Category Archives: Day-to-Day

2015 Independence Day Fireworks in Chicagoland



I haven’t done this in a few years, but I thought I’d consolidate a list of towns in the Chicago area that are having Independence Day fireworks. The links where I obtained this information is at the end. Have a happy & safe 4th of July!


Antioch – July 4 @ dusk @ Williams Park

Arlington Heights – July 4 @ dusk @ Arlington Heights Racetrack

Aurora – July 3 @ 9:30pm @ River Edge Park

Barrington – July 4 @ dusk @ Barrington High School

Bartlett – July 4 @ 9:30pm @ Apple Orchard Park

Batavia – July 4 @ 9:30pm @ Engstrom Park

Beecher – July 4 @ 9:30pm @ Firemen’s Park

Bensenville – July 4 @ 9:30pm @ Redmond Recreational Complex

Bolingbrook – July 4 @ 9:15pm @ Bolingbrook Golf Club

Buffalo Grove – July 4 @ dusk @ Village Hall Campus

Burbank – June 27 @ 9:30pm @ Michael Looney Park

Burr Ridge – July 4 @ dusk @ Walker Park

Carol Stream – July 4 @ 9:20pm @ Ross Ferraro Town Center

Cary – July 3 @ dusk @ Lions Park

Channahon – July 4 @ 9:15pm @ Community Park

Chicago – July 4 @ dusk @ Navy Pier

Chicago Heights – July 2 @ 9pm @ Bloom High School’s North Soccer Field 

Crystal Lake – July 5 @ dusk @ Main Beach

Deerfield – July 3 @ 9:15pm @ Brickyards Park

Downers Grove – July 4 @ 9:30pm @ Zigfield Troy Golf

East Chicago – July 3 @ dusk @ East Chicago Marina Boardwalk

Elgin – July 4 @ 9:15pm @ Festival Park

Elk Grove – July 4 @ 9:15pm @ Lions Park

Evanston – July 4 @ 9:15pm @ Sheridan Road & Church Street

Evergreen Park – July 2 @ dusk @ Duffy Park

Fox Lake – July 4 @ dusk @ Fox Lake

Fox River Grove – July 11 @ dusk @ Picnic Grove Park 

Frankfort – July 4 @ dusk@ Main Park

Glen Ellyn – July 4 @ dusk @ Lake Ellyn Park

Glencoe – July 4 @ 9pm @ Lakefront Park

Glendale Heights – July 8 @ 9:30pm @ Camera Park 

Glendale Heights – July 12 @ 9:30pm @ Camera Park 

Glenview – July 4 @ dusk  @ Gallery Park

Glenwood – July 4 @ dusk @ Glenwoodie Golf Course

Gurnee – July 4 @ dusk @ Six Flags Great America

Gurnee – July 5 @ dusk @ Six Flags Great America

Hawthorn Woods – July 3 @ dusk @ Community Park

Highland Park – July 4 @ dusk @ Wolter Field

Hoffman Estates – July 4 @ dusk @ Sears Centre Arena

Homer Glen – June 26 @ 9:30pm @ Township Sports Fields

Huntley – July 4 @ 9pm @ Diecke Park

Itasca – July 4 @ 9:45pm @ Hamilton Lakes 

Johnsburg – July 4 @ dusk @ Oak Park Lounge

Joliet – July 4 @ dusk @ Memorial Stadium

Kirkland – July 4 @ 9:30am @ Hiawatha High School football field

Lake Forest – July 4 @ 9:40pm @ Deerpath Community Park

Lake Zurich – July 4 @ 9:15pm @ Paulus Park

Lansing – July 4 @ dusk @ Lan-Oak Park

Lemont – July 3 @ dusk @ Centennial Park 

Libertyville – July 4 between 9:15-9:30 @ Butler Lake Park

Lincolnshire – July 4 @ 9:30pm @ Spring Lake Park

Lisle – July 2 @ 9:45pm @ 1825 Short Street (Eye to the Sky Festival)

