Monday, June 30, 2014

Finn at 11 months and Baseball

Finn still loves his baths especially if they include his brothers!

We enjoyed a fun visit last week with a lifelong friend of John's along with her husband and two girls 

Finn enjoyed a pudding cup at dinner

Surprisingly, he never even ATE any pudding!  We just gave him the somewhat empty cup from the big boys to keep him quiet at dinner.

Liam learning to catch the ball

Luke in the outfield

Getting ready to start the game

Note Finn's pacifier on the ground in front of him (white).  I turned around for a second and he dropped it and picked up an already eaten sunflower seed which is what he was putting in his mouth as John snapped this picture!  Finn is super fun at the ball park!

Liam at bat

Luke as catcher using his cousin Zach's old catcher's mitt

Liam has the smallest squat when he plays catcher

Finn finally wore himself out at the ball park

A little snack in Mom and Dad's chair

Summer Slam shirt!

The A's Team

The "trophy" was a little wooden bat that the boys loved!

Our friends Jack and Charlie (and little brother Andy) came to watch

Baseball season officially ended over the weekend with the boy's tournament.  They played in a 7 and under league this year and really enjoyed it and improved so much over the season.  The tournament was something that the boys have looked forward to since the season began and I am so thankful that the rain held off so that we could play.  They had two games that were back to back on Saturday.  The first game was a little better for everyone than the second.  They seemed a little slower and not quite as excited after the first game.  We had to get up pretty early to be fed, dressed, and out the door for a 9:00 game so the boys were tired by the end of the day.

Finn turned 11 months old on the 29th.  I have mixed emotions about him turning a year old.  I am obviously very excited as we approach a big milestone, but its also a bit sad that he is growing up so quickly.  Seems like yesterday that we were driving home from the hospital.  He is quite quite mobile now.  No walking yet, but he crawls very fast everywhere he goes.  We have a new set of things to worry about like tiny legos on the floor, the bathroom door left open, the stairs that he loves to climb, as well as rocks and sand that he loves to eat.  He is quite vocal and frequently screams loudly out of the blue to get our attention.   He loves all of his brothers and laughs at them all the time, but he is particularly partial to Luke.  Even when he is fussy and tired, Luke knows how to make him laugh. He loves most any kind of fruit and enjoys most any table food we are eating.  He has become quite difficult to feed with a spoon because he wants to do everything himself on his own so he constantly pulls the spoon out of your hand.  We love you Finn and have enjoyed every bit of the last 11 months with you!  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Fun on the Swing Set

Finn is really on the move

Liam loves the monkey bars

Crazy Aiden

Luke's favorite spot is on top of the monkey bars

Luke and Liam

Climbing up the outside of the swing set

Aiden and Finn

Liam and Luke

Hanging around....

Despite all the rain we have gotten over the last week in Minnesota, we have had a great time with the swing set.  There has not been a day that we have not been out there playing.  It poured down rain on the first night we had the swing set, but the boys played cards inside the fort while it was raining.  They managed to stay pretty dry, surprisingly.  I think we had 8 kids out there over the weekend and they all had a great time.

Overall, it has been a great addition to the backyard and the boys have loved playing on it, eating popsicles in the fort, and playing games with neighbor friends.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Arrival of the Swing Set

Fun times in the backyard with the big boys and our neighbors (far left Riley and bottom right Jack)

Luke taking Finn down the slide at the park.  Finn loved it and kept crawling over to do it again.

The Master Grill chef

Introducing Finn to the water table...see his thoughts below.

Never mind the puzzled look on my face as I am trying to figure out what Liam and Aiden are doing while Luke is taking a picture of Finn and I.
Waiting anxiously for the swing set to be installed
Finally time to play!
Finn on the slide
Finn takes his first trip down the slid with Luke
AJ on the swings
It is unanimous that everyone likes the fort best of all
Finn is checking out the window
Liam in the fort
Climbing the outside of the fort

Finn got splashed and really didn't care for it one bit!!

For those of you that know me, you probably know that I have wanted a swing set for the boys for quite some time.  Despite Aiden's unfortunate accident last summer, I have always felt they would have so much fun with a swing set in our backyard.  Unfortunately, the cost of these swing sets (if you are looking for one that is sturdy, safe, and very durable) is quite a lot.  So, for many years, we have talked about buying one but never have for various reasons.  

When we decided to purchase a swing set this summer, the boys were more than elated.  All of them agreed that the one thing we had to have on it was a "fort" of some kind.  So, while we originally discussed purchasing one off of Craig's list, we ended up buying a new one to fit our yard better and, of course, to get a fort.  We took the boys out to the dealership that sells swing sets one evening and we never really saw them for at least two hours!  It was 20,000 square feet of swing sets for kids to play on.  They had a blast.  

Over the last two weeks after we purchased the swing set, the boys have been counting down the days until delivery.  So, when it finally arrived this morning, we anxiously waited as it was put together.  I am excited about many years of fun, imaginative play with our friends and neighbors.  I  would be lying if I did't admit that I am also a bit hopeful this will give them something to climb on so we can climb a little less on the things in our house.  

