I’m Back!

Hey Everyone!

I have been gone for a week and it feels like an eternity!

I’m really not even sure where to start, or what you guys want to see? For those of you who may not know, my little family and I drove from Pennsylvania to Colorado last weekend. We drove back this weekend. It is a 22 hour drive and took us two days each way. We were able to stop along the way in/around Des Monies Iowa to rest for the night both ways.

While we were in Colorado we stayed in Aurora. It was mainly on two major highways and that was that. What was nice was that we could go North or South at our leisure. We bounced around from Boulder to Colorado Springs, to Denver. Depending of the weather that day and the family that we could meet up with.

The first full day we were there it was rainy and crappy so we went to the Morrison Natural History Museu.

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This place was really neat, they had real live dino nerds give you a tour of everything. Most things there were found right in Colorado. While we were on our tour there was a giant storm and some hail. Thank goodness we were inside!

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The next day we headed to Colorado Springs where we took a trolley though Garden of the Gods, and drove up the over 14,000 ft Pikes Peak!

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It was pretty exhilerating driving up Pikes Peak. Once we were at the top we did feel dizzy due to the altitude, but we snagged some great pictures while we could. We also had some fresh doughnuts while we were up there.

I believe Wednesday we took the whole day and went to the Denver Zoo! It was so much fun. Everett had never been to a zoo before, and this one and the other are both on the top 10 best zoos in America.

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This zoo was really cool and freaking huge! We ended it with a Peacock and ice cream. If you are wondering what his shirt says its: “I flexed so hard the sleeves came off” haha. πŸ˜€

Lets see….hmmm.. what did we do Thursday? Ah that’s right. We went to the Pearlt Street Mall in Boulder! It was about 5 city blocks of a walking mall. The weather was great and we did some shopping. πŸ˜€

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This place was beautiful and full of people and neat shops. πŸ˜€

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My personal favorite spot was this store that was dedicated to honey! They had all sorts of kinds to try, and even sold Meade.

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Everett was not a fan of these water things haha. he didn’t make a single face other than that one haha. πŸ˜€ Later that day we met up with my wife’s uncle for dinner in Longmont.

Friday we met up with my cousin in Colorado Springs, where she cooked us an amazing breakfast. We hung out there with her and her three little kiddos for a bit before heading to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo! You guessed it! It is on a mountain.

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At the zoo they donate $0.75 per each visitor to help wildlife. We got to drop them in this thing to pick and choose the cause we helped. It is a great idea.

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These misters should be in every zoo haha. They saved the day! πŸ˜€

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I had to take a selfie with a Giraffe, we were able to feed and pet them so we became friends fast. πŸ˜€

The whole week we had great food! We ate all over and never the same place twice. Most places we had never been to before. We ate at a steakhouse, IHOP, Bean Sprouts, BJs brewery, EdelweissΒ  (German), At both zoos, Bent Fork, Boulder Beer, and lastly a Joe’s Crab Shack.

Food Overload Below!

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We Started the drive home Saturday a bit late on purpose, because part way through we met up with another photographer from a Facebook group that my wife is in. She and this other girl swapped family photo sessions. It was really neat. We met them in some park in Omaha Nebraska. We changed into nice clothes in the parking lot haha. I don’t have any of those pictures yet because neither of them have edited them yet, but I’ll share when I have a chance too! πŸ˜€

We stopped in Atlantic Iowa for the night, around 9:30pm. We only got to ‘sleep’ for a couple hours before Everett was screaming his head off, so we left Sunday morning around 3:45am….We drove until we got home around 7:30pm. That was a long day, I’m sure you could guess haha. We made it. It was a blast. We will cherish those memories forever!

Thank you for reading though this huge post. I’m still super tired and surprised I made it into work today! I hope to see you all again tomorrow! (I’ve missed you) πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

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Gender Reveal & Playground! (Pics & Vids)

Hey Everyone!

We had a pretty exciting weekend, with a lot going on. I’m proud to say that I took pictures and videos of all of it. Go me! Saturday morning my wife’s went out of town with friends and I took Everett to my brother and sister in-law’s gender reveal. They were announcing the gender of their second child, they already have one girl. It was out at a hunting camp in the woods. Here is Everett holding a pink balloon, I guess we know what his guess was! πŸ˜€ (Sorry it is a little blury but he was on the move)

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Everett and his cousin Rory played on the floor while we waited for everyone else to arrive and eat.

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Here is my brother holding Everett.

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This one is a funny comparison. Everett, Rory and Pepper the 2 year old Great Dane haha πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ (Both of their Great Danes were there but I only caught the one)

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On to the more exciting stuff! Here is the box my brother made to reveal the gender. Inside of this box was Tannerite, and on top of the Tannerite was a bag of colored powder. My brother’s goal was to shoot the Tannerite through the box and have it explode the color all over the place. (For those of you unaware of what Tannerite is you will soon find out.)

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Here is the video I took. ( I set my phone on a chair and backed up haha, I wasn’t that close) (SOUND ON)

By now you know they are having another girl haha. Here are a few pictures I took after the reveal.

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We set Rory up on the stump, she’s a cutie!

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We finished the afternoon up there and had a relaxing evening at home, once my wife was back.

Sunday started like any other, lazy and sleepy. I was trying to get a few games in, before Everett woke from his nap but that didn’t last too long.

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My wife had him downstairs after that and she sent me this picture haha, that hairdo! πŸ˜€

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It was nearing 3:30pm and we were experiencing some cabin fever, so we decided to take a walk. It was about 43 degrees F, but the sun was shining.

