Sunday, July 31, 2011

Visting Other Friends in the Mid-West

Flashback to June:

We are so blessed to have many friends and family that we were able to see while in the mid-west. It is always so hard to get to everyone and there are always people that I wish we could see and don't get a chance to (the Bergers, Zuke, Christine, Neuhousers, Van and Laine, Tracy (oh wait, you live in WA, still miss you!), Franke, to name a couple). Please forgive us and know that we clearly think of you often!

Here is a quick peak at those we did see!

On our way from the Washington area back into STL, we had to stop by and see the sweet Olivastros! I know I know, we just spent 8 days with them the week before, but it was crucial to say hi again. Look at their cute family on their front porch!

Can you tell I like these pics? Below is the Peak family in their new home in St. Charles. We will miss their apartment as our stopping place in KC, but are happy for their new change to St. Louis.

We got to go to the St. Louis Zoo (another must-hit and another FREE spot in STL).
This is sweet baby Holly all snuggled up in her sling!

The Zoo Crew

For a quick Sunday trip, why not head to Bloomington?
And, when your best friends drive down to see you, there is no way we would miss this!
I was SOOOOO grateful that my girlfriends made the effort to get together. Thank you to the Mavros family for opening their home to us. We had a blast! Love you girls and miss you like crazy!

Mack and Mike

Jeff trying to rally the kids for a group shot.
2 Baker Boys and 3 Mavros kiddos and Mack

On the way to dinner, my Uncle Mark, Aunt Laurie, my cousin Jennifer and her husband Chris met us at a park to say hello. It was short visit, but it was so good to see them and we are blessed that they would make the effort to say hi. Also, we got to meet Macchiato, their new dog (who, by the way, they call Mac!).

Our final stop of the day was to have dinner with Pastor Bryan from the Grace Church, his family, and DOUG AND KRISTIN! We miss the Rowlands a ton as they used to live in Denver but are now in Iowa. God works in awesome ways for this dinner to take place. We were in town from CO and Doug and Kristin had just been in Chicago visiting family. They turned their out and back trip into a triangle trip so that they could see us! We got to meet baby Zander for the first time too! Welcome to parenthood Rowlands!

Mack and Zander were so excited upon their first meeting!

Love this!

Hanging out with Grandma

Flashback to June:

We had a great time with Grandma Kathy while we were in St. Louis. We were able to take Macklin to do some pretty neat things!

Macklin's favorite place with his Grandma was Grant's Farm. This is another great St. Louis place that is FREE! Macklin loved everything from the trolly ride to petting the goats. We had to remind him to be more gentle with the goats than he is with Baxter ;)

Love this picture of them!

In between activities, Grandma loved to spend time with Macklin at her house!

Our other big adventure was to head out to Washington to see Aunt Beth's new home. She has a great yard for hosting and it was a blast to see everyone!

Macklin was able to play a bit with Madison (Laura's daughter).

Love this face!

Playing with Baxter. I love how it looks like Bax is smiling here!

Croquet Tourney (which I totally lost at, even after a great start).

Grandma and Mack on a walk.

Macklin found something fun in the driveway (I think it was a tiny hole filled with water).

Congrats to the newly engaged couple, Ashton and Nick!

All of the Kleekamp grandkids, spouses, and great-grandkids!
(Missing Greg, Andrew and his family)

Macklin's First Cardinals Game

Flashback to June:

Mimi and Papa took Macklin to his first Cardinals game while we were in St. Louis. It was a much anticipated event and we came prepared with one of Mack's tiny little Cards shirts! He ended up making it through 6 innings (way more than expected), had a great time, and left exhausted!

After seeing Fredbird (which he was relatively OK with, Mimi has the pics), we headed to the Kids Zone area and went to play in the little kid area. Kids had to wear socks or they couldn't play. Since Mack had sandals on, we had to be creative!

Thanks to Papa (the only one with socks at all), Macklin got to play!!!

Uncle and Kevin and Alex at the game with Macklin!

Mimi loved keeping Mack entertained with food!

Success! Thank you Mimi and Papa!

Time with the Spragues

Flashback to June:

During our time in St. Louis, I had a blast hanging out with my family.
Here is a little photo documentation of our time together!

Girls Day Out - My mom took me and Ally to get our nails done.
(For the record, that "gel" stuff is crazy. I still have it on my toes to this day and finally just painted over it.)

Sprague Dinner Night = Do-it-Yourself Pizza Night

Macklin is getting lots of love!

Happy Birthday to John! You are 28 still, right?

I just love this picture with him!

Breakfast at Mimi and Papas!

We spent the afternoon at Ballwin Pool one day!

Macklin loved the fountain area for the babies!

We went to the Magic House for their free Tuesday Nights.
If you are going to St. Louis, the Magic House is a must hit location for kids! It was even more awesome taking Macklin through that I remember it as a kid!

He could have stayed in this same spot ALL night!
If we had a play room, this would be an awesome thing to have!
(You can tell it is the free night because of how loud it is in the background!)

We got one more day in with the fam over at John's house. Ally was showing off her skills!

Macklin just can't escape his cousins :)

Thank you to my family for graciously spending time with us when we were in town. I know our schedule is tough, but we can't tell you how much it means to us that we get to be with you all!

Visiting Grandpa and Mema

Flashback to June:

Here are some pics of visiting Macklin's Grandpa and Mema. We were able to spend Father's Day with them at the Franklin County Country Club and then another day just playing at the White Mule Bed and Breakfast and Schlottach Farm.
(Seriously, check out the B&B link, they have done a great job with it!)

Happy 2nd Father's Day to Justin!

We were able to hang with Quinn and Parker!

At the farm with Pierce Schlottach.

Riding the gator with his daddy and grandpa.

The Schlottach family planted a ton more grapes to turn into wine!

Grandpas and their boys!

With Lisa and Pierce in their wagon! Macklin thought it was pretty cool!

Thank you so much to Don and Kathy for a wonderful visit!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Slacker Blogger

So it has officially been over a month since my last post! My goodness, what have we been doing? Well, we went to STL all June (of which I did a great job documenting our Lake Vaca, but a poor job of documenting our STL portion of the come, I promise). Then we got home for 5 days (3 of which we did work days with our high school friends) and then headed to Silverthorne, CO to spend 4 days with Missouri buddies. We were home for 2 and a half days (one of which was another work day) and then headed to Young Life Camp at Castaway Club in Minnesota. We got back on Sunday and I just really checked email again today! We are doing a nightly Bible study (M-F) with all of our camp kids and that is dominating life right now. So....there you have it...the Brandt life. Serve God and take a breath when you can! More to come because there are so many awesome stories! Here is a brief look....

One of my favorites from STL, Macklin with his two cousins, Olivia and Ally.
I just love his face!

Macklin with his Grandpa on Father's Day with their matching new hats!

Vail Valley Young Life
46 campers, 8 leaders

Justin's Cabin

My (and my co-leader Bergon) Cabin