Sunday, August 30, 2015

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Checking out a lego exhibit of birds in a water bath

Lego exhibit behind boys

Trying to get a decent picture

Dragonfly by a pond with some really neat looking fish

Lego building

Jack and Liam

Luke and the Lego butterfly

All the gang with the lego peacock.  These lego exhibits took, on average, around 300 hours to build and most of them used more than 50,000 legos!

We made a trip to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum last week and had a wonderful time.  The weather was perfect and the boys loved it.  They had 26 lego sculptures using more than 450,000 lego bricks.  It was seriously amazing.  Many of the sculptures took several hundred hours to build and all of the sculptures were things in nature.  Some of our favorites were the butterfly, peacock, and dragon fly.  It was worth the trip out to the arboretum and fun for all of the boys.  After walking around to see most of the exhibits, we played in the nature areas where the boys built forts in the woods, played with sand and water, and had lots of time for uninterrupted imaginative play.
In other news, we are settling into the new house and have met many of the neighbors.  It has really been a good fit for us and we are loving the added space we have.  Bath time has been easier with an additional bathroom and simply coming in the door is easier with a separate mudroom and laundry room for all our stuff and number of people.  School begins after labor day so we are excited to meet our teachers this week and see many of our friends.  We are not too excited about homework and getting up early, but a bit more structure will probably be beneficial for all of us.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The BIG month of August

And now to overload you with pictures, and more pictures....So far, the month of August has been a big month for us and it isn't even over yet.  At the end of July, we closed on our house of nearly 8 years and moved to a larger home up the street.  While this may seem like a relatively small change, transporting four kids and all their stuff is monumental no matter how far you are going.  We have accumulated A LOT of "kid stuff" in the last 8 years that we have lived in Minnesota.  Saying goodbye to the only house that all four boys have known and to some very dear friends and neighbors was difficult on all of us.  This move was different than previous moves because we didn't have to move for work.  We chose to move to a house that would provide us with a lot more space in some key areas.  Thankfully, we are in the same school district and can play with many new friends as well as some of our old friends so the transition has gone well thus far.  We love the additional space.  The house needs some work in a few areas, but overall it has been a good move for us.

I had a very BIG birthday on August 8th when I turned 40 years old.  Considering I still remember my own parents turning 40 years old, it is hard believe I am that old!  John planned several fun activities for me to enjoy including a very nice dinner and a long bike ride (all without the boys!).

Lastly, after the work we all went through to prepare our previous house to sell, pack the house to move, and unpack everything in the new house, I am certain we were all ready for a break!  We recently enjoyed our 6th trip to Seaside, Florida.  This one was quite different in that it was the first vacation we have taken with just our immediate family since Aiden and Finn were born.  In previous years, we have gone with grandparents and cousins so this was a bit of an adjustment for the boys as they wished they had their cousins there to play with them.  We all, however, enjoyed catching up along with some downtime together.

The highlights of the trip (according to the boys) included paddle boating, fishing, playing in the sand, riding bikes, smores on the beach, and swimming at the pool.  Finn learned to jump in the pool (to Daddy), Luke and Liam attempted paddle boating for the first time and did fairly well, and Aiden learned to ride some waves on the boogie board.  Despite a fair amount of rain (more than I have ever experienced in all my trips to this area) and strep throat (Liam), we had lots of fun and definitely hope to return soon!
Enjoying dinner in the town center at Seaside

Checking out the beach after dinner

Finn loves to grill with Daddy.  This pic was taken on vacation while they grilled burgers.


Silly vacation pic

Daddy and boys.  I am intentionally skipping the picture of all of us since it just might be a Christmas card contender!




Running on the beach

Mom and Finn


Daddy and Finn
Afternoon fishing

Day 1 at the Beach and the water was perfect!  So much fun in the sun!
This was the night that we arrived at the beach and Finn was beside himself excited to be there.  The boys went down to see the beach and ended up swimming (in their clothes).

Finn loved it!

We have a nearly identical picture like this of Luke a few years ago.

Liam loves to jump the waves


Crystal clear water

At the playground

Finn and Luke

Luke wanted a picture of himself at the top of the big pole

Four boys on swings

Making pancakes with Daddy

Liam building a bridge in the sand

Aiden found a quarter

Waiting to see the show at the amphitheater 
Bonfire on the beach and roasting smores
Eating smores!
Aj on the board
Luke loves to ride the waves and he will go as far out as possible
Finn on the waves!
Popsicles on the porch
Super silly!
Finn and Mommy in the pool
Finn loved to jump into the pool to John and he did this over and over and over again saying "jump" before his feet even hit the water!

The New House on the day we closed!
Replacing the carpets in the new house.  The boys all found it to be quite interesting and thankfully the carpet guy Jeff enjoyed the extra attention.

Dinner on my 40th with John