Friday, July 31, 2015

Back to S-Wood

After our weekend in Whitehall, we headed back to Streamwood for 4 more days of vacation. This was truly a vacation. We just relaxed and didn't make it jam packed. Mark and I got to go to a movie- we saw Jurassic World. And we got to go out on a double date with Don and Jocelyn. And it was so nice to just have slow time together. 

My Mom introduced the boys to Yoga. She has a Kids Yoga app on her iPad. 
She does it with her students at school. 
Nolan got especially into it. It was cute to watch! 

Mark and I went for a jog and met my Mom and the boys at a purple park they had spotted earlier in the week. They walked and then we played together before we took off to jog some more and my Mom walked home with the boys. 
They all loved this steep slide. 

This picture was missing from the last post. Heath's date actually took place after Whitehall. He patiently waited for this monstrous strawberry sundae. 

One day Flobby took us back to Enchanted Castle. We went last summer, but Mark had already left, so this time he got to join us too! 
Flobby's family friend owns the place, so we got the royal hook up! 

The boys enjoyed the rides and games! 

 And the time with Auntie and Flobby was pretty special too! 

This year we all got wrist bands for unlimited rides and activities. 

 Bumper Cars are always a HIT! 

 And this play land is super fun! Brooks had a blast in it too this year! 

Then it was off to the go-karts! 
This was Brooksie's favorite! He rode with me, Heath rode with Bob, and Nolan rode with Mark. Mark and Nolan came in first, Bob and Heath second, and Brooks and I in third, which N & H thought was hilarious! Especially since 2 cars edged me out! Oh well, I had a fun little joy ride! 

We also rode this spinny ride a time or two! Nolan and Bob enjoy the crazy spininess the most! (Which I'm sure they will be ride buddies when we are in Disney World!) Nolan loves the thrill! I feel like I will puke! And Heath didn't love it either. 

And finally we turned in our tickets and got some really awesome prizes! Orange bracelets, candy, and trinkets. 
Thanks Flobby for treating us to such a fun day! 

Brooks loved playing in my parent's bay window. He would set up these little wooden houses and drive Matchbox cars between them. It was so sweet. 

 Drawing with chalk on a chilly morning. 

We took a walk up to some baseball fields to play a bit. It had rained really hard the night before, so they were pretty soaked and underwater, so we didn't get to play a "real game". But it was fun. 

Family Dinner at Portillos! 
I had been waiting all week for this! Of course I got a burger. But so did the boys. Portillos doesn't have a kids menu, so the burgers they got were the same size as mine. And they PUT.THEM.DOWN! Brooks got a hot dog and scarfed every last bite as well. I'm raising them right. 

Sleepover at Auntie & Flobby's! Picnic, wii, movies, not enough sleep, and only a little drama = a successful night! 

This one creeped into Auntie's bed early in the morning. 

Loving on Gryffin in a calm moment. Most moments they are chasing him and pointing lazer beams in his eyes. No wonder he hisses at them. Ha! But they still looooooove him! 

Cuddles with Grandpa! 

And of course, we had to celebrate the new Stanley Cup Champions THE Chicago Blackhawks! Mallory picked up these shirts for the boys! They looked so cute sporting them for our road trip home! 

Road Trip sustenance- Nanas! 

And then it was time to make the 15 hour ride home! I have just one more post coming from our day spent at Brookfield Zoo. I had so many great pictures there that it deserves it's own post. Our trip home went great. Just stopping for the bathroom when we stopped for gas. Brooks talked our ears off. They napped and watched movies and were such troopers! Mark doesn't love driving, but it was really worth it and went so well! 

We were so thankful for such a great trip and for lots of family time and happy memories. We love our family so much and wish we lived closer. Good thing Mal & Bob are moving out here so soon! Now we just have to work on my Mom & Dad! It will happen. I know it! Love you guys! xoxoxo

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Whitehall Weekend

We always have such a great time in Whitehall! And this weekend was no exception! Pure Michigan! 
We left early Friday morning for our 4 hour drive up North. Our car's passengers were Mark, my Dad, my Mom, Brooks, and myself. 

Mal, Bob, Nolan, and Heath drove in a second car. We powered through, just stopping for a potty break once, and drove straight to Whitehall. 

And we went directly to Dog 'n Suds! (Well, at least some of us did, ahem, Mallory, ahem doesn't listen. Love you sis!) Always a must! 

A charming drive up diner right on White Lake! Beautiful views, great company! My cousins, Matt and Andrew, even kayaked up to meet us! 

The boys love throwing rocks and sticks off the pier and watching the boats pull up to grab a bite to eat. 

