Saturday, September 28, 2013

poking the rust

Jill recently completed a small house project:  chalkboard paint wall!  The east wall of our bedroom is now yellowish-green with lots of chalk marks.  Guess who has enjoyed the wall the most so far?
We're continuing to tour local parks and forest preserves.  Last weekend we visited Riverbend Forest preserve (home of the largest lake in Champaign county).  There are some nice trails, and the lake has a very fun pier with some covered benches and tables.

We have been to Kickapoo state park on a number of occasions, especially back in our mountain biking days.  Never before had we checked out the other parks nearby, so today we went to Kennekuk forest preserve.  As a bonus, my parents are in town this week, so we left the kids at home with them.  No one complained about being tired or hungry the whole time!
There are a zillion trails through the park, but we didn't have much time before we got hungry (okay, so maybe what I said before wasn't true).  We hiked only a couple trails.
It's very Kickapoo-esque, but no one was out on the trails.
Usually on the way home from the Kickapoo area, lunch is at either of the pizza places in St Joseph.  Since we were on the east side of the North fork, we decided to try our luck in Danville, former home of a GM foundry, currently avoided like the plague by most Urbana residents.

We found a restaurant downtown (there are 2?).  Pretty decent food that was reasonably priced.  The downtown area is about 6 square blocks with some pretty nice looking old buildings, most currently occupied by second-hand stores.  It's a little depressing, but maybe there is potential (Chambana never bothered to build a downtown.).

Finally, it's 10:15pm and Janny is walking around with her magnet doll.  Time to lay down the law.  Good night.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Clara's birthday and more

Clara turned 4 on Saturday!  We celebrated in traditional Knutson fashion by inviting neighbors, small group people, adopt-a-students, and church friends.  Janny was the youngest, and I don't think it's polite to say who the oldest was.  Clara picked several friends to be invited and helped Jill with the menu planning.  Instead of a cake or cupcakes, Jill and Clara worked together to make frosted banana muffins with pear and chocolate chips.  Pretty yummy.

The week before, Jill's' mom and dad stayed with us and gave Clara her first birthday present, a scooter!  This has been a huge hit.  Grandpa was quite useful around the house as well, resurfacing our dining room table, cleaning our car inside and out (gross!), and fixing the screen in our front door.
Clara also received a bunch of books plus Gruffalo stuffed animals from Grandpa and Grandma K.  From us, she got a batting tee (I'm loving this!  So far, no broken windows.) and a jump rope.  Some neighbors gave her a baby doll and some oreos (not shared with daddy).

During the Smiths' visit, Jill and I took an overnight trip to Charleston (fact:  Tony Romo lived there) in order to take a break from the kids.  We ate at the popular downtown restaurant, watched movies, and did some hiking at the surprisingly hilly Fox Ridge state park.  Probably the most memorable moment was coming across a steep one lane wood bridge that climbed over a railroad track on our way to the hotel.  It was dark, we driving through a residential neighborhood, and bang there it was.

Finally, do you see the pink roses in the first photo?  I'm very proud of them.  Twice this year I have saved them from sawfly larvae, and I have even watered them and given them compost.  In return, they make flowers.