Monday, February 5, 2018

Winter at Pearl Lake

We made plans for a winter weekend at Pearl Lake in early January - but sadly it was way more cold than there was snow. We made our own fun on the VERY thick ice -- who needs snow?!? 


It was great to be outside in the fresh cool air and there was certainly plenty of room to run! 


The dads pulled the kids on the ice and then sent them flying or spinning across the smooth glass. 
The boys LOVED it! 


We had gotten new sleds for Christmas and they were gonna be used one way or another! 


Action shot of Isaac trying to pull Ben - 
he is mid fall in the picture about to be on his rear end! 
We were all super impressed with Isaac's balance skills - he was pretty steady most of the day. 
(video to come!) 


Just relaxing on the ice. 


Jojo riding on our favorite Childhood toy - the steerable kid snowmobile! 
this thing is now probably 35 years old (at least) and the only thing wrong is the decal from the front has peeled off - it is awesome! 


Daddy giving James a ride around the ice. 


And after plenty of ho cocoa - everyone cuddled up with Grammy to look at pictures of warmer summer days at the cottage. Here's hoping spring is early this year! 

Swenson Christmas

Yikes - I am behind! That is what the flu will do to you!
We got to Mequon late on Christmas Eve so the boys woke up to find the Ruble cousins sleeping in the same jammies! 


Stockings to start the morning --- love how Ben still looks half a sleep in this photo! 


And this one too! 


I am not even sure what these two are looking at - but there is such great joy from both of them! 


We got both TJ and Jojo books with cool facts and questions - and they way this kid reads - I am guessing he finished reading it on the way home! 


Grammy got matching jammies this year too! 
Buppa declined - but we still let him in the photo :) 


Santa came for a visit and as the boys are getting older we had a mix of emotions - from left to right:  scared, spellbound (both of ours), full knowledge (and proud of that knowledge), and nervous excitement. Isaac pointed out at the end of the visit that Santa reminded him a lot of his Buppa.... :) 


Happy to answer Santa's questions 


Group photo - all smiles now! 


Love this picture for so many reasons - 
A) there is a new version of Lite-brite 
B) the "cheese" smiles 
C) the upside-down box 
These two are trouble! 


Dinner photo minus Grammy who was taking the photo - not sure why we didn't set the timer?!? 
And I just realized Isaac is missing too - oops! 


It was a lego Christmas - more for the older boys - but Isaac has jumped right in as well - pretty fun to watch - though trying not too lose those tiny pieces and the havoc they cause to my finger nails is NOT cool. I have started using a "handy helper" which is really just a small sharp knife - so far only one casualty! 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Ellestad Christmas

We started the family festivities in Fond du Lac on the 23rd with the Packer game. 


The guys set up their own tailgate in the garage which spread out the party a bit. The kids loved coming in and out to watch the game a bit and then get back to the treats and toys inside. 


These big boys are getting so big! 


Jillian and Claire and Elise after they got their hair done by Aunt Jenny. 


I got a snuggly hat from Jo-Jo! 


We took two cars of kids to see the lights in the park --- this was the crew in the car I was in. (Amy was driving) We were probably gone 20 minutes and while they loved the show - they also were "STARVING" and we had to get back to the cookies quick! 


This happened at Isaac's request and this is what big cousins are for, right?!? 


Family Tradition - Grinch slush! 


Adult gift exchange --- wanna guess who Patrick bought for this year?!? 


Family photo! 

Christmas at Home

We started the Christmas weekend with Christmas at home - just the 4 of us. The boys actually slept in - but were excited once they realized it was Christmas morning! 


Token Christmas morning picture in new sport t-shirts... 
awkward smiles and a slightly inappropriate hand position :) 


This year the one thing the boys wanted was the Cars 3 - Florida 500 race track. 
We saw this at Costco (multiple times) and while the boys thought it was fantastic - I thought it was cheaply made and grossly over priced. 
So I asked Dad to work with me to recreate it and after many days and nights of work and creative ideas in both Mequon and McFarland... this is what we came up with! 


The boys were overjoyed and got to playing right away. 


It was fun to see them get creative right away and they were happy to sit and play most of the day - and ever since really :) 


And this photo is proof that making vs. purchasing was 100% the way to go - because this move by Isaac (climbing into the track) less than 5 minutes after receiving the gift - would have DESTROYED the store bought version to a pile of matchsticks! 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

James Star wars

Here is James getting his ride!



Such an awesome Dad! 

Isaac Star Wars ride

Patrick has been giving the boys Star Wars rides before bed time for a while now --- I may have even posted earlier versions of these before - but given the new movie release and the complete joy you see from both boys it was totally worth sharing again!

I guess they are listening!

I caught these two having a great conversation about Jesus. I love that they are getting some religious education at CLM and at Sunday school.



Isaac came home the other day from school so joyful because he received a Christmas card from his best buddy. "Momma, Daddy - I got a PRESENT from Beckett!"
He was over the moon about this gift but then was quick to again say that Christmas is not about presents, it is about Jesus. I hope that these simple ideas and sweet words stick around for many years!