Sunday, June 29, 2014


We went to Excelsior Beach and I took a bunch of pictures of the kids and attempted for the first time to use a (new-for-me) photo editing program (PicMonkey) to do a little editing.  Here are the results.

Otherwise, I'm in maximizing summer mode so Thursday night we went to an outdoor Choo Choo Bob concert where the kids ate popcorn and danced their little hearts out.  Friday we walked in the rose garden - in full bloom - at the Arboretum, Saturday we were in the kiddie pool by 8:15 am, cooked a french toast breakfast on the griddle outside and spent the afternoon at Canterbury.  We spent every other weekend moment riding bikes, eating outside and enjoying the sunshine.  Here are a few cell phone uploads.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summer Solstice

I'm taking advantage of the beautiful weather and my new schedule by spending lots of time with the kids outside.  Monday we went to a friends' pool and had so much fun splashing around.  Friday we went to the Linden Hills Park with the Sievers and spent the day at the wading pool, playground and having a picnic and that night Mike and I had a rare night out with friends.  

Saturday we went on our first ever camping trip with the kids.  We headed out early Saturday morning to Baker Park in Maple Plain and enjoyed the whole day outside together - riding bikes, going to the beach, the playground and hanging out at the campsite.  I loved every minute except for the mosquitoes which seem to like all of us and love Miles.  Miles favorite part of camping was riding his bike (he's such a great biker - he probably biked 6 miles yesterday), roasting marshmallows, and hanging out around the campfire.  Hadley loved the beach - that girl is our water baby - she could have spent all day there - and the s'mores.  I didn't purposely plan this special camping trip for the longest day of the year - but it was a perfect way to celebrate the day.  As cliche as it sounds - my heart literally swelled this weekend - being with my family.  

Today we spent the afternoon with the Sievers again while Mike and Graham went to the Twins game.  So much fun!


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

We had a weekend of mini-reunions.  First, we celebrated Darcy's daughter Tia's graduation with a fun party with LOTS of food in the torrential rain on Saturday.  We got to see Darcy and Doreen again which is always nice.  Then today we celebrated baby Nathen's baptism in Union Hill with Amy's family and boy were Miles and Hadley excited to see all of the Lemke kids again - especially Daren.  As long as we were near New Prague we crashed my grandpa's Father's Day party to wish him a happy grandfather's day too!

The three musketeers - reunited and so happy!
This is what we gave Mike (along with donuts in bed and Twins tickets) for Father's Day.
 T-ball pictures...  There aren't many of Hadley because there isn't a ton of action in three-year old t-ball.
Hanging out before the game.
Hadley hitting a huge homer (well, actually about 2 inches off the T).  The bat is almost bigger than she is!

Miles batting during practice

Happy Father's Day to the best dad, father-in-law and daddo to my kiddos a girl could ask for!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A shortie

Two funnies...

Hadley's song (sung with dramatic flair - especially on the last word) to the tune of I'm a Little Tea Cup:  I'm a little pee cup in my soup and it goes in my lovely heart.

Miles as we were exiting the liquor store:  When are we going to the licorice store?

Miles caught his first fish of the season
Hadley caught the first fish!

With the lake up a couple of feet and the dock underwater, Ferryman Dave had to drag us in the green boat to get to the pontoon.  Luckily he had his waders! 
S'mores are a new favorite treat

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The rest of May

A lot has happened in the last few weeks of May!  Here's the quick rundown...

Miles graduated from 3 days-a-week Little Saints Preschool.  He had such a fabulous year - we've really seen him grow in his handwriting, pre-reading, and social skills.  He reports that his favorite parts of school are playing on the playground and art.  We are so proud of our growing young man!

Miles was the first one to march in for his "moving up" ceremony!
His class sang 3 songs, watched a slide show of their year, and received certificates.

Then we partied in his classroom with goofy pictures and root beer floats.
This one is ready for preschool next year!
Miles is also playing t-ball again this year and I volunteered to coach.  The first week was a little rough - I was sweating and either constantly getting someone's helmet on, bat in hand and the ball on the T or I was yelling to "run to first base!"  The second week I felt much more organized - the other dad coach and I had a great time with our little team of 12.  When I ask Miles what his favorite part of t-ball is - fielding, batting, running - he always replies - being with you mommy.  Being Miles' coach is awesome!

Hadley, Miles and I went out to Union Hill for a mini reunion with Amy and Daren and got to see the new baby, Nathen!
This little mama loves taking care of babies.
We went to the cabin for the first time this year for Memorial Day weekend.  There's nothing better than being outside, playing on the beach and riding on the pontoon.  Miles and Hadley LOVE the cabin - although they don't really love to nap or sleep at night there - probably because there is too much action when all of the cousins are there.  This was the first year that Mike and I felt like we could play kick-ball, t-ball and paint the playhouse with them and not have to be holding them or right next to them at all times.
Last year my dad hauled this playhouse up to the lake and this year we're painting it.  This is the "before" picture.
This is the "painting-in-progress" picture.  I actually didn't take a photo of the finished product!  It looks really good though.  I'll post one next time we go up to the cabin.
This is our water baby.
All the cousins!  

Although a little blurry - these three love getting rides in the wagon hooked to grandpa's lawn mower.  My dad says he remembers getting rides from his grandpa just like this.  The pure joy on their faces is priceless.

This is what happens when you refuse to nap - you snuggle next to grandpa and zonk out.

First pontoon ride of the year.  Everyone wants to be Mike's co-captain.

Granny Ruby just had her 10 year vet appointment.  She's still healthy although we have a prescription for pain killers for when she over does it at the cabin and is sore.  She's still a wonderful and beautiful dog.  
Hadley participated in her first solo organized activity - soccer through the city's recreation program.  She only had it for three weeks but she did so well.  She didn't hesitate to join in at all and loved to run and kick the ball.  Watching her out on the big field reminded me of how little she still is.

In the midst of all of this I've made a HUGE life decision and went down to working part-time to spend more time with my two favorite little people.  Right now my schedule feels ideal - I work Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays (10 hour days at least) and have 4 days off each week.  Initially this meant that I wouldn't be supervising a team anymore but due to some other changes I still get to keep my old team.  So I'm doing the same job in a compressed schedule.  Yeah - no work tomorrow!  We've only been on this new schedule for two weeks but I'm loving it so far.  I can get more done around the house and do a lot with the kids.  This past Friday we spent a lovely morning at the Arboretum and the afternoon at the Miller Park splash pad. Tomorrow baking muffins is on our agenda.

We decided not to get expensive, professional pictures taken this year - instead, I'm going to attempt to take some good ones throughout the summer and practice my photography skills.  Here are my best ones from the Arboretum. 

Miles and Hadley both see me behind the camera so much that they also want to shoot pictures.  Miles actually snapped this one - and I absolutely love it!

Having fun at the splash pad.  We waited a long time for Spring and now that it's here it feels like July!  
In other big news, the pacifier "paci" fairy visited our house and scooped up Hadley's pacifiers and delivered them to a new little baby.  Verbally she doesn't seem to mind not having them at all - the tough part is she's having to learn how to relax and be quiet in bed without them.  It's been a bit of a rough transition - she's always so wound up and wild that we're trying to teach her other ways to chill out in bed.  It's nothing that a little more time won't take care of.

Lastly, this past Saturday we raised money for the American Heart Association and walked with my company 3 miles through downtown Minneapolis.  Thank you so much to everyone who generously supported us!

The walk started at Target Field.
There are moments when having a 3 and a 4 year old is VERY challenging but the fun and funny moments and all of the love in our house way outweigh the crazy times (sibling fights, no listening ears, and not staying in bed).