Keeping it Fun without Going Crazy

I posted a few sneak peek pictures from our Labor Day visit to my brother's house.

For those that didn't see them, let me give you the background...

My brother is a pastor up in Michigan.  Because his "work" day is pretty much every Sunday...and my husband works/travels M-F...we discovered that we only saw each other once a year at Christmas. You have to understand that at Christmas time, both our families are scurrying around to visit both sets of parents/step parents...you all know how fast-paced holidays are...

Therefore, we decided quite a few years ago that in order to be able to see each other perhaps TWICE a year, we'd do a "half-way" visit during Memorial Day/June time frame.  It's typically less than a 36 hour visit, as he still has to preach on Sunday and only has the Monday off and most of the visits had his family traveling down to my home.

This year, it didn't work out, and we weren't sure whether we'd be able to fit it in between school, sports, jobs, etc...but at the last minute, after my husband got off the plane from his business trip right before Labor Day weekend, we loaded up the van and headed north.

If you've read my blog in the past you'll know that my brother has 4 boys...and I have 3 girls...

Now, we could leave them to their own devices...and my girls would dress up the boys and make them play "house" OR the boys would make the girls ride battery powered motorcycles and go fishing...(or in this case, actually HOOK one of the girls in the leg...more on that in a second)

And we DO leave them to figure it all out on their own...but, we also started a couple years back, a friendly COMPETITION...

You see, Don & I are well-known for our feet-fights and kindly banter and smack talk ...so it made sense to introduce our children to the same.

It's become a unique way to stay "unplugged" for the weekend and to make it memorable...make connections...have some wild & crazy fun, without it being complete chaos...

Our weekend began with a tour of their little "farm"...this includes chickens, ducks, a perhaps some other fowl, but I'm not rather fond of things that "FLY", and so I kept safely behind my extra zoom camera lens to get the shots.




The kids wanted to "fish" and so they got out all the hooks and fishing poles and off they went...

And then, after this sweet look from my nephew to my eldest daughter, the next thing I hear is, "MOMMMMMMM, the hook is stuck IN MY LEG!"

It's at this point that I put the camera down for the remainder of the evening and helped herd children back to the house so the Uncle Don & Daddy could perform some "surgery" to get the hook that was completely embedded into my daughter's knee.  

I'm not one that has any fondness WHATSOEVER for needles, and therefore, I took a bit of a hiatus from the scene and gave hugs when it was all over...

I'm a cool mom like that...

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I wish I would have brought my camera to church with me, because my brother is a pretty awesome speaker...

and I'm not biased...

because he's my LITTLE brother and I have earned the right to nit pick and tease him...
but in this case, he's really good at what he does, so I  have "nuthin' to say 'bout that"

side note: He also let my middle girl find her rhythm on the drum set and she was in pure heaven!
right there in church!

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So, let's get back to the competition!

We started it up in the afternoon...

Minute to Win It Games...

First up 

STACK ATTACK
You have one minute to stack 10 plastic cups and take them back down again.  Each time you do this, you achieve ONE point for your team!


ON THE NOSE
After applying a generous amount of vaseline to your nose and putting piles of cotton balls onto a plate, you have one minute to use your nose, and your nose only, to stick cotton balls and transfer them to the empty plate.  Each cotton ball is worth ONE point for your team!


ELEPHANT STOMP
It will make your family (particularly your husband) much, MUCH happier if you use freshly purchased panty-hose and not ones that have been...um, perhaps, used previously....

Alrighty-then...so you have one minute to knock down as many water bottles as you can using only the pantyhose on your head, with a tennis ball at the bottom.


SUCK IT UP
I learned that with this game, you will see LOTS of spit and slobber...
and it is gross...
and you will want to throw away all straws & plates for each person when they are finished.

You have one minute to use a straw to suck up tiny marshmallows and transfer them to the other plate.  You earn ONE point per marshmallow.


STICK IT TO 'EM
We just like this one because the Dads get loaded with shaving cream on their heads...this year we actually let them use shower caps...

cuz, I'm just all sorts of nice ;)

Each sibling group gets a bag of fruit loop type cereal...you have one minute to throw and stick as many loops onto the head of your father...each "loop" gets your team ONE point!



I'm happy to announce that we brought home the CROWN this year!  

**finally, because we've lost 2 years in a row and my big sister ego was hurtin' a bit...


That was our weekend in a nutshell...

***My daughter's knee is healing and she's up to date on her Tetnus shots...
***Our Dad & stepmom popped over for awhile as well...we hadn't seen them in a long, long while and since they don't have much flexibility to visit too much, we were thankful that it worked out to get together! 
***Not only memories were made, but we hope it helps foster relationships in these stair-step cousins now that they are old enough to value those connections...





Don Chapin  – (12.9.15)  

Great pics. Great time

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