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A Weekend Full of Family September 5, 2012

Posted by Danielle in Family Stuff.
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Well, we had quite the Labor Day weekend this year… my brother and his family came to visit, which is always a treat. I got in some good one-on-one time with all of the kids, which was a bonus.

Jack and I decided to make cupcakes for everyone to enjoy.  He loves to bake, which I think is great.

Jack mixing up cupcake batter

Filling up the cupcakes

And then, Miss Emma has really taken off and turned into a little artist.  She also received her prize from Cutter’s Creek, two packs of stickers and a pack of rub-ons.  The rub-ons are a little difficult for her to use, but she loved the stickers.  Here is a picture of what she created using one of the pairs of boots.

Emma coloring in her “Lady wearing tall boots”

Finished “Lady Wearing Tall Boots”

Emma said that the lady has purple hair to match her boots!  I love it.

The next day, we went to my Uncle Mike’s 70th birthday celebration at Stony Creek.  We had perfect weather for his party, and there was quite a turnout, including some out-of-town relatives whom I haven’t seen in years.

Danielle & Bill

Eric, Andrea, Emma, Jack, and Julia

Can you guess who the Birthday Boy is?









Fun with the Kids August 8, 2012

Posted by Danielle in Family Stuff.
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My brother and sister-in-law came over this past weekend because he was standing up in a wedding. So while they were away at the rehearsal dinner, wedding, and reception we got to watch their kids. (I’m paying for it now because I caught whatever the girls had, but it was still worth it!)

On Saturday, our friends came over with their girls.  Every time Jack comes to visit, he asks whether Morgan is going to come over or not. Luckily, this time it worked out and they got to play.  Since it was so hot, Jack and Morgan ran through the sprinklers and played in a small wading pool.  Erin got a little bit wet in her wheelchair, and Emma was out for a short while — but she is not a fan of the sprinklers, so she didn’t last too long.  Julia was napping and missed out this time.


Jack and Morgan pretending buckets are hats

On Sunday, the boys (Dad, Eric, and Jack) went to the Tigers game.  Turns out, they missed the most exciting part — the come-from-behind win!  But it was a long day for them all, and it was probably better that they left early.  While they were gone, the girls stayed home.  While Julia was napping, Andrea and I took Emma to George George park to play on the swings and to feed the ducks.  When we got back and Julia woke up, we had a tea party.  The girls got Princess badges to wear.  They got to drink “tea” (which was lemonade) and eat a chocolate chip muffin.  Afterward, they made foam picture frames (as in they decorated a foam frame with glittery foam stickers).  We had a lot of fun.

Capes and Candy Covered Pretzels! April 1, 2012

Posted by Danielle in Crafts, Family Stuff.
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Here is a picture of my nephew and two nieces wearing the capes I made for them.

Bill and I babysat for the munchkins this past weekend while my brother and sister-in-law went to a wedding.  I made them all capes to use for dress-up following the idea and instructions from The Costume Box, an online class that can be found at Craftsy.  I LOVE that the capes do not really have a set pattern (I’m not a huge fan of using patterns if I don’t have to), and they were super easy to sew up and put together.  The capes are made out of different fabrics, and the patterns were chosen with each child in mind.  From left to right, Jack’s cape is made of a black crushed velvety fabric and is lined with a cotton fabric with a black and gray pattern.  Emma’s cape has ladybugs on the outside and is lined with small pink polka dot material.  Julia’s cape has purple ballerinas on it with stars and is lined with a lavender gingham.

My friends Chris and Cindy brought their girls over for dinner on Saturday, so we had five kids six and under running around the house — what fun! They were all very well-behaved, and the kids had a lot of fun playing together.  Before dinner (as incentive to eat dinner), the kids all rolled pretzel rods in melted white chocolate and then again in candy.  They were a hit!  Everybody ate their dinner and then had pretzels — and my brother’s kids repeated it in the morning so they could have another pretzel rod after lunch, before going back to Grand Rapids.

We all had a great weekend, and the kids were a treat to have and spend time with.  Hope we get to do it again soon.

Birthday Bonanza November 15, 2011

Posted by Danielle in Family Stuff.
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Here are some pictures from our birthday bonanza this past weekend.  Eric, Andrea, and the kids came over to help celebrate all the November birthdays!

Jack, Papa, and I went to George George Park on Friday afternoon while the girls were napping.  He had a lot of fun playing in the park.  We had a good ol’ game of tag on the playground equipment, and then we took a walk down to see if there were any ducks left in the pond.

This tower is one of Jack's "safe" spots in the tag game.

Some of the few remaining trees with leaves on them!


Sure enough, ducks were still swimming in the pond.

After we got back from the park, we did birthday presents, dinner, and birthday cake with ice cream.  Bill and I got Jack a Darth Vader alarm clock/FM radio and a C3PO wristwatch.  Papa and Grandma got him a Hotwheels boat with a shark that eats the people!

We had multiple cakes, as usual… There were two layer cakes and bear cakes.  Eric and Jack got chocolate cakes with chocolate buttercream frosting, and Bill got a white cake with buttercream frosting.

Jack loved his bear cake -- he ate every crumb!


Eric and his birthday cake


Bill and his birthday cake

Also, on a side note, the kids got their journals over the weekend.  Jack LOVED his journal, which brought a smile to my face.  He used it immediately, and I was glad to see how much confidence he’s gained recently about his abilities.  The first journal I’d made him wasn’t nearly as big a hit with him since he didn’t want to draw or write in it.  This time, he jumped in with both feet!  Emma had fun doing swirls in her notebook, and Papa also traced her hand in it and dated it.  Julia carried hers around… but at least she left the other kids’ journals alone!

R2D2 and C3PO


Michigan and the Great Lakes

These are my two favorite pages that Jack did over the weekend.