Monday, April 24, 2017

Fun times

Finn and his favorite 5th grader, Erik.  We attended Erik's first communion service at church over the weekend.  
Finn and the Basswood Bulldog at the school carnival

Finn and his buddy Max on a beautiful sunny day

Aiden went on a field trip to the Old Cahill school and learned about school, manners, and life in the pioneer days

He wasn't too crazy about the clothing, but enjoyed the trip!

Mimi treated us to dinner at our favorite taco place

Liam and his buddy Kaden at the library on Twins Day (the boys wore their hockey jerseys)

The ice rink is gone for the summer!  All of the boards are packed away on that trailer and are now stored at a facility nearby.
Twins day at school and the school carnival

We have enjoyed some fun events lately including the school carnival.  Luke, Liam, and Aiden's school has a spring carnival fundraiser each year and boys love it.  Luke and Liam went out on their own this year and each walked around with various friends.  Aiden went around with a buddy and his dad while Finn found his favorite 5th grader, Erik.  This year I helped with the ring toss which ended up being a super busy job.

The hockey rink is officially gone for the season.  John packed up the boards over the weekend and the boys and I helped him load them all on the trailer so he could haul it off to storage.  We will pull them back out in late November, most likely.  Good to have the backyard back again!

We have had a few days of gorgeous sunshine mixed in with lots of days with rain.  We are excited to have baseball starting this week if the rain will subside a bit.  Luke, Liam, and Aiden are all playing baseball with several buddies from school.  It should be a fun season of baseball for us!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Easter 2017

Finn loved hunting for Easter Eggs

He practiced hiding the eggs and hunting for the eggs

Take one...not the best
And Take two...We may try again on another Sunday with the same clothing!
New Easter Egg dying method

Luke is getting ready to dye some eggs

It was fun!

And quite messy....

Aiden has on his gloves to protect from his egg allergy.   We all wore glove this year so our hands won't be pink and purple even though Finn still had pink and purple arms!

Our eggs

Happy Easter!!

Checking out our Easter baskets

We had a very nice Easter in Minnesota.  While Spring in MN is not my favorite time of year, we were fortunate to have a couple of sunny days.  Its still not quite spring here, but the grass is very slowly starting to turn green and grow.  Hopefully by May, we will have some consistently warmer weather and less rain.

The boys were very excited to hunt Easter eggs this year and we enjoyed a nice Easter morning breakfast followed by church and a day outside with friends playing baseball and then roasting s'mores.  I found a method to dye eggs on Pinterest that used shaving cream and food coloring.  From the pictures, it appeared to work much better than the traditional vinegar and dye methods we have tried in the past.  It was also a bit more interactive and fun so we tried it.  The boys LOVED the shaving cream idea and could have played with that for hours.  The method itself, was pretty messy and I wouldn't say our eggs turned out anywhere near as nice as the ones on Pinterest.  I don't typically do Pinterest things because they never quite turn out as nice, but I guess the bonus is that the boys enjoyed it.  

Monday, April 10, 2017

Highlights from our Week

Sorting his cereal at breakfast!
Palm Sunday 2017.  Finn is on the front row in a yellow and navy stripe shirt.
Aiden has stood next to the same cute red headed girl every year.  Her name is Josie and she lived in our old neighborhood.
Finn at his buddy Cole's 5th (red shirt, #13) birthday!  We have mentioned before that Finn is quite tall for his age.  This is a picture of  Finn with several boys who are 5 years old and heading to kindergarten next year!

Aiden caught a fish with his best friend, Anders, and his Dad

We were a bit sad to start back to school this week after a fun Spring Break, but we are beginning to get back into the routine.  Luke, Liam, and Aiden are playing on some fun spring hockey teams and we had our first games.  The games are full ice with penalties, referees, and they keep score.  They are also playing with several of their best friends because a couple of parents put the teams together.

We had some gorgeous weather over the weekend and enjoyed lost of time outdoors.  Aiden was invited to go fishing with his buddy and our neighbor, Anders.  Finn enjoyed a birthday party for a buddy, Cole.  He met Cole at the hockey rink because he has an older brother that was on a team with Luke and Liam so Finn and Cole spent many hours over the winter running around the rink.  And lastly, we celebrated Palm Sunday at church and all four boys sang in the church service.

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Spring Break 2017

Finn at the baseball game

Aunt Ann and the boys getting ready for the game

Singing the national anthem

Serious conversations with Aunt Ann and Aiden

Running the bases with the boys after the game

This guy, Sean, is on Zach's team and he's from Minnesota!  Another obvious fact about him...he's 6 foot 11 inches tall!!  

Getting Cousin Zach to give some autographs

The boys with another team mate, Evan White

Driving to the game!

Tailgating before the game

Cousin Seth with the boys

Dinner after the game

Group picture with Zach after the game

Mall of America with our buddies

Finn riding the cars

Checking out dinosaurs at the Science Museum

News broadcasters, Liam and friend Adam

Lots of boys in the elevator (Luke is on the far left, but not in the picture)
We had a wonderful Spring Break even though Mom might need a break after the "break."  We stayed busy while school was out with lots of fun things around the Twin Cities area followed by a short trip to see our cousin Zach play baseball.

