Tag Archives: Shannons

Christmas at the Shannons 2013

Tim snapped this photo of me rolling out cookie dough for the kids at the Shannons. My two favorite things about the Shannons are that our kids have cousins close to their age to play with.

And secondly, but really, is probably my absolute favorite…. there are 7 of us “grown up kids” that all love to play board games. When the kids go to sleep I get to play with my siblings-in-law.

I was able to use my Christmas gifts from Tim (I posted about it here) to attempt to get a photo of all the Shannons together. The tripod was awesome and the remote worked great but the lighting was tough so I am going on the record now – TIM I want a flash for my camera. Please someone remind him of this come December :)

Here is a photo of the whole clan. It was the only one that had everyone looking in the same direction and every head was visible.

Here is the original Shannon bunch before Carmen and I came into the mix and shook things up a bit and added a dash of chaos. (Notice how my built-in flash lights everything up but also washes people out and make glares on glasses)

And here are a few of my favorite candids.

Oh, and not for nothing, the next picture is of Steve and today is his Birthday.

Waiting for your turn to open your presents in a family of 14 is really really hard.

My favorite.

This one is a close runner-up. Some day these two will gang up on the three big boys and take over the family.

Staycation Week 2 Begins with a trip to the park

I am desperately trying to play catch up. Bare with me. If you missed out on the first week of Staycation you can read about it here and here and here and here and here.

After Elise’s Birthday it was Sunday. Is it just me or do the days of the week just not matter when you are on vacation? My folks were in town for the afternoon so Elise and I opened up gifts and we all went to eat. They headed on their way shortly after supper which gave me 24 hours to prepare for the next wave of guests.

Tim’s parents, or as the kids call them; Grandma and Grandpa Shannon, came into town Monday night and stayed through Friday morning.

The first full day they were here Tim and I used them as an excuse (got to show your guests a good time!) to give Minnehaha Falls another go after my failed birthday picnic.

It was so much fun. I can’t believe we haven’t explored this gem before. We have been to the park twice for corporate picnics but never ventured down the hiking/walking paths until that day with Grandpa and Grandma Shannon.

The kids had a blast exploring the paths, throwing rocks in the water (still a favorite activity of my kiddos), watching the waterfall, talking about how cool it would be if it was a lava fall and how they could make lava falls in Minecraft and just enjoying exploring something new.




Minnehaha Falls will definitely become a regular on our list of parks, and now that we know what to expect, I will make sure to dress the kids in swim clothes and bring some water shoes to change into.

It didn’t take long for Elise to forge a bond with Grandma Shannon. They became quite inseparable over the 5 days they were in town.

Patrick of course was the first one to break away from the group and, like a salmon, he started heading up-stream where all the action was; i.e. kids building a rock dam.

Michael didn’t venture as far, but he still had fun wading in the water and figuring out which way the current would go while the other boys placed rock after rock on the “dam”

Photography side note. I learned that wadding into a heavy current and standing unevenly on sharp rocks to get a good shot makes it hard to focus on the intended subject. Man, I wish Michael was in focus here.

and here

I think the adults appreciated the cool water after the hike just as much as the kids did.

At the top of the hill we hiked was a splash pad. Luckily, there was still a swim suit bottom for Elise in the bottom of the stroller from when Beth watched the kids the weekend before. Elise was concerned with not wearing the right clothes for the situation, but after a few minutes she lightened up, made a friend and had fun. This shot was taken before she got over wearing a wet T.

The boys were not bothered by the lack of swim gear the slightest bit.

We headed home after the splash pad made a quick change into dry clothes, then took Tim’s folks out to eat for a belated Anniversary dinner.  It was a long day for everyone but it was a fun one. I know that the kids will have memories from this day for years to come.

More photos here

Shannon Christmas and Milestones

We FINALLY got to have Christmas with the Shannons. Weather ruined the first attempt. It was a belated celebration and kudos to the Shannons (especially Ruth and Jim) for keeping the Christmas spirit (and their Christmas tree) alive until mid-January!

It was a whirlwind of a weekend but it was fun. So much fun. The boys got some fun toys and some super cute tie blankets that they now sleep with every night, Elise got some oh so sweet outfits, Tim got a remote control helicopter that he and the boys love (and if anyone is looking for hints for Tim’s birthday- batteries!) and I got two fantastically fun and hilarious board games. And that was just the beginning.

It is always fun to get together with all the Shannons. We never sleep much and we come home exhausted but it is worth it.


The hat we got Zeke was just a little to small… guess little Ezra will have to wear it when she comes. (Ezra is what I call Zeke’s pending sibling. I think it will be a girl)

and the hat that Jim and Ruth got me was just a little bit to big for Elise

Even with the late nights we always manage to make it to Jim’s church on Sunday morning. See Mom, I told you I loved the sweater and that I would wear the scarf you made!

As of this past Saturday (the 22nd) Elise is now rolling over both ways. I will get video up asap.

She is also eating sweet potatoes.

AND sleeping unswaddled!

and whenever the helicopter batteries are charging Tim and the boys now spend their time playing video games… Tim couldn’t be happier!

the boys love it too.

Family Time

This past weekend almost the whole Shannon clan came up to meet Elise (Jon had to work). It was great to see everyone and watch them pass Elise around. I think the boys had the most fun of all though. They love when Cousin Zeke comes to play and they really love all the attention they get from all the aunts and uncles!

Beth and her friend Jade made also made the trek over to MN to meet little Elise. They made a 9 hour detour on their way to CO for a few minutes of cuddling Elise.

Someday Elise if you read this blog you must note how much everyone loves you. Before they even met you, family was driving hours and hours just to snuggle you and love you in person. And Michael and PJ, if you read this – have no fear you were able to steal the spotlight and manipulate everyone into playing trains and puzzles.

Here are the rest of the pics from the last few days.