Monday, September 30, 2013

Weekend with Grandma and Grandpa T

We drove up to Fergus Falls Friday night for a visit with Grandma and Grandpa T.  Summer was SO excited and kept talking about how she couldn't wait to sleep in a little bed in Grandma's closet (they have a very large bedroom closet and let Summer sleep in there when she comes to visit!) 

We had a lot of fun!  The guys got to go duck hunting Saturday morning while we played at Grandma's house.  She really knows her grandkiddos as she had tons of cars and ball toys for Colton and a MASSIVE stack of library books for Summer!

 Then we went to GeeGee Sandy's new house for lunch and dinner.  GeeGee Sandy had a super cool race track that both the kids and Daddy loved!

We also got to see Paul's Uncle Kelly and Aunt Sheena's new house, and their oldest son Morgan shared all his cool toys with the kids.  Here is Colton in a little car Morgan races.

After church on Sunday we went to the park.  I love this video of Colton walking with Grandpa, copying his "UGH UGH" as he worked hard to get up the big hill!!

A definite highlight for Colton was riding Grandpa's 4 wheeler (which he used that morning to smooth out the bumps in their long gravel driveway).  He called it a "tractor" and was pretty excited about it!  Here is a little video:  (You can also see Tucker having fun with Grandma and Grandpa's dogs, Bode and Annie)

We headed back Sunday evening.  Grandma packed lots of yummy snacks for the kids on the long trek back.  Here Summer was pretty excited about her fruit snacks from Grandma!

We loved spending the weekend with you, Grandma and Grandpa T!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

This Week: September 21-26

It has been a busy week! It is hard to believe it is Thursday already.  It has been absolutely gorgeous out, so we have been spending as much time going to the park, eating picnic lunches, going for runs, etc as we possibly can, because I know in a few short weeks it will be too cold to get out!  I stole this picture from Joy (my neighbor) but it really encompasses a lot of our week--eating lunch and playing at the park with these lovely ladies!  We are so blessed to have them as our neighbors!

Colton, Noelle, Faith, Summer
 When we are inside, MOST ALL of Colton's time is spent playing with his cars.  He totes them all over and we play in Summer's room, Colton's room, Mommy's room while I'm folding laundry, and downstairs while I am cooking, etc.  I didn't capture a very good video (sorry the sun is really glaring from Colton's window) but I did post a video because I want to remember this guys' favorite thing to do at this age.  It is adorable watching him carry his big bin of cars all over the house or watching his face light up if you ask him if he wants to play cars!

 Miss Summer's favorite thing to do is read books.  We have also been enjoying playing games such as Trouble, Chutes and Ladders, Cootie, Barnyard Bingo, and a Dora Explorer game.

In "preschool" this week we experimented with two things I picked up at the consignment sale last week....
Alphabet Stencils and Math Puzzles
She LOVES the stencils.  She keeps wanting to do them over and over, and it is fun because she really can do them all by herself.  It is the best way so far I have found to help her make an "S", and she kept exclaiming, "Mommy, watch me make a ___(fill in a letter)"  or "Mommy, look what I did!"

She also liked tracing the pictures that came with the stencils...

Colton and I spelled out his name with the punch-out letters from the stencils (We had to use a Q for his second O!) and talked about/repeated the name of the letters.

Most of the time, though, he loved just playing with the box and the pieces!

We tried the math puzzles a few times this week (they match up the pictures to complete the puzzle), and Summer was really good at "reading" the math problem at the bottom (i.e. 2 + 3 = 5) but I am not fond of the way it doesn't require counting/solving to come up with the answer in order to complete the puzzle.  It was fun for a few times, but all in all, not my favorite find.

One special thing we got to do this week was tour Elko Speedway Racetrack with Mom's Club.

Ready for the tour!

The track.  No cars were racing today, but we got to see police cars zoom around practicing chases with their sirens on!!!

Summer driving a racecar

Waving to the crowd ;)

In heaven :-)

Little trouble seeing the road.....!

