Monthly Archives: April 2015

Minnesota Zoo

I had another fun day today with my friend Bri and kiddos Harper (3 1/2) and Declan (2 1/2).  We went to the Minnesota Zoo and spent the whole day checking out all of the animals!

Our first stop was the aquarium, and the kids were amazed at all of the fish!

I was not so much a fan of the various sharks that were there…

They rode the carousel (which is fairly new there) and both had HUGE smiles on their faces every time they went around.  The carousel had some really neat animals including a grasshopper, baby seals, and a giraffe!

One of the highlights of the day was feeding the goats at the Farm area.  At first, the kids weren’t too sure about getting up close to the over-eager goats.

This quickly changed!

And their smiles and squeals were priceless!

Dex LOVED them

I think that white goat ate 90% of their food…he must have been hungry!

The baby goats were my favorite…they were SO cute!

Look at Harper’s smile!

Leopard

One of the bears was swimming and it was so neat to see him right up against the glass

Lemur

Gibbon

Flamingos

Tapir

Declan, Harper, & Bri

It was so fun to spend the day with these 3…since they moved a year ago and now live about 30 minutes away from us we don’t see them nearly as much as we used to or as much as I would like!

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Lydia

Kelsey texted me yesterday that their nanny was sick and they were in need of a sitter for Lydia for today…I jumped at the chance to get to spend the day with their sweet 14 month old! So…while Kelsey and Robbie were both hard at work, I got to play, play, play all day!

The weather was gorgeous today so we spent most of the day outside

We went to a nearby park…but trying to wrangle a toddler and take pictures is impossible.  We did have a lot of fun there though and it was tough for Lydia when we had to leave.

She is so sweet and fun!

We went for a run after nap in the afternoon and pushing a stroller plus a 20+lb kiddo is HEAVY!  I definitely got my workout in today!


April Fun

Every Wednesday night during the school year, I help out with our kids programs at church and it is a highlight of my week every week.  I work with the preschool aged kids (3-5) and it is an absolute joy.  After songs, story time, and games, I am responsible for teaching the kids their memory verse for the month and have them each recite it for me.  The prize is a fancy stamp-on-the-hand which never gets old in their eyes!  There is nothing cuter than a 3 year old reciting a sweet Bible verse!  They are not always short either…this fall we worked on Romans 8:39 which says ‘Nothing at all can ever separate us from God’s love because of what Christ Jesus our Lord has done’.  Now imagine hearing that individually from 20+ preschoolers, complete with hand motions….adorable!

We had our end of the year celebration this past week and it was so sad to know that I won’t have half of the kiddos next year since they will move up to the next age group!

Dave, my father-in-law has taught the boys group (3rd-5th grades) for years and years and has such a positive influence on these young boys.

It was bittersweet to say goodbye to my friend and coworker Liz (far right) as she takes on a new position that she is super excited for.  We have worked together for almost 4 years now and work is going to be so different without her!  We went out for a going away breakfast on one of her last shifts.

Saturday was a yard work day (after my mom and I spent the morning going garage saleing at a neighborhood-wide sale with over 100 sales).  I started burning our brush pile that has slowly overtaken a corner of our yard and had quite the impressive fire going!

Kelly, Kirstin, Alyssa, Mariah, & Emily

Today after church, I was so excited to meet up with some of my college friends!  It isn’t often that we are able to get together…as nurses it is SO hard to coordinate many schedules.  We had lunch at a cute cafe and spent a few hours catching up! Alyssa and Emily are both expecting sweet babies and I cannot wait to meet both of them!  I am so blessed to have such amazing friends that we can just pick up where we left off each time we get together.


Final Michigan

On top of all of the fun ‘adventures’ that we went on…we also spent a lot of time just playing and hanging out.  In Florida, B wasn’t too sure about me so I was a little nervous about how she was going to react to me.  Thankfully, I had nothing to worry about and it just about broke my heart when Carrie told me that she kept walking into the guest bedroom looking for me after I had left!

