Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Check out this great video Beth's uncle put together from the weekend!

Lake Redstone!

Each January Patrick plays broom ball with a bunch of guys near Reedsburg. This group started with Beth's uncle and his buddies and over the years it has opened up to the next generation to ensure they have enough guys to not only play but watch/ cheer and drink beer on the sidelines.  

This was the first year James and I went along as well - the girls and babies played inside while the guys layered on the warm clothes and headed outside to play.

The guys take this very seriously and do an awesome job of clearing off the ice. 

The weather was pretty good considering our weather lately - at least they had sunny skies! 
But the wind was pretty fierce.

Corey and Jojo were able to come as well - here is Jojo taking his turn as goalie! 

Inside things looked a little different! 

Beth's mom and aunt were there as well and enjoyed playing "grandma" to more than just their grand kids. 
Johnny and James enjoying a book with Grandma Betsy.

The boys played amongst the boots and winter clothes. 

John was in heaven snuggling/ cuddling and wrestling with Bucky - a huge dog! 
He was rolling all over him most of the day - Bucky was a good sport and happy to be the center of attention. 

There is a large cribbage board in the corner of the family room and all of the kids enjoyed playing with and moving the pegs. Hopefully they were all accounted for after we left! 

This is how we watched the outdoor entertainment most of the day - 
but we did decide to venture out with the kids for a little bit.  
We joked it would be a good waste of an hour --- dressing everyone - walking down there - playing for 5 minutes - walking back up and undressing!

Corey, Jojo, Patrick and James 

Patrick, Andy and the boys 

Jojo playing with Teya - I can't believe this is one of the only pictures of her.  
Teya is John's cousin and was born just a few weeks after James - so the 3 of them have a great time together! 

And here are the ladies and the kids - such a fun group! 

James was thrilled to be outside and Corey even found him a small (aka broken) broom. 
Maybe next year buddy! 


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Trapped in the house!

So I am sure I am not alone in saying that this cold winter weather NEEDS TO GO! 
James is finding new and dangerous/ slightly annoying ways to entertain himself in the house - he is climbing on everything and even now says "ipad".  We need to get out of the house!!!

Here are two great examples --- this decorative box used to hold a plant and is now sitting between a chair, the wall and the TV stand... Pirate Jimmy thinks it is a great place to sit. 

He also loves the fridge! (and freezer for that matter) he will happily climb up onto the "step" in there and help himself to whatever he likes.(in this instance, he was eating leftover black bean lasagna :) 
 He also enjoys sitting there with his back against the crisper... clearly he is not as chilly each day as I am! 

Last Friday night we went over to the Stelse house - figured the kids could entertain each other a little bit! 

Owen was so careful and gentle - 
making sure he didn't fall and helping to find him toys and toddler TV shows. 

Hannah read James books and helped him pet the kitties 

Molly showed James all of their kid toys and enjoyed playing with him too! 

It was nice to hang out somewhere else and catch up with Jen too. 
Looking forward to more of these nights as the weather improves! 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Capital One Bowl and EPCOT

Patrick was lucky enough to get an all-expense paid trip to Florida over New Years to work and attend the Capital One Bowl in Orlando.  
He and his co-worker Kevin spent a few days leading up to the game talking with high school bands playing in the Citrus Parade, meeting with alumni and enjoying the bowl game festivities. 

They also got to go to the game had a great time, despite the end result. 

The band can always be counted on for a great show! 

Pretty nice seats, huh?!? 
Too bad the weather didn't look more like Florida :( 

Patrick and Kevin spent New Year's Eve at EPCOT Center. They decided it was the best park for two guys alone on NYE - I think mostly because they knew they could get beer in "Germany" and given it was a late night, there would probably not be a ton of kids there. 

They had a fantastic time and got to enjoy a lot of the parks rides in a short amount of time. 
Here are a couple of highlights:
We always talk about getting "tapped" at Disney. 
Oftentimes you will get handed a free FAST PASS  or maybe they open a new line right as you get to a ride. Little things that make you feel special.  

Patrick was pumped because they got free parking at the park since the ticket machine in their parking ticket booth was out of paper - the lady waved them on through! 
Then they got handed fast passes from a family leaving the park as they arrived and even met a Disney employee from Oregon, WI who knew our friends Jacqui and Chris.

But here is my favorite story: 
A few minutes before midnight the guys decided to cut through a building on their way to Soarin' (figuring the lines would be shorter while everyone else watched the fireworks and rang in the new year) 
As they were walking through, Kevin spotted Goofy - standing all alone - no crowds, nothing!
He suggested they go over (cause how often does that EVER happen!?!) 

Not only did they meet Goofy - but they also met Mickey and Minnie too! 

