Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Spring Birthdays

We are about to have another birthday in our family next week, so I felt I needed to post about past birthdays from this year. 
Zade's birthday is in March and as you see out the windows, there was still snow on the ground. It's something he has gotten used to since we've moved to WI. In the past, he would have birthday parties where we most likely could be outside. 

Regardless of the weather, Zade was excited that it was his birthday. Got some games, both video and board, and the Alabama jersey from Mama Ford and Grandfather.

Our idea this year, instead of the birthday parties, was a Spring Break day trip to the Lego Discovery Center in Chicago. Thankfully, we planned ahead and ordered our tickets online. It was a combined birthday treat for Isla and Zade's birthdays.

We even were able to build something ourselves that day.

I don't know if we could really say one display was a favorite. Each new area was "awesome, this is our favorite!" We had a great time, despite the crowd.

Isla's birthday came just a few weeks later. She chose smore cups instead of a cake. Again, fine by me. As a special treat, we ended up having cousins here for a visit. My sister, Emily and her clan headed north for Spring Break. What a trooper! They left nice warm Georgia weather for chilly Wisconsin. There was even a little snow lingering in places, which the cousins thought was fun. We had a couple of warm days we could play outside though.

Isla added to her homemaking collection with a new doll cradle and high chair, along with new play food for her kitchen.
We love visitors and always feel so lucky when we have them!
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Friday, September 5, 2014

The Beginning of Summer-June

I'm living on the edge and going for a 2-fer today. For the first time in a VERY long time, the little ones I have at home actually take naps! A miracle I am thankful for. I've had several that stop napping at 2 and "quiet time" just isn't as quiet as one would like. Napping can be a topic for another we'll review June. 

Before school was out in June, I was able to go with Zade on his field trip to the NEW Zoo in Green Bay. It's not a huge zoo, but the perfect size to take little kids. There were enough parents going that each parent had 2 children. Compared to when I take my kids to the zoo, this was a breeze. The most enjoyable trip to the zoo I've had in years!

They were able to feed giraffes, which was a highlight for Zade. He's always wanted to feed the animals and I never agree to pay what they want to feed the animals. It's quite ridiculous. As you can see in the first picture, I've shown them that people drop animal food by the edges of the fence and they can just pick that up to feed the goats. You can call me cheap...I just say "waste not, want not". 

And everyone needs a picture with the big monkey. A trip to the zoo wouldn't be complete without one. Now on to the next adventure of June, which was a tad bit more fun...

Akumal, Mexico. Blasen and I decided to take a trip together to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. I was initially going to tag along on a work trip to Paris, but then I decided as fun as that would be, it would also be just as exhausting. And that's no way to start your summer of 5 children at home. Paris was postponed and we decided on Mexico where all I had to do was walk out to the beach with a book and a bottle of water and lie there under one of those cute grass umbrellas. My sweet husband, who can't sit still for more than 5 minutes, went snorkeling and "exploring" and chased iguanas and swam after sting rays as I watched concerned from my chair and even brought me snacks. I did get out from under my cute grass umbrella to go snorkeling a few times. 

Here's the great guy I went with. We went to visit the Mayan ruins that were close by and there were lots of tourist and I haven't taken the time to photoshop that random stranger out of my picture yet. 

It was really cool to see all the ruins. It was way better than the indian mounds in Moundville. It was our first taste of real heat and humidity in over a year, so we struggled a bit at first, but soon I felt right at home...and there was a body of water always nearby. 

Here is one of the iguanas. They were cat or small dog size. Blasen wanted to catch one so bad. We actually have more pictures of these things than anything else from our trip. It was a fun trip and I'm sure we'll do it another 10+ years. 

While we were gone, by ever so kind big sister, Jennie, came up to Wisconsin to visit and watch our kids and take a break from the heat. We were able to visit a even smaller zoo in Manitowac, WI not far from our home, Bookworm Gardens, and just play with our Vaughn cousins. Unfortunately, my phone is not agreeing with me and I can't pictures off my phone. I just LOVE technology. Just ask my husband, I have some weird electromagnetic field that prevents electronics functioning correctly. It's true. So there's more to our summer to come. 
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May Wrap-Up

We had a busy summer and since it is now over with, I can breath a little more. 
Before summer officially got here...well I'm not sure it ever really was summer...we had a few fun times in May. 

 We really needed to dethatch our lawn this year. I never knew about this, but apparently if you have real grass that grows and not that imitation stuff that's really just a weed mixture, you should dethatch. You basically rake up all the dead grass that has formed a thatch at the base of the grass. Now you could hire someone out to do it. Their machine actually sucks up all that dead grass in the process. Or you could do like we did and do it yourself while pulling your children in the wagon behind the dethatcher. I'm sure there was a warning against such stuff, but it looks like fun.

You end up with a yard full of dead grass that has to be raked up. It was A LOT of raking. That's why we have 5 kids. :) They grumbled, but they did help some. 

Next up was Kipp's birthday. Both of these at the beginning of May and both still very chilly days. 

He opted for his favorite strawberry pie. Fine with me...lots easier than cake. He's now 3, even though he's convinced he's 5. After all, Isla's 5, therefore so is Kipp. Makes perfect sense. 

Isla helped him learn how to pedal his bike that he got for Christmas. BTW, bikes are no fun as gifts for Christmas here in Wisconsin. You don't get to ride them until May, maybe April. I was a nice mom and let him ride it in the house for a few weeks after Christmas. 

These 3 cuties just love playing together. We have missed Isla being at home this week, as she started kindergarten on Tuesday. Kipp and Cora just really don't know how to play without Isla there with them. There's been a lot of screaming and crying and arguing...but we'll figure it out. 

So that's May in a few photos. They really are a fun crew to have around!

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