Monday, September 26, 2016

Finn's "Preschool" and the Annual Apple Orchard Extravaganza

Finn's first day at preschool
Finn holding his pumpkins

Liam jumping on the bales of hay

Here comes AJ...

And Luke!

Finn is checking out the sheep

Feeding the goats

Liam and Finn

Aiden on the cow train

Finn and Liam

The boys reaction when I suggested our yearly picture in front of the corn

And when we said we were not doing any of the fun stuff until we got the picture....

Jumping Pillow

Finn in the log

The new zip line was lots of fun!

Aiden on the zip line

Finn in the corn pit

Freezing COLD (after borrowing Luke's shirt)

Corn pit fun

Corn maze

John with Finn and Luke navigating the corn maze 

Up on the bridge

Bridge #1 Corn Maze

And our yearly tire picture!

Finn and the tractor


Look at those curls!

Take a picture Mom!

As most of you know, Finn turned three in late July.  He isn't technically doing any type of preschool this year, but I wanted him to do something to break away from me occasionally.  We both need the break!!  We are members at a Lifetime Fitness that has some awesome kids programs.  I have really benefitted from their childcare, swimming lessons, and parents night out over the years  that we have been members.  Finn is doing a preschool adventure class every Thursday morning and last week was his first day.  It was quite organized with circle time, yoga, story time at the public library next door, music, craft, snack, work, and play time.  He thought it was so great and I did too!

We took our annual trip to the apple orchard/pumpkin patch over the weekend.  While the pictures make it look awesome (and it was for the most part), it was not without some issues.  Overall, I will say we had a fun time and I am thankful we were able to make the trip.  The boys loved the new zip line, the jumping pillow, and the corn maze.  It was all a nice break from our normal routine and a fun outing for all of us.  

The weather was not the best this year which cut down on the crowds so that part was nice.  The temperature dropped after we left the house and thankfully the boys had sweatshirts, but John and I froze (and it takes a lot for me to complain of being cold!).  We have had a ton of rain recently and the ground is saturated.  Thankfully, we have some older tennis shoes and we wore those, but we were all a muddy mess.  Lastly, its "bee season" in MN.  Around this time of year, we always have lots and lots of bees.  Its hard to eat anything outside without getting stung.  Aiden and John were stung this year.  Thankfully, they both did o.k.  Aiden was the one we were concerned about with all his allergies, but thankfully his sting was minor and he didn't react although we had the epic pen on hand.    

Monday, September 19, 2016

Swimming Lessons for Finn

Finn holding his apple at Whole Foods, one of mom's favorite places to shop!

First swimming lesson for Finn

Watering the animals at swimming

Ready to go!!
5K Fun Run for a friend getting married.  You can't see John or the boys in this picture, but you get the idea.
We had a busy week and weekend, but I didn't take many pictures so I am posting what I have.  Finn had his first swimming lesson last week.  After going to Aiden's swimming lessons for the last two years, he totally knew what to do.  Let's just say this wasn't the case for the other three year olds in his class!  Finn is pretty bold and outspoken and not fearful of many things.  He was ready to jump in and swim as soon as possible.  The other two children were a bit more apprehensive including one who didn't want to get in the water.  Finn loved it and particularly loved splashing water on his teacher (when they were trying to get everyone excited about getting wet).

John had a good running friend who got married this weekend (yes, he is quite a bit younger than John and I). He had a 5K fun run on the morning of the wedding so John and the big boys went downtown to run. Liam particularly loves running and Luke does pretty well too.  This was Aiden's first 5K run, but he did well and ran most of the time.  A run before the wedding sounds like something John and I would do!  The wedding was outdoors in a garden near some of the lakes downtown.  It was a beautiful day and a fun wedding to attend.  This was the first wedding for all the boys so they were quite interested in the event.

Monday, September 12, 2016


Boys on the play set with nerf guns.  At one point, I think there were around 10 boys in the backyard!

Play doh on a rainy day while his brothers are at school

John's most recent trail run on the Superior Hiking trail.

It has been a week of transition for us.  It hasn't been an easy week, but I suppose transitions are never really easy.  Luke, Liam, and Aiden began school last week so we are slowly getting back into the routine of homework, going to bed earlier, and getting up earlier for school.

