Friday, May 31, 2013

Hide and Seek

I have been meaning to catch some video of Colton walking lately, but just haven't done it!  He has really taken off and is now walking more than he is crawling.  He has pretty good balance on his tiny feet and will walk over very uneven ground without falling--although he looks like he is going to fall because he still looks very unsteady!  He does fall a lot, and when he does, he has not yet figured out how to "re-stand-up", but will instead crawl to the nearest vertical thing and pull himself up on it!  Silly boy.  Anyway, here is a clip from this morning when we played Hide and Seek with Summer.  It shows his current walking skills :).

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day

We spent Memorial Day weekend at my parents' cabin and had a blast!  Here are some pics :-)

Bonfire and S'mores


Summer (and Daddy) won!

Colton loved the sidewalk chalk

I LOVE this picture of Daddy and Summer!

Ladder ball

Ladder ball
My favorite little boy and me

Watering the weeds :-)

Birthday cake for Daddy

Tucker's first time down a slide (with Auntie Kristin)--Uncle Eric's idea :-)

Here I come

Grandma Kirkwood gave us all matching Shell Lake sweatshirts for Christmas
Uncle Eric, Auntie Kristin, and Colton

Colton LOVED the pebbles the park

Mommy and Colton

"Running" Tucker

Grandpa and Summer at the park

Wagon rides!


Tucker's turn

Daddy and Summer
We had a great weekend!  Thanks for inviting us to your cabin, mom and dad! 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Best. Birthday. Ever.

So this is one of the rare opportunities that I'll take to add something to this wonderful chronicle Kelly keeps of our lives.


Because I had the best birthday ever!

What could be better than starting your day with breakfast in bed with your kiddos??  Not sure who was more excited  - - me or Summer!  She sure enjoyed my pineapple and juice, but I did sneak a few bites of breakfast sandwich and was unhindered in my coffee consumption.

Next, Summer and I headed to her last gymnastics class of the year.  I'm so proud of how much she has improved over this past year - it's so much fun to "help" - going to miss it when she jumps to the big kid class!  Today they received ribbons (see the video for Summer's ribbon presentation!).

Summer getting her feet stamped after gymnastics (they do this at the end of every class for fun for the toddlers)

Summer loved her teacher (Ms. Linda)

Once I got home, Kelly had some adventures in store - she had me take the day off of work, but didn't tell me what we were going to do.  As we drove, she had us stop for my free birthday drink at Caribou, as well as Subway sandwiches for our car trip.  Why we needed sandwiches was beyond me as there are restaurants everywhere, but it soon became apparent as she gave me the next address to plug into my phone's GPS.

Winstead, MN. Winsted????  What????

Well, Winsted did not disappoint.  I figured we were on our way to some park or something - it was a nice day out, we had grabbed food to go - why not enjoy the outdoors?

About 15 minutes outside of Winsted, she told me what I was doing - - I would be jumping out of a plane!  My initial reaction?  "Shut up!" (seriously).  She completely surprised me!  So, as my hands clammed up but anticipation built, we pulled into West Side Skydivers.

I'll let the pictures and video speak for themselves...

Full Video!

13.5k feet with ~60 seconds of free-fall going over 100 mph - WOW!  FUN!!!

After the jump, we drove back to Apple Valley in time for my scheduled massage - aaahhhh.....relaxation!

Once sufficiently relaxed, I stopped at Red's Savoy (best pizza in the world) to pick up our dinner.  Of course, dinner wouldn't be complete without brownies and chip mint ice cream!

We opened up some presents - again, Summer was probably more excited than I was! :) - and we then headed out for a family walk.

After our walk, we had fun with the kids (Colton would not stop giggling and Summer was a non-stop chatterbox!) before putting them to bed.

All the adrenaline (and pizza) was taking its toll on me and I voted for movie night - my pick.  We went retro with Mission: Impossible.  Pretty funny to see the "cutting-edge" technology from 1996!  Great movie and now having fun recapping the best birthday I can remember!  I won't forget this day any time soon!  Thank you, Kel, for putting together a wonderful day! Love you! :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Its been pretty rainy lately, but here is what we have been up to:

-Playdates with awesome friends!

-mall playzone
 *For the first time we brought Summer's doll stroller to the mall and she had fun pushing "Berry" around the mall since it was too rainy to go outside!

*Summer has been checking out books all by herself for months now, but I finally snapped a picture today!

*Colton had fun walking all over!

