Monday, September 30, 2013

Great Uncle Whitey and Aunt Anne's House

It seems to be the tradition that every time all of the Ruppert kids are in town there is a get-together at the house of my uncle Mark, the guy my kids lovingly referred to as "Uncle Whitey" since the whole Great Uncle Mark and regular Uncle Mark was getting too confusing.  I think my mom came up with the name.  Or my Aunt Diane.  Either way it was the name thought up by one of his sweet older sisters.

When we all arrived a photographer came and took a big family picture. Which reminds me that I actually need to order one of those.  The guys were all ready to change out of their white shirts and jeans.  Just when my cousins thought we were all done and had changed, the ladies made them get dressed again so we could get a picture of my grandparents with the grandkids and great grandkids.

 While we absolutely LOVE our grandparents/great grandparents the only difference between Gus and the rest of the guys is that Gus is not as good at showing his displeasure.  Three of these guys had already changed into comfy clothes and had to dig out the white shirts again.  They were great sports about it though.

 Everyone enjoyed talking to long lost Mark.  Since he hasn't made an appearance in 5 years.  Mark goes for quality, not quantity.

 The boys enjoyed playing with the trains my Aunt Anne keeps around.  My cousin Ben was a big Thomas the train fanatic too.  My Aunt Nancy also brought the boys some new Hess vehicles.  These were a big hit.

 John always gives a hug to show his thanks.  Gus says thank you quietly without looking at you.  And Anders is quick to say thanks but doesn't always want to take the time to stop what he is doing.

 What's a birthday celebration for my grandmother without cheesecake?  My aunt found these cool candles where the fire matched the color of the candle.

 Anders wanted some cake.  He is asking with his eyes.  He usually gets his message across.

 Fritz enjoyed the cool air and the grass that was not filled with thistles or ants.

 Fritz also believes he is a lapdog.  There is no convincing him otherwise.  He isn't always good about giving a clear signal before he plops right in your lap.  If you are on the floor he assumes you are there to pet him.

Gus and my Aunt Nancy had some nice bonding time over Fritz.  I'm pretty sure he told her that Fritz was a comfort dog.  Seems only fitting that I can't convince Gus otherwise.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


My family loves playing games.  I remember playing a ton of games when I was little.  The funny thing is I don't really like playing games.  I know, I'm weird.  Not only am I the only one in my family that doesn't always enjoy a good game, I also married a guy who loves games.  I'm outnumbered in many ways.

 John loves knocking people off of the board but he doesn't like it when it is done to him.

 This game took FOREVER!

 Hans and Mark were getting ready for the big trivia game that night.  And by getting ready I mean cheating by reading all of the questions and answers.  (Editor's Note: The questions we read never came up.  Katie is just a sore loser.)

 I love this picture.  I wish John's face wasn't so blurry.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fun with Family

It was so nice to have a large portion of my family together.  Most of the family in New York hadn't seen my brother in 5 years.  Everyone enjoyed talking, playing and relaxing.

 This is Hans' idea of a fantastic vacation.

 The boys convinced Grandpa to explore the field behind the house.  Later that day we saw a bear come from this field.  Thankfully we were all inside at the time.

 The boys had a great time reading to Great Grandpa.

 This is my uncle Mark with Gus.  My parents really didn't think about the confusion it would cause their grandchildren when they named my brother Mark.  To help the boys we referred to my Uncle Mark as Uncle Whitey.

 Anders is always up for some one on one attention.

 Anders likes to tickle.

 Poor Jimmy didn't get tickled.  He got tackled and kicked.

When Gus saw this picture later he said he wanted to be strong like Jimmy someday.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


At Peak 'n Peek we decided to take part in the Putt-Putt golf course.  The boys were very exited to go and then Gus and Anders found out they had to take turns.  It got a little hairy after that.

Everyone started with a smile.

 Gus and Anders didn't even attempt to play.  They just stuck their balls right next to the hole and tapped it in.

Then John discovered he could use his putter as a boom mic.  He interviewed every player after their turn.

 Of course Gus had to do whatever John does.

 Interviewing each other.

 You can see from the following pictures that Anders is a true 3rd child.

 Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm sure Gus sat there to annoy him. 

 After this Anders got in trouble.

 I'm thinking this was Gus's plan all along.

Anders manages to have this face about 60% of the time.

Some of us actually did golf.  In fact my mom and Hans had a good game with some healthy competition going. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

59 Years

Last week on September 11th my grandparents celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary.  

For richer and poorer, in sickness and health these two have forged through highs and lows and still manage to sleep in the same bed!  They are a wonderful example of what married life should be.  I see Hans and myself like this is 51 years.  My grandpa is a funny man and is rarely ever serious.  My grandma graciously puts up with that.  My grandpa still gives my grandma noogies.  My grandma hasn't decked him yet.  

My grandparents with their grandchildren and great grandchildren.

They are wonderful parents, grandparents, and great grandparents.  Happy Anniversary (a little late) to my wonderful grandparents!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Summer Travels: New York

We had one busy summer!  When the pictures keep piling up I keep finding reasons not to go through them all.  Before I knew it, I had 1,322 pictures to go through and that does not include the disc from Disney that came last month.  With all of those pictures there must be one or two good pictures, right?  Let's hope.

This summer we headed to New York to spend time with the family and celebrate my grandma's 80th birthday.  We drove to my Aunt's house in Fredonia, NY to stay the night before meeting the whole family the next day.

 Gus felt that 8 hours in the car right next to Fritz just wasn't close enough.  These two had to have a little snuggle time before running and playing.

 Gus was in dog heaven with Maddy and Fritz.  Maddy and Fritz got along very well.  Which was good because they were going to be boarded together for the next 3 1/2 days.

The next morning my Aunt Diane (or "Diant," as Anders called her) had fun showing Anders pictures of the place we would be staying.

This is where we stayed.  This sits on top of the sky slope at the Peek 'n Peak Resort.  It was great because we had access to all of the amenities, but were away from all of the commotion.  Because let's face it, with 18 people staying here we had enough commotion all on our own.

Within an hour of our arrival we hit the pool.

John always looks a little worried when he is going down slides.

 Ericka is always a big help.  Anders likes having undivided attention.  He takes full advantage.

 This place had a large indoor and outdoor playground.  After swimming for a bit we let the kids play.

 Anders has no fear and will climb absolutely anything.

 I figured I should help him out on this one before he decided to do flips.  I'd like to save some stitch inducing activities for when this kid turns 3.

After the pool and the park the adults were all ready for a nap!