Friday, August 31, 2012

Curtain Call.

 I've been wanting to make curtains for Eliana's room for awhile now. We had a lovely makeshift "curtain" of different blankets hanging down.

a) It looked tacky.

b) It didn't even block all the light.

c) We couldn't let light in because it was a pain to put up/take down the blankets.

Enough reasons for curtains, I say!! So a lovely friend of mine gifted me with a giftcard to one of my very favorite stores in the whole world (Howdy, JoAnn's!) for my bday and I've been saving it. I finally used it to buy material and a quilt magazine.

I've been working on the curtains since yesterday and finally finished this afternoon.

Tada! I used an old dark blue sheet as the liner for the curtains to really help block light. It works beautifully!! The tabs at the top each have buttons, alternating light purple/dark purple and the middle fabric has some pink in it, too. Eliana and I like pink and purple:)

Now it's dark......

Now it's light!! I am ridiculously excited to be able to open the curtains in the morning and fill her room with light. I've never been able to decorate a nursery and have been stuck with plain old white walls these last umpteen years but now she has a little personal touch to her room!

It's the little things in life:)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Crew.

Eliana is really becoming my little buddy these days:) She has adjusted to the quiet mornings without her brothers and soaks up her time with me, playing or "helping."
She could NOT get enough of Daddy when he was home yesterday. She wanted to be in his arms every chance she could get! That didn't make it easy for him to get work done.

It doesn't help that he's a regular old softie where she is concerned;)

One of her favorite things to do this week is to walk around and around the house with either the one of the boy's lunchboxes or her own and the Hot Wheels suitcase (carries cars.) It's so cute! She says, "Bye! Goin'!"

She looked so stinkin' cute with her hair up and her orange on yesterday:) We could possibly be biased. Maybe. She's been counting a lot "Two, Fwee!" and trying to say so many words that sometimes I don't quite catch what she's saying. Some of her words sounds so similar and throw in the "W's" for "R's" and it's pretty hard sometimes! She is growing up so fast...

I got these containers for the boys' lunches yesterday and I just love them! A friend got them and told me about them. They are from Old Navy and just perfect for little portions! They fit nicely into the boys' lunchboxes. Yesterday Samuel said, "Whyyyyy do we have to have vegetables every day?"

"Because I want you to be healthy and vegetables are good for you!" The end! Of course, they didn't complain when I put spinach in their eggs yesterday morning or in their soup last night. So much progress in the last couple of years. Green isn't so bad after all!

Zakkai did a watercolor painting of our family at school today. I asked him why there were only 4 of us and who was missing. He started to say that Daddy was missing and then changed his mind mid-sentence and said in typical imaginative Zakkai-fashion, "No, Eliana is missing. She knocked an icecicle over, ran out of the picture, jumped into your tummy and then came back out and was a baby!"

Maybe he will write children's books someday.....After he gets home from his garbage man/engineer/train conductor/tree cutter/chef/pilot/astronaut job:)

Samuel is really struggling to get back into homework mode. I try to give him some time after school to run around with some friends before we head home for homework but it is such a struggle to get him to SIT DOWN and just get it over with! I know he'll get into the routine, just like he did last year. I guess it's hard after 3 months of freedom:)

I said, "Samuel, how do you feel about homework?" Ha!

While Samuel was finishing his homework prison sentence, Zakkai and Eliana were busy helping me wipe off the cabinets and dishwasher. Zakkai started it and Eliana quickly followed suit, wanting to be just like her beloved "Bwudder!" They make me smile;)

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pancakes and Packs of Boys.

Peace and Quiet. It restores my soul. And my sanity.

Eliana and I are adjusting to the long, quiet mornings around here. She only asks for her "brudders" 60 times now and at least isn't in tears over it anymore! She and I get a lot of cleaning/organizing done and some coloring, too, since that is her very favorite activity at the moment:)

Today I sat down about an hour before I had to leave to pick up the boys and felt the strong pull of sleep sucking me down. Would you believe my eyes closed 10 minutes before I had to leave?! And I didn't wake up until my phone rang. I jerked awake, glanced at the clock (Twice) and ran up the stairs 2 at a time to snatch Eliana out of bed and rushed out the door. I half walked/half ran to school and we made it with a couple minutes to spare. Whew!

