Racine, WI

After our weekend in northwestern Wisconsin, Mike stayed there to work for the week and I drove the six-ish hours back to Racine to soak up some more time with the family. (On Friday, we drove to Omaha where we picked up Mike from the airport. The following day we drove home.) Our time in Racine was very laid back. Highlights at the house included building towers, playing the piano, Micah riding a motorcycle and the one-wheeler, dance parties galore, baking bread with Grandma, a tornado warning in the middle of the night, and playing ukulele and various games.

The boys did some birding with Grandpa – a very big highlight. We took a number of adventures to find frogs and crawfish with the cousins – so much fun – and enjoyed a night at the bike races with the whole crew.

Our time together was very sweet. Visiting Wisconsin and spending time with this crew is so very life-giving!

Red Cedar Lake, WI

Over the following weekend, we were invited to spend some time on Red Cedar Lake with friends from Mike’s job. We spent most of the time out on the boat enjoying the various water sport activities, but there was also reading, kayaking, badminton, bocce, s’mores, ukulele-playing, and off-roading in a golf-cart type vehicle. This lake was absolutely beautiful. Time here was a fun added bonus to our time in Wisconsin!

Elkhart Lake, WI

The following day I drove the remaining six or so hours to Elkhart Lodge where we met up with the rest of our family for five days of vacationing together. Our time was very sweet. Each family took an evening to prepare a meal for the rest of the crew, which was a fun way to enjoy meals together. Many of the days we also enjoyed time with my Aunt Sal and Uncle Brad – a big treat for all! The pictures, as usual, tell the story.

We spent much of the time at the house together. Our time inside this beautiful home included playing lots of games, having dance parties, reading books, making music (thanks, Ger and Jason!), etc.

Our time outside included looking for grasshoppers and toads, slip and slide, big beach balls, s’mores, bocce, one-wheeling, scootering, biking, etc. Ethan also enjoyed some outings to find birds with Grandpa (and then loved editing pictures together).

Photo credit for the following pictures belongs to Micah (except, obviously, the one I took of him taking pictures). He was trying to capture pictures of everyone at the house, but lost steam when he would have needed to go indoors to snag a few more. He got some pretty sweet ones.

We snapped some twinning pictures, as well. The one with the kids in their Christmas jammies is a Christmas tradition that we missed this year. Sadly, Salina already grew out of her matching pair so we had to settle for a boys only pic!

We also went on an outing to a farm museum type place. Very fun! It actually wasn’t even open the day we went, but they saw us in the parking lot trying to come up with our new plan and they let us in!

So many memories were made on this trip. It was SO good to be back together again. Such a gift to have so much quality time together.

Photo credit for most of these pictures belongs to my Dad. I snapped a few shots here and there, but the bulk of these pictures are his. Thanks, Dad!

Christmas in Wisconsin

The last bit of our trip was spent at my parents’ house with my siblings, their spouses, and their kiddos.  We had a great time!

Over those days and nights together, we cooked and ate a lot of yummy food, went out for dinner, and celebrated Lauren’s birthday with some cake:

Opened a few presents and played with legos:

Played a lot of games:

Read a lot of books:

Had general fun all together, including art projects, playing in the snow, learning about heaven with Grandma, watching the Packers game, playing piano, and taking little cat naps:

And, of course, took some group shots, including the annual picture of cousins.  This year they were all wearing shirts based on books.

It was wonderful. =D

 

 

Christmas Week in Wisconsin

After our long weekend in Michigan (Monday), we headed back to Wisconsin for a quieter week with my parents. (By Friday, the whole family spent the remainder of our time together – that will be in a separate post)

On Monday night, we all decorated cookies.

We celebrated Christmas Eve with another Shepherd’s Meal outside by the fire.

On Christmas morning, Ethan played the prelude at church with Grandma and then played the postlude solo.  Then we had a yummy lunch with Brad and Sal.  The Misner crew surprised us with an earlier arrival that day, so we were excited to spend the day with them, too!  We decorated even more cookies with Aunt Sal.  These ones were very tasty.  =)