Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Our Trip for Jacob's Graduation

Cousins Caitlin and Ella with the boys

Jacob with the boys

Jacob opening his graduation gift...some Michigan glasses, a pitcher, and coasters

Cousins Zach and Seth with the boys after we went swimming at their house
Over Memorial Day, we went to see John's family in Cincinnati and we attended Jacob's graduation party.  It was a very fun event with all of John's family present over the weekend at some point.  We went swimming at Aunt Jennifer's house, jumped on the trampoline at Aunt Ann's, had an awesome BBQ dinner at Jacob's grad party, and enjoyed seeing all our cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.  Such a fun and memorable weekend.  We are so excited for Jacob as he heads to the University of Michigan in the fall.  Congrats Jacob!

As Uncle Dan pointed out, "Enjoy the Ride" (the title of our blog) took on an entirely new meaning over the weekend as we made the 12 hour trek (one way) to our cousin Jacob's graduation party in Cincinnati.  We didn't make the actual graduation ceremony because it was during the middle of the week and Luke and Liam were doing some important testing at school.  However, we left Thursday afternoon and drove to Chicago where we spent the night and then left early Friday morning to finish out the trip.

As we got in the car on Friday morning, it was a sticky, muggy, warm summer day.  John and I separately went for a run along Lake Michigan that morning and we were still cooling off.  As we started our trip, we noticed the AC in the car was not blowing cool air.  This is a new car that we have had zero issues with thus far so we were not sure what to think.  We pulled over outside of Chicago to have the car checked.  After some time in the parking lot playing simon says and red light, green light with all the boys, it was determined that there was some type of hole in the compressor for the air conditioning.  They tried charging it and sent us on our way.  We had some relatively cooler air for the rest of the trip, but it soon leaked out.  Sadly, the entire 12 hour drive home was spent with no AC.  We opted to leave Sunday night rather than Monday morning to break up the trip a bit without AC.  It was a relatively warm ride with temps in the mid 90's as we were heading out of Cincinnati.

I know many people have probably done long car trips without AC and they survived so obviously we would have to make the most of it.  Shockingly, the boys never complained even once on the drive home.  They asked the notorious, "how much longer until we get there?"  But, not one time did they complain about the heat, the fact that it was a wind tunnel with the windows rolled down, or the fact that you couldn't hear the music or movie very well, or even talk much due to the noise.  All this to say, we survived and the car will be repaired this week.  We will have a new appreciation for AC in the car.

One funny comment from Luke during our drive....We were in a relatively remote area of Indiana and  we were passing through several cattle farms.  The smell was horrible.  We had most of the windows down because it was also quite warm outside.  As we were driving, Luke says-"Dad, what are the plans for stopping to change Finn's diaper?"  Thankfully, the horrible smell was not Finn, but John and I died laughing when Luke asked the question.

8 days until school is out for the second and soon to be THIRD graders.  Aiden's last day of kindergarten was TODAY!?  

Monday, May 23, 2016

Aiden's Kindergarten Graduation

Liam was very proud of the Lily pad he found at the park

Nature Walk with our friends, Jack, Charlie and Andy
Aiden's school (and the school where Luke and Liam attended preschool and kindergarten)

Finn wanted to stand on the risers while we waited for the program to begin

Aiden was beyond excited for his graduation

So excited

Aiden's class, teachers, and director at his school

Do, Re, Mi with bells

American History song, Aiden is the flag

Posing for pictures after the program

Ready for First Grade!

Silly picture with his teacher, Ms Kristi

Kindergarten diploma

AJ and Ms Kristi.  Aiden has had Ms Kristi since his first day of preschool

Aiden and his buddy, Keaton
Yes, it seems like yesterday that we were celebrating kindergarten graduation for Luke and Liam at the same school (in the same classroom).
May is a crazy month!  The month of May can be exciting, exhausting, and a bit emotional for me with the end of school, graduations, end of year parties, awards, tournaments, and even more parties.  After an entire year (and sometimes more) with many of the boy's teachers, it is difficult to say goodbye to them.  Many of these teachers we will continue to cross paths with at their elementary school, but some of them we really won't see as much anymore.

Aiden's kindergarten teacher, Ms. Kristi, is one of those very special teachers that we likely won't see as much after he finishes his last day of kindergarten at the end of May.  We are hopeful to send Finn to preschool and kindergarten at Montessori shortly, so that's a bit reassuring.  When Aiden began preschool at Montessori, he started with Ms. Kristi and he has been with her through kindergarten.  Luke and Liam also had Ms. Kristi as their kindergarten teacher.  She has done so much to work with the boys, guide us, and provide suggestions and input on things to incorporate.  She knows them all so well and we are thankful to have worked with her over the last six years.

Aiden had his kindergarten graduation ceremony this week and he was more than excited about it.  He began practicing his songs for graduation in January.  They had a Spanish song where they sang the months of the year in Spanish.  They named all 50 states in another song.  And lastly, they also had a song about all the various inventors and their inventions throughout history (airplane, American flag, first president, electricity, etc...).  Aiden has been practicing his songs in the bathtub, the car, and at the house so it feels like we all know the songs to some extent!

