my big fat reunion post

27 July 2016

... polishing off the last of our vacation photos just in time to start an influx of documentation from our next trip. Saints have suffered, folks. You'll live.

I'll make this quick.

mmmm quickish. 

All of my siblings were together for the first time in what felt like a really long time so we had to commemorate with a photo in a field. Photo credit to Simon using Andrew's camera.

Sarah, Peter, Andrew, Paul, Emily, Daniel, and ... you know who. In case you wanted name tags.  

Sebastian was totally perplexed over the fact that my mom (his nana) and my Aunt Heidi looked so similar with their haircuts and glasses and asked my mom, "I know that you're Nana but who is that nana over there?"

touché, Bash. Touché.

He took the liberty of dressing himself in Theo's shirt and Julia's shorts. No rules in Moline, Illinois.

My Aunt Heidi (or Nana numero dos) brought over a handmade game of Cornhole which was really fun ...

... even if I was really terrible.

Sebastian walked up while I was playing my usual said terrible game and got a (corn)hole in one.

lucky outfit, I guess.

My grandma was so sweet and generous and had a friend make the great grandkids pillow cases and blankets with their names on them ...

  Bosco was MOST appreciative ...

 ... obviously.

For better or for worse the kids discovered the joy of my Aunt Rebecca's iPad during the trip ...

Here Theo is with my mom doing a puzzle. Thankfully they haven't made mention of getting an iPad of their own but after our next serieS of flights ... I might be the one waving the iWhite Flag. We'll see. 

I have to pause here for a moment of silence because I sadly (so sadly! no sarcasm ... for once) lost the last month of photos in the old, "throw the phone in a purse with a leaky bottle" accident --- so all of my phone reunion photos are toast but with the help of my Aunt Heidi and the photos I took with my camera -- I think we're managing just fine. I had a series of balloon photos thanks to my Aunt Rebecca who is super talented at balloon artistry ... Julia had an army of Disney Princesses, headgear, and bracelets hidden safely under her bed from the big bad Phoebe at one point. Here she is getting the finishing touches on one of her more subtle head pieces.

Aunt Rebecca was ALSO responsible for creating a little fairy outside for Julia. Every night she would add a little piece of furniture (or plant a garden of baby carrots - nothing crazy) for Julia to find in the morning. She even typed little tiny notes for her to read toward the end of the trip ...

Julia was completely enamored, as you can imagine. Posey has been asking for our address via Facebook ... I'll keep you posted if she makes an appearance here.

Posey's abode. Before her garden was planted and before one of Julia's brothers may have bulldozed through it.


Speak of the devil ...

We made trips to Whitey's a plenty and Simon and I even snuck out late one night for an ice cream date sans kids. Heaven. Sorry angelfaces.

My youngest sister Sarah swimming in the big, bad deep end with Julia ...

Not that the kids are on any sort of Phelps track but after four swimming lessons -- there is a world of difference in their water confidence. All hail, swimming lessons.

Not sure which is my favorite pair here ... 

the older boys, or Phoebe and Bosco having a glare-off.

Chicken ... 

I wasn't there for this so I don't know who won, sorry.

My mom and aunts took the kids to a pet store to look at ... pets.

Phoebe and Theo's enthusiasm is positively contagious.

And last but certainly NOT least ... a collage of snaps from the children's museum. My grandma treated my mom, aunts, and the three oldest kids to a trip while the two older kids napped and I had the quiet house allllll to myself. It was awful.

Anyway, the kids had such a wonderful time that I'm almost motivated to try to take everyone to the children's museum here in Tampa. Or maybe just a few kids at a time to start.

And the end! You survived. Pour yourself a drink and ask someone to give you a hearty pat on the back.

And now I'm off to try to polish off the remainder of my book before the kids wake up. Can I? Will I? appendages crossed.


  1. I would like to order one Aunt Rebecca, please.

  2. The Family Museum is a really great kids museum. If the little kids run off, it's not too hard to find them. And it's usually not too crowded, so I feel I can let the kids have a little independence. I'm glad your kids enjoyed it.

  3. I just don't understand when Bash turned 16.

  4. So so cute! Love it and looks like so much fun! your kids have such great personalities.

  5. You should try great explorations in St. Petersburg- it's pretty small with separate areas off a main room. You could likely keep tabs on different rooms from the one main space. Good luck!

  6. Bash's farmer tan is killing me!

  7. Whitey's!! My husband & I lived in Davenport while he was in grad school & I worked at the Moline Dispatch. Miss that ice cream! Thanks again for the beach recommendations! Heading to Tampa Friday & the kids are EXCITED!

  8. I really, really wish you had a sibling named Mary. because it only seems right, with siblings named Peter and Paul..

    Anyways, this looks fun! Yay for family time!

  9. My brother and sister in law went to Palmer and we used to visit them and Whitey's every year!! yum :)

  10. What a happy family time! I hope my family is able to do some kind of reunion in the future too =]

    The fairy thing reminds me of some really sweet fairy things my aunt used to do for me when I was little. I remember finding a ring and she told me, "Oh, no! That's not a ring at all! It's a fairy's crown!" and that's where it all started. =]

  11. We have an iPad mini my parents gifted me for travel (we do a lot of cross country flights- just me and my toddler) and it's great. She watches movies mostly but has a few apps she likes to play with. We just have a no iPad for her at home rule so it's not really an issue for us at home- I just get to play on it! :) The best thing though if you have Amazon prime is to get one of their devices- you can load their shows and movies onto the tablet for free! I think their cheapest one is only $50. What a deal. Looks like y'all had a great vacation!!

  12. What!?!?! No John Deere stops? I had to ask my husband if he would legally separate if the kids and I drove right through Moline (from WA State!!!) without waiting 2 hours for JD to open. He hesitated.

  13. Sebastian's lucky outfit.... Ha ha! You crack me up!!

  14. My two younger kids, ages 5 & 2 have Kindle fire tablets, I even got one for $35 on Black Friday last year. I subscribe to Kindle free time for $2.99/month & they have a crazy amount of children's content they can acces. You should check them out, much cheaper than iPads & more durable!



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