100 Years.....

The boys and I boarded a train (the first time for all three of us) on Thursday to begin our journey to Michigan to celebrate my great-grandmother's 100th birthday. We rode in style from St. Paul to Chicago with our own family sleeper car. Apparently, when you purchase a sleeper room you are in first class! What does that mean? Well, for us, it meant sitting in a more posh waiting room with a tv and couches (see photo below). It also meant "free" meals in the dining car and most importantly? It meant you can confine your rowdy children in a room where no one else can see them being naughty.

The experience on the train was great! Below is a picture of the lounge car. It's first come first serve. It was packed the entire ride to Chicago so we didn't get an opportunity to sit there at all which was a bit of a bummer.

The first couple of hours went pretty smoothly. Colton dove right into his homework and Brett kept himself busy with his activity book. I thought to myself - so far, so good. Then things took a little turn. After about 4 hours, the boys started getting antsy and annoying to both me and each other.

I tried to get Brett to take a nap. No luck. At least I could confine him to his "ceiling bed."

Whew. Time for lunch. The change of scenery for the boys was helpful.

We had a short lay over in Chicago before we boarded another train heading for Indiana. We didn't have our family room anymore so I was a bit nervous about how the kids would do with the general public. Thankfully they impressed me and the ride was only 1 1/2 hours. My mom and step-dad picked us up at the train station and we headed to my Great-Grandma's house in Michigan which was about 30 minutes away. The boys zonked out right away in the car. I got the boys settled in to bed and busted into a big ol' bottle of wine.

Friday was spent visiting, feeding the fish in great-gram's lake and a trip to Lake Michigan.

I think Minnesota's great lake got the shaft. Why are Lake Superior's beaches not white soft sand?!!

Saturday was the big party. We were able to get a few family pics in before we went out for dinner with the family that was able to be in attendance.

Gram picked out the location based on the fact that she like their burgers and chicken wings. It was an interesting location. The place was probably as old as she is, but she was right, the chicken wings were tasty!

So what does a 100 year old eat for her big birthday dinner? Chicken wings with hot sauce (I'm talking H-O-T) and a Miller Light. She rocks.

I'm so glad I got this picture of her. This is her chair where she sits most of the day until it gets too cold on her three season porch. I love that she is smiling and enjoying the company even though I'm pretty sure she didn't hear a thing anybody was saying as it's hard for her when there is more than one conversation going on at a time.

The boys and I headed home Sunday and spent all day on the train. I'm not kidding. All day. Other than a melt down by my youngest, the way home went much, much smoother.

Riding the train was a great experience and I'd gladly do it again.


Naked Bacon Band.....

Colton's band had a gig at our house today. The band's been together for a week and they've practiced twice. It's just him and the two neighbor kids. They've all been friends since kindergarten. It.Was.A.Riot. They played about 6 songs with not one lasting more than 30 seconds.
I now share with you, pictures from the first ever Naked Bacon concert:

The crowds came by the masses:

Then this guy snuck on stage when the band went to write more songs:



Brett and I went out this morning to attempt to take his 4 year old pictures - never mind the fact that he turned 4 two months ago....we've been busy.
The whole process went fairly well. I did bribe him with an ice cream cone if he did a good job. I knew I could get about 20 minutes tops before he would lose interest and get irritated with me.
Here's a couple outtakes from the morning. Not really sure who he was about to fight here.
This was probably the last picture. He was getting antsy and wouldn't stay still. This is when I knew we were done whether I had a good picture or not.

In the end, he got his ice cream cone at 9:30 in the morning.