Our Boys!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy New Year!

Once again I pay more attention to Facebook than my blog - so here is the wrap up from November and December! I hope you and yours had a very Merry Christmas and wish you all blessings in the New Year!

November 4th was Blake's 5th Birthday - we had a small celebration at Chuck E. Cheese (his choice) with a few of his friends! He was thrilled When Chuck stopped by to say Happy Birthday to him!

His Birthday cupcake that mommy made for him and his friends - not as decorative as some of my crafty friends' - but he picked yellow cake with chocolate icing and blue sprinkles! As long as the birthday boy is happy - we all are!

Our friends, the Combs, have an awesome costume halloween party every year. This year it came in November since halloween actually fell on a weekend, but it worked out great! Shawn had a lot of fun with his costume as usual - always gotta be a "joker"!

My birthday fell on Thanksgiving this year which actually worked out great! Shawn left our boys with my parents and took me out to a movie and dinner and then we stayed across the river at the Embassy Suites overlooking our beloved hometown! The best surprise was when our best friends came to meet up with us! I had no idea - but we had a great time with Linda and Kevin . . . not sure why I don't have any photos of us from that night, but here are a few of Cincy from our hotel window. This one shows the Great American Ballpark where the Reds play along with the building I used to work in when we lived there.

Cool shot of Paul Brown Stadium where the Bengals play and the Carew Tower (the tallest building in Cincy) where Shawn proposed to me and where we renewed our vows on our 10 year wedding anniversary (both occurred on top of the tower on the observation deck).

The beginning of December started with a Christmas concert at our church. I've done 4 of these over the years now with my good friend Steve (pictured here singing with me) and it's always a blessing!

My good friend Dena took me to a REAL Colts game. I have never been to a "real" game. I took Shawn to a preseason game last August for his 40th bday, but this was the first time I've actually seen Peyton, Dallas, Austin, etc... play in person! Very cool - we had a great time!!!

I hadn't sent out Christmas cards in over 3 years, so I felt it was time. Getting the boys to cooperate was sure to be a challenge, but it actually went really well. This was the best one of the 3 kids - I love it. I would've loved to have sent them to ALL our friends, but to keep cost down, only mailed to out of town friends and a few people here we don't see that often.

We spent the weekend of the 19th with my family in Cincy. My brother flew in from CA and my sister and her family came up from Atlanta. This is a picture of all 5 cousins - together at last! Grant, Blake, Kyle, Riley and Evan.

We even got a good picture of the whole Elmlinger family!

The boys got Rock Band from my parents for Christmas - this is the 3 of them on Christmas morning as we got them the Lego Rockband disc - let's just say they've been playing it non-stop! And I don't want to brag - but these 3 have some serious talent!!! ;o)

We got our first good snowfall the last few days, so the boys couldn't wait to get out in it! This was their "funny" pose as Grant, Blake and their friend Tommy were horsing around.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

Wow - I can't believe it's been 6 weeks since I've posted a blog - guess I've been slipping (which is probably due more to Facebook than anything else), so for those of you not on Facebook, I apologize!

Here are just a few things we've been up to since the last post... and I'll try and keep y'all caught up!

After my niece Riley was born on 9/17, my mom & dad and Blake and I took off on an airplane the first weekend in October to visit the newest addition. Here is a pic of Blake holding Riley - aren't they cute!!!

Blake also got some good quality cousin time in with his only boy cousin Kyle.

Grant finally became of Cub Scout - he's pretty proud of this uniform and has already memorized more than I ever thought he was capable of, I see an Eagle Scout in his future...

I went on my annual Girls Cruise with some of my best girlfriends - Linda, me, Gina & Eloisa. We went to the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas. Unfortunately I didn't have a very good time as I came down with the H1N1 flu on day 2 - let's just say I'll have a lot to make up for on next year's cruise!!!

The kids went to a Halloween party the night before Trick or Treating at our friend Sandra & Travis' house - they had a blast!

My 3 goblins on Halloween - ready to take off for the loads of candy waiting for them . . .