We briefly went to the local museum

Before hitting up the park

We played outside and just enjoyed the warm weather!

The grass was a new phenomenon that took some getting used to

Her ‘oooh’ face

We went for one last walk before I had to head home…and after 8 1/2 hours I pulled into the driveway!  I had picked out an audiobook which was perfect and I was able to finish the whole thing and made the trip go by so much more quickly!  I would highly recommend checking out an audiobook if you are going on a roadtrip!


Michigan Part 3

A rainy day took us to Lansing where we started off at the Capitol building. after a morning of playing inside.

The building is absolutely gorgeous…

We were a little disappointed because we started off on a tour with a school group, but after a few nasty glances from the teacher, we decided to do a self-guided tour.  Apparently she was not happy with having additional members on what she considered ‘her tour’…even though it was open to the public!

Governor’s Quarters

Even the door knob’s had Michigan’s seal on them!

Senate Chambers

Pushing the stroller by herself was a highlight of the day

House of Representatives Chambers

Seal of Michigan

It was cold and rainy…but we tried to make the most of the day!

We headed to the zoo (since Carrie’s membership allowed free entrance to the Lansing zoo) even though the weather was shaky…

Not even 15 minutes after we got there, the clouds broke and the sun came out!  The best part was that we had virtually the WHOLE zoo to ourselves!  We saw 2 other families the entire time!

The keepers were feeding a lot of the animals also which was really neat

Cute!

They had two rhinos which was probably my favorite part of the zoo!

The meerkats were so cute just lounging

There were peacocks that just roamed around the zoo, and they were definitely a favorite of Benta’s.  She kept pointing at them!

The penguins were being fed, and I could not believe how big the fish were that they were swallowing!

It was so fun to have the zoo to ourselves and we took our time and enjoyed it all!

The Mandrills were probably Benta’s favorite, and we spent at least 15 minutes watching them.

The lion also happened to come into the viewing area, and it was neat to see him gnawing on a bone!

Then we headed home to spend a fun evening outside!

Benta loves her little car, and their sloped driveway makes the perfect runway for fun!

She just laughed and laughed every time!

Seriously…could this girl get any more excited!?

Nick was literally running to stay ahead of her!

She was not happy to go inside either…it was way too much fun outside!


Michigan Part 2

Nick had a day off while I was visiting, so we headed to Grand Rapids for the day!

We went to the zoo, and since it was a Sunday, it was absolutely PACKED!

The penguins were first and were so cute

Mountain Lion

Snow Leopard

Just taking it all in 🙂

They had a new tiger exhibit with two tigers which was neat, but you had to walk quite a ways away from everything else to get there

Chimpanzees

Benta, Carrie, & Nick

Auntie Kelly & Benta

Then we went to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (he grew up in Grand Rapids) where we learned a lot about President Ford and his family.

They had built a replica of the Oval Office as it was when President Ford was in term and it was so neat!

Someone liked to run around the whole museum and we spent our time chasing her down while trying to look at the exhibits.

Both President Ford and his wife Betty are buried on the grounds in a beautiful memorial area.

His favorite passage from the Bible is on a plaque there as well…and also happens to be one of my favorites as well.

Carrie, Benta, & Kelly

Nick, Benta, & Carrie

Benta was done being trapped in the stroller and just wanted to walk…so that’s what we did!

Our last stop was to Founder’s Brewery, and this cute engine house was on the corner!

We had another fun filled day!


Michigan Part 1

I drove to Michigan to spend a week with Carrie, Nick, & Benta 2 weeks ago, and although I ran into some terrible storms including tornadoes, I made it safely there and back with no real incidences! I did spend over an hour at a gas station waiting out a tornado warning…that thankfully my smartphone had warned me about!

Of course I was excited for all of the fun things my sister and I had planned for the week…but I was super pumped to spend every day with this cutie…

Benta is 13 months old now and ALL over the place!

The curls just kill me!

