Sunday, October 8, 2017


We had our annual Lake Okoboji trip over Labor Day.  We had a big group this year - the five of us, my parents, Matt and Janelle, and Janelle's parents and her sister's family.  We all had a great time and the kids had fun with Janelle's niece and nephew at Arnold's Park, swimming off the dock, and boating.  I love the lake, I just wish it wasn't such a long drive!

Horseback Riding Lessons

Kayley is our animal lover.  She loves them all, but especially dogs, cats and horses.  We bought her one horseback riding lesson for her birthday to see how she liked it.  She LOVED it.  So did Ryan.  The teacher was so sweet and let Ryan get on for a little bit too.  Kayley has been begging for more lessons so I took her another time and she is hooked.

August Omaha Trip

We made a quick road trip to Omaha in August for Matt and Janelle's Omaha wedding celebration.  We got to spend some time with Andy's side of the family and see my extended family that came to town for Matt and Janelle's party.  It was a quick trip, but a great time!

Sox and Mitch reunited

The local high school marching band was
practicing Saturday morning and we got
a special performance right in front of
Mitch and Kate's house.  

Ryan, JD and Drew in the pool

This might be the smallest hotel pool
we have ever seen!

Ryan and Grandpa

The kids were dying to go down the
water slide into the pool!

Grandma and Kayley

Kalkwarf Family

Kalkwarf and Swanson Families

Mom and 3 of her siblings - Jan, Sharon and Larry

Kalkwarf and Swanson Families again

First Day of School 2017

We have a 5th grader, a 4th grader and a Kindergartener!  I still remember very clearly holding an infant Ryan in my arms while sending Drew off to Kindergarten.  Unlike with Drew, I didn't cry sending Ryan off to Kindergarten.  It helped tremendously that he didn't cry.  And the thought of not paying for daycare helped too!

Back to School Night - Ryan got to meet
his teacher (same teacher Kayley had)
and see his classroom the night before
school started.  

4th grade, Kindergarten, 5th grade

Neighborhood friends

Excited to get on the bus

So tired after his second day of school!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

California Vacation and Matt's Wedding

My brother, Matt, got married in July so we headed to California for the wedding!  We decided to make a family vacation out of it and spent our first few days in California at Disneyland and California Adventure, then spent a day at the beach before heading to Temecula for the wedding.  We spent our last day back at the beach.

We had a great time at Disneyland and California Adventure.  The lines weren't too bad considering we were there in the middle of summer vacation.  Of course, I am comparing it to Disney World when we went over spring break a few years ago (those lines were crazy).  The kids loved the beach and trying out the boogie boards.  We all enjoyed the pool and hot tub at our rental house in Anaheim.  Ryan learned to jump off the diving board and swim to the side without his floatie and Drew and Kayley learned how to dive in from the diving board so it was a productive vacation!  Matt and Janelle's wedding was beautiful and we had a lot of fun catching up with some of our family that were able to make the trip to Temecula for the wedding.  It was a very memorable trip!

Patiently waiting to board

Finally on the plane

Ryan was very excited to fly

First ride at Disneyland

Warming up with some kiddie rides

Waiting for It's a Small World

We did not plan girls in black and boys in red

Family Picture

Ryan wasn't tall enough for the Indiana
Jones ride so we entertained ourselves
in the tree house

Such a cheese

Beach time

Happy boy in the sand

Getting tired

They loved the ocean

Aunt Sharon's house in Temecula - VERY NICE!

Family picture before the rehearsal

Grandparents and kids waiting for the
rehearsal to begin

Ryan and Jeremy practicing their part

Ryan was very hot and very tired at
the rehearsal brunch

He was done.  Time to go back to
the house and swim.

Mom and her three big kids!

Mom, Matt and me

Handsome boys

Kayley's ready

Waiting for the wedding to start

Matt, Drew and Nick

Ryan coming down the aisle

Drew with the rings

Matt and Janelle

Mom and Dad

Another family picture...happy Ryan

I kept seeing security everywhere so
I was waiting for a celebrity guest to arrive!

Sitting patiently

All smiles

Andy and Drew

Boys playing bags

Ryan was a little happier in this one, but not much

One last trip to the beach