Emma Playing Star Wars

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By hfwilke. Filed in Emma.
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Emma playing Star Wars on the violin.

Family Portrait – August 31, 2013

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By hfwilke. Filed in Emma, Sarah, Susan.
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Sarah needed a family portrait for her first day of school, so I set up the lights a took a few pics.









Labor Day 2013

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By hfwilke. Filed in Emma, Sarah.
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A weekend at the farm

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By hfwilke. Filed in Emma, Sarah.
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We spent the weekend at my friend’s farm. We had a great visit, and the girls had a blast playing with their daughters.

The first task in preparing to go, was to make some hot fudge to go on the ice cream.  Once that was taken care of, we could finish packing Friday night, so that we could head up Saturday morning.


Playing on the trampoline was one of the highlights of the weekend.  The girls spent a lot of time outside jumping.


Emma and Norah were sitting watching Sarah jump, so she could have a turn without the big girls jumping.


Sarah watching the big girls jump from the outside edge of the trampoline.


Norah, Sarah, Emma and Pearce swinging together.


Kate and Emma drawing together.  The girls made a lot of pictures.

Sarah sprayed just about everything that she could see with the little water gun.



The girls spent much of the two days in the bathing suits wishing the water wasn’t so cold.  They ventured into the pool briefly a few times, but never stayed long.


First Grade!

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By hfwilke. Filed in Emma.
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Emma started first grade today.  Just like last year, she road the bus from day one.  Here she is waiting for the bus.

She gets to use her back pack this year, and wanted Susan to pack all of her school supplies into it for the first day of school.  I think it weighed almost as much as she does.  I had to drop off a  few things that would not fit.

Climbing on the bus.

Bye, bye…

Sailing the Opti!!

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By hfwilke. Filed in Emma.
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Today was Emma’s first sail in an Opti.  She has been sailing a number of times on big boats with me, and last summer we took the opti out without a sail, and just pulled her behind Uncle Chris’ Whaler, but today we put the rig up.  She did a fantastic job!

One of Chris’ friends recommended that we take her to a place where we could stand, so that she could sail back and forth between us.  We motored down to Pontchartrain beach.  Emma road in the Opti part of the way, learning how to steer with the tiller, and did a really good job figuring it out.  When we got near the beach, we put the rig up, and let Emma sail back and forth between us.  The first couple of times, we helped her turn around, but then she started tacking and jibing the boat herself.

After she got her fill, we headed out into deeper water so Uncle Chris could take a turn water skiing, and then we anchored the Whaler, and played around in the lake for a while, followed by a drive over to Chris’ so we could swim in his pool.

I had a blast, and so did Emma.  It’s so exciting to see her enjoying sailing, and doing such a great job.  (And yeah, I guess I am living vicariously a little bit.  I wish I had gotten to start sailing at such a young age.)  I can’t wait to get her out there again.

Christmas Time 2009

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This is Emma’s Christmas program from when she was at Tiny Tumblers, the preschool at he gym.  She was going to Tiny Tumblers on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday that year.

After the performance, Santa showed up to take pictures with the children.

Sarah swinging on the bar after pictures with Santa.

Sarah jumping on the trampoline.

We went to Anadelle’s Plantation for the Reindeer Romp.  The group Zoo2U brings animals every year, and Anadelle’s puts on a nice buffet.  The kids love playing with the animals.

I think I took this same picture in 2008.  He really needs some rocks to climb on.

Emma loved holding the animals.

Emma and Sarah with Santa.  Emma told him that he was the only Santa she had seen with a real beard.

More animal holding time.

This is another thing they do every year.  They always have a set of antlers for the children to take a picture with.

Time for some lunch.  You can tell these pictures are old.  Susan has the nursing cover over her shoulder so Sarah could have her lunch.

September through December 2009

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By hfwilke. Filed in Emma.
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Here is a giant post of pictures.  These span from September 21 through December 2, 2009.  Sarah is 4 1/2 months at the beginning of these pictures.  Emma is 4 years 8 1/2 months.

Susan slid Sarah in with Emma while we were tucking Emma in.  September 21, 2009

Sarah playing in her Exersaucer.  October 1, 2009

Emma was painting with stamps, and decided to stamp herself.  She also stamped her belly.  October 12, 2009

Sarah playing on the mat.  October 12, 2009

Every year there is an event right before Halloween called the Monster Mash.  It is a lot of fun.  Inflatables to play on, face painting, games, and even a little Halloween village for the kids to trick or treat in.  Emma climbing through an inflatable at the Monster Mash, October 24, 2009.

