Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Step Back In Time

This weekend we headed back to Rock Cut State Park with some of our neighbors to camp and attend a World War II reenactment. Since I was a girl, historical fiction has been my favorite genre of books and World War II has always fascinated me. It was such an interesting time in history. As I lost myself in books, I often wondered what life was really like then. I imagined stepping back in time to see for myself.

Well, arriving at Midway Village Museum for Word War II Days was a lot like stepping back into the 1940's. There were over 1200 reenacters, each depicting different roles of life during the second world war. You could stroll the streets and see soldiers from various armies, nurses, Rosie the Riveters, as well as countless artifacts from the time period. We witnessed battles in the streets, walked through troop encampments in the woods, got up close to antique military vehicles and artifacts, and watched two battles unfold on a field--complete with tanks, military vehicles, and pyrotechnics. It was a lot of fun and something we would like to go back to.

A skirmish between American and German soldiers in the street

Lillian and me with General Field Marshall Rommel

The neighbor kids: Deep, Hannah, Nicole, Pooja, and Frankie
They made the weekend even more fun for my kids.

Levi running a machine gun in a trench

German soldiers preparing to march to battle

Ready for the big battle

So much to see and talk about

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Mexican Creamed Corn (a la Bien Trucha)

Last weekend we celebrated our friend's birthday with dinner at Bien Trucha in Geneva. If you live in the Chicago area and haven't been there, you have to go! It is pretty much the best Mexican food we have ever had...and we've had a lot.

They put a little twist on things by serving things up tapas-style. The only thing better than great Mexican food is sharing great Mexican food. We each ordered different tacos so we got to try four of their tacos. Alongside the tacos, we also ordered rice and corn. The corn was roasted for a delicious sweetness and slightly creamy and cheese. Topped off with a squeeze of lime, it was an awesome side dish.

Tacos are usual meal at our house. They're nothing fancy, but we all enjoy them. This week when we had them, I decided to try to replicate Bien Trucha's corn dish for our side. I looked up a few recipes and then decided to wing it a little. Maybe my version is not exactly like theirs or authentic Mexican, but it was pretty darn good.

Mexican Creamed Corn (a la Bien Trucha)
4 Ears of Corn, husks removed
Vegetable or  Olive Oil Spray
1 Tbsp. Butter
2-3 Tbsp. Mexican Crema (or sour cream)
2-3 Tbsp. Queso Fresco, Crumbled into small pieces
Salt and Chili Powder to Taste
Cilantro, Lime Wedge

Heat grill and oil grates. Spray each ear of corn and place on grill. Turn every 2-3 minutes until cooked and some kernels begin to look browned (about 10-15 min). Cut corn from cob and place in a bowl. Add butter, crema, and cheese and mix well. Add salt and chili powder to your liking. Squeeze on a little fresh lime juice and serve with some fresh cilantro.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Child's Play

Lillian is a busy two-year-old. This summer she gave us fits (literally) as part of the "terrible twos". I know we're not out of the woods, but settling into a more regular routine in the last weeks has seemed to calm her and help lessen the whining and crying.

Lillian was an early talker and speaks well for her age. She says the funniest things and loves to pretend. Another favorite activity, like lots of toddlers her age, is to take things out of the their containers. Thankfully she likes to put them back, so clean-up time goes smoothly. She has started to line things up and spread out her toys. Sometimes she surprises us with the elaborate arrangements she puts together. It makes me smile to see her in action.

A word on these glasses...they started out as sunglasses, but she popped out on of the lens and it got lost. Rather than throwing them away, I popped out the other lens and they became her "glasses". She will wear them the whole day-at home and on the go-like there's nothing unusual about them. It cracks me up!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Off to Preschool!

Levi started preschool this week. Wednesday they had a short orientation day and today we dropped him off for his first regular day. I know all moms say this, but I can't believe he's already four and I'm sending him off the preschool. Part of me wants to keep him home just so I can enjoy him myself, but of course, he'll have lots of fun at preschool and will learn new things and make new friends. I look forward to all the stories he will come home with. Anyone who knows him knows that he'll have a lot to say about it. I don't know where he got that from...

Orientation Day
(That's Lillian in the background sporting her backpack.)
Ready for the first day!
(He looks so much like his dad here.)
I took a short video of him, just to capture a few things about him at this age.