Christmas in STL – 12/24/2018

Christmas in St. Louis started the day before. We thought the kids would be surprised with a transformation, so we worked to paint and prepare the basement for them. They were not as surprised as we had hoped, but having a new space for them to hang out is good.

Painting the wall white is the first step of this transformation.

And its getting closer.

Surprise!

 

Enjoying presents from Santa!

With our warm new “fireplace”

Preparing dessert at Henry and Carols.

Carol is a perfect host and you can tell she enjoys it!

Mom and daughter.

3 generations of sons enjoying time together.

Kelly and Sonora enjoying electronics.

Some evil memory game. With all those brains, I chose to sit out so I wouldn’t feel dumb.

This was the perfect way to end our holiday season by seeing all (most, some of my siblings were not around) of our close family in a short amount of time.

Hogan Haake

Late Thanksgiving – 11/24/2018

Holidays are what you make of them. We were all busy, so we decided to have our family Thanksgiving late. We all met at Henry and Carol’s house. The plan was an evening to eat and hang out. Of course, its a tradition that we play board games.

I learned something interesting today. There is something called “Internet Points”. The idea of Internet Points is that a particular website that you may visit offers points or reputation for contributions that you make from the site. Some of the points are in form of praise for the actual contribution. Many have points that are given from other users of the same site that agree or disagree with your contribution. You can see a person’s points for a site and get a feel if they are a regular contributor and if the community values their contributions. These points can be hard to come by on some sites. But more importantly, they provide no actual value in a person’s regular life…

Why an I talking about Internet Points on a Thanksgiving post? Because I began to better understand them today. I wanted to play the games with the family, but Mark, Brian and Kelly’s youngest, wanted to play with me. I sat out while the others played games. During the games, scores were kept. As the scores were closer together, the competition got a bit heated at times. We’re family fighting over fake points for games.

It seems that the origin of points goes back way before the Internet for people to just find more value in their activities. Why play a game if you don’t know who the winner is and by how much.

Whether any of that makes sense or not, I got some real quality time with my nephew. I think I got the most points today 🙂

Hogan Haake

French Lick New Years – 12/31/2017

Before you get too excited, French Lick is a town in Indiana. We decided to go there for new years for a change. This is the 18th new years we’ve celebrated with the Niemeyers. The plan was to head out Saturday morning. Mason had a birthday party to go to, so we picked up Kelly and Maggie and the 6 of us went out.

After a pleasant drive, we got there and checked in. We had two nights booked, but we didn’t want to waste any time swimming at the indoor water park!

We spent the whole of the first day swimming and the evening playing games in the room together. Sunday morning early, Danelle woke up feeling very sick. She spent all morning and into the evening dealing with sickness that came on suddenly. It wasn’t until the evening that we saw the sign on the left door going into the water park that explained her illness.

Being out of the water park was what made her feel better. It was strange that she was the only one in our group that was affected by this.

During the second day,we took a mini tour of French lick, checking out the West Baden resort. Even having been there before, its still amazing to see the building!

After a few rounds of lazer tag and some pizza, we went back to the hotel for the grand new year’s party. They had supplies and a surprise.

Probably the best thing about this new year’s celebration was that we crossed to the Eastern Time Zone. This meant that us old people could celebrate at our 11pm and get to bed before midnight!

And if there was any doubt that the kids had a good time, here is part of the drive home!

Hogan Haake