Monday, January 30, 2017

Hockey, Hockey, and More Hockey....

Luke and Liam at Mariucci Arena, Home of the Men's Golden Gopher Hockey team

Liam waiting to get on the ice

Finn and Aiden watching the game

The Team before the game

Center Ice before the game

Luke was really excited to play goalie

A trip to the WILD game

Fun time at the game

Sitting with Friends at the WILD game

MN WILD vs. St. Louis Blues
Finn and Daddy on our backyard ice 

All SuperMite teams from House League played each other over the weekend.  They divided the four teams into six teams and had three scrimmages going on the ice.  Lots of fun to watch!

Due to some very unusual warmer temps in the 30's, we took a break from skating last week on the backyard rink.  John finally has the rink back up and running after a few warm days of melting.  Finn has been asking to go out and skate so I am glad we have a bit longer.

Luke, Liam, and Aiden received tickets to an NHL WILD hockey game for Christmas.  The game was against the St. Louis Blues and the WILD won 5 to 1.  It was super fun for the boys (and John).  This was Aiden's first trip to the Excel center for an NHL game and Luke and Liam's second trip.  Very generous gift from Santa this year!

Luke and Liam are playing on a winter league for hockey in addition to their regular house league hockey.  We initially turned down the opportunity, but later decided to give it a try.  It has given the boys a chance to have several full ice games.  In their house league, they only skate cross ice with a few full ice games and the rest of the season is spent doing lots of practicing on stick handling skills, skating frontwards and backwards, skating around cones, etc...This league has been a nice break from all the practice and a fun way to learn and play various positions on the ice.  Their games are at either Mariucci or Ridder arenas which is where the men's and women's gopher teams play as well.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Winter Birthday Celebration

Heading out to sled!!

Roasting s'mores

Lots of boys by the fire

Kirsten and lots of boys!

Adam with his hot chocolate

Burning energy on the hill

Left to right: Dylan, Andy, Aiden, Jack B, and Jack W. (sitting)

Aiden and his sled

Enjoying some hot chocolate

Lots of boys warming up

Our lonely girl...Ms. Vanessa who is quite spunky and loves to hang out with the boys

Time for skating

Aiden and Luke

Aiden and Luke

Cake cutting time
On Martin Luther King holiday, we had a celebration for Luke, Liam, and Aiden's birthday.  We went back and forth this year trying to decide what we should do and when we would do it.  We opted to do one big party with all three boys so I checked into several local places that offer packages for birthday parties, but they were quite expensive and its hard to accommodate a large group.  I came up with the idea of doing a sledding and skating party because it seems like we need to make the most of the awesome area we have for doing this type of activity (and because its something the boys LOVE).

I found a community room at a local park about 5 minutes from our house that was very economical and more than adequate in size.  We rented the room which had an outdoor bonfire pit, giant sledding hill, and outdoor ice rink for us to use.  The boys, thankfully, loved the idea and we began putting together plans to serve hot chocolate, roast s'mores, sled, and ice skate.  They were thankfully thrilled and I was thrilled that we could invite everyone we wanted to include and not be limited as much on numbers.  I **might** have gone a bit overboard since we ended up with 28 friends of Luke, Liam, and Aiden.  We had almost 100% attendance with 18 friends of Luke and Liam and 10 friends of Aiden.  We had several siblings attend the party that are friends with all three boys.

I was even more fortunate to have three friends who offered to help as well as a couple parents who stuck around to assist so they made our gigantic number of boys a bit more manageable.  Many thanks to the girls who helped us keep the chaos under control and ensure that no one was injured during all the fun.

We purchased enough graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate for everyone to have several s'mores, we bought 100 packages of hot chocolate, and I gave everyone a choice of one of three  coffee mugs as a party favor (that doubled as a hot chocolate mug during the party).  I found some very cute coffee mugs at the Dollar Tree so it was an easy gift!

Overall, the boys left saying it was the best party they ever had so I think John and I felt like it was a success!!  I can't lie....I am glad to have the triple party over for at least another year.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Happy 9th Luke and Liam!

Luke watching the WILD practice

Luke and Liam wanted to go to a Hibachi steakhouse to celebrate their birthday

They are both wearing the goofy heads while the staff sings "Happy Birthday"

My late grandmother (who also had twins) holding Luke, Me holding Liam, and Aunt Sarah holding Calvin on their first Christmas and just a few days before the three boys turned a year old.

Luke (left) and Liam (right) a few hours after birth

Luke, age 4

Celebrating our 5th and 3rd birthdays with best twin friends, Jack and Charlie

Luke (left) and Liam (right), 6 months

A bonus room marker party

First day of kindergarten


Ice hockey outdoor jamboree over the weekend

It is very hard to believe that 9 years has passed since Luke, Liam, and cousin Calvin were born on January 11th, 2008.  The time really does pass quickly.  While their birthday this year fell on a Wednesday, we plan to celebrate with a big party on the MLK holiday.  That will be an entirely separate post at some point when I recover from the craziness of all the boys I agreed to invite to the party!  

Nonetheless, we enjoyed celebrating Luke and Liam's 9th birthday this week.  Our final year in the single digits!!  They wanted to have dinner at a Hibachi restaurant where they cook in front of you with cool knives, fire, etc...It was a lot of fun and the boys loved it.  They also received gifts from family and were able to speak with grandparents and aunts who wished them a happy birthday.  

We are so proud of both Luke and Liam.  Luke is a kind hearted, loving kid who would do almost anything to help his younger brother Finn.  He loves to help others and works so hard at everything he does.  He has a passion for hockey and in particular loves playing goalie.  We will see where he goes with this, but you can count on him to work hard and give it his best effort.  

