We were so excited to have our friends from Michigan -- Todd and Jessica and their children (our godchildren), Hannah (age 4) and Elijah (10 months) -- visit us for a week! The Lord blessed us with great weather, so we spent a lot of time outside. Ian and Hannah became fast friends. Hannah knew just how to make Ian laugh (like by calling him "Mr. E"), and Ian wanted to copy everything Hannah was doing (like drinking out of a normal cup at mealtime). They enjoyed "fingerpainting" together, though (since Ian currently doesn't like to get his hands all messy) it was mainly "Q-tip painting." They had fun playing in the sand and playing on Ian's swingset. Ian can now climb up the ladder and come down the slide all by himself! :) Baby Elijah liked feeling sand for the first time, too! Hannah and Ian were great kitchen help and loved to help with cooking and setting the table. We enjoyed a morning at Burroughs Park, where the kids were sure to take time from playing for a milk break. Jess, Elijah, Hannah, and Todd ... together! 3-2-1 slide! We went to the zoo on Saturday. Some of our favorite parts were the sea lion show, the new African exhibit, and the meerkats. Ian liked seeing some roosters up close! The Merzes gave the goats a little TLC. Hannah the prairie dog riding around in style at the zoo By the end of the day, Ian was worn out! :)
On Sunday evening, we attended our church youth group's fancy Italian restaurant fundraiser. Ian loved the meatballs and the cheesecake.
It turns out that our friends from TX (Martha and Tim) had some connections with our MI friends through Camp Omega. What a small Lutheran world. On Monday, we took the Bolivar Island ferry. We saw lots of seagulls and even four or five porpoises on our return trip! We can see why people call this "the best free ride in Texas!" We went to Crystal Beach on Bolivar Peninsula... ... where we had a picnic lunch, played in the sand, collected seashells, played in the water, and fed the seagulls. Then we took the ferry back to Galveston before heading home. On Tuesday, the kids had fun playing outside. Hannah made the longest ever hopscotch board with almost 100 squares! Ian and Hannah had fun following directions, "Run to the green zigzag." "Walk to the red rectangle," etc. a hug from Hannah Banana" We fed the turtles nearby our house, though Ian still eats about 90% of the bread himself. Kim enjoyed reading Hannah and Ian bedtime stories most of the nights we were together. Thanks for the fun visit, Merz family!
Kim has been experimenting with the sewing machine she got for Christmas. Her first projects were gifts for our godchildren, Hannah and Elijah. Hannah's gift was a fun, girly crayon and notepad holder. Elijah got a turtle bib. Kim was really excited to give homemade gifts! The gifts certainly weren't perfect, but Kim will have fun continuing to learn more about sewing. (Thanks for the great starter ideas, Aliceson!) Ian has continued to love trains. (We're thinking that will be the theme for his 2-year birthday party!) Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa, for the cute train sweater. Ian said, "TRAIN!" when he opened their gift. We had friends Mike, Kati, and Caleb over to celebrate their birthdays -- all within about 8 days of each other. Time with friends, chocolate cake, playing games = fun times! Matt invited Kim and Ian to Concordia's Go Texan Day. One of the students' fathers brought four of their show cows for the students to see and learn about. Ian was excited to help Daddy feed the cow, brush it, eat a picnic lunch, and pet a cow some more. In typical toddler fashion, Ian quickly moved on from the cows to other fun items ... a stray tennis ball and the hose. They were just as exciting to Ian as the cows were. :) We were excited to see Raegan while at Concordia, too! Our friend Kati commented recently that she is always curious to see what new item Ian is going to bring to church each week. We told her we are, too! His obsession Sunday was a toy rake. Today, he has moved on to a play cup and his McDonald's order-taking headset. He likes to say, "I take your order?" He refused to nap without the headset on. :)