I think I need to take up running though. Those 4 1/2 blocks were brutal. Things jiggle that shouldn't. My lungs were heaving and gasping for air and as I was running (okay, jogging) I was wondering why everything seemed to be going in slow motion when I was running (or jogging) so fast? Strange...

We need to work on a different afternoon routine around here. What we've started just isn't working! We don't have much time after school to unload bookbags, etc, check folders, do homework, have outside play time, eat dinner and go to bed. Unfortunately, I am not like the other neighborhood moms in that, I do not let my kids stay up til 9 or 10pm! I am a firm believer in early bedtimes and good rest for these very long school days!

And I now forgive my mom for all of those nights I stood with my nose plastered to my bedroom window, watching the neighborhood children play while it was still light out. I totally understand, Mom. Totally.

I finally cut the boys some slack and shooed them outside. It was out of total desperation because things were not going well. Our play rug was outside drying from our basement rain issues and the kids spotted it and next thing I knew, other kids brought out their play rugs, cars, ramps and whatnot and soon 3 kids became 4 and then 6 and then 7!

It was fun to look out back and see a big pack of boys playing with their hot wheels;) And it helped me do a little de-stressing. And then we had delicious apple-zucchini pancakes for dinner and I de-stressed a little more.

I'm easy to please, apparently! I highly recommend these pancakes, by the way. Highly. Check out my pancake recipe under the "recipe" category at the top of the page (Good Old Fashioned Pancakes). I tripled the recipe, ( so I could freeze some and we could have leftovers for breakfast) did a little white/whole wheat flour mix, added some diced apples, shredded zucchini, cinnamon and a splash of vanilla and they were GOOD!!

The funny thing? I guess we don't make pancakes for breakfast very often because when I told Zakkai he could save his last pancake for breakfast, he said, "For breakfast?! You don't eat pancakes for breakfast!"

Who knew?

Monday, August 27, 2012

School Days.

 Boy, life gets so busy once school begins! I'm sure it will seem like more of a routine after this week. So far, so good, though. The boys both seem to be enjoying school. When we walk home every afternoon, I have them each tell me 2 things about their day. They are more talkative on the way home when they can't go anywhere rather than at home when friends come a'knockin' at the door and their attention is diverted.

Today I learned that Zakkai had 2 recesses and that he learned 3 new friend's names. All of them were girls:) From Samuel I learned that a girl from his class shared a cookie with him at lunch and that he waited to eat it until he got home so he could ask permission (high-five, boy!) and that he had music today, which he doesn't love as much as art;)

Eliana and I pass the mornings playing, cleaning/organizing or running errands and then I relax while she naps!

Eliana has a 2nd spare pair of glasses that she usually doesn't like but once Samuel showed her his new glasses, she decided to try on hers. She likes to wear them when she first wakes up and then we switch to her other pair (which I like a whole lot better!)

Eliana is just amazing us with how much she is growing and changing each day. She is talking SO much! Her new favorite thing is to say "Mommy (Or Daddy or Brudders), watch!" and then she'll do some silly face or silly thing with her body. Can you tell she gets much attention?? She calls me "Mama", "Mommy," or "Mom," which drives me crazy! How can a not even 2 year old call me "mom?!" I don't even know where she heard it. What a goof.

She is really trying to put short sentences together like, "Mama, help" or "Take it" or "Have it" or "Shoe on" or something like, "Kai, see dat? Doddie (Doggie)!" She adores pointing out airplanes, dogs, squirrels, birds, trains and having us all look:) She also talks a lot about family that we have seen recently like, "Gugga" (Mugga) "Papa" "Gwamma" (Grandma) "Gweat" (Gma and Gpa Great), "K" (Auntie K) and even "Evyn" (Evelyn) for her new baby cousin. So fun to watch her start to remember people and communicate so well with us! She definitely knows how to get across what she wants/does not want.

