Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Family Reunion

This year we were lucky enough to be able to go back to Michigan for the annual family Reunion.  It has been 4 years since we have been able to make it back.  We were excited to see everyone again, meet cousins that have been born and show off Finn and the rest of our growing children!  We are so blessed to belong to such a wonderful family.  It is a HUGE fun, crazy and most of all loving family!
Our flight left Friday June22  at about 730am.  I was hoping that since we had to wake up at 400am the kids would sleep the whole way there.  Well Finn was the only one to fall asleep.  He did surprisingly well on the plane, only really fussing when we were waiting to take off.
Finn's first plane ride!

We finally got to Grandpa Jamie and Grandma Judi's house later that afternoon and got to relax a little and catch up with the family.  The kids got to see their cousin Maggie again. She was so excited to finally be seeing her cousins that she had heard so much about.

White Sands Resort
Whitehall Michigan
 The kids were absolutely amazed at how many cousins they actually have.  They had a blast meeting new family and having someone to run around with the entire week.  We have gained many kids since the last time we were here. 

Kallie and her new best friend, cousin Stella

This is only half the kids that were actually there.

Our family is so cool that every day has some kind of  title.  There was golf day and beach day and themed potluck dinners; Mexican, Italian, breakfast for dinner and of course a happy hour!

Dinner time!

Beach Day!!
The kids were anxious to get to the beach.  Yes, we stayed on waterfront property with a small beach off of White Lake.  Beach Day is actually driving a 5 minutes west to Lake Michigan!  White Lake has a small channel that leads to Lake Michigan.  I can't even begin to tell you h ow beautiful Lake Michigan is.  The pictures to NOT do it justice.  As is says on the shirts the kids bought "Unsalted and shark free".  This lake is huge, clear and beautiful. 
This little guy LOVED the beach. He giggled every time a wave would hit his legs.  He really enjoyed sitting and digging in the sand.

Shantel got a wild hair to do some fishing. Jamie and Brandon took fer to the end of the docks and taught her how to cast and catch a fish. She was in heaven. What is even better she was able to catch a fish.  Just take a look at the pure joy on her face.  This is what being a parent is all about...seeing the pure joy on your child's face.

As you can see, we could not keep these kids out of the water.
Shantel mastering her Cannon Ball

Kallie "helping" Keegan swim
My big fish

Here is me and my "little" brothers
Here I am with my amazing Grandma Judi

G-Man and Sweet Jimmy
I am with my Mom and Aunt Lori
and Finn
Uncle Pat, Aunt Rachelle and Cousin Maggie
Finn loves his Great Grandpa Jamie.
Here he was giving him an unprompted kiss

Gary's Golf Tournament group
Brandon, Emily and Aunt Kath 

What is a family reunion without awesome matching family T's!
Keegan fell in love with Aunt Kristi

Brynn and My Bro Jamie
  This has to be my favorite part of the trip.  Singing by the campfire.  The entire family!  This picture only shows half of the family sitting by the fire.

All the cousins

My wonderful family
minus Uncle Mike and Uncle Terry :(
We had such an amazing time.  We were not ready to come back.  And we will definitely NOT wait another 4 years before we come back. 

Until We Meet Again

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Finn Turned One!! It was a lot of FUN!

I can't believe my baby boy is 1.  The time has flown by and it has been a joy having him in our family.  He is the most easy going kid.  I decided to have a HUGE bash to celebrate and what better WAY to celebrate the DAY than with Dr. Seuss. 

Our house was changed to Seussville

The Happy Birthday boy!!

A few of our guests included Thing 1 and Thing 2 and of course the Grinch couldn't stay away.

And a few of our tasty treats

Cake cake for heavens Sake!!
As you can see he didn't like it at all!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


We're going to Disneyland!!!

We were lucky enough to take the kids to Disneyland back in November through Gary's work.
We decided not to tell the kids our plans and surprise them. 
I, being the crafty mom I am, made autograph books for the kids. (I heard that is the thing to do)
The morning we were leaving, we got the kids up for school as usual.  While we were eating breakfast, we asked the kids if they wanted to skip school for the day.

We told the kids we were going to go to Vegas for the weekend.  Shantel and Keegan were really excited to go see "where mom and dad got married" and what Vegas is all about.  Kallie pouted and cried because she wanted to go to school.

We hopped in the car and headed to Vegas for the night.  We showed the kids all the cool hotels and had some dinner and headed back to the hotel. 
The next morning we got the kids up and asked what hotels they wanted to see.  They all yelled out the places they wanted to go back to.  I asked "how about we go to Disneyland!"
You can imagine their excitement!!! 
What is a trip to Disney without mouse ears?

We planned breakfasts with all the stars. 

Here is the clan with Minnie
Kallie was picked to be a Jr. Cast member for the check in and was able to pick out a prize.  Of course she would pick the Rapunzel doll!

Our First Character Breakfast was with the Princesses.  It was a lot of fun to have them each come table to table and chat with the kids.  The kids were beyond excited.  Shantel of course wanted to meet Ariel. Kallie was excited to meet them all, but especially wanted to meet Rapunzel and Keegan was set on meeting Jasmine.  Unfortunately she wasn't there. 

Rapunzel and Flynn were by far my favorite characters.  They both were so down to earth and very friendly.  They sat and talked to us for a long time and even acknowledged baby Finn.  Keegan was smitten with Rapunzel's hair and kept running his hands through it!.

Finn was a little unsure of Chip

Where are the rides, you ask!
Yes we went on plenty of rides.  Because Gary had to broadcast his show one day I was left with the kids to do all the little kid rides and meet and greets with the Characters.
We had so much fun.  I wish we would have been able to more of the BIG rides like Space Mountain...yes, we totally missed that one, but this gives us an excuse to go back.

The ride that stand out was Splash Mountain.  Not only because we have awesome pictures from it, but because it was a totally FUN ride. There was absolutely NO wait when we decided to go on it. I went down first with Keegan and Shantel and then Gary too the girls.  Poor Keeg was terrified and it scared kallie to death.  When Gary was talking the girls up i walked to the exit where they show all the pictures and I remember as i walked in I heard  these people say "haha look at that dad" and totally crack up.  Sure enough they were laughing at gar and the kids.

We had the time of our lives and we can't wait to go back.  We are hoping Gary has to "work" again next year so we can go.  It really is the Happiest place on Earth!!