Emma holding a snake at the Monster mash.

Emma’s hair painted.

Sarah hanging out with Mommy at the Monster Mash.  There is not much for an almost 6 month old to do.

Emma playing on her bar.  This is one of the best things we have ever gotten for Emma.  A chin up bar, hung low enough for her to do gymnastics on.  October 27, 2009

October 27, 2009

Susan showing Emma some Acrogymnastics tricks. October 27, 2009

A spider snack that Susan made for Emma.  October 29, 2009

October 30, 2009

Sarah jumping.  October 30, 2009

Yummy prunes.  November 5, 2009

Emma made the shirt in her class at Tiny Tumblers.  (The pre-school at her gym, where she went before Kindergarten.)  This is what they wore for their Thanksgiving feast.  November 20,2009

Sarah in her Thanksgiving outfit.  November 25, 2009

Emma jumping on our bed.  This has been a favorite pastime since she was tiny.  November 25, 2009

Sarah cruising around the footrest on the chair.  December 2, 2009

Mommy, Emma and Sarah.  December 2, 2009

Emma in her rocking chair.  December 2, 2009



Orange Beach 2009 Part 2

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By hfwilke. Filed in Emma.
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I found one more folder of pictures from my camera, as well as a folder of pictures from my Dad’s camera.  This should be the last of the pictures from this trip.

Here we are moving in for the week.  Emma rode the cart up sitting on her chair.

Sarah’s first swim in the pool.  August 25, 2009

Sarah and Mommy playing on the floor.  Sarah was almost 4 months old.  August 27, 2009

Sarah back inside for lunch after a short trip to the beach.  The sun was too bright.  August, 28 2009

Emma back from swimming with Daddy.

Emma feeding Sarah after we returned home from vacation.  This was Sarah’s first taste of solid food.  Rice cereal and breast milk — she seemed to love the taste, but something didn’t agree with her tummy and we stopped serving it to her.  September 1, 2009

Orange Beach 2009

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By hfwilke. Filed in Emma.
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Big post from our Orange beach vacation in 2009.  Emma was 4 and Sarah was almost 4 months.  We got Sarah out to the beach twice, but as you can tell from the pictures, the glare was a bit much for her.

Here are the girls in the chair that Susan spent much of the vacation in.  It seems like Susan was in that chair nursing Sarah all day long.  August 23, 2009

Emma had a great time at the beach.  As you can see, she loves being in the water.  August 24, 2009

Grandpa and Emma

Sitting at the dinner table with Sarah.  August 25, 2009

Sarah’s big day at the beach.  August 26, 2009

“I think I’ll move up here.”

“Maybe this stuff isn’t too bad.”

Emma digging in the sand.

Time to go get some water.

“Here comes that wet stuff again.”

I think she is just putting up with us at this point.

Emma entertaining Sarah after nap.

Emma holding Sarah’s teddy.

Tiny Sarah and Swimming

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Here are some pictures from June though August of 2009.  It’s been fun going back through these old pictures, and seeing how much our girls have changed.

Napping on the sofa with Sarah, July 2, 2009 — 2 months old

“I’ve got it!”  July 3, 2009

Snuggling in bed with Emma.  July 7, 2009

I loved sitting with the girls like this.  They used to be so tiny.  July 9, 2009

Emma was laying on the floor after bath, and we put Sarah down next to her.  Sarah climbed up for a visit.  July 28, 2009

Swimming lessons!  Emma started swimming lessons when she was three, and absolutely loves being in the water.  Lessons will be starting soon this summer.  July 30, 2009

August 10, 2009 — 3 months old

August 15, 2009


Father’s Day 2009

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Yet another trip down memory lane.  It’s hard to believe that Sarah was ever so tiny.  Looking at these tonight Susan said she couldn’t believe that was the same girl she just put in bed.

We celebrated Father’s Day 2009 at Uncle Chris and Aunt Lani’s house.  Sarah was 7 1/2 weeks old.

Emma got to take some pictures with Grandpa’s camera.

Here’s Emma after rolling around on the sofa.

Daddy and a tired Sarah.

Kindergarten Performance

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Emma’s class had their end of the year performance on May 13, 2011.  Here are a few pictures of Emma.

And one quick picture of Sarah I snapped last night.

