Friday, July 27, 2012

Flops, Bonks and Flips...

...just part of a typical evening at our house. Every night when Ed walks in the door, Thomas runs to him, requesting "flops, bonks and flips." These used to be termed magic tricks, but the terminology has gotten more specific. I'll let the video at bottom speak for itself, but let's just say that roughhousing is VERY popular at our house. That rough and tumble attitude is reflected so well in Jojo, who in addition to loving flops and bonks (he doesn't get flips yet), has also become quite the climber. Here are the two spots we've all found him in recently.

And here's the video:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The 4th of July

I was excited about the 4th being on a Wednesday this year for one reason (otherwise, like the rest of the world, I prefer the opportunity for a long weekend rather than a random day off). Because it was just one day, we were in town and could do small-town holiday things like parades!

Our township had fireworks, and we thoroughly enjoyed being able to watch them from the bed of our pickup truck. TJ wasn't sure about them, as you can see. Jojo wasn't fazed a bit. TJ ultimately did like them, but only while his ears were covered.

Ed had to work on the actual 4th, but I took the boys to the best parade in town, in nearby Schoolcraft. It. was. HOT. And the parade started at 11 am, under high sun. I seriously underestimated the amount of water to bring, but enterprising teenagers were selling water and more from wagons, and we found a fantastic seat next to a family with a tent, and used some of their shade and their water. I'll know better next time. TJ loved the parade. He spent most of his time announcing what was coming next (fire trucks! tractors! Model As!) to the other kids. 

People also threw candy. I hoped that by strategically positioning us at the end of the parade, they'd be out, or at least almost out, but there was no shortage. I let Thomas eat a piece or two, and we "saved" the rest to eat later. (You know, kind of like old pets go to happily live out their lives on a farm...)

Being a farming community, there were a lot of tractors. Little boy heaven! 

Jojo more tolerated the whole event. He was only slightly interested in what was going by.

Me? Though it was hot, I too was thrilled, at least for the first 30-45 minutes. I've always wanted to do this with the kids (and by always, I mean the last 3 years...seriously, though, I've always thought it would be fun to take kids to a parade). However, the parade was 90 minutes long! I guess that's what you get when you go to the best small town parade in southwestern Michigan...
It was a great day. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Enjoying summer

Even though our first summer in Michigan bears more resemblance to the steamy, muggy, rain-free summers we grew accustomed to in St. Louis than the comfortable weather we expected, we've been spending some time outside. We borrowed a tagalong bike for TJ from my aunt and uncle and have been taking family bike rides. He just fits--the seat is as low as it can go. He and Ed took a trial ride.

That was successful, so we started going out as a family. We haven't gone too far yet (20-30 minutes?) but hope to lengthen that bit by bit as the summer goes along. 

Slightly random picture...this is how TJ napped one Saturday afternoon.

Popsicles with Rowan one hot evening

The boys going for a wagon ride...the wagon was an early birthday present for Jojo.

The water table: It came highly recommended from my friend Angie, who also has 2 boys and a newborn little girl. She was right--it's a huge hit! 

 Thomas loves to dump cups full of water on Jojo's head, but he doesn't seem to mind.

Dustin and Abbey drove over from Chicago one weekend, and Kathy met us as well, and we went out on the boat. We started on a bigger, wavier, busier lake, where we drove around, ate lunch, and swam, and then found a little treasure of a lake just 8 miles from our house. At 4 pm on a Saturday, it was deserted. Pretty small, but gloriously smooth skiing water. We love the lakes in Michigan!

Abbey really liked the dip. Apparently veggies were optional.

Daddy and daughter time.

TJ floating with Aunt Kathy

The perfect spot for a nap...under the driver's seat!

First kiss...Dustin must be loosening up--he didn't even get nervous!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The running of the tubes

Not quite as exciting (or dangerous) as its more famous counterpart, the running of the bulls in Pamplona, but fun nonetheless. 



Lisa (clearly falling off)



And then a little video footage:

Monday, July 16, 2012

Walking Videos

This video is a week old and Jojo is getting steadier and choosing to walk on his own more often. The cutest part (which is not on this video...I have to try to get it this week) is that whenever he walks, TJ yells very loudly and very excitedly, "Jojo's WALKING all by himself!!!"
I think he is as proud as Jojo is. :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Josiah is 11 months old!

Our sweet little Jojo is almost a year old. The two biggest changes in the last month are that he now has two top teeth (with a fairly sizable gap between them!) and that he's starting to walk (videos to follow)! 

 This block photo was tough to take. He wanted to roll the block over and I have several pictures where it says "11 years."

 Such a happy boy!

 And with the walking comes climbing. He frequently summits this table to get at TJ's discarded breakfast, and also uses the footstools to mount the couch. He is very proud of himself!

A better look at those two front teeth! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How to Catch a Fish by T.J. Ruble

A thorough, innovative documentary that explores the art of fishing, accented nicely with a sub-plot halfway through as Daddy crashes the sailboat!  

Sadly, there is no video footage of the outtake scene, How to Cast So Hard that You Fall off the Pier, also starring T.J. Ruble. Happily he was wearing his life jacket and was promptly rescued using the handy loop on the back. He was much more cognizant of the edge of the pier after the incident, so no repeat outtake is currently planned (much to my chagrin--it was the funniest thing I saw all weekend!).

Fishing with Buppa off the end of the pier

Checking out the fish they caught--either a bluegill or a crappie--I don't know the difference! Thomas wasn't quite so sure about the fish, though he still talks about it enthusiastically, especially the one with the eggs on the side (a pregnant fish?).

And a promo poster for the sequel, How to Land a Big One, starring Daddy as the fish. 

And the sequel itself!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Just chillin' with my brother

I think this photo is adorable.
Of course, you know it didn't end like this. The after picture--which I didn't take--included wailing, a tipped over chair, and a tipped over Jojo. And actually, TJ had nothing to do with it. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Pearl Lake Weekend 2012

We spent a long weekend up at Pearl Lake for lake fun, celebrating Mom's 60th birthday, and hanging with the Kruses, our college friends, currently living in Germany but doing a grand tour in the U.S.

Brotherly love

 Helping Grammy blow out her candles

Us with Derek, Nicole and their son Benny

Our days were full of skiing, swimming, floating, sailing and more 
(plus fishing, but that will be getting its own post!)

Driving the boat. Jojo is the "second mate" because TJ is first mate.

 Benny gets his first swim in the lake!

 Look at those big blue eyes!

 Trying out the floaty fish

This photo is for all the people who ask if there is red hair in my family. Just a bit! :)

Check out those front teeth just starting to poke through!

The weekend also involved naps in many forms, mostly on the boat

And lots of tubing. Notice that the boys chose a more relaxed, leisurely tube ride.

Isn't my sister's little bump cute?!

 Derek wore the "guest" brova brova as the three guys drank beer and bonded.

 Love this photo!

The bump is not only cute, but functional.

Our growing family of 8!