Thursday, I took BJ to work so that I when he got off at 4pm we could continue driving up to see Emily's family in Omaha for the weekend. BJ grabbed his idea of "dinner" when we needed gas and we got some McDonald's when we needed to stop for a potty break. 

The kiddos did an awesome job and the car ride was really quiet without Rose. We rolled into Omaha about 9pm and stayed up talking and playing till past midnight. So the next day my niece Lindsay was really tired, this is how she crashed at 4pm, standing up!

The boys took advantage of a fair that was in town: 

The guy running the ride was hilarious and told them over and over to "hold down the pedal and turn the wheel!" "See where you're at? If you don't hold down the pedal, that's where you will stay!" 
You can hear Emily, Gamma and I reminding them...because for some reason it was still really hard to remember;)

It was a great beginning to my nephew, Frank's Birthday. Above is Jack, Ray, Sam, and Frank. Below are all the kids that came to Frank's awesome Agent Themed Bday Party. 

Ray defusing a bomb with a water gun:

Frank blowing out the candles on his cake:

Cheers! (7up with cherries):

Katie watching makeup videos with Lindsay:

Katie cheering everyone making cat shelves with Josh for his Eagle Scout Project. This is before a lot of great people got there to help. They made just under 100 in a little over an hour! It was amazing and Josh did a great job of directing and keeping everything organized, I can't believe how grown up he is! 

It was hard to say goodbye...

On the way home, Katie made a "woof for her room" out of pipe cleaners Aunt Em gave them. Ray was nice enough to let Katie use most of them, and ran out so he had to finish his at home. 

Katie took this picture of the lake we drove over on the way home: 

Field Trip to the Zoo

Even though we haven't officially started school, we took advantage of our neighbor's Field Trip to the Zoo since we still hadn't really been this summer! 

Ray is good friends with April and the two of them were making a list of animals that start with each letter of the alphabet: 

Katie sitting Froggie Style:

They all got into the Hippo (Katie, Becca, Ray, April, and Quinn)

The star of our trip: Kali (pronounced "Cully"). He is only two years old and already weighs 850 pounds! A hunter in Alaska took him to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) when he realized he killed a nursing mother. The hunter followed the mom's prints back to the den, wrapped 20 pound Kali up in his snow pants and took him to safety. What an addition to the Zoo! 
(See the videos I got in the next few posts)

Not even the penguins wanted to look at me for this shot. I told Ray and Kate to "look at my nose" but I think they heard "look at YOUR nose!"

Butterfly House:

This one is called a Red Cracker, so beautiful!

A really nice lady gave us her leftover tickets to the train and a really nice conductor let us stay on after we saw the Tiger.

Katie said, "I want to go wake it up!"  and "I want to pet it" Tigers are all she has been asking to see for weeks!

My Fav

More Polar Bear

Polar Bear


Since Ray's had his training wheels off, Katie has become more interested in riding a two wheeler. So BJ painted Ray's old bike pink! Katie picked the color and stickers to decorate with: 

We loved our time at the library so much this summer Ray wanted to make book bags! He sewed every seam, except for the difficult top stitching around the top of the bag. I am so proud of him and I love that he came up with the idea on his own! 

Katie helped do some of the cutting and pinning and sat beside me "helping" most of the time. She would watch me closely and set up her own imaginary sewing machine and carefully sew, sometimes singing! 

In just two short weeks we will be starting school! 

Cousins at the Camper!

Emily and the Gang spent a night at the camper with us! 

The older boys went tubing: 

While Emily and I enjoyed the beach with the younger ones:

Some how Frank got lucky and ended up both places:)

Grant's Farm

Bird Show (taken by Grace):

The Carousel:

(taken by Emily)

(next 4 where taken by Grace)

Elephant Show:

Feeding Goats:

Checking out the horses:

I took advantage of having all three girl cousins together and made them all Elsa/Anna dresses just like the dinosaur dress I made Lindsay. They looked so great together!

Grace got the one above (and below) of them enjoying Snow Cones before going back to her house to decorate a cake for Gamma's Birthday: