Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Mimi's fall visit

Minnesota Fall

Minnesota Fall colors

Aiden finished FIRST in the one mile race at the Riebe Run

Here he is coming in to the finish line

Finn also completed the one mile race

Lunch with Mimi
Liam and Jack at the trampoline park

Sky Zone jumping with the boys

Mimi and Finn

We enjoyed a very nice visit with Mimi.  She arrived last week and spent the weekend with us.  She was able to see Finn's school and meet his teacher, Ms Kristi.  The boys all tried on their Halloween costumes for Mimi and she was able to see them in person.  I will keep our theme a surprise for now!  

On Saturday morning, we were up and dressed early for a 5K race in memory of John's good friend, Greg, who passed away suddenly as the result of a heart issue.  Liam and I ran the race together while John and Luke ran together.  Luke improved his previous 5K time by several minutes and ran really well.  Mimi hung out with Finn and Aiden while they watched all of us run the race.  We also made it to Aiden's first basketball game with his 2nd grade team.  He has a good little team this year and John is coaching again along with a good friend of ours.  

On Sunday, Mimi took the boys to one of their favorite places to play, Skyzone indoor trampoline park.  Our good friend Kirsten and her boys met us there and we jumped for two hours.  The boys were sweaty and tired afterwards.  We enjoyed Mimi's visit and enjoyed introducing her to a few of our friends and activities.  It was a beautiful fall weekend with gorgeous fall colors and crisp temperatures.  

Monday, October 9, 2017

Annual Iowa Football Game and Finn's Weekend

Go Hawks Go!!

Grandpa Carrithers with the boys at the game.  Thankfully, the rain held off!

Exciting atmosphere!

Ms. McWilliams and the boys (see cool story below).  The older boy in the background is a former student of Ms McWilliams who is now a freshman in college at Iowa.  He went to the same elementary school where the big boys attend and came to say hello to his second grade teacher!

The boys and Ms McWilliams

Animated Aiden with Grandpa

Getting ready to head into the game
Finn's souvenir that the boys brought home for him

Enjoying ice cream while his brothers were gone!

Fall festival at the park

McDonald's (he got enough ketchup for his brothers even though they were not there!)
John and the three older boys made their annual trek to Iowa for a football game over the weekend.  It was homecoming weekend in Iowa and the Hawks played Illinois.  The boys love doing this trip with John and getting to see Tom and Charlene along with Grandma and Grandpa Carrithers.  It is a quick weekend, but lots of fun.  The Hawks managed to pull off a win and the weather stayed nice so it made the trip even more enjoyable.  Special thanks to Tom and Charlene for hosting everyone and to Grandma and Grandpa Carrithers for making the trip.

Ironically, Aiden's second grade teacher (Ms McWilliams) was also at the Iowa game.  She and Aiden figured out they were going to be at the same game over the weekend so she gave us her cell phone number and the boys met up with her after the game.  Ms McWilliams also taught both Luke and Liam in second grade.  She told me at orientation that in her 20+ years of teaching, she has only had one other family where she taught all FOUR kids.  I told her that if she can hold off retirement for another 3-4 years, then maybe we can be the the second family!  She is a wonderful teacher and an amazing person.  We are so blessed to have all three older boys in her class.

Meanwhile, although Finn and I missed being in Iowa for the football game and all the fun, we enjoyed a very low key weekend at home.  Most of Finn's day to day involves taking his brothers to and from hockey, basketball, sleepovers, school events, playdates, etc...So, for one weekend, we did only things for Finn and he thought it was pretty awesome.  We went to McDonalds, one of his favorite pizza places, had ice cream, visited the library for new books, went to a park and fall festival,  played with his friends in the neighborhood, and we didn't have to worry about any schedules.  We both enjoyed the weekend off!  

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The 5K and Our Vacation

Liam and his Buddy Adam with a 2nd and 3rd place finish in the 5K

Luke finished 7th in his age group

Aiden and his buddy Mark finished in 1st and 2nd place

Aiden and his buddies with their 1st, 2nd and 3rd place medals
John and I stopped in Duluth for lunch on our way to Lake Superior.  My maiden name and Finn's middle name is "Morse"

The rocky coastline along Lake Superior

Gorgeous views

We found a few deer along the trail, but thankfully nothing bigger or more dangerous

Doing a little hiking and enjoying the scenery


Along the shores of Grand Marias

Lighthouse in Duluth

Gearing up for several miles of hiking on the Superior trail

Fall colors

The boys completed a 5K race over the weekend and they improved their times a bit.  Liam is still by far the fastest in our house!  He and his buddy, Adam, ran the entire race together and finished in approximately 23:00.  Aiden ran with Adam's younger brother and one of his buddies and finished in 29:00.  John and I paced the boys a bit as we tried to keep up with them!  

John and I were so very fortunate to take a quick weekend trip for our 15th anniversary.  We decided to keep things simple and drive the short distance up north to Lake Superior.  We stayed in a townhouse at a resort called BlueFin Bay and the lake was only a few feet away from our back door.  The shoreline along Lake Superior is rough and rocky, but very pretty.  The town we stayed in was Lutsen, MN and we traveled to Grand Marais for a few meals and some shopping.  We enjoyed some unseasonably warm weather and warm sunny days.

