Thursday, August 30, 2012

Last few days of Summer

Minnesota we come!

We went to see the Dinosaur exhibit at the Zoo. 

Super Heros and Super Excited!

Monkeys watching monkeys

Checking out the Fish.  This reminds me of another trip to the Zoo (back in Feb. 2009, see two pictures below)

Aiden and Charlie

Watching the pennies swirl around
Flashback to another trip to the Zoo with some of our twin friends in Feb 2009.  I think it might have been easier to tour the zoo when everyone was strapped in the strollers!  Now, we are running after them all.

Liam (left) and Luke (right) in Feb 2009

Here is the same aquarium again!

We have been packing in some activity during the last few days of summer 2012.  Its been a great summer and perhaps one of our "easier" summers in terms of being able to do things.  We are a lot more self-sufficient in many ways this year and much easier to take places.  One of our biggest accomplishments this summer was being able to swim!  Luke and Liam can officially jump off the side of the pool and swim back or even swim to the other side completely on their own.  So, at least I do not have to worry quite as much about them when we go swimming.  This might not sound like a lot, but when you are watching three non swimmers in the pool by yourself, it can be a bit nerve racking!! 

As part of our final week of summer, we spent one day at the Zoo.  I think we were there for around 5 hours which might be a record amount of time for any activity for us.  A trip to the Zoo is a big deal because the Minnesota Zoo is about 45 minutes away.  When it comes to picking activities, I typically pick the ones that are simple (i.e. the park) versus ones that are costly and a good distance away from our house.  The boys tend to have fun regardless of what we do, but occasionally its nice to do something special.  We went with some of our twin friends (9 kids total) so we were a fairly large group of 4 year olds, 2 year olds, and an infant.  Thanks to our friends for a super fun day at the Zoo! 

Stay tuned...we have a trip to the Fair coming up later this week! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Boys at Play

Proof that they will play with ANYTHING...even a cardboard box!

Luke was really excited about the door that he could open and close

My sister sent us "Pete the Cat."  It is a children's book that we were introduced to on our vacation.  The boys love the books.  She sent us a CD with the book on it and she made a little game with Pete for us to play as well.

Believe it or not, we have actually had a day or two where we needed jackets at night or early in the morning!  So sad to see summer ending.

A typical day at the park with our best twins friends.  7 boys from left to right:  Charlie, Jack, Luke, Liam, Graham, Aiden, and Andy

We took a trip to the Children's museum on a rainy day to see the Curious George exhibit.  Luke is sitting like George. 

Aiden had a trip to Costco recently with Daddy.  Here he is being "extra helpful" while Daddy was taking a short break.

One night this week, the boys played so well with their cars and some chalk.  They drew roads on the driveway, made a wooden bridge, and had the best time.  It was fun to watch.

Lightening McQueen!!!

They were pretty filthy afterwards, but it was worth it.

These pictures provide a small glimpse of our week.  Most everything we do revolves around "Play" of some sort.  We visited the children's museum this past week for the first time in awhile and the boys loved it.  So many things to see and do.  Luke and Liam are definitely at an age where they need a lot less help in so many ways including when they play.  They are a lot more imaginative and do a lot of role play.  It is really neat to see and watch.  Aiden loves to play with cars, books, and anything ANYTHING electronic.  When John took a short business trip this week, Aiden cried real tears when I told him that Daddy took the ipad on his trip with him.  AJ loves to play on the ipad.  Liam loves outer space right now and loves to talk about astronauts and and the planets and stars.  Liam also loves airplanes, cars, and any type of animal.  Luke loves to help in the kitchen and cook with both real food and our pretend food.  He also loves his tools.  He loves to help John repair and install things around the house.  Whenever John mentions trying to repair something, the boys rush to get their tools, put on their hard hats, goggles, and measuring tape.  They are at a fun age and really interacting a lot together.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Shortly after my post last week, we came home one afternoon to find 5 butterflies!  I am not sure which is more amazing-the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly or the fact that all five of our caterpillars survived and are now butterflies.  Liam does a precious re-enactment of the entire process beginning with how a caterpillar crawls, to the caterpillar curling up into a cocoon, and then the butterfly emerging.  He is quite animated and it is hilarious.  After a visit to preschool this week, the butterflies were released in our backyard.  Did you know a butterfly only has a lifespan of approximately 2-4 weeks?  We wanted to make sure we released them before anything else happened. 

 Checking out the butterflies.  Each morning, the boys have gone outside to collect a few fresh flowers to feed them.