Lisle – July 3 @ 9:45pm @ 1825 Short Street (Eye to the Sky Festival)

Lisle – July 4 @ 9:45pm @ 1825 Short Street (Eye to the Sky Festival)

Lockport – July 3 @ dusk @ Dellwood Park

Lombard – July 4 @ 9:30pm @ Madison Meadow Park 

Midlothian – June 26 @ 9:30pm @ Memorial Park

McHenry – July 4 @ dusk @ Petersen Park

Momence – July 4 @ dusk @ Island Park

Morton Grove – July 4 @ dusk @ Harrar Park

Mt. Prospect – July 4 @ dusk @ Melas Park

Mundelein – July 4 @ 9:30pm @ Kracklauer Park

Naperville – July 4 @ 9pm @ Knoch Park

Northbrook – July 4 @ dusk @ Velodrome

Northlake – July 3 @ 9:30pm @ West Leyden High School 

Oak Brook – July 3 @ dusk @ Oak Brook Sports Core Grounds

Oak Forest – July 4 @ dusk @ 159th & Central

Oak Lawn – July 4 @ dusk @ Richards High School

Oak Park – July 4 @ dusk @ River Forest High School

Orland Park – July 4 @ 9:15pm @ Centennial Park

Oswego – July 4 @ 9:30pm @ Prairie Point Park 

Palatine – July 3 @ dusk @ Community Park

Palos Heights – July 3 @ 9:15pm @ 76th Avenue & College Drive

Park Ridge – July 3 @ dusk @ Maine East High School

Pingree Grove – July 11 @ dusk @ baseball fields near Cambridge Lakes Dr. & Wester Blvd.

Plainfield – July 3 @ dusk @ Plainfield Central High School

Rolling Meadows – July 4 @ 9:15pm @ Salk Park Community Center 

Romeoville – July 3 @ 9:15pm @ Village Park

Roselle – July 3 @ dusk @ Lake Park High School West

Rosemont – July 2 @ MB Financial Park

Round Lake Beach – July 4 @ dusk @ Cultural Center

Sandwich – July 5 @ dusk @ Sandwich Fairgrounds

Schaumburg – September 3 @ dusk @ Boomers Stadium

Skokie – July 4 @ dusk @ Niles West High School

Sleepy Hollow – July 4 @ dusk @ Sabatino Park

South Holland – July 4 @ 9:10pm @ Veterans Memorial Park

Spring Grove – July 4 @ dusk @ Horse Fair Park

St. Charles – July 4 @ dusk @ Pottawatomie Park

Streator – July 4 @ 9:30pm @ Streator Township High School football field 

Streamwood – July 4 @ 9:15pm @ Dolphin Park 

Sugar Grove – July 25 @ dusk @ Volunteer Park

Summit – July 3 @ 9:15pm @ Summit Park 

Thornton – July 4 @ dusk @ Hubbard Park

Tinley Park – July 4 @ 9:15pm@ McCarthy Park

Vernon Hills – July 4 @ 9:30pm @ Century Park

The Village of Hawthorn Woods – July 3 @ dusk @ Community Park

Vernon Hills – July 4 @ 9:30pm @ Century Park

Warrenville – July 4 @ 9:15pm @ Cerny Park

Wauconda – July 3 @ dusk @ Cook Park

Waukegan – July 4 @ 9:30pm @ Downtown Waukegan

Westmont – July 4 @ 9:30pm @ Ty Warner Park

Wheaton – July 3 @ dusk @ Graf Park

Wheeling – July 3 @ 9:15pm @ Chicago Executive Airport

Wilmette – July 3 @ 9:30pm @ Gilson Park

Wilmington – July 5 @ dusk @ North Island Park

Winnetka – July 4 @ 9:15pm @ Duke Childs Field

Woodridge – July 4 @ 9:30pm @ Zigfield Troy Golf

Woodstock – July 4 @ dusk @ Emricson Park

Vernon Hills – July 4 @ 9:30pm @ Century Park 

Yorkville – July 4 @ dusk @ just south of Menards

Zion – July 4 @ 9:30pm @ Shiloh Park



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Posted by on June 30, 2015 in Day-to-Day


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Sticks & Stones

Sticks & stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.

