Friday, December 29, 2017

Sledding in Michigan, 2017

After lunch on the 29th, Aunt Mary joined us and we went sledding!   Even though it was quite cold out, the sun was shining and there was NO wind, so it was actually quite pleasant!

Happy, happy kids

Goofy Mommy

Philip did a great job of making this sled run for the kids by packing it down over and over and adding snow to bare spots until they could slide all the way down the hill to the sidewalk!

Caleb was quite content to collect a ton of hard snowballs from the edge of the sidewalk

Keenan's snow angel

Just the girls

Unloading his stash so Keenan could use the sled (watch for the snowballs later)

Philip also made a "hill" at the top of the sled run to help them get going better

Aunt Mary showing off her skill on a little "Bunny" sled from Norway!

Helping Philip get going (he kept sliding off the back)


There he goes!

Aunt Mary had better luck

Keenan made his own track a little ways away...

It worked great!

He even got some air up over the edge of the snow beside the sidewalk!

How cool is that!?

Riah did too!

Aunt Mary tried it out, but didn't try the air part =)

At this point, I was happy with the photos I'd got, and my toes were quite cold, so I sat in the van... and then the fun continued, so I snapped these pictures through the window:

Caleb and Aunt Mary decided to use some of his snowballs...

Philip retaliates...

Caleb comes in with the big guns...

Aunt Mary dumps a sled full of snow on Philip...

Caleb takes Daddy down...

Aunt Mary sits on him in triumph...

Philip grabs her...

...and throws her over!

She finishes him off =)

Rosy-cheeked happy boy!

These next photos didn't happen until the following day but go under the "sledding" heading, so I decided to include them here:

The kids wanted to do more sledding, but neither Philip or I really wanted to drive them anywhere.  Uncle Ty said that their kids used to make a little sledding "luge" run beside their house... so Philip and the kids set out to make one!    Philip shoveled all the snow off the deck to use for it and also collected snow from the driveway.  They spent HOURS outside and ended up making an impressive track!

Caleb and Moriah coming down

Banking at the turn...

Carrying on down...

...and turfing off!

Keenan chooses a different position...

Look how far he went!

What fun for our kids to get to spend so much time in the snow on this visit!   They loved every second of it!   I loved that they loved it...and am so happy to be back in snow-less Kansas now ;)

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Post-Christmas in Michigan, 2017

On the morning of the 26th, we packed up at Mark and Rebekah's and hit the snowy road!

Since Uncle Jim and Aunt Nora hadn't been able to join us on the 23rd, we stopped by to see them at their (beautiful!) new condo for a quick visit...

Keenan and Aunt Nora playing a duet

All of us before hitting the road again

After crossing the border we had lunch at the same Tim Horton's where we signed our marriage license 13 years ago!

Next we had a brief visit with friends Dave and Gretta (their house is the one with the swing where we got engaged!)  

Gretta got out coloring and art stuff for the kids while we talked

Group picture!

We headed straight from there to Philip's Uncle Dennis and Aunt Mary's house, since we got word that his cousin, Denise and her family (who we hadn't seen for at least four years) were in town!   We also met up with Philip's dad there!

Even though they don't know each other very well, Keenan and the triplets were wrestling within minutes!  Ha!  =)

Despite having almost no notice about our visit, Aunt Mary made a delicious dinner that was plenty for everyone!   My favorite part was trying Polish "Kapusta" for the first time!  It had sauerkraut (which I never thought I liked!), and lots of sausage over potatoes.  Yum!
It was great to catch up with Uncle Dennis and Aunt Mary as well as Denise and Dan and their boys!

The whole gang!

Our kids with Quinton, Dalton and Easton

Goofy one

What a busy day of visiting!

From there we headed straight to the annual Wallyball game (and I forgot to take Any pictures!)  This was the first time the kids had gone and Keenan and Moriah actually got to play.  We also found out the exciting news that Bridget and Scott are expecting!   After Wallyball, we headed to our favorite hotel in Michigan... Uncle Ty and Aunt Mary's house! =)

Wednesday, the 27th...

Keenan got to play his new National Parks Yahtzee game with Papa!!

Mom and Jeff had planned to see us in Michigan, but since they were unable to travel (due to Mom's recent surgery), she sent our gifts and stockings to us!

The beautiful gifts and loaded stockings from Mom and Jeff by the beautiful tree that Aunt Mary set up especially for us in the basement! =)

She also put up these adorable ornaments for us!

Christmas #3!

I love this necklace from Mom and Jeff!

Next the kids opened gifts from Papa and Taylor and Davis (Aunt Mary):

Papa got the kids a ton of fun games:
Qwixx, Rock'em'Sock'em'Robots, Five Crowns, Pass the Pigs and Googly Eyes!

The silly glasses from Googly Eyes

First round of Rock'em' Sock'em'Robots!

Philip was thrilled to convince some others to play his new Ticket to Ride (Asia) game

I LOVE this picture of Caleb and Aunt Mary playing downstairs!!

The amazing train track Caleb and Keenan built together

That afternoon we went to see Bridget and Scott's place..

Group pic on their couch (with Miguel the dog)
Then we added a couple more and drove over to see Aunt Patti and Kent's place! =)

After that we went back to Aunt Mary's for dinner...

Uncle Ty let Caleb and Moriah run the train around the tree!

We played a fun word game called, Anomia - super fun!

Haha!  Look how intense I am here!

After Bridget, Scott and Taylor left, Philip convinced me to play Ticket to Ride Asia, the team version.  I agreed, only if I could get equal play time with him at a word game! =)   He and I were on a team and Dad and Keenan were on the other team.  It actually ended up being more fun than I expected, and Philip and I won!

On the 28th, we met up with Philip's cousin, Gary and his family at Olga's Kitchen for lunch:

Cuties across the table

It was a short visit, but great to catch up with Gary, Tammy, Sasha and Ethan!