Aiden's kindergarten class was small class this year (8 students) which was definitely to his advantage because he received lots of individual reading time, math tutoring, etc...The classes at Montessori have been cut in half due to a change in the school system in Minnesota the year after Luke and Liam finished kindergarten when it was decided that kindergarten would be all day/5 days per week.  Previously, children only went for half days of kindergarten so many working parents had to find additional daycare and Montessori had larger classes.  Aiden's kindergarten was three full days per week and it was perfect for him.  It wasn't until the end of the year that he seemed ready for five full days.  He is so excited to begin first grade in the fall.

Congratulations Aiden!!  We are so excited to watch you continue to grow and learn!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Our Visit from Uncle Dan and other Fun

Finn and his buddy Silas on a warm sunny day.  Surprisingly, Silas is older than Finn, but Finn is quite big for his age!
Uncle Dan with Aiden and Finn early Saturday morning.  The boys were super excited to see Dan.
Finn and Daddy mowing
"Mom, take my picture NOW."
Celebrate Pentecost, the birthday of the church.  We are "Filled with the Holy Spirit."
We are celebrating Pentecost. 
Play doh fun with things that Ann sent
Birthday Party with a birthday cake by Liam

Forgot to post this last week....Liam has been working really hard lately in hockey and trying to be more aggressive with scoring.  He did really well in one of his tournament games and won the "Gritty Grinder" award for his hard work.

We enjoyed a fun weekend with Uncle Dan.  He made a quick visit for his nephew's graduation from law school at the University of Minnesota.  The boys loved having him here.  Aunt Ann sent some fun stuff for us to enjoy including some play doh building pieces.  

We are slowly warming up in Minnesota.  We have had a few days that spoiled us with temperatures in the mid 70's, but over the weekend the temperature dipped down into the 30's so we were breaking out the coats yet again and we had to bring in our spring plants.  

Spring Hockey is wrapping up for us and we will have a few months off.  Soccer, however, is picking up and we have our first games this week.  The boys are all counting down the days until school is finished.  Aiden will have his kindergarten graduation later this week and is very excited to begin first grade at the same school where his older brothers attend.  This will be the first time in six years that we will not have a child at their Montessori school.  I won't miss driving back and forth, but will certainly miss all the wonderful teachers and staff.  

Have a nice week!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Hockey Tournament #2, Aiden's Tooth, and Mother's Day

The little brothers cheering squad at Luke and Liam's hockey tournament.  Left to right:  Braiden, Otto, Callan, Brody, and Aiden.  They actually have a few cheers that they do during the game!

Luke and Liam on the ice after a win

Luke and Liam's team gave the mom's roses after the game.  Happy Mother's Day!!
Celebrating a win!
A picture of me and the boys!  This doesn't happen very often so I will take it!
Finn and his buddy, Max

Aiden and his friend Otto who both lost their first tooth at the hockey game!?
New Soccer Uniforms!  Luke and Liam are "Team Mexico" and Aiden is "Team Russia."  Its kind of ironic that Aiden keeps getting on teams with the Gold/Yellow color.  Before he got his uniform, he actually said-"I bet it will be yellow."  He was yellow for T-ball last year, hockey over the winter, spring hockey, and now soccer!

We had a busy weekend with another hockey tournament for the AAA Team that Luke and Liam are playing on.  This was our final tournament before we take June and July off and pick back up in August.  I know the boys could play hockey all the time, but a little break will be nice for all of us.  Its hard to go into the hockey rink when its sunny and 75 degrees outside.  

Luke and Liam's team did well in their tournament.  The competition was a lot harder in this tournament than it was in the one we did at the end of April.  They had several teams that actually came from Canada!  We didn't win the championship this time, but we were competitive and the boys are learning a lot about how to play as a team, how to pass the puck rather than driving through the defense, and how to play various positions on the ice.  Its been a learning process for everyone.  

At the final game in the hockey tournament (and on Mother's Day), Aiden actually lost his first tooth!  Ironically, there was another child playing with him that also had a loose tooth and about 5 minutes after Aiden lost his tooth, his friend did as well.  This was not the result of an accident, both of them actually had teeth that were loose.  Aiden was pretty excited to get a visit from the tooth fairy.

Special wishes for a belated Happy Mother's Day to my mom and my mother in law.  We love you both and we are very thankful for both of you.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Soccer Season is Here

We had a lot of rain last week and did some rainy day painting

Goal!  Liam on the soccer field

Aiden on the soccer field  

Liam and two of his buddies from hockey

Luke is in the orange shirt with the purple vest 

Luke is in the middle going for the ball
Soccer season began over the weekend for Luke, Liam, and Aiden.  Much to Finn's displeasure, he is not quite old enough to play soccer yet.  Up until the practice began, Finn really thought he was playing.  He put his shoes on like his brothers, did some push ups in the grass, and warmed up on the field by running around in circles.  We even brought his mini soccer ball so he would have something to do.  It was all good until practice began and Finn fell apart.  Thankfully, he recovered so we could watch his brothers.

We haven't really played soccer since the three big boys were around 4 years of age.  We generally do baseball in the summer, but decided to try something different this year.  We gave the boys the option of picking some sport other than hockey and the consensus was soccer despite the numerous other sports that were thrown out there.  I was really excited about soccer because Luke, Liam, and Aiden can play at the same time, same field, and exact same days of the week.  The convenience of having everyone play soccer and only have to do it two nights a week is a huge bonus in my opinion so I love soccer for that reason alone!  My next reason to love soccer is that it burns lots of energy.  Running up and down the field wore them out and everyone was ready for an early bedtime.  What could be better?