Monday, January 25

We Got A...

Fish! Or more specifically, a piranha. Craig had a "pet" piranha when I met him. It lived for 10 years before an unfortunate power outage ended his long life. So we still had the tank, filter, and heater and Craig had been talking it up with the kids. We were watching fish stores in the Milwaukee area for piranha deliveries but they apparently go fast once in the store. Over the holiday break we were in Manitowoc and Craig decided to stop in at the original fish store where he bought his first piranha and sure enough, they had 5 of them! Kelsey and Drew were very excited to pick one out and buy feeder guppies for him right away. He is obviously the most active when he's hungry and loves getting treats at night before the kids go to bed.

Got her hair cut!

Going to the mall when it is too cold outside to do anything else...

And getting to ride the odd-ish mall games!

Wednesday, January 13

2016 - Sledding and the Zoo

We didn't make any plans for New Year's Day and planned on recovering from all the holiday traveling. Our friends called and said that her husband needed to expend some energy and invited us to meet them at the Zoo. We had let our Zoo pass lapse but it was free on New Year's Day! We spent almost 2 hours there and saw almost everything we could. A lot of the animals were inside but they were so much more active! The kids were loving it - big ones and little ones:)

Then we took the kids sledding at the school down the road. We usually have the hill to ourselves and it's close enough that when the kids want to go home after 30 min, no one puts up a fight. It was a bright sunny day and just cold enough not to get too warm in all your winter gear.

I didn't realize til now that the large building through the trees is my hospital

Racing down the hill

Wednesday, January 6

Christmas time was here!

Of course we did lots of traveling to see all the family for the holidays. It starts on Christmas Eve and ends the day after Christmas. We started festivities Christmas Eve morning, when Santa came to our house. Then we headed up to my sister's and did Christmas with my dad's side. That is my "big" family that now has multiple other little people running around so the kids have their own kind of fun with second(? or would it be twice removed?) cousins. Christmas morning, Santa came to my sister's house and then we headed to my mom's. And finally, the day after we made the trek to Manitowoc to visit Craig's extended family. We've done it this way for a long time and the kids roll with it pretty well. This was the first year, I believe, that the kids actually understood the timeframe of Christmas. Being in school obviously helps. Kelsey knew it was on a Friday. I could explain to them how Santa has lots of houses to get to so he came to ours early but he was also going to Auntie Tara's. For as much traveling as we did, the days were very low key and unrushed and relaxing. We may have even started new traditions!!

Christmas Eve morning at our house!

Christmas Morning at Tara and Matt's

After presents and before breakfast, the boys went pheasant hunting! It only took 30 min. Drew thought it was SO COOL that Uncle Matt shot twice and got the bird. (that giant dog scares the kids but he really just wants to love everyone and play.)

Craig won tickets through his school to see "Charlie Brown Christmas" at the Todd Wehr Theater downtown. The actors, except Snoopy, were all kids under 16. I took Kelsey because it was football Sunday and the boys wanted to stay home. We LOVED it and hope to do it again; Kelsey says we should bring Drew!
(the only picture I could get before it started - no photography)

Saturday, January 2

Cabin Christmas

We began our Christmas celebration with Craig's family the weekend before Christmas. This year, we all met in the Dells at one of the big resorts private cabins. It was definitely big enough to hold 3 families comfortably and we were able to use the water park as well! We had the pleasure of watching quite of few deer move in and out of the woods throughout the weekend. We also took time to get some updated family photos. It was a great way to start off our holiday season!

Light saber fight, of course

His first fishing pole

Pink and purple unicorn

Watching the deer from the patio

Ella and Kelsey

Beautiful family photos by Casey Hein of Chasing Lilies Photography