You’ve heard the above saying, right? As children, we’ve had this mantra drilled into our heads…to the point where we start to believe it…and then question the ones who taught us this saying when reality says the opposite. Let’s dispel the lie right now by saying: names do hurt.

I’ve experienced this first-hand at my high school. I was made fun of and called two names (to my face, that is. Who knows how many others were created and used behind my back). One was because of a science project I did. The other was because of my athletic ability combined with my strict adherence to the gym uniform. Let me make this clear…I hated both names. I made this known to the ones that called me these names…but they kept doing it. You’d figure that this level of bullying wouldn’t occur at a Christian school…but you’d be wrong. You’d figure that you’d be safe from being called these names from a teacher at the same Christian school…but you’d again be wrong. It was tough sometimes to make it through the day.

For those that are familiar with my situation, this is why I chose to sit out a few seasons of playing basketball for the school. It’s hard to play with people that are your “teammates” on the court and then make fun of you once you step off the court.

It was a simpler time then. Much simpler than today. In fact, if you turn on the news you may discover a case where cyber bullying of a young girl by two classmates led the girl to commit suicide. In a strange case of media mimicking reality, last night’s episode of Blue Bloods had a case where a girl committed suicide because her brother was cyber bullying her. Texting, You Tube, Facebook & the rest of the internet has made cyber bullying possible…turning what was a small private shame into humiliation on steroids.

To make matters worse, our so-called ‘leaders’ are guilty of the same name-calling tactics. This was put on display for all to see when the US government was “shut down” and nearing it’s debt ceiling. How many times did we see the blame game for who was at fault? It was sickening…you guys are adults, right? But then, democratic “leaders” took it to a whole new level by calling some of the Tea Party congressmen “terrorists”. Ok, this is why it took so long to get a deal done…just like how I didn’t want to play with people that called me names in high school, the same could be said about the Republican party playing “nice” with the democrats.

The name calling hurts…STOP IT!!!

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Posted by on October 19, 2013 in Day-to-Day


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Something that was on my heart today

Have you ever found yourself asking the question, “Is (fill-in-the-blank) wrong?”. I think many times we focus in on this question and cause ourselves un-needed stress as we war over what truly is “wrong”. For example, is smoking wrong? Is investing in a 401k wrong (it involves risk, which can be viewed as gambling)? Is watching a certain TV show wrong? I could go on with the questions, but I think you get the point. These questions don’t have direct answers from Scripture, so the battle rages within the Christian…what are we to do?

In my opinion, I believe we’re asking the wrong question. We shouldn’t be asking if something is wrong, but rather, is it right? Is this action God-honoring? Further, is what’s troubling us going to cause tension between us and our Saviour? Would the world, who doesn’t know Christ, not see the difference between us and the world due to the matter? Would my action detour one from knowing Jesus?

When viewed from this perspective, I think many once troubling questions have relatively easy answers. God calls us to a higher standard of living…so live it for Him and to the fullest.

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Posted by on February 13, 2013 in Day-to-Day, My faith



Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I LOVE sweepstakes. I guess it comes from my Dad, as he was a big sweepstakes fanatic too…though he hardly won anything. Thanks to the internet and Facebook, there are a TON of opportunities available, including this one that you can enter for free gas for a year! Enter today!

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Posted by on April 30, 2012 in blog, Day-to-Day, sweepstakes


Our journey towards a good night’s sleep, part 2

A full week after beginning this journey toward what we hoped would be a better night’s sleep, we’re not much closer to finding the solution for us. We are, however, sure that the ‘My Pillow’ pillows aren’t for us.