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We were going to walk our normal distance, but liked being out in the fresh air after being cooped up all winter. We took Everett, and our dog, about a mile down the road to the local playground. This was his first time at a play ground. He was able to enjoy his first time on a swing. πŸ˜€

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This, of course, followed by his first time on a slide! πŸ˜€

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He did enjoy both, but wasn’t sure what was going on at first. We had successfully had a play date at the playground!

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About half way home again the poor little guy was all tuckerd out!

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We stopped and saw my parents on the way home, since they live a city block away from us, and headed home. We had some home made burgers and beans for dinner and watched a little March Madness before going to bed. Overall it was a very pleasant weekend. We can’t wait to get outside with him more now that he is a little bigger.

That is all for me, I’ll see you all again tomorrow! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

 

I’m Back! (Reunion Update)

Hey Everyone!

Let me start by saying that this could easily fill a whole weeks worth of posts. It won’t because then I would have to spend waaaayyyy too much of my time splitting it all up haha.

So, I’m back from my week long family reunion, and boy did I have a great time! I think I overheard that the total number of people in attendance this year was around 90-95. That makes for a ton of good conversation, and a busy week. I got there one night before it started and helped with some last minute prepping. There were only a handful of us there then. One of the last things we needed to do was shop for the first two days worth of food. To make it harder we had to make sure that all foo and gluten allergies were taken into account. Here is the food receipt for the first two days lol.

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You really don’t want to know how much that came to haha.

To get a decent lay of the land here are a couple pictures showing where most people were staying:

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It is just a huge yard that we turned into a motel.

As people would arrive they could take the golf cart and trailer to unload their stuff for the week.

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I had mentioned before that we had a few (understatement) kids coming. I can now tell you that off the top of my head there were more than 15 kids under the age of 10!

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Sometimes you party too hard haha!

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Now if these pictures haven;t got you asking what are they doing in some of these I don’t know what will! Throughout the week there were games everyday. Some of the games were for kids only ( I played), some were for adults, most were for both. Our daily guideline board looked like this each day:

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Each day as split up and this was posted where we ate, in and off of the garage. With that many people we had birthdays each day!

Some of the activities were physical, others mental, and most of all very fun!

As you saw the kids played twister, well so did we!

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I’m there in the camo hat with the black shirt. I didn’t last very long haha. They guy in the green hat filming is my cousin who lives in Santa Barbara California. He is a film maker. He is putting together a short film about being here during the reunion, so he was everywhere as well.

Sometime during the week we also played a yard sized game of Memory, and had some scavenger hunts.

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That is me out there pointing. I was having a few of the kids help me with my guesses.

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When that was all said and done my team won by one pair! Go Pink Team!

The first ‘hunt’ was to match items in nature to the color swatches, it was a lot harder than we all thought. Here is what we gathered.

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Not bad! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

The next one involved finding clues to a puzzle leading you to other clues. It was as tough as it sounds as well.

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The finished image relates to the layout of where we were.

We had a relay race at some point and then played my favorite game of the week, Human Foosball!

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There was some ‘Skip-It’ action, Hula Hoops, and jump roping!

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The Foosball games were intense and fun. You had to hold on to the piece of PVC pipe and not let go. It was on rope just like the little guys in a Foosball table. First one to five wins!

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My team won and then I helped the little kids play after. Those pictures are up with the kids. When you could find a bit of down time people played cards.

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A little backstory is needed for this next activity. Months before the reunion we were asked to fill out a questionnaire. It was filled with questions like, what is you best advice, name a fact about yourself, etc… Well they turned it into a matching game. We all huddled up and tried to match the person to the answer! A lot of work went into that and it was fun to play. My best advice was to “Smell your milk” lol. Boy I’m special.

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I’m sure you have all seen things in the news about people painting rocks and hiding them in parks for people to find. Some are inspirational others are just spreading happiness. Well during the whole week we had a station dedicated to painting rocks, with a hashtag on the back for the reunion. We had everyone take theirs home with them and spread them around. We hope that we see the rocks again when people find them, by following the hashtag.

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The kids dyed some shirts:

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A handful of the girls found a spot in the woods and made “‘Bear Camp’. We then made a thing out of it and showed everyone!

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Since this whole event is because of my great grandparents, we are fairly big into genealogy. My one cousin created a nice slideshow presentation covering some of that early history. he was able to present it four different times to different crowds throughout the week.

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Above is my little Everett, who is named after the guy below. His great great grandfather!

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It is really interesting to still have people alive at this reunion that can fill in some minor details that you would otherwise never get. Four of the remaining six children are still with us today. That being said there are some that couldn’t be with us and those of us who like that sort of thing, go to the cemeteries around to look for old relatives.

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This last picture is of my great grandfather’s, grandfather! This was the headstone that we were looking to find! Mission accomplished haha.

Nearing the end of this post I swear!

What family reunion would be complete without food and fires!?! We had great homemade food all week and treats from the Amish. We were also surprised to have a mini doughnut truck there one day!

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This was the first and most healthy breakfast I had. It was all downhill from there lol.

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Here we have the popcorn and cotton candy machine!

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These were pastries made by an Amish woman my great aunt Jackie knows. They were better than this picture could ever capture!

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We had a make your own pizza bar!

Then on to the doughnuts:

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We could choose from powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, or chocolate! Again, absolutely delicious. Straight out of the fryer and into your mouth!

And the fires!

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At the end of the week my dad was awarded with the MVP trophy and instantly awarded it back to my cousin who helped organized this whole reunion!

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And the remainder of the pictures fit in no category, so I’ll just post them here. Great family fun, and love everywhere you turned!

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Look close and see a Hummingbird Moth! πŸ˜€

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I know this post was the biggest thing you have ever seen on this site! If you are still with me here thank you for looking! You deserved more cookies than I ate this past week haha. I am back and hope to see you all again tomorrow! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€