Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Merry Christmas

I'm a little late, but before we hit 2014 ... Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Reindeer Farm

While we were home for Thanksgiving, we also took a trip to a local reindeer farm.
Don't let the reindeer in this picture fool you, this is still in front of my parents house. We kept trying to get pics of the grandkids with Mom and Dad. Somebody has to have at least one good one.
Here's Shae in front of real live reindeer! I had to convince my sister I got one good shot, because Lord knows the kids didn't want to stop and pose. Not much, anyway.
Nana and Jacob did manage to pose for us.
And so did Makayla with here momma.
I snapped one with Joey in it. (He and Ashtyn barely stopped running for a minute.)
The reindeer farm is also a tree farm. Clearly, these are new trees, and it was cute to see Jacob towering over them.
Who doesn't love some crazy poke-your-head-through Santa and reindeer? Hope your holidays were as fun as ours were!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yes, I am very behind on my blogging. I thought I might try to catch up a bit this week. So maybe next week you'll see some Christmas pictures. Just deal with it.
Jacob was so excited to get to sit at the big kids table all by himself. He was ready to eat!
Thanksgiving 2
Happy humans getting ready to dig into their Thanksgiving feast.
I managed to get one shot of all the kiddos sitting at the table together. There were eventually some adults to manage the madness, but they were all so happy to be together.
We managed to get all the great-grandkids, Stella included, to sit on the couch. Of course, in the one I snapped where they're all looking, I had issues with the flash and/or shutter speed. I did some finagling in iPhoto, and this is what I came up with. (I'm sure one of my sisters, or one of aunts who had their iPhones out, has a better one.) I love these kids.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Oh, Yeah, the Birthday Party

So wow, I'm really behind on the blogging. Let's catch up a little. In mid-November, we had Joey's 5th birthday party at the Wildwood Nature Center. Aside from the flood warnings and the tornadoes that touched down down-state, it went off without a hitch.
The kids had a great time eating lunch.
Even Jacob and Cooper had fun listening to the instructors.DSCN5213
After lunch, the kids were able to pet the animals in the center. There was a ferret, turtles, a snake (Joey wouldn't touch that one!) and some guinea pigs. I think Joey loved hugging his friends the best! 
After the animals, the kids got to play paleontologist (it was a dinosaur-themed party) and figure out where the fossils fit on the diagram.
The next adventure was building an exploding volcano! 
Then it was time for the cupcakes and singing.
I couldn't believe when they all put the party hats on. That just was the icing on the cake for me! (OK, and all the science stuff was great, too.) 

Monday, December 9, 2013

All the Little Children

This weekend was our good friends' daughter's first birthday. We all braved the cold and made it into the city to celebrate. The kids get along so well, it's wonderful. You take off their jackets and shoes, and away they go!
The kids
After playing and dinner and cake (of course!) I thought we better get all the kids on the couch before they start melting down. It was perfect, because there was a little one for each of the bigger kids.
Owen and Jacob
Princeton Class of 2024 (if I did the math correctly).

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Oh Yeah - Happy Halloween!

Hey! Did I forget about Halloween? I think I did! Fortunately for me, school takes pictures of the kids every day and sends me an update. So I was able to go back and find some pictures of the kids in their costumes.
2013 halloween joey
Joey loves his Spiderman costume. Couldn't wait to get it on, and didn't want to take it off.
2013 halloween jacob
We had the turtle costume for Jacob, but since he was going to be dressed up all day, I thought it would be much easier for him if he just wore his skeleton pajamas. He looks so cute!
Happy Halloween!
I did manage one picture of the kids heading out to Trick or Treat. (Yes, that's an Easter "basket" Jacob is carrying. We only had one pumpkin!) The boys had so much fun going door to door, and Jacob wanted to be just like his big brother. It was raining most of the day, but it cleared up just enough for us to go around the cul-de-sac. Hope everyone had as much fun as we did!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Did That Really Happen?

