Sunday, December 8, 2013

Hot air balloon ride!

I bought a hot air balloon ride in a silent auction last fall, and we finally used it in October. We had a perfect day--low wind, clear blue sky, leaves changing colors, warm temperatures...
And Tom and Alice arrived for a visit a few hours before our ride, so we had a babysitter as well--bonus!

This is my second favorite picture:

The boys and Grandma back on the ground

Love the balloon shaped shadow!

It is so quiet and peaceful up in the sky; just gorgeous. And there's no wind, because you're traveling with it!

We happened to float right over our house!

 And this is my favorite--our pilot brought the balloon down so the balloon almost touched the pond. 

Hard to believe, but the balloon folds up into this fairly small but quite heavy bag.

The ride ends with a champagne toast wherever you land (in our case, next to a blueberry field about 5 miles from our house)!

So glad we were able to take this ride--what a fantastic experience and memory!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Safari Party and James' Birthday

We headed back up to Pearl Lake the last weekend of September to attend my aunt and uncle's safari party and celebrate James' 1st birthday.

It wasn't warm enough to swim (at least not for me!), but the boys couldn't turn down one more chance to fish!

I can't count how many times these two cried to get out of a pack and play...we couldn't keep them out of James'.

 Jojo drove James around some more:

But wasn't happy when James wanted a turn:

 Coordinating sweat suits!

Isn't he a cutie?!

Getting ready for winter!

Quality train time!

I love this picture!

The boys helped to wash the pontoons on the boat after we took the boat out of the water.

Birthday boy!

Gotta love fun birthday glasses!

 And again:

My aunt and uncle had a safari party to share photos from their trips to Africa. Here's us posing with a zebra.

And another zebra.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The bump and more

Thomas' preschool took a field trip to an apple farm. We took a hay ride (without hay) and the kids learned about apples and got to pick a few bushel baskets full. 

Feeding goats--he loved this!

Are you wondering about the massive bump on his forehead? He fell at the park and hit his head on a ladder wrong. The bump was HUGE. 

 Here are the pictures from the day of:

Fortunately it is now pretty much gone! He calls it his goosebump.

That same weekend, Ed was out of town running a relay race and Kathy came to visit. In addition to a girls' lunch and fabric shopping trip, we cranked out two quilt tops!

Kathy and I let the boys do a craft project--finger painting on canvas.

Messy hands!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Go Cats!

We were thrilled to get back to Evanston this year for a football game. This time, instead of leaving the kids home with a babysitter for a long day, we brought them along (and spent the night!). We stayed at Kelly and Dustin's and left all 4 kids behind with 2 babysitters while we tailgated and enjoyed the game.

NU friends--we all got married within 6 weeks of each other!

The alumni group of old friends at our tailgate:

Both Diane and Kelly are tailgating experts, so between the two cars, we had enough purple and food to keep us happy for hours on end. Last year we got caught in traffic driving to the game and spent about 10 minutes at the tailgate. This year, we had 3 glorious hours. So much fun!

The Wildcats beat Western Michigan (our new hometown team!) handily. Little did we know, that was to be our last win until the weekend after Thanksgiving. :(

 I've been letting TJ pack his backpack when we go on trips. Sometimes I check before we leave to make sure that what he's packed isn't too much/over the top/etc. I should have looked this time--check out all the shoes he packed (for 1 night!). I have to give him credit, though--he packed for Jojo too.

It rained on Sunday, so we hung out at the Cooks' house. The kids played dress-up. Thomas wanted to borrow this for Halloween. I said no. I really think the camouflage long underwear underneath completes the look!

Nemo, which we did borrow as a costume for Jojo to wear.

Rumpusing with Ed

Jojo in the Nemo costume. It's especially cute because it matches his hair.