Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Our Visit with the Kutschers

We spent a few more days after Thanksgiving with my cousin's family in Springfield.  Black Friday was spent   by eating a leisurely pancake breakfast, shopping at a respectable hour, getting a first haircut down in the record books, and playing reindeer games in our reindeer jammies.  The women folk all loaded up in Megan's Yukon to shop on Friday afternoon, and while we were a bit worried about having enough space for big purchases, it didn't end up being a problem.  A half-off cake pan at JoAnn's was probably our best score of the day.

Post-shopping reindeer games with Aunt Conni on the couch!

After shopping and eating Thanksgiving leftovers for lunch, we decided it was time to dive into this first haircut business.  He probably didn't really need it, but I wanted Conni to do the honors so we went ahead and trimmed up a few curls.  We made the hair a little less party in the back and stepped away from that line in the sand that is the difference between cute toddler curls and a mullet.  I think most of the cousins on my mom's side of the family had their first hair cut from Aunt Conni, and now Jack is on that list as well!  

He did well!  It was a quick, no-tears, pretty calm event.  I can only hope he always does that well.  If teethbrushing is any indication, things could still turn on us.  :)  

The fun continued on Friday evening with a trip to Springfield's ginormous sporting goods store, Scheels.  Inside the store is a ferris wheel, enormous fish tank above the registers (really, it's enormous - there was a diver inside cleaning it while we were there), and lots of interactive games upstairs.  It was very cool and Jack had a blast running up and down the aisles and inside the bowling alley while Grant and Landon waited for their game to start.  

Love this picture - Bay and Landon riding the ferris wheel and the rest of us looking on from below.  I think we were hoping the ride would stop soon because it was time to go home and eat Megan's deeelicious White Chicken Chili.  

But first, a quick pose on the bear lap outside the store.  Cousins!  Love these three little boys to pieces!

Friday night was also the evening to break out the matching reindeer jammies for those sweet boys.  We had high hopes of getting a picture of them together in front of the tree - a real framer, we hoped.  

We worked...

and worked....

and worked....

and worked at it....

until finally Aunt Lori saved the day and snapped this one with her iPhone if you can believe it.  

I think some of the outtakes are pretty good, too.  I know I'm biased, but man these are some cute kids.

Mom, Dad, and Rob headed home on Saturday morning and Lori and Bay had to leave that afternoon.  We spent another night with the Kutschers and got in some more cousin playing time, Brent got to try a famous D'Arcy's Pint horseshoe (which he says is one of the best things he's ever eaten), and we watched our first 2012 Christmas season viewing of our favorite cult classic, Christmas Vacation.

We left town on Sunday, but before we did we all went to the Festival of Trees at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.  I had been there before (on the evening of the infamous cancelled Lady A concert), but failed to recognize how beautiful the grounds were and how nice the buildings are.  That is probably because of the suspected (by us) tornado rolling in that evening - no time to admire the grounds, just look for places to take cover and save our lives.  

Anyway, we took a mosey through the many decorated trees and rode on the train before parting ways with our very hospitable and very wonderful cousins.  Thank you so much for a great visit, Megan and Chad!  We hope to return the favor sometime soon!  

Please, no paparazzi.  


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