Her bossy side is definitely coming through but she's still melting our hearts giving kisses, asking for hugs and just being her sweet self!

 Here is Zakkai doing his first ever Kindergarten homework! He will definitely not be as easy as Samuel in homework compliance. It took at least 10 minutes to get him cooperate and come to the table and we had to have a meltdown in the middle (over something completely ridiculous!). It's not like it was hard homework either; just a sheet "All About Me" where he gets to draw some pics of his family and name his favorite things. Silly boy.

The blue towel in the picture is one of the towels used to soak up water from our partially flooded basement. Yuck. It poured rain yesterday for a long, long time and I didn't even think to check the basement because we haven't had flooding issues for awhile but Ben briefly told me that it was the worst we've had yet before he darted off to catch the train this morning.

The water came clear under our basement stairs and got some pictures that Ben had stored under there, soak the boys' play rug and some toys. I bleached the floor but didn't have time to go through the stuff under the stairs.

Okay, actually I forgot. Guess that's on my list for tomorrow!

I just got back from Samuel's 2nd grade open house and just love his teacher. She's very, very nice and talkative and really seems to enjoy feedback and communication with the parents. I think he'll have a good year;)

Good night!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

My Buddha Buddy.

When people who haven't seen us in awhile comment on our kiddos, they don't usually say too much about how much older Samuel looks or how big Eliana is getting; the first thing a lot of people notice is how much Zakkai grew up.

Zakkai was our sweet, chubby, buddha-bellied little buddy and suddenly his legs grew longer, his buddha shrunk, he grew a neck and he started looking like a boy.

Case in point:

                                                         (August 2011)

I came across this picture when I was looking for something the other day and I about cried! Yes, emotional me again:) (But just look at those short little legs and that sweet little grin!!)

But you see, I was already emotional. The fact that Zakkai is a kindergartner hit me hard on Friday. It's been building all week within me. Ben was able to walk to school with us in the morning and the whole way back, the emotions hit me like a brick in the stomach.

When you're child enters school full-time, you say good-bye to a lot of things about their childhood and suddenly they're not fully "yours" anymore. You have to share them with a teacher and the world. You suddenly don't have full control of what they are hearing or learning.

It hit me hard everyday last week that Zakkai wasn't walking alongside me after dropping Samuel off, chattering a mile a minute about things that he saw or what his house will look like when he grows up or the jobs he will have.

I miss my buddy. I feel a lot of guilt over the mornings I had with him that I didn't want to get down and drive cars or do puzzles. The mornings that I brushed him off or was short with him when he asked to do something. It's really hard to let that go and not beat up on yourself. I have never claimed to be perfect and if you know me, then you know it's true! But why, oh why, didn't I take more advantage of the time that I had?!! I knew it was growing short. I knew our precious time before school starting was coming to a close. I knew.

I love my little boy so much and I feel like I'm fighting a battle within myself. One half grieving the loss of the first precious years of childhood and one half celebrating the excitement of what he is about to learn and become.

So please excuse me if I tear up when I tell you my little boy is in kindergarten. I'm not crazy. (Not too much, anyways). I just need a little time to come to terms with the fact that he's growing up.

I'm sure I'll be over it by the time he's 25 or so....

Saturday, August 25, 2012

More Glasses!

This morning we went to pick up Samuel's new reading glasses, which he has anxiously been waiting for. We think he looks so cute in them, although apparently the days of "cute" are over and he would much rather be called handsome.

He, on the other hand, does not think he looks nice. He thinks he looks silly:( He is very worried about being made fun of in school. We have reminded him of all the people we know who have glasses (hello! Mommy, Daddy, Eliana....), including a girl in his class but he was in tears tonight;(

Any suggestions to make this easier would be welcome!!

Our budding scholar:) We think he looks so much like Ben in his glasses!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I have purposely been ignoring the weather, choosing to remain in air-conditioning-free bliss. Windows open, fresh air. Love it!

