Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ella's early birthday celebration

The weekend before Ella's birthday Uncle Bob and Grandma came over for dinner and to give her birthday gifts. We had a nice dinner together and once Taylor saw how Uncle Bob was lifting Ella up in the air, Taylor walked right over to him and said "Up".

Kuipers Apple Orchard

Towards the end of September we headed over to Kuipers Apple Orchard to do some apple picking. It was a gorgeous day, a bit chilly but that was perfect apple picking weather! We got there just in time for snack, so we headed into the bakery area and had some delicious apple cider donuts. We then got in line to go on the tractor ride out to the apple orchards. They encourage people that are picking apples to try the different varieties as you pick so that you ensure you are getting an apple that you will enjoy. Taylor was very excited about this, and just kept saying "apple" over and over and wouldn't stop eating. We had a really good time and made an apple crisp with the apples that we got to pick.

Randall Oaks petting zoo

I know it's been a while since my last post, but things are super busy these days.

Back in September, we headed out to the park just down the street from our house with the girls. It was our first time visiting and I couldn't believe the treasure we had so close to home! It was a petting zoo with lots of animals (cows, sheep, peacocks, goats, horses, pigs) and there was a playground there too.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ella's photo shoot

We decided to make a photo invitation for Ella's fourth birthday party, so we needed to do a photoshoot on a beautiful sunny day. It's much easier to work with a four year old than with a an 18 month old...that's for sure :)

I'm bringing home a baby bumblebee

We came across this bumblebee costume that was given to us from Aunt Colette a while back and Taylor wanted it on...she still loves to play dress up! She put it on and didn't want to take it off the rest of the night.

A visit from The Great Pumpkin!

A few weeks ago we got a visit from The Great Pumpkin! While we were inside cleaning up and putting dishes away, we heard that a special visitor had left us a surprise on our front porch. Each girl got their own pumpkin, so stayed tuned for a later post in which we actually do some carving!

Lincoln park zoo and cupcakes too!!!

On Saturday September 11th, we packed up the girls and drove into the city for a visit to the Lincoln Park Zoo. We first went to Nick and Fisher's place to park our van, see their apartment and also let Ella and Taylor visit with Octavia. From their apartment, we all walked the mile to the Lincoln Park Zoo and saw all the animals. The morning started off a bit rainy, but quickly turned to a beautiful day with minimal crowds!

Thanks for being the photographer Fisher!!

After the zoo and a quick lunch, we needed to get the girls home for nap. But first we stopped at
Molly's Cupcakes in the city b/c of their awesome reviews and b/c one of the women that work there recently won a cupcake contest on the Food it had to be good! Good is an extreme understatement. The cupcakes were amazing and we all enjoyed after dinner that night.

One of the cupcakes didn't make it home...we had to eat it in the car :)

Labor Day 2010 in Michigan

This year we were invited to go up to the Chuck and Sharon Lamz's house near Muskegon, Michigan. Once we found out it was only a 3 1/2 hour drive and since the girls had never been to beach, we knew right away that we would take our first family vacation. We drove up on Saturday morning and stayed until Monday morning. Of course traffic, construction and lunch breaks caused the drive there and back to be more like 5 hours, but both Ella and Taylor were incredibly well behaved the entire drive!

While in Michigan we went to a festival in Muskegon and watched dogs do tricks (Taylor loved that), had ice cream every night we were there, played outside and spent time at the beach building a sand castle. Of course the weather was a bit chilly and it rained a few times, but we still had a great time!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ooyen Family Reunion 2010

First Saturday in August we had the Ooyen family reunion near Kankakee Illinois. The weather was gorgeous (compared to 50° last year) and the sun didn't stop shining. The girls were great in the car and it was nice to see so many family members that we only get to spend time with once a year. Rebecca and Michael took some great pictures:

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Our puppy dog Taylor

Taylor has two things at school that she can't do without these days:

1. Puppies
2. Dressing up

She has a little white puppy dog doll that she sleeps with at school for nap time and sleeps with at home every night. They got a bunch of new dress up outfits at school recently from a ballerina, puppy dog, doctor and cheerleader. Taylor loves having the teachers help her put dress up on, especially the puppy dog costume. Once of her teachers took a video and picture and was nice enough to send them to me. Unfortunately I am having a hard time uploading videos to blogger, so here's a picture for now.

Goddard Family Picnic 2010

On Saturday the 21st, Goddard held their annual family picnic at a park in Gilberts. J had to work so I took the girls by myself and he met up there towards the end of the picnic. Obviously it was quite difficult to take pictures while watching/chasing both of the girls, but we managed to snap two that were worthy of posting. Ella was super excited because Samantha and Kendra were there along with her friends Ashley, Samantha, Ashni and Brayden. Here is a picture of Ella and Samantha after getting their arms painted. Ella got a princess crown and Samantha got a mermaid.

Then just as we were about to leave, Ashley, Ella and Samantha jumped in the jumpy house for a few minutes.

Taylor had a lot of fun too. She loved seeing her teachers (Miss Sue, Miss Sherri and Miss Kristin) and she played with her best school friend Addie. I was not able to capture pictures of her though as I was busy chasing after her and Ella who were running in different directions most of the time!

Sparkle Toes

Carrie and Mar watched the girls for us one night so that we could celebrate my birthday. While we were gone Carrie gave Ella a manicure and I gave her a pedicure the next day. Of course whatever Ella has....Taylor wants! She reached for the nail polish and I decided that since it was 60 second dry I would attempt to paint her toenails. I consider it a success.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Mama

Sunday was my 29th birthday and we had bakery cupcakes, lemon bars and strawberry shortcake to kind of party :) Papa woke up with the girls and let me sleep in until 9:30 am (which was much needed after a night out to celebrate). When I finally did get out of bed, I got to read two beautiful cards and enjoy a cinnamon roll. We headed to the park for some playtime and then back home for lunch. We got to have Jersey Mike's subs for dinner (yum) and enjoy dessert together. It was a great way to spend my birthday!

Dupage Children's Museum

In late July we went to the Dupage County Children's Museum in Naperville. Bryan, Joanna, Kyan and Nate all met us there and we found a fun way to spend a rainy morning. Both girls had a really good time and we were able to snap a few pictures.

The following weekend we headed out to Rockford to go to their Children's Museum, but forgot the camera that time. It was a really awesome museum and I loved the spaciousness, the layout and all the great things to do. There was a whole section devoted to farming with huge tractors and you could even milk a pretend cow. Definitely a place that we'll be going back to in the cold winter months.

Happy 35th birthday Papa

Wow...I think I find myself with less and less time every day as the summer goes on.

Papa's birthday was August 1st and he turned the big 3-5! We went to dinner one night with Grandma Martin to celebrate her birthday and J's birthday with the girls and Uncle Bob. Then on J's actual birthday, we cooked dinner and enjoyed some cake and ice cream. Ella made him a birthday card that was beautiful (with Victoria's help thankfully).