-putting in our vegetable garden
*Dodging rain drops, we put up the fencing and Summer helped us pick out our veggies (two kinds of tomatos, two kinds of peppers, corn, peas, watermelon, strawberries, cantelope, cucumber, and pumpkin) and we got them all planted.  Nice to have rainy days for that!

-replacing our old 1960's green toilet and 23 year old microwave (both finally bit the dust!)
*Paul is an amazing handyman and successfully completed both!

-Summer learned her phone number, address, quite a few Spanish words, and she can buckle her own carseat
*We met a new friend (Ms Edita and her daughter Chile) at the mall playplace and they spoke Spanish.  I chatted with Ms. Edita for a long time while Chile and Summer played.  Afterwards, Summer wondered what we were saying because she couldn't understand the Spanish.  Since then, she has been very interested in learning Spanish, so we have checked out books and DVD's from the library as well as watched quite a few youtube clips during breakfast!  Some favorites of ours are clip 1, clip 2, and clip 3.   Here is a little video of a bit of her Spanish.

*Summer has been noticing numbers on houses, so we decided to start talking about addresses.  I also thought it would be good if she learned her phone number, so we sang it to the tune of Mary had a Little Lamb and she learned it after a few weeks of singing it :).  Here is a little video:

-Colton has been walking much more, and will now walk even without an end destination in mind!

Reading with Daddy

Giant Cookie with Grandma and Grandpa K (while Mommy and Daddy were at Bible Study)

Family walk after dinner

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dandelion Musings

Over the last week, yard work has been on the top of the chore list for me (it's an excuse to be outside, and leave the laundry and bathroom cleaning for later!)  We have been slowly returning plots of excessive landscaping (from our previous owner) to grass over the past couple of years, and this past week has been full of raking, tilling, fertilizing, seeding and watering.  This morning, when Summer and I were outside, I noticed the  dandelion crop springing up again.  We probably have close to 150 of these in our yard right now.

What I dislike most about these beasts is that you have to get them up completely by the root (which looks like a 3 inch long white carrot) or else it will grow right back.  Every year I get the same overwhelmed feeling when I look at our yard and see them because I cannot pull them out fast enough to keep them from spreading.  

Today as I was attempting to get the root out with the plant, I wondered why they keep coming back each year?  We manage to rid the yard (mostly) of them by fall, yet every spring they come back with a vengeance. 

As I was working and thinking, I thought about how much dandelions are like our sins.  We don't have to try to "grow" them, they just pop up and rear their ugly heads naturally.  We have to plant, work, water to get good things to grow in our lives, but the bad just seems to happen naturally.  We try hard to yank them out of our lives, but if we don't get the roots, they come right back.  It gets overwhelming trying to deal with all the bad thoughts and attitudes that come, and I can't deal with them fast enough.  Left alone they completely kill the grass until there is no lawn left at all...and our sins completely kill us by separating us from the only source of life, God.
That's where Weed B Gon comes in for me.  You simply spray the center of each dandelion and within 24 hours the root begins to die.  It feels like the problem can actually be tackled since spraying the center of a dandelion takes a fraction of the time as digging out a deep root.  I know it sounds silly, but this is how I was thinking about Christ's death on the cross today!  His death on the cross made killing the root of the sin problem actually possible--in fact, almost too easy (for us!) to be true!  All we have do do is believe that he sent Jesus to die for our sins on the cross, and he forgives us--completely!  No more dandelions!  Amazing!  Thankfully he also sends us his Holy Spirit to help us overcome the dandelions that continue to pop up daily.

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." Acts 16:31

My prayer is that if any readers haven't believed on Jesus Christ to enjoy a forgiven life, you would do so today!!!!!  Or find someone to talk to to understand more....:)

Blessings on your day!  Kids are up from their naps and its off to the outdoors again for us....!

Mother's Day

I had the best Mother's Day weekend ever, because I have the best family ever!  On Saturday, Daddy and the kids "kicked me out of the house" to go for a run while they made me a flower out of their hand and foot prints, and it honestly was the best present I could ever get!  I love it!

 Then they took me to one of my favorite restaurants: Annie's Parlour, for burgers, shakes and fries.  Paul and I have gone there on dates, but never with the kids.  They LOVED it, and the meal was full of giggles, smiles, and consuming lots of icecream and fries! The BEST!
Then on Sunday, we went to church and lunch with my mom and the Kirkwood side including the newly-wed Bjorklund couple :). 

Colton and Daddy
Mommy and Summer

Mom and her two girls :)
 A huge shout out to my wonderful mom and mother-in-law :)  Thanks for all you are and do.  Love you both!