Fourth of July Weekend

For the Fourth of July weekend we went out west to Kristen and Chad’s cabin.  Technically it was the 5th, but we were celebrating the Fourth, so that’s what I’m calling it!  The Scheuneman’s lake cabin is very fun, on lovely Lake Mary out near Winsted, MN.  It was a good day – warm enough to play on the beach or in the lake, but not so hot the grow- ups (who didn’t go in the water) were nice and comfortable.  We did get a spot of rain – but it was a two minute sprinkle that helped cool things off, and it was instantly sunny again.

I have to thank Kristen for these photos.  We didn’t bring our camera, but she had great one and took wonderful photos of everyone.  Especially Lily.  She’s a cutie:

Lily on the Fourth

Lily on the Fourth

Gabe mostly played on the beach making elaborate sand and water contraptions, Lily sat around looking adorable,  bonding with Maisy and Austen (those two couldn’t get enough of her), and getting cuddles from the grandparents.  We did get to take out the boat, and Gabe got to ride in the tube.  He loved it (as long as it didn’t go fast enough to get tossed out of the wake!).  It was a lovely way to cap of the Fourth weekend.

Fourth of July 2010

We celebrated the Fourth of July at Kristen and Chad's lake cabin this year.

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Indiana Trip (Part 2)

If you’re just joining us, go read Indiana Trip (Part 1) before you start in on this post.

After the super hot day at Holiday world, the weather turned a bit cooler, and we ended up with great weather the last couple of days.  It was cool enough we could finally hike the trails without soaking your clothing with sweat.  So Katie, Tom and I tackled the parks trail system – and we did them all!  Oh wait, *technically* we did not do ALL the trails – we did not do a quarter mile, paved, handicap trail that ran around a picnic shelter.  That trail aside – we hiked every trail (and a few offshoots) and it was lots of fun.

Hiking the trails at Harmonie State Park

Hiking at Harmonie State Park

The trails go through some very nice forest – made of a large variety of trees – beech, oak, maples, sweetgum, redbud, sassafras, walnut, and many more.  It feels very undisturbed and natural – vines, mature trees, ferns and smaller woodland plants, and vast gullies and ravines.  Even the trails themselves were in the process of being reclaimed by the forest – trees and limbs down across them, a bridge that had collapsed, and sign posts that leaned against trees instead of standing next to the path.  Some people may not have liked that, but I thought it added to the adventure.

Hiking the Trails

Hiking the Trails of Harmonie State Park

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The last nights we were all there we had a big cookout between Katie & Tom’s and Kelly & Shelby’s campsites.  We pulled all the picnic tables (and another site’s too) in a half circle, and then set out all the camp chairs for the other half, circling the camp fire.  Lots of yummy food, and good company, made this a great night.

The whole family together for a cookout

The whole family together for a cookout

We got someone across the road to take a picture of everyone (which turned out really nice – I’ll replace the Myrtle Beach one on my wall with this one).  Once it got dark we tossed a lantern up in the trees and then played cards long into the night.  I’m sure the neighboring sites probably didn’t like that, but it was the last night for all us there anyway.  So much fun!

Cookout

The whole family together for a cookout

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On Saturday, our last day, we packed up the cabins and campers and headed home.  Our little family, along with Katie and Tom, made a stop along the way at Grandma Nita’s.  Grandpa Joe, Travis and his family, and Susie were there too.  Grandma made a pretty little doll blanket, and her sister Marcia made an old fashioned doll for Lily.  After a wonderful supper of soup made from veggies from the garden, we headed down to the barn.  Susie, Katie, and Gabe all went for a ride on Splash, Grandma Nita’s Tennessee Walker (because Splash is such a nice horse to ride).  Susie worked out all the jitters and calmed Splash down, then led Splash around while Gabe rode.

Gabe riding Splash

Gabe riding Splash

Gabe was pretty nervous at first (“It’s so high up!”), but he settled down and loved it so much he had to go a second time after Katie.  After the horse rides, we headed back to the house, and Grandpa Joe gave Gabe a ride on his motorcycle.  Two firsts in one night for him!  We hung out and talked until way too late, then hit the road at 6AM for Minnesota.  A wonderful ending to a wonderful trip!

Grandma Nita

Photos from our visit with Grandma Nita and Susie

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Indiana Trip (Part 1)

This June we went to New Harmony, Indiana and stayed in the family cabins at Harmonie State Park.  It was hot – upper 90’s – and it was humid.  But it was fun to see everyone, and neat to share with Gabe things I did when I was a kid, so all and all a good trip for us.  We ended up with lots of pictures, between my camera, Katie & Tom’s camera, and some Grandpa Joe took at Grandma ‘Nita’s.  I want to give a big thank you to Tom for letting me have a copy of the pictures – he was the most on the ball of all of us to remember to actually USE a camera!  So a big chunk of the photos I’m going to share are ones he took.

