was always nagging you to help me collect shoes for Guatemala! That's why I was always sewing to send money to charities and then birth families! We didn't equalize all our greed with these actions but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have tried....

But then came our BIGGEST warning!!! BP Petroleum company just happened to be the guilty party this time but it could have been any number of reckless corporations who subscribed to the MONEY first [aka GREED] philosophy. This time the Gulf of Mexico was the portion of Mother Earth that the greed spoiled! You know??? The big stretch of water that washes up on on our favorite piece of paradise...'Grandpa's beach' as you fondly call Lido Beach.

The place where we recharged and relaxed...well Mom and Dad recharged and relaxed while you played.

One poor decision after another was made leading up to and after the BP spill but then the President of the United States at the time, Barack Obama, finally did the SMART thing and told the GREEDY oil companies that they had to stop drilling in the DEEPEST of water until the companies figured out what went wrong and made sure that it WOULD NOT happen again! You should have heard the whining from all the greedy Baby Boomers!!! You'd think there was no other way to fuel their cars or power their computers?!?! Or earn a paycheck?!?

These whiners ran to a judge in New Orleans who they knew had BIG investments in oil companies and asked him to reopen the oil wells in the deepest of waters. You see, a LOT of our judges are RICH WHITE MEN who want to stay RICH WHITE MEN and they are not IMPARTIAL when it means MONEY in their pocket! They do not care if Mother Earth has been poisoned to death! They do not care what will be left of Mother Earth for you and your children! All they care about is themselves and their bank accounts!!!! Guess what this judge decided?? Yep, he decided that PAYCHECKS NOW were more important than MOTHER EARTH FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So treasure this picture! It will be a loooooong time [if ever] before you or your children see this paradise. it is my fondest hope that your generation will smack some sense into my generation and get rid of big business politicians, mega-corporations, sweatshops and copious consumer consumption....I'm not sure Mother Earth will give us any more chances!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Toy Story 3 Aftermath!

Horrible storms with huge winds have wrecked havoc with our power! Well, being truthful the Mahoney's have only had momentary power glitches BUT Auntie Peggy and the rest of our town have been blacked out since 4pm on Friday!!! 

The significance of this is what you ask?? Well BFF/Cousin Deirdre's huge, end of the year dance recital was this weekend!!!! Grandpa is home for his 'big' birthday celebration and the family picnic so he came out for the big event too!!!

3/4 of the way through the recital it ended with a bang!!! Literally, a bang of lightening accompanied by high winds knocked out not only the power but the generator as well!!! Dodging the bolts of lightening out to the parking lot was fun....not. Since the power is projected to be out until late Monday, the other nights of the dance recital were canceled! A perfect opportunity to grab the kids on Saturday night and head a couple of towns over [where there was power to be had] to see the much anticipated Toy Story 3-D!

Two thumbs up, 5 stars, but SEVEN Kleenex rating from this house!!! Mari and I were pure waterworks by the end...I even wore my 3-D glasses out to hide the ugly red rimmed eyes. Trying not to be a spoiler let's just say it was a tear jerker of a HAPPY ending.

Anyhow, as a result of the movie there was a renewed interest in pulling out some of their 'older' toys for a revisit. My girls have always been great imaginative players, especially Julia, so I've seen and heard quite a few wild story lines and intermingling of toy types in the day. Today was one of those days!!!

Only after Toy Story 3 would a motorcycle rider become a 'jockey' on an infamously fleet footed Clydesdale????

Maybe he'll ride over to ComEd and find someone to turn on Auntie Peggy's power before she loses her mind......

Friday, June 18, 2010

FFF ....

not sure the official 'theme' of this week's Favorite Foto Friday but this is my favorite picture of my past week!

Picture that perfectly captures my sunshine girl!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

This little piggy went to.....

PEDICURE!!!! Been a rough couple of weeks and the near future holds some stress and uncertainty so I decided that the girls and I could use a little pampering. Mari was all over the offer and even weedled the offer to include a manicure....Julia was another story.

Yes, she is my amiable child and went just to have the moment together since the whole pedicure process clearly gives her the willies!

I took a deep breath and declared that since it was a 'bonding moment' any color was fair game. Julia went with this lovely subtle shade of orange. Your favorite, right Diane?!?!?

Then she chilled while I got the whole hot rock massage and hot wax treatment. Mari was being Mari during this whole 'bonding' moment.....

There's always a book in those hands!! Then just to yank my chain Julia asked to get a flower on her big toe nails!!!

It turned out so cute and I'm so annoyed that the picture of the finished product is out of focus!!!

A bored Julia waiting for Mari's manicure to get finished.

Yes, Mari chose an equally subtle shade of pink for her fingernails and some how I missed getting a picture of her fluorescent yellow toes????

A self portrait!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Life's one big picnic!

