Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"T and Lawa"

My boys were soooo excited because their Uncle T. and his girlfriend Laura were coming for a quick weekend with us on their way to her family's cabin. They drove here from Oklahoma and got in on Friday night. 
The boys were anxiously awaiting their arrival. When they got here we had a yummy taco dinner and chatted and then the boys had a blast playing with them in their room before bed time. They sure are great playmates! 

On Saturday, we headed over to Belleview Park for some fun. 
We checked out the animals at the petting zoo. 

 Nolan was a drive by petter this day. He would give each animal a pat and then move on to the next. 

 These little baby ducks were my favorite! 

 Nolan really liked this pig! 

 Heath kept laughing and saying, "stinky pig, stinky pig"! Sometimes he thinks he is so funny! It's super cute! 

milking the cow

A strange sight...some people REALLY love animals!

After the petting zoo, we took a ride on the train. I HEART this picture! 

Nolan wanted to ride in the caboose. It was a fun little ride!

We spent a few minutes at the park before heading to drop the older boys off for naps at Oma's. 
We had a fun filled afternoon planned at the Coors Brewery. Too bad when we got there, the wait to just get in was 2 hours! So we made other plans instead...

we went mini golfing! Tyler and I grew up mini golfing a lot. I hadn't gone in awhile so it was super fun!  

We finished just before the rain started. So we picked up the boys and came home for a little Lego fun! They bought Nolan this Star Wars Lego set. Tyler built it and Nolan supervised. He has played with it non stop since and has even gotten pretty good at putting parts of it back together when it gets broken. 

Showing off their masterpiece! C3PO and R2D2! 
Tyler bought Heath some little Star Wars action figures that have also been all the rage around here! 

Brooks got an OKC Thunder t-shirt and they all got this little soccer ball to share. It actually has similar colors to the Thunder. Brooks likes holding it, rolling with it, and slobbering on it! 

When Tyler asked Nolan where he wanted to have dinner, he of course replied, "Pancake World!" But he had to make due with Pasquini's. We all had pizza except for Nolan. He had penne pasta. And he found the "Magic Noodle"(a piece of spaghetti mixed into his penne)! He thought it meant he was the winner at dinner! 

And a visit from some very special people just wouldn't be complete if we didn't go to Fro Yo with them! We were stuffed after a delicious evening! 

So we came home to lounge around and we actually watched some parts of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. The boys had never seen it before, but they LOVED it! They were glued to the T.V.

Sunday morning we woke up and I made pancakes for breakfast. We hung out for a bit but then it was time for Tyler and Laura to leave to drive to South Fork to be with her family at their cabin for the week. 

 I attempted to take some photos of the boys and Tyler sporting t-shirts with all the different Chicago teams on them. Well, it didn't go quite as planned...
Heath, as usual, was not cooperative! Ha! Laura said it was because he had the t-shirt representing the worst sport. I agree! A bribe of candy at 9 a.m. didn't even work! 

So we'll settle with these cute pics! Cubs, Bulls, and Bears! Tyler and I will be Chicago fans for life, and so will my boys! 

Thanks "T and Lawa" (as Heath calls them!) for taking the time to visit with us!! We had a great time and can't wait to see you at Christmas! LOVE YOU! 

*** the fourth ***

As usual, we went up the the cabin for the fourth of July. What was NOT usual, was that there weren't any fireworks due to the fire ban across many parts of the state. We wouldn't want to start any more fires, but it was strange not to have any fireworks to help celebrate our freedom! 

Of course, this would happen to me...on the way up to the cabin my camera battery died. So all of these pictures were taken on Mark's phone. Here are some photos from our fun family day! 

These two cousins were absolutely adorable on their way to the Indian Hills parade! 

Heath LOVES ponies! I snapped his pic next to this one. It was one of the two horses in the parade! There used to be many more horses! This year, it was mostly old cars and firetrucks! 

The boys loved waving their flags! Nolan kept chanting, "AMERICAN, AMERICAN, AMERICAN!" It was pretty funny that he came up with that on his own! 

Catching candy! They sure had fun and caught a lot! 

They also had fun getting squirted with fire hoses and water guns! Here they had just gotten hit with a water balloon! See Oma running away from it in the background! Nolan actually caught a water balloon that didn't pop! He had fun slamming it on the ground and watching it pop! 

After the parade we had a few lazy hours of lounging around outside the cabin, chatting, and watching the kids play.

I was in charge of bringing fruit to the cabin. I had seen this idea on Pinterest. I cut the watermelon into little sun shapes. I was looking for star shape cookie cutter, but didn't have one. So this sun shape was as close as I could get- I still thought it looked pretty patriotic! 

We had a quick and easy lunch, which was nice after a busy week, and a Wednesday holiday, which meant work for Mark the next day. 

After lunch we played the piano and the kids had a dance party! It is so fun to watch them all singing, dancing, and having fun together! They have pretty neat relationships! We hope they will always be this close! 

So since there wasn't going to be any fireworks, we decided to just go up to the cabin for the morning and then come back home for naps in the afternoon, and a little appliance shopping for our new home in the evening. Not quite fireworks, but still fun as we look forward to creating a new place for our family to live in just 1 week. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

A few of our favorites...

Whenever we have visitors, we always like to take them to a few of our favorite local spots. 

Of course, a visit to Parker would not be complete without dessert at Fro Yo! 
Nolan loved explaining how to pick your cup, your flavor, and your toppings!

He goes to town on the toppings that's for sure! 

Uncle John was brave enough to get the exact same Fro Yo creation that Nolan got! Nolan, or Leroy, as John calls him, thought it was pretty funny! 

The boys eating away at Nolan's favorite place on earth! 

We also always like to take our guests to Daniels Park for a picnic, some climbing, and some amazing views! 
We got Anthony's Pizza (another family fav) and ate our dinner outside! It was a little windy and happened to be the only chilly evening. But we still had a wonderful time. 

We did some exploring...

it was fun to see Trey and Rowan having fun in such a different landscape than they have at home in Michigan! 

Even John had child like fun! 

Searching for the "perfect rock"! 

My guys! Brooks stayed bundled in his carrier!

A pic with my bestie! It was funny because so many people over this week told us that we seemed like sisters- that we looked alike, talked alike, and acted alike. What a wonderful compliment for me because there is nobody else in the world that I would rather be like! This girl has a heart of gold, is a dedicated teacher and a fantastic mother. She seeks to be just like Jesus, is an incredible servant, and is SUPER fun too! Too bad in this photo, she looks adorable and I look like a slob! Oh well! 

We snapped some adorable family photos for them before we left! 

And finally, on our last night together, we went to another one of Nolan's FAVORITE places..."Pancake World"!!!! (Really, IHOP...the kid LOVES this place! 5 flavors of syrup, what more could a boy want?!)
And hey, kids eat free Monday-Friday nights! Can't beat that! 

The kids were soooo great. They ate, and ate, and ate! Check out the Funny Face pancake! Jill and I just laughed as we left the restaurant...we are so in the stage of eating at IHOP! Ha! We are such MOMS! But hey, at least I don't have a mini van! (Just kidding Jiw! You know Mark would buy one in a heartbeat if I let him! Ha!)

And that concludes the Sloothaak Series! We just had sooo much fun, I had to document it all! Our week was busy, and active, and hot! But more than that, it was reconnecting, laughing, loving, and SO special! We made memories that we will never forget!  

Thank you Sloothaak family for valuing our friendship, for traveling across the country, for loving our children, and for being so fun! We look forward to seeing you again around Christmas! HUGS!