Running around looking at the racecar

Colton in pit crew...changing the tire....

Summer up in the booth where they announce/scoreboard/etc

Picture in front of the board  where the winners stand
Summer taking a picture of the "smashed car"  She was pretty excited about this one for some reason!

Whew.  All that touring makes sitting on the couch reading a good book feel GREAT!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Apple Orchard with Mom's Club

Going to the apple orchard has always been one of my favorite things!  It was also love at first sight for Summer, on her Summer's first time, and the little video of her eating her first big apple when she was 1 is one of my all time favorites!  Last year we went with the Apple Valley Mom's Club, and that was technically Colton's first time, but he was only 5 months old so he doesn't remember much.  This year we went again with the Mom's Club and Colton absolutely LOVED it this year!  He walked around the orchard the ENTIRE time holding his precious apple with a huge smile on his face.  Priceless.  Here are a few pics...




One of 10,000 bites ;)

My two favorite kiddos
On top of the big haybale
Driving the tractor
Unfortunately, Summer got a bee sting at the end (it flew under her hair and stung her on the neck :() but overall it was  great morning!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Our week...

Our fall weeks so far have been filled with lots of fun things including going to lots of parks, playing with friends, learning time, playtime, reading books, library story time, BSF (Bible Study Fellowship), and swimming lessons during the day, and lots math tutoring in the evenings for me.  Here are a few videos and pictures to bring us up to date!

On Mondays we usually get all of our errands and housework done, including groceries, cleaning, and laundry.  We do try to squeeze in some park playtime, though!  Here are a few pictures of the kiddos playing at "The Dinosaur Park" by our house along with our favorite neighbor twin girls, Faith and Noelle.

Noelle, Faith, and Summer "jumping" off the side of the park.  1, 2, 3 GO!

Summer is master of the "Big Kid" stuff now.

Colton LITERALLY wants to do EVERYTHING his big sister does and will follow her all over trying to do everything she does...he can't, but he likes to think he can:-)
 Here is a little video of Summer, Faith and Noelle playing Ring Around the Rosy.

On Tuesdays, we like to go to library story time, were Ms. Sarah does a great job putting together songs, actions, poems, and books for a half hour of fun!  Summer loves to do all the actions, and wrote the "U" and the "E" on her name tag this time.  Colton loves the "sticker" nametags, and singing "Happy and you know it stomp your feet"!
Ready for library story time!
The kids still love reading their library books as much as ever and we usually have between 20-30 checked out at a time.  We often spend between a half hour and an hour (sometimes more) just reading.  And when I need to be doing dishes, cleaning, etc, it is not uncommon for me to find the two of them looking at books!  Summer likes to read them (she memorizes the words when we read them and then reads them to herself.)  Colton likes to be like his big sister :-).  He loves any book that has a truck in it!

A common sight at our house....

On Wednesday mornings we go to BSF.   BSF stands for Bible Study Fellowship.  While I attend the women's Bible study (this year we are studying the book of Matthew), Summer goes to the  kids program where they learn the same lesson as we do, sing the same hymns we do, and do all sorts of other fun things! Colton also gets taught about the love of God.  When I drop him off, they ask for a prayer request for him so they can be praying for him as they love on him.  They also sing hymns to him and teach him about God!  When I picked Colton up from his class this morning, the teacher told me that Colton learned that Jesus loves him.  Here is a little video of him telling so....

On Thursdays, we have swimming lessons and Grandma Kirkwood comes over to play.  Grandma took this video of Summer doing her favorite things at swimming lessons: "The rocket".

Fridays are often our day to go to the zoo, do a play date with friends, go to a Mom's Club activity (this Friday we are going Apple Picking with Mom's Club), etc.