But I did notice today that it was getting warmer and warmer and finally when I was convinced I was having menopausal hot flashes at dinnertime, I checked and looks like we're creeping our way up the 90s ladder towards 100 again.

YUCK and double yuck.

So back to air-conditioning we go. Sigh. Just when I was starting to dream of fall again.

Little Miss and I got to spend a whole day together today! She's been out of sorts the past couple of mornings and I totally think she is in the adjustment period, too. Her beloved brothers have disappeared to that mystery place called school.

She loved posing for me today, saying "Chee!" everytime I pulled out the camera:) We read books together this morning and she "helped" me do some cleaning/organizing upstairs.

Which really means, finding new treasures and scattering them everywhere and pulling out what I just put away:)

The boys continue to be tired, as I knew they would be. Samuel gets a bit of a 'tude when he is tired from school which I try to nip in the bud very quickly. His biggest complaint of the day? That he wasted one of his recesses standing in line at the tire swing and only got to swing for maybe "40 seconds."

He got his first page of homework tonight but finished it pretty quickly so he could play outside. What a life!

Zakkai claims that he only gets "like 4 minutes" to eat lunch and therefore can't finish. I happen to know that he is a slow eater because he's very busy looking around him, soaking up every little detail. Guess smaller lunches is the way to go!

He jabbered the entire walk home about his day and most especially a very exciting event that happened. Apparently an old battery charger in their classroom started smoking and the teacher had to call the fire department and "2 ambliences, 2 fire trucks and 1 police car" showed up to take care of things. He's pretty sure they sprayed some water all over while the kids were waiting outside:)

Then he told me that his class did some "work" afterwards but he couldn't stop thinking about the fire trucks and the smoke.

He asked about 422 questions about smoke/fire alarms on the way home. The only thing that I could think was to say several times, "And you know that you're not allowed to touch the fire alarms, right?! They are only for the firemen to touch or a teacher in an emergency."

I do not want to get a call that my 5 year old called his own fire drill at school. Ha! Remember the "911 talk" we had last year and how you all were waiting for me to tell you that the police showed up at our door randomly one day?

I think he's going to love kindergarten:)

For now, we're allll adjusting. I barely made it through my post last night before I was nodding off. In bed and sound asleep by 9pm.

I'm old. However, I'd love a good repeat right about now.....


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tired boys!

We survived a very long day today! My heart has completely melted over all the stories of these sweet newly minted kindergartners falling asleep every which way this afternoon:)

Zakkai fell sound asleep on our way to pick up our farm produce this afternoon, less than 5 minutes after getting in the car. I know it's silly, but it made me a little teary to look back at him because it was such a big reminder of how little he still really is! He's only 5.

As I found out at Z's curriculum night tonight, one of his buddies fell asleep under a coffee table this afternoon:)

The boys seem really happy so far. Samuel is definitely more confident, as some of you have pointed out. He gained so much confidence last year and is handling the transition really well so far! Aside from some extra emotions today that come with the adjustment time period. He says he really likes his teacher and I introduced myself to her today and she was very nice. We'll get to meet her and see his classroom on Monday night.

Tonight was Z's classroom night. I helped Ben tuck our exhausted children (who claimed they weren't very tired) into bed and skipped off to meet his teacher and see his room! His teacher is a very, very sweet lady (kind of weird to call a person your age a lady....what's the other option? Girl? Woman?) who seems to really love the children and will hopefully help them blossom.

Zakkai sits at a green table with 4 other friends and has a big classroom with lots of neat teaching tools, toys and learning "stuff." I think it'll be a good year for him!


We got our farm produce today, as I mentioned and we are just loving it so much! We got tons and tons of tomatoes, which Ben described as some of the best he's ever eaten:), basil, kale, some other green leafy stuff, garlic, bell peppers, hot peppers, a small watermelon, yellow squash and a very, very odd looking squash. I'm so glad we did this!