Around the Campground

Around the Campground

The first group of pictures are ones that didn’t really fit into a category.  Shots from around the campground of things that caught our eyes, or cute kids, or what-not.  Lily ended up in a lot of pictures (cute little baby!), as well as snakes, for some reason!  Kelly, I”m surprised at how few shots everyone got of baby Shelby.  I did take some – but they ended up being little blurs as he ran by, bounced up and down, or was swung from our arms on a walk.  Very few turned out!  He just doesn’t hold still anymore.  Maybe next time.

Around the Campground

Photos from around the campground at Harmonie State Park.

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On the second hottest day (nearly 100, full humidy, and super-sticky (what were we thinking?)), a few of us explored the town of New Harmony.  Grammy K, Katie, Tom, Lily and I walked all around town.  I’m happy to report that the Labyrinth is doing really well – thicker and nicer then ever.  The town itself is picturesque with great historical buildings and homes, lovely gardens, and quaint shops.  Definately a good town to walk around (but maybe not when it’s that hot (are you sensing a theme yet?)).

New Harmony toll bridge

New Harmony toll bridge

Either I’ve forgotten it, or we never went across it when I was a kid, but there is a GREAT old metal bridge.  It connects the town of New Harmony to Illinois, spanning over the Wabash River.  It’s amazing – so high, and old, and kind of rickety looking.  You have to pay a dollar to cross it – but it’s so worth it.

New Harmony

Pictures taken exploring New Harmony, Ind.

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On the HOTTEST day of the trip we went to Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana.  Yep – Santa Claus is the name of the town.  It’s next to Christmas Lake, and every store and street has something to do with holidays.

Amy, Gabe and Lily with Santa Claus

Amy, Gabe and Lily with Santa Claus

It was a good day to go to Holiday World because it has a HUGE water park with the longest water ride and the highest water ride in America (so their signs say).  We didn’t go on either – but we played in a fun kiddie water park most of the time which helped us stay about as cool as we could.  We ended up with a hot sticky baby though, and had to head home early.  On the way out we saw the diving show – and they had somebody who set themselves on fire, and jumped 60 ft down into a tank of water.  It was actually pretty cool!

Holiday World

Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana

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There you go – that’s about half the photos from the Indiana trip.  I’ll add the rest soon!

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2, 4, 6, 8! Who do we appreciate?

Lily! Lily! Lily!

2, 4, 6, 8!

Click to make bigger.

Lily’s nearly 9 months today (next week).  But we went out of town to Indiana before I got a chance to upload these photos onto the website.  So let’s take the way-back-machine, and jump back a few weeks, and check out Lily at her 8 month birthday.  The biggest change in the last couple months is how well she sits up, rolls around, and interacts with everything around her.  She’s very talkative – and more then just mamamama – she’s got some ba’s and ga’s and lots of silly growls, trills, squeals, and other “sound effects” that can’t really be described.  She’s also is getting her first teeth – the two on the bottom – so lots of drool:

Drooly baby!

Drooly baby!

Thankfully these ones are not bothering her too much.  She’s a bit more cuddly, and a bit less content to just play on her own when we are at Jacquie’s and working, but other then that, she’s taking them in stride.  She does chew everything you give her though – chomps down on spoons, ni-nights, your fingers!  Still sleeping through the night however, so that’s good.  And boy, does she ever adore her big brother.  Which – right now – he thinks is pretty cool.  I’ll remind him of that later when he can’t stand his annoying little sister! 😉

Lily at 8 months

Photos of Lily at 8 months of age.

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More photos and posts to come – lots of things to catch up on!

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Scientist Birthday Party

Gabe’s 8th birthday party with his friends had a scientist theme.  We got lab coats with embroidered patches with the kids’ names on each one. It was adorable:

Playing Before the Experiments

Playing Before the Experiments

For the first experiment we made slime.  We used water, Elmer’s glue, borax, food coloring, and glitter (optional).  This was a fun hands on expirment with a lot of gross but fun factor.  I’d definately recommend this one again.

First Experiment - SLIME!

First Experiment - SLIME!

The second experiment was called Elephant’s Toothpaste (that’s what the science teachers call it) but I prefer calling it foamy bottles, as the kids were extremely tempted to eat it or try to brush their teeth with it!  It’s made using hydrogen peroxide, yeast, water, dish soap, and food coloring (optional).  This was a hit and miss.  For some kids – it worked like a charm – lots of warm (it’s an exothermic reaction) blue foam came pouring out of the bottles.  For others – total duds.  We figured out it has to do with the yeast – some packets were more active then others.  So if I was to do this one again – I’d make sure to have lots of extra packets on hand just in case.

Second Experiment - Foamy Bottles!

Second Experiment - Foamy Bottles!