I started out on the ‘My Pillow’ the night they arrived. They are a bit strange in how they arrive (see picture from previous post) and instruct us to put the pillow in the dryer for 15 minutes to allow it to expand fully…which it did. While appearing fluffy, it felt anything but. In fact, to me, it felt like I was sleeping on stacked, folded jeans (denim)…firm and I guess supportive, but not very soft. I had a very difficult time getting to sleep the week that I used it and woke up SEVERAL times during the night. I was drowsy most of the day due to lack of continuous sleep. I also noticed that my neck was stiffer in the morning too. I stopped using it after 7 nights of attempts.

Wifester attempted to use her pillow a few days after I started (remember, I had the green and she had the yellow due to her being a stomach sleeper). Her theory being that she wanted to start something new on a weekend and not during the work week. I can respect that. Unfortunately for her, she couldn’t get through one night before she HAD to switch back to her old pillow(s). She tried the night after to see if it was a fluke…no fluke…same thing happened. Since then, she hasn’t used it.

The only beneficial thing is that ‘My Pillow’ has a 60 day money back guarantee…something I will attempt to take advantage of and report back on how smoothly that process takes. Since the pillows came in one box tightly wrapped, I imagine getting them back in that box will take some doing.

As for the bed topper, it’s still airing out. The smell did linger for a few days after we opened it up fully. We hope to take off the winter flannel sheets today and before putting on the cotton sheets, lay down the bed topper. I’m a tad concerned about which way to lay it down (bumpy side up or down?), but I guess if one way isn’t feeling good, we can just as easily swap it. Stay tuned!!

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Posted by on April 21, 2012 in Day-to-Day, wifester


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Our journey towards a good night’s sleep

Sleep…much easier to type than to achieve!! The last few years, wifester & I have debated about purchasing a new bed so that we could get some much needed rest. We’ve tossed one name around quite a bit: Comfortaire. Similar to Sleep Number, Comfortaire is a mattress that’s adjustable by an air pump. The similarities between the two are great, but what drives me bonkers about these two companies is that neither one has all of their models available to test out before you buy. Comfortaire is, by far, the worst because they don’t have stores that you can visit to test their beds, unlike Sleep Number. Instead, there are specialty bed stores that have one or two of their models (though they’re called something totally different than their website) on display. Highly confusing…and expensive too.

So, instead of buying a whole new bed system, I’ve tried to go another route and I want to chronicle this with this post (in other words, I may update this post as things change in the future). My first decision was to purchase a new frame/boxspring, which basically functions as a platform. The thinking behind this purchase is that a new foundation would make our current mattress feel brand new (some reviews had said that this had happened to them). Also, if we did decide to purchase a Comfortaire mattress, we’d only purchase the mattress, as we’d have a “platform” foundation.

2/19/12 – Purchased the bed frame. Told that we were to get it between 2/29 & 3/2.
2/25/12 – Received an email that our order has been delayed. New delivery estimate is between 3/9 & 3/13.
3/2/12 – Contacted Target guest services to see where my purchase was. They replied shortly afterwards:

I’m sorry for the inconvenience caused to you. I need a little more time to find the answer to your question. I’ll e-mail you with an update when I have more information.

7 hours later, I received an email that it had been shipped!
3/8/12 – Finally delivered!!.
3/11/12 – Took apart our old frame and boxspring and assembled the new platform.

After a few nights, we were loving the new frame. It made a LOT less noise when we moved in bed. Unfortunately, it didn’t do a whole lot to help with our back/neck/head pain. Knowing that this might be a possibility, I had a backup plan…a bed topper. For some reason though, it took me a while to pull the trigger on purchasing it. I had one in mind that has a lot of good reviews, but it wasn’t until late 4/9/12 that I went ahead and purchased it. I also was curious about and decided to also purchase pillows for the both of us from an infomercial I had seen the week before…

4/9/12 – Purchased 2 King size “My Pillow” pillows (“yellow” for wifester, and “green” for me).
4/9/12 – Purchased King size bed topper
4/10/12 – Pillows shipped, scheduled to arrive 4/12/12.
4/10/12 – Bed topper shipped, scheduled to arrive 4/12/12.

