Sunday, February 26, 2017

Growing Boys

Cool and Too Cool.  Another crazy picture of Finn and his buddy, Cole, at their brother's hockey game.


Aiden and several of his hockey buddies before their game.  Aiden is on the far right (the last one in red jersey)


Luke and Liam had their 9 year well visits this week and Aiden had his 7 year well visit a few weeks ago.  We are thankful that all three boys are growing fast and doing well.  For those of you interested in numbers and growth curves, keep reading.  If this type of information doesn't suite you, then you might want to skip all of the data below!

If you have seen Luke lately, you know that he is rapidly catching up to me and probably in another year (hopefully two or more), he is going to reach me in height and weight!  Luke was 57.99 inches and 93 lbs at his recent visit.  The crazy part about this is that he grew 3 inches from last year and gained 13 pounds!  The report from his pediatrician said he is a "strong, sturdy, big boy!"

Liam is small, but mighty.  He also had a big year of growing even though it is hard to see when compared to Luke.  He grew 3 inches as well and gained a total of 10 pounds.  Liam is currently 51 inches and 59 pounds.

Aiden follows a similar growth pattern as Luke although he isn't nearly as tall as Luke.  At his seven year well-visit, Aiden was 63 lbs (heavier than Liam) and 49 inches.  At age seven, Luke was already two inches taller and 4 pounds heavier than Aiden at the same age.  And this is probably why Liam always looks so small when compared to Luke.  He is actually pretty average in height, but he is dwarfed by Luke who is a head taller than any kid his age.

It will surely be interesting to see what happens with Finn.  To date, he is measuring taller than Luke at the same age.  He is already a head taller than most of his peers.  In the future as the boys all get bigger, I think it might be best if people could just send us gift cards to use towards our food bill!!  I feel like they already eat a lot and they are not even teenagers.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

President's Day Weekend

Finn and his buddy, Cole, entertaining themselves at Luke and Liam's team hockey party

Finn is serving cheese for the tacos at his big brother's party

Finn and Cole serving taco toppings

An absolutely beautiful day at the park with Jack, Charlie, and Andy.  Yes, the lakes are still a bit frozen as you can see in background.

Another gorgeous day with neighborhood friends playing basketball

Luke and Liam's hockey party.  Shockingly, they were able to keep this ice in good shape at a nearby community center.  It has a refrigeration system, but I still don't know how it was in such good shape for skating.

That's John dragging Finn on the ice.

Watching the lego Batman movie with our best friends, Jack and Charlie as well as two other classmates.  Sadly, Aiden had to miss the movie because he, Finn, and Dad went to Aiden's hockey game.

Buffalo Wild Wings after the movie
We had a fun long weekend over President's Day.  We were out of school for both Friday and Monday so it felt like a bit of a vacation.  While we still had our regular hockey schedule over the weekend, we enjoyed some down time as well.  Friday was absolutely perfect outside and we enjoyed playing at the park.  Minnesota set a new record high temperature over the weekend when it got up to 60 degrees in February!

We celebrated Jack and Charlie's 9th birthday with a movie, dinner, and a sleepover at their house.  This was the first sleepover that Luke and Liam have done (kind of).  They slept over at Kirsten's out of necessity the night before we closed on our previous house because we had no beds, no furniture, etc...Kirsten kept all three big boys for us while we signed papers and prepared to move to our present house (that was nearly two years ago).  All of the boys had a fantastic time together and went to bed super early the next day, but I am sure we will do it again sometime soon.

Have a great week!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Spring?

Dryland hockey practice.  Liam is super serious.

Luke has quite a funny personality



Team Canada in red plus our buddy Jack in yellow at the fun Olympics practice



Go Team Canada (Liam's team)
Luke was practicing so hard, he broke his stick!

If we can't skate on the ice, we just move to the driveway.  Finn really loves his little roller skates.  He wants a pair like his brothers (which are roller blades).

