Saturday, December 31, 2011

Peak Hangout

One of our favorite things about traveling is getting to see sweet friends along the way! On our way back to CO on Tuesday, we were able to stay in Kansas City with some of our dear friends, the Peaks! They have relocated to St. Charles, MO, but Jeff's parents live in KC and they were visiting at the time (we actually pulled in together after driving across MO to get there!). We love being around them as their family just exudes love and graciousness. They have a two year old Jack and a 9 month old daughter named Holly and just make you excited to have a family. Jack and Macklin love to play together and we enjoy fostering their friendship.
Thank you Jesus for friends like the Peaks!

The boys couldn't get enough of each other!

White Mule Winery

If you are even in central Missouri and need a little B&B to call home for a night, we have got the place for you......White Mule Winery and Bed and Breakfast!!! This precious winery is a Schlottach family creation and they have done such a great job at it! They have turned their former hunting cabin into a bed and breakfast and turned an old barn into a beautiful winery fit for hosting weddings and large parties! Their minds keep dreaming, so they keep building and have some great things in the works. I am just so impressed with an idea that they had and totally just went for (while still maintaining a huge cattle farm and being a MO House Representative through 2011)! Check out the link above to learn more about it.

Macklin says hello from the mule cart!

The B&B is the while house.
Lake/pond down to the back right (by the fence)
Future home of the outdoor pavilion and fire pit in the dirt in the foreground.

The grapes that make the yummy wine!

New fireplace constructed from stone from the property
Justin is here with Charlie (the dreamer and creator of this awesome winery, and Justin's uncle)

New covered, but kinda outdoor gathering area
All of the wood is from the old barns on the property!

Christmas with the Schlottachs

On the 26th we had a great day with the Schlottach family out in Owensville, MO. What a joy this family has been to us! First off, there are two other little boys that were born in 2010 with Macklin and it is so fun to watch them grow up at the same time! Secondly, they are so generous! Each year one sibling picks a charity to make the "Schlottach Christmas" money go towards. So happens, we are in the middle of fundraising our year of support for our Young Life ministry (whole other blog needed for that one). We had sent support letters to all of the Schlottachs to see if they would be interested in supporting our work here in the Valley. Little did we know that Kenny (man in the plaid below) would announce (and let us know two minutes in advance) to the family that this years donations would be supporting Vail Valley Young Life!!! What a blessing and a great surprise! We were able to share with family what was going on out here and then the whole family supported us! Seriously, God blesses when you least expect it!

Four Generation Photo
Grandma Schlottach with her son Kenny and Justin's dad don (not her son, FYI)
Kenny's son's Eric (with Rylan next to Justin) and Martin (with Pierce on the right)

Justin with his two beautiful cousins Amanda and Grace

With Grandma (Mack was snoozing)

Justin and his cousins Gus and Todd and the "never-ending" bottle of wine.
(I seriously think this bottle of wine has been passed on for like 25 years of Christmas. Each year everyone (except prego ladies :) has to take a drink as it goes around!)

Friday, December 30, 2011

HAWAII 2012!!!!!

Six Happy People!!!

My parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary on December 12th. In honor of that special occasion, they wanted to spend more time with the family by taking us on a trip together. Now, we have done some super special trips in the past and have really enjoyed every minute of them (Costa Rica in 2007, Ski Trip out here in 2009). I had a feeling that the 30th trip would be a super big one...and boy was I right! We are headed to HAWAII this summer!

We are super excited and super grateful to have the chance to travel there. I am not going to say that I am not a bit concerned about traveling with two babies by that point, but it will totally be worth it!

The fun part about the trip is how it was presented to us at Christmas. My parents made 12 different "clue bags" with goodies in them for each of us that we got to open along Christmas day! It was a blast. Here is a peak!

Clue 1 - Bottle of Sand

Clue 2 - Visors
(By far the funniest of them all as they were a bit flimsy!)
(And, of course Baby Cheese got a goodie from each bag too!)

Clue 3 - Sunscreen

Clue 4 - Sand Toys

Clue 5 - Flip Flop Keychains

Clue 6 - Palm Tree

Clue 7 - Airline Peanuts

Clue 8 - Wings
("earning your wings" for the little kids)

Clue 9 - LEIS!!!!
(until this point, we didn't know if it was actually Hawaii or not!)

Clue 10 - Battleship Boat

Clue 11 - Lodging

Clue 12 - The Invitation to Join Mom and Dad in HAWAII!!!! (in top pic)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sprague Christmas

Christmas with the Spragues was a hit this year!
And, how can it not be when you walk into this????
So many fun things to cherish from this special day with my family.
First, my mom didn't stress about a big meal this year and got to hang and watch all of the presents be open
= total success! Never look back Mom!
Second, a huge family trip was revealed, but needs a whole post to discuss
= huge success!
Third, just watching all of my family open up fun gifts and be excited to bless each other
= success!
Check out some pics of the day...

John with his nail gun and mom with her new George Forman.
The girls loving on Mack!
I love my mom!

The girls got the most random gift of the day - girls mustaches (so funny for me!).
Mom and dad got the most thoughtful gift - an Appalachian Trail sign made by John.
Macklin would debate that all of his gifts were the best, tunnel included!

Justin loved his new Farmer John wetsuit!
The girls and their American Girl dolls.
The Sprague ladies in matching gloves!

Ally and Liv sporting their new hat and gloves.
Mack with his wheelies (that come out every hour at home!).
Mack opening gifts with Papa.

Thank you so much for a wonderful and memorable Christmas!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve with Grandpa and Mema

Christmas Eve evening we headed out to New Haven and Owensville for some time with Macklin's Grandpa and Mema. We were able to see some of the Schlottchs for a Christmas shrimp and then headed back to Grandpa and Mema's house to see what goodies awaited!

With the Schlottachs:
Macklin enjoyed his cousin Pierce and his greatgrandma Schlottach!

Play time at the Brandts:
Mack LOVED his train set and Justin has more Mizzou apparel!

Great pictures with Grandpa and Mema
(doesn't Mack look so much older with his big 'ole smile!???)

Macklin even got to go on his first four-wheeler ride with daddy!
(And in this pic he is all bundled up and looks like a sweet little baby boy!)

Kleekamp Christmas

We had a wonderful time with Justin's mom and the Kleekamp family while we were in St. Louis. We celebrated with Grandma on Christmas Eve morning and then again on Christmas afternoon with the whole family! Thank you Grandma for all of your blessings!

Family picture with our smiley boy!

Grandma with her new priceless piece of art!

A funny face from Macklin on his new trik!

Kleekamp cousins with kids and significant others (this group keeps growing!)

Hanging out with Greg, Reznor, David, and Andrew

Annual "Dice Game" where Mack decided to sit in the middle of the table to watch!

Justin's cousin Andrew showing off his winnings!

Macklin riding his new stick horse!