Summer and I usually do preschool after lunch while Colton starts his afternoon nap.  While last week we focused more on Reading and Writing , this week we focused more on math and science.  Summer was very interested in Tigers this week (since our library story time theme was Jungle Animals) so we checked out a non-fiction book about tigers and read that together.  (I learned a lot too!)  She also LOVES the piggy bank that Grandma and Grandpa T gave her for her birthday, so several times this week we dumped out her coins, sorted them, named them (pennies, quarters, nickles, dimes), talked about how many of each make a dollar, counted them, and did addition and subtraction.  She is getting better at her addition and subtraction in her head and can add 2 or 3 to small numbers now.  (For example, if I ask her....I have 3 pennies and you have 3 pennies, how many do we have together? ..she can say 6 without counting them).  When we add unlike numbers (like 3 + 4) she knows to count them to find the total.  She loved it and kept asking for more "maths".  Of course, at the end of the lesson we get to "feed" her piggy bank--and she loves doing that!

It is harder for me to find one-on-one time with Colton, so usually Summer "helps" me teach him.  Summer likes to put all the shapes from his shape puzzle on one side of the room, ask him to go get one, and he will toddle/run over to pick one out and come back and put it in his puzzle.  He always gets "hexagon" right, usually gets "circle" right, and the rest are iffy :)  But we all have fun with the game and clap when he gets one right!  Here he is doing his favorite puzzle (it has motor vehicles on it!)  I have to laugh at how animated he is when he does puzzles.


This week Grandpa T was down in the cities on business and the kids LOVED playing with him Monday nights!  Paul shot these videos of them playing outside  while I was tutoring.  The kids LOVE this little $5 slide we picked up at a garage sale a few months ago!  

 The kids kept Grandpa busy reading books, sliding, playing hide-and-seek, and "playing" piggy bank with Summer :).  Great to see you Grandpa T!!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Church Men's Retreat

I am thrilled that Paul got the opportunity to go on our church's Men's Retreat this weekend along with 50 other guys from our church.  He has had CRAZY weeks of work lately, and he is such a servant, always spending his time serving his family, working on house projects, volunteering at church, or working on work --- he really never gets to do anything for himself.  I am super excited for him that this weekend at Trout Lake Camp, he is getting to play floor hockey, shoot guns, play ultimate frisbee, mini golf, paintball, as well as attend chapel sessions, baked potato bar, and grill steak :).  I hope and pray that he has a refreshing time, connects with God better, and just has time to relax and have some fun!   
grilling steaks

shooting clays

While he has been away, we have kept busy so we don't miss him so much!!.  We have visited several parks, gotten Dairy Queen ice cream treats, gone to a soccer game, found great deals on winter clothes, boots, and coats, preschool supplies, etc at the kids's consignment sale, went to the fire station's fundraiser, played with our neighbor friends, and went out to dinner with Grandma and Grandpa Kirkwood, Uncle Eric, and Auntie Kristin. 

Look at this cool orange cone (at the fire station)!

Yummy hotdog :)

Huge tire on this fire truck!

Woah this fire truck is awesome!

We love fire trucks!

All ready for Olivia's soccer game. Summer made a big red poster filled with smiley faces and Olivia's name (you can see it in the background).

Go Red Team!

With friend Olivia (10) from church.  Olivia is so sweet to Summer and comes to chat with her every Sunday.  Summer adores her!
Unfortunately this afternoon, Colton started running a low grade fever and he just wasn't acting himself. I got some extra cuddles with him in, and I hope he will wake up better tomorrow.  I am not sure if it is teething or if he is getting sick, but I decided I wouldn't put him in the church nursery tomorrow just in case.  I am thankful for my friend Natalie who said she will sub for me teaching the high school Sunday School class tomorrow since, with Paul gone, I really feel I should stay home with Colty.  (I am super excited about the series we are doing right now with the high school youth--it is all about answering life's tough questions, like Why Does a Good God Allow Suffering, Does Science Disprove Christianity, etc.  Here is the link to the trailer for the series.  It's a good one!)    

We have had fun this weekend, but definitely missed daddy!  We are very exited to see our daddy again tomorrow!