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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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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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Previous Throwback Thursdays

Getting ready for s’mores at our house on Valley Ridge Lane (during Tom’s first deployment in 2005) with Ursula Mitchell.

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One of my favorite pictures from our wedding day—Jessica was our flower girl and she DID NOT want to take a picture with me no matter what.

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In Traverse City at my apartment before heading out camping and to Mackinac Island in September 1997.

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Circa 1991 at Tim Hough (now Nolan)’s graduation party. Who would have guessed we’d someday become cousins?

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Trip to Baltimore in 2005 with our good friends Tom and Karen Trimble.

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A somewhat recent Throwback Thursday (11/25/10)—with Kelly King.

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Just a few years ago (2007—seems like yesterday)…one of my all-time favorite pictures with good friends Nancy and Kelly.

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Camping with cousins Lisa and Lori in high school—I’m guessing ’89 or ’90?

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I had completely forgotten about the trip to Toronto we took with Sue McLaughlin and Pam Williams—maybe 1988? 89?

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Family Reunion

Since we typically miss the Christmas get-together, we got everyone together for dinner in Bay City!

Owen did okay getting back in the car again but Katie was. not. thrilled. and let us know. :( However, during one moment in which Katie was momentarily quiet, we heard Owen pope up: “Good job, Katie. You’re being patient.” :)

Everyone adored Katie and most of them said she was a mini Jenny (we still don’t see it).

A birthday balloon for Katie from Grauntie Rose:

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On the move…

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Rocks taste good:

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First beer!

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Owen LOVED playing with Jessica and Alex…but obviously liked Jess just a little more!

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With cousin Aubrey, who is six months older—can you believe it?

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The gaggle of young cousins:

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Nick (almost 9), Gracie (almost 7), Aubrey (almost 5), and Owen (4).

And the same group two years ago (April 2011). Nick (almost 7), Gracie (almost 5), Aubrey (almost 3), and Owen (just turned 2). Owen outweighs Aubrey by at least 12# and is about 5# less than the 5yo.

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An attempt at a family photo:

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Timmy did the grilling!

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With Aunt Lori:

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And Gramma Jean:

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The whole family (minus Greg, Aunt Sue, and Uncle Marv…plus friends Chris and Pete):

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Katie in a fancy dress… Lisa brought a few bins of 3T clothes for me to sort through for Katie—a bunch of which were winter clothes and fancy dresses (which we don’t need) but this dress was SO cute I had to put her in it just for a few pictures. She loved it!

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Owen had SOOO much fun he didn’t want to leave, but we had to drive back to Grayling… The big test was to see how the kids did sleeping in the car and being taken directly into bed…which they both passed with flying colors!