Every year we set up a small artificial tree for Jack and Jacey to decorate.  It’s “their” tree and they put all the unbreakable and homemade ornaments on it.  They decorate and redecorate and days later when they get the notion they rearrange all the ornaments again.

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June was watching the action from behind the walls of her mesh cage.

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O Christmas Tree

The weekend after Thanksgiving we went to a tree farm to find the perfect Christmas tree.  The weather was nice, Nana was watching June, so we took the kids to see what kind of tree we could find.  We got to ride in a horse-drawn wagon out to the tree area, which was Jacey’s favorite part.  We turned the kids loose and the arguments started as to which tree we should choose.

Jack wanted this tree…

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Jacey wanted this tree…

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They both thought this tree was cute… but maybe a little small.

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We finally found one we all agreed on and gave Daddy the task of cutting it down.  With help, of course.  Do you SEE how much Jacey is helping?

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Us girls tried our hand at dragging the tree back to the wagon, but then we let Daddy do it.  Jack followed behind with the saw.

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We couldn’t leave without saying hello to Rudolph, and when he said “Hello” back to us, Jacey looked at us and said, “That’s not really Rudolph, because I don’t think Rudolph talks.  Or walks on two legs.  Is that just some guy?” Yes, it was just some guy, but he was friendly and took good pictures.  We finished our day up with some hot chocolate and popcorn.

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Deer Hunting

We went up north to stay with Nana and Papa for the first weekend of deer hunting.  This year Grandpa Bob and Uncle Jeff shot deer, which meant “family fun time” ensued to butcher the deer.  Everyone helped out and, as usual, the kids were fascinated by the process.  Uncle Jeff and Justin took turns cutting the meat off the bones out in the shed.  Uncle Jesse was in charge of taking any stray hair off the pieces of meat and then bringing them inside where I was waiting to further clean up any pieces and cut them down.  Nana wrapped all the meat and Papa paced back and forth in his role as supervisor.  The kids asked a lot of questions about the deer, played with the legs for a bit, and then went off to play in the mud because that was just way more fun.

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Happy Halloween!

After Jack got off the bus from school, we loaded up to take Jacey to dance class.  She was the only person to show up, probably because everyone else was preparing to trick-or-treat.  She got one on one instruction, which she loved.  During her class Jack finished his homework, so when we got home everyone got into costume and we took off trick-or-treating for the first time in our own neighborhood.  The kids had a great time!  Jack saw some of his school friends and the neighborhood was hopping with kids, families, strollers, wagons and golf carts.  We ended the night with a Jack-o-lantern pizza from Papa Murphy’s and a Halloween cartoon.

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Jack came home from school yesterday with his Valentine heart envelope that he made.  It was full of valentines from his classmates and most of them had treats attached.  Jacey was SO EXCITED that Jack got so many valentines.  They sorted them into piles of cards and goodies and then Jack went through the pile and shared everything with Jacey.  It was so cute to watch!  If there was an extra of something that didn’t make the piles even, he really debated on who should get it.  I told him it was ok for him to keep some of the extras because they were his valentines.  The best part for both of the kids was when I said it was ok for them to each eat a valentine cookie BEFORE lunch.

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The Holidays: A Summary

The Olson Family Christmas was held at the local community building this year.  We all gathered to eat, drink, and watch the kids open presents.

The following day we had a get together at Grandma and Papop’s house with the Mahoney’s.  Jack got his first lesson on playing Nintendo from Uncle Jesse.

We had our own little family Christmas on Christmas Eve morning.   We lounged around, had a fun breakfast, and then Justin and I and the kids opened our gifts to each other.

Christmas Eve was spent at Grandma and Papop’s house with my family.  Uncle Jesse and Jeff were there for dinner, drinks, gifts and lots of good munchies.

Christmas Day was with the Pansier family at Aunt Mary and Uncle Don’s house.  More good food.  More good conversation.

The day after Christmas we relaxed and took a ride to Uncle Jeff and Uncle Jesse’s house to play with the kitties and climb snow mountains.

New Year’s weekend we had Granny and Grumps to our house to celebrate Christmas.  Jacey got a new swimming suit, which she wanted to put on immediately.  I felt the picture needed to be explained so no one would think I let Jacey walk around the house, on Christmas, in her suit.  June is sporting one of her new stacking toys which Jacey thought made a great hat.

Now we are all getting over our Merry Christmas colds, Happy New Year to all!

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We spent Thanksgiving in Minnesota this year.  We arrived in time for Jack to help out with the turkey preparations…

After all the great food, we burned off some calories playing in the snow.

