Sunday, September 28, 2014

A visit to the farm

Hadley drew one of her first family portraits - I was so impressed - we look good!
She wanted to be sure she got our hair just right.  I love our big smiles.
On Friday the Little Saints Preschool classes participated in the St. Hubert marathon so we had a picnic lunch together and took a little walk near Lake Susan.

Today we visited Loon Organics, the farm we get a box of produce from for 18 weeks out of the year.  The kids each picked a pie pumpkin, we picked sage and parsley which I already turned into sage pesto and it's preserved in the freezer, and we picked this beautiful bouquet of flowers.  Thanks Loon Organics for letting us hang on to summer a little longer.







Sunday, September 21, 2014

Phone pics and Dozinky Days

This week we took a few pictures with our phones...
We finally made the move to get rid of Hadley's crazy hair that was always in her eyes.  She looks so cute with bangs!

This handsome guy also got his haircut.

This is blurry but captures Hadley as the line leader during her tap class and the smile that's on her face the entire class.  A permanent grin is on my face during her classes too because she looks so DARN CUTE!
Saturday we went to Dozinky Days in New Prague and celebrated Czech culture with family.  We had a great time!  We saw Sylvia in the parade, hung out with the Lemke's, saw Sylvia and Olivia perform traditional Czech dancing and ate kolaches and dumplings - what could be better?
On this beautiful day I got to hang out with my Godson, Daren!


One night we went out for Mexican food.
Hadley loves beans and told me, "mom, I'm a bean princess!"
Summer-like weather was the perfect excuse to enjoy ice cream.


This girl wore her cape on a long bike ride today.  She announced, "I'm super like Mile's underwear!"

Sunday, September 14, 2014

First day of school and North Shore vacation

We started our new fall routine this past week.  Miles (my baby!) started pre-K - attending 4 afternoons per week, Hadley started preschool - going 2 mornings a week, Hadley started dance classes (yeah!  I don't know who is more excited - me or Hadley), and Miles has soccer one night a week.  This new schedule means no more lollygagging around - we have places to be, people to see!

Before his first morning back at school Miles told me he was a little nervous.  We talked about how it is natural to be nervous and even mommy gets nervous when starting something new.  I told him if he feels scared or nervous at school to think of mommy in his heart.  The whole time Miles was at school Hadley kept asking me "do you think Miles is thinking about you in his heart?"  When we picked him up this was also her first question to Miles and thankfully he didn't need me or think about me at all - he expressed that he "had so much fun!"  All week he looked forward to going to school.

Hadley also had a great first week.  She didn't hesitate to go and was so excited the first day.
Getting ready to drop Miles off the first day of pre-k

This year he's using a backpack!
On Hadley's first day of dance class I took these pictures before we left.
She chose this pose herself with no prompting from me.


Hadley LOVED dance class and did so well!  She is learning tap, ballet and tumbling and although one of the tiniest dancers in class (as I've been telling everybody) I think she has a natural talent for it (spoken like a true mama).


We ended the week with a trip to the North Shore.  Our plan was to drive to Two Harbors on Thursday at noon, camp for two nights at Gooseberry Falls and stay in a hotel one night in Duluth. We mostly stuck to our plan...

When we arrived at the campground our campsite wasn't quite right so after partially setting up we took everything down and started at a new, much larger and more private spot.  By the time we were set up it was getting dark... and cold.  Did I mention the forecast said it would get down to the mid-30s at night?  The caption for this picture adequately describes our first evening.
Yes, it's 8:30 at night.  Yes, we're eating dinner in the car.  Yes, Miles is wearing his snow pants and winter coat.  Yes, it is raining.  No, we couldn't get a fire started. 
We spent a cold night in the tent - the kids slept most of the night and Mike and I shivered and checked frequently to make sure the kids were warm enough. By the way the kiddos woke up in the morning - you never would have guessed it was a bit of a rough night.  
In the tent in the morning.
Hanging out in the tent.
I was determined that our trip would get better - and it did!  Here's the rundown of our really fun time:

Friday:  toured Gooseberry Falls, did a two-mile hike (doesn't seem like a long distance until you're lugging a 35 lb and 40 lb kid on your back), walked along the shores of Lake Superior, collected beautiful rocks and agates and left them for other children to discover, had a warm and wonderful campfire for lunch and dinner, and made a game time decision to breakdown camp around 7:30 pm and head into Two Harbors to spend a warm night in a hotel.

Saturday:  played mini golf, we headed back up the shore and toured Splitrock Lighthouse, hiked along the shore, had a picnic lunch, drove to Duluth, swam in the hotel pool, walked through Canal Park, saw a ship leave the canal and the lift bridge rise, and had dinner at Fitger's Brewhouse.

Sunday:  swam in the pool, saw a ship entering the canal, had lunch at Canal Park Brewery (yes, Mike met his craft brewery quota for this trip), and drove home and are now doing what seems like a zillion loads of laundry.

Drinking hot chocolate in the morning at the campground
Gooseberry Falls




Photo courtesy of...Hadley!
The kids loved climbing and jumping all over the rocks.
We had to watch our 3-year old very closely because she's so fearless.
Goofing around at our campsite.
Chatting by the tent
On the shores of Lake Superior

Throwing rocks in the water

One of many of our rock collections

Miles and Hadley's first time playing mini golf
Miles loved the game and wanted to play all 18 holes.
Hadley lasted about two minutes and then proceeded to pick the obstacles (mainly these two bunnies) off the course and play with them.  Luckily we were the only ones out there.
The cutest puppy ever.
The view from the lighthouse
Splitrock Lighthouse - Miles was fascinated by all of the shipwrecks we read about while touring.  When you're reading about the 200 fatalities on shipping boats on Lake Superior in the early 1900s it sounds pretty horrible to anyone but especially terrible to a 5 year old with a huge imagination.
The scenery on the North Shore is so beautiful!



Duluth lift bridge
Another lighthouse in Duluth
Canal Park
We were so busy exploring during the day the kids liked to have downtime in the evenings at the hotel.
I mentioned this in my post last week but for those who didn't catch - in a couple of weeks I'm going to make this blog private to protect Miles and Hadley's privacy now that they're getting a little older. I love that we have so many faithful followers and want to be sure you have access to the private site.  If you haven't done so already  - please send me an email sarah.nickolaygray@gmail.com and I'll be sure to send you the site instructions once it has restricted access.  Thanks for reading!