Old dogs really don't learn new tricks! Here I am going a bunch of days without posting only to throw up a bunch of posts all at once again. Those who really know me are not the least bit surprised about this tendency. I have always worked better under pressure! More about the pressure later this it's catch up time!!


Guess what you're looking at here?

A local church ran a shoe drive for Guatemala!! Mari came with me on Wednesday to join the youth group in sorting and packing the shoes. We got this far when the organizer finally came in to tell us that she had given me the wrong date!!! So we'll be back there again this Wednesday (:

Soccer season ended with a bang...literally! The last games were cut short due to thunderstorms. I am not even one tiny bit sad to announce that the girls have jointly decided to 'retire' from soccer and that I no longer need cheer from the cold and soggy sidelines!! Oh, except that Julia decided to join softball so next year's spring weather will be 'enjoyed' from the bleachers of the local ball fields ):

This weekend marked the beginning of our 'picnic' season. The Mahoney family picnic was the first one up on the schedule.

There were games....

and pinatas....


and new babies to meet!


As you can see, BFF/Cousins Deirdre and Mairead were in attendance. Deirdre is veeeery clear on the fact that she IS a Mahoney because she has been to as many Mahoney events as Julia!

Squirt guns have become a 'tradition' at picnics. Not sure how or why but I do believe that getting wet and dirty has something to do with the answer.

As the puddle indicates, God had his squirt gun in action too!! Remember from my St. Patrick's Day post that we Irish party no matter what!! Unlike Elphaba, Mahoney's don't melt when wet.

Mostly we did what Irishmen do best....


and ate.....

and talked some more!!!

As obvious by the lack of focus of most of these pictures, Auntie Peggy did not feel she was 'Mahoney enough' to skip a day of work to attend so the photography was left to the camera challenged!

Closing with a rare picture for sure!!! Four of the six sister-in-laws in the same shot! 

Love these ladies to pieces!!!! I am absolutely blessed with the best in-laws ever.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Our Cup Runeth Over

I suspect that many a Chicagoland family is struggling to get up and moving this morning! 

While we were not lucky enough to be in Philadelphia celebrating with the Blackhawks and their families, we did celebrate!

The fireworks went well into the night! The impromptu car parades with flags waving and car horns blaring made it hard for those who tried to get their little ones down to sleep.

Congratulations boys!!!!!!!!Feel free to keep us awake this time next year too.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Our Kind of Town!

Chicago is...our kind of town....
Okay, enough with the corny lyrics but really and truly we love the big city in our backyard! Several times a year we try to get the girls into the city to experience culture and cultures not to be had in suburbia. This trip to celebrate the end of another school year was long planned and the day dawned warm and sunny...unfortunately my Menier's symptoms decided to appear as well! Big thanks to Auntie Peggy who decided she was up to chaperoning 5 girls by herself!!!!!

The adorable group shots say Auntie Peggy all over them!! BTW, we still call that the Sears Tower!!!!

This water wall is just outside of Soldiers Field where the best parking is to be had when taking in any of the lakefront museums.

Heading into the Field Museum of Natural History!

'Traditional' picture taken in the Underground Experience cicada shells.

They love the Egypt exhibit as it's so 'hands on'. Pretty soon they won't fit on this Egyptian bed!!!

The dinosaur exhibit is also a big hit! Alyssa comparing her foot to the footprint of a dinosaur.

All of Julia fit in the foot print!

A sentimental picture for sure! This Maori lodge from New Zealand is the very spot where 10 years ago Mari was sworn in as an American citizen!!! She was in the last group of international adoptees who did NOT get automatic citizenship upon completion of the adoption process in their birth country.

Did I mention that the Blackhawks are in the Stanley Cup finals?

Yes, every where in the city you'll find fans of the Blackhawks!

How can you not be in awe of getting to sit out on the portico of a massive historical landmark in your own hometown?!?!?

With such a skyline as your backdrop?!?!?

It is at this point that I would like to point out that Practically Perfect Peggy does not only take drop dead gorgeous pictures of the kids.....out of focus and dimly lit happens to her too!

Mari took this one! Hope that I may one day have someone with camera Karma in the house???

I'm so grateful that Auntie Peggy was able to save the trip because these are the memories I want them to have in their old age....BFF/Cousins sharing the beauty of a great city.

A magnificent city actually! Look at the benefits of a century old decision to keep the lake front green!!!

Picture perfect! A place where all of it's citizens can come and enjoy nature, sports, and culture without the ugly impact of commerce.

Well, someday they'll 'get' the majesty of their the meantime childhood beckons.

I'll second the opinion that Mari should be in front of the camera more often!!!! Auntie Peggy caught one of the few genuine Mari smiles in this shot...mostly we get a 'fake' posed grin when the camera appears. Who wouldn't smile with joy when this is the location your life gets lived in????