June 26, 2023

Noah's Brunch (and One Chip Challenge!)

Yesterday was the brunch at my parents' house to celebrate Noah's graduation. We only invited close family (per his request) and it ended up being the perfect size. Noah really enjoyed himself and he's glad he decided to let my mom have a small party for him.

I was so surprised when I got there and walked in--Luke and Riley were there! I hadn't seen them since March, when they moved to Minnesota. I was SO happy to see them, and I was glad that they weren't shy with me (I don't know why I would expect that after only a few months, but I just don't want them to forget about me!).

I'd made a few poster boards of photos of Noah... LOTS of photos.

My mom bought some little blocks that you put a photo in (kindergarten through grade 12). I used the pictures that I'd taken on the first day of school every year. (Which is kind of interesting to think that almost ALL OF THEM are on my blog! I started Runs for Cookies when Noah was only seven years old and Eli was six.)

Luke was curious about what I was doing, when setting them up, so I asked if he wanted to help me. He totally took over and put them all in order (I wrote the grade on the back of each one, because even *I* couldn't remember just by looking at them.) Luke seems so grown up, and he loved to help set up the pictures.

The picture of Noah in the yellow shirt on the bottom on the table was from preschool! It makes my heart melt. (Actually, about 90% of the photos did.)

Brian (my older brother), being Brian, bought Noah a "one chip challenge"--if you've never heard of it, it's literally ONE potato chip that comes in a box that looks like a coffin:

It's EXTREMELY hot and it's considered a "challenge" because it's not for the faint of heart (figuratively and literally). Noah wanted to split it three ways with Eli and my dad. I was kind of worried about my dad doing it, considering his health issues, but my dad has always LOVED hot peppers and I've never seen him eat one that even fazed him.

So, Eli got some milk and Noah got orange juice (he doesn't drink milk) ready to drink before they started. My dad wasn't worried about all the remedies to take away the heat, but he swears by a can of pork and beans (BAHAHAHA).

Anyway, I took a video, but it's pretty long, so I'll just post a couple of pictures.

Noah's explaining the challenge for the video, and they each have their chip ready to eat. The chips are a deep brown/purple color, and the boys later said the flavor itself was terrible.

Down the hatch it goes!

I burst out laughing here because my dad actually licked his fingers after eating it, hahaha.

Honestly, things didn't get *really* bad until about 5-10 minutes after they ate them (so the video isn't super exciting, because I stopped it at 2:30 minutes). Eli had it especially rough--he was sweating pretty badly after about two minutes and started chugging milk. Noah kept drinking orange juice--more and more and more--saying that if he just keeps drinking, he'll cool off. He finished off the carton of OJ.

Meanwhile, my dad continued to eat his brunch, hahaha...

Noah and Eli going for their drinks. Noah even tried the milk because his mouth was so hot, but he couldn't drink it (it grosses him out). Eli gulped his down and then gulped down Noah's other glass.

Next thing I knew, he was in the kitchen chugging milk from the gallon container--which he finished.

I am willing to do a LOT of things just for a challenge, but this one doesn't even appeal to me in the slightest. Having your eyes pouring tears and snot running down your face while you chug a drink only to have a bad stomachache later just doesn't sound fun. It was a little entertaining to watch them do it, though! The guys thought it was "fun".

Remember when I bought that rock/gem collection thing for Luke at a garage sale? (Maybe I didn't post about it, I can't remember.) Anyway, I grabbed it from the car to bring to him and when I got in the house, I dropped it. They went all over the place! I had NO IDEA which one belonged where. I googled and found this picture below--but I couldn't identify them. Maybe Luke will ;)

I gave Riley the Mr. Potato Head stuff that I'd gotten for her (at a garage sale as well) and we played with that for a while--she was so excited that you can make a cat, a dog, and a rabbit with little potato heads.

And for an even funner surprise, guess who else showed up? My other niece and nephew, Shelby and Hunter! I had no idea they were coming, either. Riley and Shelby are about a year and a half apart in age, and they'd never met before (Shelby and Hunter--Jerry's sister's kids--live a lot farther away, which is why we don't see them much). Riley and Shelby got along so well--it was adorable.

When I first saw Shelby, I exclaimed, "Shelby! I'm so excited you're here!" and she said, "It's ELSA." (She was wearing an Elsa dress, so naturally, I had to call her Elsa, haha). The girls played together like they'd been best friends for decades.

At one point, Riley told Shelby to cover her eyes (I don't know what they were playing) and Riley had to "lead" Shelby around the house. I was cracking up! Imagine letting a four-year old walk you around MANY obstacles while your eyes are covered. Shelby walked into several pieces of furniture, but just kept going because Riley told her to!

Luke and Riley brought out some dessert on the back deck, and when I saw the three kids sitting together, I wanted to get a picture. (I'm not sure where Hunter was, but he didn't want anything to do with me! I don't know if it was just me, or maybe his age, but hopefully it's just a phase). Brian said we should definitely make a play date for the girls again because Luke and Riley will be in Michigan a lot this summer.

When I asked if I could take their picture, Riley smiled right away...

...then immediately said, "Wait!! Let me pretend like I'm taking a bite!" She seriously couldn't be any cuter.

Luke wanted to play a game with me, so he picked out Trouble. Of course, the girls wanted to play when they saw us, so I played Trouble with the three of them. Shelby couldn't quite understand the concept of the game, but it was cute to watch her push the button. For a three-year old, the button is hard to push! She used two hands and put all of her weight into it to get the die to pop. And then she kept insisting it was a 5--regardless of what number was on there, haha. 

I spent most of the time there playing with the kiddos, but I got to see a couple of aunts and uncles that I haven't seen in a long time. Jeanie and Shawn also came into town (along with their basset hounds)! I spent some time catching up with Shawn, which was nice, and finally got to talk to Jeanie one-on-one for a little while yesterday when she had to bring some laundry over (my mom's machine happened to stop working just before the spin cycle).

Jeanie asked if Joey wanted to go back home with her and Shawn--not permanently; just a vacation with his basset cousins like he did last summer. Jeanie and Shawn sold their house in Illinois and now they live permanently on their property in northern Michigan. (It's about as far west as you can get in the upper peninsula). Joey LOVES going up there (we've taken him when we've gone as a family; and last summer, Jeanie let him stay "on vacation" with her for a couple of months. Joey gets to play with his two "cousins" on two fenced-in acres. Dog heaven!

As much as we are going to miss Joey, we decided to let him go up north (again--not permanently! Just another vacation). Jerry, the kids, and I are going up there next month, so we'll either bring him home with us then, or Jeanie said he can stay longer if we/he wants. It's hard to let him go for so long, but I know he's already having a BLAST--Jeanie said that he was super calm the whole long ride in the car, slept the whole way, but as soon as they turned onto her road, he kept trying to jump into the front seat because he was so excited. I can picture the big smile on his face.

Jeanie sent me this picture, which made me laugh. He'd barely arrived and already, he got a bully stick (I don't buy them because they smell so bad!). Thankfully, that is what dog-aunts are for ;)


  1. Great photos! But that challenge - UGH!

  2. I could never let someone take my dog for more then a week when I'm out of the country on vacation! They make odor-free bully sticks https://a.co/d/5dWjzGt

  3. The kids are adorable. Poor Luke was out numbered. Glad to hear everyone had a great time. Joey will have a blast! It were ok do him goid to play with his cousins & out in n the country with room to run.


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