Saturday, July 31, 2010

Family Reunion 2010

Today was the annual family reunion!

The reunion was for my dad's side of the family...which is HUGE! So big, in fact, that I don't even know the names of half the people there. I just know we're related. ;)

That side of the family really loves a good party! The festivities started at noon, and didn't end until...well, I'm not quite sure. We left at 11, and the party was still going on!

I had a great time visiting with my family, and the kids had a blast running around with all of the cousins. There are dozens of young kids in the family, so they played all day!

There was another Lexie and a brand new Dylan in the family, and the kids thought that was hilarious!

The reunion was held at a park, next to a big playground, baseball fields, and basketball courts. There were plenty of things for the kids to do, including organized games and egg hunts (eggs filled with silly bandz, of course). Lots of water balloons, water guns, and foam water pumps were involved. I don't think anybody managed to stay dry!

I took a lot of pictures, but will just share a few!

My Aunt Jackie (I adore her!) and I:

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Grant and Aunt J:

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Fighting over the favorite playground toy:

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Lexie and my cousin's daughter, Megan, were inseparable. Megan took care of her the entire day! Megan is Lexie's new BFF. I want to adopt that girl!

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One of the most anticipated activities is the horse races. It's a big deal every year! My family has been doing this for as long as I can remember!

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Megan helped Lexie with her race. Lexie and the little girl next to her look remarkably alike for being distant cousins!

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Then it was the elders turn. My Grandma and her siblings used to run this race. Only half of the siblings remain. Now some of their (eldest) children run the race in their place. My dad represents my Grandma's family!

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After it got dark, the kids went snipe hunting and played "restaurant" in the shelter kitchen!

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I knew it was time to go when I saw Lexie falling asleep on a picnic table, while Megan rubbed her back! Sure enough, she passed out in the car on the way home!

We all had fun catching up with each other and laughing over old pictures! It was a great day with my family!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day Trip

Yesterday, we took a little day trip to Erie. It was a last minute decision on Tuesday night!

My dad was driving up to Erie to visit my brother and his family, and asked if Dylan could come. Lexie and I decided to tag along, since we haven't been to my brother's house in almost a year!

Luckily, I planned in advance on Tuesday night. I packed up everything we would need for the drive and the visit. This came in handy! We were supposed to leave at 9:45 yesterday morning. I slept through the alarm, after a sleepless night, and only had 15 minutes to get us all ready, fed, and out the door! Somehow, I managed, and we were only 10 minutes late!

The hour and a half drive to Erie was uneventful. The kids watched a movie, and we didn't have to stop for potty breaks!

It was so nice to see my brother, sister-in-law, and 5 nieces and nephews! We don't get to see them as much anymore. They used to live just 10 minutes away. We had a great visit with them!

My brother runs a Girl Scout camp, so they live right in the camp. They love living there, and there are lots of things to do. The kids have a blast at the camp, and enjoy spending time with their 5 cousins...even the teenagers!

It was a scorcher, so swimming was involved!

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Dylan and Sarah are like twins. They had very close due dates, but Dylan came a month earlier! When they get together, they are inseparable!

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They got to ride in the back of my brother Greg's truck, through camp. They kept asking where their car seats were!

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Alex is great with the kids! He keeps them busy. Dylan looks forward to going frog catching with him!

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Dylan was disappointed that they couldn't find any frogs, but they did catch a big toad!

My sister-in-law, Beth, made a delicious meal for us. We all ate lots of watermelon!

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Lexie and Emily had fun bouncing on the trampoline together. Emily will be turning 2 in a few weeks, and Lexie is thrilled to have another girl cousin close in age!

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Before we left, we took a hike along the gorge. A big gorge runs through the camp, and the trails are a lot of fun to hike on. We didn't go the entire way down, but the kids had fun! I have to admit, though, the drop offs made me really nervous!

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On the way back to the house, it began to rain, even though the sun stayed out. Dylan ran back, in hopes of catching a frog or a newt. No such luck!

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It was hard to say goodbye, but we're looking forward to another visit in the near future!

It was a fun day with my wonderful family! We really miss them!

By the time we got home, we were all exhausted! Lexie slept for most of the car ride, but was very excited to show off the Strawberry Shortcake doll that Sarah let her borrow.

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I was so exhausted that I actually went to bed before 11. That hardly ever happens!