Liam practicing
In just a week, the weather in Minnesota has really changed.  It feels quite spring-like which is very unusual for February.  The snow is melting and nearly non existent.  Sadly, we are not sure the backyard ice rink will recover from these warm temps.  The outdoor rinks at the local parks closed today so that's a bit of a sign that we are moving on.  It has been nice to break out the outdoor toys and spend a bit of time in the cold (but not bitter cold) sunshine.  Over the weekend, the boys moved from the backyard rink to the driveway to play hockey so they are not missing out by any means.  I have lived here long enough to know that it generally warms up for a few days or even a week, but we are not finished with winter yet.  It is not unusual to have snow in May so I guess time will tell, but the warm weather has been nice.  

Monday, February 6, 2017

Our Weekend

Backyard skating with neighbors.  Luke is trying out his new goalie gear and goalie skates!

Finn is "helping" Daddy with the sink

This happened over the weekend.  More below...Luke is holding the faucet in place, John is installing the lines, and Finn is talking non stop.

Skating and bonfire
We had a pretty average weekend.  The weather has been a bit colder of late so the boys have enjoyed as much skating as possible.  There are a few neighbors that frequently walk over to join the boys.  Luke has been trying out his new goalie equipment.  We purchased some second hand goalie pads for him around Christmas because he needed a size that was six inches larger than what the association provides for kids his age.  He also received his own goalie stick as a Christmas gift.  Most recently, John found some second hand goalie skates for Luke to begin practicing with.  Although I have minimal experience with skating in general, apparently skating in goalie skates vs. regular hockey skates is quite different.  It has been an adjustment for Luke, but he seems to be getting the hang of it.   The blade on the goalie skates is wider and it fits his pads better and is easier to slide side to side and stand for longer periods of time.

Our kitchen faucet started leaking over the weekend.  Thankfully, we noticed the water quickly before it caused a lot of damage.  John went the following day to purchase a new faucet and installed it within a very short period of time.  It was relatively seamless, which doesn't always happen with home repair projects.  Finn was so excited to help John and he spent an hour under the sink with his tools "pretending" to repair the sink.  Thanks to John, we have a brand new and very much improved faucet!


Monday, January 30, 2017

Hockey, Hockey, and More Hockey....

Luke and Liam at Mariucci Arena, Home of the Men's Golden Gopher Hockey team

Liam waiting to get on the ice

Finn and Aiden watching the game

The Team before the game

Center Ice before the game



Luke was really excited to play goalie



A trip to the WILD game

Fun time at the game

Sitting with Friends at the WILD game

MN WILD vs. St. Louis Blues
Finn and Daddy on our backyard ice 

All SuperMite teams from House League played each other over the weekend.  They divided the four teams into six teams and had three scrimmages going on the ice.  Lots of fun to watch!


Due to some very unusual warmer temps in the 30's, we took a break from skating last week on the backyard rink.  John finally has the rink back up and running after a few warm days of melting.  Finn has been asking to go out and skate so I am glad we have a bit longer.

Luke, Liam, and Aiden received tickets to an NHL WILD hockey game for Christmas.  The game was against the St. Louis Blues and the WILD won 5 to 1.  It was super fun for the boys (and John).  This was Aiden's first trip to the Excel center for an NHL game and Luke and Liam's second trip.  Very generous gift from Santa this year!

Luke and Liam are playing on a winter league for hockey in addition to their regular house league hockey.  We initially turned down the opportunity, but later decided to give it a try.  It has given the boys a chance to have several full ice games.  In their house league, they only skate cross ice with a few full ice games and the rest of the season is spent doing lots of practicing on stick handling skills, skating frontwards and backwards, skating around cones, etc...This league has been a nice break from all the practice and a fun way to learn and play various positions on the ice.  Their games are at either Mariucci or Ridder arenas which is where the men's and women's gopher teams play as well.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Winter Birthday Celebration

Heading out to sled!!

Roasting s'mores

Lots of boys by the fire


Kirsten and lots of boys!

