Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Spring Break Part 1 - Grandma turns 100!!!

For over a year we have been planning our first real spring break vacation with the kids.  We have never gone out of the state for spring break, so this was really exciting!  We were headed to Florida for a week to visit family, celebrate my grandmother's 100th birthday, and then go to Disney World!  Our magic bands came in the mail and that got everyone super excited!
We decided it would be easiest to drive down to FL.  So on Thursday, we headed down to the best rest stop - Mama Kay and Papa's house!  Since our last time there, Madgie and Patch have bought a house just down the street from Mama Kay and Papa, so we took a walk down to see their new house and check out their awesome view of the lake.

This is the front door of their house.

The next day we headed down to Florida.  We stopped in Jacksonville for the weekend at Madgie and Patch's house, where we were having a big family reunion to celebrate Grandma's 100th birthday!  Uncle Chris and Aunt Ginny and Brendan were there too, so the kids all went swimming in their pool.

Abbey, always being a little mother, was loving playing with Brendan and helping him swim around.
Then it was party time!  Madgie had balloons and great "100" decorations around the house.

The girls got ready in their party outfits.
Then it was party time!  My mom's two brothers, their children (my cousins) and their children all came and it was nice to see everyone again as it has really been a long time since we have seen any of my cousins or that side of the family.  Grandma loved the party and had fun seeing everyone together.  She is an amazing woman.  You would never guess that she is 100.  She plays bridge several times a week, e mails, and has a lot of friends that she has over for cocktails and goes to dinner with.  She has 3 children, 7 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.  This is Grandma blowing out her candle (note - there was a "100" candle, not 100 separate candles!).
Uncle Bob gave a very nice toast about what an exclusive group she has now joined by turning 100!
The kids all had so much fun playing together.  You have to love how kids meet and are best friends a few minutes later!  They really liked playing games together outside.  And Abbey was the oldest (besides Ben, but he wasn't really taking charge), so she had a blast directing all the kids and making sure everyone was having fun.  She really loves little kids (and being the big kid).

They really had a lot of fun playing games together.
And this is the whole family (minus one cousin whose flight got canceled and couldn't come).

The next morning we had a brunch at the house and the kids again had so much fun playing together.  Here is Jonas playing duck, duck, goose!
Abbey helping Brendan along.

We also got to spend some time with Nana.  It was so great seeing her too.  Matthew enjoyed being with Nana and Mimi again.
Then he went off to take a nap before I could snap a picture of everyone together.  But here are the other 3 kids with Nana.
Almost a family shot (minus Matthew) with Nana.
Chris, Ginny, Brendan and Nana
Nana and I
Before we knew it, the weekend was over and Grandma was headed back to her place.  I actually felt like I didn't get to spend much time with her and was sad about it, but I know she had a lot of people to see at the party and a lot of relatives that she hadn't seen in quite a long time.  I was able to snap a few pictures of her with the kids before she left though.
Unfortunately Matthew was asleep.  I am super disappointed I didn't get any pictures of him with Mimi.  But this one turned out cute with the other kids and Mimi.
Grandma and I.  It was a great party and fun to see everyone.  It all went way too quickly and it seemed like all of a sudden I was saying goodbye!  I wish we had more time to be together that weekend, but we will see you again soon!  We love you Grandma and Happy Birthday!!
The kids did a little bit more swimming that afternoon.

And some relaxing around the house resting up from the busy weekend and in anticipation of the busy days ahead.

The next morning we were up early heading down to Disney!!

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Other Winter Happenings

Winter in Illinois means staying inside and trying to find some fun. Ben found a way one day by bringing out his box of old train stuff. He figured Matthew was ready to play with it.
Although Matthew enjoyed watching the trains and picking up the pieces, I think Ben was the one who really had fun with this.  He started to get frustrated when Matthew would pick up the trains off the track when he was trying to make them go around!  After a while, we packed the trains back up and will wait until Matthew is a bit older to bring them out again.  But all the kids had fun playing with the trains that they hadn't seen in quite a while!
Ben had the Cub Scout pinewood derby.  He is a huge fan of the Philadelphia Eagles (not clear on the real reason for that) so he decorated his car to reflect that.  No real wins this year, but he had fun making the car anyway!
When did this girl get so big?
Back in November when we went to Jubilation, we bid on a bowling afternoon with Juliette's teacher and two of her friends.  They had so much fun - Juliette really loves her teacher!
Just some cute shots of Matthew and his siblings have fun at home.

We also went to the All Scout Mass where Ben earned his Parvuli Dei Award that he had been working towards!
And this little guy has become quite fond of balls!  He will move across the room to grab one.  His favorite thing is to throw a ball to someone and have it roll it back to him.  

Just a cute shot of Juliette and the craft she made at school - it's The Lorax!
And then we came upon St. Patrick's Day and we found that Matthew's awesome hat from Aunt Theresa from last year still fit him!!  He was adorable!

And before we knew it, we found ourselves getting ready for our big spring break trip!  I took the girls to get their first mani/pedi's and they loved it.  I have been telling Abbey for a while now that if she stopped biting her nails and grew them out that I would take her to get a manicure.  Well, that was apparently good motivation because she did awesome and her nails looked great.  Juliette always has long nails.  They both really enjoyed it and I had a lot of fun taking them too.

Now on to Spring Break!!!