Thursday, September 10, 2015

End of Summer and New Beginnings

 Labor Day weekend came and went. It was fabulous to have another beautiful weekend up north to enjoy that little bit of sunshine left. We got lots of rain but it was mostly at night so that left lots of boat/lake time during the day. The girls had fun tubing- mostly Josie and Madeline. Sofia doesn't take to tubing yet but went with Dan a cu I got in a long run and a hard workout, as I am only a couple weeks away for my next big half marathon. The rest of the weekend, I took it easy- reading by the lake and swimming when I got too hot! The Ahrens were at the cabin too and we got to watch Dane go water skiing for the first time! He popped right up his first try! I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but I was totally impressed.  I love watching all the cousins play together. When they weren't tubing and swimming, they were working on their "spy house" in the woods or jumping in one of the many mud puddles. Good thing there was a lake to wash up in!
The best way to cruise the lake- put the kids on a big float so we can have the pontoon to ourselves! (Way more fun for the kids too!)
Oh, to be a kid again!
Love how Josie is wearing her life jacket!

 Who can get the muddiest?
Madeline is pretty dirty
Dane looks proud!
I think Peter won the muddy contest!
Sofia putting on a pose :)
Josie trying out the slip and slide!
"Tat time" (what Will calls nap time)
Looking for turtles and treasures
Kids on their way tubing!
Peter, Madeline, and Dane
Dane, Peter, Madeline, and Josie
Go, Dane!!!
Will hamming it up!
Sauna time!
One last hurrah the night before school. Touch-a-Truck!
Well, yesterday was the girls' first day of Kindergarten. It was a big day for our whole family! First of all, when we think back to when they were first born, the concept of Kindergarten felt foreign and even optimistic. We weren't sure if these babies were going to make it at all. We also thought about James during this big event- thanking him for doing such a great job looking over his sisters. We don't go a day without thinking about him.
First picture they ever had all together the middle of being terribly sick.
Kindergarten for me, marks the beginning of the girls being big kids- and a beginning where we (and family/friends) aren't their only influences in their world. Suddenly, there are their teachers, classmates, and all the other kids on the playground and on the bus! What really made me start crying on the first day was when we were walking to the bus stop and I was holding two of the girls' hands. I thought to myself "how many more years will they want to do this??" It's such a sweet moment to walk holding hands with your kids. After the girls got on the bus, Dan, Will, and I ran back to the car and made it to the school. We barely had enough time to park and run over to the sidewalk to watch them get off the bus! They have a such a short bus ride!

Their first day went well. We had a million questions for them but it was hard to get too much out of them. I wish I could be a fly on the wall and just watch them all day! I do know they got two recesses and saw the gym and did a couple games there. Snack was after an early lunch.... you know, the important things. ;)  Among the new pics, I also added one pic of dan from his first day, and one of me. Who do the girls look like??
Dan in his bright yellow rain jacket!

Me... but I have to point out some strange observation...the first day of school was universally on the same day for all the public elementary schools, and Dan and I were the same grade, so why does Dan's weather look drizzly and foggy, and mine relatively bright? What!! Deb (Dan's mom) wonders maybe we had a big gap of when we actually caught the bus, which could be the answer we're looking for! Duluth's weather does change quickly!




Love, love, love this picture!

My kids and me!
Posing with daddy
Here comes the bus!

Josie giving us one more look back!

Arrived at school!
In line ready for school
They're home!!! That marks the end of the first day!

Today is the first day it is truly just Will and I since Dan worked from home yesterday. I think it's going to be just as big of an adjustment for him as it is for the rest of us. All of a sudden three of his playmates are gone the whole day! I have to learn how to be a "singleton" mom! I can think of plenty of things to do outside the house, etc, but it will be new for me to try to get things done around the house when Will wants to play with me at the same time. Too bad he doesn't have a twin- haha!
Seriously, that would be great!

I love seeing everyone's back to school pictures online. I don't get sick of it at all! I hope school is going smoothly for everyone out there! Thanks for reading this long post!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Life Lately

Well, now that it's been almost a year I thought I'd give a little update. I can't update the whole entire year because that is just too daunting of a task! Just know it was a good one! This summer we have been keeping ourselves super busy- spending most weekends away, including Duluth, Island Lake, Long Lake, Lake Ojibway, Connecticut, and the Apostle Islands. I can probably count on one hand how many weekends we've actually been home. For Labor Day weekend we are planning another Long Lake trip.

I will update on each kid...
Sofia has three baby teeth gone (one of which had to be pulled) and has learned to ride a bike without training wheels. She also will swim in deep water with a life jacket on. She likes tubing but was the most nervous to go and needs to go with Dan or me. All the girls have been pretty tentative around water so this is a big step. Her favorite daily activity, along with her siblings, is to catch frogs in our backyard. She's still very affectionate and can play so nicely with Will (when she wants to-ha!)
We call her "Fia Deer" (pronounced Dea) for a reason!

