Wedding Bells

My cousin Kris got married in May. The whole day was beautiful. I loved both of her dresses, and all the meaningful things that were done throughout the day were superb! This is one of the few pictures I took from the day, during toasts at the reception. Kris loves her family so much and it was evident with how she and Austin put so much thought into what would be them AND what the wide range of guests would enjoy. They spoiled us all! It was hard going back to work and PBJ sandwiches after the whole weekend of such GOOD food!

Kris’s mom, my aunt, made most of the decorations and worked so hard to make them simple and elegant. She highly succeeded! Crave catered the food and everyone was so friendly! One of the waiters went over and above filling up water and was by every 5 minutes to give me a refill! That’s hard to find… Chenoweth Floral & Greenhouses did the flowers. Dad and I made boxes for centerpieces and they were completely simple and elegant when Chenoweth was through with them!

{Springbrook} Erickson Family

One sunny Autumn day, three rambunctious boys, a baby, and a set of parents went exploring the winding trails of Springbrook Nature Center. There was dancing, jumping, frog and turtle hunting, chasing each other, and tree climbing.kandihamble-erickson-family-1This family is a blessing in more ways then 6, and they love to invite others into their 4-boy-2-dog-action-packed crazies. The good kind of crazy that keeps you on your toes and slathers love on everyone within reach and pulls out a smile of even the worst kind of day – maybe even a full on laugh!kandihamble-erickson-family-2 They have their share of troubles just like the next family, but that doesn’t stop them from loving well and staying on the go with four busy and growing boys, all of whom can now walk! kandihamble-erickson-family-3Getting such a family may be hard to get everyone still and looking at the camera long enough to get a ‘picture perfect’ Kodak moment, but the pictures are more real, more Them. kandihamble-erickson-family-4J1 likes exploring and learning and giving hugs. His smile lights up the room and can melt hearts of stone. His generous heart is selfless and honest and loyal. He has a LOT to say and will share what’s on his mind to anyone who will listen. He is a helper, go-getter, and includer.

J2 has an innocent grin, but his eye warn of mischief – if you’re paying attention! His love of reading is equal to his love for his family. He likes to bake and paint and play Minecraft when his nose isn’t stuck in any book that catches his eye. He is a laugh a minute and says many crazy things which gets everyone laughing! He is smart and charming and creative.kandihamble-erickson-family-5J3 is the MOST active boy I have ever known. He needs to move the way J1 needs to talk! He is super curious and is so loving. He loves to give hugs, and sometimes will almost sit still to have a book read to him. The only one with brown eyes in the family, he can look at you and melt your heart. While J2 has hidden mischief, J3’s mischief is all out in the open for everyone to see, enjoy, and sometimes shake their head at. He loves playing games and painting (at least when I go over!).

J4 is a bright miracle and bundle of laughs. His personality is really beginning to shine. He has just decided to walk and soon will be getting into everything. He is a LOT like J1 when he was a baby, but yet so different! His grin is so big and cheerful it’s hard to stay sad around him. He likes giving kisses and snuggling when he isn’t too busy chasing after his big brothers or the dogs. He knows that pop is good and fudge is delectable. When he’s done eating he feeds the dogs – so they never go hungry.

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{4Js} Winter Fun

kandihamble-novbdays-1There was once a December day where many three generations gathered to celebrate two special boys, J2 and J4. They were both born Thanksgiving weekend, but with everyone traveling this year the party was a weekend later. kandihamble-novbdays-2There were balloons to punch and books to read and snow in the yard begging to be rolled up into snowmen. kandihamble-novbdays-3J4 had fun watching the snowman building from the comfort of the living room while he strummed a guitar. kandihamble-novbdays-4Then our two boys armed with their sweet tooth blew out flames and dug in to their gooey confections of brownies and muffins and cupcakes with frosting. kandihamble-novbdays-5Right before the party ended, gifts were opened and played with and packed up to go home. kandihamble-novbdays-6It was a splendid day celebrating these two little boys so greatly loved.

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Field Day 2016

selah_candace_rose_FieldDay_01A couple of years ago, Jordan wanted to have a field day with his cousins, which has started a wonderful tradition. This was the Third Annual Russie Field Day. Cousins, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, and Grandma were in attendance. selah_candace_rose_FieldDay_02There were some non-water races and then water joined the fun. It was super hot out, so the water was a welcomed addition. selah_candace_rose_FieldDay_03J4 and I played spectators, since he was too young and someone had to keep him from falling face-first into the pool (again). He didn’t seem to mind too much since he received his own little J4-safe pool and he got to eat lunch in his pool! selah_candace_rose_FieldDay_04 selah_candace_rose_FieldDay_05 selah_candace_rose_FieldDay_06There were also some side sand-games, played by Sam and Tyler before they joined in the water games. These games were cake making and hole digging. selah_candace_rose_FieldDay_07 selah_candace_rose_FieldDay_08One one the funnest games to watch was a summer spin on Duck, Duck, Gray Duck. It goes Drip, Drip, Dump and involves dripping and pouring water and chasing. It was hilarious to watch! selah_candace_rose_FieldDay_10Field Day always concludes with snacks, and this year there was also grilled pizza!