We also celebrated Father's Day over the weekend.  We are so thankful for wonderful fathers and grandfathers.  Thank you to Grandpa Morse, Grandpa Carrithers, and to John for loving us, caring for us, playing with us, and being the best dad (and grand dad) for each of us.  

Monday, June 9, 2014

Our Animal Farm and Summertime

Thanks to Aunt Jennifer, Uncle Russ, and their boys, we inherited some serious hockey gear for our driveway hockey rink

Even Finn is trying out the gear...
Raphael has grown a bit and loves to swim

Our Momma Duck (hard to see but she is sitting in between the two plants on the top and bottom of the picture)
Sawyer (left) and Finn (right) playing together (sort of...)  Our neighbors directly across the street have three children that are the same ages as all the boys (each of them within a few months or weeks of each other).  Sawyer was born about 3 weeks after Finn although Finn looks a bit like a giant compared to Sawyer!

Fun Times at the Lake Beach with our Twin Friends (Left to Right:  Justin, Charlie, Jack, Jake, Luke, and Liam)
Sometimes you just need a little help....The boys worked for 30 minutes to get on top of this rock at the playground.  Liam and Luke were able to get up, but Aiden never got there.  It was funny to hear them discussing their plans of how to do it and who was too heavy to lift.  That's Liam at the top, Aiden in the middle, and Luke trying to push Aiden up.

Luke and Liam on the rock

Summer is in full swing here.  We just enjoyed a full week of not having to rush out the door for school or rush home to eat dinner before rushing out for baseball games or some other activity.  Finn enjoyed uninterrupted naps that were not cut short by trips to pick up his brothers from school.  And the big boys enjoyed more time at home playing in the yard, with neighbors, at the park, riding bikes, etc...It is going to take me a few weeks to get into a routine where we can actually accomplish a few things during the day, but we did several fun things and enjoyed the nice weather.  As for me, I slept very very well at night because I was super tired by the end of the day with everyone at home!!

I haven't given an update on our turtle lately.  Yes, that's right, we STILL have a baby turtle.  Little Raphael.  It all began with weekend #1 where we were going to send him home, but Luke and Liam wanted to take him to their classroom.  Then, we had a weekend #2 where Luke and Liam were gone with John and they wanted to be here when we let the turtle go.  And then, weekend #3, it was too cool and rainy.  Fast forward to today and he is still here.  He has been fun to watch, fun to learn about, and he really isn't much trouble.  I did some reading and found some turtle food on Amazon for $3.50 so we feed him, change his grass daily, and have a little water bath for him.  The boys enjoy it, but I am quite certain we don't need a dog yet.

In addition to Raphael, we have a Momma Duck that is nesting in our flower bed.  She has been with us for at least a week now and has ten eggs in her nest.  She rarely ever leaves the nest (unless we are too loud and scare her a bit) and she has also been pretty fun to watch.  The boys are hoping we are around when the babies are born.

Lastly, we have two bird nests under our deck.  I am really not sure what could possibly convince all these animals to nest in a place that is so loud and crazy most all of the time, but they did and we can watch the birds, the duck, and the turtle all in a single day!  

Monday, June 2, 2014

BIG MOE visit and our Last Day

Aiden and his best friend from school, Annika (with sister Elin) at the End of the School Year Picnic

Luke is relaxing at Aunt Jenni's pool

Liam at Aunt Jenni's pool

Big cousin Zach with Luke and Liam 

Luke is checking out the trophy that Zach's team won

Luke behind home plate

Zach at his graduation party with his shadows

Aiden and Finn having a conversation

Last Day of Kindergarten for Luke and Liam was May 29, 2014.  Luke and Liam will be at a new school next year.

Last Day of Preschool for Aiden was also May 29, 2014.  He will do one more year of preschool before kindergarten.

Summer Fun with our friends the day after school ended!!

For the first time in six years, we decided to divide up for an entire weekend.  I know it sounds silly, but we generally take everyone she we go places until last weekend.  John took the big boys to Cincinnati to see our nephew, Zach, play in the district finals for his baseball team.  Zach is a very impressive student and left handed pitcher who will be attending the University of Kentucky in the fall.  Luke and Liam loved Zach and his entire baseball team.  They also had such a fun time visiting with their cousins, swimming and fishing at Aunt Jenni's, and seeing the rest of our extended family.  Zach's team won their game while the boys were there and ended up advancing to the State Tournament which will be held this weekend.  Overall, it was a fun trip with Dad and they enjoyed doing some "big boy" things without the schedules we abide by with their younger brothers.

Although we missed getting to see everyone in Cincinnati, Aiden, Finn, and I enjoyed our time in Minnesota over the weekend.  It was a bit slower pace than normal, thankfully.  Aiden enjoyed the extra attention, two play dates with friends all by himself, eating at his favorite restaurants, etc...I know he missed his brothers and especially Daddy, but he didn't ask too much about them.

We had our last day of kindergarten and preschool on Thursday, May 29th.  We said goodbye to some amazing teachers that I will always remember.  Aiden will be back at the same school next year, but Luke and Liam will be moving on to our neighborhood elementary school.  We also said goodbye to several good school friends that we have known for the last four years as each of them will be attending different elementary schools in our area.  I think I was likely more emotional about leaving than Luke and Liam were, but we are all excited about what lies ahead.