This past week we went to Kansas City to celebrate Drew's high school graduation and Graydon's 6th birthday. We flew in on Friday, and Amanda picked us up super early from the airport. Grandma Genie and Drew met us at McAlister's Deli for lunch, and we got our visit off to the right start with some yummy food and sweet tea.
On Saturday, we had a big day planned. Drew's graduation party would be in the early afternoon followed by the Herrick family reunion. It was all back to back at the Rudolph's house, and they had it decorated nicely and also had a bounce house for the kids.
There were lots of guests, and Karen had the Anders side get together for some group photos.
Afterwards, we took some pics of Andrea with her Mom and sisters, and a few family shots.
The kids loved the bounce house out back. It was pretty hot, but it was super big with a nice slide.
Paige made fast friends with the Rudolph's cousin Janalee.
In the late afternoon, the Graduation party slowly turned in to the Herrick Reunion as the guests changed.
We snapped a few group pictures outside with the Herrick group.
The party went pretty late, and it was fun to see Uncle Nate playing with all his nieces and nephews from both sides of the family. I crowned him the "Fun Uncle", or "Funcle" for short.
On Sunday, we all got dressed up for Drew's graduation ceremony. We drove downtown and thankfully the Rudolphs had saved us some great seats near the front of the auditorium.
The ceremony wasn't too long considering how many students attended, however it was a little disappointing that the acoustics were awful where we were seated. I guess the students could hear ok, but we had such terrible echoing that I couldn't understand almost anything.
We all cheered for Drew and it was really neat that he and another senior classmate led the entire assembly in the Blue Springs school song to close out the ceremony.
We jumped up on stage after the ceremony to get some pics with our newest high school grad.
On Monday, Memorial Day, we went to Amanda's house to celebrate Graydon's 6th birthday.
After the party we went back to Grandma's to play outside and for dinner.
On Tuesday, we went to Moments and Memories for family photos. We haven't seen how they turned out yet, but she always does such a great job, we're sure there will be some nice ones.
Nate had to work hard to get the kids to laugh.
On Wednesday evening, we all went to the Royals game. They played the Twins and won the game 11-8. It was a perfect night to see baseball, and the kids enjoyed the yummy food and snacks.
Friday, some of the family went to Summit Waves water park for Graydon's actual birthday. It was a pretty fun time for everyone except for the traumatic moment when Graydon got stuck in the waterslide. Paige came down, then Connor, and then after a long pause everyone could hear Graydon screaming for help. The slide was a dark enclosed tube and due to his raft was being a little overinflated, coupled with his small size, it got stuck in the slide. It took the staff quite a while to get the water shut off, and eventually Graydon was able to scoot his way out of the slide. Everyone was a bit shaken up by it, but enjoyed the rest of the day.
On Friday morning, I went with Connor, Nate, and Drew to play some tennis. We played about and hour and a half, with Connor and Drew playing a set of singles, Nate and I playing a set of singles, and then some doubles with the dads against the kids.
There were a lot of other things that we did throughout the week, but those were the main points. I've got a few random pics from the week that I also wanted to drop in to the blog below.
The kids liked seeing pics of Andrea's childhood puppy dog, Socks.
On Saturday, June 2nd, we flew home early in the morning. The flights to KC and back were so easy this time around. It's amazing how much simpler it is to travel with kids that are 11 and 8. It was nice to see everyone and to spend some great quality time with family. I was still able to work throughout the week, so didn't have to miss any work days, which was convenient as well. Everyone enjoyed that the Anders, Gobles, and Rudolphs live so close together. We would often walk between the houses, meet at the pool, or get together more easily than ever before. Grandma's house has come together so well since she moved in last year. Her kitchen is looking great, she has a nice patio outside, she's setup the downstairs as a guest space that is perfect for us, and it's so comfortable. We are so happy that everyone was healthy and the entire visit went so well. We are proud of Drew for graduating, loved seeing Graydon on his birthday, and it was awesome that we got to share the experience with everyone.