Monday, October 27, 2014

Three Ninjas and a Lion plus some Pumpkin Carving

Aiden with his ninja pose

Aiden, the red Ninja

Finn and the infamous Lion costume

The whole gang at Daddy's office party

Luke, the blue ninja.  He has a serious pose

Liam, the black and red Ninja 
Liam is getting ready to carve his pumpkin

Scooping out the pumpkins

Lots of scooping

And lot of pumpkin....everywhere!

The finished products:  (Left to Right) Liam's witch on a broomstick, Luke's Stanley Cup and hockey puck, and Finn's Owl

Aiden's skeleton

Witch, Stanley, Owl, and Skeleton

We enjoyed Halloween Party #2 when we visited John's office for trick or treating one day after school last week.  The staff decorates the office and gives out a lot of candy.  It is always something the boys enjoy.  What's not to like?  They will do just about anything to wear their costumes and eat candy!

We also carved pumpkins for Halloween over the weekend.  Somewhere during the middle of all the carving, Aiden asked, "Dad, how many pumpkins are you really going to carve??"  This was a pretty understandable question considering it took several hours for us to get all four pumpkins carved.  If you think carving one pumpkin is messy, it is.  But, carving FOUR is really messy.  Let's just say we made a day (or at least half a day) of pumpkin carving.  Liam decided on a witch this year, Luke wanted a hockey themed pumpkin but the hockey players with spooky goalie masks were too creepy looking for me so we decided on the Stanley cup with a hockey puck to the side.  Finn got an owl which was my favorite and Aiden picked a skeleton face.  All in all, John worked hard on them and they turned out well.  We are gearing up for another Halloween party this week, a fall party at school, and, of course trick or treating!  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Halloween Party (#1)

Fun Day at the park on a really nice weekend

Finn loved the slide with the rollers
Painting pumpkins

Lots of boys in costumes

Decorating cookies

Aiden's cookie he decorated and sampled along the way

Liam's Ghost cookie that he decorated (probably the only one I would have sampled)

We celebrated Halloween party #1 over the long weekend.  Luke and Liam had a little time off school due to a teacher's meeting so we enjoyed a few extra fun activities.  The weather was gorgeous and warm over the weekend so we also made trips to the park and played a lot outdoors.  Our good friend Kirsten (mom to Jack, Charlie, and Andy) went out of her way as usual and planned tons of fun activities for the party.  We painted pumpkins, decorated cookies, painted candy corn pictures, painted our faces, played bingo and other games, and we had mazes, puzzles, and coloring sheets during the "downtime."  The boys look forward to this party every year and this year was quite memorable.  I will have better costume pictures for the boys in the next week or two.  I did not get individual pictures of the boys in their costumes yet because we didn't wear our costumes for a lot of the activities so that they will survive until Halloween.  Luke, Liam, and Aiden picked a Ninja theme this year.  Finn will likely be our last child to wear the infamous lion costume.  We have two of these costumes and I loaned the other one to Finn's "brother" across the street, Sawyer (1 month younger than Finn).  Luke, Liam, and Aiden have all been lions around the age of two so Finn will share in the tradition! 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Final Trip to the Fall Harvest Orchard and Fun Run 2014

Three Christmas Bears

Finn was enthralled with the goats

Four boys feeding goats

Luke and his chicken

Liam and his chicken
AJ holding Finn on the tractor

The Neighborhood gang hanging out on the swing set (Left to Right: Jack W,  Riley, Aiden, Liam, Luke)

You can kind of see Liam in the middle running (Navy jacket)

Luke is running in the back and middle of picture (gray jacket)

Luke and Liam's teacher, Ms. Stromback, is the tall blonde woman in the middle of picture

Liam is proudly showing all the laps he finished


Enjoying popsicles with some classmates and friends after the race

One of our favorite fall outings is a trip to the Fall Harvest Orchard.  It is a family owned and operated little farm (the owner used to drive the tractor for the hayride) with animals you can pet, hold, and feed as well as pumpkins, apples, games, tractors to sit on, and a hayride.  We have taken Luke and Liam since they were around Finn's age.  When the kids were younger and we didn't have to worry about school schedules, our twins group would make the trek out to the orchard with several sets of twins and moms for the day.  Sadly, the sweet owner of the orchard passed away in August from pancreatic cancer and they are selling the farm so the orchard is closing.  We have many fond memories of our visits and we were thankful that Finn got to make a trip over the weekend.
 Luke and Liam participated in their first annual Elementary School Fun Run to raise money to support their school.  Thanks to several family members for supporting Luke and Liam and sponsoring their efforts.  This is the largest fundraiser at their school and thankfully takes the place of selling wrapping paper, popcorn, wreaths, candy bars, and other miscellaneous items.  Luke and Liam were very excited to participate.  Liam wanted to be the first grader with the most laps.  I am not completely sure of the outcome yet, but both of the boys had a great time and ran hard for the entire 45 minutes.  Aiden, Finn, and I went out on a chilly, yet sunny, October morning to cheer them on.  Finn was not happy sitting in the stroller so he did lots of walking around.  Aiden ran a few laps, though not nearly as many as he talked about doing in the car ride to school.  It was a beautiful fall day and the boys had a blast!   They cancelled the race last week due to cold, windy, and rainy conditions and I am so glad they did because the delayed race day was gorgeous!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Twin Cities Marathon 2014

Getting ready to cheer on Daddy at the finish

Looking up the street of the finish line

We found him!!

Happy to see the boys

Yeah Daddy!!  Nice work!

Finn says marathons are hard work!

I have seen this game before.  Little Stinker.

Finn loves toilet paper!

John completed the Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday, October 5th in 3:24:21.  This was quite an impressive time particularly when you account for the difficulties in finding the time to train when you have kids and other activities.  This was the first race that either of us have done since Finn was born and John's 8th marathon overall.  Our biking and running races have tapered off considerably with each additional child (especially my races).  Each of us still runs on a regular basis, but training and competing is a lot more tricky.

The boys enjoyed making signs and going downtown to St. Paul to watch Daddy finish at the Capital.  The Twin Cities marathon is a beautiful race at a wonderful time of year in Minnesota.  This year, however, it was quite chilly with temps averaging a good 15 degrees below normal for this time of year.  Nonetheless, we dressed warm and went to watch Daddy.  This was the first year that I feel like Luke and Liam really knew what was going on.  Luke asked no less than 100 questions while we were standing and waiting on John.  For example (just to give you an idea): what mile is Daddy at right now,  will he win any money when he finishes, so all these people finishing are faster than Daddy, how many people are slower than Daddy, what is Daddy wearing, why is that guy sweating so much, why is that guy running so funny, do you think we missed Daddy and he's already finished, and so on.....

For those of you who sponsored Luke and Liam in their elementary school fun run, it was actually postponed due to the cold temps, wind, and rain.  We are hopeful they will get to run this Friday so stay tuned for their race!

Congratulations John!!  Well Done!!