We hosted a life group for our church's Reset Spiritual Campaign for 6 weeks. When the 6 weeks was up last week, we had the option of continuing on with our group or leaving, well, with this group there was NO QUESTION - they're the best, and we can't wait to continue on with all of them and see where God and life take us... Not the best picture, Betty took the original and framed them all for us, so I actually took a picture of her picture! From top left clockwise: Jeff Shepherd, Wes Page, Shawn, Barb Kaminski, Dena Page, Betty Shepherd, me, Andrea Bruick, Mike Kaminski and Jason Bruick - Love you guys!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My New Baby NIECE is here!!!


Born today at 2:36 pm
8 lbs. 10 ozs.
21 1/2 inches long

We're so excited to add a GIRL to our family! She's got a great big brother in Kyle, and 3 boy cousins to protect her! (And Aunt Bethie is just a little excited too!) I've been ready to shop for a girl FOREVER now! Yep, she's gonna be just a little bit spoiled! My sister is doing great, and as you can see in the picture below, she LOOKS phenomenal too! Dang, wish I could've looked that good right after giving birth!

Hoping to go see her soon - sucks living so far away! Welcome to the family Riley - we love you so much already!!!

My Sister/Mommy Melissa, Big Brother Kyle and Baby Riley! Guess Daddy Mark was taking this picture!

Isn't she the cutest!!!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

It's been a great Labor Day weekend for us. I wish I had more pictures to document the weekend, but I only got some from our afternoon on our friend Bruce's boat below.

We grilled out with friends, got free Chick-Fil-A sandwiches, watched the Buckeye game (I LOVE FOOTBALL!!!), went for a 28 mile bike ride with Shawn on our friend Sandra & Travis' tandem bicycle, had a great brunch at John's house after, and took the kids on their first boating trip out on Geist Reservoir. It was a busy but really fun weekend!

So check out the boat pics - probably the most amazing thing for me was watching my 4 year old water ski!!! Yes you heard me right - he WATER SKIIED! Our friend Juli and her 6 year old daughter went on Bruce's boat with us, and Addison is quite the little skier. Blake was so mesmerized that he wanted to try it (and Evan and Grant wanted NO PART of something that "dangerous"). Well Addie's ski board was pretty cool - it lets them water ski without actually using the tether to help keep them up out of the water. They hold onto the tether, which is connected to the ski, but the boat pulls the board. They just have to balance - very cool, so if you have young kids who like the water, I would highly suggest this! Blake can't wait to do it again - even after wiping out twice! Yep, he's definitely my "no-fear daredevil"!

Hope you all had a great Labor Day as well!!!

After his first wipeout, he was a trooper and got right back on the skis. Bruce (clapping in the background) helped him get stabilized, and then he took off!

Even Evan had a great time, mainly b/c they let him drive the boat!

Near the end of our 4 hour tour, Grant finally decided to brave the water and went tubing with daddy!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Princeton High School Class of 1989 20 Year Reunion

Shawn & I at the reunion dinner.
Wow - somebody tell me where the time goes!!!

This past Saturday night was my 20 year high school reunion. Now if I'm being honest, I should tell you that up until about a year ago, I never would have considered going, and I haven't been to the others we've had in the past - but a little thing called Facebook literally changed my mind.

If you don't know what Facebook is, it's a social networking website that lets you find and reconnect with friends old and new. Now obviously there are people for and against these sites, but for me personally, it has brought me back in touch with people I really thought I would never see or hear from again. In my younger years, this probably would've pleased me - but I hope that I've "grown up" over time, and it's true that the things that were significant in high school don't mean jack squat nowadays. Life is too short and too important to waste on the petty stuff - and that has been reaffirmed through Facebook and my Reunion.

We had a pretty huge graduating class (800ish), and a good number of them showed up Saturday night. I was nervous at first, but it quickly dissipated. I think everybody had a wonderful time, and through Facebook and the Reunion, I found that I know/remember a lot more people from high school (my class in particular) than I thought I did.