Tie Dye! Mardi Gras Weekend

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By hfwilke. Filed in Emma.
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For Emma’s birthday this year her Great Aunt Dotti gave her a Tie Dye kit.  We finally got some shirts to dye, and set aside the time to do it.  Doing it over the four day weekend seemed like a good idea.  We had a blast doing it.  From coming with interesting ways to tie up the shirts, to putting the dye on, the whole process was a blast.  We ran out of blue and red near the end, so it is time for me to order some more dye.  Only the local art store had fabric dyes other than Rit, which they said would work, but they were not the same kind of dyes, and faded a little more in the first wash than what came in the kit.

Here are some pictures from the project.

Susan and Emma are folding up some of the shirts, and then rubber banding them.

The shirts have to soak for at least 20 minutes in a mixture of Soda Ash and water.

After the shirts have soaked, we squirted the dye onto them.

Notice Emma’s lovely attire.  One of my old shirts, and a pair of gloves that I had to tape the fingers back on so she could use them.  They may exist somewhere, but I could not find kid’s size rubber gloves on the Northshore.

After dyeing, the shirts had to spend 24 hours in plastic bags.

Once they had sat for 24 hours they had to be rinsed.  And rinsed.  And rinsed…

It was worth it.  Here is Sarah’s shirt.

The girls in their shirts.

The shirts we did on the first day.

Like I said on Facebook.  We dyed everything!

Emma decided that we should wear I new shirts on Mardi Gras day, so they were our ‘costume.’  She was so excited wearing the shirt she had made.  What a great project for a little kid.  Here are a couple of the pictures I took with my phone on Mardi Gras.

Emma’s 4th Birthday Party

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By hfwilke. Filed in Emma.
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Here is another post from the archives.  These were taken at Emma’s 4th birthday.  This was her first birthday at Northshore Gymnastics.  She had a great time, even though we did not have a lot of children show up.

Grandee spotting Emma on the balance beam.

Emma climbing over the mat.

Emma going down the zip line.  This was her favorite activity at this point.

Sliding down the hill with Thomas.

Parachute time!

Everybody getting ready for the balloon races.

Katherine & Nannie at the grownup dinner party that followed the gymnastics party.

The Wayback Machine

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By hfwilke. Filed in Emma.
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In my efforts to finish editing all of the pictures I have taken, I went to work on a really old folder of pictures this weekend.  These are from before Sarah was born.  January – April of 2009.  The first group of pictures is from a visit to my friend Pearce’s farm for New Years in 2009.  I posted a few a while ago, but had never made it through the whole folder.

Pearce took us down to the pond to play.  He helped Emma throw a stick for Hershey to fetch.

Hershey got it!  (Hershey was the first dog Emma met at a trip to the farm.  He was the sweetest dog a girl could start with.  We miss him.)

We also went down to the river.  Pearce painted Kate’s face with mud from the bank.

My girls standing on the bank.

We picked some flowers along the way.

Emma’s doll was kicking the soccer ball.  January 11, 2009

Emma and I were building with her waffle blocks.  A Christmas present that year from Aunt Dotti.

Susan made Emma a giant cookie for her fourth birthday.

Valentine’s Day 2009.  Emma playing with her doll.

We used to have a pair of barred owls living in the trees around our house.  It has been a while since we have seen them.  We still hear owls every once in a while, but we have not spotted them recently.

Emma levitating during her crazy dance in Daddy’s jacket.  February 26, 2009

Emma taking a break after her crazy dance.  February 26, 2009

Egg hunt in the front of my Dad’s old neighborhood.  April 4, 2009

A little help from grandpa

Oops.  Peanut butter is sticky.  April 11, 2009

We also attended an Egg Hunt in the front of our neighborhood.  Mamere and Nannie drove across to go to the egg hunt with us.

Emma and I walked back, and Mommy drove her car.  Emma is talking to Mommy on the phone.

Easter Presents!!  Emma got her first tennis racket for Easter.  April 12, 2009

She also got this cool little note pad and some bunny ears.  See!

Cell Phone Videos

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I have taken a few little videos on my phone recently, and decided it was time to share a few.  These first two are from a birthday party Emma went to.

This next video is our little spider girl.  She asked me to put her bar up at the top position.  She’s figured out how to get up there by herself.  After making it to the top, she did an L-Hang.

And last, but not least, is Sarah playing with Susan.  They are stretching a little critter we put in party bags for Emma’s party one year.

Emma’s 6th Birthday Party

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By hfwilke. Filed in Emma.
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On January 15th, we celebrated Emma’s 6th birthday.  We started with a party at Northshore Gymnastics for Emma’s friends, and then finished up with dinner for family at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

They started with a little free play, before heading off to an obstacle course.  Emma started on one of the trampolines.  I wish they let us jump.  This is a great trampoline.