On Monday, we took a trip to the Mall of America with our best friends, Jack and Charlie, along with a good friend of mine and her two boys.  We were at the Mall of America amusement park from around 1:00 pm until 7:30 pm.  It was a lot of fun and a bit crazy trying to keep up with 8 boys!!

On Tuesday, we took a trip to the Science Museum and spent the day learning about dinosaurs, weather, the physics behind sports, and lots of other good things.  We went with another group of friends and had 8 boys again to keep up with.  This was Finn's first trip to the Science Museum and he loved it.

On Wednesday, we went swimming with several more friends at the community center indoor pool.  The waterslide, climbing wall, and rope swing were open so the boys burned off a lot of energy during our several hours at the pool.

On Thursday, we rested a bit and packed for our big trip on Friday.  We left at 6:00 am Friday morning and drove all the way to Cincinnati, Ohio and stayed with John's sister, Jennifer and family.  On Saturday morning, we drove to Lexington and enjoyed some tailgating with other UK families.  Jennifer's oldest son, Zach, is a left handed pitcher and a junior at the University of Kentucky and we were able to watch him pitch against Vanderbilt on Saturday afternoon.  Despite the cool and damp weather, we had a great time.  It was so fun to watch Zach and to visit with Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt Ann, Uncle Jason, cousin Seth, Uncle Russ, and ACE!

The boys loved watching the baseball game, cheering on Zach to a victory, and getting a few autographs from many of the UK players after the game.  Although the ride home was long and tedious due to some weather and traffic issues, we all enjoyed the weekend and only wished it could have lasted a bit longer.  

Monday, March 27, 2017

Happy Spring Break!!

New University of Michigan birthday shirts from Aunt Ann and Family.  Ann's oldest, Jacob, is a freshman at Univ. of Michigan.  And yes, they all have long hair.  We have gotten a trim since this picture was taken.

Silly picture

Finn and his buddy, Max, with their Leprechauns 

Finn and Max

Aiden and his hockey buddy, Callen, at their end of year hockey party
We are officially on SPRING BREAK!  We don't have any big plans, but I think we are all very excited about a break from the normal routines.  We have some fun things planned and will post some updates after our fun week.  We are excited about no homework, no making lunches for school, no getting up super early for school, and no sports practices after school.  Should be a fun week with less schedules to worry about.  It is still amazing to me how many people in our area travel over Spring Break.  I think we may be some of the only neighbors here.  We have friends in Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean, Florida, and New York just to name a few.... More to come after our fun week.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The end of Mite Hockey for Luke and Liam

Aiden's first day as a Mite Two Badger (2016-17)

Luke in goal for the final game (2016-17)

Goalie clinic this season with Luke and Aiden

First day of practice as Blackhawks for the 2016-17 season

First day of practice in their first year of hockey as Mite Two Gophers (2014-15)

Hockey in the basement (Winter 2014)

SuperMite Blackhawks (2016-17) 

Last Saturday practice as a Mite player

Moving on to Squirts (holding a bottle of Squirt)

Luke and Liam with their coaches for this season

Aiden's team party
Aiden as Mite One Tiger (2015-16)

Last SuperMite Two game

SuperMite One Penguins (2015-16)

Penguins (2015-16)

Luke's first time in goal (2014)

Last game as a SuperMite

Gritty Grinder awards (2014)

Aiden and his Badger Buddies (2016-17)

Luke as goalie this year with his biggest fan, Finn

We were late to the game of hockey (by Minnesota standards), but I am not sure what winter would look like now without hockey.  The boys have grown to love the sport and most of our weekends revolve around games, practices, and skating on John's backyard rink, etc...Its not an easy sport manage, but I know we wouldn't change anything.  We have met some amazing friends and families and we have grown to love our time at the rink with everyone.  The boys are always sad to see the season end.

Over the weekend, Luke and Liam finished up their final season of MITE hockey.  They started in first grade as Mite 2 Gophers then became SuperMite Penguins and finally SuperMite Two Blackhawks.  That's would have been a bunch of foreign terms to me a few years ago, but now I know the progression in Mite hockey is amazing.  They have grown and learned so much in three years.  

Next year will come with an entirely new set of challenges for Luke and Liam as they must try out to make a team.  They will be graded and placed on a team with kids who have similar talents and abilities.  Considering they have strengths in totally different areas, we have no guarantee they will be on the same team or even at the same level.  

This was also the final year that John will play a crucial role in their development in hockey as an assistant coach.  Of course, he will always coach them from the stands and at home in the backyard or in the basement hitting pucks, but he will no longer be an assistant coach for them.  Considering John learned to skate with the boys, he is not quite cut out to coach in Minnesota where almost everyone played hockey at some level (high school, college, and even some professional).  He has learned a tremendous amount in three years and is well known for his enthusiasm and encouraging words to the kids.  

We are more than excited for Luke and Liam as they open a new chapter next year for hockey...Squirt level!  

Aiden will continue in the MITE level hockey next year.  He moves up to a SuperMite, but things will be much the same and John will continue to be an assistant coach for him.  He had an awesome season this year as a Badger and last year as a Tiger.  He began his hockey career in kindergarten (a year earlier than his brothers).  He is known for being tough, hard working, aggressive, and always up for a celebration after he scores a goal.  Always.....

The pictures are a few from this season and previous seasons.  They are not in order so follow along in the captions!