Sunday, November 30, 2014

Johnson Wedding Rehearsal

After a relaxing day at the spa we were ready for a fun family night out! The weather had been kind of dreary that day so the boys just hung around playing at the hotel and they even went back to Chic-fil-a for more time to run and climb and chase and slide their energy out! So we were all ready to reconnect at the end of the day and to spend time together that night. 

Laura's family goes to a large church that has a smaller, beautiful chapel used for weddings. The lighting in the room was gorgeous. And the boys were ready to practice their Ring Bearer duties as soon as we got there! 
They took their job very seriously! 

As soon as Uncle T. and Auntie Laura got to the church they surprised the boys with these cool top hats! They were so happy! 
You see, when T & L asked the boys to be Ring Bearers, they gave them these adorable Lego Mini Figures that were dressed in tuxedos and top hats. (see below) 
The boys then assumed they would really be wearing top hats. So we had to tell them, no, the top hats were just on the Lego guys to complete the mini figures. But they loved those little guys from hat to toe and talked about them often. 
So it was the greatest surprise! Auntie Laura loves the boys that much that she would forgo any wedding style or vision to make the boys happy! And really, the top hats stole the show! They were such a fun statement and they never left the boys' heads for two days straight! 
Can't you just tell she's the BEST?! We could not be more thrilled to welcome this girl into our family. She is so much fun and such a kid at heart. And she loves my brother (and our boys) so much! It's also so fun having another sister too!

So we rehearsed! And all went well. 

Tyler and Laura had 6 little ones in their wedding party. Jude, Laura's nephew, was a bell ringer. And Salem and Lilah, her nieces, were flower girls. And then our three boys were ring bearers. Instead of carrying pillows down the aisle they carried boxes. The boys thought the jewels on them were so cool! But what was even more cool was what was inside! When they got to the end of the aisle during the rehearsal they got to open them up and look inside! 
Hugs for Uncle T! 

Brooks was thrilled to find glow in the dark bouncy balls in his! This guy is easy to please. Give him a ball and he's happy. 

And oh so many treasures in N & H's boxes! Lego Mini Figures, Mario guys, and NHL and NFL guys! And no doubles! When Heath opened his box he shouted, "AWESOME!" So it was a good call to let the boys open them on this night instead of waiting for the wedding ceremony the next day. And Uncle T. had fun opening up all of the surprise packages to put the figures inside of the boxes too! You never know what you're gonna get, which is part of the fun! And then there was no crinkling of packages opening during the service either. The boys quietly played with their new toys and kept busy during the rehearsal and during the wedding too! It was a great idea! 

Love how laid back Laura is about things. She doesn't sweat the details which is refreshing! (so very unlike me) She just wanted everyone to be happy and comfortable and to have a good time! And that we did! 

The practice went great and we were ready to relax and eat and visit with family that had traveled to be here for the wedding. With Mallory and Tyler's weddings being so close together, and Tyler's being all the way in Oklahoma, and the date being so close to Thanksgiving, we didn't have as many people from our sides of the family attending. But we were so thankful for the friends and family that made the trip and were there to celebrate with us that weekend. 

The rehearsal dinner was in Bricktown. The views were amazing! 
 We loved being downtown and seeing the skyline! 

 When we got there we mixed and mingled and ate and drank. We were out on an inclosed patio and also had access to a grassy area and fire pit. The dinner had a chill feel and it was fun to get caught up with everyone! (There were 85 people there! So we did a lot of chatting!)

The pizza was super yummy and they even brought out dough for the boys to play with! 

We spent a lot of time with our Johnson family. We sure love our Johnson family! We have so much fun when we're together. Just wish it could be more often! 
So thankful they all came down from Michigan! 
Steven said it best, "When you're with the Johnson family, the party never stops!" Ha! Love it! 
We just wished Grandma could have been there. But we made sure to take LOTS of pictures to share with her. 

My Mom, sister, and I whipped up these little favors last minute to share with all of the guests. 
Heath and Reese's are Tyler & Laura's favorite candies! And they made for a yummy dessert too. 

At the end of the night I caught these two spending a few last, single moments together. 
They just looked so happy and so ready. I had to snap their picture. It was the perfect night and a great way to get the party started!

Saturday, November 29, 2014


Last week, we drove down to Oklahoma City for my brother's wedding! We decided to drive through the night so that the boys would sleep most of the way. And they did! They did great. Mark drove the whole way and I slept a tiny bit here or there. I tried to stay awake to keep Mark company as he drove. He insisted on driving the whole way because he doesn't quite love my high way driving. Ha! 
Here they are…cashed out. 

It took about 10 hours. We got there early in the morning, too early to check into our hotel. So, we scoped out where it was...
you couldn't miss it. It was bright yellow. 

And then we headed over to Chic-fil-a for a few hours of breakfast and play time. My brother came to join us for breakfast as well on his way to work for the day. It was fun to get a little time with just him before the busy wedding festivities started! 

After eating for awhile we drove down to Norman to see Tyler's campus. 
 It was a beautiful day and the campus was so nice! 
It was cool to see where Tyler teaches and has lived for the past couple of years. 

Around 1 p.m. we were finally able to check into our hotel. We gave the boys baths to wash off the road trip and then we all rested. 

The boys LOVED staying in a hotel! 

Later that evening, Grandpa, Grandma, Auntie, and Flobby got in. We headed to the mall for a bit and then out to dinner with Uncle T., Auntie Laura, and her family. 
Grandpa hanging with the boys at dinner. 
This is a picture of what Nolan drew during dinner. He is so creative! Love his little mind! Makes me smile and laugh! 