The boys had a wonderful time with Aunt Jenny while we were gone and I am honestly not sure they missed us too much.  They kept busy with hockey practice, a hockey game, and other fun activities and they loved having Aunt Jenny here.  John and I really enjoyed the peace and quiet and the chance to talk.    Many thanks to Jennifer for giving us the chance to get away for a few days, it was such a nice break.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Finn's field trip

Finn is so excited about his new bright blue shoes from Mimi and because he was going on a field trip to the Apple Orchard with his preschool class.

Playing in the yard on a very warm September day with our neighbor, Kathleen.

Finn, Luke, and Liam handing out programs at church over the summer

Aiden handing out programs at church.
These two pictures were recently taken by the photographer at our church.  The pictures were posted on the church website and Facebook page with the caption, "One hour per month can instill a desire for service that lasts a lifetime. There are many opportunities to volunteer at church, no matter what your age."

We are beginning to settle into our school routine a bit.  Finn had his first field trip at preschool and he was able to ride on a school bus to the apple orchard so he was very excited.  He had an awesome time sampling different types of apples, drinking apple juice, and having an apple donut.  He hasn't quit talking about it. 

We have had a few days here and there of cooler temps in the 50's, but it has been mostly warm and we have enjoyed more time outside to burn off energy after school.  

Enjoy the week!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Finn's first day of school

Finn has on some Elvis glasses at his godparents house over the weekend

First Day of School for Finn!  September 6, 2017

Ready for School!

So excited!

Silliness break in between pictures

Heading to preschool at Step by Step Montessori

Finn really wants to ride the bus with his brothers
Finn has been waiting and waiting for his turn to start school.  He is always very excited for his brothers to begin school, but this changes when he realizes how much they will be gone during the day.  He loves to see them when they get home and frequently walks with them to the bus stop.

Last Wednesday, September 6th was a big day for Finn as he started his own school.  He has been asking all summer long when his first day would be.  He was ready to go bright and early with his clothes on before we even ate breakfast.  He has been telling people all summer about his teacher at school named "Ms Kristi."  Ms Kristi is a very special part of our lives as she is the same teacher who taught Luke, Liam, and Aiden in preschool and kindergarten at Step by Step Montessori.

Fast forward to week #2 of school and Finn is still loving it.  He has been learning to write his name and his other letters along with his first day of Spanish today.  He loves music and art and playing outside.  His next request is to have lunch at school sometime since I normally pick him up right before they eat lunch.  We will figure out a way to make that happen this year as it seems very important to Finn.  We are so happy for you, Finn!  

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Hockey tournament, Twins game, and the start of School

Luke's team heading out on the ice for the championship game

Luke (left) giving high fives to players as they come out on ice

Very proud of a second place win overall

2017 EuroAmerican '08 Red Team

Getting ready for the Twins game

Dad and the boys

Joe Mauer signing Luke's shirt!
View from their seats at the Twins game

Golf with Daddy on his birthday

First day of 2nd and 4th grades

Aiden's first day of 2nd grade

Luke and Liam first day of 4th grade

The bus stop gang!

Loading the bus for school
Just a warning....I didn't get a chance to post last week so this week has a lot of pictures!

Luke had his final EuroAmerican hockey tournament two weeks ago.  His Red team ended up winning second place and did a great job playing some very talented teams.  Luke grew a lot in his skating over the summer and gained a lot of confidence in each game he played.  He scored twice in the final tournament which was quite exciting for all of us to see.

John celebrated his birthday on September 4th and we enjoyed a day at home with the boys.  We ended up playing a game of golf for the first time with all four boys.  Finn didn't actually play, but he spent some time washing his golf balls and putting sand in the divots.  Thanks to some very kind friends, John and I enjoyed dinner out without any of the boys!  It has been a long time since we have had such a peaceful dinner and it was very fun to have uninterrupted conversation for a couple hours.

John recently won a silent auction prize for a Twins experience day.  John and the three older boys were able to attend the Twins vs. Royals evening game on Saturday, September 2.  The Twins played the Kansas City Royals and ended up winning by 17-0 which was the most lopsided win in Twins history.  The boys were able to do a behind the scenes tour of the stadium, walk out on the field, and they got autographs from several Twins players including Joe Mauer.  They had dinner in a pretty cool restaurant overlooking the field.  It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.

School began today, September 5th, 2017.  The boys are excited for a new and fun year.  Aiden is in 2nd grade and his teacher is Ms. McWilliams, who is the same second grade teacher that Luke and Liam had and probably one of the best teachers in their school.  Aiden is so excited for the upcoming school year.

Luke and Liam are in 4th grade and their teacher is Ms. Monson.  I don't know her well, but our initial impressions are good and the boys were very complimentary of her.  They have several good friends in their class which definitely increases their excitement level for the upcoming year.