Emma and Sophia waiting their turn.

Emma and Michael

She also spent some time on the bars.

Pearce and Kate playing in the pit.

Kate’s sister Norah.

Our next door neighbor, Heather.

Emma in the pit.

Christina and Kay, from Emma’s gym class

Brian, Kate, Norah, Mommy and Sarah listening to the rules for the obstacle course.

Half of Ella, Jadyn, Dean (or Alex,) Sophia, Alex (or Dean,) Robby, Kay & Christina

Michael, Heather, Emma, Ella & Jadyn

Norah and Kate getting ready to run the obstacle course.

Sophia and one of the twins getting ready for their turn.

Kate on the zip line!

Kay, Christina, Brian Jadyn, Emma, Robby, Norah, Bobby & Heather getting ready for the balloon race.

Mommy and Sarah getting ready for the balloon race.

Grandee and Grandpa watching the festivities.

Time for the parachute!

Kate and Norah’s mommy, Christy, trying out the pit.

Time for cake and ice cream.

Time to blow out the candles.

They pile all of the presents in this hexagon mat in case you have time to open presents during the party at gym.  We’ve never had time to try that, we always have to take them with us when we go.  The girls had a great time playing in here while we were trying to pack up to go.

Norah and Kate join Sarah.

Uncle Keith and Aunt B came to the family dinner at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

So did Uncle Chris.

Emma got a remote control truck from Uncle Chris and Aunt Lani.  She has been having  a great time with it.

Mamere got Emma a pogo stick.  It will take some practicing to figure out, but so far it has been a lot of fun.  Too bad it is rated for little kids, and I am too heavy for it.

Since Uncle Chris’ birthday comes right after Christmas, we celebrated his birthday with Emma’s.  Time to blow out more candles!

Emma had a lot of fun looking at pictures of her little cousin Olivia with Uncle Keith on his phone.

Emma got some new galoshes from Grandma and Grandpa.  Sarah decided to try them out.

January 13-15, 2011

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Susan is a reading Maxi, the Taxi Dog to Emma.  It is one of the books we got her for her birthday.

Sarah is getting ready to try on Emma’s leotard.

Sarah reading One Step Ahead.  A great catalog of kids stuff.

Sarah having snack while Emma and Susan decorate Emma’s birthday cake.

Susan and Emma decorating the cake.

Monkey Towel! January 7, 2011

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Sarah loves her monkey towel!

Baseball and Puddle Stomping, New Years Day 2011

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Emma is pretty good at hitting a baseball.  (As long as it is a good pitch.)

One of our neighbors has this cute little bridge crossing the drainage ditch that runs through our neighborhood.  The girls love walking across it.  Because it had been raining, the water was flowing toward the marsh.  Susan and the girls were dropping leaves in the water, and watching them float away.

There goes a leaf!

Sarah getting ready to drop her leaf.

After playing on the bridge we headed off to find a good puddle.

Sarah in the tub, January 19, 2011

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Sarah has taken to dumping water on her head during her bath. (Just like big sister.) Here are a couple of videos.

Monkey Bread

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By hfwilke. Filed in Emma.
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A friend asked for the Monkey Bread recipe I made before Christmas, so I decided to post it here where everybody can enjoy it.  The only thing I might do differently than this recipe is add extra cinnamon, but then I LOVE cinnamon.

Monkey Bread

Yield: 16 servings

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Category: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Rating: 4/5 stars

Source: Monique Stubbs


  • 3 cans Pilsbury 10ct. biscuits
  • 2 Tbs Cinnamon
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 2 cup Brown Sugar


Preheat oven to 350*F. Mix cinnamon and sugar together in a small mixing bowl. Open and cut each biscuit into 4’s.

In a sauce pan, melt butter and brown sugar until smooth and creamy.

Roll biscuit pieces in cinnamon/sugar mixture until evenly coated. Place evenly around greased bundt pan. Layer with brown sugar and butter mixture.

Place in oven for approximately 35 minutes or until cake is slightly crunchy on top.

Remove from oven. Let cool 10-15 minutes. Place a plate on top of bundt pan (upside down) and flip so that cake falls out onto plate.

Christmas 2010

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By hfwilke. Filed in Emma.
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Christmas started early this year with a visit to Uncle Chris and Aunt Lani’s house.  Here are some pictures from that visit.  Unfortunately, the first few are blurry.  I forgot I had the camera set to manual focus from when I was taking pictures of the lunar eclipse.

