Third Stop: Michigan

In Michigan, we celebrated Christmas with our extended family from my Mom’s side.  This is a big, fun group of about 30 people and is such a special time for us!  We opened presents after a delicious feast at my aunt and uncle’s home.  Two big highlights for the boys: Ethan got a ukulele and Micah got a djembe!!  Thanks, Great Grandpa! =)  Other highlights included playing ping pong, going sledding, Ethan doing piano recitals and radio shows with cousin Matthew, our annual cousins movie night out at the theater (we saw the new Star Wars!), and lots of time to chat with family.

Grandkids and great-grandkids with Grandpa (aka Great Grandpa):



We had a lovely time in Michigan, as always!  Such a fun group of people to spend a few days with every Christmas!

Picture Cred mostly goes to my Dad again. Thanks for capturing the fun!

My Dad’s Pics from Christmas

Just wanted to do a small sampling of the pictures my Dad captured over our Christmas vacation.  These include pictures from Michigan, Chicago and Wisconsin.  Thanks, Pa, for always taking such nice pictures of the fun we had together!!


I absolutely love how nicely Ivan and Micah play together.  They genuinely enjoy being together and it’s super sweet to see.  The keyboard they are playing with is the same one I used to play on with my cousins growing up!


This is Jen and Jason’s place in Chicago.  We always stop there for dinner and dessert on our drive back from Michigan to Wisconsin.


We had such a great Christmas vacation!!  Thanks for the pics, Dad!

Christmas in Michigan 

The Fennema Christmas gathering is one of the highlights of my year every year.  Most of the relatives on my mom’s side get together to catch up, eat amazing food and open presents. (This year I think we were only missing my newly married cousin who lives in New Zealand. I guess we can give her a pass. ;))  All in all we usually spend a couple days together and it’s never enough time to catch up with the 30+ people that attend. It’s wonderful. 🙂

Here are some pictures of time with family in Michigan:

And here are the pictures my dad took of the whole crew and all of the cousins:


On Christmas Day, the Cleve Crew flew to Michigan.  We left very early that morning and had a layover in Baltimore.  The boys were fantastic on the flight, as usual, and even spent some of it sleeping!  Micah was still feeling pretty sick this day, so that’s why he looks so miserable.

We made it to Grand Rapids in time for Christmas “dinner” (lunch) and all of the celebrations thereafter.  In all we numbered over 30 people – all on my Mom’s side.  It was awesome!  We stayed at my Grandpa’s house until Monday morning, when we drove (in the snow!) back to Wisconsin.  These are pictures Mike and I took from the Michigan part of our trip:

Mikey and I went out for a quadruple??? date with some cousins, aunts and uncles, my bro and his wife to see the Star Wars movie.  That was lots of fun!  Thanks to Dad and Mom for hanging back with all three of the boys!!  Mike bought a massive container of popcorn to share with everyone and it made me laugh!


And these are the much better quality pics from my Dad from our time in Michigan:

We all LOVED our time in Michigan.  It’s always a very special time for us.  Having family that are all friends is a very sweet blessing.

Christmas Trip: Michigan (Pt 1)

On Christmas Day, we flew to Michigan, which is where the Fennema side of our family gets together each year to celebrate together.  We had a wonderful time – lots of laughter, lots of tasty food, lots of game-playing, and even a fun Christmas play.  It’s always fun to be with our family!

Brad and Ethan (1 of 1) cards (1 of 1)-2 cards (1 of 1)-3 Christmas meal (1 of 1)-2 Christmas meal (1 of 1) crayons (1 of 1)-2 Ethan and Jen (1 of 1)-3 Ethan, Ivan (1 of 1)-4 Ethan, Jason (1 of 1) explosion box (1 of 1)-4 explosion box (1 of 1)-5 flag book (1 of 1)-2 Gerrit and Ivan (1 of 1)  Micah's present (1 of 1) playing cards (1 of 1) IMG_1872 IMG_1877 playing chess (1 of 1) <– Milestone: E played his first game of chess!

playing chess (1 of 1)-2John and Deb (1 of 1)grandkids (1 of 1)-3   Fennema-Hengevelds (1 of 1) Fennema-Hengevelds (1 of 1)-3  <–haha! I love this purposefully corny picture =D

A note about our Christmas play: growing up, my cousins and I ALWAYS did a play for the adults.  I was usually the director and my cousins were the talent.  Ethan mentioned wanting to do a Christmas play with them, so I asked if they’d be interested.  OF COURSE they all jumped for the opportunity and absolutely made Ethan’s day.  He was SO proud of the play and all the cousins’ excitement to do it.  It was such a sweet gesture on their part and was lots of fun.  Thanks, cousins!! =)

Christmas play (1 of 1)-3 Christmas play (1 of 1)-5 Christmas play (1 of 1)-7

Exciting milestone on Christmas Day: Ethan lost his first (of 3) tooth!

IMG_1870 Ethan (1 of 1) lost tooth (1 of 1)


Photo Credit: my Dad!  Thank you for always capturing our great memories so well. =)

A few more vacation pics

I wanted to post a few more vacation pics from our time in Wisconsin and Michigan now that I’ve seen my dad’s pictures.  He’s quite the photographer and always does such a great job capturing our time together.  So, here are some of his best pictures:

Ethan sledding-2 Jason, Ethan-2 sledding-5 sledding-6 Micah

My brother, Gerrit, won the fantasy football league.  Here’s how my brother-in-law awarded him the trophy this year:

Fantasy champMicah balloon flightEthan balloon fight 

This is at Jen and Jason’s condo in Chicago:

Jess and boysIvan and his auntsMike and boysGrandma, Jess, with boys

And here’s our Christmas celebration at my parents’ house:

family picturecousins-2Micah, MomMicah's jacketpuzzleGrandma, Ivan, Micah-2


See?  Such good quality pics!!  =D