Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Colorado Springs - Day 1

We were so excited to join my family in Colorado Springs for a week this summer! I had tried to organize a bigger-family reunion with my mom's side of the family, but it didn't come together for this summer. But my immediate family decided that we'd still get together -- and Colorado Springs would be not only a middle-ground for us but a beautiful summer destination! We worked together to find a rental home on A rental home ended up being the perfect place for us to stay. We took turns making meals (instead of dragging toddlers to a restaurant). Each family had its own bedroom. And we adults were able to talk and play lots of games together once the kiddos had gone to bed. Perfect.

Our boys were excellent travelers on our drive to Colorado Springs. We rented a mini van and divided the trip up into two days. We arrived to Springs on Saturday evening, and the rest of our family arrived the next afternoon/evening. Grammy and Papa got there in plenty of time to read Ian some bedtime stories.

The next morning (Monday) began our official Day #1 together in Colorado Springs. The kiddos woke up early, so we got in some outdoor playtime while still in our pajamas.
As soon as it warmed up a little bit, we headed to a local (free!) neighborhood sprayground. Unfortunately, it was temporarily closed due to some cleaning & maintenance. So, we headed over to the playground that was right next door. Everyone found something fun here!

Jason, Cody, Andrew, Abby

Abby, Ian, and Matt

Jason, Cody, Ian

Abby and Ryan

After we played for 20 minutes or so, the sprayground was able to open up! Perfect timing ... we were all starting to get really hot! :) The ice-cold water in the sprayground definitely cooled us off.

This rainbow sprinkler was a lot of fun and caused lots of giggles as we ran through.
Kim and Ryan

Kim, Cody, Abby, Andrew
Kim and Jaden

Ian thought it would be fun to start a water fight with his aunts, uncles, and parents. :) He didn't mind when he got soaked, too! What fun, wonderful aunts and uncles Ian has!
Andrew, Ian, and Matt
Andrew & Ian

Amy and Ian

Ryan had the most fun filling up buckets and bowls with water. He liked dumping the water on others, too! :)

Jaden liked collecting the water water, too!

We took a break for snacks and getting warmed up a little before playing some more. Ian and Daddy did some sunbathing, too! :)

Then we headed back home. While some adults started getting lunch ready, the rest of us got in some more outdoor playtime. The kids enjoyed the collection of toys from Billings, Phoenix, Houston, and Albuquerque, like bubbles,

sidewalk chalk,

and ring toss!
After nap time, I got the chance to hold both sweet nephews for some story time.

Then, Aunt Amy got out one of our planned "free time activities." Sarah, Amy, and I had each brought the supplies for a few activities that we could lead the kids in while we were together. This was a wonderful idea, especially right before dinner time or when everyone wanted the same toy. Amy's first planned activity was a contact paper/tissue paper collage. Ian and Abby were definitely the two kiddos that remained most focused on the activity as it was planned,

though  Jaden participated a little, too.

Cody and Ryan (especially Ryan) were way more interested in just watching the other kids attach the tissue paper to the sticky contact paper.
And then things got even more fun! Suddenly ... there was tissue paper EVERYWHERE!

The giggles were contagious!

We had a little more play time before dinner -- trains
and push toys. (This spot right by the back fence was one of the most popular hangouts, especially for Cody, Jaden, and Abby.) Here, Ian pretends to fill up the vehicles with "gasoline."

Ryan enjoyed climbing around on the wall near the patio.

Papa took it upon himself to arrange the kiddos on the wall for a photo op. I think he did a great job! Everyone actually looks pleasant. :)

We had a belated birthday dinner for Andrew (in May, he turned the big 3-0!). We enjoyed ice cream and Mom's homemade cookies for dessert after a yummy ham and potatoes dinner.

Abby helped her Daddy blow out the candles.

Ian loved blowing the noisemakers.

Happy birthday, Uncle Andrew! We love you!

After the kids were in bed, we adults did some more celebrating. We played Half-Minute to Win It to celebrate Andrew's 30th birthday milestone. We did some hilarious competitions like throwing an increasing number of pencils into the air and catching them (Dad and Matt were GREAT at this!),

knocking down water bottles with a pantyhose/tennis ball headpiece (Amy rocked at this!),

trying to keep three balloons in the air (we all stunk at this!),

stacking up plastic cups (Amy and Andrew competed a full pyramid and disassembled it, too),

and catching tennis balls in a bucket on our head (I think we were all successful at this).

We laughed a lot and had tons of fun celebrating Drewski ... the perfect ending to day #1 of being together in Colorado Springs!