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I think he loves his ATV.

Remember me saying we wanted to try to give the kids experiences instead of stuff? Yeah, well, we also agreed that bigger things instead of lots of little junky stuff would be good, too…so we let Owen decide if he wanted to spend his birthday money to pay half of an ATV. (We had wanted to get them the power wheels but Owen is too big. A neighbor has an electric ATV that Owen loved so that’s how we got the idea.) He immediately agreed so he gave us all of his remaining birthday gift cards and still owes us about $100. 

He was ABSOLUTELY GIDDY. 

  

Unfortunately, it arrived like this so Tom had some work to do.

  
    

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Len Summer Christmas 2017

Nick and Gracie making Christmas M&Ms (the rest went into Lisa’s monster cookies).

Just a few brats to cook…

All the kids like to fish but they say Aubrey is the one who loves it the most and is the best at it. She apparently gives lessons to other kids at their house!

Katie caught a fish!

Someone took an unplanned jump into the river (learning you can’t walk on lily pads):

Drying off…

I think this picture is a tradition.

And the mandatory annual family Christmas photo! Every year they give us grief about taking it… And this year with the craziness of the move I didn’t post it immediately and they were all asking about it!! So there. :p

And the annual kid comparison—Katie is getting closer to Aubrey but Aubrey is still ahead (which should be the case, as she’s almost 9). And as usual, Owen is definitely taller than Gracie…

But I think he beats Nick this year!!


Last year:

More fishing!

After a campfire and s’mores it was time for bed. The kids decided to all sleep in the living room… Poor Timmy. :)

 

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Katie and Gramma Jean’s Big Birthday Adventure

I told Gramma that for Katie’s birthday, instead of giving her stuff, to take her on an adventure. So she did.

In Gramma’s words:

For Katie’s 5th birthday this year, we went on an adventure! (Yes, in Grayling.) We played at three parks, went wading in the river (along some of the racers practicing), went to the grocery store for picnic lunch supplies [where Katie could pick anything she wanted—she got a Lunchable, strawberry yogurt covered pretzels, strawberries, cashews, and chocolate milk], threw stones in the river for a half hour, went for a 3-mile bike ride (yes, I fell), and had an ice cream cone at Wimpy’s. We were gone 7 hours and mom and dad were starting to worry! What great fun we had! Happy birthday Katie Bug!

 

   
       
                        

Gramma says Katie could have pedaled for hours!

  

Gramma says: I am so glad Katie didn’t fall. We were too close to each other and her back wheel caught my front wheel.