Views from a train, fun in the snow, and crazy animals

I flew back to Illinois for the holidays, then took a train to my daughter's house. She lives in north central  Illinois. The train ride was only a little over an hour; I wouldn't have minded if it were a longer one! The seat was comfortable and I enjoyed watching the scenery rush by. Here are some of the photos I took looking out the train window.

This is an old grainery building.

Doesn't this look cold?

Or this?

A bridge over icy waters.

I got a chance to spend several days at my daughter's house and a LOT of time with my granddaughter, Lily.

And here's the plus that Jim didn't come home with me......he's such a baby hog!

It's true!

I can barely get time with Lily when Grandpa is around.

But THIS TIME I had her to myself.

Well, Daddy was home for Christmas break. He's a teacher. And Lily's cousin, Isaiah came over a couple of days, so her attention was diverted a little. But mostly it was all about Grandma.

We played with blocks, we sang songs, I rocked her dollies.

When Lily calls your name, she tends to say it over, and over, and OVER.

Such as Momma, Momma, Momma, Momma, MOMMA.

It's cute, but it can get tiring.

When Cousin Isaiah came over (he's 5), Lily called to him, "Zaya, Zaya, Zaya, Zaya, ZAYA!"

And he answered, "WHAT?!!"  Kind of annoyingly. It was pretty funny.

Here's "Zaya" playing with the blocks and Lily sitting in Dada's lap watching in fascination.

Lily got into a bag of new clothes that she received as a gift. She put them on in various stages; but not in the right spots, as shown here with the skirt around her head.

You've heard of the saying that it was so cold it was a "Three Dog Night"? How about a "Three Cat Night"?

It's unusual to see all three cats together. The only time they are usually together is when it's feeding time, and the only reason they are standing near each other is because their feeding bowls are all in the same place. The two female cats, Luna (calico) and Cora (small gray on left) don't like each other. This picture is deceiving because Cora is very small; weighs about 6 lbs, Luna is about 10 or 11 lbs, and Kahn, the large male cat is about 13 pounds. He was up to 19 pounds at one time! He's very big and long.

Here are the crazy dogs, sleeping with their heads together.

Venus is on the left, Atlas is on the right. Lily calls them "Me-ma" and "At-ee". She even named her doll "Me-Ma" after Venus.

My daughter had to work a few of the days while I was in town. Since my son-in-law, Dave, was home on Christmas break, he was asked to watch his nephew a few days.

Dave and I did our best to entertain the two kids. Dave is really a kid at heart, and he took Isaiah out to play in the snow. Lily had a bad cough, so we stayed inside to watch.

They decided to build a fort using the recycle bin to pack the snow and make blocks.

Zaya hides behind the fort in anticipation of a snowball.



Zaya liked throwing snow at the window and making Lily laugh.

Lily enjoying the fun.

Zaya makes a bold move.

Uncle Dave retaliates.

You can see that it was a fun day all around!
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