December 28, 2011

Cousin's are SNOW much Fun ...

The snow has been on the ground for a few days and is starting to melt so we decided to hit the sledding hill with Lori and her family.  This is the 1st time we have sledded down the big hill near Hugh Stadium and I have to declare … IT WAS A BLAST!!   
~ The Sledding Hill ~

We had a variety of sleds … from the mini snowmobile to an inner tube.  We spent 2 hours going up and down the hill before we were all exhausted!!
 ~ Justin and Dwight ~
 ~Aunt Lori and Makenna ~
 ~ The 2 little Misses .. Makenna and Emily ~
 ~ Mommy and Makenna ~
 ~ Justin on the Mini Snowmobile ~
 ~ Taylor ~
~  Charlie, Caleb and Brandon ~
~ Justin and Emily ~

December 27, 2011

Christmas Letter 2011 ...

Christmas 2011

This past year has been an extremely busy year for our family.  With 2 active kids there is never a dull moment around our house. 

Justin will turn 9 in January and is growing way too fast.  Just short of 5’ and 90 lbs it won’t be long before he is taller than me. His size, academic advancement and his athletic ability amazes us.   Justin is an honor student and enjoys school.  Justin’s size has helped him excel in both baseball and football.  He was the star pitcher on his youth baseball team last summer and had several no-hit games. Justin enjoys all sports but his true love is FOOTBALL.  He played his first season of tackle football this year and LOVED every minute of it.  Dwight was the head coach and Justin was a maniac on the field.  He was nicknamed the touchdown king!  I am sure the next 10+ years will be full of sports, sports and more sports for our family!

Little Miss Makenna just turned 5.  60% ornery and 40% sweet she keeps us on our toes!!   She is full of life and always up to something.  She attends a private science base Pre-Kindergarten program 3 days a week and loves to make “inventions”.  This past fall and winter she has been attending a Friday morning soccer clinic at the indoor sports center.  It’s been fun watching her burst with pride when she is on the field.     The highlight of the year for Makenna was when we made her wish come true and celebrated her 5th birthday as a family with a magical Disneyland vacation.  

Along with managing his own business Dwight is over his head with tractor projects.  He is currently in the middle of restoring rare collectible tractors for a museum in Northern Canada.  His shop is full of tractors and parts which will involve lots of hours to make them show quality.  Like I mentioned earlier, Dwight was the Head Coach for Justin’s football team.  As a first year Coach Dwight experienced a love hate relationship with coaching.  The reward was watching the player’s progress over the season and receiving numerous complements from parents and other coaches.

I am still a stay at home mom 80% of the time.  I work very part time at REI yet feel blessed to have the opportunity to be fully involved with all of Justin and Makenna’s activities, volunteer at both schools and serve on the leadership team for my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group.  God has been so great to me.  Aside from missing my mom dearly I am living the life I always dreamed of. 

Other highlights of the year include:  My sister Lori and her family relocated to Windsor, Colorado and now live 30 minutes away!!  In August My Grandma Wamhoff moved from Bird City, Kansas to a retirement center in Loveland. What a blessing it is to get to spend more time with her. Our great niece Marlee was born in September.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

December 26, 2011

Most wonderful time of the year ...

Christmas is always a busy but special time of the year for us.  This year was no exception.  Holiday parties, gatherings and mommy working at REI consumed the entire month of December. Yet Christmas is still my favorite time of the year ... the MOST wonderful time of the year!!  I love shopping, get-togethers with friends and family, sharing gifts with others, creating memories and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.  
On the top of Makenna's wish list was an American Girl Doll ... Santa spoiled Makenna with an Americian Girl doll, horse, dog and lots of accesories.  Plus a few extra surprises.  Makenna was THRILLED to see what Santa had left for her.
Justin had a long list this year. Santa had a hard time deciding what to get him this year so he brought him a few items of of his list ... Mp3 player and Big Lego set but left him a few surprises that Santa was sure he would like. Justin was pleased with what Santa left ... the lazer tag set was a huge hit.

~ Makenna with Nicki her new American Girl Doll ~
~ Justin and daddy checking out his new Police Station lego set ~

 ~ Makenna and Grandpa Stan on Christmas Morning ~
~ oh my another Lego Set ~

 ~ and another jersey to add to his collection ~
~ Makenna's New Barn Grandpa made for her ~

~ Justin with his personalize art kit ~

Having Grammie spend Christmas day with us this year was an extra special treat for our family.  It has been YEARS since I have had the chance to share Christmas with Grammie and a first for Justin and Makenna.  Makenna was super excited to help Grammie open her presents.

December 24, 2011

Mile High Madness ...

Each year we try to make it to at least one Broncos Football game. Thanks to my cousin Darci and her awesome season tickets we get to sit FRONT ROW right next to the visitor s tunnel.

