Sunday, November 25, 2012


We had an excellent Thanksgiving this week!  On Wednesday we left early and headed up to my parents' house in Grand Forks, ND!  Kelly and Ken and their family arrived shortly after we did and we started our feast preparations and general craziness--let me tell you, 7 kids really fill up a house!  We had such a great time, though.  As always, Grandma and Grandpa treated the kids to all kinds of fun things, and they had an absolute blast.

I had a lot of fun getting our meal ready with everybody.  It's so great to be together with family!  We played canasta, plotted way too many desserts, brined a turkey (as always, thanks to my bff Liz for the best brined turkey recipe in the world!), made my mom's old standby roll recipe--best rolls in the entire world, washed a million dishes, and ate a lot of strawberries!  It was so much fun.

On Thursday my Mom made everyone waffles for breakfast, and I actually took 2 naps while Michael wrangled the kids and Mom and Kelly finished rolls and last minute preparations.  Thanks, guys!  Everything turned out great, and at 1:00 our feast began!  It was the stuff dreams are made of, I'm pretty sure.  My favorites are cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes, hands down.  We were so stuffed by the end, but hardly made a dent in the amount of food we prepared.  So we just kept eating it for every meal over the next 3 days.  Sweet.

Then we had pie and cheesecake for dinner!  That's my kind of dinner!  In between we all napped, watched some football, played games, and went for a (short and freezing) walk.  Then the kids put on a couple of plays on the stage that my parents had custom built in their basement playroom.  It was awesome! And after tucking the kids in, Kelly and my mom and I checked out some black Friday sales!  We had so much fun, even though it was freezing!!!

On Friday we had a relaxing morning and let the kids play outside in the snow.  Even though there was just a sprinkling really, they had so much fun!  After lunch and naps we headed to an indoor waterpark for the afternoon.  The kids had SO much fun.  Sophie discovered the medium sized kid waterslides, and we were allowed to go down with her, and she did them non-stop for about an hour.  She was in heaven!  Ryan was big enough to go on everything by himself, so he was, of course, incredibly pleased about that.  Calvin had fun doing the big slide with Michael, the lazy river with me, and the smaller slides by himself.  We all had so much fun, so thanks for taking us, Mom and Dad!  It was such a fun day.

On Saturday we had a nice time decorating my parents' Christmas tree and playing games. Ken and Kelly headed home with their family and Grandma and Grandpa took our kids out to buy a whole bunch of gumballs.  Grandparents are the best, hey?  We tucked the kids into Grandma and Grandpa's bed to watch a movie after dinner, and then finished the day up with an easy bedtime and more canasta!  I finally won, for the first time in years, so that made it even MORE fun!

Today we slept in while Mom and Dad got up with the kids (Ok, this may have happened every morning we were there--so many reasons to love Grandma and Grandpa's house!) and then packed up and headed off to church with them.  We had a nice time, and after church we stopped back by their house for a quick lunch and then headed home.  It worked out perfectly, and we made our best time ever, just under 4 and a half hours.  We only stopped once to switch drivers, the kids didn't even get out once and all of them napped.  Success! 

So, it was really a great Thanksgiving!  Thanks so much for having us, Mom and Dad!  We love you!

Me and my good friend, Mr. Turkey!

The kids at their table waiting for the grub:

The spread at the grown-up table:

Evie and Grandma enjoying lunch:

Me and Michael and some asparagus!

Ryan's first snow angel of the season.  He looks so happy!

Sophie and Lily playing around:

The kids putting on their "First Thanksgiving" play.  Evie and Calvin were Indians, Lily, Luke and Ryan were pilgrims, and Sophie was the turkey.

Little baby Cora sure loved Uncle Michael's hair!  Fun fact, Cora has one blue eye and one brown eye.  Awesome!

Another fun fact: Cora likes to eat people.

Grandma and Sophie having a snuggle:

Grandma and cute little Cora burrito:

Sophie helping decorate the tree:

Ryan helping out up top:

Grandpa helping Evie put on the bow:

My three little kiddos ready for movie night!

Grandma and Grandpa snuggled in and watched part of it with them :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Well, it's been about a month since the last post, whoops!  So, I figured it's high time I posted about Halloween.  We had a great Halloween this year!  We carved pumpkins with friends on Sunday evening, and then on Halloween we were watching a couple of friends at our house, so I made some creepy Halloween treats!  The kids had fun with them, and we had a great time.  Then, when our friends went home, I let the kids open their bags from Auntie Janny and they went beserk.  Candy, coloring books, Halloween cups, you name it!  They used the bags for trick or treating later, and left Janny's treats in there, so we only went up and down our little street and the kids were feeling pretty proud of how full their bags were!  It was a nice evening, and we had fun being together.  And of course, the kids had fun getting candy. 

Here are some pictures of our little munchkins:

My little piggy:

Little piggy checking out her tail:

Where's Waldo!

Ryan requested to be a leaf this year.  I couldn't even find an online tutorial, so we blazed our own trail and made this baby up from scratch.

All three getting ready to trick or treat.  Calvin is wearing his winter coat underneath his Waldo shirt.  He said, "Hey Mom!  Now I'm CHUBBY WALDO!!!!"

Sophie out for a Halloween stroll.  She just loved her bag!  Thanks, Janny!

I do have pictures of the pumpkin carving and the creepy treats, but they are on the other camera, and I have looked high and low for it with no luck!  So maybe next time!