Now, I have to go join my exhausted children in slumber because I, too, feel like I could fall asleep under the coffee table;)

If I had one....

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

School Days.

 I still can't quite believe that school days are back already. At the beginning of the summer, if felt like we had endless days of relaxation ahead of us. And then I blinked. And school started again.

I am mixed in my emotions. On one hand, I am excited about getting back into routine and structure again. It's always refreshing to have a break from it in the summer time, which in turn, makes it nice again in the fall:) Good cycle.

And my other emotion, of course, is the lump-in-my-throat feeling I get when I realize yet again how big my boys are getting. I teased Samuel that he wasn't a 2nd grader until today because he was ready months ago! We were walking to school this morning and he said, "I bet you're sad today because you don't want us to get older."

But the thing is, I do want them to get older. I do want to watch them grow and learn new things and be amazed at the people they are becoming. I want to see what they will do with their lives! It's just hard to watch it go by so quickly.

Samuel has been nervous for a few days now but I reminded him what a great year he had last year and he didn't know anybody and was in a brand-new school. And this year, he already has a few friends in his class and knows the school. He's also right next door to Mrs S, his teacher from last year;)

I still can't get over this.....

The boys' schools are right next door to each other. Zakkai's is an entire school for kindergarten and Samuel's is 1st-6th grade. Their days will start within 15 minutes of each other but they let siblings of S's school be dropped off a few minutes early at the kindergarten school. The Forest Road kids (as they call the siblings:) get dropped off at the back door by the playground. We had to rush over their after watching Samuel's class go inside and drop Zakkai off. All the kindergartners had nametags pinned to their backpacks stating their name, their teacher's name and which door they are entering.

There were teachers waiting at the doors and we just had to wait in line and then hand over our kids to the teachers, who walked them to their classrooms a few at a time.

I kissed Zakkai and hugged him and handed him over to a teacher. He kept looking back at me and just looked really lost. I kept my emotions together really well but I could feel tears just begging to be released and a lump taking up residence in my throat.

How is my sweet little baby 5 years old and ready for kindergarten??? It just seems so unbelievable to me. He was the baby of the family for 3 1/2 years and now he's becoming his own person, not just a little tag-along brother who's waiting his turn. He's the big kid now. He's the one who's about to learn to read and write and become more independent.

Okay, the lump is growing.

We were really thankful to discover that one of our good buddies (in the pics above) has the same teacher as Zakkai. Her big brother was in Samuel's class last year (unfortunately, not this year) and we hung out a lot this summer. I'm so glad Z knows one person in his class!

They all posed for pics patiently and then wanted to do a silly one. Eliana got in on the silly faces, too, which cracked all of the big kids up:) She's a goofy one!

Tomorrow I send my boys off for a long day of school. The district starts them out slowly. They skip Monday, the first day is 1-1 1/2 hours, the second day falls on Wed which is a shortened day (by 45 min) every single week (teacher meetings or something) and then 2 full days.

I think Zakkai is a little nervous about the thought of being separated from me for a whole day. We are preparing ourselves for the inevitable weeks of adjustment with exhaustion, extra emotions and the need for more reassurance. It's tough being a 5 year old and suddenly going to school for 6 1/2 hours! I pray he adjusts well and makes new friends and just grows in confidence this year.

Both boys are going to school with small laminated wallets of our newest family picture, each inscribed with a bible verse and a little message telling them how much we love them on the back. I started this with Samuel when he entered kindergarten and it's become a tradition. Something special for him to look at and be reminded that he isn't alone and that we are praying for him and love him so much. And now Zakkai gets his very own, too:)

Now we'll see how Eliana does without her "Brudders" all day....

Monday, August 20, 2012


 Gotta hurry up and finish my CO post since life is about to get really busy and there's something big and fun to post about tomorrow....the first day of school! Still can't get over my Z becoming a kindergartner and Samuel a 2nd grader. Wow. More on that tomorrow!

