Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween 2015

This year, we had a princess, and astronaut, and a monkey.

Out of probably 20 pictures, this was the closest I could get to all 3 smiling and looking at the camera...

This outtake makes me laugh every time!

The older two ran all over our neighborhood and had so much fun trick or treating!

We then went to one of Summer's new friend's from school house, Persaya, who also happens to have a little brother Brayden, close in age to Colton.  After enjoying AWANA last week with Summer and Colton, both new friends are now registered to come to AWANA weekly, which we are all excited about! Anyway, we trick-or-treated their neighborhood as well.

The stash. :)

Summer at Southview - Parent's Night and other school updates

A picture of Summer talking at Parent's Night (taken from Southview's Facebook page)
Southview Elementary is a Leader in Me school.  Each week the kids learn about a different skill from the book, The 7 Habits of Happy Kids.  It is really, really awesome curriculum!  This month the school had a parents night to tell parents about the program, and a few students were asked to give examples of the different principles.  Summer was asked to talk about one of the 7 principles (Win-Win) along with Ali, a 5th grader who is also one of our neighbors and we love her so much!  Here is a little video of Summer talking at Parents Night, giving an example of the Win-Win principle.

This month, Summer was also given special recognition with a group of students for being leaders and responsible in the school. 
Picture taken from Southview's facebook page

Summer is now a part of a special reading group of 1st graders.

At the beginning of the month, Summer was in a pullout group with 4 other kindergarteners who already read well, but was asked last week to instead be a part of 1st grade gifted and talented program for reading and writing.

This is most of Summer's class at their fall party.  I had so much fun helping out with Summer's Fall Party this past Friday!  I worked the beanbag toss game, and because the kids rotated through the stations in groups of four, I am starting to feel like I know the kids names now!
Here is a little video clip of Summer's class in Southview's costume parade.

We are LOVING Southview.  Summer is really holding her own among the 100ish kindergarteners at Southview in leadership and academics, but I am most proud of her kind heart for others and love for Jesus.  One of Summer's classmates' mom told me that her daughter talks most about Summer and how kind she is and how she gives her hugs.  I pray that God's light would shine through Summer at Southview and that she would bring glory to his name and others into His Kingdom by the gifts, talents, and personality he has given her.

Fergus Falls - Hunting Trip

Last weekend, we drove to Fergus Falls so Paul could go hunting with his dad and brother and we also celebrated Grandma T's birthday.  The boys had success hunting and got 5 ducks, which will now be duck sausage :).  I got spoiled by Grandma T as she got up early with the kids so I could sleep in and also let me go for a nice long fall weather run :).  We also had a lot of fun going to a pumpkin patch near their house while the guys were hunting.  It had tons of cool stuff including hay bales to climb all over, corn pit, leaves to jump in, and outdoor blackboard, yard games, animals, and the longest, coolest hayride I've ever been on (complete with a sighting of a Bigfoot (or at least a guy dressed up as one and acting as one!)!  Thanks Grandma T for the pictures!

The following day, the kids (along with Daddy and Grandpa's help) carved their pumpkins.  Grandpa printed templates for each of the kids - Lightning McQueen for Colton and Ariel for Summer.

Taping on the lighting picture before carving it

Colton couldn't carve his actual pumpkin so he carved all the pieces that came out of the pumpkins- and LOVED it!


Summer and Grandpa were a team!
Summer decorated her pumpkin top with pushpins while Grandpa did the intricate carving

Turned out great!
Thanks for a fun fall weekend and for all the delicious food, Grandma and Grandpa T!

My Birthday - October 15th

I had a lot of fun celebrating my 31st birthday this year!  I don't have a lot of pictures, but I do want to remember the fun things we did.  It started the weekend before my birthday when Paul and I went on a day-date on Saturday (thank you to Grandma and Grandpa K for babysitting!).  We started off with a long hike at Lebanon Hills Regional Park on the BEAUTIFUL fall day, with lots and lots of uninterrupted talk time as we hiked and enjoyed the fall color.  We then had a late lunch/early dinner at a yummy Mexican place.  Then we headed to Sever's Corn Maze and Fall Festival in Shakopee.

The sign was super cool and made out of pumpkins/gourds etc!

Not only did it have a fun monkey show, pig races, rare animal petting zoo, and TONS of other things, but it also had the coolest corn maze I have ever been to - it was MASSIVE and the theme was firefighters so the maze had the shape of a fire engine. You got a map, and together worked your way through the maze to find the 26 letters and different cool facts.  So fun.

