. Christmas was busy but fun. It seemed a lot more relaxing this year than in the past. On Dec. 21 we had an early Christmas at our house with Grandma and Grandpa Bowe with an excellent lasagna dinner made by Nicholas. On Christmas Eve we were at my Grandpa Ronnie's to celebrate with the Clark family. Christmas day, we opened gifts at home, then to my mom and dad's for breakfast, then to Grandma and Grandpa Gardow's for Christmas. The kids got way too many toys as usual but also a lot of clothes too! Evan had more fun trying to eat the wrapping paper and boxes than opening the gifts but he got some fun bath toys and some toys that make noise which he loves!! Sam said her favorite gift was her Bear Paw boots & Super Smash Bros Brawl Wii Game, Katarina's was her Littlest Pet Shop stuff and new bed set, Ian's favorite was his "Citrus Dragon" Webkinz and Bakugons. I would have to say Evan's favorite gifts were his drum that you hit and it says the alphabet or just makes music and this ball that rolls around and plays music and sings. Nicholas got a gear bag for work, tool box and the movie "Seven Pounds" and I got Shape Up Sketchers. Overall it was a great Christmas. Very odd weather, but I will take the slushy yuck instead of bitter cold anyday!!! I hope everyone else's Christmas was enjoyable and you got to spend lots of time with family, because they are our most precious gift!!
I can't believe my baby is already 8 months old!! Before we know it he will be entering Kindergarten like his big brother did this year or Middle School like his oldest sister did!! Why can't they stay babies, non-talking, non-sassy, non-hitting, cute, cuddly innocent babies??
Evan is sure busy trying to keep up with Sam, Katarina and Ian. He loves scooting around in his walker and chasing after you and trying to get into the Christmas tree. He can also army crawl around. He gets up and rocks on all fours but the wood floor is kind of slippery and his legs slip back out so he does what he can. That is okay because once he starts crawling or walking, then we are in trouble!! His cousin Natalie who is 11 months was over and holy man is she fast when she crawls!! I can't wait until summer when we can be outside and he can scoot around in the grass. One thing we find extremely funny is his hair. Like you can see in this last picture, a tuft of hair that sticks straight up no matter what we do. And it is even worse after he takes a bath, it is really uncontrollable. But that is what we love about him and his smile and his giggles!! I wish he could stay this way forever. He absolutely LOVES the dogs and cats!! Him and Sassafras are buddies most of the time, but now Evan is getting grabby so Sassy isn't sure what to think. Howie and Rex still love him to death. Howie gives him kisses whenever he can, Evan just giggles but tries to turn away!! They are so cute I hope they stay buddies.
Every year we have a tradition to pick out and cut our own Christmas tree at Pleasant Valley Tree Farm in Elk Mound with Gardow family. We always have a good time and for once awesome weather!! This year was so nice, we were really spoiled! As you can see Katarina got into a crabby attitude, oh well. I have realized that if they won't smile, that's fine, I still get my picture and when they look back years later they will see what a grouch they were. I get my picture and am happy and the kids don't have to smile so they are happy! All the kids get a turn with the saw helping to cut down our tree as well as Grandma and Grandpa's tree; even Evan took a turn!! Tree hunting went quick, then inside for some hot chocolate, apple cider and popcorn. Then back to Lorraine's for some chili. There was supposed to be chicken noodle soup too but someone forgot to make it, but we won't mention any names!!
For Nicholas' 30th Birthday I surprised him with a vacation to Las Vegas, NV!! Neither one of us had ever been there before and it turned out to be an interesting trip. He was amused by the fact there were signs for $1 BJ (standing for Black Jack) so we went into the casino to play some Black Jack. Well of course all of the $1 tables were full but there were some spots open at the Roulette table so we decided to try that for a while. We had a great time at this Roulette table and won a lot before getting back to where we started but the dealer was an awesome lady. Roulette became our game. It is a lot of fun and really pure luck involved!! We did have fun on the computer Black Jack machines at our hotel and actually played and chatted for a few hours with people from MN and IA! Small world. The very first picture is of the motorcycle Nicholas had his heart on winning. Since there are no motorcycles in the garage, you can guess how that went for him. The very last picture is of the birthday boy on his 30th Birthday while at the buffet in the hotel. Overall Vegas was fun, we found a casino that had $1 Margaritas and beer so we spent a lot of time there. We saw the Blue Man Group, Jay Leno and Fantasy, all of which were great. Definitely would like to go to Vegas again someday now that we know a little bit about what we can do and where we should stay and make it a few more days and save up a lot more money!!
I can't believe Evan is 6 months old already!! Time flies and before we know it he will be in Kindergarten!! Total he has 6 teeth (2 on the bottom and he recently got 4 on the top in the past couple of weeks). He loves to be on the floor and army crawl anywhere he can, it won't be long and he will be crawling to keep up with his older brother and sisters. We even made it to his 6 month check up before he got his first ear infection!! He reminds me so much of Sam when having to give him his medicine because as soon as he sees the syringe, his lips smack together and he tries to turn his head away. Too bad mom and dad are pros at giving medicine to uncooperative babies (he can than his big sister, Sam for that one). Rex and he still like to cuddle on the ottoman and he absolutely loves to listen to you read to him. I just love the picture of him, Katarina and Ian reading because he is so enthralled with Katarina talking, it was absolutely adorable. He smiles all the time and now when a stranger talks to him he will nuzzle right into your neck, I love it!! He is such a good baby, we couldn't ask for anything better.
This Halloween I went as a "Spider Web Witch", Evan was a 3 eyed monster, Ian was a Star Wars Clone and Katarina was Mary Poppins. Sam didn't really dress up because she was in a basketball tournament which her team took 3rd place in!! So I guess you could say she was a basketball player but she didn't get to go Trick or Treating. We met Christina and Alan downtown Chippewa on Friday to Trick or Treat at the businesses. On Saturday we went to visit my Grandpa Ronnie and made it a whole 3 blocks for Trick or Treating due to the extremely cold and windy weather. That's OK, less candy for mom and dad to snack on. Overall it was a fun Halloween. I helped out with Ian's class at school play some games and we made a large Pumpkin cupcake cake which turned out awesome and had lots of fun baking treats.
The newest addition to the family is our dog Rex. He is a terrier mix and resembles a Jack Russel. Believe it or not Nicholas actually wanted the dog. He had picked it up one night while working and took it to the Humane Association. We visited him 4 times and then took him home on September 10. As you can see he loves Evan and is very protective of him and the rest of the kids. If I am feeding Evan, Rex will usually sit right by us and if Howie comes over, Rex gives him a piece of his mind!! These are a few of their favorite spots.
Rex and Sam.
Rex is usually found sleeping with Katarina. This is his first night at home and already he found our little animal magnet!!
Chippewa County Relay for Life was held on July 31 at the Chippewa Falls Middle School. It was absolutely gorgeous weather and there were a lot of people there. Overall the Relay event raised around $110,000 that helps with cancer research, patient advocacy & counseling services for people who have cancer or people who are caring for someone with cancer.