Tuesday, July 24, 2007


So I mentioned we had houseguests.

It was so wonderful to have visits from first my parents from Ohio, and then my Professor Brother and his family from Kansas! They all got to see us in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which just happened to work out, but we also spent great time together just catching up. My three nieces are roughly the same ages as our three youngest, so "the cousins" had a wonderful time.

My brother and sister-in-law insisted on helping with a few house projects, so Sis and I chatted while taking down, washing, and putting up light fixtures, and Bro clamped and glued the problem bifold closet door. Later, Sis used an iron to soak up the wax from the basement carpet (where I let the kids make "cave paintings" by candlelight--on brown paper bags pinned to the wall--for a homeschool project several years ago) and Bro went online to figure out how to clean my stained white grout on the half bathroom floor. Oxy-Clean (actually, the Aldi equivalent) and plenty of his elbow grease with a toothbrush worked wonders! So I have tangible reminders all over my home to make me grateful for their visit.

And of course, I have pictures! They couldn't come to Illinois without a visit to our alma mater, Wheaton College. Here's a little human interest trivia: Papa Rooster and I were married at Christmastime of our senior year at Wheaton, which paved the way for Bro and Sis to get married in August before their senior year at Wheaton--and the college gave them the exact same apartment, in married student housing, that we had lived in four years earlier!

So we drove the kids by that building as well as visiting many others....

Here are the kids on the steps of Williston, the oldest dorm on campus, where Sis and I both lived.

And here they are again, sitting on another campus landmark, the (in)famous Bench, which used to be central to many pranks in my father's days at Wheaton; the classes schemed to possess it and then had to find ways of showing it without losing it to another class--not an easy task, since it's a big 'ol piece of cement! It's now been securely turned back into a bench again. That's the old Student Center in the background; it's being turned into offices now.

We visited the Beamer Student Center--Todd Beamer was at Wheaton at the same time as Professor Brother. This bas-relief is of Todd and his two young sons; the words "Let's roll" are engraved in the lower third. It was created by a gifted sculptor and Wheaton alum, Clay Enoch, whose work Papa Rooster and I greatly admire; we are privileged to possess one of his small sculptures. (Don't miss that link!)

No visit to campus would be complete without a visit to the campus ice cream and sandwich shoppe, the Stupe! It's famous for huge servings at low prices. (My other brother, Pilot Brother, got his start in the world as the Stupe manager during his senior year at Wheaton.) Unfortunately, the new Stupe in the Beamer Center just isn't the same as the historical setting so many of us alums knew and loved in the old MSC. (Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes....)

And no visit to Wheaton would be complete without a visit to The Popcorn Shop, Front Street, and the train tracks!

(I wanted a picture of the crew at the Wade Center with the wardrobe that may have inspired C.S. Lewis's tale, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe--but we got there too late. (J.R.R. Tolkien's desk is there too--here are pictures of both.) And I was changing a diaper while the big kids took in the Perry Mastadon, so no picture there. But we did see it--of course! Here's a picture.)

And here's one photo from my parents' visit. Can you believe that my dad, at 70+, still gets down on the floor and wrestles with preschoolers?

We're heading to Ohio in another week or two to rendez-vous with the whole crew, including Pilot Brother's family--I can't wait!


Linds said...

What fun! The photos are lovely, and isn't it great to get together with family? So many blessings!

Islandsparrow said...

Family, friends and fun - it's the essence of summer here on the Island too.

We took our kids down to see GCTS, our Alma mater, 8 years ago - and showed them all the favourite haunts too. The two older boys actually lived there but they were too young to remember. It was a lot of fun but you're right,the "ch ch ch changes" are hard. :)

Praying for you.

Donna Boucher said...

I heart the 'Inbetween' Popcorn Shop.
We rode our tandom, as fast as we could from our house to downtown Wheaton.

What a nice town.