The next stop on our tour was Michigan, where we met up with the extended family (even from as far away as New Zealand!). This was our first year staying at cabins on Lake Michigan and I think we all loved it! It was wonderful to see everyone and spend time hiking, eating, playing games and opening gifts together. Lots of fun memories were made, as usual.
My Dad took some lovely family portraits:
Hiking the sand dunes by Lake Michigan:
General Michigan merriment:
Photo cred for all of the nicest shots goes to my Dad, as usual. =)
The boys and I spent a couple days in Wisconsin before heading to the next destination of Michigan for the extended family gathering. We enjoyed lots of time with family – baking, building block creations, teaching drawing lessons, building creations out of wood, bird-watching, reading books, playing piano…and probably plenty of other things that we didn’t capture in pictures. =)
Also, Micah really enjoyed feeding Salina her bottle and did so at most opportunities. They have a special connection. After we left, Jennie told me that Salina was looking at her book with family pictures in it and she saw Micah’s picture and kissed it!
Among the very top of our highlights was meeting Eddie for the first time!
These are pictures/stories – unrelated to Micah’s birthday, Advent or Christmas – that happened in December.
A few more pics I snapped from the cousin sleepover at our house:
Playing Micah’s new game:
Drum and piano lessons are still well-loved by the boys. Ethan had a piano recital at a retirement community and he did a great job playing Carol of the Bells, Angels We Have Heard on High and Deck the Halls (I think!).
We really enjoyed celebrating Micah’s 7th birthday. He is probably the most generous (and the most stubborn) kid I’ve ever known. But because of his generosity, he’s pretty fun to spoil! He was ecstatic to get to go out for dinner at The Melting Pot – something we did a couple nights before his actual birthday because of scheduling.
This was the final picture of our 6 year old!
We had cousin Matthew over for his actual birthday, which also happened to be a school day. We opened presents throughout the day and had waffles for dinner. He also invited a couple friends (all brothers) over to play at the park during the afternoon. He wanted purple decorations (for royalty) and seven 7s around the house.
He had the joy of spreading his birthday cheer a little longer, too, with gifts and cards coming in after his special day. He LOVED it!
He was spoiled by and oh-so-grateful to SO many of you. Thanks for loving on this little spitfire of a guy. He prays very specifically (especially for people who are sad, mad or homeless) and has an uncanny read on others’ emotions. He’s going to be a great leader someday and he is certainly not going to be following the crowd since he’s not a people-pleaser. 😉 We love him something fierce and are eager to see how the Lord uses him in his life.
Before I post about specific events like Micah’s 7th birthday, how we celebrated Advent and our Christmas travels, I wanted to try to wrap up some pictures from around town at the end of November and beginning of December. My apologies if these pictures have already been posted.
We enjoyed a field trip with a bunch of kiddos from our CC group to see “Drums of the World” at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. It was lots of fun!
The boys and I sold Jennie’s products at our church’s Global Bazaar – something we’ve been doing with (and without) Jennie since before Micah was born. We sure enjoy helping her in this way!
Other happenings included Micah getting a bloody nose during the night and wanting to take a picture of how fierce he looked with blood on his face…
We’ve continued to trade date nights with Ashley and Zach. So here are a few pictures from various times we watched Caleb, including the night I got to have a little sleep over at his house. =)
Great Granny A suffered a stroke the week of Thanksgiving and has been in our prayers. We were able to talk to her on Skype on Thanksgiving day – technology is such a gift! We are feeling thankful that she is alive and healing!
Thanksgiving Day was my Grandpa’s birthday. I appreciated getting pictures of him enjoying his special day with the family in Michigan:
The following day our newest member of the family was born in Wisconsin: Edwin (Eddie) Richard! He’s darling and I can hardly wait to meet him. It was really fun to get to see pictures from everyone meeting him for the first time – so I thought I’d share some of my favorite shots!
That sweet little girl making everyone laugh finally needs a proper intro on the site, too. That’s our niece, Salina Jean, and she is just a bundle of joy! Thought I’d post my three current favs of her and also a few pictures from when we met her back at 6 weeks old now that I can show off that darling face!
Micah is anxious to hold his baby cousin, Eddie, at Christmas and the newest baby boy, Joshua (Ashley’s due on Christmas day!), when he comes, too! He recently told me that our house is too boring and we either need a pet or a baby. *insert big eye smiley face here *
Side note: this may be one of my all-time favorite pictures:
It reminded me of these pictures from Florida back in 2012 when Ethan was about 2.5 years old.
Grandpa Russ drove out to spend Thanksgiving with us again this year. We love this tradition and enjoy having him with us so much. The boys especially enjoy spending time outside with him, looking at and sorting through coins, and eating ice cream! We went out for breakfast at the Original Pancake House one of the mornings he was here, too! Here are some pictures from our time with him around our house:
Before he even arrived, we started our lists of things we for which we give thanks. Micah’s first item was drum lessons. Ethan’s was piano lessons. They also did an acrostic and came up with another nice list. Ethan worked on his first and then Micah joined in later…and when Micah got to “G” he shouted GOD! Next thing I see, Ethan’s crossing off whatever he had written in the “G” and wrote God, too. Ha! Very cute to see him copying his younger brother for once. =)
We spent Thanksgiving day at Ashley and Zach’s place. It was fun to spend the day all together. We split the food up between the two of us and had a pretty fantastic feast, although some were heard “grumbling” about having ham instead of turkey this year. Lots of sibling banter ensued. The boys helped me with various parts of our half of the meal: cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole and green bean casseroles.
That evening, E and I went for a walk around the park in the dark. We got to talk to my Grandpa for his birthday and I snapped a few pictures of the lights. I’ve been walking with this guy to see Christmas lights since he was 6 months old. =)
They came over to our place on Saturday for lasagna and more time together. Our boys put on a very silly play for everyone. It was lots of fun being together again before Grandpa Russ headed home the following morning.
Thanks for coming out, Grandpa Russ! We sure loved having you!