Monday, October 26, 2009

New Blog - Lueker Munchkin"s"

Apparently you can run out of room on blogs. Who knew??? Anyhoo... halfway through putting together our Disney pictures I was informed I had run out of space. Argh! Rather than pay for additional space we're moving on to . Please note the "s" on the end of munchkin other than that the address is the same. You can also just follow the link on the side of this page (Lueker Munchkins Blog - Part 2). This title seems more appropriate anyway since we do have two munchkins now instead of just one. :) Hope you all will note the new address and follow us there to see all our fun Disney pictures which are now posted and ready for viewing!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Grandma LaBar: 1910-2009

My Grandma LaBar passed away this morning, Monday, October 26, at 12:30 AM at the age of 99 1/2 years old. We were planning a big celebration for her 100th birthday next summer and I'm so sorry she'll miss it because nearly all the family was planning on attending. She would have loved seeing everyone and being the center of attention for such an event. I wouldn't have been surprised if Grandma had lived to be 105 so even though 99 is definitely a full life I still find myself surprised that she is gone so quickly and somewhat unexpectedly. A year ago she was still living in her own home! She was an amazing woman who believed deeply in the Lord. She will be missed by many friends and especially her 4 sons, 10 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. Here are a few of my favorite pictures of her with our family (mostly my girls) over the last four years. We love you Great Grandma!
Last May the girls and I spent several days with Pop-A-Lops visiting Great Grandma in Michigan. One day while we were out to lunch I snapped this picture while Grandma was reaching into Kennedy's car seat to hold her hand. I thought it was a beautiful picture when I took it but looking at it tonight it seems bittersweet as it shows the passage of time.
Reagan giving Great Grandma a hug
Reagan discovered she enjoyed pushing Great Grandma in her wheelchair where ever she needed to go. In this picture we were headed back to Great Grandma's room after visiting in the common area.
I think this picture is so sweet because it looks like Grandma and Kennedy are having a great conversation and throughly enjoying each others company.
Great Grandma and Kennedy enjoying some beautiful outdoor weather, Kennedy was actually fascinated with the arms of Grandma's wheelchair, mostly the part she could see her reflection in much like a mirror.
Because Grandma enjoys chocolate so much we always sent her some special Godiva chocolate for holidays, birthdays etc. While we were visiting in May Reagan gave Grandma this box of chocolate the morning we were getting ready to leave and very much wanted Great Grandma to go ahead and enjoy a piece. While Great Grandma did love chocolate she had a strict rule of only eating one piece per day (even though many of us assurred her at her age it was probably okay to eat as much as she wanted). Grandma would never have dreamed of eating that one piece before breakfast. It was quite funny watching a very stubborn 2 year old trying to convince her 99 year old great grandmother who was sweet but just as stubborn that it was okay to eat the chocolate. Finally Great Grandma partially gave in and pretended to eat the chocolate. lol :)
Last Christmas we visited Michigan so Grandma could meet Kennedy who was just barely over a month old at the time. Here is our first four generation picture with Kennedy. Great Grandma and Kennedy hit it right off and knew just how to make each other smile! :)

Over Labor Day 2008 we had a "LaBar" Day weekend with the intent of getting all the LaBar great grandchildren together for Great Grandma to see. While in Michigan I took this picture of Grandma with one of her rugs she had recently completed. Grandma made many beautiful braided rugs over the years and also taught numerous classes on her method of making braided rugs.
During our "LaBar" day weekend we took the opportunity to capture the great grandchildren's handprints along with coloring for Great Grandma to enjoy after we had left.
Grandma loved a good game of Scrabble and she and Tim played every time he visited. More than once she told me "Tim is a killer Scrabble player. He plays for blood." That cracked me up because she normally didn't talk that way and it was so funny to hear her say that about Tim. There's no doubt she took her Scrabble playing seriously! Last week she told me she'd still like to play another game of Scrabble with Tim.
Uncle Martin is the oldest of Grandma's 4 boys and Riley is the oldest Great Grandchild. Stacy is Uncle Martin's oldest daughter and Rory and Riley are her sons. At the time this picture was taken Riley was the youngest great grandchild.
This 4 generation LaBar picture times 2 was taken during our visit to Michigan in January 2008. My Dad is the youngest son and my Uncle David is the second oldest. My Uncle David's son, Darin, has a son, Brendan, who is just a month younger than Reagan.
This picture was taken in July 2007 and is the first time Great Grandma met Reagan. You can see even at the age of 97 she felt completely at ease holding and giving Reagan a bottle. :)
This is a picture of my cousin, Amber, with Grandma when our family came together to celebrate her 95th birthday in Michigan over the July 4th holiday weekend in 2005.
A LaBar family picture during the 95th birthday celebration weekend
We love and respect you so much Grandma! We will all miss you very much!!! :) XOXOX

