Thursday, May 26, 2016


The kids have had several games lately, and I don't think I have posted any pictures of their team shirts.  Summer is #3 and Colton is #4.  They get their team photos done next week, but in the meantime, here are a few pictures of their warm up, that include Summer, Colton, and Coach Daddy all in the same picture.  I'll try and get better action photos as the season goes on.  Also included is a cute cousin shot when Auntie Kristin, Teddy, and Grandma K came to S and C's first game. :)


Colton 4 year picture

I realized I never posted Colton's 4 year picture!  He was a total champ, and SO easy to take in for pictures this year, smiling on command and doing everything the photographer said.  

Colton 4 year picture

When I went through Colton's closet the night before his pictures to determine what he should wear, Daddy helped put together Colton's shirt and sweater, and I love how he looks like a mini-Paul!

My handsome dudes!

I don't have too many updates on my favorite middle kid, so I'll just throw on some pictures of some things we did for preschool this week.  We tried a new sight word Dominos game and it was a TOTAL hit!

I used index cards to make Dominos with the kindergarten sight words.  We put them in a pile and took turns looking for matches to make our domino train as long as we could, splitting it when we needed to.  We ended up making sight word "train tracks" to drive C's trains on.  The cards that didn't fit in the domino train track line became ships that could transport the trains to different places on the track, landing at "ports" that had matching sight words somewhere along the track.  We both had a lot of fun, it was active, and required a lot of reading/saying/recognizing the sight words. 

We have also been working on handwriting lately.  While he learned to match upper and lower case letters this year, he is still working on how to write the lower case letters, however his upper case letters have definitely improved.  I had him write his alphabet from memory this week, without looking at how the letters were made, to document his current progress on the uppercase letters at the end of this school year.

Snapshot of how Colton makes his uppercase letters, age 4.
Lately, I've found it works well to give him a sheet of letter practice while I tuck in Larkyn for her nap and read her Bible story.  It keeps him busy and productive for a few undistracted minutes while he waits for his special Mommy-Colton time (during Larkyn's nap) and allows him just a little bit of practice in a day (his attention span for writing is not long, and unlike his sister, he does not love to write!).

One thing I love about Colton is he is so good at making his own fun and entertaining himself with cars, trains, planes, the sandbox, the water table, anything with wheels, etc.  He has been a total sweetheart this week as I spent much of the day focused on Larkyn and her potty training, and has completely made his own fun.  He has also been a huge encouragement to both his sisters, cheering Larkyn on with her potty training and Summer on in her gymnastics meet.  Love you, buddy!

Larkyn Potty Training

We took the Monday- Wednesday this week, stayed home, and did an intensive potty training with Larkyn.  She has been showing signs of being ready for the past few months, but I wasn't quite ready to take the plunge into the work it would entail until this week.  My friend Jessi, who recently potty trained her son Carter (one day younger than Larkyn) was my biggest encourager and supporter as she daily texted me encouragement and tips!  We spent the first two days completely outside, with Larkyn running around the backyard playing in her underwear, pumping her with liquids, and watching her body's signals for when she was about to go.  Colton enjoyed his job of "clean up crew" and sprayed down anything that got potty on it with the hose ;).  Day 1 was filled with 20+ accidents and got Momma pretty tuckered out chasing around a very active Loo and running her to the potty :).  Day 2 was much better and the successes outweighed the accidents.  Day #3 was only one accident all day, including a dry nap, as well as her third consecutive day poop success.  Today was her first official day "doing regular life" in underwear.  Grandma K babysat while Mommy volunteered at Summer's school and Larkyn did a great job telling Grandma when she needed to go (big win!).  Tonight, at the kids' soccer game, I felt a little frustrated as she repeatedly told me she needed to go potty, but as soon as we got to the bathroom, she wouldn't go.  At first I thought she was just playing games, but then I realized she didn't like the public toilet.  Except for a tiny leak, she held her potty all the way until we got home and then went in her potty.  I guess we will have to work on the public toilet issue ;).  Anyway, we are not out of the woods on accidents, but we are well on our way to having our baby toilet trained - and that is VERY exciting!  Here are a few pictures of Larky-Loo this week as well as a video of her reading herself a book on the potty before she pooped (too cute!).

Both Summer and Colton have been huge helps.  Colton would read to her on the potty if I needed to do something and Summer helped to get her on the potty today when she needed to go while I was upstairs.

My friend Jessi told me to try a straw to encourage her to drink a lot (more potty to come out and get practice with!) and it worked!

