Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mini trip extension

We extended our MN trip by one evening on the way home. We stopped in Minneapolis for the night, got a priceline hotel for $55...which worked out good for what we needed. Christian and Ben went swimming...that was all Christian needed to be claimed as a winner hotel! Prior to getting there, we stopped at Culver's for supper...Noah devoured half of a hamburger and Christian thought his root beer float was something special!

(Crossing the Mississippi River)
Christian thought it was something how we crossed this river...and in the book "Little House on the Prairie" THEY crossed it too! (We're just finishing that book.) His wheels are always spinning. 

The next morning, I had initially thought we could go to both IKEA and the Mall of America before heading back home. Well...they both open at 10...and that was quickly not going to work. We opted for the Mall of America so we could see "Lego World" as Christian calls it. He LOVED it! Noah was very entertained as well with all the people and things to see.

We walked around quite briefly...and before leaving Christian and I went on one ride!
The swings. He was a BIG fan.

We're on the right side...the double blur.

Then we hit the road. It was a very brief "family trip"...but it was special all the same.
The boys both traveled very well for the most part. Noah LOVED on "Baby Jack" for alot of the trip. He is funny.
Christian colored, looked at books, slept, played with Silly Putty, and as we neared the home stretch he watched a DVD on Daddy's laptop.

We were glad for a fun and safe trip!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Birky Reunion [2014]

 We arrived to the camp Friday evening. 
Prior to supper, there were plenty of activities going on...playing in the sand, lake, volleyball, tetherball, and playground fun.

Christian tried out the water..he wasn't a big fan of the lake water. 
The sand was all he needed to be completely happy!

Our Friday evening entertainment was provided by David, Teresa and Darren. 
We played a live version of Guess Who? (what Birky member am I??...taped to your forehead). Then we also had a mad libs version of hearing what we've all been up to since the last reunion, two years ago. 
Those that wanted to, stayed up and played games...LOTS of laughing happened.
Catch have a very distinct way of playing :)  and telephone pictionary (LOTS and LOTS of laughing happened when this was finished, and others played Rook, Scrabble, etc.

Saturday morning...
Noah discovered Caleb. He LOVED on him. If he was facing someone else while Mom was holding the both of them, he would turn Caleb's face toward him so he could see. It was something else! I'm glad poor Caleb is the most laid back baby and didn't seem to mind his "love".

These three...quite the talkers I tell ya. 
Christian, Molly, and Lydia. 
It was seriously hilarious to listen to their conversation...
I can only imagine if it keeps up like this, it could easily be reenacted in 40 years.

Following breakfast, Carissa had planned out an activity for the kids. It was very structured and interesting to watch. They went "around the world" with their passports, they learned a bit of information about the continent and then had various games to play based off the places they visited. I think Carissa could really have her own children's TV show that involves pretend "adventures"...she's really good at the creative stuff...takes it to a level that most people have only a couple minutes worth of material. Margie completed the adventure with her traditional "Going on a Bear Hunt" wouldn't be the same if she didn't lead it.

There was more volleyball, tetherball, and then games of softball (one for the littler ones..and one for the big "kids")
Ben playing volleyball.....and many rounds of tetherball with Michael.

Softball games...

Some of the spectators...the sisters.

Oh these two...

Then back to the lake for more fun in the sand.
Christian and Molly.

The blob.
The aftermath of jumping on the blob was remembered from the previous reunion. Only a select few can handle this.

That evening our entertainment was provided by these fine folks. I forgot their stage names...maybe Brutus and Helen or something. Anyway, Mom and Carissa did a good job. They showed family video clips and pictures from the past...and incorporated some games for the audience to participate in. 
After putting the kids to bed...those that wanted watched more old videos. It was good to see..laugh at some..and also to miss the times with those that are no longer here. After we played a few more games and then called it a night.

Sunday morning, we had breakfast and then had a church service all together. 
It was a heartfelt service with many contributing.
We packed up our things, and following lunch said our goodbyes. 
Fun times...and evident that quality family times are deep in our roots. Its so special, and not to be taken for granted.

Lastly...a special picture of Grandpa and Dad. 


We left for MN last Thursday morning...headed to the Birky Reunion.
We got to Carol & Kenny's that evening for supper...a very tasty supper. There was a pre-reunion gathering of people over there 25-30 people. On our way back to the hotel, there was a beautiful sunset.

The next morning, we started the day with some donuts Dad picked up in town. These donuts are my favorite...I'm not a big fan usually...but these are good!
We checked out the "beach" (not really impressive) outside the hotel. 
Christian had fun running back and forth on the dock to throw rocks in.

All the cousins went in the pool at the hotel.

 Before leaving for the reunion, we stopped to see Grandpa Birky at his apartment.

 Christian especially enjoyed the ride Grandpa gave him on "Jazzy", his electric wheelchair. I asked if he had fun with Great Grandpa on his wheelchair...he replied, "'s JAZZY. That's its name."

Four generations

Then we headed out for the reunion at Sandhill Lake Bible Camp.
Christian rode with Grandpa and Grandma...and we had a sleeping passenger the whole way.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ava's Birthday [9 Years]

Ava turned NINE today. She is quite the young lady.
We celebrated with her on her actual birthday!

Prior to supper, Brent took 9 others with him on the mule to tour the ranch...he's a fan of giving the ol' tour on the mule.

There's a couple things "wrong" with this picture...Mom and Noah...what in the world are you doing?

It's a party!

These pictures made me smile...Noah matching the pool...and Mom feeding him ice cream complete with facial gestures.

Happy Birthday Ava!
We love you!!