Liam is probably the most interested by the butterflies

Dropping a little orange juice on the flowers

We let the butterflies sit on our hands a few times as well. 

Preparing to release the butterflies in the backyard

 Luke holding a butterfly before letting it go

 Releasing the last one!

 Chasing the butterflies!!  Supposedly, the butterflies will stay in the area where you release them so they boys looked for them in the back yard for awhile and found at least one of them.

 Here it is...


We have another carrot this week too!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Copycats, Carrots, Caterpillars, and TC BEAR

 Aiden being silly with TC Bear.  He has a baseball pinata on his head.

All three Boys with TC

All 5 of Us with TC

 The transfer of our chrysalis from the jar to the butterfly house.  We started with 5 caterpillars that made little cocoons over 7-10 days.
Discussing the process with Daddy

Semi-exciting for Aiden. 

The caterpillars were ready to be transferred when all of them were hanging from the top of the jar (see picture).  We should have some butterflies in another week.

Racing around the "track" in our backyard just like in the Olympics!

And running in the house
Gold Medal Ceremony.  Our third participant did not wish to have his picture taken.


Liam's Carrot!!  You might remember that Liam wanted to plant some carrot seeds in the backyard in May.  Well, we actually grew a carrot and he was so excited about it. 

To say that we are impressionable is an understatement.  We "copy" almost everything we see and the last week or so is a good example of this.  We have enjoyed watching the Olympics each night when we come inside, take baths, and get ready for bed.  The boys have been swimming laps in the pool, doing floor exercises for gymnastics, jumping off nearly everything like the gymnasts, and running circles in the house and yard like the Olympic track athletes.  I was pretty happy when the Olympic spotlight moved from gymnastics to track and field because John and I were pretty sure we would be making a trip to the ER if we did not find a safer sport like running. 
Another big thing that happened this week was our personal visit with TC Bear.  TC is the mascot for the Minnesota Twins baseball team.  Yes, the professional baseball team!  One of our neighbors had some type of a "connection" and set up TC to come out to a birthday party for her son and we were fortunate enough to be invited to the party.  No one knew that TC would be showing up so we were all completely shocked when he walked in the backyard.  We got his autograph, played baseball, and got to visit with him up close rather than the two seconds you usually see him at the games.  Very cool and something the boys have not stopped talking about.
Lastly, we have been doing a little science lesson with some caterpillars.  I ordered a kit that you can get online and they send you at least 5 living caterpillars in the mail with instructions on how to care for them.  After 7-10 days, the caterpillars became a chrysalis and developed a cocoon around them.  The instructions tell you to transfer them carefully to the mesh butterfly house when the cocoons are hanging from the jar.  So, we have transferred our little cocoons and we are patiently waiting for our butterflies.  The boys have really enjoyed the whole process and they are dying to feed the butterflies once they finally arrive.  So far, I think we have managed to keep all 5 caterpillars alive despite some shaking and a drop or two on the floor.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Seaside Pictures Revisited....

Luke and Aiden loved to be buried in the sand
Calvin and Mimi at Dinner
Calvin at the beach very early one morning (see the rainbow in the background)
The sleeping quarters for the 4 year olds.  They loved it and by the middle of the week they were actually sleeping, I think.
Cousins on their way to the beach
Cousin Calvin
Aiden enjoying his grilled cheese and ketchup
Jumping off the sandbar with John
I love this one!  Running on the sandbar.
Popsicles with Grandpa

And popsicles with Grandma (taking advantage of everyone sitting still for a picture)

The whole Gang
Morning Movie on the ipad
Luke and Calvin


Lastly, this picture was taken this week in Minnesota.  We have been enjoying lots of backyard time with the pool and popsicles this summer.  The weather has been hot for Minnesota and it is great for swimming outdoors.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that we had lots of great pictures from our recent trip to Seaside, Florida.  I received some pictures from my sister (actually nearly 800 pictures!) and I am posting a handful of my favorites.  Such a fun week that we still talk about almost daily!  The boys are a little confused as to where Calvin, Mimi, Grandpa, Jason, and Sarah actually live.  I keep telling them that they don't live at the beach house where we stayed.  I think they are thinking that next time we visit Calvin at Christmas or Thanksgiving, then we will be going to the beach.  Unfortunately, Arkansas is not exactly the beach. 
Funny stuff from Aiden:  Aiden has something that he does now that is kind of humorous although we are trying to get him not to say this.  When someone does something he does not like, he turns and says, "I not your friend anymore."  He says this to his brothers as well as kids at church, school, etc...and he will say it to any age child as well (even those twice his size).