So you remember those beautiful fall photos from Saturday I posted yesterday? Well, this was the scene Monday night after dinner.
Yes, that's snow you see on the ground. It started out as rain in the morning, but by the time we were coming back from lunch, the rain had started to turn to snow. It stuck on the grass and the cars. (Luckily, I kept the scraper and my good winter gloves in the trunk all summer, so I was prepared for this.) I had to promise Joey that if he at all his dinner, he could go outside.
Of course, as soon as Joey went outside, Jacob started screaming and crying to join in the fun. He doesn't yet have boots, but we have the snowsuit from when Joey was one, so out he went. The first thing he grabbed out of the garage was his hockey stick. I love my kids.
Yes, that's a headlamp on top of Joey's hat. I picked up a three-pack at Costco. I figured that since it gets dark so early in the winter, it would be fun for Joey to run around the backyard with it on. Didn't see him using it in the snow quite yet, but I'm glad he liked it.
Jacob was just so happy to be outside with his brother. I need to find some mittens with thumbs that fit him; I'm sure we have some somewhere. In the meantime, glad to see my boys love to be outdoors (especially in the snow) as much as I do!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fall into Fun

This past weekend was full of fall fun, namely raking the leaves and playing in them. Joey, being the good helper and hard worker that he is, was of course the instigator of it all. When my parents were out visiting, we didn't have quite enough leaves on the ground yet to warrant raking. But the second there were leaves aplenty, he couldn't wait to get out there. On Saturday, we raked the back yard into a giant pile of leaves while Jacob napped. Then the shenanigans ensued.
Jumping into the pile.
Buried up to his chin.
Getting ready to jump!
Jacob getting in on the fun after his nap.
Brotherly love.
Mom's pay-off shot.
Learning to rake the leaves.
Diving in, head first!

Monday, November 11, 2013

County Line Orchard Redux

Back in September, we went to the County Line Orchard in Indiana with some friends. You might remember that post. (It was the last one I think I posted before this latest barrage.) I found some photos on the camera I thought you might enjoy.
Possibly my personal favorite. I do wish Joey looked a bit happier, but I'll take it.
The kids really do have so much fun together. Even just posing on a wooden bench together. And yes, my kid is the one in shorts (just like Daddy).
Does Marquette need a model for their line of toddler clothes? I have one ready!
Or maybe Ralph Lauren? Couldn't you see him in a little "Polo" outfit?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Goebbert's Part 2

Goebbert's not only had pumpkins, but it's very own petting (and feeding) zoo. The first animal the kids get to see? A giraffe!
Our friends bought a cup of carrots, and the kids couldn't wait to feed the giraffes. Well, their kids couldn't wait. Mine was scared to death.
There were also chickens to feed. Again, the kids were in heaven.
Even Jacob had fun watching the chickens run around the pen.
The kids also loved watching the pumpkin-eating dinosaur.
So much so that my kid actually left the petting zoo to go back out and watch the dinosaur eat more pumpkins!
We managed to get him back inside, and he and jacob had fun feeding the cows.
After all the excitement, the kids ended the visit playing on the slides and climbing area. Joey had fun "catching" Jacob at the bottom of the slide. (Full disclosure: Jacob would slow himself to the point of almost flipping over using his shoes. No need to catch him at the bottom. Was necessary to catch him once almost flipping off the slide, though. Fun times for mommy.) 

Thursday, November 7, 2013


I'm just going to keep taking this blog back in time until I catch up on all the fun stuff we've done this fall. By that time we may be ready for Thanksgiving. (just kidding - maybe)
I think it was two weekends before Halloween (or maybe more) that we went to Goebbert's in Schaumburg. On your way into the actual "park," they have all these cute cutouts you can pose by.
Here are the boys next to Buzz Lightyear.
Joey even got to ride in the Mystery Machine with Shaggy.
Jacob had some of his own fun posing with Daddy.
There were of course play tractors that boys couldn't wait to get on. They had so much fun playing together (and their friends, who I'm sure will make an appearance in another post).
I even managed to get the family to pose for a group shot. OK, pose might be a stretch, but they at least all sat still for me.