Thursday, July 26, 2012


 This week we tried something new....cotton candy.  Here is Luke is sampling some cotton candy for the first time

Liam was by far the cleanest after the cotton candy, but he really didn't have much competition

Aiden's cotton candy

The coach asked Luke and Liam to be partners and they put their arms around each other.  I missed the picture but it was really cute.

Going after the ball

Liam waved to me several times and wanted me to watch him

Luke and Liam have shown an interest in playing soccer for several months now.  After dinner, we often go into the backyard and Luke sets out the cones to make a goal and gets the soccer ball.  Luke loves to be goalie and has already figured out that the goalie gets to stand while everyone else runs up and down the field (hence the reason he enjoys playing goalie).  Liam is quite the runner and goes after most (if not all) of the stray balls.  So, they make a good team while Liam runs and Luke stands in the goal! 

When I looked into some type of soccer camp or small recreational league for kids their age, I was surprised to find out that soccer really doesn't start until they are about 5 1/2 or 6 years of age.  Why people would consider baseball/t-ball to be an easier sport for 4 year olds to learn is beyond me, but I guess it isn't too surprising considering that they teach hockey/ice skating beginning at 3 years of age in Minnesota!  It seems easier to me to run and kick a ball than to swing a hard bat and hit a small ball.  Soccer also moves a little faster so it keeps their attention.  Most of the time when we play baseball, Luke is picking the grass or sitting in the outfield.  

I finally ran across a small soccer camp for 4-6 year olds at the fitness center where the boys took swimming lessons over the winter so we signed up Luke and Liam.  They could not be happier with the idea.  They really thought we would be going everyday this week until I convinced them it was only once a week until the end of August.  Luke and Liam also asked if I would sit and cheer for them while they played and give them water at the breaks.  Hilarious!  They wanted to wear these blue jerseys we had from something else for their "soccer game" because they felt like they needed to have numbers on their shirts.  In true Minnesota fashion, it was "too hot" to practice soccer outdoors so they played in the gymnasium.  Honestly, it was pretty hot on the day of their lesson, but Minnesotans have no idea what "hot" really is!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

2nd Annual Swim Party

John and the boys had a lot of fun getting ready for the party.  They are supposed to be filling up water balloons for the party.  This turned into a water balloon fight with our neighbor. 

Going after our neighbor with water guns

Luke, Liam, and our neighbor Jack

Swim Party fun!!

Slip n Slide was a huge success!

Enjoying the dirt and worms

AJ with his dirt and worms

Lots of friends!!

Twin Friends-Jake and Justin

We had our second annual swim party this week.  Since we returned from vacation, the boys have been counting the days until our party.  While I thought about doing a few things differently this year, Luke and Liam apparently didn't forget any of the details from last year's party and they wanted everything exactly the same.  Primarily, this included two things:  1)  Water Balloons and 2) Dirt and Worms (Oreo cookies and gummy worms).  Although not a drop of rain was in the forecast and the temps were supposed to be in the 90's, it started pouring rain around the time the party was supposed to begin.  Luke and Liam were devastated.  Thankfully, after an hour playing in the bonus room, the weather cleared and we all went outside to play.  Thanks to everyone who joined us, we had a wonderful time with our friends and we are already talking about next year! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Seaside 2012

We just returned from a week long vacation at the beach.  We stayed in an area called Seaside where I vacationed a lot as a child.  The actual resort where we rented a house is called WaterColor, but I am still a bit biased to Seaside even though we stayed basically next door.  Anyway, this is our third year to vacation in this area with the boys and each year seems to get better.  I think it is more so that each year has been unique and different in various ways, but all our trips have been very memorable. 

The first year was difficult and John and I frequently look back and wonder how in the world we survived a plane trip with two toddlers (2.5 years) and an infant (barely 4.5 months).  Each year the trip gets a little easier and more enjoyable as the boys have become more interested in the beach and MUCH easier to travel with. 

Fast forward to this year and the biggest bonus (at least in my mind) was the BEACH.  Everyone loved it!  Aiden did have his fill of the water and beach by the end of the week as any 2.5 year old would, but overall everyone played so well.  They swam in the water (Luke is very brave and often went pretty far out despite the waves), hunted for shells and crabs, made sandcastles, tried to catch little fish (Liam was so excited to catch two), and rode their wave boards.  We were blessed with warm weather, but actually not overly hot.  Honestly, I think the temps in MN were warmer than Florida while we were gone.  The water was clear and blue/green the entire time we were there. 

We enjoyed many meals outside at some casual outdoor favorites, ice cream, Popsicles, and lots of bike rides.  Bikes are the primary mode of transportation in Seaside so we biked everywhere.  We also had a fabulous time with my parents and my sister and her family including our cousin, Calvin.  When I asked the boys what they would miss most about the beach, they replied-"Calvin, of course."  The boys played very well with Calvin all week with only a few four year old type mishaps.  We fished, played a game with shaving cream and Cheetos, swam in the pool and beach, painted t-shirts, watched a play in the amphitheatre, and played balloon bowling (Calvin's game). 

While my sister is the primary photographer, I did manage to take a few pictures for the blog and hope to add some of her pictures in future posts. 

Liam and Daddy catching some crabs or something

Liam loved the beach and really never seems bothered by the heat or water.  He loved all of it. 

Definitely the easiest way to keep up with everyone!  Aiden and Luke, especially loved to be buried in the sand  

Luke, Liam, and Calvin with Grandpa

Working on a craft with the boys

Aiden kissing the ice cream cone

One of Aiden's favorite places to play was this "Little House" as he called it

Ice cream with the Gang

Super Heros:  Superman, Batman, Captain America, and Spiderman

Talking with a Super Hero after the show

Aiden trying out the surf board

Playing football with Grandpa on the sand bar (the sand bar was very helpful for us)

Liam in the sand.  His hair got lighter and lighter all week long


Daddy and AJ enjoyed many walks on the beach

Bedtime book with Grandpa

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!!

This is THE Highlight of Luke's week.  The water slide.  Luke is in the white and navy shirt at the bottom (middle) of picture.  He really has no fear at all.

Happy 4th of July!!  It has been a HOT HOT week in Minnesota.  While I am thankful for the warm weather, I am not acclimated to it like I was when we lived in Arkansas.  I never had children to play with outdoors when I lived in Arkansas either so I really didn't appreciate weather as much as I do now.  When the temperatures get above 85-90 degrees or so, the slides and things at the park are too hot to enjoy.  It really is not much fun (for me or the boys) to play outdoors when the temperatures reach 100 degrees like they did this week.  So, what did we do most of the week?  We played in the water.  We did water balloons, water sprinklers, the pool, the slip-n-slide, and then topped it off with a trip to a water park on the 4th of July.  We went to a very small aquatic center with a water slide, huge sandbox, and other fun water sprinklers.  The boys loved it.  Luke was so excited that he was tall enough to ride the water slide in a tube by himself.  Liam was lacking about 1-2 inches to be able to do the slide alone, but he enjoyed riding with John and I.  Aiden even rode the water slide a few times. 

Getting ready to throw the water balloons that Daddy made during nap time

Luke asks pretty much everyday if we can do water balloons 

Liam's "eye balloons"

Throwing balloons off the deck

Story of our Life! 

AJ and his new bike helmet.  It kind of fits his fierce personality.

Aiden resting with Daddy.  I am seriously considering a season pass to the water park after Aiden took a THREE hour nap afterwards and then was more than ready for an early bedtime.