And of course, a frosty mug of Root Beer is also a MUST at Dog 'n Suds! 
After eating, we headed to my Grandma's house. We visited with my Grandma and welcomed lots of family members with hugs as they stopped by and came in and out. That's how it always is at my Grandma's house- a revolving door of aunts, uncles, cousins. So special. 

Then we walked a few blocks down to the lake to play at the park. 

The same swings I sat in when I was a kid. 

Grandpa and Heath looking for fish, frogs and turtles.

Such a nice spot to stop and enjoy the view. 

These two sure love each other. They are so blessed to have one another. I pray that they will always be best buds! 
And somehow I managed this shot, with much help. The three musketeers! 

After our walk we headed back to Great Grandma's to play. 
The boys love the Davenport! I have such great memories of playing with my cousins out there. Or sitting with my Grandpa on the couch at night and watching people walk by, chatting, him singing hymns. Brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. 
My Grandma's side street is under construction right now. The boys had fun climbing her big dirt pile! They also played some baseball in her yard and ran circles around her house. Nolan said he was doing 10 laps. Ha! They love the freedom of this sweet little town. 

After Big John's Pizza dinner, we walked to Dairy Treat. It was the perfect summer night. 
We stopped to say hi to our favorite horse along the way! 

Brooks loves the horse, just like we all do! Ha! Auntie Laura…are you jealous? 

Ahhhh Dairy Treat! My FAVORITE! Go big or go home! 

Eating on the roof! 

The sun doesn't set until about 10 p.m. So it was a late night for our little munchkins. We somehow manage to find comfy spots for us all in my grandma's house. 
Brooksie nestled in his bed of pillows and blankets on the floor in our room. 

The next morning was the 4th of July! 
And we were ready for a PARADE!

We respectfully watched many firetrucks and servicemen come down the road first. 
And then it was time for the CANDY! 

Grandpa and Nolan waving for some candy... 
and some Freeze Pops! 

These are ALL my people! We are quite the crew. 

This guy, however, is not my people. Creepy much? 

I sent this video to Tyler and Laura to show them what they were missing. 
Only in Whitehall.

Brooksie checking out who was coming down the street next. 

And it was THIS! A hot air balloon basket, shooting fire! Again…only in Whitehall! Ha! 

Heath running out into the middle of the street for stray candy. We ended up with 3 full bags and 3 happy boys! 

After the parade, we headed to my Dad's cousin's Bait Shop. 
We picked up our fishing licenses and some worms for fishing later that day. 
The boys loved looking at the minnows. 

Then we hit up Pitkins and put our blankets out by the lake to save our spot for the fireworks later. 

My Aunt Lori hosted the family BBQ at her house that afternoon. 
We had plenty of good food! 

And the boys had fun running in the woods with cousin Leah. 

They had the best time exploring! 

relaxing with Daddy

Just a few shots of the whole fam! 

The boys were so excited to go fishing with Grandpa! 
We walked down to the lake to fish in the same spot Mommy, Grandpa, and Great Grandpa have all fished for years and years. 

Heath was the best fisherman! He loved casting! He didn't catch anything, but was patient and persistent! It was so fun to watch! 

Grandpa was the "luckiest" fisherman of the day! He caught about 9 of these little guys! The fish were not very big that day.

Nolan enjoyed fishing but was happiest when there was action- taking the fish off the hooks, holding them and tossing them back in the water. He also loved the worms! He would dig them out of the dirt and pass them out to whoever needed one. 

This little dude liked the worms too! He tried his best fishing but expected a catch every time! Ha! 

I caught two! I think they were small Blue Gills. And Flobby caught a couple as well. Mark, Mallory, and the boys all came up empty handed. But it was super fun to fish again! We wish we had a good fishing spot closer to us so that we could take the boys more often. 

After our fishing adventure, it was back to Grandma's for some game time with the cousins. 
We've played games together since we were little kids, Monopoly and Carroms were our favorites back in the day. 

We sure squeezed in a lot of fun in just one day. And it wasn't done yet,  

next up…Fireworks! 

Auntie came prepared with sparklers and glowsticks! 

I love the new sweatshirt I bought that weekend. 

So glad this handsome guy has put up with THIS firecracker for 16 years now! 

COUSINS! So thankful for this family of mine. We are only together once or twice a year, but we always have the BEST time! 

Heath was the glowstick KING! The brighter the better! 
The fireworks were good, but the boys were exhausted and they fell asleep about 10 minutes into the show. 
We didn't end up getting back to Grandma's house until almost midnight. It was a fun family day and we were all exhausted and ready for bed! 

The next morning we slept in, ate breakfast with Grandma, and then got ready to get back on the road.  
Grandma always slips the boys some money and packs a plate of her famous cookies for me! And I always hide some little love notes for her in her daily calendar before I leave. Love these little traditions that I know my boys will always remember. 

It was a wonderful weekend. We love you Johnson Family!