Sisters, friends, blessed.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Guest House

We have been blessed over the past week to have a variety of different guests stay with us!  Kim & Brooke were here with us first, as they attended a softball tournament nearby.  Hadley was basically Auntie Kim's shadow, and loved every minute of it.  Unfortunately, I seem to have missed capturing a photo of it.  Next time!

Grandma & Grandpa followed, later that weekend, with a quick but fun stop on their way Milwaukee.  The girls were thrilled to have them here for a couple of very rainy hours perfect for snuggling up with a good book.

Our guest list concluded with my cousin Katie (who is pregnant with baby girl #2!) and her nearly two year old daughter, Audrey.  They were here for a vist back in October, and all three little girls have grown up a lot since then. It was really special to be together again.
Hadley could not have been more enamored with Audrey, and I think the feeling was mutual by the looks of the following picture!

We packed in the library, pool, swingset & children's museum while they were here.  The only mishap was a little spill that Piper took into the coffee table which resulted in a lot of really pretty but bloody blond curls (I promise not to post a picture of that!).

There have definitely been times over the past nine years, that we've in some way or another regretted living in WI hours from family.  But its weeks like this one, when we are inundated with love, that we feel secure in our decision to live in our own spot, in our own city.  Thanks for all the love, guys!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Swimming Lessons

How lucky were we to score swimming lessons over the hottest weeks of the summer?  Wowza. 

Piper tried lessons this summer for the first time too!  Hadley was the youngest kiddo in the class (besides Pipey), so Piper was definitely a little on the inexperienced side compared to the other children.  But, she became proficient in the art of climbing in & out of the pool all by herself, happily did the kickboard with the teacher any chance she got, and 'tried' a backfloat on the last morning even though she had politely told the teacher, "No thank you," when it was her turn (hehe).

Hadley happily jumped in all by herself to join in the games, 'attempted' to put her face in the water, really thought she was swimming every time she paddled and kicked without touching the bottom, and even jumped into the deep end (with help)!  

Hadley 'swim-ming' above, and joyfully jumping on the left.  

Piper playing 'red light-green light' with her eyes closed (to avoid the splashing), and that is her attempt at a backfloat below!

Swimming buddies.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hayward Friends

We spent this past weekend up in Hayward with our friends, the Hansens.  We spent most of the weekend just trying to stay cool!
We hit the lake for a little fishing first.

Followed by some swimming.

That's (Left-Right, Front-Back): Piper, myself, Simon, Mary, Lucas, Ryan, Hadley, & Kyle

And finally, out for some pizza. 

We had a great time with the Hansens, and hope we can get together again sometime soon!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Graham Family Vacation

It was time again for our annual Graham Family Vacation down at Mom & Dad's awesome lake home.  As always, it was a weekend filled with sunshine, laughter, great food, cousin love, pontoon rides, and swimming, swiming, and more swimming.  This year was especially significant, as Nathan & Heidi joined the ranks as parents, and 'sweet little Kenzie' (as Hadley kept calling her) got to experience the boat and pool for the first time.  She also took the opportunity to show them just who's boss... She cried until midnight the first night, but slept just fine once they decided to take her home to her own bed (hehe).
Here is the little thing, almost 6 months old already, with Hadley.

Piper, almost 3, and Jeremiah, almost 4, getting ready for a boat ride.

Watch out! Hadley & Grandpa were a couple of crazy drivers!

Back to the pool for 'launching' (aka jumping), as Piper liked to put it.  Grammie was her preferred catcher, or probably more appropriately her preferred target.

Hadley was thrilled to discover that she was brave enough (and tall enough) to jump in by herself.  Note her tightly closed lips, so that she wouldn't gulp up any more pool water than she already had.

Taking a little time out to warm up.

All dried up for some ice cream.  Grandma always seems to have just the right treat on hand for them.  ~ Savannah 1.5, Jeremiah, Hadley 4.5, Piper, & Brooklyn 5.5

Brooklyn & Hadley are such great little buddies. We started out the weekend by having a group photo taken, hence their cute little matching pink dresses.  With 5 little girls now, pink seemed the obvious theme.  We shall see what God has instore for Mike & Jill's 4th baby due this fall. Which of course means that this was the 7th family vacation in a row, that someone was pg (with more than half of those being Jill)!  She was cute as ever.

The whole Graham crew.  Wow.  God is good.  Thanks for a fabulously fun, wacky, and refreshing weekend together. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July, 2011

Yesterday felt like the perfect All-American 4th of July at our house.  Complete with flag themed clothing, swimming, popsicles, grilling out, eating outside, bugspray, corn on the cob, water ballons, fireworks, bonfire, s'mores, and friends. With blue skies and hot sunshine it was truly the perfect day to celebrate our independence! 

The Risler Family joined us for the afternoon and evening festivities, and the girls could not have been more thrilled to have them at our house.  We have a spent a couple 4th of July evenings with Randy & Mandi over the years, but this was the first with all of the kiddos.  While it was definitely a crazier version, it was far more hilarious and admittedly more fun as well! 

{Bennett 1, Blake 3.5, Hadley 4.5, Piper almost 3}

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Stayin' Cool

Whew!  It has been a week of findin' a way to get cool, be cool, and stay cool.  And has it ever been fun!  I have a feelin' the rest of the holiday weekend might involve much of the same.

Beachin' it locally.

Our 5th annual trip to Irvine Park.  Just checkin' in on the animals.

For the record, I never intended or noticed that Piper's head essentially has a halo.  But she certainly noticed it, and cried when she first saw the picture, hehe. Something about a lion? (To compare the previous 4 years of pictures at this exact location, click here.)

Next up, splashin' in the fountains!

Even Piper got into it a little bit this year.

We've also indulged in our fair share of popsicles, iced coffees (me), and ice cream in further attempts to stay cool in this incredible WI heat.  We dragged our poor friend Cyndy (who was a trooper!), out to a picnic at the park yesterday in the 90+ degree heat.  We soon returned to try out the sprinklers instead!  Next on the list: tryin' not to pop the 3rd slip n' slide of the summer :).