Our first day of adventures, we traveled to the Chapin Mansion in Niles, MI

Henry Chapin made a fortune mining iron ore in the Upper Peninsula, and built this mansion in the 1880s until his passing, his family sold the beautiful home to the city for it to be used for public purposes.  In the 1930s, it became the City Hall until 2012 when it was declared to be a historic building and a new City Hall was built.  The restoration process is in the beginning phases, but we both enjoyed the tour!

Benta loves loves loves her mama!

From there, we headed to the South Bend Chocolate Company to go on a tour!

They had a cute little museum to look at while we waited

And this had us laughing!

I have to give Benta tons of credit…she is such a good traveler and just went along with whatever we were doing, sleeping when she could in the car, or toddling around.

She also kept us laughing hysterically a lot of the time!

And when you give her chocolate….oh my goodness life is good!

Unfortunately the weren’t in production while we were there, but everything looked and smelled sooo good!

Our last stop of the day was to St. Joseph, MI to ride the Silver Beach Carousel and see the St. Joseph’s Lighthouse.

The carousel was gorgeous, and each horse was so unique!

Benta wasn’t too sure about it all

And if you know her at all, she is full of smiles most of the time…so this video shows how unsure she was of it all!

After a few times around, she warmed up a little more and didn’t cry at all so that was good

Then we walked out to the lighthouse…the weather was gorgeous and we enjoyed just being outside!

We had such a fun (and busy) day!


Easter 2015

I was happy to be off the weekend of Easter and we were so thankful to get to celebrate with BOTH of our parents!  My parents drove over from WI to celebrate with the Bob’s ENTIRE family!  There were over 30 people at Easter this year!  Sadly I didn’t get many pictures of the day….but we did enjoy a wonderful meal made by Dave and Laurel which was followed by a fun afternoon of playing wiffle ball and catching up with family!

Dad, Mom, Kelly, & Bob

We had such a fun time celebrating Our Savior’s resurrection!

‘He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay’ Matthew 28:6


Clarabella & Annalisa’s Skating

We headed to Stevens Point a few weekends ago for a quick day trip to watch Clarabella & Annalisa skate in their spring show.  They were our flower girls in our wedding and we are still close friends with their wonderful family!  I baby-sat for them through college and treasure the relationships that we have with them!

Annalisa’s program was up first (she is in the lime green on the far right)

Leading the lime green line!

Front right

She did awesome and it was so fun watching!

Clarabella (in the middle to the left of the little one)

Second from right

Again, she did amazing and it is so fun to see how much the girls have improved since the last time we saw them skate (I think 3 years ago!)

Melt my heart…Bob pulling Annalisa’s skate bag 🙂

Annalisa & Clarabella

Bob surprised them with roses and their smiles were absolutely priceless!

Annalisa, Kelly, Clarabella, & Bob

We decided to make a fun day of the road trip and started off with a stop at the Leinie Lodge (the Leinenkugel Brewery in Chippewa Falls)

Bob really enjoyed getting to sample their taps!

Then we stopped at our favorite cheese factory on the way for a yummy snack!  Their pepperjack cheddar is amazing!

And on our way home we ate dinner at the Thorpedo Restaurant in Thorpe, WI.  We have driven by so many times and always want to stop but are usually in a hurry to get home or it is super late.

Their homestyle menu was pretty good…but I really enjoyed seeing all of the Amish milling around on their bicycles and in their buggies!

It was a long day but as always, it was fun to spend it with Bob!


Beach Day

Our last day we spent alone since Carrie and Nick had to fly out early and my parents headed to my grandparents for a few days.  We didn’t fly out until evening, and decided to make the most of our day!

The weather was gorgeous and we swam, read, and just relaxed for a few hours

I thought I had put on plenty of sunscreen (and I had avoided getting burned all week) but somehow I got horribly burnt! I guess I should have reapplied a few more times!

We headed to my favorite Chick-Fil-A for lunch and I was one happy camper!

We still had a few hours before we had to return our rental car and headed to the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

We didn’t really see any wildlife which was a bummer, but the scenery was still beautiful!

We had a great trip and are so thankful for my parents for such a fun week!