On December 29th, which happened to be our 8th wedding anniversary, Matt and the kids and I left for Wichita for the week. Here we are on the bus, which took us to the el, which took us to the airplane, which took us to Wichita.
The kids were so happy to be there that they could hardly stand it. The first day there they suited up and went sledding with Matt, their cousins (Jane and Ellie), Uncle Ben, and Grandad. We love these guys!
Despite the lower-than-normal-for-Wichita temperatures, the kids still managed to have plenty of fun outdoors in Grammy and Grandad's back yard.
They even rode the zipline across the backyard. I was so cold I would hardly walk out of the house to take this picture, but the kids were troopers.
We had a little Christmas present time while sitting around the tree and my parent's great fireplace.
The kids had a hard time baring with the pictures while waiting for the presents to be passed out.
Here is Aunt Katie with our Janey-Jane cousin.
And the kids with their finger flash lights.
My dad taught us this game called Farkel, but we didn't start the game until almost midnight on New Years Eve, so most of us got too tired to stay up learning the rules. Matt and Katie got into it, and the next day Claire joined the group as well.
My sister, Laura, and I took the kids to the Build-a-Bear store for our present to each other's kids.
Claire picked out a very cute bunny to stuff and a sweet pink sweater/scarf/hat outfit. Laura and I enjoyed it as much as the kids did I think.
Claire's favorite part was designing her bunny's birth certificate on the Build-a-Bear computer. She loves computers.
Here we are together. Probably the only time I've appeared in a photo with my kids this year. I had just had my roots done and my hair cut by my little sister's awesome hair lady, so I even took off my hat for the occasion.
The girl cousins: Claire, Ellie, Jane.
Sammy was offered the chance to make a bear as well. They had tons of cute outfits for boys to put on their bears: army outfits, pilot outfits, sports outfits, etc. But he didn't want to do it at all. He just kept saying that he wished one of the bear army outfits would fit HIM. So, we went in search of an army outfit for Sam and stumbled upon this hat. It made him VERY happy and he wears it every day.
See? Here we were bowling at the Alley the day our cousins left to go back to Ohio. The kids were very bummed about them leaving, so we did a little family outting with Aunt Katie.
Here he is throwing the first bowling ball of his life....
....and wiping out.
Claire enjoyed it too, but didn't do as well as the LAST time she went bowling, so she pouted for some of the time. She and Matt are very competitive and don't like losing.
Here Aunt Katie snapped a little profile of my 19 week pregnancy belly. It seemed to grow a lot on this trip. Maybe it was the Felipe's and the massive amounts of good food my mom made every day.
The kids discovered that the Alley had go-carts as well, so we did that next.
Sammy had a head start so he won, but Claire did give him a run for his money.
They were very excited to drive for the first time.
Katie and Sammy rode the motorcycles in the arcade room. Look at him with his camoflage hat and his motorcycle: what a Wichita boy. He just needs a hunting rifle and a pick-up truck.
Grammy and Claire put on a Little Red Riding Hood puppet show on one of our last days there.
And then Claire and sam put on a little "Tortoise and the Hare" show as well.
But all good things have to come to an end, so yesterday morning we packed up, got back on the plane, and headed back to Chicago. Here is Claire holding her nose on the "stinky" train ride back into the city.
Coming home is always a little anti-climactic, (look how depressed these guys look!) but we made it. Sammy already tells us about every 5 minutes how much he misses Grandad. We miss you Wichita family! Thanks for the great week.