Easter 2017

IMG_1520 extra stuff

Despite our rough Saturday, Easter turned out to be a very nice day. I was pretty tired because the Easter Bunny’s helper fell asleep in Caden’s bed and forgot it was Easter eve, so I had a late night getting everything ready for morning. Then slept terribly and was up around 4. Always happens the night before an important day! I think both boys were up sometime between 5:30 and 6. They spent some time looking through the things left on the table that the Easter Bunny couldn’t fit in their baskets!

IMG_1522 high eggs

Since Greg got so much sleep, I didn’t feel bad about them waking him up pretty early. So the egg hunt was underway! It was tough this year finding places to hide eggs that they’d still find, yet weren’t low enough for Annie to get into.

IMG_1526 annies' baskets

Found Annie’s “basket” first. A pooper scooper, pail for poop, and a few new toys. I always thought it was funny how many toys my mom buys for her dogs. Now I totally get it. I want to buy Annie new toys every time I go to the store. And treats.

IMG_1536 big bone

Jumbo dog treat. She always wants to see what everyone is doing, so she just carried it from room to room so she could keep watching us.

IMG_1545 basket hunting

Caden found his basket next!

IMG_1546 caden's basket

Always a personal challenge to see just how many things I can cram into those little baskets!! I tried to keep the fillers pretty cheap this year. A lot of one time use types of things that they’ll have fun with for a day and then we can throw away without any guilt.

IMG_1550 cat basket

Cat basket next. The cats haven’t played with any toys since we got Annie. 🙁 But I’m hoping that will change.

IMG_1553 the jumbo egg

Shepard found the mega egg.

IMG_1558 greg's basket

Daddy’s basket next.

IMG_1560 amy's basket

Then mine. Finally found a vintage stuffed lamb! She’s in rough shape, but I’m looking forward to fixing her up nice and pretty.

IMG_1562 greg's basket

Greg’s basket again. He’s always the tough one.

IMG_1563 jack snacks

Keeping an eye on everything. Rory never came out of hiding.

IMG_1565 shepard's basket

Shepard finally found his basket after many, many hints!

IMG_1567 muscles

Need muscles for the goodies.

IMG_1568 shepards basket

Lots of purple and lots of trolls! He’s obsessed with both.

IMG_1574 thumbs up

Dressed and ready for photo time. You can see Caden’s pink eye in this one. It started on Saturday afternoon and by Sunday night both eyes were almost swollen shut and solid red. I guess it was technically good timing since he didn’t have to miss any school for it, but still kind of a bummer since it stopped us from doing much the last few days of break.

IMG_1580 yes sir

They are completely incapable of just standing together nicely for a picture!

IMG_1596 hugs

IMG_1598 hugs cute

IMG_1605 boys amy annie

Trying to get Annie to sit with us, staying in one position, and facing Greg rather than me, was nearly impossible! And in the front yard to boot, where she’s highly distracted always trying to see if her friend Maya is out or not.

IMG_1606 amy boys annie

Best we can do. 🙂

IMG_1613 egg hunt

At Grandma Noe’s house for the second part of the day. The boys are off on their egg hunt.

IMG_1616 annie watching

Annie got to come with us for this part of the day, which was really nice. Though it was probably a lot more chaos than everybody bargained for. She REALLY does not like being tied up. Especially if somebody isn’t actively engaging with her every minute she’s out. But she did pretty well. Caden spent a lot of time playing with her, when he might have normally been acting out. I like that she’s kind of turning into a bit of a therapy dog for him.

IMG_1640 shepard eggs

Counting his 40 eggs!

IMG_1645 easter brunch

Cindy’s mega brunch spread! There’s a ham and sausages under the foil. It was all delicious! Greg was so proud of his scrambled egg contribution.

IMG_1649 family pic attempt

After a few hours there I ran Annie back home to spend the afternoon in her kennel. I was really hoping she’d just sleep after so much excitement. I guess without some sort of nanny cam I don’t know what she did. But she was pretty dang tired the next day, so who knows!

Anyway, at my parent’s house for the rest of Easter. I wanted to try and get a nice family picture, but you know how that goes. Didn’t help that the wind was also very intense all day. My hair did not hold up through it!

IMG_1650 hugs

IMG_1653 nicest family easter photo lol

Pretty good!

IMG_1654 tackling

And that’s the end of that.

IMG_1660 scavenger hunt

Back inside for the scavenger hunt. It was tough this year because my parents have knocked a wall out and rearranged a bunch of stuff since the last time we were there, so the boys needed extra hints.

IMG_1673 caden's basket

Found their way to the baskets.

IMG_1675 sling shot

Trying to play with their new sling shot/catch thingys. It was so windy!

