When Debbie Casas and her husband Jorge blended their families last year, they went from apartment living to their first home in Elk Grove Village. The older kids were already attending Elk Grove High School while living in Des Plaines, so the family just slipped across the border into their new home while maintaining the kids' routine at school. After just a year in their adopted hometown, Debbie can't imagine living anywhere else with Frank, 19, Abbi, 16, and Katherine, 10.
You seem really excited about making the move from apartment living.
We are. This is our first house. We have a backyard-my kids have never had a backyard. … And now we have a garage so they can take out their bikes.
You and Jorge are practically newlyweds.
We just got married in June 2009. We've known each other for 17 years because he was married to a friend of mine who died several years ago. … Now I work full time and Jorge is a stay-at-home dad by choice, so he's there to be with the kids and do whatever they need to do.
What do you do around town when you have free time?
The movie theater is right near us and the kids go to the movies a lot. There's also a great water park across from the library-Rainbow Falls. … There's the Rotary Fest in June, which is a week of music and carnival rides and bands. And in July there's a bike race that's nationwide. They shut down the streets for it, but they also have a block party for two nights and we could walk to it.
What's your neighborhood like?
There's a park about a block and a half from our house. We're comfortable enough to let Katherine ride her bike there by herself because other parents (are) there, and everybody seems to watch out for everybody.
What are some places you can't miss in Elk Grove Village?
The restaurants we love are Abbate's Pizza and Peapod Chinese Restaurant. The big attractions are Rainbow Falls, the movie theater, and we just discovered how much we like the Elk Grove Village Library.
Liz DeCarlo is the senior editor at Chicago Parent.
See more of Liz's stories here.