Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Card - Take 2

Remember the photo shoot with ATP that lasted 6 minutes? Well, that also meant we didn't get any pictures with Erika. So tonight we took some - and with over 150 to choose from I even found a few keepers.

These two little yahooligans have the most fun, contagious personalities....

Insta-Weekend 11.27.11: Thanksgiving Edition

So many things to be thankful for...

These healthy boys definitely top the list. Every day they say something new - and it gets funnier by the minute. I'm thinking they are going to have a great sense of humor. Love it!

We were able to see great-grandma three times - the boys loved playing with her adjustable bed, running up and down the halls, drawing attention with their loudness, and making new friends.
Tubby time with grandma!

During the bath I asked the boys what they were thankful for. Mason said "Grandma Julie!".
He's quickly learning what it takes to be the favorite. What a sweetheart.
P helping great grandma.
Kisses from great-grandma.
We've really been working on our table manners.
A morning walk.
Getting the mail.
Hugs and kisses from Grandpa.

Early morning sunrise on grandma's porch - unbelievable...
Some black friday shopping - Decorah style. It was a bit quieter here than I presume it was at, say, Wal-Mart or the MOA.
Playing with grandma's old phone collection. The boys are thankful that grandma has at least two of most things.
Listening to these two pretend talking to each other was so entertaining. I love when they uses phrases that they've heard...in the right context. Their memory amazes me daily.
Dominos! We had to physically restrain both boys long enough to get these set up. The boys wanted to knock them down after the second or third domino was set up.
Lincoln logs - I think these were my grandma's when she was young.
A "handful". It gets harder and harder to hold them both at the same time!! 
Pumpkin pie - the best part of the meal (according to P&M).

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Insta-Weekend 11.20.11: Iowa Edition

The greatest part about the DVD player in the Tahoe? The headphones that go with it.
4+ hours is entirely too long to listen to kid videos and remain sane.
The boys have been dressing themselves lately - and just happen to have a strong opinion about what they wear. They showed up at Grandma and Grandpa's house with the tonka truck shirts and ties. Grandma supplied the cowboy hats to go with.
Mason. This cracks me up. Uncle Jason Dynamite is in the background drinking a beer - weird!
Grandma Barbie has the most unbelievable tractor collection. Some are Ben's when he was little and some were Jake's. They're the old ones - back when they used to make them out of metal instead of plastic.
The boys are hard to tell apart. I'll be the first to admit that. And the boys are quick to correct anyone who happens to make a mistake. So when Grandma secretly put this sticker on the back of P's shirt everyone was thankful!
Between Prior and Mason, I think Jake was asked at least 72 times how college is.
"Jake - how's college? (insert one breath) Jake - how's college?"
We fully embraced our farm experience with some rides in Grandpa's truck to see the cows (without car seats). 

The boys LOVE Grandpa Denny's "sheen" (machine) shed and all of the tractors inside. Tractor rides are the best!

We visited the "cabs" (calves) twice and even got to watch Grandpa Denny feed them.
Then we drove through the field and saw the cows.

Thankfully Grandpa Denny's tractor was big enough for P and M and a few more cousins.
I know I've mentioned this before - but the view on the farm is the best.
We pulled out an old toy from Grandma's toy closet called "Big Loader". How it was still in its original box with all of the pieces 30-some years later is pretty amazing. They don't make toys that cool anymore!
A "Lifer" is what we used to call someone in public accounting that took their job way too seriously and was really kind of nerdy.
Now that Ben has officially earned "lifer" status, Ben's sisters surprised him with a very fitting present.
Both of Ben's sisters, like me, used to be in public accounting. They called themselves "dropouts". So funny!

A quick picture on the swing seemed like a better idea before we realized that it wasn't built for SEVEN!
So "thankful" for our cousins!!

Baby Olivia is laughing at all of us crazy parents!
ATV rides!? - heck ya!

Alli (usually referred to as Alli Macke) waiting her turn for the ATV ride.
These solo cups are one of the greatest inventions ever.
If I was teaching someone about the definition of ROI (return on investment) - I would definitely use these cups as an example. While they likely cost more than regular solo cups, I am certain we went through about 1/3 of the solo cups over the course of 2 days simply because of the scratch off feature.
Our baby cousin, Olivia - isn't she sweet!?
Flippin' through the tractor magazine with Grandpa. The boys have officially inherited Grandpa's love for tractors.
Thankful for such a fun grandma and grandpa...and also for such cool cousins. As the number of cousins increases, our expectations for the number of faces looking at the camera decreases. Not bad, eh?
After church on Sunday we went to a pancake breakfast at the Legion. This picture kills me. They're like two old people sharing a cup of coffee and a very funny joke.

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