Liam is a quick witted, funny, often quiet, yet smart kid who also loves hockey and is quite diligent with his schoolwork and everything he does.  He makes friends easily and is easy going.  He is very teachable and generally catches on to new things quickly.  He is agile, fast, and athletic yet also quite creative and could spend hours playing on his own.  

What an amazing ride the last 9 years has been for John and I.  Enjoy the Ride!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Goalie Fever and Finn's Hair

Luke and Liam played in a hockey tournament over the weekend.  This is their Blackhawks team.  I don't see Liam in this picture, but Luke is in the back on left in goalie gear.

Finn has the "goalie fever" that is going around our house.  Everyone likes trying on all the gear!

Here is Finn getting his very first trim!  He was not excited about it at all.  We went to the wonderful lady that cuts my hair and she did a great job just trimming it a bit.

Finn got his first trim last week!  Yes, he is 3.5 years old and this was his first haircut!  We didn't want to cut off his curls, but he needed a trim.

Here's another shot of his hair.

Aiden and his hockey buddies at a hockey party over the weekend

Finn with Luke and Aiden playing hockey in basement
Luke and Liam played in a hockey tournament over the weekend and Luke really enjoyed playing goalie.  He has taken an interest in the position quite a bit lately and even got his own goalie knee pads since the ones that the association provides were 6 inches too short!!  Their team did pretty well in the tournament, they won two games and lost the other two.  Overall, it was a good learning experience and a good opportunity for Luke to see if he really likes the position of goalie as much as he thinks he does.  From a parent perspective, its extremely stressful to watch your son be a goalie.  Its all fun when they win, but if they lose it can be brutal.  The highlight of our tournament was a tie game followed by a shoot out where Luke stopped both of the kids in the shoot out and we won!

The "goalie fever" has spread to Aiden and Finn as well (Liam is thankfully not interested in the position).  They love to practice goalie in the basement and on the ice rink so we have to rotate who gets to wear the pads.

Finn had his very first haircut at the end of last week.  He hasn't ever had a haircut and really needed at least a trim.  His hair was getting to be a little frizzy.  He wasn't excited to have a haircut and I guess its probably related to one of two reasons: 1)  He seemed to think it might be painful and 2) His brothers are growing their hair out and don't want haircuts right now either!  Finn knows all about "hockey hair" and he gets lots of comments on his long hair.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Christmas 2016

Liam (and Luke) were very excited to receive a drone for Christmas from Grandma and Grandpa Carrithers
Luke and Liam working on their Pokemon card binders, a gift from Uncle Jason and their cousins

We decorated gingerbread houses a few days before Christmas

We got together with our good friends and Finn's godparents, the Weigels.  This is Kevin reading a book to Finn before bed.

Finn and his new toys!  Thanks to the Barnes family, Mimi, and Grandma and Grandpa Carrithers

Finn and his Paw Patrol dog Marshall along with the MN Wild mascot Nordy.

John painted Luke and Liam's room over Christmas and Mimi gave them a MN Wild fathead for their room.  The room is supposed to look like a hockey rink with the "ice blue" walls and blue and red lines.  Aiden also received fatheads for his room with all the NHL team logos.
Waiting at the top of the stairs to come down on Christmas morning.  Finn decided to sleep in, of course.

Finn is checking to see if Santa ate some cookies and if the reindeer ate the carrots and apple.  Finn insisted we put the plate on the fireplace for Santa.

Luke got his goalie stick!!

Aiden loved his Playmobil hockey rink from the Barnes Family and the zamboni from Grandpa and Grandma Carrithers

Minnesota Wild jersey from Grandpa Morse
On New Years Day, we worked at Feed my Starving Children with another hockey team to fill bags of food to send to Haiti

Aiden celebrated his 7th birthday on January 2, 2017!!  This is he and one of his best buddies, Mark.
Happy 7th Birthday Aiden!!

Aiden received the fit bit watch that he wanted so much!  Its kid friendly, durable, and water resistant.  Aiden loves numbers and data so he enjoys telling all of us how many steps he has taken each day.

We had a wonderful Christmas break filled with so many activities that its hard for me to recall everything we did.  We started out the holiday break playing and skating with some of our best buddies, making gingerbread houses, more skating on the rink, and visiting with friends.  Luke and Liam played in a holiday hockey tournament after Christmas and really had a great time in several fast paced 4v4 games.  Luke was very excited to try out his new goalie stick in the game.  Their team came in 4th place which isn't bad considering this is the first time we have ever played together with this team.

A lot of our time over Christmas was spent skating in the backyard.  We taught our neighbor friends how to skate (the girls next door).  The girls really enjoyed it and somehow overlooked all the chaos.

John painted Luke and Liam's room over the holidays.  The boys requested a hockey themed room so we can up with the idea of painting the walls "ice blue" and adding a red and blue stripe similar to a hockey rink.  It turned out really good.  Mimi purchased fatheads for all the big boys for their bedrooms so those added a nice touch as well.

Finally, Aiden celebrated his 7th birthday on January 2.  His one request was a fit bit and he was so excited to receive one.  He has been giving all of us updates on how many steps he has taken.

Towards the end of our Christmas break as John and I were taking down the decorations, Finn came downstairs and saw all the boxes of decorations and started asking questions.  He said, "why are you putting all of this away?"  We explained that Christmas was over and so it was time to put away the tree, ornaments, etc...He got upset and started crying and said, "But when will Christmas come again??  I don't want Christmas to leave."  I am certain he had a wonderful Christmas as did the rest of us.  It was great to have some time off from work and school.  Happy 2017!