Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Grandpa's Life Celebration

My grandpa's 91st birthday was yesterday (Aug. 23rd) and we got together at the lake as a family on Sunday to celebrate his birthday and his life. Here are some of the highlights...

Mallory looks like such a big girl in this picture - how does that happen??
Mallory and Ember got to ride on Uncle Mark's boat and they both LOVED it! There were many squeals and laughs coming from these two. When I took this picture I heard Uncle Mark say, "If those vests could talk..." as they were a part of many memories throughout the years.
Grandpa's sister - Great Aunt Elaine
Lynn and Aunt Sue
Uncle Mark
These next four were taken at top speeds...
Megan & Kevin
Abby spent most of the day this way. BORING. :)
This giant cart of stuff wasn't ours, but I could see Ember had big ideas about what she was going to do with it all. Right after I took this picture she turned around and flashed me a big "I'm up to something" grin.
We shared memories and pictures ... lots swimming and a boat ride or two. The weather was beautiful, we had good company and Grandpa would have loved it...

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Zoo a la Carte!

With the luxury of Jill's company zoo pass we spent Saturday at the Milwaukee County Zoo. We strategically picked "a la carte" weekend (featuring food from restaurants all over Milwaukee) and enjoyed amazing food from all around the area.

Kevin and Grandpa Hammen with Ember and Mallory checking out some apes.
Caelum's first visit to the zoo - and his very own hat to prove it!
...LOVE Ember's face/reaction here...
Jill and I each borrowed a double stroller from a friend and they were extremely handy. We are now officially hooked on the idea... a purchase for our not-so-distant future.
This girl is such a sweetheart.
She has affectionately started calling me aunt "Kiki".
The girls were both SQUEALING at the fish. I'm convinced we could have left them there - they would have been occupied for hours.
Ember and Mallory got to be first-time pony riders.
Ember was definitely a fan.
Mallory appeared to be a fan. She was laughing and giggling at first...
...then... not so much. She CLUNG to me the entire 10-something laps. In this picture I was trying to get her to grab the saddle, but it didn't last. Oh well. For $4, we'll try again next time.
...fun giraffe topiary photo op...
...the princess is not to be disturbed...
We decided that Saturday was the day for a train ride around the zoo - something we hadn't done with the girls yet. We arrived at 9am and all day we were asking them, "Do you want to ride the train??" and they'd answer, "Ye-ahh!" We'd hear the train whistle and they'd both repeat "choo choo!" It seems the ride got put off a little long...we got in line a little after 1pm......she held on as long as she could. Thankfully, she perked up RIGHT before we boarded the train.
A quiet bystander...
...singing songs with Grandma Lynn to keep a smile on her face...
...another fun topiary...
...on the train...
photo by Grandpa
One last run through the "mist" and we called it a day...
The food, of course, was fabulous (gyros, sweet corn, custard, a "Brewers" club sandwich, corn dogs, cheesecake, cheesy garlic bread, sausages, crab rangoon, coconut breaded shrimp ... to name a few things), but looking back I think we had more to drink than we did to eat due to the heat. At last count, Casey and I alone had several waters, three fresh-squeezed lemonades, a raspberry lemonade, an Arnold Palmer and a fruit punch slushie. Either way, we survived the day without a single (major) melt-down in the hot August sun. All FOUR children did well and fun was had by all. Another successful zoo adventure.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Smiles and smirks - we'll take them all!