Wrapping up 2017

Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Here's the truth:  I just typed "wrapping up 2018" in the title because we're that far into the year that now "2017" feels weird.  But we did some great celebrating I don't want to forget, so...

1) Thanksgiving!  We had a great dinner at my Aunt Lavonne's this year.  We did the annual sock-stuffing for the homeless shelter, played games and enjoyed hanging out.


Kid table!

2) Paige started cheer (both basketball and competitive) season.  So Friday nights are spent at basketball games and weekends are spend at cheer competitions.  In retrospect, it was a fun, rather quick season that she enjoyed very much!

3) Paige turned 15! It's easy to celebrate this girl.  She has had such a great first semester of High School.  I can only hope she continues this successfully, enjoying it all the way.

4) Christmas!  Don't believe when people tell you Christmas isn't as enjoyable when your kids are no longer little.  There are differences, for sure, but the joy and special moments are still very much there.  We had a celebration with my side of the family the Saturday before.  We hosted Christmas dinner with Rich's side of the family on Christmas.

New phone!  (oh yeah, one difference is that the gifts get pricier)

New bat!

Walter Payton jersey!

5) Held Visit!  My uncle and his children (closer to our kids' ages) visited between Christmas and through New Year.  We filled that time with a turn at Feed My Starving Children, a trip up to my sister's for some snow tubing (despite the FRIGID temps), a New Year's party, and hanging out.
Feed My Starving Children Assembly Line

Tubing!  If it was even just NOT negative degrees, I could have done this all night!


NYE games!

NYE Games!

Team B was the winner!

Happy 2018!


Monday, November 13, 2017
We kept the weekend of the 21st open for Charlie and Abbi's wedding in Michigan!  It was so fun to travel back up there so soon for another wedding.  This was a Friday night weekend corresponding nicely with a Friday 1/2 day of school for the kids.  The weather was perfection and we had a party bus.  Also perfection.

Brunch the following day included an impromptu baseball game!

Crazy kids


Charlie and Abbi Hess

Table #: trouble

Liv and Zac

The entertainment

Then we had a great Halloween weekend which included a surprise visit by my cousin Tam and her husband Kurt from Florida (to celebrate my cousin Laurie's 50th).  We had a party at a restaurant, followed by more gathering at Lavonne's, followed by brunch at my parent's, followed by dinner and a pumpkin carving contest at the Eggers'.  Soaked in every minute!
Lauren and Paige

Tami and Paige

BB guns.  Of course.

This and zip lining! Because it's not fun unless it's dangerous!

Hard working carvers

We were worried about Tami's carving plan at first.

Serious business.

The winner!

Of course, we did the normal Halloween as well.  I volunteered in Cole's class for a successful Halloween party and then Paige went to a party nearby.  Will went trick or treating with friends and I took Cole with friends.  A good time was had by all!
This is how high schoolers do Halloween

Weird, right?

Plenty to go around

Cole's costume!  :)

Lastly, towards the end of summer, Rich and the boys started their project refurbishing his late father's Cub Cadet tractor from the early 1970s.  They revealed it to Rich's mom on her birthday in early October.  Of course, before pictures would help, but it looks spectacular!

More in September

We are so thankful we decided to book a weekend in September just about an hour away for camping...because it ended up being our last camping trip.  Turns out, you don't have to go far away to enjoy the benefits of camping.  The Eggers joined us and my parents even came out for a cookout.

New addiction

September was also filled with a personal goal of mine - running a half marathon, and having events for the Park District Foundation of which I am a part.  It was not a boring month!

Filling In on Fall

I'm going to back track on fall a bit.  Obviously I'm late in updating.  I blame the weather.  You know, the weather that seemed to go from summer tank top weather to warm boots and gloves weather!

For example, Homecoming took place on a sweaty, humid 90+ degree late September day!  We weren't totally prepared for a gathering of a gazillion friends and parents before the dance, but it went smoothly!  Though some work, it reminded me that Paige has great friends that come with good parents and I'm happy to cater to that!

This one's my favorite

Subway to the rescue


Of course, there's more to Homecoming than the dance!  Because Paige was cheering for football, this involved us in the game, a parade, and of course, a cheer breakfast!
Friday Night 

Cheer Pool Party!


We were excited that despite thinking she wasn't going to, Paige tried out and made the competitive cheer team!  So...winter brings basketball games and weekends of competitions!

Will tried something new this fall, too!  He ran for the Jr. High cross country team.  He got better as the season went on and was particularly good at the kick at the end.