Everyone was very busy Saturday night running around collecting strewn items, packing, doing loads of laundry or in my adorable, precocious nephew's case....dancing. I wish I could describe it but you really had to be there. Just picture a 2 year old boogying down, break dancing and well, dancing better than most adults!!

A few of my favorite mountain shots. A camera never truly captures what you see with your own eye. It's truly incredible and awe inspiring to see the mountains.

Especially if you're from the Midwest:)

Sunday morning we got everyone packed up, cleaned up and loaded up by 9am! Then most of us followed each other down the mountain and back towards Denver to go to my sister and her husband's church.

Eliana was being a total ham before she crashed and took a nap on the way:)

After church, some more family took off for their homes (sniff!) and some of us went to eat lunch and then we made our way back to my sister's house, where we were spending the night. The boys discovered their love for the trampoline in about 2.4 seconds and literally stayed on it for hours the next 2 days!

I couldn't get any non-blurry shots because they were so busy jumping..


And falling over:)

My adorable niece, Sofia.

Mr. Personality himself:)

My mom finally got to feeling much better from her virus and even got in on the jumping on Monday:)

I'm sure she'll thank me for this picture later.....hahaha!

Eliana discovered that trampolining was super fun, too! She threw a major tantrum when I tried to get her off. I know, hard to believe she could throw a tantrum, right?


Later on Monday around dinnertime, we headed over to see some dear, wonderful long-lost Chicago friends! We lived one floor apart back in Hyde Park and kept each other sane during the long, lonely winter months while our husbands were working hard at school.

I thought for sure our kids would need a little time to get to know each other again since it's been TWO years since we've seen each other but I was amazed to watch them act like they hadn't even spent a day apart! It was awesome.

Plus they got to have a big slumber party and stayed awake giggling til 10:30pm. Double awesome:)

Tuesday was a beautiful sunny day, which is apparently normal for Colorado. Imagine sun!! We went to a park to get some of the kid's energy out. Samuel was a bit grumpy that day due to lack of sleep:)

My lovely friend, Ms J, and her youngest, 2 year old twins. They were so gracious to host us for 2 days and have 7 kids, 7 and under running underfoot!!

My friend is extremely creative and great at finding ideas to occupy children. She pulled out some water beads in the afternoon and all the kids gravitated towards them like bees to honey. She may never get them out of her grass but it was worth it, I'm pretty sure:)

So busy!

We were really sad to say goodbye to our family, our friends and our vacation but we knew we had to get back and resettled before school and work began again. We loaded ourselves into our van and left just after 5am on Wednesday. As you can see from the picture above, we were exhausted!!!

The boys alternated listening to books on tape and sleeping the whole way home. Eliana took at least 2 naps and I did, too! All the kiddos were konked out about an hour from home. Eliana and Zakkai were carried right up to bed and we didn't hear a peep from them til late the next morning. Samuel was really hungry so he got a little snack and then went to bed.

He was probably hungry because Ben was (in my brother in law's words) a "Road Warrior" on Wednesday and every time we stopped he was like, "Hurry! Quickly! Gotta get back on the road!" We didn't drink much or eat much, just wanted to sleep in our own beds:)

Other than needing a few days to adjust and feel good, we had a really good vacation. We loved spending time with our loved ones, seeing new places and having fun. As all vacations go, it went too fast but we will treasure the memories always!

Now....back to reality:)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Days 2 and 3!

 Sorry these vacation posts are taking so long! It would be WAY too long of a post if I did it all in one. And I'm trying to write down the details for my own memories:) So you have to put up with me for a couple more days:) And trust me, it's much more exciting than me telling you about how exhausted we've been since we got back. We are just starting to feel ourselves again.

So last Thursday after we got to the house, I had a headache and thought I was guzzling a lot of water (an absolute must in the mountains!) but I think the combination of traveling for 2 days and loss of sleep plus going straight up into the mountains after arriving in Denver was just too much for my body. And we really weren't "taking it easy" that first afternoon/night.

