They arrived around 1 pm on Monday, the 29th.
A super cute pic that Kyla took!! Love this!
Since Steph's 40th birthday is coming up soon, Rebekah suggested that we celebrate it when we were together! I thought that was a fantastic idea! Rebekah sent some beautiful decorations and I put together a little party to greet them when they arrived! =)
Fun photo props
Special plates and gifts
This photo banner that Rebekah got was super cool and Steph's parents obliged me with some awesome photos of Steph when she was little! =)
The birthday "cake"
I think Steph was really surprised and appreciated the little party =)
The birthday girl
These candles were cute, but they sure melted fast! Look at the H! =)
Rebekah also got this fun shirt!! =)
The rest of the day consisted of great chats, tons of fun for the reunited cousins, Philip grilled burgers, dogs and brats for dinner and he and Tim set up our volleyball net (thanks again, Mark and Rebekah!) It was a big hit with the kids and the neighborhood kids as well! =)
Midmorning on Tuesday, my friend, Wendy, graciously had us all over to swim in her pool!!
Some of the younger ones in the hot tub
Gwennie is So brave and didn't mind sailing around the deep end at all! =)
The weather was Gorgeous and the cousins (especially Keenan and Shaelyn) swam for every available second!!
Moriah with some chalk art
None of the adults got in this time, and Steph and I used the time (and sunshine) to paint our toenails =)
We came home, had lunch, and then I took Keenan and Moriah to piano. While they were at their lesson, I met up with Philip briefly and got a drink at Quick Trip (since his clinic is just a few blocks away!)
That afternoon, we painted all the girls toenails...
All 9 of us and our pretty toes!
I insisted that everyone humor me and take pictures with the funny props because 1) They're fun! and 2) I knew Rebekah would love to see them in use =) Everyone actually had a really great attitude about it and were more than accommodating =)
The birthday girl and her old man =)
Steph and the littles
I got in there too
So fun to make fun of someone else for being older when I had Just turned a year older myself ;)
I'm apparently a more serious mustache wearer than Steph is
One last one - I love it!
After dinner, the kids all had ice cream cones and then we watched the movie, "Sing"... silly and hilarious =)
That evening, Tim, Steph, Philip and I stayed up talking until 12:30! Man, time flies when you're with great people having fun!
On Wednesday morning, Steph and the three oldest girls went to get their hair trimmed, Tim parked himself in a chair in the driveway to do his Bible reading, while making sure nobody got run over while playing in the street and I tidied up the house and then sat with him.
My friend, Harby (also a friend of Wendy's) offered to buy lunch for us all, so we headed back over to Wendy's to swim again and everyone enjoyed fried chicken, biscuits and sides - what sweet and generous friends I have!!
The kids had a great time with these two big tubes!
Caleb and Kyla
Gwennie and Alisa
That's a full pool!
Love this picture of these two!
Nathaniel was quite happy to stay Out of the pool, and defend it with various pool toys he found =)
Some toweled cuties
I love this shot
Happy kids taking down some lunch!!
The pool owners, Wendy and Ron, were So happy to have this many kids in the pool, as they say "Pools are wasted on adults" =)
Tim going off the diving board with a brave Gwennie!
Moriah and Kyla with Wendy
Caleb getting ready to jump to Harby
This was SO funny! Ron was trying to dump water on Nathaniel and he took cover behind the boogie board!
Caleb and Ron
Uncle Tim gave Moriah some serious air!
A group shot before we left
...and some goofy ones
When we got home, while they were still in their bathing suits, the kids had a water balloon fight...
Tim picked on Steph and got her quite wet! =)
A sweet quiet moment later that day...
I laid down on the couch and was joined by some snugglers...
They all left and I fell asleep!
Steph made us a delicious Mexican dinner that night! Tostadas with homemade refried beans, potatoes and chorizo, with scrambled eggs on top and then finished off with delicious toppings! YUM!!
The weather had been rainy/windy on and off, but it finally cleared up long enough for us to head out and get some quick family pictures for them...
Moriah and Vivian dancing in the driveway
First up, individual shots:
She wanted one with Riah =)
The whole crew!
Love these two
That's a lot of people!
...and of course, a silly one was inevitable
(I love how Tim is pretending he's so normal)
The next morning they packed up, we crammed in an unofficial (and HILARIOUS) game of "Speak Out"(the one where you put the mouth retractors in and try to say funny sentences so others can guess). The only way so many people participated was because I promised there would be no pictures, so you'll just have to imagine how funny it was (and I'll plan to bring it to family Christmas!)
They pulled out around 10:30, and after a brief stop back by the house for Mika's flip flops, they were on their way home!
What a fun, busy, happy 2.5 days it was - we are SO thankful that they thought we were worth the extra drive on an already long trip! =)