Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas 2015

Christmas Eve 2015

Standing at top of steps ready to open gifts on Christmas Morning

Finn with his new BOOTS!!  

Aiden and his new hockey sheets for his bed

Luke and his new hockey book from the Barnes family

Liam and his Penguin jersey from Grandpa

Luke and his new goalie helmet

Finn with his toys from Grandma and Grandpa Carrithers

Hockey game with our cousins, Zach and Seth

John and the boys were interviewed about the big "monster" storm heading our direction when we went to skate at the new outdoor rink in Maple Grove
Daddy and Finn on a very cold day

Zach and Seth with John and the boys

Zach, Seth, and Aiden at his practice

Zach and Seth on the ice

Fun dinner at Benihana

Finn was enthralled with the cooking!
We had a wonderful Christmas and really enjoyed some time off with no hockey practice, no school, and no work obligations.  Finn finally got his blue boots and the boys got many of their most requested items (Liam's robot, Luke and Aiden's remote control cars).  We also received some fun gifts from Grandpa and Grandma Carrithers, Mimi, Grandpa Morse, Ms. Jane, our Carrithers cousins, and Uncle Tom and Aunt Charlene.  The boys had plenty of entertainment on Christmas day!!  The biggest present came as a complete and total surprise from John.  He sent me on a scavenger hunt for a new car.  Yes, a NEW CAR!  We were in need of more space and leg room in several areas this year and while I thought moving to a new house was enough, John decided to add in a larger vehicle as well.  He sent me around Maple Grove to the homes of my best friends (Kortney, then Kirsten, and finally the Weigels) until I received a new vest.  Thinking that was my gift, we headed home from the Weigels and as we rounded the corner, there was a 2015 Yukon Denali waiting for me in the driveway.

Perhaps the highlight of our Christmas happened the day after Christmas on the 26th.  John's sister Jennifer and her two boys, Zach and Seth, came to Minnesota to visit us for a few days.  The boys were all in heaven.  Zach and Seth played with the boys the entire time and were so patient.  Zach, Seth, and Jennifer played hockey in the basement, the table hockey game, cards, listened to joke books, built towers, played vet with Finn, wrestled, etc...The boys were busy for three solid days and it was great!  Outside of playing at home, we also took a trip to the Mall of America for a few rides, ate dinner at Benihana hibachi grill, skated at the new outdoor rink, and took them to two hockey practices.  It was a fun couple of days and we greatly appreciate their effort to visit.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Celebrations

Not part of our Christmas celebrations, but this is Luke's goalie stance while he practices hockey in the basement.  
Finn with his godfather and our good friend, Kevin

Finn and his godparents

Luke and Liam with their class on pajama day
Liam and Aiden with their gingerbread house

Luke and Finn with their gingerbread house.  Note the Christmas pattern drapes in the background.  We hope to have some new drapes very soon!  

The finished gingerbread houses!

We are anticipating and counting down the days until Christmas.  The boys could not be more excited.  They seem to have more energy to burn each day.  We celebrated Christmas a little early with our good friends, the Weigels.  Finn received a few special gifts from his godparents and enjoyed reading his new Elmo books with Kevin and Melissa.

Luke, Liam, and Aiden completed their final day of school for the year on Friday.  They are excited to have the next two weeks off from school.  Luke and Liam wore pajamas and watched The Polar Express on their last day of school while Aiden's class wore crazy hats and made Christmas gifts.

Looking forward to a memorable Christmas as we celebrate Jesus' birthday.  

Monday, December 14, 2015

Finn on Skates

Getting his skates on and ready to go

First time on the ice (this year)!!  He is using the walker that Daddy built

Luke on the ice

Here we go!  He actually did really well.

Liam is so fast and so smooth
At the Santa Skate (pictures are a little out of order)
Scooting along at Santa skate
Skating with Santa

The whole gang at the new outdoor rink

Minnesota spares no expense in making their parks and trail system the best it can be.  From paved biking and running trails in the summer to paved trails for cross country skiing in the winter, Minnesota has it all in terms of outdoor activities.  There is no shortage of parks in the city where we live.  I could probably list six different amazing parks within a 5 mile radius of our house and one within walking distance.  The parks are nice, well kept, and thankfully most of them have bathrooms.

A new park recently opened up called Central Park and it has a splash pad in the summer, a skating ribbon in the winter, and a regular park with all types of slides and climbing equipment that is open all year around.  Granted, we are having a much warmer winter so playing at the park in December isn't usually an option for us.  Skating outdoors is usually limited depending on the wind and cold temperatures, but at least for now we are happy to enjoy some winter activities without temperatures in the single digits or below.

So, on a quiet morning when we didn't have any hockey practices until 2:00 pm, we decided to take the boys skating at the new rink.  Apparently, we just can't get away from skating.  While Finn has been on the ice a few times before in his two years of life, the trip to the new ice rink might be the first ice skating experience that he will actually remember.  He has been asking to go skating since we sharpened his skates recently.  He loved it and as we left he said, "that was really fun!"

His second introduction to ice skating came the following day when we took the boys to Santa skate.   Finn was standing up on the ice and scooting around on his skates which is a good amount ahead of what his brothers could do at this age.  He acted as if he knew exactly what to do.  It was almost a little scary at times that he could stand up and scoot around with minimal help from John.  

Monday, December 7, 2015

A Busy Weekend

Finn playing hockey on driveway.  This is his goalie stance

Junie B. Jones Jingle Bells, Batman Smells Program (see the cast story below)

Aiden's School Christmas Program

Aiden (front center with black sweater and white shirt) dancing with Addison

Finn wants to tell Santa that he wants new boots for Christmas

He really doesn't like his current boots so I think he told us nearly 100 times that he was going to ask Santa for new boots for Christmas.  Can't wait to see him on Christmas Morning!  
Santa with the boys!
We had a very fun and very busy weekend with three different birthday parties for friends, four hockey practices, one school Christmas program, one basketball game, a hockey pizza party, and a Junie B. Jones Christmas play.  It was busy, but we all slept well at night.

Finn has a problem right now with his snow boots.  For whatever reason, he says they are "too tight." And, perhaps they are too tight although I think it has more to do with the fact that the front zipper is broken and they just don't work the way Finn wants them to work.  The boots have been a battle with him since we pulled them out when the weather started getting wintry.  So, in order to convince him that he had to wear the boots last week when it snowed, I told him that maybe he could ask Santa for some new boots.  Anytime he sees or hears the word Santa, he brings up his boots!  Naturally, when we saw Santa at Aiden's school program, Finn wanted to ask about the boots.  I am certain he thought he would get the boots right on the spot, so he is still a bit confused about the whole ordeal.

In reference to the cast on Charlie's arm in the picture above, we had a very unfortunate accident over the weekend.  We were with our best twin friends, Jack and Charlie and the boys were playing and dancing to a video on the T.V. as we were finishing Christmas crafts and preparing to decorate cookies.  Charlie fell while dancing and Luke tripped and fell on him.  As a result, Charlie ended up breaking two bones in his arm.  Needless to say, it was quite a scary accident that was quite upsetting for Luke and for Charlie.  Charlie ended up having surgery the following day to set the bones in place and he will be wearing a cast for a couple weeks.  He is thankfully doing well, but the entire incident is something none of us will forget anytime soon (including Finn who keeps asking if Charlie is o.k.).