Sunday, September 27, 2015

More fun at the Orchard with Mimi

Finn and his crazy hair at the fall harvest orchard

Finn and pumpkins
Luke and AJ are feeding the Cows some apples


Hungry Cows apparently love apples

AJ and Finn on tractor.  Finn wouldn't get off the tractors, he loved them!

All of those boys were with us except the one in the black shirt in way back corner

Jumping tires

Finn and his curly hair

Get me out of here!

Picture in the pumpkins with our best friends, Jack, Charlie, and Andy

Tractor Ride with our buddies

Checking out the apple trees

My mom and I on the tractor

Luke loved the chickens but I am not sure how much the chickens loved Luke!

Liam, the "animal whisperer"  he is super gentle and cautious

September and October are usually beautiful in Minnesota.  They can be a mix of cold and rain, but in general the days are warm and sunny.  Thankfully, during Mimi's visit last week, we had some gorgeous afternoons and weekends.  We made another trek to one of our favorite orchards, Harvest Farm Orchard.  We thought last year would be our final time at this orchard because the dear, sweet owner passed away from pancreatic cancer last summer.  But, a local family purchased the orchard and they have kept the tradition going.  It is half petting zoo, half pumpkin and apple orchard.  There are chickens, goats, pigs, cows, rabbits, and even a peacock.  It is very hands on and the boys have always loved it.  If you look back and any previous September/October posts on the blog, you are sure to find trips to Harvest Farm Orchard.  The trip did not disappoint this year and we enjoyed the animals, playing with friends, riding a tractor, and playing outside games like tether ball and croquet.  So much fun that Finn was in bed by 7:30 pm!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Mimi is HERE and our visit to Apple Jack's Orchard

Waiting to ride the Cow Train

Mimi, Mom, and Boys

Watching the apple cannon

More apple cannon

Luke with apple cannon

Finn climbing the tires

Finn loved the jumping pillow


Corn pit with Dad

Aiden being buried in corn pit

Liam in corn pit

Liam jumping the hay bales!

Standing on Tires

Luke is not so excited about another picture...

Finn loved riding the horse!!

And driving the tractor

Line up (top to bottom: John, Hannah, Luke, Liam, AJ, and Finn)

Mimi arrived in Minnesota on Saturday and will be with us for two weeks!  The boys are super excited to see her and to have some extra attention, someone to talk with, read to, play games with, etc...We started off her visit with a trip to our favorite apple orchard, Apple Jacks.  It is truly a wonderful place and Mimi loved it.  The boys have visited Apple Jack's at least once each year since they were two years of age (Aiden and Finn actually went much younger).  We returned from the orchard with some wonderful apples, apple pie, caramel dip, apple donuts, apple crisp, and even a piece of apple cake.  Yes, Mimi found the gift shop and thought everything looked delicious.  We had a wonderful day riding the ponies, jumping on the "pillow", playing in the corn, climbing the tires, picking pumpkins, and riding the cow train.  There is so much to do there and the weather was picture perfect despite a bit of wind.  Looking forward to more fun activities with Mimi even if we still have to go to school this week.  

Sunday, September 13, 2015

John's Moose Marathon and Finn's 2 year Stats

Luke the Ninja at Andy's 4th birthday

Our good friend, Andy Bakken (left in bright yellow and black standing), celebrated his 4th birthday with a Ninjago party. The boys had lots of fun playing games, running around, and "fighting" with Ninja foam swords.  Never a dull (or quiet) moment.  

Finn and his cupcake at Andy's party

This was a tricky week for Finn as he watched all three older brothers head to school.  We packed up a backpack for him as well because he wanted so badly to have a "kakkak (backpack) and bus (ride the bus)."

"Bye Mom, I go school!"  Sidenote-Aunt Jennifer gave us those cute baseball backpacks when Luke and Liam were born.  They have been around the block just a few times!
John ran a trail marathon up near Duluth, MN

John and his buddies ran the Moose Mountain Trail Marathon over the weekend in honor of their running friend, Greg Riebe, who passed away suddenly in January leaving behind a wife and two young children.  This was Greg's favorite race and one that he ran just last year and placed 2nd Masters overall.

