Tails from a mother of five in photos, videos, humor and short stories...welcome to our zoo!

Apr 21, 2015

#WordlessWednesday with #linky on a Tuesday - Hot Wheels

Wordless Wednesday is live on thehealthymoms.net and talbertzoo.com. Link up to your Wordless Wednesday post.

Little Bear and Monkey love playing with Hot Wheels.  They have quite the collection too. The other day, Monkey decided to add a little bit of leaves from one of the trees outside to his hot wheels. I thought it was pretty funny so I snapped a few photos of him. Do your kids play with hot wheels?

















Visit these great blogs where Talbert Zoo links up each week.




Glimmer of Hope

Rules of this #BlogHop

  • Grab our new button on your blog so I know that you are linking up here.
  • Add your Wordless Wednesday Link
  • Leave me a comment so I can visit your blog.
  • Visit the other blogs linking up.







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Apr 20, 2015

A Whirlwind of a Weekend

Try saying that three times as fast as you can. It's almost as hard as saying, "Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair, Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't Fuzzy, was he?" This weekend was fun, busy and full of surprises. I don't know where to begin.

We moved to Crystal Lake from Spokane, Washington back in August.  Chris decided that we would rent a house until we could purchase a home.  We settled into a nice two story with a full basement. This home was built in the 1990's and is a wonderful temporary home for the seven of us.  Our kids go to a great school only a mile away, and we found a wonderful community in the parish we belong to, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church. The church is also very close to where we live.

In February, Chris decided it was time to start looking into buying a home.  We knew we wanted a 2 story, 4 bedroom home with a basement close to where the kids go to school.  After visiting a couple of homes we found one that was close to the school and had 4 bedrooms, but it did not have a basement. Chris was worried that we may not find a home that fit all of our requirements, so he made an offer on it anyway.

His offer was a little less than the asking price and the home owners did not want to budge on their price. So we decided to keep looking.

Last week a new home listing appeared on my Zillow app. When I looked at it and the photos of the home, instantly I fell in love. It was a 2 story home, with 4 bedrooms and a finished off basement.  The asking price was on the high end of our budget for a home but I knew I had to tell Chris about it anyway.  It just so happened that the real estate agent that had been helping us find a home informed Chris about that same listing.

On Friday night we saw three homes, the one I mentioned above included.   Monkey had soccer at 6 so we all went to the showings together, dropping Monkey, Goose and Kitty off to soccer in between.  The first home we saw did not have a basement and we were not certain the kids could go to the same school in the fall if we moved there.  Then we saw the beautiful four bedroom home with a basement.  It was even more gorgeous up close than in the listing. The only thing we did not like was the price.



Before we left Chris told our agent that he was going to make an offer on that home, because it was perfect for us.  We then took Monkey to soccer and saw one more home.

After soccer the kids were really hungry because we were looking at homes during their regular dinner hour.  Reluctantly, we took them to McDonald's.  Goose is going to graduate in about a month and she is looking for a job.  I noticed a little computer at McDonald's advertising , "apply here." I pointed it out to Goose and she applied for a job. Chris used to work for McDonald's when he was a teenager, so why not Goose?

Saturday morning Chris and I went to our realtor's office and he filled out the paperwork for the offer. I was there for moral support. That afternoon I took Parrot shopping for a new suit for First Holy Communion.  While I was shopping Chris called me.  He exclaimed over the phone, "We got the house! I am still in shock because that home is so perfect for us and I was certain there was pending offers."



He was wrong and now this summer we will be moving into my dream home. I am so excited! But this was not the only surprise we got over the weekend.

Saturday night, my dryer destroyed another shirt, this time it was Bear's Talbert Zoo shirt. Remember this one?



Our clothes get stuck in between this plastic thing on the dryer which circles around the front  and the dryer itself. We can't get the clothes out without ripping a hole in them.  It has destroyed approximately a half a dozen articles of clothing. When it ripped a hole in Little Bear's shirt, that was the last straw. I need a new dryer.

Unfortunately, we are spending all of our savings plus Chris' 401K on closing costs, lawyer's fees and other miscellaneous fees for the house. I need to spend my own non-existent money on a new dryer.  In the meantime we have a clothesline set up outside and the laundry is piling up. I need to sell some ads on The Healthy Moms Magazine and or land a freelance job.


We are not going to have any extra spending money until after we close on the home. This is making me feel nervous and very stressed. It's putting more pressure on me to make some money with my websites.  I know what I need to do in order to make enough to buy a dryer, but I am so busy taking care of the kids while Chris travels for work, I don't have much time to work. I thought about sacrificing my sleep so I can work, but Chris didn't like that idea. I guess I have to figure this one out myself.

On Sunday we went to mass in the morning and I played my flute. Then I baked some bread and Chris made dip for the parish pot luck.  While we were getting ready for the pot luck, McDonald's called Goose and wanted her to go out there to interview. I told her that usually if you get a job interview from a fast food place they are planning on hiring you. I was correct. She got her very first job.

Chris and I are excited for Goose. Now she has a job and she is going to graduate in about a month.  She is planning on working for a year and living with us while she saves her money for college. I think that is a wonderful idea!

