Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween Party 2014

If you've been reading the blog for awhile you know that my husband loves his Halloween parties....you can see all of our past parties herehere, and here.  Last year I vowed that I'd be better about getting pictures of all our friends who put time and energy into their costumes just to come hang with us.  Well, here's the round up from 2014.

If you can't tell, we were Mario, Princess and Toadstool from Mario cart.

Baby Stella was a cow with her two farmer parents it tow.

Greg and Meg, well, this one went over my head.  Greg is Billy Madison and Meg, well clearly she's a penguin but there's an obscure movie tie in there that I DID NOT get....here's a link, if you needed help like me.  Check out that creeper Mario in the background!

Sarah, well, I'll give you a second to guess.  Did you get it?  Clever.  Chicken Cord-on-Blue....get it??  Dan, he was this guy from Office Space.  TPS reports and all.  (In all fairness, I didn't get this one either).

Betsy was Wonder Woman, Pat showed up in this strange onsie that he just happened to have on hand....NOT for a Halloween costume (strange *smile) and Anthony was some flannel clad mountain man.

I'm sure I've missed a few costumes here and there but I really did much better than I did last year.  Everyone commented on how weird it is that the parties have changed from being all out drink fests with the cops coming by multiple times to babies running the show until bedtime and parents calling it a night long before the wee hours of the morning (hey, we made it til 1am this year).  In my opinion though, this party was the best kind.  One where were surrounded by our favorite friends all sitting around chatting and having a great time.  Thanks to everyone who came out and helped my husband realize that we are still in fact young at heart!!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Pumpkin Carving 2014

If you live in the Midwest you know that this Halloween the weather was less than ideal.  When it SNOWED on my way to work in the morning I had serious doubts about if we'd make it out Trick or Treating.

Luckily Abby is still just a little too young to know that's she's missing out so we decided to forgo Trick or Drinking (yes, an annual tradition coined by my parents and their friends when WE were kids...I'm sure you can figure out how happens all on your own), and carve pumpkins in the nice warm house.

Abby was NOT a fan of touching the pumpkin goo.  She was perfectly happy sitting close and watching me to do the messy work.  She was however excited when she finally saw the pumpkin all lit up.

The funniest part?  When we all commented about how carving pumpkins used the take FOR.EV.ER when we were kids.  Zach reminded us that it was probably because our parents were drinking the whole time.  HA!  It sounds like I'm bashing them, but I'm really idolizing them....they know how to have a good time!!!

Happy Halloween!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

1 Family x 12 (November)

Just 2 days into November and we've already got our family photo for this month.  I'll have a full Halloween post coming your way later this week but for now, here's our family costume for this year.  In case you didn't get it, we're Mario, Princess and Toadstool from Mario Cart.  Thanks Ellyn for the great costumes once again!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pumpkin Patch 2014

I thought I was pretty smart this year when I suggested we go to the pumpkin patch on a Friday afternoon to avoid the huge crowds.  Well, I was right, we had the place pretty much to ourselves....the only issue was, it was freezing cold!!

Goeberts is just minutes from our house so going on the off times really is a good idea.  Especially for Abby.  She tends to be timid when it comes to new things and loud places.  There were tons of activites and areas for kids but her two favorite (by far) were this giant corn box and the pumpkin eating dinosaur (below).

We've been hearing about this dino for weeks now.  See that little red shed to the far right hand side.  Someone must control the dinosaur from in there.  Every hour this guy wakes up and starts talking and snorting smoke out his nose.  He moves up and down and side to side and will duck down to pick up one of the pumpkins laying on the ground only to smooosh it between those big white teeth of his.  Abby loved it!!!

Who am I kidding...so did Ryan.  Just look at those smiles!

The other huge hit was this giant box of corn.  Believe me when I tell you that I'm STILL finding corn kernels around the house.  Abby even had them stuck in her diaper and I found some in my Northface pocket just yesterday.  Ryan is convinced that we should build one of these instead of a sandbox.  He also thought we should make a bed out of it...yeah right!

They had TONS of animals at the pumpkin patch too.  Like two giant giraffes, a tiger, camels, lamas and all the other assorted petting zoo animals you'd normally expect.  We thought she'd have loved the animals more but the giant parrot screaming at the front door sort of scared her to start off with.  He was just a little too loud for her liking.

Oh, and I forgot...the other huge hit?  Apple cider donuts of course! You can't go to the pumpkin patch and miss out on hot cider donuts.  Abby loved them just as much as her Mommy!

Monday, October 20, 2014

1 Family x 12 (October)

I keep forgetting to hit "post" on this one...so here's our family picture for October.  It's from our bike ride on the world's coldest camping trip.  Abby was more excited about "I see da cows Mommy" than anything else....but another family picture in the books.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Annual Cousin's Camping 2014

This past weekend we went camping.  Yep, remember when it SNOWED on Saturday....that happened!  Let's back up a little bit.  Remember when we went on the best RV trip ever a few years back with some of Ryan's cousins.  Well, little did we know, we'd started an annual trip right then and there.  We didn't end up planning a trip in 2012 because, well, who knows why, but I'd guess a baby, a move and life had something to do with it...but in 2013 the cousins were back at it again.  Our 2013 trip was on one of the hottest weekends of the year so it only made sense that our 2014 trip would end up being on the first cold weekend of the season.