John ran a trail marathon called Moose Mountain over the weekend and finished in 5 hours 48 minutes.  The course was hilly, rugged, remote, and consisted entirely of trail running.  Here is the description of the race that is given on their website:
The Moose Mountain Marathon is a point-to-point (100% trail) Marathon which traverses the Sawtooth Mountain Range on the Superior Hiking Trail in the far reaches northern Minnesota .  The course parallels Lake Superior, the greatest freshwater lake in the world, climbs to near 2000′ peaks with breath-taking vistas of the lake and inland forests and crosses countless whitewater rivers and serene streams while meandering through mystic Boreal forests.  
Not your average race at all.  Thankfully, he finished and other than some soreness he enjoyed it.  He ran the race in memory of his friend, Greg who passed away earlier this year.  Several friends from their running group all went up to run the race and many placed in the top 10 finishers.  

In other news, Finn had his two year check up last week.  He is definitely our biggest child thus far.  Luke and Aiden are the only ones that are somewhat comparable, but I only provided Luke as a comparison below because Aiden is slightly smaller than Luke at all time points so far.  The biggest difference with Finn is that he is very tall for his age.  He doesn't look (or talk) like your average two year old.  Now I know why he is going through all my clothes so quickly!  Finn is talking all the time and knows lots of words and even a few colors.  He understands what we are saying very well and is quite smart.  

Finn (age 2)
Height:  36 1/4 inches
Weight:  34 3/4 lbs

Luke (age 2)
Height:  35 1/2 inches
Weight:  31.6 lbs

It will be interesting to follow the stats as the boys get older and bigger, but for now Finn seems to be heading in the direction of being pretty big!  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Kindergarten, Second Grade, and the State Fair

Checking out a goat.  Finn wasn't too sure about her.

The boys loved the bunnies!

Minnesota State Fair 2015

Checking out the horses!  Finn said they were wearing "socks"

Beautiful Horses

Horses with Liam and AJ

Riding the pretend horse

Standing in line for the Moo Contest.  Aiden came in 5th place for the best "moo"

Liam's Turn to Moo.  Liam came in 8th place for the best "moo."  Finn entered the contest too, but as excepted when his turn came, he said nothing.  NOT ONE WORD.  Television cameras waited on pins and needles for him to utter one simple moo, but he decided to save all his talking for later, of course, so we missed out on our chance to be on T.V.

Luke has absolutely NO fear on rides

Liam on bumper cars

Liam at ring toss

Finn on the motorcycle
Luke and Liam began 2nd grade

AJ had his first day of kindergarten

Happy First Day of School!!

Over the Labor Day weekend, we took all the boys to the MN State Fair.  I say this every year, but John and I do not enjoy going to the State Fair.  Many people in MN grew up going to the Fair  and they love going each year, but we really don't have those feelings of nostalgia.  There are a lot of people, it is quite expensive, all of the food is deep fried, and the main thing the boys want to do is spend as much money as possible on cheap rides.  With that being said, we were very close to skipping the Fair this year. But, we endured yet another year for one reason...Finn.  This was Finn's first trip to the fair.  It was quite tropical outside, but thankfully not as hot as they predicted.  We primarily went so that Finn could see the animals similar to his brothers at the same age.  It is fun to watch Finn get so excited about seeing horses, rabbits, goats, pigs, etc...He loved the animals.  A few days after we took everyone to the fair, we asked Finn one morning what he wanted to do that day.  His answer, "see the animals."  Glad we made the effort to go!  It was definitely a fun trip to everyone even if the big boys wanted (and begged) to spend 100 times more money on rides than what we spent.

In other news, we started school today.  Aiden began kindergarten and his last year at the Montessori school where all the boys have attended.  He is doing kindergarten at Montessori before he will join his brothers at the local elementary school for first grade.

Luke and Liam began second grade at the same school where they attended first grade.  One of their very best twin friends (Charlie) is in their class this year along with a few people they know from last year.  Both are very excited to start school and see all their friends.

Happy 1st Day of School!!