Friday, July 23, 2010

Annual Ranch trip- Camp Yellowwood

I don't even know where to begin! I had a hard enough time picking out which pictures to put in this post...I might as well just make a separate picture book of just this trip because there is so much to say and so many pictures to show. I tried to weed it down to just the highlights, although you wouldn't know by looking... we were only there for 5 days.

This year our "annual lake trip" turned into our annual "ranch trip" or what we refer to as the Niswanger compound. They have named this place Yellowwood and we instantly fell in love.

Mr. Joe, Rudy's dad, bought this place last year. It's around 220 acres located in Northern Louisiana, and it's basically a man's dream play land. He owns a military truck parts company so he stocked this place with ALL KINDS of fun toys for the boys to play with. He had a Deuce and half, hummer, tractor, 6 4-wheelers, 4 paint ball guns and gear, a shooting range, a lake to fish in...or drive the hummer in, and tons of trails to take the 4-wheelers on. To say we had an absolute BLAST is an understatement! The boys were completely spoiled all week and were happy to be able to cross off quite a few things off the ole bucket list. Mr. Joe supplied them with their own military outfits, which they gladly paraded around in all week long.

This is the main house, 2 bedrooms 2 bathrooms, with a huge porch on both sides of the house and a huge family area for us all to hang out in. The Niswanger's and Benton's stayed in this house. We stayed 50 yards away in the guest house, which looks a lot like this house, but I forgot to take a picture. It was 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom with a kitchen and living area. It was perfect!

We got to meet the Niswanger twins for the first time this trip...and they got to meet Madison too. Madison (2.5 mo) John Carter (3.5 mo) Ava Grace 3.5 mo)
We are getting quite the full house of kiddos! Baby Benton will be joining the group in December!

Hunter giving Ava Grace sweet kisses

John Carter, Madison and Ava Grace

John Carter the baby of the family by a whole 20 minutes :-)

Ava Grace a little mini Patricia

Patricia reading to Hunter and Emory

Madison giving Amber sweet smiles
Kaitlyn trying to squeeze Jordan's cheeks while he is reading them a book

Madison (2.5 mo), John Carter and Ava Grace (3.5 mo), Kaitlyn (20 mo), Emory (2 yo), and Hunter (2 yo).

The kiddos had a blast on the swing set they put up
Hunter climbing the rock wall

They pretty much spent the whole week outside

Sweet Emory

Kaitlyn swinging all by herself

Cutie Patootie Kaitlyn

My little buddy

The kids split their time between the playground and the pool. They had a blast playing together
Notice...the kids have gone on to do other things...and Jordan remains :-)
Whatchoo lookin at momma?! Can I help you?
We had a blast taking the kids out multiple times a day on the 4 wheelers

A little family outing

Me and Patricia with our sweet babies
The kids LOVED going for rides on the 4 wheelers. We were amazed at how well it kept their attention. We would go out for like 45 min long rides and they LOVED every minute of it and asked for more when we would get back
The boys had a paintball fight...decked out in all their gear

We couldn't help but laugh when they told us they played "Revolutionary War"

Mr. Joe and the Boys
The boys spent an entire afternoon driving the hummer straight into the lake and then pulling it out with the tractor.

They had a blast

While the boys played in the muddy lake. The girls took turns getting fully body 1 hour massages that Mr. Joe arranged at the house....okay so yeah, we were spoiled too :-)

Jordan casually mentioned that it would be fun to shoot up some old cars...the next morning 2 old beaters were delivered to the camp....SERIOUSLY?! THEY ARE SO SPOILED!
They set them up at the gun range
The girls painted the cars up with the paint ball guns before the guys took over with the real guns

They spent an entire day tearing up these cars

I got to shoot an M4 on full auto
After they were done shooting them up....they dozed them!
I think this was the highlight of the week for them
The finished product

Jordan packin heat

They took the Deuce and a half into town for a grocery run
Jordan woke up early one morning and made us all some funnel cakes
We were impressed he knew how!
Mr. Joe arranged a fish fry for us one night and a BIG breakfast one morning....all prepared by his right hand man Ashley

The people who made our week possible...Mr. Joe and Jeanie
We had an absolute blast and cannot wait until next year. A big thanks to the Niswanger's for inviting us out and letting us use all of their fun toys all week!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dallas Trip

We just returned from a week long trip in Dallas followed by a 5 day trip with friends to the Niswanger compound "Camp Yellowwood". We had such a great time seeing family and friends and we have TONS of pictures so it was really hard to narrow them down to fit on the blog!

