Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Some random pics. . .

Here are a few more pics from when the kids stayed with my parents.
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It's noodle time again at church. We sell bags of these at the turkey supper. It's a great fundraiser!
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Fall is my favorite time of year. I know that we're just one big windstorm away from the leaves all falling down. So I really want to notice and appreciate all of the beauty out there.
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Who needs artwork on the wall when this is the view from your dining room table!
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Bella's basketball team saying a prayer before their game. This is such a great group of girls.
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Our high school girls volleyball team made it to the state finals, so we decided to go to the game. Bella got all decked out in her black and white. Even her braces coordinate!
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They couldn't quite pull out a win, but it was so exciting to make it all the way to state! And I love how our town comes together to support the kids. This was the place to be that Saturday morning.
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We took the kids to Sky Zone after church last Sunday. They earned it by filling their stone jar. (They put a stone in the jar whenever we catch them doing something good. When it gets full, they get their prize.) We bounced and jumped, went through ninja warrior courses, climbed a warp wall, and played dodge ball for two hours. Bella and Andy both got minor injuries; but overall it was fun, quality family time.
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Monday, November 13, 2017

Basketball season is here!

Bella's playing on the school team again this year. Practices began the first week in September, but their first game wasn't until October 23rd.
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I love watching Bella play. I'm amazed at how good she is - especially since I am so horrible at all sports. Any athletic ability must have come from Andy.
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The boys are playing biddy ball again and had their first games this past Saturday morning. Both boys made a basket in their games!
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You know where we'll be on Saturday mornings for the next couple of months!
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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Halloween Festivities

There is always so much fun stuff to do whenever this time of year rolls around.

The weekend before Halloween, our town always has an event on the square. There was a little trunk or treat, fortune telling, marshmallow roasting, hayrides, games, crafts, and pumpkin painting. By the time we got around to this area, there was only one pumpkin left. Bella and Graydon shared it while Andy took Curtis off to one of the story telling areas. Graydon's side was black with red eyes. . .
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. . . while Bella made hers into a rainbow. Very artistic!
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My favorite part of the evening was the story tellers. I could have just sat and listened to them the whole night. The stories were not too scary and the tellers were so good. And I just found that whole part to be really relaxing.

When we got home that evening, it was pumpkin carving time! Andy helped a little with the carving and I did a lot of scooping out seeds and guts. Other than that, the kids did most of it on their own this year.
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Halloween! I kind of like that it was on a Tuesday this year. Normally there would be homework, basketball practice, gymnastics, etc. On this night, the teachers didn't assign any homework and all of the activities were cancelled. It was like a bonus family night.

Bella was a witch. . . for the third time!
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Graydon was Harry Potter. The sunlight in these photos is a bit deceiving. It was a chilly night, so we had to improvise with this costume a bit. I don't think I've ever seen any Harry Potter illustrations with him in camouflage.
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And of course Curtis was Batman!
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Ready for some trick-or-treating!
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We started with the trunk-or-treat at the baptist church and then went up and down a street near the town square.
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Some of the houses were really decorated, which made it extra fun.
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Since it was so cold, we cut the trick-or-treating short this year. The kids didn't even mind. The Yellow Trail Museum always has Halloween fun, so we went there to warm up, do some crafts, and get root beer floats!
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When we got home, we lit our pumpkins and watched Disney Halloween cartoons.
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I was in bed a little after 9pm that evening. I guess trick-or-treating wore me out this year!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Fall Break