We had a great (day) trip!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Signs of Summer

It was a great summer day!

A few things that screamed summer:

{1} Summer showers! My dad loves to tease them...and they love it!

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{2} Three dresses in one day: First dress ruined by a bubble spill. Second dress soaked by a Papa with a watering can. Third dress? Got dirty at the stable. Luckily, it was time to get into pajamas by then!

{3} Cherokee's annual run-in with thistle. This year was the worst.

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And that's after I was halfway through! A quick visit to the stable turned into a LONG visit. A half bottle of detangler, 3 broken combs, and an hour later, I finished. His gorgeous, flowing mane is ruined!

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{4} New kittens at the stable.

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They are cute! Lexie desperately wants one, and sobbed when we had to leave.

{5} A tiny toad loose in our car. Dylan's treasure from the barn has disappeared in the car. After a thorough search, we still can't find it. Problem is, it's the size of my fingernail!

{6} Racing through the grass, catching lightning bugs, in pajamas and bare feet.

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Gotta love summer!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Christmas In July?

Not for us!

We're all about Halloween!

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Lexie insisted that she was a Princess Ninja Police Girl. I didn't have the heart to tell her that she looked like a turtle with that mask on!

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Oh, who am I kidding? They dress up everyday! Today, they took it a step further by saying, "Happy Halloween!"

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In other news...

Have I mentioned that I'm officially addicted to Nutella? I think I need help!

Five years ago, when my "German" brother lived with my parents as a foreign exchange student, he brought his own Nutella. For a year, he insisted that I try it, but I kept refusing.

On Friday, I finally bought a jar. The first taste brought tears of joy to my eyes. I am a Nutella addict. As are my husband and son.

I was seriously missing out on one of the tastiest foods ever!

And I thought I had issues with my peanut butter addiction.

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On Friday, I had to drop off my sewage payment at the sewage plant. It was after hours, and as I pulled up near the deposit box, I noticed something very interesting.

The sewage plant has satellite TV! The satellite dish was conveniently hidden.

Really? Does a sewage plant need satellite TV?

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Yesterday, as we were playing outside, I found an empty rabbit nest underneath the playhouse portion of Dylan and Lexie's playset.

We have had a rabbit living in our yard for the past few months, but I can't believe there was a nest filled with baby bunnies right where my kids played everyday! They had to step on the nest constantly! I also can't believe that my dog didn't discover them.

Tonight, at dinner, Dylan saw a baby bunny eating right outside our kitchen window. A few minutes later, the adult rabbit hopped out to join the baby! Lexie loves rabbits, so she was glued to that window for the next half hour!

I think they're cute, so I left them a little treat of apples and carrots next to the bush they hide under!

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Happy Monday! I'm off to end it with some fruit dipped in Nutella!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Weekends

I'm beginning to think that our busy weekends are exhausting.

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Let's look at this from another angle. Exhausting? Definitely.

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Let's get a bit closer.

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These pictures sum up how we all feel at the end of the weekend!!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Birthday Boy

Today, Grant turned 31!

We all slept in until 11:15 this morning! Amazing! We had a big brunch in honor of Grant's birthday, and then gave him a treat bag filled with pistachios and gummy candy. He got his big present in May, in the form of the HTC Droid, but we had to at least give him something on his birthday!

We spent a lazy afternoon at home...indoors, because it was in the high 90's with a heat index in the 100's. YUCK! It was like an oven outside, and the humidity was horrible.

We dropped the kids off at Grant's parent's house, while we went out to dinner. It was nice going out alone! We went to Lone Star Steakhouse, which is one of Grant's favorite restaurants. I'm not a red meat eater, but I found some delicious alternatives! As a bonus, we ended up getting a server that we knew, and got a big discount on our check! ;)

After sharing his free birthday dessert (without the public embarrassment of being sung to), we picked up some party supplies, and then picked up our kids.

Tonight, we had some of our closest friends and a few family members over to celebrate. It was a last minute get-together, but we had fun! The kids were thrilled that a few of their friends showed up. Halfway through the evening, a storm came in and it cooled off a bit.

I was busy visiting with our guests, and didn't think to break out the camera until after everyone was soaked from the rain and getting ready to leave. Every so often, the photographer has to take a break!

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It was a nice birthday for Grant! He will be older than me for the next 9 months, and I plan to make the most of it! ;)

Happy Birthday, G! I-make that WE- love you!