Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Fall trip to the zoo

We really love the Omaha zoo.  We go often.   We decided to squeeze in another trip in October before the weather started cooling off too much.  It was a great day!

"Just taking a walk with my peacock friend"

The wiggly bridge

My favorite part of the day was this new exhibit.  You get to feed stingrays.   They come right up to you and take the little fish right out of your hand.  Alexa and I both had a lot of fun with this!

Parker doesn't know if he likes the petting zoo or not.  He will pet the animals but just for a brief second before pulling his hand away.   He was full of smiles though. 

Paul and Alexa on the Skyfari

We are looking forward to our next trip to the zoo already!

Halloween and the Grand Prix

On Halloween, the day started with the Awana Grand Prix at our church.   Alexa has attended Awana for a couple of years but this is the first year she has participated in the Grand Prix.  This is like a pinewood derby and she was very excited to make her car.   Since Alexa was going to dress like a unicorn for Halloween she decided to stick with that theme and make a pink and purple unicorn car.   Alexa worked hard on her car and she helped every step of the way.   On race day, she did very well and even ended up with first place for design!   She was so excited!   

That night, we went trick or treating with Grandma and Grandpa Ladd and Serina and her kids.  I didn't get very many good photos from our adventures.  

Alexa was a unicorn, Parker was Luke Skywalker, Rivers was Superman and Ila was a super cute baby.   It was a lot of fun and the kids got way too much candy!

We carved a lot of pumpkins this year too.

In October, Paul and Alexa also ran in the Pumpkin run.   They did very well and had a lot of fun.  Parker and I cheered them on and Parker was having a great time clapping for everyone as they ran by.  It was cute.

Vala's Pumpkin Patch 2015

When we went on our annual Vala's Pumpkin patch trip this year, it was extra fun because we got to go with Paul's sister, Serina, and her cute kids.   They moved back to Nebraska in August and we love getting to see them more often.  Alexa loves her cousin Rivers and they are good buddies.  Alexa does tend to forget that he's only two and expects him to be able to do everything she can.  And he gives it his best effort!  They are really quite funny together. 

Oh my goodness!   He is just so darn cute!

Parker really liked this long slide!

Not sure who was having more fun?


Alexa loved the obstacle course.   She wants to be an American Ninja Warrior when she grows up!

Family pic in the corn maze

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Family Adventures: August and September

For the remainder of the summer we spent as much time outside as possible.   The slip-n-slide was a huge hit again this year.

We took several more trips to the zoo. 

Alexa always loves going to Paul's work picnic because she gets to jump in bounce houses and get her face painted.   The butterfly was really cute this year.

Mahoney State Park is one of our favorite places and we love going there to spend the afternoon.  

Previously, Parker made it about two seconds every time we've tried to do a pony ride.  This time, I believe he made it a full lap before declaring he was done.   I'd say that is good progress!
Alexa, on the other hand, loves pony rides!
 And petting them too.

Parker prefers mini golf to pony rides.   Although he wants to do about 5 holes....not too.


We did find something Parker thoroughly enjoys though.  We met the cousins at the indoor play structure at Mahoney in September and Parker thought that was just about the best thing ever.  It was so fun to see how well he did at navigating through the obstacles.  It goes to show that Parker can accomplish SO MUCH if he wants to and if he is motivated!
We also did some fun science experiments.  

And caught some butterflies.  

This summer was really beautiful and the weather wasn't too extreme which we definitely took advantage of.  Writing this blog when it's December 29th and 20 degrees outside makes me very anxious for Spring!

A Day At The Farm With Great-Grandpa Gene

In August, we went up and spent the day with my Grandpa Gene and his friend, Geraldine, at the farm.   I'm so glad we were able to coordinate our schedules and make this happen.   This farm has been in the family for around 100 years.   I remember spending time here with my Great-Grandma JuJu and my grandparents, Gene and Leona, every summer when I was young.  I would love looking at the beautiful flowers my Grandma had planted, running from snakes in the yard (well maybe I didn't love that part) and going on walks and having adventures.     
This photo is taken in front of the same home that my Grandpa was born in
Alexa climbed her very first tree during our visit.  I climbed this exact same tree as a kid and I'm sure my Mom did too. 

My grandpa took us on a tour of the farm in the Gator.   I've never had a tour of the whole farm before and I really enjoyed it a lot.  My allergies didn't appreciate it, however. 

It was fun to hear stories of years past and to see trees that have been standing for hundreds of years.   Alexa had a lot of fun watching the grasshopper that jumped onto the dashboard and took the tour with us. 

It really is a beautiful place and I felt so relaxed there.   I was grateful to spend that precious time with my Grandpa and my family!

80th Birthday Surprise

In August, we traveled to Paola, KS to surprise Paul's grandma, Lois, for her 80th birthday.   I'm sure she knew something was up but she played along well.   A lot of family members from several different states came for the celebration.  It was a lot of fun and nice to see all of these family members again! 
The whole crew
Paul's Mom, Grandma and Uncle Bill
Parker giving kisses to Aunt Taryne

Grandma Lois and Uncle Bill

Alexa, Uncle Bill and cousin Jacqueline

Grandma Cheryl with Parker (who I believe is trying to pull his trach out)

Alexa and Jacqueline

Grandma Lois and Alexa...with her curls