We don't love starting school the first week of August. But when October rolls around, having a week off is pretty nice. To kick our Fall Break off, the kids and I ventured out to Verona to visit with the Meade/Kilps families. The cousins hadn't seen each other since Christmas, so a get-together was long overdue.
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They went to their first of THREE pumpkin farms that week.
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Meades vs. Kilpses. The Meades were the winners.
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Then it was all six kids against Uncle Tim. He held them pretty good at first, but ultimately the kids had that victory.
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Graydon at the bottom of a 200 ft. slide. He lost his hat each time he went down.
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This slide was probably the most popular attraction at the farm. I even went down once!
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On Monday morning, the kids and I travelled down to my parents house and Andy joined us that evening. The following morning, after a breakfast at Denny's, we said goodbye to our kids and Andy and I made our way up to Door County. We didn't really have any agenda for our time away, so we just did whatever we saw that looked fun. Our first stop was apple picking. Honey Crisp apples are our favorite!
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We picked a lot of them!
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We drove a little more and stopped at Door Peninsula Winery. In addition to wine tasting, they had tastings for different oils, vinegars, butters, and spreads. It made for a nice snack!
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We walked through some shops and grabbed an early dinner at a BBQ place and then made our way to our bed and breakfast. We stayed at the same BnB that we stayed at on our honeymoon 15 years ago. I kept a little ad from back then and found it tucked our honeymoon photo album.  This is what it looked like back then.
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The BnB was known as The Barbican back then. Now it's The Diplomat. We stayed in the room featured in the ad. It was known as Emily's Room. Here we are 15 years ago!
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This is that same room today. It is now called The Ambassador suite. This is the view from the hallway. They switched the wall that the bed is on.
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This is the closest angle I have to the shot from the ad above.
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I took several photos of the room this time so that I could remember it. It felt so neat to be back in the same place. And I think I could have been content to never leave this room. I loved it.
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The area outside was our own private patio.
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Here is the bathroom. I didn't take pictures of the shower, but it was luxurious and took up that whole space behind the vanity/sink wall. IMG_3689

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One of my favorite parts was breakfast delivered in a basket to our door. We've been to another bed and breakfast that has you come down to the dining room to eat. I much prefer eating in our room.
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The first morning, we had a mexican frittata, blueberry muffins, bananas and yogurt, coffee, and apple cider. Everything was so good.
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When we ventured out, we found lots of pretty scenes to take in.
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During our previous visits to Door County, we never made it up to Washington Island - the area above the tip of Door County. This time we did. We boarded our car on the ferry and headed over around lunch time.
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Unfortunately, lots of businesses on this island were already closed for the season. It wasn't until after 3pm before we found a place open to eat! While searching for food, we stopped at some areas along the way. Schoolhouse Beach came recommended. "You'll want to see the white rock." As we approached the beach, we were looking for a big, white rock. After not seeing anything like that for a while, it eventually dawned on us that they were using rock as a plural word. There were a lot of white rockS! 
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These rocks are actually pretty special. They come natural to that area. There is no sand on this beach and no pebbles. Just these smooth, flat, white rocks. Only the area is starting to shrink because people take the rocks as souvenirs. They actually had signs posted that anyone caught taking rocks would be fined $250.
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So instead of taking them, several visitors to the area do artistic things with the rocks and take pictures of their creations.
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Confessions time: when we stumbled upon these rocks, it actually read "H+K" above the heart. Andy just moved a few rocks and we had our own little love letter. :)
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These were some pretty cool trees.
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A lot of them were bent in different places. This one made a nice place to sit.
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Meanwhile, the kids were having fun with my parents. One of their activities was bowling! My mom sent us pics while we were away.
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After our lunch on the island, we headed back to the mainland. By this point, it was about 4:30pm. Our original plan was to go out for a nice dinner that evening, but because of our late lunch, we weren't hungry. And we were feeling a little worn out from our adventures so, instead of a fancy dinner, we ordered a pizza, grabbed a movie ("Hidden Figures"), and went back to our room.

The next morning, more breakfast delivered to our door!
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We had to check out by 11am, which was kind of sad. But we still had a whole day in Door County ahead of us. Andy wanted to take a little bit of time to meet up with another pastor in the area and I had some school reading to do, so while he did that, I spent my time in a cute little coffee shop.
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Later that afternoon, we went on a scenic trolley ride - mainly through Peninsula State Park.
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While we were looking at pretty things, the kids went to another pumpkin farm with my parents. More grandma pics!
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A quick trip through a haunted house.
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Andy and I saved our nice dinner for that evening and when we were finished, it was time to make the three-hour drive back to my parents' house.

The next morning, we went out to breakfast and went to another pumpkin farm! This visit was probably more for my benefit than anyone's. Out of all the pumpkin farms I've been to, this one is still my favorite.
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The kids each picked out their pumpkins for the season and we are going to carve them this weekend.
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We all loved our fall break!