Adam with his hot chocolate

Burning energy on the hill

Left to right: Dylan, Andy, Aiden, Jack B, and Jack W. (sitting)


Aiden and his sled


Enjoying some hot chocolate

Lots of boys warming up

Our lonely girl...Ms. Vanessa who is quite spunky and loves to hang out with the boys

Time for skating


Aiden and Luke

Aiden and Luke

Cake cutting time
On Martin Luther King holiday, we had a celebration for Luke, Liam, and Aiden's birthday.  We went back and forth this year trying to decide what we should do and when we would do it.  We opted to do one big party with all three boys so I checked into several local places that offer packages for birthday parties, but they were quite expensive and its hard to accommodate a large group.  I came up with the idea of doing a sledding and skating party because it seems like we need to make the most of the awesome area we have for doing this type of activity (and because its something the boys LOVE).

I found a community room at a local park about 5 minutes from our house that was very economical and more than adequate in size.  We rented the room which had an outdoor bonfire pit, giant sledding hill, and outdoor ice rink for us to use.  The boys, thankfully, loved the idea and we began putting together plans to serve hot chocolate, roast s'mores, sled, and ice skate.  They were thankfully thrilled and I was thrilled that we could invite everyone we wanted to include and not be limited as much on numbers.  I **might** have gone a bit overboard since we ended up with 28 friends of Luke, Liam, and Aiden.  We had almost 100% attendance with 18 friends of Luke and Liam and 10 friends of Aiden.  We had several siblings attend the party that are friends with all three boys.

I was even more fortunate to have three friends who offered to help as well as a couple parents who stuck around to assist so they made our gigantic number of boys a bit more manageable.  Many thanks to the girls who helped us keep the chaos under control and ensure that no one was injured during all the fun.

We purchased enough graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate for everyone to have several s'mores, we bought 100 packages of hot chocolate, and I gave everyone a choice of one of three  coffee mugs as a party favor (that doubled as a hot chocolate mug during the party).  I found some very cute coffee mugs at the Dollar Tree so it was an easy gift!

Overall, the boys left saying it was the best party they ever had so I think John and I felt like it was a success!!  I can't lie....I am glad to have the triple party over for at least another year.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Happy 9th Luke and Liam!

Luke watching the WILD practice

Liam 
Luke and Liam wanted to go to a Hibachi steakhouse to celebrate their birthday

They are both wearing the goofy heads while the staff sings "Happy Birthday"

My late grandmother (who also had twins) holding Luke, Me holding Liam, and Aunt Sarah holding Calvin on their first Christmas and just a few days before the three boys turned a year old.

Luke (left) and Liam (right) a few hours after birth

Luke, age 4

Celebrating our 5th and 3rd birthdays with best twin friends, Jack and Charlie

Luke (left) and Liam (right), 6 months

A bonus room marker party

First day of kindergarten

Brothers

Ice hockey outdoor jamboree over the weekend


It is very hard to believe that 9 years has passed since Luke, Liam, and cousin Calvin were born on January 11th, 2008.  The time really does pass quickly.  While their birthday this year fell on a Wednesday, we plan to celebrate with a big party on the MLK holiday.  That will be an entirely separate post at some point when I recover from the craziness of all the boys I agreed to invite to the party!  

Nonetheless, we enjoyed celebrating Luke and Liam's 9th birthday this week.  Our final year in the single digits!!  They wanted to have dinner at a Hibachi restaurant where they cook in front of you with cool knives, fire, etc...It was a lot of fun and the boys loved it.  They also received gifts from family and were able to speak with grandparents and aunts who wished them a happy birthday.  

We are so proud of both Luke and Liam.  Luke is a kind hearted, loving kid who would do almost anything to help his younger brother Finn.  He loves to help others and works so hard at everything he does.  He has a passion for hockey and in particular loves playing goalie.  We will see where he goes with this, but you can count on him to work hard and give it his best effort.  

Liam is a quick witted, funny, often quiet, yet smart kid who also loves hockey and is quite diligent with his schoolwork and everything he does.  He makes friends easily and is easy going.  He is very teachable and generally catches on to new things quickly.  He is agile, fast, and athletic yet also quite creative and could spend hours playing on his own.  

What an amazing ride the last 9 years has been for John and I.  Enjoy the Ride!