Sunday, December 31, 2017

Christmas Part 3: Fergus Falls

Thankfully, Colton was well enough by the weekend after Christmas to go to Grandma and Grandpa T's house, and neither of the girls ended up getting the flu!  Amazing!   We packed up for the weekend and headed out on Friday afternoon.

Dinner on Friday night was fun - we did a fondue dinner with shrimp and beef in several sauces, as well as two kinds of cheese fondues with bread and veggies, and chocolate for fruit, brownies, etc.

We all sat around and ate and talked and ate and talked...and ate some more.  It was so good!

The kids were so excited that Kopel came with GeeGee Sandy!

The kids played hide and seek with Auntie Madison all evening! Larkyn loved hiding in the pantry and jumping out to surprise us!

Auntie Sarah told Larkyn she had a special hiding spot for her....

In the cereal cabinet!!!

Auntie Sarah made donuts on Saturday morning and let the kids decorate their own!

The kids loved playing with Kopel's ipad...such a we don't have them!

Summer, Kopel, and GeeGee Sandy

Larkyn's Christmas present to Colton....the dog re-gifted ;)

Larkyn was ecstatic to get a horse for her doll!  She carried it around all weekend!

Colton got a massive Fire Engine / Fire house Lego set that has has been working on since he got home - he is almost done!  It has a working fire pole, water hose (shoots lego water), and more.  He loves it.

The kids painted a birdhouse for Grandma and Grandpa

Colton was so excited to get his own drone! 

The girls got Claires gift cards from Gee Gee Sandy

Paul being silly with my new scarf ;)

The kids got specially picked out books from Auntie Sarah and Uncle Ty and immediately wanted to read them.

Colton has wanted this lego set for months! 

Summer was shocked to get the REAL Kit American Girl Doll!!!!


Doll food!!!!!!!

The kids got a goodie bag of coloring stuff and candy from Auntie Madison and Uncle Jordan

Colton wanted to read his robot book from Auntie Sarah and Uncle Ty right away...and several times!

Summer and the pups!

Larkyn LOVES her new rainboots...and wears them every day!

Fun with stockings!

The girls got right to playing dolls and Colton spent hours starting his new lego set!

We also played lots of games...

And got lots of cuddles!

We adults tried a new game each night.  We played Left Right Center the first night for prizes and that got really competitive in a fun way!  Sarah had all the luck ;).  The second night we played Speak Out and I haven't laughed that hard in a long time!  Each person has to put a plastic piece in their mouth and read a sentence and teammates have to try to guess the words.  Some sounds are impossible to say (like "F" and "B" for example) because you can't close your mouth!  Paul videoed some of the game and I can't help but post them here they are sooooo funny!  I dare you to watch them without laughing!
 Videos of Speak Out:

It was soooo cold all weekend (like high of -23 F) that we had some fun with it... Grandpa tossed boiling water out the door and we watched it turn to snow instantly!

Video of boiling water turning to snow:

Grandma and Grandpa offered to take us to the YMCA to go swimming to burn some energy (since it was too cold to go outside!).  The kids were ECSTATIC because they were SO bummed to miss swimming in the hotel pool earlier in the week when our Chicago trip was cancelled due to stomach flu.  I don't have any pictures, but it was super fun!

We spent New Years Eve with Grandma and Grandpa.  We celebrated early with the kids (and Hong Kong!) and Grandpa and Grandma got noisemakers and surprised the kids with sending glow in the dark balloons up in the air as we shouted HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Here is a video of the chaos of us celebrating...;)


Happy New Year!
Thank you Grandma and Grandpa T for a fantastic weekend full of family fun and great food!  We love you!!!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Christmas Part 2 - Apple Valley

When we got home from my parent's house on Sunday, it was technically Christmas Eve.  We had plans to have our neighbor over for dinner, go to Christmas Eve Service, and make our traditional graham cracker houses....but all of that had to be canceled as Colton still had a fever.  But, making the best of it, we truly enjoyed a restful evening and no one was up sick!  We woke up Christmas morning, and despite a mellowed, tummy-ached, Colton, we truly had a great family day.


The girls were so excited to wear their matching sweater dresses from Grandma K that they put them on right away!

The boys enjoyed snuggling in comfy clothes!

Summer was up early and made us a Christmas sign!

As usual, we started our morning off with the Christmas story.  Colton's tummy still hurt from the flu, so he cuddled with Daddy as Daddy read the story.

The girls loved acting out the story with the nativity as Daddy read.

Here is a video of our rendition of the Christmas story...

Then we read our last devotion from the advent Jesse tree devotional we did all December.

Baby Jesus was the last ornament to be hung on the Jesse tree!

This year was especially fun as there were more gifts under the tree from the kids than from us!  The kids each brought their own money to a community "secret shopper"event in early December where volunteer teens took the kids individually around a room stocked with items they could buy, and helped them choose gifts for each of the people on their "list".  When they were done choosing gifts, the volunteers took each kid to the wrapping room and the kids each came home with four wrapped gifts for the members of their family that only THEY knew what was inside!  They had fun with that!  I truly think their smiles were as big (if not bigger!) watching their siblings and parents open the gifts they chose as compared to opening their own gifts!  It was really fun!

Colton giving daddy his DAD coffee mug!

And Larkyn chose the same one without knowing it! haha!  Daddy enjoys drinking coffee out of both DAD mugs and the kids love seeing him do so!

Colton made us a plate at school

Nice pic photographer Colton!

Colton got me some heart earrings :)

Larkyn got me an ornament with a bell :)

Larkyn was a wild card with gifts and kept us laughing!  She chose a squeaky smiling dog toy as Colton's gift!

Larkyn was also the most enthusiastic gift opener, exclaiming over the little doll Summer got her...

and states that the piggy Colton bought her is her favorite things she got for Christmas!!!

Colton chose matching earrings for Summer and Mommy

Larkyn got Summer some chocolate milk goo...?...!

Summer picked out a fishing lure for Daddy

Summer got a MOM necklace for me :)

We had so much fun opening the kids gifts!!! Then Mom and Dad had three gifts for each kiddo.

All three kids shared their "experience" gift of tickets to see Paw Patrol Live.  I love Larkyn's face as she listened to Summer reading what the gift was!

From us, Colton got several cars for his collection, including The King, which he has wanted for a while!

New cars.

The girls got swimsuits for their dolls.

Colton got a Disney Cars encyclopedia that includes every car in Cars 1, 2, and 3 and includes facts about them.  He loved it!

The girls got doll suitcases!

We spent the rest of the day playing!

With a break for a special Christmas dinner of everyone's favorite pesto chicken.

That evening we cuddled up with popcorn to watch White Christmas.

Unfortunately, Colton had round #2 of stomach flu that night, which meant we cancelled our trip to Chicago to see the Obermayers :(.  We really missed seeing them :(.

Instead of driving to Chicago on the 26th as planned, we did what we would have done in the car...we read the new chapter book mom got to read on our 6 hour drive (Treasure Tree...a book teaching kids about the different personalities) over breakfast and cuddled up on the couch.  Then we watched Cars 3, which Grandma K had given to Colton for Christmas.  We played games.  We cuddled.  We enjoyed being together with no schedule to rush off to.  While we REALLY missed being in Chicago, we definitely enjoyed our low key family time.

(beauty parlor)


And, though we didn't get to make our traditional graham cracker houses on Christmas Eve, we DID get a chance to make them once Colton was feeling better!

Sorting our massive bucket of Halloween candy for supplies for the houses....

This year, Summer constructed her own, the boys worked as a team, and Larkyn and Mommy were a team.

We all had fun!