Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Nashville Trip

A couple weeks ago Mark and I had the chance to go to the American Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Nashville. Here's a few pictures of what we did.

Our crew on the way to Grandma & Grandpa's house for the weekend.

We stayed at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. It's quite the place with over 40 acres under one roof. My piece of advice if you go there. Were your walking shoes! There is no easy route to anything, we walked and walked and walked!

They even have an indoor river. 

Our first night in Nashville we headed to the cities "hotspot" downtown, with all the other young farmers from  IA. We eat at the Silver Dollar Saloon, and listened to a great band. I couldn't convince Mark to line dance though.

Everywhere you go someone's always wanting to entertain you. From the bars & restaurants downtown, the street corners and even our farm bureau meetings, entertainers where everywhere. This is Eden's Edge.

There's never a problem finding a good place to eat! We decided on a Brazilian restaurant for supper one night. If you ever have the chance to eat at one I highly recommend them!  

They serve you a variety of meats and in this case warmed pineapple until you flip your marker to red. 

Mark and I took a city tour one morning. We visited Ryman Aduitorium and the Country Music hall of Fame  and drove around town looking at different sites from the bus. 

 This is the stage at Ryman Auditorium.The history dates back to the 1880's and became the famous Grand Ole Opry in 1943 also known as the "Mother Church of Country Music." 

Anyone remember Hee Haw? We had extra time at the Hall of Fame so Mark and I watched old reruns of this show and clips of others.  I wonder what it was I liked about that show, so cheesy!!! 

A performance costume for the Farmer Boys. Pretty sure no true farmer boy would EVER wear this. :)

Our trip ended with keynote speaker Astronaut Mark Kelly, his wife was Gabby Giffords who was the politician that was shot in AZ. He did a great job and I would love to hear him again!  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday Allison!!!

 Allison is a year old! From a sweet little baby to a fun little go-getter toddling around, she has always kept us on our toes!

It seems like just yesterday we brought home our sweet baby.

Our birthday girl starting her special day off right. Pancakes with sprinkles!

Don't be fooled by all the gifts in the background, they aren't all hers. I was sick at Christmas so we postponed our Christmas get-together. So everyone got to open presents on Allison's birthday.

I love my present so much I'll give it a hug!

Why is it that kids have more fun with the boxes then the actual presents? :) 

Someone loves sprinkles!

 Eating birthday cake with manners.

Amelia at one year is on the left, Allison is on the right. I'd say these two look pretty similar.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Memories of 2012

There are so many wonderful memories from 2012 and a few not so wonderful. :)  Here's a few pictures of the experiences our family remembers from 2012. 

We started the year off right, with the birth of our 5th child, Allison. We were quite surprised when we learned we were expecting another baby but she has been such a blessing and we
 are so thankful God granted us another child!

Ethan broke his arm on the monkey bars at school. Thankfully he got his cast off the week before summer break!

Mark, Allison and I headed to San Diego for a Farm Bureau trip. We had a great time touring farms and seeing the ocean. 

Mark had the first surgery of his life, to repair a torn ACL. He's recovered well and back riding!

We took our first family vacation with my side to the Lake of the Ozarks. It was a great time!

We got the kids some new rides! Mark and Ethan also had a fun road trip to go get them!

2012 will certainly go down as the year with the most medical expenses! Amelia broke her arm, shortly after school started.

We've been very fortunate not to have many accidents. But this fall Mark rolled his track hoe. As you can see there isn't much left of the cab. Thankfully he has lots of guardian angels and was able to get out of the cab uninjured. 

It seems like I had a lot of "unhappy" events pictured, but they were the easy to find pictures. I'll end on a happy note. Winning the states Young Farmer Achievement Award was an honor for us.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Winter Fun

We were so glad to see the snow come! 

Ethan and Amelia are venturing to larger hills near the field. They've already wrecked several plastic sleds in the short amount of time we've had to go sledding. I'm putting sleds on my list of things to look for on garage sales next spring!

Allison enjoys being pulled in the baby sled. The big kids do so well with her!

For the most part the runner sled is hooked up behind the little  4-wheeler and Ethan and Amelia take turns pulling each other around the yard. But they must have sweet talked dad into pulling them a little while. 

Allison doesn't mind being bundled up, she just can't walk in her boots. :) 

Seeing how big of a snow ball he can make.

On the way to go ice fishing we spotted this possum digging in the ice. 

Whoops, there goes Elijah! The ice is especially slick this year!

Anton and Allison going on a relaxing sled ride. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Christmas Gatherings

Just a few pictures from this years activities.

Our first get-together my VDB side. We love playing Farkle!

We do a white elephant gift exchange, which if also very fun! Note for next year: Leave the little kids out! Here, Elijah is showing us his new cheese cutter set. (Basically, mini, razor sharp chef's knives!) He is very proud of them!

Elijah proud of his new skid-loader.

Opening stockings on Christmas eve.

New goggles for the boys!

Last year was a record for worst stomach flu, hitting the most people. This one goes on record for our family as the most illnesses. For over two weeks it seemed like we only had few days were everyone was healthy enough to go somewhere. Which meant, one would take the healthy kids to the party and one would stay home. Because of this we ended up cancelling my side and skyping with my sister while opening gifts. :)

Anton is a big help opening presents, even if they aren't his! :)

Golf clubs from the thrift store, to go with the golf accessory kits from the white elephant exchange. This could be dangerous! :)

Ready for Christmas/Baking Day

As always, the kids love pulling out our collection of ornaments. Every year they get a new one from Grandma, so our tree is getting pretty full, at least the top half where Allison and Anton can't pull them off. :)

Sorting out who's, who's and opening each little box very carefully.

Amelia with "stocking" feet.

An 11 month old making everything take a little longer. :)

Our tree, colored lights and all.

Allison enjoying the lights.

This is an Advent calendar we made for our Momshine group at church. It's a knock off from one Pottery Barn once sold. 

Mid-December we had our annual baking day. I had a couple plumbing issues so my dad came to work on those while we were busy in the kitchen. (Household fixes aren't Mark's thing, thank goodness for dad's.) :)
Long story short, the one plumbing job was a quick fix, the other not so much and we ended up with the water being turned off for several hours. Not so good when making Christmas goodies. :) 

 Ethan dipping Oreo balls with Auntie Ang.

Allison got into a box of candy canes. She LOVES candy!