So, if you're on Facebook - look me up and request me as a friend. I wish I could post all the pics on here (all of them are posted on Facebook), but here are a few from the evening for the blog!

Some of us pre-partying before the doors opened.
Maybe I'm biased (or just refuse to believe we've really aged), but all the girls I knew in high school have become beautiful women!
My good childhood friend Shelly.
My best friends from school & St. Gabe's: Lori, Denise & I
More great friends of mine - partying on the dance floor!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ben & Ari's and Daddy's Birthday

Shawn turned 41 today, and the poor boy had to go to Vegas today for a week for work (yeah I know, let's all give a big "awwwwwwwwwwwww" as we REALLY feel sorry for him - NOT!)

So we decided to do something fun with the family on Sunday for his birthday instead. I would've thought he would pick the new Dave & Busters that just opened near us (he's been a HUGE D&B fan since I've known him - there's been one in Cincy forever and he and his buddy Jon used to go there almost every day for their lunch breaks years and years ago). Anyway, the young ones wanted to go to Ben & Ari's (a smaller version of D&B's for kids) so Shawn didn't even hesitate. So off to video game madness and putt putt golf we went!

Jammin' on the guitar one of the kids got with their game tickets. Doesn't look 41 does he? ;o)

Blake riding the waverunner game - he actually did really well!

Blake might be a future Tiger Woods - this was 1 of 2 Hole In One's! My iPhone doesn't have video like Shawn's or I could've captured one of them - he was so excited!!!

Grant wasn't quite as lucky - he fished a few of his balls out of the water!

Evan was in concentration mode - he didn't even know I was taking pictures of him!

Monday, July 27, 2009

We spent about 10 days with family in Atlanta and Hilton Head! It was a great vacation - I don't think any of us wanted to come back to "reality"!!!

It was hard to choose which pictures to post - I have about 200! So here is 10% of them! Enjoy - we certainly did!!! Can't wait to go back next year!!!

Grant lost his very first tooth right before we left - so here is a picture of him on the plane before we took off for Atlanta.

Friday night we went to a baby shower for my sister Melissa. She is due with her 2nd child (sex & name still unknown) in September. Her friend Karla made this awesome cake all by herself - I was impressed!

We drove into HHI on Saturday. I always love stepping onto the deck of the beach house and taking in this view!!!

The whole Elmlinger family (my immediate family) together again - in the pool even!

Tried to capture this awesome pink and blue sky at dusk one night - doesn't really do it justice, but beautiful all the same.

Usually I am the Queen Packer - but for the first time ever I forgot to pack PJ's and underwear for Blake. So it was off to Wal-Mart to pick some up - and we got his cousin Kyle a matching PJ set. They LOVED them!

Blake checkin' out the waves one dusky early evening . . . I think he's trying to decide if he should go in there or not.

Until he decides, he and Grant begin building some sand castles instead.

There was this really neat out-of-the-way beach bar called Coco's. The guys all went one night and then took Melissa and I the next night. It was really cool! Check out the monster "fat" straws!

Me, my brother Greg, and my sister Melissa at Coco's.

My boys in Harbourtown. Going to the lighthouse is always a must for them!

Hard to see them all up there, but that's Shawn and the boys up on top of the lighthouse.

Another favorite - the toy shop (although the ones in Coligny are better).

My surfin' boys - Shawn with Evan on the boogie board.

Me and Blake in the pool - he was quite the little fish this year!

One of my favorite pictures! Shawn and I at the beach. He has long arms, so he took it with my new iPhone.

As you can see, it took no time at all for Blake to brave the waves! He was almost too adventurous for my liking!!!

I think I see the purchase of a surfboard in our future - Evan was awesome riding the waves, and they were probably the biggest waves I've ever seen in HH.

Another favorite adventure is taking the boys into Savannah, GA - more specifically, the Savannah Candy Kitchen on the waterfront.

On our last night we ordered in from Steamers - this was the platter Shawn got and yes, he ATE IT ALL!