February and Birthdays

Yesterday our family gathered to celebrate three important birthdays. This week TJ is turning 2 and J3 turns 4, and (aunt/grandma) Judy turned 60 yesterday! It was a busy, loud, fun, hilarious, joyful afternoon.selah_candace_rose_birthday_1 We wanted a {nice} picture of the two birthday boys together, but either one or the other was picking his nose. Finally in exasperation, Katie said, “Fine. You both pick your nose!” To which both boys obliged (not pictured)…

Instead of a party for Judy, we all brought her flowers or a plant. By the time everyone’s plants had arrived, the kitchen smelled like a warm summer day out in the sun!selah_candace_rose_birthday_2There were plenty of gifts for the two boys, a tasty cake, and lots of fun games! J4 slept through much of the party, sleeping through all his snuggles! selah_candace_rose_birthday_3 selah_candace_rose_birthday_eat_1 J3 nicely shared his pop with TJ, and J2 was a hoot as he made faces and started building a car with grapes for wheels and pretzels for everything else.selah_candace_rose_birthday_eat_2 When it was cake time, TJ enjoyed his cake fully and J3 went after J2’s ice cream. He LOVES his ice cream!!selah_candace_rose_birthday_eat_3 There were so many fun games for the kids (and adults) to play. The party theme was Paw Patrol, and each game was paired with one of the characters.selah_candace_rose_birthday_games_1 selah_candace_rose_birthday_games_2 TJ was super enthusiastic and cheered for everyone who completed moving the cotton ball rocks from one end of the room to the other. Everyone there couldn’t help but cheer along!selah_candace_rose_birthday_games_3 In between playing games and eating, gifts were opened (J3, “YOU bought this. For ME?! It is for me?!) and played with by all.selah_candace_rose_birthday_gifts_1 selah_candace_rose_birthday_gifts_2 selah_candace_rose_birthday_love_1 And, as with every family gathering, not only is there tons of food and laughter, but tons of love. And baby snuggles. And cousin hugs while watching videos. And coordinating outfits.selah_candace_rose_birthday_love_2Happy valentine’s day!

{Family} Thanksgiving

What do you get when you mix family and food with a side of silly kids and extra blessings?selah_candace_rose_Thanksgiving_1

THANKSGIVING!selah_candace_rose_Thanksgiving_2This year we got an extra special blessing with the early arrival of J4. selah_candace_rose_Thanksgiving_3 selah_candace_rose_Thanksgiving_4 Tyler was very entertaining making thankful banners, playing with the trains, and going after Boppa’s ipad to see choo-choo’s.selah_candace_rose_Thanksgiving_5 selah_candace_rose_Thanksgiving_6 Sam was a joy with her art and twirling and Elsa’s hair flying out behind her.selah_candace_rose_Thanksgiving_7 selah_candace_rose_Thanksgiving_8 Dessert gave us chocolate faces and sillier kids right before bedtime.selah_candace_rose_Thanksgiving_9 Then there were late night tricks while Kristin was holding Joey, which made Rob laugh.selah_candace_rose_Thanksgiving_10 To end the night, Kris was sent back to Chicago with a sibling huddle and The Ryan Express revved up for J2 to take a spin.selah_candace_rose_Thanksgiving_11Happy Thanksgiving…and Marry Christmas!

{Road Trip} Craguns 2015

Every year, my cousins go to Craguns Resort on Gull Lake. I always get to go spend a couple days hanging out on the beach, playing with the kids, spending good times with family. This year I left my camera packed away most of the time, which was a refreshing break.selah_candace_rose_CRAGUNS_1 I spent more time talking with my cousins than playing with the kids. Late nights eating s’mores round the fire after the kids were in bed.selah_candace_rose_CRAGUNS_FISHERS Watching The Three J’s catch fish in all shapes and sizes!selah_candace_rose_CRAGUNS_FISH Watching a mama duck watch over her babies while they try to nap…selah_candace_rose_CRAGUNS_DUCK FAMILY And I played BINGO for the first time…and WON THE GRAND PRIZE!!!selah_candace_rose_CRAGUNS_2A mustang. 😀

What fun things did you do with your favorite people this summer? I’d love to hear!