It was cold, but I'm super proud of our group of sticking it out and deciding that we were going to have fun rain or shine.  Abby however, was NOT convinced!

Here's the thing.  I have GREAT memories from being a kid and doing big group camping trips like this.  I think there is something to be said for getting used to being away from the TV and spending some time outdoors enjoying what's all around us.  I want Abby to grow up knowing the smell of campfire in her hair and the feeling of not wanting to crawl out of a warm sleeping bag in the morning.  I want her to appreciate that we don't need screens and toys to have fun....playing outside, building fake fires with sticks and just having the freedom of the outdoors is just as fun, if not more!

Back to the trip.  This year we ventured to the Elroy Sparta trail in western Wisconsin.  It's a 30 mile bike trail that runs along an old train track bed and includes 3 tunnels!  We stayed at the Tunnel Trail Campground which is usually exactly the type of campground that I try to steer away from (I've found that the state parks are usually the best) but it was a really beautiful place and we loved that it was right on the bike path.

Everyone arrived early Friday evening and we set up camp.  Friday night was cool but the weather held out and we stayed up late enjoying the fire and just catching up life with each other.  Saturday morning though, that was the hardest part.  Sometime during the night the rain rolled in and switched to snow.  Yes, snow.  Not a lot, but enough to put a light dusting on the cars.  Jamie/Zach and Ryan and I have campers so we were pretty snuggled in, but Brenna/Chris and Sarah/Dan were tenting it with space heaters and warm sleeping bags.  Greg/Meg bunked in our camper and I am pretty sure they didn't regret that choice one bit!

I think Dan had it the worst because he somehow didn't have a sleeping pad under him and spent the night shivering wondering just why exactly  he wasn't at home in his comfortable bed with the heat on.  He was a good sport!

Saturday morning we were all pretty slow to crawl out of bed.  Something about hearing the pitter patter of rain drops on the tents just didn't equal motivation to get up and start cooking breakfast!  Eventually though we got up and got going.  The promise of delicious egg sandwiches with fancy bacon does wonders on a cold morning.  The guys started a fire and we all huddled around keeping warm and chatting while the babies took a quick nap.  By the time the girls woke up the temperatures were raising and the sun was even peaking out every now and again.

We decided that the whole reason we came to this specific campsite was to try out the bike path so we pulled all the bikes off the cars, did a few quick repairs, pumped up a few flat tires and loaded the babies into the Burley for a bike ride.  I'd camped here as a kid and remembered the tunnels being cool and kind of scary.  I thought I remembered they were pretty dark but I didn't want to get everyone all hyped up about them and find out they were a few feet long and really not that cool.  Luckily a fellow camper came over when he saw us working on the bikes and gave us a few pointers on which way to go and confirmed that the tunnels were in fact pretty dark.  So we grabbed all the head lamps we could find and set off on an adventure.  Lucky we did!!  The tunnel we went through was over a 1/4 mile long and DARK.  Of course, somehow we missed the sign that said "WALK BIKES IN TUNNELS" so we peddled through all silently wondering if everyone else was as scared as we were.

We rode for about 15 miles with a stop off at one of the local bars.  We treated ourselves to a warm place, fried everything (curds, onions, sweet potatoes, pickles) and a few beers figuring we'd earned it after freezing our butts off outside for nearly 24 hours.  One thing I love about Wisconsin is that the local bars will NEVER disappoint.  This one for instance came stocked with its very own husband and wife team that managed and owned it.  Tessa and Chet are set to get married in just two short weeks from now with their SIX kids by their side.  We heard all about the other three business they ran including a landscaping company and a wood cutting business.  HA!!  At any rate, they had good beer and decent food and we were entertained by their stories.

After the bike ride we headed back for dinner and another cool night.  Thankfully there was no more rain after the early morning drizzle and we had an easy dinner planned (Italian beef and potatoes).  We stayed up late (and by we I mean everyone else....I went to bed early!) and drank too many beers.

Sunday morning we didn't have much planned so we cooked up breakfast, cleaned up, packed up and headed out.  By this point in our cold muddy trip Abby was pretty much over camping.  When she woke up Sunday morning she said "Mommy, I want go baK home"  Emphasis on the "K".  After hearing me say we have to eat breakfast first she revised her tag line to "Mommy, Abby eat breakfast and go baK home...ok?"  I know she loves being outside and having all the fun adults to entertain her (especially her best friend in all the world "Greggy") I think the cold, mud, and lack of any real place for her to sit down and play had gotten the best of her and she was ready to call the trip over.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

1 Family x 12 (September)

We've finally decided on the "rules" for which team Abby will support when the Bears and the Pack play.  Home field gets the baby.  I was just sad that my little peanut had to support the loosing team this time around.  

Funny story - at breakfast that morning Ryan was trying to get Abby to say "Go Bears".  Her response: "Go Pack Bears".  She get's us....

Go Pack, Go!  That is all.