It seems like it has been a really long time since I have posted anything! It certainly isn't because of a lack of activity...we've had such a fun and busy summer so far!
July 3rd marked Grace's one year anniversary of arriving here in "America"- she likes to talk about her life in two parts..."Ethiopia time" and "America time."
July 3rd is a fun day to celebrate her home coming. We told her that all of the fantastic fireworks we saw were to celebrate her...of course she believed it at first, because she is quite the diva and believes everything revolves around her ;)
We had a family vacation planned in Branson, MO this year. Alyssa's dance troupe was competing in a national dance competition in Branson, so it seemed like a great place to take the entire family and call it our summer trip. We started our 12 hours drive south by heading to Milwaukee and visiting our favorite Ethiopian restaurant.
We were able to visit the restaurant on Grace's special day and she was beaming. She was so excited to be the star of the day. She was also VERY exciting to eat some delicious Ethiopian food.
We brought along some extended family (my brother and his family live in Milwaukee and were able to join us for her celebration).
Grace's cousins were such good sports about trying Ethiopian food.
Here I am doing my funny "neck thing" pose...there is a little background to this picture...Grace was looking at my mom's neck the other day (her grandma) and she decided that she should be honest with my mom, so she told her that she has a very "old looking neck." Grace actually told my mom that if she looked up more and stretched her neck like this, her neck would look less wrinkly and younger...huh? What was she thinking? I guess honesty is the way to go for Grace. So, after telling my brother and sister in law the story, I decided to give it a try...do I look younger?
Grace was SOOOOO happy with her meal!
After our awesome dinner, we headed to Milwaukee's lakefront for the most incredible fireworks show. The fireworks lasted for an entire hour. Seriously...non-stop for an hour. It was great. The kids had a great time. It was late, and Grace started acting a little wild...can you tell she loved celebrating "gotcha day" and "America's birthday" at the same time?
After getting a little sleep, we decided to head out for our road trip to Branson. We made our first stop just outside of Chicago. When I asked Bryce what the one thing he wanted to do this summer was, he said that he really wanted to go to the Lego Discovery Center.
Alyssa and Bryce are my two Lego builders. Alyssa is naturally good at Lego building, so when he was younger, she was always able to help Bryce when he would get stuck...now he doesn't get stuck and she is just a nice big sister who was willing to go to the Lego place with him. The other kids and Doug headed somewhere else while the three of us checked out all the Lego creations.
The entire Chicago skyline made out of Legos...
They even had our president made out of Legos...
Bryce's favorite...Darth Vader...
Building cars with Legos...
...and then racing them...
We had a great time in Chicago...NOW it was really time to start driving and head south. Stay tuned for our wacky adventures in Branson!!!