Finn has probably had the hardest time with his brothers being gone.  He really enjoys having them here.  While he is beginning to adapt to this new routine, he had a hard time last week.  We are planning some play dates with his buddies, running errands, and getting out to do things on a regular basis so as the week went on, it got a little easier for him.

The weather is still really nice in Minnesota so everyday after school, we have a circus going on over here.  There are several neighborhood kids that the boys love to play with.  The doorbell starts ringing about 10 minutes after the boys get home from school and then they are outside burning off energy with their friends until its time to break for dinner.

In other news, John ran Moose Mountain marathon again over the weekend.  This marathon is known for being rugged, remote, and relentless.  It is run along Lake Superior and has changes of 11,000 feet in elevation.  John ran and finished the race for the second time this year and was very happy with his time.  Quite an accomplishment, Congratulations John!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

First Day of School 2016-17

First day of School!!  If they have a funny look on their faces, its because there were literally mosquitoes swarming us.  It was rainy and wet and this time of year is really bad for mosquitoes in MN.

Aiden finding his locker the week before school at Open House

THIRD Graders!

FIRST grade for Aiden

Getting on the bus

We started a new school year today.  Luke and Liam were somewhat excited, mostly to see all their friends and teachers.  I am pretty sure none of us is excited about the increase in homework that will come with school.  Aiden was beyond excited to start school and likely would have started a week early if he could.  He is now at the elementary school where Luke and Liam have attended for the last two years.  He can't wait to play at recess, meet new friends, sign up for chess class, and do all the things his brothers have been telling him about for the last couple of years.  We are excited for Aiden as well and will enjoy having everyone at the same school for the next few years!

Praying for a safe and happy school year where we will be positive examples in speech, in conduct, in faith, and in love.  Luke, Liam, and Aiden, we look forward to watching each of you grow in friendships, maturity, and knowledge.  Happy new school year!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Our Trip to the Beach...7 years and counting

In the airport getting ready to board the plane for Atlanta and then to Florida!

Chilling at the Beach (Luke is actually 8 not 16 years!)

Liam spent 99% of his time at the beach digging in the sand, fishing, hunting for crabs, and surfing.  He was always on the move!

Even Finn liked the ocean for at least the first half of the trip.  He got a little tired of the sand and heat by about Day 5 and really preferred the pool over the beach.  Not too bad for a 3 year old.

Finn trying the boogy board

Enjoying popsicles on the porch

Beautiful sunset

Watching the sunset

Finn and his shell

Picture night at the beach!

Silly pose after the serious pictures

Daddy and the boys

First night heading to see the beach

Aiden's shells

Aiden and Finn loved being buried in the sand

Standing in front of the infamous ice cream cone at the ice cream shop

Enjoying our treats

Liam's crab

Liam and Luke caught several of these little brown fish

Liam's sea cucumber!  This one was really fun to watch

Lots of little fish

Luke's prized crab

He was so proud and this crab was pretty big!

Waiting on the trolley to take us to dinner down the road on the last night in Seaside

Although we thought we were not going to make it to the beach this summer, there was a last minute cancellation on a house at the place where we usually go every summer.  In addition to that, after John flew all over the United States along with Japan and several other countries, we had a fair amount of frequent flyer miles.  So, when we had 24 hours to decide whether or not to go to Florida when everything lined up so perfectly, we jumped on it and booked a trip!

The boys didn't find out about the trip until the day we left.  Yes, we woke them up at 6:15 am and told them to pick a stuffed animal and pack it in their backpack because we were going on a trip.  We boarded the plane around 9:00 am and landed at the Panama City airport by 1:00 pm.

We spent the week at the beach and pool enjoying some of the best weather and beach conditions that we have ever had in Florida.  Both the weather and beach conditions can be highly variable in Florida and we have had years where there was a considerable amount of rain or where the ocean wasn't very conducive for swimming and playing.

Liam, especially, loved loved the ocean.  He caught so many fish, crabs, and other creatures.  Luke also enjoyed catching various things and playing in the waves.  Aiden and Finn definitely preferred the pool over the ocean, but they did enjoy being buried in the sand and probably eating snacks under the umbrella.

It was a wonderful, relaxing week that we all enjoyed so much.  We are so thankful we were able to return this year.