First off we flew to Dallas July 9th, our first time flying with both kids. Madison was free as a lap child and Hunter usually sits in his own seat in his travel carseat. About 2 days before we were suppose to leave Jordan decided he wanted us to fly direct. We had reserved southwest flights for all of us to fly for free but the flight had 2 stops with a total of about 5-6 hours on the same plane. That doesn't sound bad but we weren't really sure what we were getting ourselves into traveling with 2 kids for the first time. Plus, with a toddler, changing planes can be a good thing because allows for a little room to burn off energy on such a long flight! So it sounded pretty awful to be on the same plane for 5-6 hours. I am so glad we flew direct, yes we had to pay a 1 way flight for the 3 of us, but we still got a great deal for it and it was only 2 hours!

For some reason American Airlines can never seem to get it right when it comes to families flying together. There were about 5 families, that I know of, on board that were all split up...however we were all sitting by each others family members. We could have all swapped seats but it would have gotten very confusing. So I sat alone with Madison and Jordan and Hunter sat in the bulk head together with another random person next to them. It worked out well...we each had one kid and everything went off without a hitch! Madison was practically a celebrity in our part of the plane by the time it was over. Everyone loves to oooh and ahhh over new babies. She was just 9 weeks old at the time of the flight and she did great. Ate and slept when she was suppose to and smiled and flirted when she was awake. Hunter did well too even though we flew during nap time and there wasn't enough time for him to nap. Jordan did a great job of keeping him entertained and fed so he was still happy by the time the flight was over. I was sitting at the back of the plane and they were at the middle of the plane and I could still hear Hunter talking, even over the engine noise and distance between us, at the only volume he knows, telling everyone "I did it" every time he would do something worth getting excited about...that is his absolute favorite phrase right now. He did great and I am sure those around him would have agreed! However, I am sure they would have appreciated a more normal volume when talking! What can I say he gets it honestly.

We spent the week going between grandparents houses. We stayed with Dwayne and Vivian but spent about the same amount of time at each house. My dad was the only grandparent that hadn't met Madison in person yet so he had fun soaking up some time with her.

My dad was actually the first one to get a smile out of Hunter when he was little, and he thoroughly enjoyed getting Madison to smile her big gummy grin for him!

Considering he has 4 children and 4 grandchildren of his own...he's done this a few times. He is such a good grandpa.
Pop and Hunter playing in the backyard. He was suppose to be watering Nana's tomato plant and it turned into spraying Pop! (notice the treehouse "in progress" in the background. Pop has been dreaming up this playland for years and he just recently broke ground on the project!!

Madison also got to meet her uncle James for the first time, she loved him too just like Hunter does!

James is like the baby whisperer. Hunter has LOVED him from day one and it seems Madison is following in his footsteps.
Madison got to meet her paternal great-grandma Maxine and her husband Harold too. She actually met most of Papa Dwayne's side of the family but I didn't get pictures of everyone :-/
Madison getting some snuggles with her Vivi, while Hunter is in swimming lessons

She loves her Vivi!
Hunter loves his Vivi too. She is showing him the little play area they made him in the backyard.
Hunter picking flowers for mommy

Aunt Beekah lovin on her babies...they love her!

Papa Dwayne and his first grand-daughter, both my kiddos love to hang out with their Papa

Meagan, Jimmy, Kaitlyn and Alyssa. This was the first baby for the girls to meet. Kaitlyn was especially fond of Madison. She wanted to hold her pretty much the whole day!

Aunt Meagan tickling Hunter

He loves his aunt "Mae Mae"
Nana lovin on Madison
Nana has done this a few times as well

Hunter LOVED getting to play with his cousins

He and "wowah"chased each other all over the house
Noah wrestling uncle Jordan
We met up with some good friends of ours for dinner, Patrick and Holly Briscoe, from our Kansas city days. They now live in Longview which is about 2 hours from Dallas. It was soooo good to see them!

Their little girl Addison is already 2 years old! Man how time F-L-I-E-S!
The Benton's also joined us and the Briscoe's for dinner at Benihana, it was like a little Kansas city reunion!
Rachel came over to meet Madison too. She is probably my oldest friend, it is always so special to see her and especially when I get to introduce her to my babies!
It was such a great trip. I love that even though we live 16 hours away, our kiddos LOVE their grandparents, aunts and uncles. They know who they are and Hunter talks about them all the time. You wouldn't know that we live so far away by the way he loves them and talks about them. We can't wait until we see them again. Next month Madison will finally get to meet her Aunt Hayley, Aunt Jaclyn and Uncle Adam!