~ Daddy and Justin enjoying some Pregame Fun ~

This year we let Justin pick the game.  He picked a good one … New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos.  Justin, Dwight and I spend a surprisingly warm sunny afternoon on December 18th watching the Broncos get beat by the Patriots.  

The outcome of the game wasn’t what we all hoped for but the day turned into a memorable event when Justin got the autograph of Patriots team owner Bob Kraft, gloves and team towels as the Patriots left the field after the game.

~ Tebow Time ~ 

Since Justin is a huge Tim Tebow and Tom Brady fan he decided to support both teams by wearing both his TEBOW jersey and his BRADY jersey.  Throughout the game he continued to switch his jersey.  When the Patriots were coming onto or leaving the field he wore his BRADY jersey … when the Broncos were playing near our end zone he wore his TEBOW jersey.  This worked out great until …

The Patriots had just scored so Justin was wearing his BRADY jersey when Patriots owner Bob Kraft entered the field and was standing right in front of us.  He was surrounded by security personnel; one of them came over to Justin and asked if he would like Mr. Kraft to sign his jersey.  Justin was thrilled and quickly took his BRADY jersey off so he could sign it.  They all had a little chuckle when Justin revealed his TEBOW jersey that he was wearing under his BRADY jersey.  

~ Bob Kraft (white hair) signing Justin's Jersey ~

November 29, 2011

Lucky ...

We picked up a hitchhiker in California.  Ironically we didn’t know it until we got home.  While unloading the enclosed trailer Dwight found a plastic bag that was not empty.  Inside the bag was …

Apparently the Lizard we found at Nan’s house was not alone.   Oh yes … I am now the proud caretaker of a REPTILE!!! 

After 3 trips to the pet store and $80 later we have a proper house for Lucky

After debating over names we settled on “Lucky”.  Not sure which lizard was lucky … the one that got away or the one living in an aquarium basking under a heat lamp being hand feed.   After doing some research we learned that “Lucky” is a Western Fence Lizard and based on his tummy markings we believe he is a male.  They are really low maintenance and never in a million years did I ever think I would say this but … he is actually a really cool pet!

November 24, 2011

Heading Home ...

We left California and headed towards home. Next stop LAS VEGAS!! The kids were super excited to get the chance to see Las Vegas. I'm not sure it was as excited as they expected it to be. We were so exhausted that we didn’t do much but walk around Caesars Palace, ate dinner at The Cheesecake Factory and walk through the casino. Las Vegas with kids is a great way to keep the gambling to a minimum.
~ Outside Caesars Palace ~
~ Daddies Little Girl ~
~ Justin all smiles about standing in a casino ~
The next morning we were up early and headed EAST … Colorado was on the horizon.  We stopped at a Scenic Overlook in Utah and took some photos!  It was beautiful.

 ~ Dwight, Justin and Makenna ~
 ~ The Truck and Trailer ~

 ~ On top of the world with my babies ~

~ Inside a rock ~
 ~ Looking out from inside the rock ~

We made it to Grand Junction before we stopped for our last night in a hotel.  After 11 nights in hotels we were all more than ready to get home and sleep in our own beds!  2750 miles, 13 days, 6 different hotels, and lots of memories … we made it … home sweet home!!

November 22, 2011

Go West ... Part 3

On Thursday November 10th we took the day to get away from the Disneyland magic and spent the day in Long Beach.  Sight seeing, shopping, lunch and a little beach fun!

~ Queen Mary at the Long Beach Harbor ~

 ~ Justin at the Long Beach Harbor ~

~ 1st few steps in the Pacific Ocean ... just a little on the cool side ~ 

 ~ Didn't take long before the kids were playing in the water ~

~ Free to run and play ... they were loving the ocean! ~ 

The kids played in the ocean, collected lots of seashells and were covered in sand by the time we were ready to leave.  For those of you who know Dwight it was a miracle he let them in his truck with all the sand on them.  Must have been because we were on vacation :) ... just for the record he took his truck to get detailed as soon as we got back to the hotel!

Our favorite restaurant in Anaheim was Joe’s Crab Shack … we ate there twice!  Can’t beat fabulous seafood and great atmosphere for the kids when dining out!   Dwight challenged the balloon guy and he performed … yep BALLOON Elmo!  Justin got a bow and arrow set … both of them were thrilled.

~ Makenna with Mr. Magic the Balloon Guy and her new Balloon Elmo ~ 

~ Introducing Balloon Elmo to Elmo our 3rd Child ~ 

 ~ Justin with his Bow and Arrow Set that really worked ~

We left Anaheim early Saturday morning and made a quick stop for breakfast at Dwight’s Aunt Nan’s house in Norco, California. 
 ~ The Surprise in the Enclosed Trailer when we opened the door ... it was cold, hungry and not moving from being locked inside the trailer for 6 days ~

~ Justin playing with the lizard before it warmed up enough to RUN AWAY from him ~