Madeline has lost two baby teeth and also learned to ride a bike without training wheels. She also loves to swim with a life jacket and like tubing- even by herself!  She is still our most gregarious and isn't afraid to laugh at herself and be silly. It's hard to say for sure, but I think she plays with Will the most often one-on-one.
Silly, cute Madeline

Josie has lost two baby teeth too but it took her the longest. Josie surprised us and was the first one to learn to ride a bike without training wheels and was the first to swim to the raft at Lake Ojibway and jump off the dock. Last summer she was scared to ride a bike with training wheels and took nearly the whole summer to try. All of a sudden she became so brave! Josie, along with her sister, has taken an interest in Legos, but I would say she comes up with the most intricate designs (a car or home for a little lego animal).
Josie loved this kid!

Will is over 2 1/2 years old and loves playing with his sisters. He tries to find frogs with them but usually needs help. He has learned to hold them gently, though! Will definitely looks up to all three and can either be a really fun playmate or pain! Typical younger sibling. He wants to do everything they do- he even asks me to pull his tooth out! When we were shopping for school supplies he was in tears because he wanted a three ring binder too! Will is extremely verbal and has many of the same phrases as his sisters and he is obsessed with everything "big" and being "big". With how grown up Will acts, he refuses to sit on the potty. He may be in a diaper forever! No, I am letting him take his time but I'm ready when he is!
The joy of a two year old... Will :)
Summer time is running out, with kindergarten starting NEXT week! We have kindergarten open house on Thursday where we will know their teacher and class lists. We are planning to keep the together this year, much to their happiness. I'm not sure what Will and I will do without them but I know the girls are ready for school- and will love it. They loved preschool last year! I know it will take them awhile to adjust because they will be going to full-day kindergarten.

Here are some favorite pictures from this summer, starting with a couple from our spring Florida trip (close enough to summer!)
Easter in Pensacola! (S, M, J)
We don't need dresses on, we need swimsuits! 
Blue Angels!

Will adored being inside a jet (didn't love watching the loud air show)
Enjoying the ocean waves
 Valley Preschool had the cutest little graduation at the end of preschool! They marched from their little school house building to park where the ceremony was held. The teachers spoke about each child and it was fun hearing what they had to say!
Madeline, Sofia, Josie




Their cute outfits under the gowns

Here are some Long Lake, Island Lake, and Lake Ojibway pictures...

Odin is 7 now

Look, mom! (Madeline)

Will's first fish

Sofia's fish

Madeline's fish

Josie's fish

Big girls!

One day Will and daddy went off fishing and caught us dinner
Will watching a family friend's plane! 


Odin, the camera is this way!

We took the kids camping for the second time at the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior. Lara and Charlie's family was supposed to come too but poor Dane was sick. Unlike two summers ago, we had beautiful, absolutely perfect weather. The weather is always hit or miss because of possible cool weather, but this year it was a hit! The water was refreshing but not too cold. Our only downside was loud neighbors and less than stellar fishing. 

It took us awhile to get there and unpacked, but the first feeling of the lake was monumental :)

Tent sleeping wasn't too bad!

Dan reeling in the one keeper of the trip (there was also a very strict size limit)

Dan surprised me with a paddle board for our anniversary! Nothing like the first test run on Lake Superior!

The kids and me 

"Bumpa" and the up some dinner

Grandma and the kids
 Here are some random pics lately...
We celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary!

Out at the Guthrie to see The Music Man
Josie is so proud of this one!
Sofia biking!
Josie getting the hang of the bike
My cheerleaders during a track workout  (I'm training for a half-marathon in Ely this September) 

Big frog captured by the nature center

Big Truck day at the classic car show in North St. Paul

Will may not have caught this toad, but he sure is proud of it!
Frogs and toads for all!
Walking around Lake Harriet with Emily who came to visit from Boston!
At the Teddy Bear Park with Emily
Three sisters
The kids took a hot second to warm up to cousin Emily!
My cousin Emily on her last day in Minnesota
I heard about a place called "Fawn-Doe-Rosa" in St. Croix Falls, WI that I just had to bring the kids to. All the deer were hand raised and the kids could feed them by hand. They also had other farm animals and local wild animals in cages on the property that were fun to see too. The kids were all smiles the whole time and well worth the drive and entry fee!

Buck and Will


Will wants this goat for his birthday :)

Pure joy!

Love the arm around Josie!

The kids!
"Oregon Trail"!

Ok, bye then!

I know I've lost some credibility, but I'll try to update soon, especially to show off our first day of kindergarten pictures! Hope everyone is having/had a great summer! We are trying to squeeze in more fun this last week and a half!