Here is Kevin and Mickey making the Wisconsin "W" 
Pretty cool! 

Patrick and Mickey --- he said he might have gotten a little star struck - wasn't sure what to say to him - so he thanked him for letting them enjoy his awesome park! 

sweet air kicks with Goofy (cause why not?) 

And a kiss for Minnie at midnight! 
I woke up to a text the next morning with a "confession" - patrick said he kissed a girl at midnight and then attached this photo! - too cute! 

But seriously - with our Grandpa living less than 30 minutes from Walt Disney World  - I have been to Disney A LOT!  And in all of our visits - I can honestly say I have NEVER met these 3 big-time characters in their signature outfits, NEVER gotten their undivided attention for this long of a time period and NEVER seen these characters, let alone ANY characters with NO LINE! 

What a cool experience!

Monday, January 20, 2014

McFarland Fun

We are trying to take advantage of the great perks McFarland has to offer this winter
 - getting us out of the house and running off some of James' energy!

Open swim at the high school pool is a great activity. 

 Kind of a freaky photo since James was moving in the air! 

Post dunk - he really likes the water and doesn't mind going under and even does his best to drink it whenever possible :( 

The lifeguards and the lap swimmers love when James comes to swim - free entertainment! 
They have tons of toys and they put a table in the shallow end so he can actually stand in the water.

Last Friday we also went to our first Girls Basketball game. 
Heidi is one of the coaches - so we hung out in the stands with Andy and Macey. 

We were all sporting our McFarland colors/ gear! 
Class of 2031 and 2032 - look out :) 

James was kind of tired - which worked in our favor - he actually stood between my legs for most of the first quarter, just watching the game. 

Then he realized he could climb the stands --- here is is at the top - but still kind of dreamy looking! 

Intently watching the game! 

Watching the game with Daddy. 

And a quick photo of Macey in her personalized Spartan gear! 

Highlight of the night - when the girls won the game - cheeseburgers at Culver's = $1.25! 
How awesome is that?!?  I hope they win again this weekend :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Remembering Uncle Mark

It has been two weeks since we said goodbye to Uncle Mark - though every time I look at a photo I struggle to remember that he is really gone. The memorial service was incredible and truly a wonderful way to remember him.  Below are a few pictures from the slideshow that I wanted to share - you will see a common theme in these photos (and to be honest - pretty much every photo you could ever find of Mark) --- his smile.

Many of our friends met Uncle Mark at the cottage - and will remember his for his endless efforts to get people to tube with them.  He was always ready to hook up the ropes and drive for HOURS on end! 

He loved to ski and would think nothing of taking a few runs each day. 

I love this picture because these two are the reason we started "tube fighting" in the beginning.  Back in the day Mark and Karen would come up to the cottage once or twice a summer and Uncle Mark and Dad and Lisa and I would go tubing.  Back then we had two small tubes that ideally were really only for 1 rider each. But Lisa and I would each pair up with one of the guys and off we went! 

These two would quickly maneuver us and the tubes so they were side by side - probably taking up 7/8ths of the tube and would battle. Lisa and I would be clinging to the 1/8th remaining edge giggling until one of them succeeded in flipping the other tube.  

I definitely give them credit for our mad tubing skills and the birth of tube wars in general!

Even though you can't see his face - you know it is filled with joy.  
Those skinny legs are enough to make anyone smile! 

I know there will be lots more memories, stories and photos to come - especially as we get closer to summer - until then, we will try and remember the joy we have all shared. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sledding video

Patrick gets a good workout too!

Sledding video

James really likes the new sled - and with our neighborhood not really plowed - we can just walk on the street and pull him for a walk! 

Enjoying the snow!

The boys were able to get outside and sled a little over Christmas and had a great time.  
Check out some of the photos! 

We have a pretty good hill on the side of the house in Mequon - I attempted to take James down the hill at one point and ended up dumping him out of his sled and watched helplessly as he barrel rolled 3 times down the hill.  By the time I got to him - just a few seconds - he was snow covered and not happy.  
I was able to dry him off and clean him up and then we tried again together. Such a trooper! 

Grammy even got to try out the new shovel sled! 

Jojo was taking lessons from Thomas and going down face first --- 
I think Thomas calls it penguin sledding! 

This is James' new sled in action - it needed to be sprayed down so it would go nice and fast! 
He is packed in with a blanket to keep him toasty - but he also looks like he is going "over the river and through the woods"
Thanks again for the super warm and soft blanket Uncle Eric! 

This mini snowmobile was from our childhood. It is awesome! When you are old enough to understand, you can steer it and it really zooms down the hill. 

Grammy and Buppa with the boys.