IMG_1681 shepard and pork chops

Always the goof!

IMG_1687 easter dinner

Easter dinner! Delicious, as always. I hope to one day figure out how to coordinate serving a nice sit down dinner for a group of people the way my mom does! I haven’t been able to move past crock pot meals yet.

IMG_1690 desserts

And my desserts. Croissant bread pudding with butterscotch sauce and a strawberry cream pie with very wimpy cream filling. Both were good, but not really up to my baking standard. I’m losing my edge these days.

And that’s it! It was a very nice, low key, family filled day. Everyone was happy and had a great day.

2017 Annual Egg Dyeing Party

20170409_153008 caden

We kicked off Easter week yesterday with the big egg hunt at the park, followed by our annual egg dyeing party. The Rec Department decided to throw the celebration a week before Easter this year, which was kind of nice. I like spreading things out a bit so Easter weekend doesn’t feel quite so packed and overwhelming.

For the first time in awhile, the oldest group of kids actually waited for the bullhorn before getting their eggs! Last year one of the teenagers holding the “Stop” sign flipped it to “Go” without realizing and the kids stampeded. The year before somebody just started running and they all followed. Competition is fierce in the oldest group, but Caden grabbed a lot. He had to go barefoot so his flip flops didn’t slow him down!

20170409_153051 shepard

When we got there some guy told us the middle group was ages 3-6, so Shepard just went in that group. We saw after the fact that it was actually 3-5. Oops. Oh well, I guess Shepard was still pretty hesitant about so many kids, so it was good to be in the younger group. He got quite a haul!

20170409_153256 eggs

Going through the eggs. Shepard got one tiny popping toy and the rest of the eggs were tootsie rolls and smarties.

IMG_1443 dyeing

Back at the house dyeing eggs. The boys always have so much fun!

IMG_1445 dips

I made hot beef and pepper sandwiches, fluff fruit salad, and two kinds of chips and dips. Cindy brought coleslaw and veggies. My mom brought buns and cookies. Easy, but delicious party food!

IMG_1447 brownies

Brownies with my favorite chocolate malt frosting. It was supposed to look like dirt with orange chocolate covered strawberries as carrots. But I forgot to buy orange chocolate. And strawberries. So…eggs in dirt!

IMG_1449 cupcakes

Funfetti cupcakes with vanilla marshmallow frosting.

IMG_1450 cookies

And my mom’s cookies.

IMG_1452 annie

Annie didn’t know what to think about so many people in her house! I put her in the crate for the first time when we were at the egg hunt. We were gone about 45 minutes. When I got back she had managed to slide the bottom tray thingy out of the kennel, bunched up the bed in the back of the cage, and pull a blanket from the couch halfway into the kennel, through the one inch little openings. How?! I’m going to have to leave her in there quite a bit tomorrow while I run errands, so I can’t wait to see what trouble she manages next. 😛

IMG_1455 the boy room

The guy room. They were watching golf and playing games.

IMG_1462 egg pecking

Time for the pecking contest, a Noe tradition!

IMG_1470 brittany and caden

IMG_1496 timmy wins

IMG_1497 winner eggs

Timmy’s egg won against 12 other eggs. That has to be some sort of major record!

IMG_1501 caden wins

And then Caden beat him.

IMG_1502 caden wins

Always a sore loser, even more of a gloating winner!

IMG_1509 egg pecking

Teaching Grandpa how it works.

IMG_1518 egg pile

And some of the egg damage. Cindy and Brittany were gathering up eggs as they broke to use later, so it didn’t look like quite the egg graveyard that it usually does after these parties!

It was a good day! I love tradition!

Easter Weekend


Happy Belated Easter! It’s been over two months since I last wrote – yikes! Things have definitely been busy lately and the blog has fallen to the wayside. I’d like to occasionally do some updates on here, though it’s not as high of a priority anymore. There are just too many other things to worry about first. At any rate, here is a recap of our Easter weekend!


On Saturday we began our day at the Culver’s Egg Hunt. We didn’t know what to expect, and it was pretty crazy! Just WAY too many kids in way too small of an area. The entire hunt lasted about two minutes.

They only had a few plastic eggs, but lots of little chocolate eggs so I think everyone went home happy.


We didn’t think to bring a bag or basket, so Shepard filled my pocket.


Back at home counting their eggs.


In the afternoon we went to the Fireman’s Park Egg Hunt. The available grandparents and uncle joined us there to watch the fun. The boys were really excited!


We even saw the Easter Bunny.


Caden had Shepard convinced that when the siren went off it was going to be super loud.

Waiting, waiting.


We were standing at the opposite side of the crowd so we definitely had our choice of eggs!

