Happy (SURPRISE) Birthday Zach!

With Chad’s mom being in town, we decided to go sans children Friday night to our friend Zach’s surprise birthday party. Zach had told his wife, Gwen, that he wanted a surprise party this year.  Who does that?  :)   Somehow, miraculously, she was still able to pull it off.  She invited everyone on Facebook as a private event and then we actually all kept quiet.  I personally just avoided talking to him too much while we were at church so as not to spill…  That day Gwen went home sick" with a "headache".  When he walked in the door, he truly was surprised to see his friends and family yelling surprise!


And even more surprised to see his sister Hillary and her kids:

Hillary and Emma:

Probably about a year ago now (you can correct me if I am off Gwen), Zach and Gwen bought a Jeep.  At first Gwen hated it, but then slowly started to really like it.  Unfortunately she totaled it within a very short time after they got it.  I’m still not convinced that she actually liked it and wasn’t trying to get a new car :) .  Anyways, as a joke she got Zach a Jeep pinata. 


Perfect for Emma!:

The best part about not having the kids there was that we were able to stay late and talk to Zach, Gwen and Hillary.  Adult conversation without children around is such a rarity.  Thank you for providing such a fun evening Gwen!  And have fun turning the big 3-0 Zach!  Don’t worry, Gwen and I won’t be far behind…

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Lettie’s Sledding Party

This past week has been busy.  We have had three birthday parties, a baptism, I worked three nights, and Chad’s mom came into town for a visit.  I can’t imagine why I haven’t had time to blog…  Miraculously my house is somewhat clean and I still somewhat have my sanity.

Last week Saturday (that would be the 12th), we went to my friend Katie’s house to celebrate her daughter Lettie’s first birthday.  I don’t think I would have ever chosen sledding for a one year old party, but it turned out awesome.  Lettie loved it (although she was the first to go inside) and surprisingly enough Eric and Grant couldn’t get enough of going down those slopes.  I’m definitely going to be investing in more snow gear so we can make good use of the slopes on our property (just not the one heading towards the pond….). 

So this is Lettie:

And this is her mom Katie:

And this is Grant after he face planted in the snow:

Grant and Eric about to go down the hill together:

And falling off the sled together :) :

Katie’s husband Mike maybe not being too smart ( but props to him for not falling…):

Chad carrying Eric back up the hill (boy that 32 pounds gets heavy quick!!):

And me taking the boys down the LONG LONG hill on the tube:

And Katie’s son Bennett:

And i just have to include this one of Katie!

All to celebrate this little princess:

I promise I’ll get the rest of the pictures to you soon Katie! :)   Thanks for inviting us to your party.  We not only had a great time, but found a new way to enjoy time with our family!  Today Eric cried when we brought him in out of the snow.  I think he could have spent the entire day out there…mommy is still working up to that!




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A sneak peak of baby Kate

Shortly after I posted pictures of my niece Jordan, both my friends Bethany and Jessica asked me to take pictures of their new little girls.  Although they were born less than a week apart, and I met them both on their day of birth, I wasn’t able to get Jessica’s baby’s pictures until today.  Kate was born last week Tuesday, and in case you hadn’t heard, that was the night of a major blizzard in Grand Rapids.  I apparantly didn’t realize how bad the storm was going to be, so when I got called and asked to work I decided to go in.  Not such a good idea.  Not only did I wind up working the entire 12 hour shift, but I also wasn’t able to get home. The roads were impassable and I had to be back to work that night.  I really wasn’t going to try to get home with such I high likelihood of getting stuck. Three of my friends from work and I decided to get a room at the hotel across the parking lot from the hospital.  Needless to say, I didn’t make it home to get my camera (since I was planning on taking pictures Wednesday night of baby Kate).  SO today between my crazy work schedule and the normal business of both of our lives, we were able to get together and I got some really great pictures of Kate.  Definitely makes me want a little girl….


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Family Pictures

I realize that I didn’t really post too much about my trip to Arizona.  But one of the highlights of my trip (besides being with family) was meeting my friend Claire.  Claire went to college with several of the girls that I grew up with.  Somehow he managed to not meet each other during those years, but then met through a mommy blog that many of those same girls were a part of.  We have talked online, followed each other’s blogs, and became friends without ever having the chance to meet.  The really awesome part, though, is that Claire lives in Arizona not far from Chad’s parents.  The other awesome part is that Claire is a photographer and was able to do our family pictures for us.  We went to a place called Sehuaro Ranch in Glendale and got some really awesome pictures. 



I had so much fun at our photo shoot, but quickly realized that it wasn’t enough time to spend with Claire.  We got to spend some time at the zoo a few days later, and although we hit a few bumps with 5 children under three, I still had a great time and now wish I lived a little closer to her! At least I know that any time I go out to Arizona, I will have someone to go visit besides family. :)

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Superbowl 2011!

Yesterday we hosted a Superbowl Party.  Not just any superbowl party, though, a really awesome one where the Packer’s took the victory!  I will say that I didn’t feel like I got to watch as much of the game as I normally would have, but I had such a great time with friends and family that it didn’t matter.

Jan Emery brought a couple Packer’s cookies over from Marge’s Donut Den.  The lady at the counter said that every year they make cookies for the superbowl and every year the team that sells the most cookies always wins. They sold the most Packer’s cookies this year…a little bizarre if you ask me.

I think the absolute worst part of the night was watching halftime.  Fergie sounded pretty much awful.  The only redeeming qualities were the people dancing around with those light-up suits and the commentary coming from my living room.

We fit 31 people into our living room and parlor for the game.  The house didn’t seem crowded. Maybe a little noisy, but not crowded.  The driveway on the other hand…at least nobody got stuck! 

My nephew Ethan:


This is actually an uncrowded view of the couch.  I think we piled at least 3-4 more people on it:


Grant is officially part of the family.  During a particularly awesome play, Grant starts yelling along with everyone else, "Go, go, go, go!"  After they scored the touchdown he chimes in "Go Packers!!" 


Grant and Olivia Emery


My friend Katie’s kiddos Lettie and Bennet:


Sara and Ethan:


Charles and Ken watching the game in the parlor:


And my kids just being plain cute :)

And if we’re really lucky, we can have a repeat party next year rooting for the Pack!

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Riddick’s Birthday Party

Yesterday Grant’s friend Riddick had his 3rd birthday party at Playworld.  This place is like the McDonald’s playplace to the tenth degree.  The kids loved it!  Probably one of the most fun birthday parties I’ve been to in a while.  Of course for me it was fun because I had lots of friends to talk to while the kids were entertaining themselves. 

There were lots of boys at the party since their are about 9-10 boys in the 3 year old age range at church.  I can’t even begin to imagine what it will be like when they are all teenagers….


Grant and Jonathan Kellogg:

Grant being a goofball:

Eric tagged along:

The whole Owens Family

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