Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fall Orchard Trips

 Here you go, Luke.  You can have this one.  The main thing Luke wanted to do on our trip to the Apple Orchard was pick out a pumpkin.  Not just any pumpkin...the biggest one possible.

Daddy and Luke


Standing on top of the hay (AJ did not want to take a picture)

Lots of fun on the jumping pillow

The biggest corn pit I have ever seen. 

So typical of these two....

Liam wanted to be in the cow on the very front

Aiden riding the cow train

And Luke riding the cow train
For at least a week now, we have had a streak of absolutely gorgeous weather so we are taking advantage of it before winter arrives.  We made our annual fall trip to an apple orchard over the weekend.  This orchard is similar to the one we went to a few weeks ago, but with different things to do.  The boys loved it.  We also went to pick out pumpkins.  I told the boys at the first orchard that we would pick out pumpkins when we went with Daddy.  Best decision ever.  There is no way to describe the chaos as we picked out our pumpkins at the end of a fairly long day filled with A LOT of outdoor activity.  Each of the boys ran in opposite directions bringing at least a dozen pumpkins of all shapes and sizes over the wagon while John and I tried to herd them like cattle and narrow down the selection to a reasonable number.  I am not sure how long it took us to get things organzied, weigh the pumpkins, and get three tired boys to the car, but it seemed like forever.  Overall, it was a great trip and everyone slept very well that night.  The boys loved the Maze, the animals to pet, the cow train ride, jumping pillow (similar to a trampoline but a lot more fun and more work), corn pit, and the caramel apples too. 
 This picture above was taken by a neighbor.  These are the boys we play with in the backyard on most nights or afternoons.  Lots of fun!  Note the backwards baseball helmet on Aiden and the hockey helmet on the end, but they look pretty serious.
After our first trip last weekend to the apple orchard we go to every year, we decided to try another smaller pumpking patch and corn maze this week.  They have so many of these in Minnesota every fall, but many of them are really crowded on the weekends so its often hard to do anything when you are there.  The boys had a blast and were pretty tired afterwards.  I am posting just a couple pictures from our visit. 
The boys loved this giant pumpkin that you could jump inside of

Spider web for climbing

Aiden asked me to take a picture of his head inside the pumpkin

These little cars were so fun to ride.  I rode them with the boys.  Aiden wasn't quite able to peddle it, but he rode in my lap.  And those little things are fast!

We have competitions over just about anything.  Seriously, anything.  The intensity that the boys had with getting "their duck" down this little track to the other end before their brothers was crazy.  We eventually had to move on to something else!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fall Harvest Orchard 2012

Luke thought it was funny that the goats kept trying to eat his paper bag

Aj in the big corn bin

The whole gang of boys!

Luke showing me that he can carry the big pumpkin all the way to the car

Aiden in the pumpkins


Enjoying the tractor ride.  This ride got a little long as the farmer stopped to explain several things to us.  Really nice of the farmer guy to give us so much information, but everyone was fading at the end!

Feeding apples to the cows
Liam holding the baby goat (the one that later peed on him!)

Aiden's poor little goat

And Luke

One final picture for the end of the day
On a beautiful fall day in Minnesota, we made our annual trip to the Fall Harvest Orchard.  It was lots of fun.  We had a few of our twin friends join us.  We have been going to this orchard every fall since the boys were about Aiden's current age.  Its a really neat place with animals to pet, a tractor ride, baby chickens, goats, cows, etc...Lots of cool stuff to see and do.  The boys frequently talk about going out to the "farm" and this is usually what they are referring to.  We may take another trip with John in the next couple of weeks before it is too cold outside.  I am certain that summer and fall are the reasons why people LIVE in Minnesota and never leave.  Such a beautiful time of year!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Discipline, Respect, and Focus

Trying on our new karate uniforms for the first time

Trying out a few moves that we learned
  Luke, Liam, and Aiden are all waving to me from the playground.

Discipline, Respect, and Focus.  Sounds good, doesn't it?  Not easy things for a four year old to comprehend.  Those are the "three rules" that they emphasize in Karate.  We are trying something new here.  We needed a new activity as the weather starts getting cooler, the days are shorter, and we begin spending a little more time indoors.  Above everything else, we want the boys to enjoy this activity and look forward to going, of course.  However, we hope it builds self confidence, strength, flexiblity, and those three key things mentioned above would be great too!  Aiden cannot participate until he is at least three years old and potty trained so he still has a few months.  The boys, however, were very excited about the idea of getting to wear the uniforms and try to get different colored belts.  Liam, of course, wanted to know when he could have the green belt and Luke is hoping for the purple belt.  We will see how it goes!