Our third and last experiment was the infamous Diet Coke and Mentos Geysers!  I’m sure many of you have seen the videos on YouTube, or on tv.  Gabe saw this on “Myth Buster” and knew right then this had to be part of his party.  When you drop Mentos into Diet Coke, it causes all the carbonation to instantly leave the bottle, very quickly.  We rigged up a way for the kids to do easily by drilling a hole in the cap of the bottle, threading 4 mentos onto a pipe cleaner, threading that through the hole, then attaching a stick on top.  When they pull the stick, the mentos fall into the bottle and the geyser erupts – 20 to 30 feet into the sky!

Third Experiment - Mentos and Diet Coke Geysers!

Third Experiment - Mentos and Diet Coke Geysers!

This was a huge hit with the kids – they loved this one best!  I was surprised at how many of the kids wanted to drink the Diet Coke – some even tried to drink it while the pop was shooting up (and it was flat, minty coke too – yeeeck).  You can’t really get the full effect of this experiment from photos – so we made a little movie of it:

Movie of the Mentos Geysers - Click to watch

Movie of the Mentos Geysers - Click to watch

All in all – I think it was a terrific party and I think Gabe has made some wonderful memories.  This will be one birthday we’re going to talk about for years to come!

Happy Birthday Gabe!

Happy Birthday Gabe!

To view even more images of the party (two dozen!) please view the album:

Scientist Birthday Party

Gabe's 8th Birthday Party

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Happy Birthday, Gabe!

So sorry this post is late, kiddo!  I meant to make this nice wonderful post on your actual birthday, raving about all the cool things you do.  Somehow your birthday always sneaks up on me and this year was particularly bad – we were sooooo busy these last couple of weeks.

So thank you for be such a good kid, and putting up with how busy life gets.  Thank you for being patient, when right now, it seems everything is all about Lily.  Thank you for being such a good brother to her.  Thank you for being such a wonderful little helper.  Thank you for pretty much handling school on your own this year – you’re fantastic the way you now just sit down when you get home from school and do your homework independently for the most part (the spelling, capitalization, and punctuation still get you sometimes).  Thank you for just being you – our amazing, smart, little (but not so little) guy who’s going to grow up to be an inventor/builder extraordinaire!

Gabe building his PC

Gabe building his PC

Gabe got a PC for his birthday this year.  He wanted a computer when he was 4, but we told him he’d have to wait till he was 8.  Little did we know he would remember that and tell us all the time about how he he gets his ‘puter when he turns 8.  We gave him a big box full of parts though – he had to put his computer together himself (with a little help from Dad).

Pictures from his school birthday party will be up soon!

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Lily at 6 months old!

Our little girl is now half a year old.  It’s amazing how fast time flies… not long ago she was just a wee little thing.

Lily at 2, 4, and 6 months!

I'm getting bigger every day!

She now weighs 15 and half pounds (50%) and she’s 26 and a quarter inches long (50%).  That makes her perfectly proportional and right smack dab in the middle of the pack.  Which means there are some really chubby babies out there, and some really skinny babies (I’m looking at you, Gabe) stretching out the curve.  She seems like such a round little baby to me, but I think my perspective has been seriously shifted by memories of Gabe as a baby.  If she keeps this up, she’s going to pass him (and there’s a 7 year gap)!  Hahaha – no that won’t happen.  I expect she’s start stretching and getting thin once she’s upright and running around.  It’s amazing how babies do that.  One day they are your little chubby babies crawling around on the floor, the next day they are active toddlers running full throttle through the kitchen.

Lily has made quite a few changes over the last two months.  She can roll over from her back to her tummy, and sometimes the other way around.  She can sit up with minimal support, but will still fall over if she reaches for something or looks around.  Another month or two and I think she’ll be able to do it herself.  She’s making all kinds of noises (still more shrieking then I’d like) which by far her “mama” and “yum yum yum” noises are my favorites (although the low growling is very funny – it totally catches people off guard).  She’s eating two solid meals a day (lunch and dinner) and now she’s got some stinky diapers (sorry hon, but you do!).  She’s also sleeping through the night – 8pm to 7am roughly, give or take a half hour either way.  She would have been doing this from the get go, but I resisted cutting out that list middle of the night feeding because she had a tendency to want to get up at 5am then.  Now with the added weight and solid food she seems to be good till 7am and we’re all much happier and rested.  Also – she scoots everywhere.  Laying on her back, she arches her neck and back and kicks out with her feet, scooting up a few inches.  As long as she’s doing that – she’s going to have a bit of a bald spot on the back of her head from rubbing all her hair off.

You can see pictures of her scooting, plus many more.  I took way to many photos of her, but she’s just so adorable!  Enjoy:

Lily at 6 Months

Lily is just too cute and I tried to capture her doing everything she now can do. Which means I took way too many photos!

30 Photos

 
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