How was your weekend?
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Apr 16, 2015

Little Bear Humor

The life of a four-year-old is busy, fun and full of surprises. Little Bear has said and done some pretty silly things this past week.  Here is  a little peak inside the life of Little Bear.


Little bear likes everything his way. If it doesn't go exactly as planned he wants to start over.

At breakfast.

Mom: What do you want for breakfast?
Bear: Oatmeal.
Mom mixes the oatmeal with water and a little brown sugar and heats it up in the microwave. She then pulls it out and stirs it with a spoon.
Bear: Don't stir it! Start over! Start over!
Mom: Do you want me to put it back into the microwave?
Bear: No.
Mom: Then what do you want me to do?
Bear: Start over!
Little Bear wanted to mix the oatmeal himself. It was too late to start it over.


Little Bear loves being four. Four is his favorite number. At preschool story time he made that well known.

Teacher: How many adults are in the room? Let's count them.
Teacher and Kids: One, two, three, four adults.
Teacher: How many kids are in the room? Let's count them.
Teacher and Kids: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. ten, eleven kids.
Little Bear: No I'm not eleven! I'm four! I'm four!


Little Bear loves cars. He plays with his hot wheels cars and loves to look at cars in parking lots. When we were in Florida if he got bored of the beach Chris would take him to the parking lot so he could look at the cars.  Recently, he decided he has a favorite car.

In the parking lot of the library Little Bear said the following.

Bear: Look Mom it's a Nissan.
Sure enough, he found a Nissan in the parking lot.
Mom: Yes, that is a Nissan.
While standing by the window at home a car passes by.
Bear: Mom, I saw a Nissan.
Mom: Yes you are right, that car is a Nissan. Why do you like Nissans so much? Did you see them on television?
Bear: Yes.
Mom: What show?
Bear: The Voice.
Then it dawned on me. We watch the Voice every Monday and Tuesday night and the biggest sponsor of that show is Nissan.  Now Little Bear can identify Nissans in a parking lot.




Have your kids done or said anything funny this week?
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Apr 14, 2015

#WordlessWednesday with #linky on a Tuesday - Signs of Spring

Wordless Wednesday is live on thehealthymoms.net and talbertzoo.com. Link up to your Wordless Wednesday post.

Spring is in the air here in Chicago. The trees are budding, the grass is green and birds are singing. Here are some of my favorite images of spring.


Yellow Bird

Close up of Yellow Bird

Yellow Bird





Our new neighbor

Can't you tell I love birds. What do you love the most about spring?



Visit these great blogs where Talbert Zoo links up each week.





Rules of this #BlogHop

  • Grab our new button on your blog so I know that you are linking up here.
  • Add your Wordless Wednesday Link
  • Leave me a comment so I can visit your blog.
  • Visit the other blogs linking up.







Read More

Apr 10, 2015

Tornadoes and a New Neighbor

After a gloomy day yesterday I am trying to regain a positive attitude today. But with Chris gone until Monday night, this is an enormous challenge for me.  In order to remain more positive I can not think about my weekend to-do list.

A “wedge” tornado touches down near Ashton, Ill. (courtesy: Tom Purdy/@tompurdywi)
Last night a series of tornadoes ripped through northern Illinois.  According to CBS Chicago, a massive “wedge” tornado virtually destroyed the town of Fairdale, Illinois, killing one woman, and injuring 11 other people.

Another tornado also ripped through the town of Rochelle just after 7 p.m. The tornado in Rochelle did catch a dozen people of guard, trapping them inside a restaurant that was destroyed by the storm. As soon as they heard tornado sirens, they ran into the basement of Grubsteakers Restaurant, and ended up trapped there when the building was leveled. It took rescuers 90 minutes to pull all 12 people out of the basement of Grubsteakers. Fortuneatly they only suffered minor injuries.

The tornado that leveled Fairdale passed through our county and the sirens went off around 8 p.m.  All seven of us hunkered down in the basement and watched the news on television.  The tornado's path went north of where we live. The only weather we experienced was hail, rain, wind, thunder and lightening. For the four younger Talbert children this was their first real experience with a tornado. Kitty and Monkey were terrified. Bear decided it was play time and Parrot fell asleep.



I remember experiencing several tornadoes as a kid. When a storm was coming my dad would go outside and watch. Chris wanted to do the same thing last night.  In the home where I grew up we had a nice basement with a full living area and television.  Our family would go downstairs and sit and watch the news on TV. I don't remember feeling scared just a bit worried.  In the basement I felt safe. Some homes in Crystal Lake don't have basements. I am glad that this one does.

Today the storms have passed and the sun is shinning.  Kitty noticed that the grass is getting greener. The trees are also starting to bud. Spring is here and we have a new neighbor.  I keep on checking on her hoping to sneak a photo with my phone.  But, I haven't seen her since this morning. Maybe I will be able to post her photo tomorrow.

Our new neighbor is sleek and grey.  She sings a mournful song and is making a home in the small bush in front of our house.  This weekend I am going to put up a special place for her to eat and fill it with her favorite treats, canola, corn, millet, safflower, and sunflower seeds. Can you guess who our new neighbor is? I will share a photo as soon as I am able to capture her.


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