June missed out on turkey, so she just did some lounging.

Aunt Moriah flew in for the holiday, so we all got to visit with her.  We tried to get some family photos, here are the best attempts.

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Halloween Weekend

Halloween weekend was filled with fun, food, candy, drinks, bus rides and bonfires.  Uncle Jesse bus-driver arrived at Grandma and Papop’s house in the Pabst Bus to pick everyone up to take a lovely evening drive through the spooky woods.  June and I opted out of this ride and sat with my grandma while we waited for everyone to return.  Jack sat in the back of the bumpy bus, but Jacey thought it was too bumpy, so she sat in the front with Grandma.  She was a little scared looking out the big front windows of the bus, she kept saying it looking like they were driving into a spooky cave. After a trip around the neighborhood, the bus returned, and everyone roasted hot dogs and ate munchies around the fire.  Jack ate his snacks by the lighted ghost decoration because he needed to see what color M&M’s he was eating.

The bus also took the whole gang trick or treating.  Good thing most of the neighbors knew we were coming.  One of Jack and Jacey’s favorite stops was the “cheese house and the chocolate milk house.”  A funny Jacey quote when she looked out the kitchen window and saw the parked bus, “Hey, is that the beer bus?  We rode that bus!”

Everyone had a great Halloween!

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Labor Day Weekend

Our weekend was fun filled and action packed.  We started out for the annual Labor Day Celebration in Suring on Friday night.  We had ham sandwiches and blueberries in the car so as not to miss any of the action at the local truck pulls.  We stayed just long enough to see both Uncle Jeff and Uncle Jesse pull their trucks.  Jack had non-stop questions about the eliminator and all the different trucks and why did some trucks have big pipes and why did some have lots of smoke and he sat still for over an hour watching the trucks.  Jacey was looking at stars and talking about the music and we made about three trips to the bathroom and one to the snack stand, but she enjoyed watching the Uncles pull as well.  Now look closely, the pictures are showing two different trucks, Uncle Jeff’s has more lights on the front.  Jack could tell you other differences as well, I’ll leave that to him.

Saturday morning we helped Papop build his new bridge over the little creek.  Jack had his chainsaw all sharpened up and both kids were wearing their safety goggles.


Saturday night were the tractor pulls.  Sadly, the Uncles didn’t pull tractors… but they pulled their buses instead in a special bus class.  There were four area buses entered to see which bus could pull the farthest.  One bus was even hosting a bachelor party, but pulled in to the park to compete.  We got a hamburger while we waited for the action to begin.  Then we watched Uncle Jeff pull the “Real Cool” bus and Uncle Jesse pull the “Pabst Party Lines” bus.

Sunday morning we took the kids to the lake to walk around on the paths.  It was a lovely cool weekend, just right for going for a hike.   After all that nature, we were ready for some more vehicular action, so it was off to the demolition derby! It will be weeks before Jack stops smashing all his Hot Wheel cars together.

Monday morning we set off for the parade.  Jack, Jacey and Justin got to ride in a shiny freshly washed firetruck with Papop driving.  I told Jack to throw me some candy when he went past, but unfortunately he was too busy blowing the horn to even look to see where I was sitting.

And now back to reality…

Posted in Holiday, Weekends

4th of July Weekend

We spent the hot, humid, sticky weekend at the cottage on the river.  Saturday we took the kids to the lake with the kayaks for their first kayaking trip.  Also, I forgot the camera, so I don’t have documentation of that, but they both really enjoyed it.  Justin and I each took a kid and they sat in the kayak on a boat cushion in front of us.  Jacey was with me and really liked dipping her fingers in the water.  She wanted to put her feet in, but I told her they wouldn’t reach.  She threw her little arms down and said, “I not having fun now.”  Little stinker.  Saturday night we went to my aunt and uncle’s cabin for a pre-fireworks cookout.  We actually got a family picture here, although no one is really looking at the camera.

We ate and drank and played around until dusk and headed to the fireworks.  We watched them sitting in comfort on old couches that “the uncles” had loaded up on a trailer.  I even lucked out and got the couch with the reclining footrest on one end.  Talk about being comfy for fireworks, I didn’t have to crane my neck skyward at all, just reclined back.  Here are the kids waiting patiently for the fireworks show to begin.

On Sunday there was a parade, so we ventured out into the heat to watch.  Luckily today “the uncles” had swapped out a couch and traded it for a hot tub full of cool water and a bar on the trailer.  They parked the trailer on the edge of the parade route and the kids swam and stayed cool until the floats came by.

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