Sunday, March 30, 2014

Live every moment like you're jumping in a bounce house

This week at work was tough and as Friday approached I was looking forward more and more to the weekend.  We left work a little early Friday and headed up to Grandview Lodge in Nisswa for our second annual siblings/cousin winter weekend.  There's something magical about this place - it's not only picturesque but we all somehow really relaxed and had a lot of fun there.

We rented a huge 3 bedroom condo with floor to ceiling windows overlooking a snowy woods, two living rooms and a stone fireplace.  Friday night we all arrived and had a pizza party.  Saturday we went to breakfast, the pool (the kids LOVED the water slide - all of the cousins are definitely water kids), went to the family zone cabin and jumped in a bounce house and went down a huge, bouncy inflatable slide, then out to dinner and snuggling and movies at night.  Today we went to breakfast and to the pool again. 

It was so fun spending quality time together, everyone fawned over the little cousin, Rylan, and we all laughed and had a good time.  We can't wait until next year!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Celebrating Spring (even though it doesn't look like Spring)

Mike and I both had to spend time working this weekend (never fun) but Saturday we made a concerted effort to devote time to a family fun day.  We started out the morning with homemade buttermilk pancakes and real maple syrup (I can't stand the fake stuff).  Then to connect ourselves to the things we eat we went to the Arboretum to see where maple syrup comes from and how it is made.  We got to see and taste sap coming out of the maple trees, see the syrup boil and we even made a spile.  After naps we went to church and out to dinner at a new sushi restaurant in town.  Hadley even tried a sushi roll (with fully cooked crab in it) and they both tried using chopsticks.  Then nothing tops a family fun day off like sharing some frozen yogurt.  We still can't spend a lot of time outside because it's still freezing but we're doing what we can to celebrate spring (including enjoying a bouquet of beautiful, yellow tulips on our dining room table).
Peaking at the fairy gardens on display at the arboretum
Feeling the warmth in the conservatory

After an indoor picnic these two laid in the sunny spot on the floor 

Frozen yogurt time

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Just the three of us

Mike got to spend a long weekend in Monterey, CA with his family for his nephew, Allan's wedding. Although I really wanted to go I needed to stay with my kiddos.  Have I mentioned lately how much I love them?  We had fun while daddy was away.  Wednesday Miles did so well at basketball.  He's been practicing dribbling and has improved in just a week!  Friday night we made mini pizzas and watched Wall-E and Saturday we went to the Sievers to play, ate ice cream, went to church and had Chinese takeout for dinner.  Miles and Hadley both like moo goo gai pan and cream cheese wontons (sans the cream cheese). Hadley, our adventurous eater, also tried the fresh spring rolls.

All about Hadley
She says the funniest things and is such a talker.  She can really fill the time with chatter on longer car rides - a 1 hour chat-fest is an easy feat for this little lady.  Although she's a big talker she sometimes mixes up words.  The funniest ones lately include calling yogurt parfaits "yogurt ballets" and Special K cereal "Special OK."  She's a vibrantly joyful child, loves and is good at puzzles and is tough - rarely crying when she gets bumps and bruises. She can write "H" for Hadley and just started drawing smiley faces.  This morning I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up and she said "a doctor."  We then played doctor. Times have changed since I played this as a child because the first thing Hadley did was to grab a toy laptop and ask for my first name and date of birth.  Her pretend practice must have electronic medical records.

All about Miles
Miles is doing well in preschool.  His teacher describes him as conscientious and a kid who takes his time and doesn't rush through things.  He's writing his letters and numbers so well now - in looking at school work from last year to this year we were really impressed with the improvement.  He's finally getting more adventurous with vegetables and actually eats some everyday.  His favorites currently are edamame, cauliflower and carrots.  He also really enjoys building with legos - the taller the tower the better.  This week at school Miles is the star of the week which means we had to fill out a poster all about himself this weekend and he gets to be the line leader all week.  Here were his responses to all of the questions on his poster.  
  • favorite color: blue
  • favorite food: macaroni and cheese
  • favorite animal: husky pup
  • favorite place: the park
  • when I grow up I want to be: at a desk with my mommy
  • favorite thing to do is: pet my dog
  • if I had one wish, I'd wish for: candy
Here are my quick phone pictures from the weekend.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

New adventures

After 10+ years of marriage, Mike and I are still going on new adventures together.  Thanks to his awesome workplace we got to use two, brand new snowmobiles for the weekend.  Saturday the two of us went 40 miles on the Luce Line Trail out west.  I was really nervous to start but once I got into it I loved it!  I didn't realize I was such an adrenaline junkie - there's nothing quite like going 0-60 mph in one second on a beautiful, winter day.  We had a blast - even rounding out the whole experience with lunch at a snowmobile dive bar. 

Today, we took the kids for rides around the yard. They were thrilled.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunshine in Texas

Before we get to the Texas vacation pictures, a momentous occasion happened in our household before we left... Hadley got her hair chopped!  She did so well at Kids Hair.  Sometimes I think this exuberant little two year old is so mature and smart for her age!  She looks like such a doll now - no more straggly crazy hair.  I wish I would have done it sooner.

The cutest little peanut after!
A cute hairstyle, a sucker and a medal - what more could a girl want?
Our trip started off a little rough - running through the airport almost missing our first flight and then actually missing our second flight.  During the stressful moments, riding the train in Dallas to get to another terminal and race to catch our plane Hadley said, "isn't this so fun!!"

Ahhhhh - finally - we arrived in Texas for a vacation filled with sunshine, water and warmth.  We hit the beach at my parents' house immediately.

I put the kids in shorts but should have gone right for the swimsuits.

Checking out the waves and the weather in the mornings.
We were so busy at the beach - playing, kayaking, taking long walks, biking and eating that we only went to the park once but we had a lot of fun.

We also fed the ducks.  On the walk to the duck pond, Miles and grandpa lagged behind - carrying the bread.  On the way they had a "bread fight" - hitting each other with the loaves of bread.  If you ask Miles, this was his favorite part of vacation.

The kids picked oranges off of a neighbor's tree for the first time.

And made fresh squeezed orange juice
We also took the ferry to Port Aransas.  Miles and I saw dolphins right off the boat. The beach on the Gulf was a little windy but it didn't stop us from wading in the water and having a picnic.

Kayaking.  Princess Hadley fell asleep on this long row.
The kids loved playing a new rescue game grandpa made up.  He put the kayak on a long rope, pushed the kids out to sea at which point they'd yell "rescue me" and he'd haul them back in.  

Thanks mom and dad for another wonderful and memorable trip to Texas. The weather was beautiful, the mood relaxing and the food abundant and delicious.  We enjoyed every moment and wish we were still there!