Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New Bikes

Liam is so excited about the new bike!!

Helping Daddy put the bike together

Trying out the new bike

Luke calls his bike "Hawkeye"

At least the 9 inches of snow melted enough to ride on the driveway, but we got another 4 inches yesterday.  Despite the bright sun and lighter coats, it was still quite chilly outside (in the upper 30's), but this feels warm after all the snow, ice, sleet, and rain we have had.

I am not sure how they keep from running into each other

Liam calls his bike "yellow jacket bikey"

Pure silliness

And more silliness

Luke and Liam were quite excited about upgrading to bigger bikes over the weekend.  We got their previous bikes when they were around 3 years of age and now Aiden is big enough to ride them.  Luke, particularly, looked a bit like a giant on his little 12" bike.  When we first purchased Luke and Liam's bikes, it was during the winter so they technically learned to ride in our basement, but it took them all of about 5 minutes to figure it out.  Aiden, on the other hand, has shown little or no interest in biking.  He would much rather run around chasing the boys behind the bikes or pushing his cozy coupe and ramming into the side of them on their bikes.  Not sure what it is going to take to get him to actually ride a bike.  Next on the agenda for Luke and Liam this summer:  Learn to ride without training wheels!  Our forecast for the weekend shows a possible high of 60 degrees!!!  I will believe it when I see it, but I am still optimistic.

We have come a long way in our bike riding over 2 years!

Learning to ride in the basement

Luke (age 3) trying out the bike for the first time.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What a difference a year makes.....

Last April 2012......

We were playing in the sprinklers outside

We had on shorts and a t-shirt

There was an occasional cool day, but we had GREEN grass

Baseball in the backyard (no snow)

And what a difference a year makes!  "Spring" in Minnesota this year looks something like this:

The yard is still covered in snow (April 2013)

And more snow...

And many of the lakes are still frozen

What a difference a year makes...we are still waiting on spring to arrive in Minnesota!!  It is hard, however, to post about our lack of spring in MN when this pales in comparison to the other events of this week.

When I started working on this post, it was a few hours prior to the tragedy that unfolded at the 2013 Boston Marathon.  This hit very close to home for John and I since we ran together in 2011 and were also there when I ran in 2006.  Collectively, we have completed 13 marathons and a countless number of 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons.  We also had several friends who were running the Boston marathon this year.  Boston is by far the most prestigious race and "Marathon Monday" is an amazing day in Boston with all the crowds and the celebration surrounding the race, Patriot's Day, the Red Sox game, etc...  It is sickening to think that there is someone so evil that would destroy such an amazing event for so many.  After training for months to cross the finish line after 26.2 miles, it is ironic to think that these runners were suddenly running away from the finish line in fear.  While the incident doesn't make sense to me at all, I agree with Mario Fraioli (a writer for ESPN) when he said: 
"As deep and pervasive as this wound is for fellow runners, spectators, fans of the sport and residents of Boston alike, it will heal. In fact, that slow process has already begun. A marathon, you see, is more than just a footrace -- it's a symbol of strength and unity, regardless of where it's held or how many people are on the starting line. It has a unique ability to bring people both inside and outside of the running world together during tough times -- as we saw in New York last fall -- and the number of runners who took their shirts off at the finish line Monday for rescuers to use as tourniquets, or rushed to hospitals minutes after finishing in order to donate blood, only serves as evidence of the unselfishness of this tight-knit community. And that unselfishness is infectious, as others inevitably follow suit, offering their homes, food or whatever other assistance they can muster to help the innocent victims of a terrible tragedy."

Praying for Boston and all of the runners, spectators, families, children, physicians, etc...who were affected by this tragedy. 
Holding our race numbers prior to the 2011 Boston Marathon

Monday, April 8, 2013

March Madness

Aiden and his crazy hair after a nap

Aiden wanted me to take a picture of how his ballon was stuck to his face.  And yes, Aiden prefers not to wear pants when we are at home.
My pictures from this week are random ones of Aiden being silly, but I wanted to post about March Madness and our recent hobby of watching sports on television.  Over the long winter, Luke developed a favorite nightly ritual with John.  Almost every evening after we have finished dinner, played, taken baths, etc...he will ask John if there are any games on that they can watch before bed.  What started as a hockey, basketball, or football game on occasion developed into a passion to know who won, what was the score, how many points did they win or lose by, etc...Liam also plays along with this, but not quite to the extent of Luke.  However, when we turn on a game, the boys immediately ask John-"who are the bad guys and good guys and what color are their uniforms?"  They then decide which ones they are rooting for and name the bad guys and the good guys (by color of uniform) in a particular game. 
Both Luke and Liam have shown a strong interest in numbers over the last year.  They are counting things all the time, informing us of the posted speed limit, and adding or subtracting.  They do a "hundreds board" where they use numbered pieces to count to 100 and there is a row for the 20's, 30's, 40's, etc...  When they are watching basketball games, they will tell us the score by saying that the "bad guys are on the 20 row, but the good guys are on the 30 row so they are winning." 
Luke and Daddy watching the game

Game time
John obviously has his favorite teams and one of them is the Iowa Hawkeyes since his parents both attended the University of Iowa.  He has brainwashed influenced Luke to cheer for the Hawks as well.  I usually sit back and watch all of this until last week when the Iowa Hawkeyes played the Baylor Bears (where I graduated from college) in the NIT basketball championship.  Luke and Liam were quick to pick the Hawks to win; however, Aiden sided with Mommy and the Baylor Bears.  In the end, the Bears actually beat Iowa but I felt a little sorry for Luke.  He had to go to bed before the game was over, but the first thing out of his mouth the following morning was, "Did the Hawks win?"  We called John at work so he could break the news to Luke who was disappointed, but there is always next year! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter and Baby #4 Update

Baby #4 at 19 weeks

Its a BOY!

The Feet!!!
Checking out some turtles and snakes at the Nature Center
Luke in a tree at nature center
You can see everyone but the Easter Bunny! 
Liam would easily sit in the same spot and pet the little bunnies all day.  He was so gentle and loved the animals.
Aiden is getting his face painted like a bunny
My first experience hunting eggs in the snow
Liam in the wood fort hunting for eggs
Easter 2013
We got some new sunglasses in our Easter baskets

IT's A BOY!!  I had an ultrasound last week and Baby #4 is doing very well.  I am 20 weeks and we were very thankful to hear that the baby is growing well, has 10 fingers, 10 toes, a healthy heart, kidneys, etc...He is measuring on track for a mid August delivery.  We are very blessed and happy to hear that he is healthy.

We also had a very nice Easter weekend.  John had an extra day off work so we went to an Easter Eggstravaganza at one of the local parks.  We have done this for the previous two years and it is a lot of fun.  The boys met the Easter bunny, hunted eggs in the snow, and got to pet some real bunnies.  We finally enjoyed at least one day of beautiful spring weather in the 50's over the weekend.  We played quite a bit outdoors and were finally able to remove the Christmas lights that have been frozen under several feet of snow for months now.  On Sunday, we attended church and hunted for eggs indoors.  This was the first indoor Easter egg hunt I have ever participated in, but I have a feeling it is not unusual to hunt eggs indoors when you live in Minnesota.  The boys didn't really seem to care and had a great time running around the house looking for eggs.  We hope you enjoyed your Easter as well!