Uncle Chris and Aunt Lani gave Emma a two wheeled scooter.

Emma giving Uncle Chris some homemade sugar cookies.

Somebody’s opening something over there.

What's over there?

Sarah and Mommy opening Mary Poppins.

Mary Poppins

Grandma opening a present.

Grandma opening a present

Mommy gets a gift.

Mommy gets a gift.

We started Christmas morning at our house, before heading to visit grandparents.  Emma asked for a car shooter from Santa.  We had bought this for a friend for a birthday party, and she thought it looked like a lot of fun.  I have built her a ramp to jump the car over, which is neat.  Now I just need to go to my mom’s, and pick up my tin of Hot Wheels from when I was little.

Emma opening her car shooter

Emma and the car shooter

Sarah opening a present.

Sarah opening a gift.

Emma wearing the ribbons from Sarah’s present.

Emma with fancy ribbons

Mommy made some bowls for the girls.  Here is Emma opening hers.

Emma opening the bowl from Mommy

Sarah opening her bowl.

Sarah opening her bowl

Mommy’s two masterpieces.

Mommy's masterpieces

Emma opening Bananagrams

Emma opening Banagrams

Sarah gets a bath doll!!

Sarah gets a bath doll

Emma and Sarah got matching leotards for their dress up bin.  Here is Emma opening hers.

Emma's new leotard

I gave Susan a gift certificate to Juniper, one of our favorite restaurants.  We can’t wait to get to go.  It will be delicious.


After we were sone with Christmas at our house, we moved on to Mamere’s .

My cousin Sharon gave the girls hats and mittens.  Emma tried hers on.

Emma's new hat

Emma and Sarah moved back to my old bedroom to open some presents.

Opening presents

Sarah had a good time playing with the dolls that Nannie keeps under her tree.

Sarah and Dana

After the girls had lunch we headed over to Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

Mommy gets a mug

Mommy and Sarah opening a present

Grandma and Grandpa gave Emma a ‘doorway puppet theater.’  She has been having a great time with it.  I think she enjoys having us do puppet shows as much as she enjoys doing them.

Emma doing a puppet show

And now Sarah gets into the act as well.

Emma and Sarah's puppet show


An Outbreak of Santas

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By hfwilke. Filed in Emma, Sarah, Susan.
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I’m not sure if you have been paying attention, but I wanted to share a very strange thing we have noticed on the Northshore.  There has been an outbreak of Santas.  They are everywhere.  Susan and the girls have been doing there best to document this trend.

This first one was seen at Lakeview Regional Hospital.  The girls got some doughnuts, and had the chance to do some art projects.

The next Santa we saw was at the Kiwanis Club “Pancakes with Santa” breakfast.  It’s like they’re not even trying to hide the fact that Santa is goofing off in Mandeville instead of getting all the toys ready to deliver for Christmas.

Then we saw a third one this weekend.  We went to the Reindeer Romp at Anadelle’s Plantation in Covington.  The food was delicious.  They had Zoo2U bring their portable petting zoo, which was great fun for the kids.  They even had two of Santa’s reindeer.    I had no idea the reindeer spent summers in the South.  I really thought they would do their off season workouts where it was a little cooler.

Before we went out to play, we sat and had some lunch.  Sarah has started to ham it up for the camera a little.  Kind of fun to see at such a young age.

Emma, Sarah and part of Grandma.

Look out there!

Oh, it’s Emma and Grandpa…

When we finally got outside, Emma spent a good portion of the time at the ring toss.  At this point I think she had almost all of the rings.

Grandpa gave it a shot as well.

After much coaxing I finally got Emma to move on to the petting zoo.  She got to hold a couple of chickens.

This one is called a silkie chicken.

Sarah got to hold a chicken too.

And give it a hug.

Sarah patting the alligator.

The tortoise didn’t seem to mind.

Susan helped Emma get a turn to hold the bunny.

And Sarah got to pat it.

Unbeknownst to the rest of us, Emma decided she was finished with the animals, and decided she was going to go see Santa.  Obviously not the same child that didn’t want to sit in Santa’s lap last year.  I think that’s Santa, anyway.  It’s hard to see if there is anybody under the beard and furry hat.  Maybe he’s in disguise.

Sarah was a tad unsure about him though.  She sat with Susan patently, but she was not excited about the stranger sitting next to her.

After taking pictures with Santa we went to visit his reindeer.  They had last years antlers for the kids to take pictures with.

Santa was also nice enough to let us take some family pictures in his sleigh.

Sarah liked the giant pine cone.