Saturday, January 16, 2016

Water Fun!

One day in August, we met friends at the City Garden which has some very fun water features.  Maggie loved it!

There were also some cool structures for the kids to climb.
My relatives came to visit from Houston.  We spent a day at my cousin's lake house and everyone had a blast.  Jack was excited to show my cousin Johnny, who works for NASA, the space station he built out of Legos.
 Uncle Ian showed Charlie how to fish.
Maggie loved playing in the sand and water.
There were a few kayaks to ride and a huge trampoline in the middle of the lake where the kids could jump.
Of course music was played!

The kids played in the water all day.

Even Papa did some fishing.  He was practicing for retirement. 
My Dad and two of his sisters:
My favorite Mom and Dad:

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


In late July, the kids and I went to Wisconsin for a week.  I dropped all four kids at my good friend Sue's house outside of Milwaukee and then I drove 2 hours to my cousin's wedding outside of Madison.  Sue kept my kids overnight and I had a blast with my cousins.  A highlight of the ceremony was when my cousin Jim, the bride's brother and also the officiant, took a selfie with the bride and groom.
It was a gorgeous setting for the wedding!
These are the cousins that made it to the wedding.  It is not even a third of us!
The morning after the wedding, my mom drove with me to pick up the kids at Sue's house and then to drive up to my brother and sister-in-law's house. The following morning we drove up north to their cabin.  The kids had so much fun at the cabin!
There was paddle-boarding and canoeing. 
 Paddle-boating was also popular.
The moms could often be found sitting on the dock watching the boys in the water.
Maggie was not so sure about the life vest.
She did like kayaking, though.
There was even a fun zipline into the water! 

Some afternoons we cooked our lunch over a campfire.
Charlie loved every minute with his brothers and cousins!
All six boys on one paddle-boat.

Before coming home, we spent one night back at Patrick and Ingrid's house.  Ryan, Adam, and Lukas gave our boys their beds and pitched a tent in the backyard for themselves.  Patrick enjoyed a little frisbee golf in the backyard.

Charlie is such a happy guy!
He chased after Nana.
He got her!
This boy!  He's getting so big!  He's got one heck of a cowlick, too!  
The boys were jumping off the swings.  I love this face on Adam.

Synchronized swing jumping!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Summer Trip, Part V: Custer State Park

The final stop on our epic summer trip was Custer State Park in South Dakota.  We camped two nights there.  Our campsite was nestled in the woods near a stream and some bluffs.
We saw much wildlife in the park, but we were blown away by the bison.

We attended a kids' talk and the kids got to hold a snake.

We explored the park.

Our car went through this  "Needle's Eye."  It's a good thing we didn't have a camel with us.
Our motley hiking crew:

We saw some cool sights on our hike.

We found a lake in which to swim.  It was NOT warm water!

We got to roast s'mores on the campfire!  Open fires were not allowed at the campsites in the Badlands, so we were all excited to get our roasted marshmallow fix.
We stopped in Kansas City on our way home and ate at Fritz's Railroad Restaurant.  We had heard about it, but never had the opportunity to go before.  You call in your order on the phone behind Jim and then a train drives along the tracks overhead and lowers down your meal.