The Great Midwestern Tour: Pt 2 Wisconsin (the first time)

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!

Next up: Michigan!

Celebrating with Cass and Adam

Every year we go back to Wisconsin for Christmas we make sure to find time to spend with Cass and Adam and their family.  We usually do something with the whole family during the day and then we go on a double date that evening.  This year, the only shift in that plan was that Mike ended up being swamped with work and needed to opt out of the day date.  So, I took the boys to their home and we enjoyed a few hours of playing and eating dinner together.

The kids have a lovely friendship.  They played and played as if this was something they do all the time.  There was very little hesitancy this time around and it was such a treat for us to see their home and to play with their toys.

Later that evening, Mike joined us (after we got the kiddos in bed) and we enjoyed our annual double date.  This was our third year in a row going to the same restaurant/bar – why mess with something so fun??  We SO enjoy their company!


Thanks for maintaining such a great friendship over the years, guys!  We are blessed by your friendship and look forward to many more years of meeting up for dinner and late-night laughing!

Fifth Stop: Wisconsin

After Michigan and our brief stop in Illinois, we settled down in Wisconsin again.  Here we celebrated Christmas with opening presents, ate lots of good food, played games and read books and rung in the New Year.  (We also spent time with Cass and Adam and their family, but I’ll do a separate post on that!)

Opening presents:

Working on Grandpa’s new shirt:

Playing games, putting together presents, reading books, etc:


Lunch at Gerrit and Lauren’s home:

Christmas, 2017

New Year’s Eve (the boys made it until 11 and then fell asleep watching home videos):

Obviously, we had a fantastic time in Wisconsin with our family!  Thanks for hosting, Mom and Dad, even without a working kitchen!  =)

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 Wisconsin

My parents recently moved to Racine, so this was our first Christmas at their new home. We really enjoyed our time with the family. Pictures tell the story better than my words.

Playing games:

Making and eating delicious food:

Opening presents:

Ice skating (Micah especially loved it! This was his first time. Ethan had gone once before when he was about 4):

New Year’s Eve (boys didn’t whine a bit, so they stayed up until midnight! Milestone! Micah played with Aunt Jen almost the whole night and they even spent some time writing down hard questions to ask God when they get to heaven.)

Watching Star Wars, episode 6:

Random merriment:

Family is a blessing.  A sweet, sweet blessing.

Wisconsin: Grandpa’s Pics

And here are the pictures you’ve all been waiting for…the ones that really capture our time in Wisconsin so much better than anything we could do!

Time in Kenosha before heading to Green Lake:

Time at Green Lake:

Our family’s final time at the Kenosha house (my parents move to Racine next month):

Final group shots in front of the house, including one of the original crew that moved in back in 1992 (just before my 8th birthday).  And, just for fun, a pic of one of Mike’s first trips (possible the very first one…but I can’t quite figure it out) to Wisconsin in front of that house.

Wisconsin: our pics

Pictures tell the story of all of the fun we had far better than my words, so I’m going to let them speak for me.

Highlights from Kenosha (building boats, walking by the lake, biking with my Dad, lots of water play outside, watching Star Wars episode 5, and playing with blocks):

Other Kenosha highlights included spending time with Cassia.  We went to BWW and took pictures by jerseys from our old high schools. =D  Also, we took a picture of me in my old room – one last time before they move.

Highlights from Green Lake (tons of great food, loads of fun on a boat, fantasy football draft, kubb, golf, feeding ducks, wave runners and solo road trips as a couple while boys ride with other family members and have special treats!):

Obviously, it was an incredible trip. =) Even better pictures to follow sometime soon…