Saturday, March 20, 2010

VEGAS!!! ( the LONGEST post ever!)

Well, it had been almost 3 years since we had been to Las Vegas. The last time I saw my sister Theresa was the weekend we put an offer on our house here in Michigan. I remember Thomas was so little, Zachary had just got his glasses and Elise and Mckenna were joined at the hip from the moment we drove up to the second we left. Actually, the last time we left I remember watching Mckenna hang her head and sob on the front step as we drove away, only for us to come back around the block to get the dvd player we left behind! It had been too long but since Josh had a conference there at the Mandalay Bay we decided it was the perfect time to take a family vacation!!
I LOVED seeing my sister! She always takes good care of us when we come to visit. I loved just being able to relax and chat while the kids played with their cousins.

Zachary found Uncle Sandy's lap to be a VERY comfortable spot to lounge while he "helped" them play their Lord of the Rings. Of course he took breaks to be a little silly with the rest of the kids. Elise and Mckenna had some very *interesting* costumes
and were playing games from sun up til sun down (and sometimes into the night!!)

The next leg of our trip was at the Hotel (which was BEAUTIFUL!!). We ran in to my friend Jenny while wandering around trying to figure out what to do all day (while Josh was in the conference) with 4 kids by myself. It was nice to have a friend to chat with while we walked around seeing some sights and getting a bite to eat. Elise was wanting to play photographer and snapped a few pictures. Later that night our friends the Woolley's met us at our room. We hadn't seen anyone since Graduation almost 3 years ago. It's strange how the only thing that was different was the number of kids we were carting around. I hadn't realized *just* how much I had missed seeing Holly on a daily basis (we talk on the phone all the time but face to face is so much fun). The picture was taken after one of our *lengthy* but failed attempts to see the lions.

After all of the running around and taking trams back and forth the kids all tuckered out in a matter of seconds!

While we were there my AMAZING sister was able to get us some tickets to go and see Phantom of the Opera!! We had never seen it and boy was it INCREDIBLE!! We took Elise and Holly with us and had a wonderful evening (Theresa even took the other 3 kids for us!). THANK YOU Theresa!!
We finally were able to get to the Lion exhibit at the MGM while they were open...but the Lions were asleep. The kids didn't seem to care and had fun climbing around and watching the lions twitch from time to time.

Next up was the Shark Reef. Holly and the Boys were able to join us, it was so fun to watch the kids "OOOH" and "AHHHH" at everything. Zachary was the only one of our kids that was brave enough to touch the rays

Then it was that dreaded time again! Time to say Good Bye to a dear friend...We sure miss you guys!

Well, we were thrilled to be back at "Hotel Dobbs" to finish off our trip. Olivia LOVED all the attention and the older kids had a blast playing with their cousins!

Sunday was spent (after church) watching Olympic Men's Hockey -Canada vs USA in the Gold metal game... a VERY exciting game. Of course once Canada won Josh had to go put on his Jersey and parade around.

When you think of Vegas you of course think warm weather and wasn't quite warm enough to swim until the last night we were there. The kids were trying to sun tan while Auntie Theresa was getting the pool heated you can see (by their apparel) it was a little chilly out!

We had fun swimming and playing around for our last night. Then off to the airport VERY early in the morning!!
Zachary had mastered the "art" of schmoozing the flight attendants and came off of every flight with his backpack loaded with every treat you can find on the plane. Olivia would smile at all the travellers sitting around us and Elise and Thomas were full of questions.

We had SO much fun and can't wait to get back there again to see everyone.

Rub A Dub Dub...

Olivia LOVES her Tub!! We bought it for Christmas, but then I couldn't decide if I wanted to have such a big thing hanging around in our small it sat in our bedroom unopened for 6 weeks! Finally, Olivia hit 3 months and we decided it was time to give it a try.

Bath time is fun again!!

Olivia at 3 months

What sweet baby! Olivia is "talking" and smiling so much more. Still sleeping through the night and has survived her brothers so far!

She finds her thumb from time to time...Elise doesn't think she could get any cuter and loves to share a room with her!

Oh how we love this sweet baby!

Happy Birthday Josh!!

Josh turned 32! This year we had a quiet dinner (as quiet as it gets with 4 kids 6 and under). I tried my hand at making pasta with a bacon carbonara sauce and steamed asparagus for Josh's birthday dinner. Pictured above is Josh's new favorite..."coconut cream cake". So easy and yet SOOOO yummy! Later we had some friends over for more snacks. I tried to keep it a surprise but the house was "too" tidy so he knew something was up... surprise or not it was a fun evening!

Just Some Random January Pictures...

Olivia, laughing with her Daddy!

Those sweet sweet smiles!
I bought these little boots before I had them out thinking they would still be huge and they barely fit!! Had to document our first and only time wearing them.
Our first attempt with a little pony tail...not too successful.

Our WONDERFUL neighbor (and Michigan Grandma), Marisa.

Snow Fun!

Well, there was finally enough snow for the kids to get out and enjoy. Olivia (as usual) stayed in and slept.
I had to catch these sweeties in action...

I think their faces say it ALL!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Zachary is 5!!

With Zachary's birthday being a week after Christmas and still having a new baby we decided that having a party OUT of the house would be the best fit for us this year. I LOVE my sweet boys but I didn't need to have 15 5 year old boys running through my house...So, we opted for the Bounce House down the street. I think it worked out pretty well. Since re-opening they have added 36 arcade games (set to FREE play) as well as the bouncers...a little boy's dream! Actually, some of the boys wouldn't leave the games and sat glossy eyed the whole time until the cake. This year we didn't need to worry about decorating, cleaning, prepping for games and yet, long before the party started I found this...

Josh and Olivia were completely asleep on the couch (even with the others climbing all over them).

The Birthday Boy!

Zac, Elise and Vivien (the ONLY "girl" invited to his party...not counting family)

the arcade... need I say more?!

cupcakes and juice. Zac wanted Red icing to go with his "bakugan" party. I had to use an entire tube of red gel food coloring to get it looking like that...that cannot be healthy!

I'm pretty sure Thomas just ate the icing!

Olivia slept the whole time...
Present time...

We can't believe our Zachary is getting so big! He amazes us with how friendly, thoughtful and creative he is. He flashes that big smile and no matter what he's done you can't be mad for long! He'll have you laughing at his jokes or one liners and trying to follow his VERY detailed stories. We sure love you Zac!