Checking out what was in the eggs. A lot of cheap candy, and tickets for three hula hoops, and passes for three free games of bowling. Not bad.


Back at home for our 4th Annual Egg Dyeing Party. These are the desserts I made. Homemade peanut butter eggs, oreo truffle eggs, and bird nests.


Starting to decorate. This year wasn’t quite so competitive with four of the five aunts and uncle unable to come back for Easter. The boys were having a great time, though!


We thought we had way too many eggs, but the boys were fighting over the remaining ones by the end.


Shepard was the speed dyer. I think he made 36 eggs, leaving them in only for a few seconds at a time.


Caden was dyeing as many eggs as possible at a time, but left them in as long as he could stand.


I made baked brie with cranberries and bacon for an appetizer. We ordered Chinese for an easy dinner.


My mom made some egg cookies.


Caden and Shepard started out the pecking contest. Shepard really had no idea what was going on, but Caden was really into it.


He was more interested in his new hula hoops.


The eggs! Most of those are Shepard’s.


Grandma and Caden about to battle. Caden loved it when he was winning and was very upset when he didn’t. He’s quite the sore loser and was so sure everyone was doing it to him on purpose! Later he was still complaining about it and how “I’m just a little boy!”


Shepard against Grandma.


Shepard against me. That’s it for Saturday – it was a fun day!


Easter morning! The Easter Bunny couldn’t fit everything in the regular baskets so he had to make a separate basket of treats for the table. I forgot to take a picture of our actual breakfast, but we had crumb cake, bacon, and strawberries with sugar.


The boys got up at six. They were supposed to stay in their rooms until 6:45, but they kept sneaking out earlier. I finally forced Greg to just get up so we wouldn’t have to rush so much to get everything done before church.


Shepard, who has been overly amused by so many things lately, thought finding an egg in a shoe was hilarious.


Checking out their first few eggs.


The Noe boy knee sit. I see this a lot.


A lot of the eggs had marbles, which they immediately had to add to their marble drawer.


They found my basket first. I had lots of books, yummy candy, a Lisa Leonard necklace, and a bunny I bought in Santa Monica.


They found Shepard’s basket next, though Caden wouldn’t stop digging through it.




Cat basket next.



I finally gave Caden a very strong hint where he might find his basket so he’d leave Shepard’s alone.


They each got robots, which I think have been the biggest hit.


Finally found Greg’s basket.


He got a Lego Computer Programmer Minifig. I think he was offended by how geaky the lego guy looked.


Next we ate breakfast and went to church. Then to Grandma Noe’s house for our first (second?) Easter celebration.


Always doing silly pictures now. I miss his super cute happy smiling picture face!


I really wanted a nice family picture, but I guess it was too sunny. Shepard didn’t have a smile in any of the pictures.



Greg’s uncle, cousin, and his son joined the family for Easter. Our boys were so happy to play with their three year old cousin, Jeremiah. Oh yeah – they’re now wearing swimsuits because Grandma gave them each a set and they were SO excited. Caden has been talking nonstop to anyone who will listen how he has a swimsuit SHIRT now and he’s never had one before and he wants to go swimming right away.


Checking out their eggs after another egg hunt!


The kids table. Funny stuff.



Easter desserts! I LOVE that strawberry pie.



Notice the grass is GREEN, nobody is wearing a coat, and we ate dessert outside! It was the first truly nice day this year. The perfect day for it!


In the afternoon we went over to my parents’ for our next Easter celebration. We spent most of the time outside there as well.


Trying out his new chalk pencil and eraser.




They had to spend most of the time working on Tyler’s math homework. Lame!


Shepard was pretty tired and having a lot of meltdowns by this point, but he was happy to get some more candy.


Pip was so tired. Such a funny looking dog.


I’m not really sure what was going on in here, but everyone was laughing pretty hard!

So that was Easter! Lots of egg hunts, lots of Easter baskets, and lots of fun!


Easter Week

Well, I was hoping to do an Easter post right after Easter. But it turned out to be a disastrous week and I haven’t had the energy to write until now. I’m over a week behind, so I guess I’ll just include everything from the past week instead of doing a bunch of separate posts as planned.

Easter. Ugh, Easter was a disappointment. In the middle of the night the Friday before, Caden woke up with the flu. Seriously, why do people always get sick in the middle of the night? And why when one person in a family gets the flu does everybody else HAVE to get it too?? I knew right away there was pretty much no way all four of us were going to be healthy on Easter. As it turned out, both Shepard and I got hit pretty hard late on Saturday night. It wasn’t pretty.

I always feel so bad when Shepard gets sick because he gets hit hard and it always lasts so long. He’s usually a pretty good tempered kid, but you could tell he was really miserable this time around. Fortunately, everyone at least felt well enough to hunt for eggs around the house on Easter morning.

