Saturday, 12 July 2014

Eating Brats, or Family Vacation in WI

Last week we had a big "Cox" family vacation, but this time it was in our neck of the woods. We all met up In Wisconsin, in the town where Mike (Emily's husband) has family. It was fun to be in a new place with someone who knew it well. Mike knew all the best places to go (and what we should avoid), and it was neat to be introduced to his favorite meat shop and to hear family stories about spider tunnels and fishing. Not everyone could make it for the entire week, but by the Third we were all together.

We had a blast floating, tubing, boating, water skiing (some people), kayaking, fishing, jumping on the water trampoline, doing puzzles, winning every single game night (if you were a woman - we dominated), eating brat after brat after delicious cheese-stuffed brat, playing Foosball, and hanging out on the dock. There also seemed to be some kind of soccer tournament thing on the television, but I'm not sure. It was wonderful to be together and spend some quality time just hanging out and having fun (and eating brats). We came home fifteen pounds of fine Wisconsin sausage heavier (frozen in a cooler), sun-kissed, tired, and happy. Vacations are the best...except for the unpacking!


Tommy was proud of the United States puzzle we completed.


Pinball!


Tommy took several turns tubing with Aunt Emily


Fishing with Uncle Mike



Cuddle time with Mike and Emily's new baby Islay


Cousin JP!


Enjoying a boat ride


Fresh, homemade strawberry pie. Mmmmm, pie...


Tubing with Daddy


Nicolas is apparently unsure about the bow


There were never such devoted sisters...


Cousins!


Auntie Katie and Cousin Owen


Boat ride with Mommy


Riding with Papa


Uncle Kevin and Auntie Colleen floating with JP!


The family that floats together...


Nicolas!


Trampoline!


Face painting with Auntie Emily for the Fourth






Take that, Terry Redlin puzzle - Emily and Jeff


Sparklers!


U-S-A, U-S-A! (watching Uncle Kevin's firework extravaganza)


Uncle Kevin, conjuror of fire


Kenny loved tubing with Auntie Colleen


Hang on tight


Nicolas made this face the whole time


Thumbs up, ready to go!



The whole crew


A proud Papa and his grandsons

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Happy Birthday, Dad!

My dad came for a visit this month, but we spent most of our time in Wisconsin with the rest of the family (more on that in another post), so he didn't have a lot of time to meet our friends and neighbors in our new community. He left on Tuesday morning, and Tuesday afternoon I was out gardening while the boys were playing in the front when my next door neighbor came over.

Neighbor: So was that your brother who was visiting?
Me: No, it was my dad, but I will tell him you said that because it will make him really happy.

Happy Birthday, Dad! And, you're welcome for the best age-related news you will receive all day.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Happy 4th!


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Nic's Birthday Celebration

Until now, we'd never thrown a "friends" birthday party for Nic. We celebrated his first birthday with friends from Congo while at a reunion, and his last two with family in California. This year, since he started preschool, he attended many parties for his friends, so we decided it was time to bite the bullet. Things were made a little (ok, a lot) easier when we won the services of a face painter and a cotton candy/popcorn machine at a silent auction to support a mission project we are participating in later this summer.

We decided to throw the party early so that Nic could attend, as the weather later in the summer will probably be too hot for him to be able to spend much time outside. Unfortunately most of his classmates were on vacation and unable to attend, but some of my friends and many of our neighbors were able to make it. It was such a fun day. Although Nic refused to get his face painted, everyone else looked great! The cotton candy was a huge hit, and they made it to order, allowing the kids to pick from a bunch of favors. I could go on and on about how good the popcorn was (I ate way too much). The kids played on the swing set, we had cupcakes, and Nic opened his presents. We had 16 kids at this party, but it was a thousand times easier than Tommy's crazy day because many of the parents stayed...after all, who doesn't like cotton candy?


Face painting!


Nic's "Party Face"


Cotton candy!




Cupcakes!


Hide!




Monday, 30 June 2014

Family Day

Five years ago we met this special little man. Happy Family Day, Tommy.