Sunday, April 24, 2016

Cute pictures and Mom's birthday

The Blue and Gold Banquet which was scheduled during our Florida trip was canceled due to a snow storm  (yes, I am glad we missed it) so we were able to attend the makeup day.  They had paper tablecloths with crayons set out which I thought was a very clever idea.  It entertained my little girls in more ways than just artwork!  Who knew crayons made great mustaches!

 I just love this cute grin!  I do not know what she was doing this day, but she was singing something and doing actions and the hat was part of it- but I could not recognize what it was she was doing!  She was enjoying it, though!

My wonderful mom turned 60 last month!  She was staying with my sister awaiting the arrival of the new baby, and I wanted to be with her to celebrate, so I spontaneously packed Sydney, Elise, Russell and Grant into the van and we took a 24 hr trip to Cincinnati.  Sarah had her baby early that morning- on mom's birthday!

Here is a gift I made for my mom (yes, I totally copied the Weaver idea made a few years ago for Grandma Weaver for those of you who recognize it!  I am great at copying other's creative ideas!)
It was fun to have all my siblings and spouses and nieces and nephews contribute their favorite things about mom.
 wrapped up so pretty in pink!!
 It is so fun to watch cousins play.  This was a dogpile on Grant!  He crawled out from underneath by the time I snapped this photo..but I love Elise's legs!  She walked over and flung herself on top of the pile. haha!
 I got to hold the precious little Grace in the hospital and visit with Sarah and Jeremy.
 Here we are watching mom open her presents.  She was surrounded by lots of love!  Dad had bought some decorations that were hung from the ceiling, and balloons throughout the house.  My favorite was the hat he got her to wear.  Dad prepared a beautiful book full of thoughts and letters from mom's children and friends as a special gift.

That night we went out to eat at a buffet to celebrate mom's birthday and find food for everyone.  As we pulled up it dawned on me that there were three adults and seven small a buffet...on a Saturday night!  It was so crowded!  But the food was great, and we got our exercise getting plates for all those little ones :)
As I was navigating the food line I passed mom coming the other way, and she called out to me..."Amy!  Heidi's water just broke!" Now, this was a surprise since Heidi was not due for fifteen days, and NO ONE in my family goes into labor early!!!  I thought this was so exiting-maybe mom could share her birthday with TWO grandchildren!  But this news really stressed mom out.  In fact, she cried a little because she wanted to stay and help Sarah who had just had a baby, but she also wanted to help Heidi.  Luckily, Sarah is a trooper and even though she had just had her fourth baby, she assured mom that she would be fine.  Then it turned out that Sarah's mother-in-law was able to come later in the week, so mom left a couple days later to go help Heidi.  Heidi had cute little Levi the day after mom's birthday (more pics of him in a future post!!)

All in all it was a very exciting weekend!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Heidi's recital: March 7, 2016

Brenna, dad, and I had a special treat in March when we went to Heidi's piano recital.  Take a look at this program...oh, yeah, that is my sister.  She is AMAZING!  And, what makes it all the more impressive, is the fact that she performed it while 37 weeks pregnant!  (And, although we didn't know it at the time, she had her baby less than a week later!!  The only one out of four sisters to have a baby early- and two weeks early at that!)
Heidi did not send us any pregnancy profile pictures so I secretly snapped some beforehand.  She does not look like she is nine months pregnant!!

Her performance, as usual, did not disappoint.  Even though it took five hours of driving to get there, and we turned around and drove back that night-it was so worth it.  Nothing can compare to a live performance, especially such a high caliber one (and I am not biased at all, no, not at all)

Sam, Heidi's husband, did a fantastic job of welcoming everyone and reminding all to turn off cell phones.  Would you believe it that right as Heidi's fingers were descending on to the keys to begin her second (and most difficult) piece, Siri began speaking on someone's phone...and whoever it was made no effort to turn it off!  Finally, Heidi's teacher asked that the phone be turned off.  I could not believe it.  At least she had not started the piece when the interruption came.  So, always check and double check that you have turned off your phone in a live concert! 

Mom was not able to be there since she was with sister Sarah who was anxiously awaiting the arrival of her overdue baby.

I am so glad Brenna was able to come with me.  She loved it, and she loves Heidi!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

April 17 2016 Our February Florida trip)

Believe it or not, I began this post the same day as my last post nearly a month ago and have come back to it three separate times-I hope I actually complete it today.

This post is cataloging our trip to Florida in February.  We hope to take an annual trip to Florida each winter to escape the cold and enjoy the plentiful sunshine, and spend quality time with my sister Wendy and her family.  

The kids are pretty excited to be on our way!

Well, this one is not as sure...

Once we made it to Wendy's the kids instantly began playing happily with their cousins.
I was trying to capture how much curlier Elise's hair was in Florida, but it is so thin it is difficult to see.

These two little girls really hit it off the first day.  Elise thought Eileen was very cute.  They both are in the 'princess' stage.
I just had to take a picture of their banana tree.  I have never seen anything like it.  The huge flower petals peel back and reveal the bananas.  Very, very cool, and very tropical :)

At the beach we saw this horseshoe crab washed up on the shore.  My smart hubby was the first of the onlookers to identify it.
Unfortunately, the weather was not as warm as it could be, and very windy, so I didn't take my jacket off while at the beach until the last day when the weather was gorgeous.  But the weather did not stop the kids from having a blast even in the frigid water!
On our last day there we buried Russell standing up :)
I do not know if you can see this, but in front of the buildings there is a kite with an extremely long tail that a man was flying and steering it in all kids of interesting formations.

Grant made a tunnel in the sand.

Thank goodness for Wendy's tent/umbrella.  This saved us from the wind!
Yay for cousins!

Rob set up a boundary and played soccer with the kids.  (one thing about the cooler weather- it was not crowded at the beach!)

Despite the cooler weather all of our sun-deprived skin managed to get badly burned on the first day.  I bought Brenna this cute shirt to put over her swimsuit to protect her shoulders.
Yay for sisters!

One day we went to a State Park and climbed up to a lookout to a viewpoint of the forest.  Elise loves climbing!!
Along the nature trail we saw some wild boar! Very neat but also scary.  I don't think this picture shows them, but this is where we saw them- a mother and her baby!
A view of the trees.

We also went to a bird watch dock on the water.  Once again, Rob was able to identify some of the  varieties.

On the far shore there are some alligators, as well as carrion birds.  We went to the dining facility and all tasted fried alligator.  We were pretty excited to say we went to Florida and saw (and tasted!) alligators.
That night we experienced the delicious food of Der Dutchman, a family favorite buffet.
Goodbyes always come too soon!

Love you, Wendy!  Thanks for letting us stay with you and for being a wonderful hostess!