Caden has been so obsessed with numbers and counting things lately. He kept lining up his candy by type and counting them over and over again. It reminds me a lot of how I used to be at holidays!

Jack, who usually steers pretty clear of the boys, was trying his best to cheer Shepard up. It was pretty cute. 🙂

After the egg hunt in the morning I don’t have much else to say about Easter! Greg still felt fine and Caden was feeling better, so they headed off to Greg’s parents’ for Easter lunch. I think Caden had a lot of fun getting all the attention to himself! Shepard and I spent the entire day laying on the couch watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

On Monday, Greg was sick. I don’t even remember the specifics of each day anymore, but Shepard threw up many more times during the week. I still don’t feel totally back to normal. Caden got sick again at some point. Everybody that came near any of us during the weekend got some version of the flu too. We were all extremely cranky and exhausted all week and it was NOT fun.

Wednesday was Jack and Rory’s 8th birthday. I can’t believe we’ve had our cats for eight years already! I wasn’t really feeling up to preparing a big celebration like we had last year, but I did manage to throw some presents together for them.

Angel food cake with fresh strawberry sauce. The cake was so delicious! I actually made a second cake the next day it was so good!

Yesterday we had an Easter redo with my family. It actually worked out a lot better this way because my brother and sister-in-law weren’t able to come last week anyway. This Sunday we were all feeling better and the entire family could be together. It was our last time together before my brother and sister-in-law move to California. Bittersweet, but good to be together.

The boys got a new water table to play with at Grandma’s. I bought them these cute matching shirts for Easter and this is the only picture I got of the two of them together!

At least Greg and I were able to get a nice picture together! We don’t get many of those these days.

I’d just like to point out that we match because GREG picked his shirt to go with my dress. He’s learned well. 🙂

It was decided pretty quickly that they were better off playing with a water table without their clothes on! They always prefer to be in their underwear anyway. No matter how cold it is.

Opening our Easter baskets from Grandma. Shepard got Ditty Kong, Caden Bowzer, and Greg Princess Peach – that completes their collection of Mario related stuffed animals.

Always a dog around trying to sneak some food!

Poor Shepard is at such a disadvantage in the egg hunts being so short!

He learned how to get help. 🙂

Time for some relaxing with Uncle Tyler.

It was still pretty cold out, but everyone played outside for most of the afternoon. Shepard was thrilled to get back in the sandbox!

Juno was being very antisocial because she thought someone was going to steal her bone.

Caden’s idea of playing ball is just laying on top of it so nobody else can touch it.

Shepard throwing a tantrum. He’s gotten very good at it this past week. 
I’m still bummed that I missed out on real Easter and I’m trying to forget how horrible of a week it was. At least we were able to end it with a nice family get together. Hopefully with the start of spring (maybe?!) our illnesses will come to an end. I think Shepard has had five or six flus this winter (plus multiple colds and ear infections) and we are sick of it! 
Happy (belated) Easter!

3rd Annual Egg Dyeing Party

Yesterday was our third annual egg dyeing party and pecking contest. We started doing this the first year we were back in Wisconsin. It seemed a lot more fun to just invite everybody over to share in the joy of egg dyeing with the only kids in the family. It has officially become tradition!

Yesterday was also Caden’s half birthday! Already halfway to five, I can barely believe it. He’s growing up too fast.

I made him some giant cinnamon rolls for a special breakfast. Then he got to spend a chunk of the day at Grandma’s house. Something special for him and a very quiet day at home for the rest of us!

Shepard helped me set up the egg dye while we were waiting for everyone to come.

Putting one tablet in each cup proved to be more difficult for a two year old than I expected!

And it begins! Shepard seemed very confused and slightly intrigued by the egg dyeing concept. After he put it in he yelled, “Where did my egg go?!”

Getting the hang of it now.

Caden and Grandma made cookies for the party.

Caden was really proud of his C egg.

My eggs – pretty pathetic.

The well coordinated couch.

Setting up our bracket. Which maybe we shouldn’t have done because everybody just used their one or two eggs and stopped. Usually our pecking contest is a lot more cut throat without the bracket.

Forcing my parents to pose for a picture.

The Easter Bunny is on the loose!

I always make egg babies to be my champion.

These two are taking this very seriously.

It’s amazing Shepard didn’t get sick after how many jellybeans and chips he managed to convince people to give him.

Timmy is the winner with his ninja turtle egg!

Pizza and brownie pops for dinner.

We’re all exhausted and trying to squeeze on couches.

Doing a second round of egg pecking with Uncle Tyler. Shepard kept losing, but he thought it was pretty funny.

After eggs and eating we moved on to game time.

And bedtime!

It was a great party!