Sunday, September 20, 2015

New activities and school routines

I started working Mondays-Thursdays again - so I no longer have Monday to look forward to (work-wise that is) and consequently our Sundays are packed now with all of the get-ready-for-the-week rituals. So blogs may be short (although they've been trending that way for awhile).
This guy is a tiny engineer. He's not only our resident Lego guru he also loves to build anything and everything we put in front of him. I bought this junior engineering kit for $3 at a garage sale and he immediately built one of the more complicated machines. I love the look of pride and accomplishment on his face.
You can't see it all but Hadley's wearing my heels and combing Mike's hair in our bathroom.
One Friday night we took a shopping trip and had a blast. We all tried on this same pair of glasses but these two looked the cutest in them. This is the most fun I've had in a dressing room in a long time.

Dual drinkers at the Von Maur lounge.
Last Sunday we took a day trip to Hudson, WI. I love these types of mini trips because it feels like vacation - if only for a few hours. We started the afternoon by going to Wild River State Park. First we hiked to a dam and played at a playground. Along the way we found this giant tree.

Everyone in WI was really nice and so many people offered to take our picture - so we got a few family shots.
Next we drove to another trail that leads to a waterfall. We had to wait to find parking so took a selfie.
The waterfall was really cool - three levels.
I love this hiker.

We walked barefoot all the way up to the top of the waterfall. Here we are looking behind the curtain of water.
These kids are little adventurers. Their comment afterward was "I can't believe we did that!" 
This lady has some energy.
After the state park we explored the lakefront park, found a candy store, and went to dinner. It was a great day.
Hadley started her 2nd year of dance this week and did a great job. She's expressing interest in other things like gymnastics and karate - so we'll see how dance goes this year. Selfishly I'd love her to continue and she's good and so cute. It will be interesting to see where her interests and passions develop.

We asked Miles to choose one activity (besides swimming lessons) to do this Fall and he chose karate. Both kids took a trial class this week and Miles is now signed up. He went to his second class already and absolutely loved it. 
My whole family came over on Saturday and while the kids road bikes in the cul-de-sac the adults actually got to play several games of corn hole. We're taking advantage of every moment of sunshine and warmth we have.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

End of the best summer and fruits of our labor

Summer is quickly coming to an end and we're truly so blessed and grateful. Our lives our changing and time seems to be moving so quickly but we're doing what we can to enjoy every moment. Sometimes we do better than others - but we always try our best. Here are the literal snapshots into the last few weeks of our lives.
I asked this girl to set the table. She set a spot for herself - a little shrine with a candle, music, and a picture of our family. She was so happy just sitting in the little space she made for herself. I love this girls spirit.
She reminds me to dance more and worry less and focus on love and what's most important in life.

What??!! We are now parents of an elementary school child! Where did six years go? Here is truly the product of the best six years of my life - at kindergarten open house. He even has a locker - what a big kid! He did very well at the open house - Mike and I were clueless elementary parents - total newbies - "how do we pay for milk? what time does the bus come?" and on, and on, and on.
The best elementary school open houses included bounce houses - school is cool!

We celebrated someone's birthday with a date night - Indeed Brewery and The Red Cow for really great burgers.
We've had the best summer - so why not go out with a bang at the great MN get together - the State Fair.
Here we are, on the bus at 8 am.
Riding in style.
One of our favorite parts - the baby animals - 2 day old piglets.
A newborn lamb.

One of this guy's favorites - the largest boar - over 1000 pounds (of bacon). Gross!
A 45 minute old calf.
We ate food, food, and more food. Luckily we don't eat this way everyday.

Here's a snapshot of us at the end of the day. I think we pushed at least one family member past their limit.
Snoozing on the bus ride home.
Hadley won tickets to a Twins game for reading lots of books this summer. We saw them win against the Astros. It was a warm, sunny day for an outdoor ballgame.
Each kiddo earned a treat at the game - Hadley chose Cracker Jack.
Miles chose a huge sundae in a Twins helmet.
After sitting in the homerun porch in the blazing sun - we sneakily upgraded our seats to the lower deck, off the third base line. We had a great view in the shade
Of course purple bunny joined us at the game. This girl rarely travels without a friend - most of the time it's a kitty.
Our household has been very focused on kindergarten but this girl had her pre-k open house this past week and is excited to go to school 4 afternoons per week.
This will be her second year at Little Saints Preschool - so she knows the routine. Hadley starts school this coming Tuesday.
We stopped at the school last Monday for Miles' kindergarten assessment and took pictures by the sign.

Last Monday was not only the last day before Miles' started his grade school journey but it was also my last Monday off with the kids. Because of a recent promotion to HR Manager I will now be working 4 days per week. Monday was a hard day for me. I asked Miles to choose an activity for us to do - anything he wanted. He chose going out for frozen yogurt - so we ate fro-yo and played Jenga. I've loved spending Mondays and Fridays with these two beautiful people over the last year. New chapters in our lives our beginning now.

The first morning of kindergarten the kids did their morning routine to get ready and I made heart-shaped buttermilk pancakes with sprinkles - Miles' favorite.

Thank goodness for large, dark sunglasses because the tears were falling (from me not Miles) while we took first day of school pictures.
Walking down the driveway towards the bus stop.
At the bus stop.
Getting on the bus for the first time.
Here the bus is pulling away. If you click on the picture to enlarge it you'll see Miles' little, smiling face waving from the second window. This image is burned in my mind. My baby isn't a baby anymore.

Hadley painted a picture of Miles and we baked cookies for an afternoon snack to celebrate his first day.
Getting off the bus - all smiles!

If the first day of kindergarten wasn't eventful enough - Miles also lost a tooth that evening!

We all survived the first week of elementary school and spent a great weekend at the cabin with my parents. We stopped on the way up north for pizza at Jets in St. Cloud.