Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Honey Creek Lodge

Mark's parents put together a overnight stay at the Honey Creek Lodge. So the day after Christmas a bunch of us headed to Lake Rathbun to do a little swimming at the resorts indoor waterpark. It was perfect for the small kids. I think the deepest water was only 3.5 feet deep. They also had a 18 person hot tub for the adults. As you can tell by the pictures we had tons of fun!

Our group a pirates.

This is the lazy river and slide. Amelia tried to go down the slide but was to short by a long shot. I'm told that Cody was the only one that made it down the slide without being 48" tall.

A cool ship with two slides the little kids could go on.

Rachel, Amelia & Ben all went down the little slide over and over.

Ethan enjoyed walking across the floating animals.

The "big" boys enjoying a game of water basketball.

Cody hauled Ethan around the lazy river.

They also had a nice area for us to gather for supper and breakfast.

VandeLune Christmas

Christmas night we headed west to my Aunt & Uncle's house for another Christmas gathering.

My family.
My sister Ang, Me & brother Alex

My parents doubled their grandchildren this year! Dad is hold Logan and Mom is holding Elijah.

My cousin Ben won a Wii and brought it to our Christmas. This was the highlight of Ethan's night! Joe & Ben were so good at teaching Ethan how to bowl and box! He loved it!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Day

We had a busy and fun Christmas just as you all I'm sure. We started our day off going to church and then came home for lunch and gifts with our family. We only had a couple hours before our next Christmas gathering. We watched Mark's new dirtbike movie and played with the kids' new stuff.
Elijah checking out his new shoes.

Cool! Ethan gets an awesome toy gun that shoots foam bullets!
Daddy consoling Elijah after shooting him in the head with Ethan's toy gun. Daddy doesn't get to play with the gun anymore. :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Eve

My family came over on Christmas Eve for supper and our gift exchange. I thought it would be fun to get out my seldom used china and have a dinner with the family. The kids were very excited to see Grandpa back up to the front door to unload lots of presents and snacks!

Every year we take a family picture in front of the tree.
Grandma and Grandpa doubled their grandkids this year with the addition of Elijah and Logan.

Elijah got right in there and opened his gifts!

Elijah loved to beat on the boxes and crunch up the paper.

Amelia posing with her new doll.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

This and That

Just of few pictures I took over the last couple weeks.

Elijah does a good job sitting up all by himself. He gets very upset if we lay him on his back now, he has to see what's going on!

Rachel & Amelia brought this kitty in the house the other day. They wrapped him up in a warm blanket and sat in front of the fire place in our toasty warm living room and rocked him. Then got sick of him and put him back outside on the snow covered step in 20 degree weather. Poor kitty, at least he got a taste of the good life. :)

This is one of those times were you think you can get rid of a toy because no one plays with it. Then they haul it out and play it our hours.

The kids like to cuddle under blankets in the morning.

Christmas Gathering #1

Saturday we had our first of the nine family gatherings we plan to attend this Christmas. We headed to Waukee to my sister's for the extended-VanDenBroek Christmas. We always have a great time, and I especially enjoyed learning a new card game Up & Down the River. I ended up getting second place! Not to shabby for being the only one who hadn't played the game before.
Another group playing a different card game.
Ladies hanging out in the kitchen. Aunt Bonnie loves to hold the babies! :)
Mark playing with the kids a little after our card game. Unfortunately, poor Ethan tripped over the ship and nailed the edge of Ang's stone/metal coffee table. He got a nasty scratch on the side of his face. Thankfully he didn't knock out any teeth or hit his eye. I asked him if I could take his picture the next day and he said no. But for those of you wondering he's doing fine, no bruising or swelling just a big dark mark on the side of his jaw.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

VanDenBroek Bake Day

For the past few years my mom, sister and sister-in-law have been getting together at my house to make Christmas treats. Sugar Cookies, Puff Pillows, Chex Mix, Oreo BonBons... to name a few. This year Ang and I organized and got things going already on Friday evening. With Logan, Elijah we knew we would be extra busy.

Friday night we baked the sugar cookies to get a head start on things.

Ang organized all the food into groups and put the recipes on top. (She was very proud of her organizational skills) :)

Amelia decorated this cookie all by herself. I think she likes sprinkles.

I taught Ang everything she knows about cookie decorating. :)
Amelia helping Grandma make puff pillows.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Farm Bureau Annual Meeting

Mark and I are part of the Young Farmer Advisory Committee for Farm Bureau. We are one of nine couples from around the state on the committee. Last week we spent a couple days in DesMoines for the annual meeting. This was the first time that we left Elijah overnight. I was nervous about about it because he hadn't been sleeping well and had a cold. He did fine and we were so busy I didn't have time to miss the kids.

The YF committee being recognized during the meeting.

Our president, Greg gave the speech.

Me, Jody and Brooke, all the second year gals hanging out.
Nice wine glass Chad!

I find it funny how last year we had a conference room for all the young farmers to go to and hardly anyone came. This year we got a extra hotel room and we had over 40 people come with 5+ standing in the hall! This many people in a room all at once gets a little loud, glad I was the guy in the next room. :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Our Christmas Tree

The kids had been asking when they could set up and decorate the tree for a couple weeks. So the Friday after Thanksgiving I hauled out the tree and we went to work. (This is the first time in many years that I haven't gone shopping! Amelia had a fever the night before so I thought it would be best to keep her home.) It was a lot of fun to watch the kids pull out all our decorations. It was like they were meeting up with an old friend they hadn't seen in years, they were so excited! Something else I decided to do this year was to put colored lights and all the kids decorations on the big tree. I have decorated our tree in a theme for the past 8 years & now I'll let the kids have a turn. (They did get their own tree last year but 3 decorated trees is a bit much.)

Ethan adding his bulldozer ornament to the tree.

I told you they were excited! :)

Elijah's job - untangling the lights.

The finished tree.