Land’s End might need to hear about this.

I had this coat when I was in high school—I think maybe my junior/senior years. Then I gave it to my Aunt Marge and she wore it forever. She just gave it back to us for Owen…and it’s a bit big but he doesn’t care. He LOVES it. I might need to write Land’s End about this one. (I also know I have one picture of me in it, but it’s black and white in a yearbook…and I have to find it. Stay tuned.)

Cupcakes!

We brought cupcakes and frosting for Gramma to do with the kids… Grauntie Marge ended up helping as well, and then I got stuck frosting them and Katie did the sprinkles. 

We had them as birthday dessert for Katie after the Wednesday night group dinner when everyone came back to the house to visit. We even sang Happy Birthday to Katie and she loved it!

   
 

Movie & Popcorn

I can’t remember what movie they watched but they both wanted popcorn for dinner—Grauntie Marge had given Katie an ENTIRE BOX of stovetop popcorn so they were super excited about that. So we let them eat popcorn for dinner. What a treat! Katie also enjoyed her new mermaid tail blanket from Gramma Jean!

Katie’s last 3rd birthday party!

We celebrated Katie’s birthday at the Ramada again this year. She didn’t want to go in the pool, though—choosing the playground instead.

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Of course Owen wanted to swim!

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Caught mid-jump!

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She finally decided she wanted to swim!

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We FINALLY got her to jump in the pool again!

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Owen also received a few gifts…Papa and Grannie gave him a roll of quarters to use in the hotel game room!

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He shared his quarters with his sister!

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A great time was had by all…

Opening presents via Skype, part 2!

Today we opened presents from Grauntie Marge!

They got to see Katie dance around with her dolly in their new matching outfits (I didn’t get a picture of it because they were watching live and I can’t take pictures at the same time!).

And Katie loved her new Frozen sheets!


And Owen LOVED his Robot Turtles game. We watched some videos online about how to play, then we played, and after we put it away he kept running around the house playing a full-sized version. :)

Our last night at Gramma and Grandpa’s house

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After the group photo, he commandeered the tripod to use as a cannon…and then actually as a tripod and was pretending to take pictures.

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Sitting by the fire!

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Not a bad spur of the moment family picture!

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Making s’mores!

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Eating s’mores—or in Katie’s case, eating the chocolate bar off the graham cracker.

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Fire, Fireworks & Stones

Gramma Jean wanted to try out her new fire pit…so we all headed outside. The kids loved running around and of course Owen had to get out his new water gun. :)

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Uncle Rob was nice enough to go in and fill up the water gun…but surprised Owen by shooting him! It’s blurry but I love Owen’s body!

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She stayed pretty far from the fire once daddy yelled at her for getting too close. :)

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Watering Gramma’s flowers.

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Smoke bombs! They certainly didn’t last as long as I remembered them to…

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Katie liked the pooping dog—except for the popping and crackling at the end.

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In addition to Katie’s first fireworks (MUCH earlier than Owen’s first fireworks!), she also got her first sparkler. She was okay with it…but not thrilled.

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And then we all went out to the front yard looking for Petoskey stones in the landscaping.

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Katie’s pool and pizza birthday party.

Unfortunately, Gramma Jean was sick so she didn’t make it to the party—and we didn’t get a group picture—but Grandpa David, Grauntie Marge, Grandma Marsha, Uncle Rob, Grannie Lin, and Papa were all there! Even our dear friend Paul stopped by!

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He bonked his nose diving in the shallow water.

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Katie was having a blast splashing EVERYONE. We kept trying to redirect her to splash Owen but she kept coming back to us.

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Tom turned the water on and she stuck her foot right in!

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She has no fear—she jumped right into Tom’s arms!

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She loved daddy pushing her around the pool!

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Owen was not comfortable in the big pool and stuck to the steps and the side of the pool. He would NOT go out any farther, even though we showed him it wasn’t any deeper AND Grannie promised to hold him tight. Eventually, after maybe 30 minutes, he FINALLY let go…and of course had fun racing with daddy and Katie!

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And then it was time for the party! Grannie Lin and Papa bought all the plates/decorations, the cake and cupcakes, and the pizza—and brought Burger King crowns for both kids!

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Grandpa David would put a cheeze ball on Tom’s beer and Katie would eat it off. We did this a handful of times.

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Papa and Grannie had bought this scooter for Owen for his birthday but then they weren’t able to come visit…so they brought it now, but he’s just a bit over the recommended weight limit so it went to Katie instead. You can see she liked being pushed on it. :)

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But then we let Owen try it, just to see if he’d like it and would maybe want a bigger scooter for himself. He did like it, and Katie took to running in front of him saying “WATCH OUT! WATCH OUT!” to clear his path. :)

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Then it was back to the house where it wasn’t long before the kids were ready to crash. A good day!

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Len Christmas in July

The family decided to have Christmas in July this year and the Besons hosted. It was a GORGEOUS Michigan summer day on the river spent with our AMAZING family! Timmy supplied about 32 different types of brats (okay, maybe only about 12) and we stuffed ourselves silly on them plus all the other good food everyone brought. A good time was had by all and I think we may officially be moving our holiday celebration to the summer from now on!

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Owen was a bit shy at first, so he and Katie were both in Nick’s room playing by themselves.

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Katie loved the boat. LOVED. LOVED!! She would have sat out there all day if we let her and kept wanting to go back.

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Finally Owen wanted to play!

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Owen is six months younger than Aubrey. I know, right?

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Cousins Katie 2, Owen 5, Aubrey 6, Gracie 8, Nick 10, Alex 12, and Jess 15. We never actually got Owen back-to-back with Nick, but I think they were within a fraction of an inch of each other (with a five-year age difference). And Katie seems to be pretty close to Aubrey, who is four years older. I guess we really DO grow them big. :)

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Last year:

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Lisa B. made these AWESOME ladybug cupcakes for Katie’s birthday.

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And these for Greg’s birthday. (I missed a pic of the ones for Aubrey’s birthday, but they were Frozen-themed.)

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We did pretty good keeping track of Katie all day (when there’s so many people around, there’s always someone half watching) and then we failed right at the end. People were running around cleaning up and putting things away…and before I know it, Tom is carrying Katie back from the front yard. Apparently Katie was wandering down the driveway and Greg caught her and brought her back. Phew.

And before we knew it, it was time to head out. Katie didn’t make it to the end of the road before she fell asleep, and Owen lasted about 15 minutes.

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Owen’s first fireworks!

We have been wanting to try some low-key fireworks with Owen for awhile now and just haven’t gotten around to it. I’ve had sparklers for a year now—planning on using them on July 4th or after a party or something—but again, we just never got around to it. Until now.

We went to the local fireworks outlet and asked for the kiddie section and they were having a B1G1 free sale so we ended up with a bunch of little stuff.

And Owen LOVED it. LOVED IT. And everyone loved watching him! We only used half of the stuff tonight so we have one more night’s worth coming up. (And when I say a night’s worth, I mean about 10-15 minutes max, which includes sparkler time.) We made sure Katie was in bed so we could concentrate fully on Owen and not have to worry about Katie… She’ll be out for the second night.

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The lady said the ones we got would go “telephone pole height” at most. She was right. :)

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And I found my pooping dog! I had seen it on Facebook and loved it—and thought the kids would, too. I was thrilled they had it at the store! (And yes, Owen LOVED it.)

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