Unexpected Michigan Trip

Last week my Grandma LaBar became very ill and the girls and I made an unexpected trip to Michigan. At the age of 99 1/2 Grandma passed away this morning. I am so glad we live close enough that we were able to visit her one more time. While the occasion wasn't a happy one we did enjoy visiting with all our family who also came to visit Grandma one last time.
Great Aunt Faye reading Kennedy the book Love and Kisses (and giving one or two kisses too :)
Reagan had a great time with the "other" Pop-A-Lops again this past week. Here they are enjoying a luggage cart.
Kennedy decided she wanted to get in on the action too

Grammy, Great Aunt Joan, Amber and Great Aunt Faye after pizza Friday night
Kennedy directing Great Uncle David where she wants to go next
Back at Christmas we were able to meet Great Uncle George and Aunt Joan's puppies Rascal and Rosie. Reagan absolutely loved them! She talked about them for months afterward. Uncle George and Aunt Joan brought Rascal and Rosie with them again all the way from Montana and on Saturday they invited us to go visit them at the kennel where they were staying. Needless to say Reagan still loves those puppies! More than once we heard"Rosie, I love you so much!!!"
Rosie and Rascal were extremely excited to see Uncle George
My cousin Amber came in from Pennsylvania Thursday evening and decided to come visit the puppies with us Saturday morning too.
Kennedy getting some puppy kisses!
What happened to Kennedy? She's getting some good puppy love!
More kisses!
Uncle Martin, Aunt Faye and Kennedy
Stacy and Riley flew in from California on Saturday. We were able to see them briefly Saturday evening and were able to enjoy some good quality play time with them Sunday morning.
Reagan loved Amber during our visit. She was very concerned she wasn't going to get to see Amber before we left Sunday morning and was extremely excited to find her in Stacy and Riley's hotel room. :)
Stacy & Riley and Aunt Faye & Kennedy enjoying a good book
Reagan and Riley looking for a good place to run and play with Mimi (aka Aunt Faye and the "other" Grammy)
When we got to the courtyard someone had a couple of remote control cars they were playing with. Reagan and Riley had a great time together watching and chasing them.
I don't think they were actually holding hands here but I thought it looked so sweet I couldn't help but include this picture in this post! :)

It was hard work to get this picture and wouldn't have happened without the hard work of both Stacy and Amber!
Stacy and Riley brought Reagan and Kennedy a goody bag of lots of fun treats and activities. An instant hit of course were the stickers which Reagan put all over her arm. On our ride home on Sunday, however, Reagan discovered her leg is also a great way to display her stickers. I knew Aunt Faye and Stacy would enjoy this so I had to take a picture to share with them.
Reagan wanted some more stickers after she finished off the first sheet. She started pulling the first ones off her leg to make room for the new ones and I suggested she could just use her other leg. This isn't quite what I meant but I guess she interperted my suggestion as stacking up all the stickers and then placing them on her other leg. Whatever makes her happy! Thanks again to Stacy and Riley for all the goodies!

I am working to put together a post on Grandma LaBar. We loved her lots and she will be missed!


While we were gone on our cruise Holden Joshua LaBar was born. We couldn't believe he waited until after we left to make his debut but we are so excited for Aunt Dorothy, Uncle Dan and Heidi! Since we were a bit sick when we returned, we weren't able to plan a visit with Holden until Tuesday, October 20. Before we were able to visit then, however, Great Grandma LaBar became ill and we made a week long trip to Michigan. So I can hardly believe it, but we weren't able to meet Holden until his 2nd week birthday! I trust we will get to spend lots of good quality time with him in the future, however, to make up for these first two weeks... :) He is such a sweet baby! We're sure looking forward to watching Holden grow up! :)
Sweet little honey bear all bundled up and ready for a walk!
Kennedy was more interested in Holden than either Reagan or Heidi this morning. Maybe she already realizes this is her designated playmate. :)
Everybody ready to take advantage of some beautiful outdoor walking weather!