Watching the DVD "Elmo's potty time"

Playing outside in her underwear ;)
 Video of Larkyn reading on the potty:

Summer's First Gymnastics Meet

Summer participated in her first gymnastics meet yesterday.  It was really fun to watch her on the bars, beam, and floor doing "tiny" routines and getting a feel for what gymnastics competitions are like.  Groups from all ages and ability levels participated, however she competed against kids in her age/ability/class.  Each participant was scored by a judge, and awarded ribbons for 1st through 8th place (in her age group's small group) for each event as well as overall, however the main goal of the meet was to introduce the kids to gymnastics competition in a fun and encouraging environment.  With Summer's love of performing for others and loving to have people watch her, it was fun to watch her participate in an event that allowed her to individually perform for a crowd ;).  Here are a few pictures as well as videos of her very basic "routines".

She got 4th place on bars.
 Video of Summer on bars:

She got 7th place on beam.
 Video of Summer on beam:

Getting ready for floor
She did great!
 Video of Summer on Floor:

She was so excited to get 2nd on floor.

She placed 4th in the overall category.
 Video of Summer in awards ceremony:

With her group of gymnasts

Go Summer!

The family

With her super supportive and sweet lil bro.
Auntie Kristin, Teddy, and Grandma came to cheer on Summer too!

Thanks for coming to my gymnastics meet, Teddy!  Love, Summer
Watching the summer Olympics will be even more fun this year after this experience!  I can't wait to watch the gymnastics with Summer!

P.S. Summer lost her second tooth (the other bottom one) this week!  She already has her new big kid tooth coming in behind it (which pushed her baby tooth out), so there isn't a super big gap, but nevertheless, she has officially lost two teeth now!  The above pictures demo her first day with her new smile :).

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

 Paul's birthday was yesterday, May 23rd.  We don't have a lot of time to celebrate on Mondays (Paul gets home from work at 6:15pm and I tutor at 7pm), we chose to celebrate all weekend!

On Friday, Paul took a half day and we went on a long birthday date.  First, we went to a shooting range (Paul's choice) to practice.  It was my first time...Paul was a good teacher.  I learned a lot!  It was really fun!

We then went out for burgers, fries and shakes at Five Guys.  Mmmmm!  We did some browsing at the outlet mall, and then headed to the Twins game.

 It was a really fun date day!  Thank you to Grandma and Grandpa K for babysitting!

On Saturday, we let Daddy "sleep in" (i.e. stay in bed...hard not to be awake with three excited kids!) while we decorated Daddy's door and made him breakfast in bed.

We then headed off to a family activity (Paul's choice) to go hiking at Lebanon Hills.  I was very impressed as both older kids hiked the whole trail around the lake!  It's fun having big kids!

For dinner that night, Daddy picked to go to a new Mexican Restaurant where our friend from church is the chef.  

On Sunday, Paul's parents drove down to have lunch with Paul for his birthday!  We also got to see many brothers/sisters too!  They took us to a delicious Mexican restaurant that is one of our favorites.  Our Daddy loves Mexican food!  That afternoon, we opened presents/cards.  Daddy got a new watch, as well as some fishing stuff and quite a few freezie pops!  Both older kids made him super sweet cards!

On Daddy's actual birthday, Monday the 23rd, we celebrated with ice cream cake, candles and singing :)

We love our Daddy!  Happy birthday Paul!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Random Pics

This past month or so has been so busy!  I have struggled to keep up this blog, largely because one of my tutoring students has been so time consuming as he is preparing for his AP Calculus Exam.  Anyway, life is finally starting to slow down a bit, because that student took his exam last week, and while I still have the rest of my students for one more month, my workload is cut probably in half!  I have so much more time in the evenings!  So, I am hoping I will be updating this blog a bit more often.  Anyway, here are a few pictures I never got around to posting...
I love when the three of them read together!

I love watching the three of them interact together!

Colton is SUCH a sweet brother!

Larkyn has so much personality and makes us all laugh!

Headed to the zoo!

How daddy SAID he dressed the kids for church while I was away on our church's women's retreat....;)


a favorite memory during this phase of life - Saturday morning pancake breakfasts (made by chef daddy!) we ALL look forward to it!

Kids with their bouquets of dandeloions they picked for me!

These two spend so much time in the sandbox!  I love that I can watch them from the kitchen.

First time the younger two came to have lunch with Summer at school!

Lunch with Summer at school!

Summer's school had a fundraising carnival - the kids and I ran a duck pond game (Paul ran a wheel of fortune game).  The kids did a great job!  Colton took tickets, Summer gave prizes/stamps, and Larkyn swam with the duckies...(or tried to...) :)