After dinner we went to see Tyler and Laura's new home. It was so charming and beautifully decorated! I love being able to picture their new life together now. 

One of the boys' favorite parts of staying at the hotel...
Free, unlimited breakfast! They ate so well! And loved eating with Grandpa and Grandma every morning too. 

On Friday, Laura treated all of us girls to a day at the spa! 
It was wonderfully relaxing! Manicures and Massages! Thank you Laura! 

I have so many more pictures to share from the Rehearsal/Dinner and Wedding Day, but they are so much fun that they deserve their own posts, so we are now going to skip ahead a few days into the trip. 

The day after the wedding we had a Johnson-Rauh family brunch at Laura's parents' house. The boys got awesome gifts from Uncle T. and Auntie Laura to thank them for being Ring Bearers on their big day! 
Brooks loves his Paw Patrol station! 

And Heath and Nolan got new Lego sets. They were thrilled! 

We ate and talked about the wedding and enjoyed our last few minutes together as a family. We aren't sure of the next time that we will all be together again. Sad! 
 Then it was time to say our tearful goodbyes, give hugs, and get out on the road. 

Our drive home was mostly day driving, but the boys still did great! They read and drew pictures and watched movies and slept and ate. We were very impressed with how smoothly it went! It was boring, but easy. We got home around 9 p.m. and put the boys straight to bed. I had to teach the next two days, but the boys and Mark were all off for Thanksgiving Break. So they have been playing and relaxing and loving having time at home together! 

They built their new Lego sets this week! 
Nolan's Spyder Bytes Ninja Turtle Set...

and Heath's Batcopter! Thanks Uncle T. and Auntie Laura for spoiling the boys (and us) with gifts and LOVE this weekend! We had the best time celebrating your new marriage! Can't wait to share our pics and stories from the rest of the weekend next! 

Friday, November 28, 2014

November Randomness...

Gonna try to get caught up on the blog today! Here are a bunch of random photos from November...
Sometime I wonder if I will EVER get a moment of peace & quiet! It's loud and wild around here probably about 90% of the time! Really it is. The boy energy is insane! But boy do they have fun!

We have started a little kid swap with the Leensvaarts. We watch their kiddos one night a month so they can have a date in exchange for them watching our boys one night a month so that we can go out. 
Month #1 was a huge success! Our boys LOVE Jack and have a blast playing with him! And Brooks has become smitten with Nora. He was tickling her and giving her a paci and smiling at her. It was the sweetest thing! 

Here Mark and I are on our date night out. We hit up the mall to buy him a new suit and then we went to one of our favorite restaurants- Il Fornio. 

How I found the boys watching a game one night! And of course our little one wanted nothing to do with posing for a quick pic. 

Parent-Teacher Conference Prep! It's a lot of work, made more manageable with a Red Cup! Always glad to have conferences behind me, but they are so important. I love getting a glimpse into the family life of my little Kindies. It really helps me be more intentional in the way that I love, support, teach, and guide them. 

Kakos-Warren-Jansen Family fun night! Karaoke! 

These two. Brooks loves holding Heath's hand when they walk in parking lots. We were heading to Men's Warehouse to get the boys fitted for their tuxes for Uncle T.'s wedding. 

Nolan joined choir at church this year. He has such a great voice and we are so happy he is choosing to share it in this way!
His choir is named "Poco a Poco". And it's a big commitment. You must attend rehearsal every weekend to perform. Performance weekends consist of hours of rehearsals with the band on stage and 3 church services. We missed the first performance weekend when we were in Chicago for Mallory's wedding, so this was Nolan's first time. 

He was a little nervous beforehand, but he completely rose to the occasion. He sang his heart out and sounded great! Love hearing those little voices singing praises to God. We can't wait to see him bloom as a singer and choir member as he continues this year and for years to come. 

After a busy choir weekend, Nolan joined his friends from school at Chuck-e-Cheese for Shane's birthday party! I was hoping that it was a drop off party, because I was really looking forward to a few hours of alone time, but it wasn't. All of the parents stuck around. So I was able to snap a few pictures of Nolan with his buddies. 
Skee Ball with Shane

Working together with Jayden to win some tickets! 

The Birthday boy!

High Fives for Chuck-e-Cheese! 

Mammoth Heights guys!

Heath and I went shopping one day for his Operation Christmas Child. His school does this every year and it has been a nice way for Heath to tangibly give to others. He loved picking out just the right toys and toiletries for his 4-6 year old boy. 

We had a few cold and snowy days! 
 Negative Temps…boo! 
The boys looked so cute all bundled up for school. I just had to snap their pictures. 

And one with this cutie after our drop offs. Treasuring my one on one time with him on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. 

Our mornings together are usually filled with...

and balls of any kind. 
On this morning it was potty training, laundry basket, soccer ball, hoops! 

Mammoth Heights offers super fun Art Enrichment classes. Nolan took a couple of them last year and just took another one this month: Cookies and Canvases. This is what he created. An alien. I love it! 

Brooks made it through his first movie: Big Hero 6! 
It was great! The boys thought it was funny, which it was, but what I loved most about it was it's messages of teamwork, self-sacrifice, kindness, perseverance, ingenuity, friendship, and so much more! It's definitely a must see! 

And finally...
The Krauth family has given my boys a new found love of edamame! They love them and so do we! 

O.k. now that I'm through all the day to day stuff…it's time to party! OKC road trip, Heath's birthday, and Johnson-Rauh wedding amazingness! So much fun to share!