Family picture

Summer vacation

September 7, 2013 · filed under: Family, Kids, Trips by Geoff

It has been an incredibly crazy spring and summer, and thus we’ve allocated no time to getting photos up. But this weekend in the hospital has given me an opportunity to get a little caught up.

Our one vacation of the summer came early and was a chance to combine trips to visit family with an educational and fun sailing trip on Lake Superior.

We started the fun with a trip to visit Jinny & Justin in Chicago. This trip included a train ride (which was a huge hit with the girls), a bus ride, the zoo, and Giordanos pizza:

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And next came a trip to the children’s museum, which the girls LOVED:

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Then some time to grocery shop and prepare for the sailing trip. Next it was north to the lake, and the beginning of Greg and I’s captain certification course. We spent 2 days with a US Coast Guard certified captain who put us through the wringer with emergency procedures, docking, foul weather preparedness, and funny enough, manual charting and navigation without a GPS.

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After Greg and I passed the course and got our certifications, we spent the next 3 days sailing with the girls and Grandpa & Grandma Janes:

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The girls had a great time playing on the deck of the boat, even though they were required to wear their life jackets, and their life jackets were tethered to the boat. They still managed to show off some dance moves, feed the ducks, and enjoy the scenery.

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Finally we finished the trip with a stop at the cabin for a little bit of unwinding time. Everyone had a good time relaxing a bit, and the girls managed to catch a fish and some turtles.

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To view all of the photos, check out the albums on Google+

Happy birthday Madelyn!

May 20, 2013 · filed under: Family, Kids, Madelyn Estelle by Geoff

Madelyn spent this last weekend stealing the show as she prepared to turn 2. Our little girl continues to prove to us day-in-and-day-out that she’s not that little anymore. Suddenly she’s a little chatter-box, with something to say just about all the time. And not only that, but she manages to string together pretty complex sentences. Man, they grow up too quickly.

The first part of Madelyn’s celebration was her Minnie Mouse party on Saturday afternoon. She had a blast, especially when everyone put their Mickey or Minnie Mouse ears on:

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After the party was over, we weren’t finished! It was time to pack up and head over to Jack Trice Stadium for a fun-filled movie-night! Hundreds of families with even more kids packed onto the field at the stadium to watch Wreck it Ralph. Both Grace and Madelyn had a great time:

And finally we capped out the weekend with a trip to the Des Moines zoo!

Happy birthday Madelyn!

Celebrating Grace, Rapunzel – Style

May 6, 2013 · filed under: Family, Grace Evelyn, Kids by Jill

What a weekend for our new four-year-old! The anticipation for Grace’s birthday had been building, evidenced by her recent comments that April was “taking a long time!” Finally May (and more snow!) arrived and Grace couldn’t wait to celebrate her fourth birthday with family and friends.

Family celebrations came first, with Grandpa and Grandma Janes arriving on Friday night for a few early birthday presents. A porcelain doll was a happy surprise! Saturday morning meant more presents from Mom and Dad, including the Rapunzel doll she had been asking for since February. The rest of the morning was spent playing with new toys and helping prepare for the upcoming party.

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3:00 p.m. = Party time, Rapunzel-Style! Grace was so excited for her first birthday party with friends from school. She greeted her guests with Rapunzel dress up aprons and Rapunzel braids (Thanks, Aunt Jinny, for all of your help in making both of these!). When everyone had arrived, the girls decorated their braids with flowers and then took turns “letting down their hair” in Grace’s house bunk. Pretending to hit Flynn Rider with frying pans, building snack “towers”, and setting off our own floating lanterns added to the fun. The final hit of the party was the cake. The girls couldn’t wait to dig in, and all wanted a purple piece…Good thing there was plenty of purple frosting to go around!

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When the party excitement had wound down, the rest of the weekend was spent enjoying more family time and playing with birthday spoils. Though Mom and Dad are feeling spent, the smiles and squeals of delight throughout the weekend were worth all of the efforts. Happy birthday, Grace!

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