Everyone was rushing around hugging, talking, settling in, checking out the ginormous house, etc. Fast forward to the night where our dear little Eliana slept like a newborn and was up AT LEAST 7 times.....My head was starting to hurt so bad and I felt worse everytime I jumped up to quiet her, hoping to minimize her disturbing everyone else.

Our family was sleeping in a bunk room~twin bunks for the boys, a full/twin bunk for B and I and the pack n' play for E. My headache probably didn't get helped by the fact that I whacked it FOUR times on the top bunk as I leapt out to quiet Missy:)

Anyways, I started getting so sick by morning that I was throwing up, etc and sleeping on the floor so I could rush to the bathroom. My sis, being the wonderful sister she is, went to find my mom, who came to our room to find me laying on the bathroom floor looking like death. (My sister and her hub and baby had the bunk room on the other side of a joint bathroom.)

She helped get all the kiddos out and upstairs to be dressed/fed and brought me some stuff to drink and some medicine for my head. Under the threat of going for an I.V., I forced myself to drink every few minutes in between dozing. The worst part was that there isn't enough oxygen up there (we were just over 9,000ft up) and so I would wake up after short naps, gasping for air. Terrible feeling!

Ben felt pretty cruddy and not himself, too, through the day so my sisters were nice enough to take our boys out and about to have fun. They were having a total blast! It was a really stinky day for B and I and we were SO disappointed to have a whole day wasted where we couldn't do anything:(

I improved slowly throughout the day and pulled myself together enough to join the big Anniversary Dinner at a local restaurant. I would've crawled there for my Gma and Gpa!

We got a whole upstairs section of the restaurant to ourselves!

We sat at tables, booths, on barstools, anywhere:) Just catching up and having a good time!

B and I sat with my sis and her hubby. I really wish I would've felt better and could've enjoyed it more. I nibbled on some mashed potatoes while everyone dined on all sorts of good stuff.

My sweet niece conked out shortly after and slept most of the time! She's such a doll baby:)

All of the older cousins got to sit allllll by themselves:) They were seriously stuck to each other like glue the whole trip. They called themselves "The Club" and ran around playing with these walkie talkies the house provided, going on outings to lakes and fishing, playing wii, and so much more. It was SO much fun to see them soak up their time together. Samuel keeps saying he wishes we were still there....

Some mountain views on our way back to the house for a special evening...

We tucked little ones into bed and had a big celebration. We all wore our pins throughout the weekend with my grandparent's wedding pic on them and my mom and aunt put together a really special sideshow of pictures with their favorite music on it.

Afterwards, we spent time laughing and crying while sharing special memories and thanks to the wonderful, amazing people who started our family and have set an example of love for 60 years! (66 if you count the 6 years they "went together" in high school:)

So many people, so many tears, SO much laughter and love! I hope the reunion was everything my grandparents hoped it would be.

The next day I forgot my camera (dang it) but B and I were on breakfast duty with my Aunt J and Uncle G and we wowed our family with homemade Cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs, bacon and cantelope. Oh, and coffee. There are many coffee drinkers in the family apparently:)

Almost makes me wish I liked the stuff. Almost.

Then a big group took off for fishing! Ben went with one group and two of my bro-in-laws took all 6 of the older cousins on their own fishing expedition. Unfortunately, the fish were not biting for either group that day but I think they all had fun!

Meanwhile, another big group of us (excepting my poor mom, who got sick with a nasty virus) went to Breckinridge, a nearby town to sightsee. We walked around and got to take a gondola ride up the mountain! Eliana just sat in my lap and looked around. It was so pretty (and a little scary.) I'll have to bum some pics off of someone!

We ate a little lunch at a pizza place and then headed back for naps. The 2 little ones (Eliana and her cuz Evelyn) fell asleep on the way back. We ended up back at the house at the same time as the adult fishing crew and almost immediately headed back out again for some outlet shopping!

Gotta pack in as much as you can:) It was, overall, a much, much better day than Friday and it felt good to be out doing things. We had tacos for dinner and there was lots of game playing and Olympic watching going on.

I wish I could be back there now.......:) More tomorrow!