Watch Me Grow - Kennedy - 11 Mon

11 Mon - Oct 2009
10 Mon - Sep 2009
1 Week - Nov 2008
How is it possible that I am posting my baby's 11 month watch me grow post already? This year has just flown by and Kennedy is simply a delightful baby, we love her sooo much!!!
Kennedy has continued to be a super busy baby. She can go up and down stairs now and thinks she is pretty hot stuff when she does it. :) She continues to work on walking. She'll take a few steps but then generally decides it's much faster to do her power crawl. Yesterday I saw her take about 10 steps but that is by far the most I've ever seen her do.
She is a wild and crazy baby!!! While staying at the hotel this past week during our visit to Michigan due to Great Grandma LaBar's illness we had lots of opportunity to play in the hotel pool. Missy K. is a total dare devil! She would stand on the steps leading into the pool and literally jump at me. She was also intuitively trying to figure out how to kick her legs and paddle her arms while I was holding her. She is one on the go, wild and crazy baby!!!
Kennedy has been working on picking up a few more words this month, actually just in the last week or two it seems. One particular funny word, or not depending on how you look at it, is one Reagan taught her during our cruise. Reagan was grabbing toys shouting "Mine, mine, mine!" when Kennedy started shouting "Mine, mine, mine!!!" right back at her. So even if that isn't one of the first words I would probably choose to teach Kennedy, the two of them went back and forth for a while and it was pretty funny. lol :) I imagine that will become less funny as time goes on... :) She's also saying "yum, yum, yum" and everyone now and then we hear a "da, da, da" or what sounds like "kitty."
Her sleeping pattern is holding steady with getting up 2-3 times per night. It's better than the 5-6 times she was doing for a while there especially since Tim gets up with her once and can typically get her back down pretty easily.
Kennedy had her first major vacation this month on our Disney cruise and loved it! She had a fantastic time with all the characters as you'll see in many pictures yet to come. She has such an outgoing personality and nearly everyone was amazed at how a baby her age would approach the characters instead of being afraid of them. She loved them to the point of struggling/fighting to get down and get to them and away from us everytime she saw one!
Kennedy is such a sweet and loving baby. One of her favorite things is family hugs (where a group of us hug). When we pull apart she will often pull us back together or fall back towards whoever isn't holding her for another family hug. It is so sweet!!!
Missy K. also has a great sense of humor. She thinks she's quite the comedian and cracks herself up all the time. It frequently seems like she's telling us or herself a joke. She does manage to keep us laughing a good part of the day. lol :)
Even when she's not trying to be funny she has such a strong personality she manages to keep us laughing. Kennedy *HATES* to have her diaper and clothes changed. She puts up such a fight; twisting, turning, kicking and screaming. While at the hotel this week one day she saw me coming with her clothes and she sped (literally flew) around the corner of the bed to get away from me. As if that wasn't funny enough she actually crawled under a chair and wouldn't come out for me to dress her. What a little nut!
Missy K. We sure love you lots and all your antics too! :)

Orlando Visit w/the Martin LaBar Family

On our way to Port Canaveral we made an overnight stop on October 9, in Orlando to visit Uncle Martin, Aunt Faye, Rich, Stacy, Rory and Riley who were vacationing in the area. It was especially nice to spend some time with them the morning of October 10 because it was Rory's 5th birthday. We had a great time and were extremely appreciative that they made time to see us!
This was the first time Kennedy had met Great Aunt Faye and Uncle Martin. Kennedy was fascinated with Aunt Faye's pretty necklace.
Riley (1 1/2 yr), Kennedy (10 mon), Rory (5 yr) and Reagan (2 1/2 yr) checking out the hotel pool together
Reagan and Riley playing hide and seek together
Rory and Reagan playing hide and seek
Run, run, run!
More running!
One happy boy!!!
We decided to try a slightly quieter activity :) Riley was so sweet and intense while coloring.
Riley also worked very hard on making sure he replaced the caps on his markers.
Rory took his coloring very seriously and did an excellent job!
Mimi & Rory and Mommy & Riley coloring together
Stacy reading to Kennedy and Riley
We decided to take the wild and crazies outside for a bit while lunch was being setup. There was a nice grassy area next to the hotel with lots of lizards for the kids to watch and find.
At one point Rory exclaimed "these lizards are big enough that my Daddy can certainly catch one!"
Mimi pinning a birthday badge on her birthday boy

Kennedy enjoying Great Uncle Martin (otherwise known as "the other" Pop-A-Lops according to Reagan) Even though they were nearly 2500 miles away from home Rich and Stacy produced this birthday spread complete with birthday cake and favors for Rory's 5th birthday. Needless to say, we were impressed as well as appreciative of being included in the festivities. Happy Birthday Rory!!! :)
Riley was ready for some cake and couldn't figure out what the rest of us slow pokes were waiting for. He finally decided he would get some himself if no one was going to help him! :)
What a cute 5 year old boy!

Even all the way in Orlando Aunt Faye and Stacy had party favors for the kids. Kennedy received this book and loved it! She and Pop-a-Lops enjoyed it many times throughout our vacation.
I was so impressed with the way Rory was able to count the money he received ($5 & $1 bills as well as coins - I'm also impressed with the U-tube video Uncle Martin posted of him reading)
While after blowing out his candle Rory promptly moved on to presents. Riley, however, was not so easily distracted! Very happy to finally receive some birthday cake!
There's more than one way to eat a piece of cake...

Thanks again for making time and including us on all the fun!


On a slightly different note, I'm working hard on sorting through all our cruise pictures. Dad and I took over 1800 pictures as well as assorted video. I think I have the pictures narrowed down to just under 200 and divded into 13 categories so I'm getting there! I've also nearly decided on the video clips I plan to use. All that said, I will hopefully have everything organized and posted by the end or the beginning of next week. In the meantime, let me just say we had an absolutely amazing time! It was the best vacation I have ever taken and the girls had a ball! We love Disney!!!