I came home on 4/12/12 and saw these packages waiting for me!

I was immediately surprised at the box the pillows came in…after all, there were supposed to be 2 King size pillows in this package! My curiosity got the better of me and I opened the package right away.

Reading the above instructions, I unwrapped the plastic off the pillows and threw them in the dryer for 15 minutes (one at a time). I pulled them out and was floored at how much the pillow had expanded. I guess the guy on the infomercial was right…you can wash & dry this pillow and it won’t lose it’s fluff!!

While the pillows were in the dryer, I took a look at the mattress topper. I had read reviews previous to purchasing it that it would smell…bad enough to sit out for a few days before using it. I feared the worse but hoped for the best.

Once I got all the plastic off, I could smell it…and BOY did it REEK!!! And now I had a problem…we were scheduled to have guests over at the house the next night and I had this King size smelly piece of foam lying in my living room. There was absolutely no way we were putting it on our bed….not when it was THIS smelly!! So I did what any other person would do…brought it down to the basement to air out.

Currently, I have been using the “My Pillow” for 3 nights. Wifester has yet to try using the “My Pillow”. The mattress topper is still in the basement. Though the smell has gone down, it’s still present (it also feels somewhat moist to the touch). My guess is that we’ll put the topper on next weekend (if not before) and test it out…if I can figure out if the egg-crate side is face up or face down on the mattress. Does anyone know? Leave me a comment!!

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Posted by on April 15, 2012 in blog, Day-to-Day, family, wifester


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Kutless’ new album, Believer, part 1

Over the past few years, I’ve grown to really love the music from a band called Kutless. Before them, I would listen to a mix of the Newsboys, David Crowder Band, dcTalk, Audio Adrenaline and a few others that really didn’t make it past their first album. Kutless caught my attention with a song called ‘Sea of Faces’ when I heard it on KLove. I liked it enough to buy their album and was a bit surprised at how aggressive their music…and their lyrics…are. I bought the rest of the albums that they made previously and experienced their progression. These guys are simply amazing.

Of course, each subsequent album I’ve been all over them as they’ve been released…even the praise & worship albums, which, in my opinion, are the best available. While they don’t add much lyrically to the p & w albums, they give their unique spin on the music that makes it pure Kutless.

At the end of February, their newest album (can I still call it an album?) ‘Believer’ was released. Wow…what a SOLID album!! It’s been my experience that a given album might have 12 or so total tracks and maybe 3 or 4 are really good tracks (of course, the artists who sing these tracks will probably disagree). Not the case with this album!! From the first track (‘If it ends today’) to the last track (current radio single ‘Carry me to the cross’), I find myself wanting to repeat just about every track because I just can’t get enough!!


So that you can experience what I’m talking about, I’ll let you listen to a few of the tracks, over a few posts. Here’s the 1st track, ‘If it ends today’

Seems like the end is coming
Seems like the signs are lining up
As far as I can see
We’re closer now than ever
This pain won’t last forever
Love love is on His way
So stand up the time is now to lift up your head

Raise your hands if you’re with me
Raise your hands if your ready
Say hey! hey! I’m not afraid
Hey! hey! hey! If it ends today

There’s hope on our horizon
Let it be the sound that’s rising up
It’s rising up
We could be the generation
To shout out to every nation
Love love is on His way


Get ready, are you ready? (I’m ready!) get ready
Raise your hands if you’re with me
Raise your hands come on and say
Hey! hey! I’m not afraid
Hey! hey! hey! if it ends today

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Posted by on March 18, 2012 in Day-to-Day, Music