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  • Derek Carroll

The Cubs did it!, Health Insurance, & Nintendo Duck Hunt


It's been a while since my last Journal and time has flown with everything that has been going on.

To start with the Cubs won the FREAKING WORLD SERIES!!! It's not the first title my favorite teams have ever won (dating back to the Bulls), but the Cub's title is different. It's been so long and to think back on how many Cubs games I've watched with my dad, my grandparents, and now my son it really is cool to finally see the Cubs win the World Series and how many generations are enjoying it.

We had a watch party with the kids:

With the game taking so long the kids had to go to bed and didn't get to stay up and watch til the end. Beckett asked if I would wake him up and let him know who won, so I did wake him up and tell him...but I don't think he even opened his eyes. He was much more ecstatic in the morning. And even a month later we still catch him singing "Go Cubs Go."

We have still been busy outside enjoying the last of the nice weather (prior to our December 4th snowstorm, more on that later). The kids helped me get all the leaves picked up around our house and Beckett was a huge help getting the leaves picked up at my Grandma Betty's house. She always pays him with M&Ms and he loves that! One night while Kayla was working late we even had a bon-fire with hot dogs and s'mores:

We had a lot of sticks to burn so the fire got a little bigger than I expected.

I have been busy with Health Insurance at the office. Open Enrollment started November 1st and the steep increase in premiums has many people searching for options to help lower their premiums. It is hard to imagine that many families will pay more for health insurance in 2017 than what it costs to by a descent car for. Our agency has tried to help with this by getting access to several different carriers. This year we have added Humana and we still have Blue Cross Blue Shield and Health Alliance. One of the nice parts of being an Independent Agency is picking who you can do business with. We also look to add another option in the near future...Stay tuned as it could be a really nice alternative.

One of my favorite fall time activities is calling on some of my good friends and asking them if I can bring Beckett out for a tractor ride. Beckett loves farming and he is constantly playing with tractors and trucks and pretending his food is a corn field when he eats (he eats the end rows first). But the truth of the matter is I actually want to ride in the tractor & combines. Here is a shot of Beckett getting in the combine we rode in:

And here is the slushy I promised him for after the ride. He got every flavor..gross

Since the weather cooled down and the sun started setting around 4:45 we have been playing inside more. A lot of the time is spent playing with their toys but they also enjoy jumping on their bounce house that we set up in the store room:

They also discovered the Nintendo in the store room and occasionally play that. It's crazy how you can still dominate Mario Brothers 3 after so many years. Beckett has a pretty good Duck Hunt shot when he is 1 foot away, minus this fly away.

Our nightly routine isn't much of a routine, with two working parents and two young children our nighttime routing never seems to be duplicated. Between Kayla having to work a swing shift, stay late for a training, the occasional day she has off, or me having an appointment during dinner hours. Things always still seem to work out: the kids get fed, the house usually gets picked up, and lately the kids both ask for one of us to read them a bedtime story. Both kids will climb into Beckett's bed and either Kayla or I will read them a story. I snapped this picture one night while they were both sitting and waiting for us to read to them. It is one of Bryn's picture books and Beckett was quizzing her on where different animals were.

Most nights are more like this, HAHA!:

She has learned to hide well.

The Eastland girls team had a big match up with Galena last week that I took Beckett to. Both teams were ranked in the Village Voices Top 5 and it proved to be a very good game. Galena got out to an early lead and held a 5-6 point lead for much of the game. Eastland came back and tied the game as the third period ended; however, Galena's depth really came into play as they wore out the younger Eastland team in the 4th quarter and ended up winning 60-47. The game was much closer than the score and Eastland has a couple of outstanding Freshman girls who look to be very tough for the next four years.

With winter seeming to have arrived this week we got out and enjoyed the first snowfall. I didn't get any pictures as we were to busy playing but the kids had a blast and we all slept well. Beckett helped me shovel the driveway and use all the snow to create a ramp that he sleds down. I was reluctant to shovel the driveway as the snow was going to melt with warmer forecasted weather, but he really wanted to sled. I'm glad I did as he went sledding for a long time and told me at least half a dozen times how much fun he was having. Bryn got out for really the first time ever with actually being able to move around and enjoy it. She did have a fit over her snowboots, but she was happy when she did finally make it outside. Beckett also got his snowmobile out and tracked up the backyard. Hopefully I will have some pictures in future journals of that, maybe even a video.

That pretty much wraps up this journal. I hope to get out to a couple more Eastland Basketball games in the coming weeks and I hope the Snow Gods grant us with some snow for the kids to enjoy...and me as well.

Stay safe and insure that I see you next time.


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Mt. Carroll, IL 61053

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