Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Disney Day 2: Magic Kingdom

Disney Squad! Party of 16!


















Although it was lightly raining the first hour or so at the park, the rest of the day was beautiful. We finally got our picture by the castle! Our first ride of the day was the classic Dumbo ride. This ride is great because while in line, they give you a color/letter and the kids get to play instead of standing in line!
 Barnstormer Roller coaster: This was the smallest of the coasters we road on (even Kylie got to ride!) but it was still fast enough to entertain Evan!
 Can't pass up a short line for the Tea Cups! Love the picture of the kids while in motion!
 Tomorrowland Speedway! I was lucky enough to have Kylie as my driver.....[where's the emoji for that?!] Luckily the driving age isn't until 16 in Illinois. 
 Evan learning to drive with Nathan. 
 Kylie loved it even though we continually moved from side to side to side!
 Nothing beats lunch in front of the castle! 
 Winnie the Pooh the ride with Caroline! Thank you Coco's for adopting my odd-numbered family. In this case you got two of us!
 Pure joy. We all loved the parade! What spectacular floats. Kylie waved to all the characters. This is the location and event Brooke used to primarily work at so we knew we got the best seats in the park!
 Kylie didn't nap often.......but she crashed on Monday. This was good because we stayed late and saw the lights and fireworks show on the castle. The show was A-mazing and the songs have been stuck in my head ever since!
 Obligatory ride on the carrousel. 
 We had fast passes for Peter Pan. 
The kiddos enjoyed the feeling of flying through the movie. 
 Can't forget a picture with Mickey! Evan's teacher loves Mickey, so he was extra proud to be taking a picture next to the guy!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Disney Day 1: Animal Kingdom

ISU Spring Break 2018 we ventured to Disney World!! How did we get from here to there?
We rented a 12-passenger van with the Frantz family for the week. 
 Yes, all the car seats fit and we had a DVD player for each row. PSA - the Normal Library has a myfi you can check out for up to two weeks......for free....unlimited data. In between getting caught up on emails, Brooke and I were able to get caught up on Greys!
 We drove overnight on the way there, which really wasn't that bad. The kids slept all night. We arrived at our resort and thanks to online shopping for groceries, we were set for the week!
On Sunday we went to Animal Kingdom. Since Brooke had previously worked at Disney, she organized all of our fast passes and basically our entire schedule. It was so nice to know we were getting to see so much, and experiencing the best of the parks. While the dads stood in line for the Avatar ride, we got to see and do plenty. The boys' first ride was the Dinosaur ride. Evan talks big....but he is the one in the red upfront....don't see him? Yea, that's because he was hiding half the ride!
 Evan also went with Brooke on the Everest rollercoaster. 
That was quite the coaster for the little guy!  



















The Avatar line was long....so we did a lot! We even got to see Mickey and Minnie!! 
So exciting to watch the kiddos!
 Later we found Doc McStuffin's!
 The Safari ride!
 We headed back to the condo for dinner and then went to the park for the night light show. So fun to see how they project images onto a wall of spraying water - just amazing! We caught one last ride before heading home. 
Disney Squad Party of 16: Let's Do This!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Quasquicentennial Family Farm!

The state of South Dakota recognized our family at the South Dakota State fair for having land in the same family for 125 years. Pictures from the fair are below and made for a fun birthday weekend for the boys. But first, for those who know my dad, know that he likes to tell stories, especially stories with Wilhelm and Wilhelmena. Here is the story about the land told straight from my dad!
Edward William Raeder (Evan, Jaden & Kylie's great-great Grandpa), a South Dakota homesteader, was born in Eldorado, Wisconsin, August 8, 1864, to Wilhelm and Wilhelmena Luedke Raeder. He came to Dakota Territory with his parents and his brother, Albert, on April 17th, 1888. They settled about 8 miles southeast of Webster, SD. On March 5, 1890, Edward went back to Wisconsin and married Marie Augusta Koplitz.  
Marie and Edward
In 1892 they moved three miles closer to Webster.  Wilhelm  purchased  160 acres of land and  Edward and Marie homesteaded the adjoining 160 acres.  For five years Edward dug wells, but never was successful getting water.  After President Grover Cleveland gave them the deed for the land, they moved the buildings  about  250 yards from Wilhelm's building site and used the same well.

By the early 1900's, Edward and Marie had accumulated 720 acres of land and things were going well. After the Great Depression, Edward and Marie owed an insurance company $11,000.00.  Marie said that was more than the land was worth and the insurance company wanted their money. Three of their sons received a Land Bank loan and each son purchased 240 acres. The sons were lucky and the rains came after a ten year drought and prices increased significantly. The sons purchased additional land and had their mortgages paid off by 1947.

Edward passed away September 24th, 1941 and Marie passed away September 30th, 1945.

George (Evan, Jaden and Kylie's Great Grandfather)  purchased 80 of the 160 acres that Edward homesteaded in 1892.  That land is still in our family after 125 years! 
Dad shared an abbreviated version of that story on stage at the fair. 
One of the best parts of the SD State Fair: All you can drink milk/chocolate milk!
 Thanks Great-Aunt Bondell for the carousel ride!
 Evan could not get enough of the baby chicks. No matter where we were on the fairgrounds, we somehow ended up back in this building about five times!

Thanks Grandpa Al for all you do as a farmer and keeping up the tradition of our family farm!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Labor Day Weekend in South Dakota!

We were welcomed to South Dakota at Aunt Laurie's house where the fiesta began! We always get spoiled with treats and get to stay up late at her place. 
 We spent the next day in Brookings and visited the Children's Museum. I loved playing grocery store with Kylie. 
 Evan entertained everyone as usual!
 I spoke to a class of senior nutrition students (trying to recruit for grad school at ISU!). Afterwards we visited the Dairy Bar for some SDSU ice cream. I don't know if I have been back to S.D. in the last 14 years without consuming SDSU ice cream! Too bad it doesn't transport well back to IL!


Cousin Elliot had quite the set up in his backyard! The kids had a blast!
In unrelated news, Evan lost his 2nd tooth the night before his 6th birthday! The Tooth Fairy did find him in South Dakota. 





We also attended an SDSU football game- Go Jackrabbits!!
 Grandma Linda with her grandkids!