I am also posting one picture from school that I thought was rather funny and cute.  It is a picture of Luke, Liam, and AJ waving at me from the playground on the first day of school.  The schedule for school has not changed for Luke and Liam this year, but Aiden moved up into the preschool classroom rather than the "trasition toddler" classroom (which is right before preschool).  He was more than ready to move on and seems to enjoy school more now than he did before.  I think one of the primary reasons he loves it is because he gets to be on the bigger playground with his brothers!  He follows them around and does everything they do, of course.  When I would drop him off in the toddler room, he was usually a bit weepy and whiny, but when I drop him off in the preschool room he walks right in and never even turns back to say goodbye!  Wow, what happened?  Aiden's teacher said he is very smart for his age (we already knew this one) and he works very hard in class, sits in a circle nicely, and listens very well to instructions (I had to verify we had the same child on the last three).  Good job, Aiden! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The State Fair, Putt Putt, and a new School year

One of our favorites at the Fair...the Little Farmhands exhibit.
Aiden loves the car and motorcycle rides where he can push the horn

We have ridden this boat ride every year since Luke and Liam were around 1.5 years of age.

One of Liam and Aiden's favorite rides

Aiden LOVES pickles!  He got a pickle on a stick and was so excited.  Pretty sure he ate at least half of this and then asked for another one the next day. 

We got to milk cows and Liam was very proud of his green ribbon that he received for milking the cow 

All three boys loved the tractors 

 Little Farm Hands exhibit at the Fair
Here we are...arguing over balls in the hole. 

 Here is our group picture.  Aiden was less than excited about having his picture taken (in case you could not tell).

Luke spent a good amount of time sitting on the green

We enjoyed the final weekend of summer with a nice long weekend.  John was off work for an extra day and we enjoyed having him at home.  We spent one day at the Minnesota State Fair.  This was our fourth year at the Fair and I still won't say I love the fair, but I have noticed that some things never change at the Fair.  We have ridden the exact same rides every year so it has become a bit of a tradition for us and the boys were counting down the days until our visit.  We made some progress this year since we stayed for 6 hours at the Fair and we were able to make it with only the double stroller (Liam is the most dependable walker).  Overall it was a good time.  The funniest part occurred when we inadvertently were walking in the opposite direction of a parade.  We somehow got caught up in the parade and on one of the floats was TC Bear (the Twins mascot we met a few weeks ago).  TC was holding a big water gun and squirting people in the crowd.  As we approached, he squirted Luke with quite a bit of water and Luke looked at me (almost in tears) and said, "Mommy, why did he do that; that really was not a nice thing to do at all.  He should have asked before he squirted me!"  Luke is not a fan of getting even the slightest bit wet when he has on his clothes and he really did not appreciate the water gun soaking from TC, but John and I thought it was hilarious.
Another first for us over the weekend was a trip to play putt putt golf. I am not even sure how to summarize how this went, but John said that if you have been reading the blog over the last year or so then you can imagine. It was a relatively hot day for Minnesota and even though we went early, we needed a "water break" after 8 holes of putt putt golf. The idea of putt putt started when the boys saw a cartoon where they talked about playing the game. In the cartoon, they said "take your time, concentrate, aim, and hit the ball"... Liam repeated this phrase at each and every one of the 18 holes. All of this while Aiden was concerned about whose ball was in the hole (only his could be in there) so he kept throwing the other balls on the course. Luke was hot and using a club that was right handed (he bats and hits lefty) and twice as big as he needed so he was a bit frustrated. thing to add....Mommy was the only one who got a hole in one during the game. Just thought I would point that out.

 First Day of Pre-K and Preschool for 2012
Aiden is moving up to a preschool class with bigger kids this year.  He is really heads above many two year olds in his vocabulary and other skills.

But, then again, he is still TWO!

This is the last year before kindergarten begins!  Luke and Liam will remain in the same Montessori classroom as last year with the same teacher, although they will be the oldest in their room this year.

Always difficult to get Luke to stand still and smile nicely

Happy Birthday Daddy!  We love you!