 We ended up at DQ for my favorite pumpkin pie blizzard and then home to watch old episodes of our favorite (and only) show we follow - Amazing Race :). 

On my actual birthday, I didn't have to cook at all, as my mom took me out to eat for lunch and Paul took us out to eat for dinner!

The weekend after my birthday, we my mom, sister and I went on a day long shopping trip to the Eagan Outlet Mall - fun girls date and fun new clothes!  Then we met up with the boys and kiddos for dinner at Five Guys burgers and shakes - delicious!  After we put the kids to bed, we played Settlers of Catan. 

It was a great extended birthday celebration!

October Family Fun Nights

As I mentioned last month in this blog post, we are trying something new this year, doing family fun nights each Friday to make family time a priority.  During these nights, my goal is to try to get a picture of all 5 of us, just for fun!  For the month of October, there were 5 Fridays, so our themes were:
  1. Star Gazing and S'mores Night
  2. Play Dough Night
  3. Summer Cooks
  4. Book Night
  5. Balloon Night

Star Gazing and S'mores Night 

On Stargazing and S'mores Night, we had S'mores at home, got all ready for bed and in our jammies, and then headed about 20 minutes south to Whitetail Woods Regional Park (I called around and here is a great spot for stargazing as it is farther from suburb/city lights).
 We packed up lots of blankets, including the kids favorite blankies, flashlights, and Summer requested to bring along her journal ;). 
We walked a little ways down by the lake.

We found a good spot and waited for the last light of sun to disappear over the horizon.

This night has been one of my favorite family nights so far!  I loved the cuddles as we all snuggled together on the blankets.  I wasn't sure how Larkyn would do but she LITERALLY jabbered nonstop about all that she could see!  It was so funny!  Paul tried to take a video, but it was so dark that all you can do is hear a bit of the sound here.  Summer wanted to document everything in her journal :).  Colton cuddled up with Daddy :).  Daddy told us all what starts/planets we were seeing using an App on his phone.  It was SO fun! 

Play Dough Night

The kids were pretty excited about this night!  Originally I had just thought we would play play dough, but Colton and I read this library book...

with a fun dough recipe in the back that we decided to try...

It turned out delicious, and was also a GREAT dough for molding into things as it was not too sticky.

Colton and I did the traditional Challah braid

Daddy and Summer got a little creative and made a flower

It is a DELICOUS bread, kinda sweet, and oh so yummy!  Of course, those of you who know me well know how much I love bread!!
The rest of our evening was spent with play-dough while the real dough was baking. 
Daddy's play dough "taco"

Summer's extra long "finger"

Colton's.. um .. flattened worms???? ;)

Larkyn's first time experiencing playdough!  Click here for a little video :).

Summer Cooks (a.k.a Rainbow Night)

"Summer cooks" was a chance for Summer to serve the family.  We celebrated this night in conjunction with Summer's 2nd spiritual birthday (click here for more).  Summer chose to make all rainbow themed foods!  She did everything from surf pinterest for recipes, gather the ingredients from the grocery store, and cook/bake/chop as needed :).

Rainbow spaghetti

Rainbow spaghetti with Parmasian crisp clouds

Rainbow fruit salad

Rainbow sprinkle cookies

Book Night

The fourth family fun night, book night, I unfortunately have no pictures for!!  We decided to make a road trip that weekend to Fergus Falls so Paul could go hunting with his dad and brother!  I WILL have a blog post on that soon (whenever I get caught up!) but there wasn't a great way to take a picture of all 5 of us in the car as Larkyn is still in a rear facing carseat.  Anyway, we DID have fun reading lots of library books and even listening to some audio books from the library on CD in the car.

Balloon Night

For balloon night, we simply blew up about 20 balloons!  So easy and cheap but so fun!

The kids had a blast playing with them before Paul got home from work...and also the next day on Saturday!
We played three games together after dinner (Boys vs. Girls):
  1. Balloon Snowball Fight Objective: get all balloons on OTHER teams side.  Click here for video.
  2. Balloon Volleyball: Coffee table net.  One balloon in the air. (Sorry, I forgot to take a video!)
  3. Balloon Relay Race: Jumping with balloon between legs from one side of the room to the other (video) and passing it off to partner and batting balloon with hand and passing it off to partner (video).

Pahl's Market

We had one Saturday family outing that I will also include on this post.  We went to Pahl's Market and had a blast in their hay bale maze, corn pit, and picking out pumpkins!

 Paul and I had fun playing with the slow-motion feature on our phones - Here is a slo-mo video of S and C jumping in the corn pit :)

Here is a video of Larkyn going down the slide: