Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween 2016

This year, we had a goldfish, Lighting McQueen, and a cupcake :)  The kids were bouncing off the walls excited before we even entered the candy sugar rush!

The kids had fun trick or treating the loop around our street.  It was really fun to go with three big kids - our first time trick-or-treating with all three kids and no stroller!  Larkyn even joined in the rotation of ringing the doorbell every third house and quickly picked up on how the whole process worked - say trick-or-treat, get candy, say thank you :).

In full disclosure, we spent the first half of our trick-or-treating utilizing the many teachable moments at each house we visited to refine our young, competitive son in the area of "the first shall be last".  With the repetitive practice that running house to house allowed, he did indeed master the art of allowing others to go first rather than pushing to be first.  I was very proud of his changed actions and attitude by the end of the evening, volunteering to be the last one to get candy rather than elbowing others out of the way.  Paul's tactic of taking a piece of candy from his bucket for each time he pushed may have had something to do with it!;)

Mmmm!  Yum!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Hunting Weekend

We had a great weekend up in Fergus for hunting weekend!  We now have pheasant in our freezer :)

Victory :)
 Along with hunting, the boys enjoyed quite a few competitive games of pool :).

While Grandpa, Uncle Jordan, and Daddy hunted, Grandma T kept the kids busy with all her fun toys!

When Grandpa came back from hunting, he gave the kids (at their request!) rides on the 4-wheeler and the kids also loved riding the mini-kid-size 4-wheeler.  The kids remembered doing this last year and were excited to go again!

Here are some videos of them riding the mini-4-wheeler.  Even Larkyn drove it by herself!

We also carved pumpkins!  Grandpa took requests from each of the kids and printed patterns so each kid got a pumpkin carved with something they like :).

Larkyn- dog, Summer - cat, Colton - airplane.

On Sunday we went to GeeGee Sandy's for lunch along with many extended family members.  I was very excited to meet Kelly and Sheena's baby twins and the kids had fun playing with the twins siblings!

What a fun weekend!  Thank you Grandma and Grandpa T for hosting us all and for all the fun and delicious food!  We love you!

Saturday, October 29, 2016


Because I included posts on the other two kiddos, I will post a few pictures/happenings with Colton lately too!

Colton loved his week at Cubbies to "babysit" Cubbie and treated him to a fun week - Cubbie went on lots of adventures!  Here is is at sports camp.

Colton LOVED painting this Mater and Lightning McQueen!

At a recent stop at the bank, the clerk gifted Colton with a new (cardholder) wallet.  To say he was ecstatic would be an understatement.  It was all he talked about for two days.  He continually discussed what he could put in his wallet, wanted to look through Daddy's and Grandpa's wallets to see what "boys" have in their wallets, he spent quite a while counting out his coins to exchange me for paper dollars to put in his wallet, found pictures and old gift cards to put in his wallet, was ecstatic when Grandpa K gave him an old receipt to put in his wallet, and excitedly put Grandpa and Daddy's business cards in his wallet.  Too funny! :)

Colton continues to rock his preschool at home with Mommy.  Here he is sorting pictures by their middle vowel sounds.  He is improving so much in the speed of his reading and has moved to the second beginner level Bob books.  He can now do reading worksheets (reading words and matching them) all on his own while Larkyn is at gymnastics and get them all right.  He continues to have a quick head for numbers and picks up math concepts so quickly.  I love spending time with this dude!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Summer's class party

Summer had her fall party on Friday and I got to help!  I loved getting to know her classmates better.

Summer's 1st grade class and teacher Mrs. Gile
Here come's Summer the goldfish in the all school costume parade!

Summer the goldfish!

At the party, the kids were in groups of 4-5 and rotated through 5 station games.  I manned a pumpkin game similar to "hot potato".  Then the kids got snacks and watched a Scooby Doo movie.  This is Summer's current table group.  Pictured (front to back) are Summer and Sydney on the left and Madison and Emily on the right.
Mrs. Gile is SUCH an incredible teacher.  She is organized, loves her job, and the kids love her!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Larkyn Gymnastics

Larkyn finished her first session of gymnastics on Thursday.  At the end of each session, the kids get called up to the "podium" to receive a participation ribbon.  Larkyn's enthusiasm for gymnastics each week is so fun to watch!  Each Monday night when I tell her, "Larkyn, guess what is tomorrow?"  She will respond, "GYMNASTICS!"  She loves Ms. Lynda her teacher and loves telling EVERYONE we see that she does gymnastics.  Her smile is constant!  Her enthusiasm for gymnastics was well-displayed at the ribbon presentation last week.  When her name was called, she ran up to the "podium" full speed and put her hands above her head with a loud, long, enthusiastic TA-DAAAAAAAAA!  I didn't have my camera ready, so after class we did a re-enactment to get this video/picture, but her enthusiasm was no less the second time :).  Fun memory.  Sure is a lot of personality packed into our little Loo!

Here is the "re-enacted" video:

Saturday, October 22, 2016

My Birthday!

My actual birthday was while we were in Michigan for my cousin's wedding, but we celebrated with breakfast in bed and a birthday date the following weekend.

My day started with our traditional breakfast in bed!  The kids decorated my door and the stairwell with streamers while I was "sleeping" :).  

After breakfast, my parents came for the day to watch the kids while Paul and I went on a birthday day date. Paul ordered up the perfect fall weather ;) - sunny, 50-60's - and we went hiking at Afton State Park.  Hiking in fall leaves is one of my all time favorite things to do!

We then got cleaned up...

 ...and went to a seafood and steak restaurant where I had delicious rainbow trout and butternut square orzo - MMMM!  Paul had steak :).

Finally, we went to the Guthrie Theatre and saw Jane Austin's Sense and Sensibility - it was FABULOUS!  To top it off, Paul surprised me with front row seats!  The outdoor view from the Guthrie balcony is gorgeous!

I'd say my 32nd year has started off amazing!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Summer 3rd Spiritual Birthday

 We celebrated Summer's 3rd spiritual birthday today!  Three years ago Summer made her own decision to trust in Jesus (read about it here) and so each year in October we celebrate!  She was so excited about her spiritual birthday today telling her teacher, a teacher at pickup, and her piano teacher, not only that it was her spiritual birthday, but also explaining what it means to her.  I love the light that she is everywhere she goes and I thank the Lord for working in her life.

In both the first celebration (2014) and second celebration (2015) , as in today, we looked back and remembered what God has done in Summer's life by reading the journal entry that recounted her decision and talking about what her decision meant (See here for her three year spiritual birthday interview).  

Today, just like last year, Summer got to be "servant" and plan and prepare dinner for the family (she was so excited!).  She picked out her own recipes by scrolling through Pinterest on my phone and saving recipes that looked good to her in her own folder, wrote a grocery list of items she would need, shopped for her list, and (with a little help from mom!) made dinner.

She chose to do breakfast for dinner, and chose Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake
As a side she chose frozen Greek yogurt bites

She also made chocolate peanut butter banana shakes.

I wasn't able to get a shot of her blowing out her candle this year, as the candle melted within the warm blueberry breakfast bake!  Oh well!  She enjoyed a different slice that didn't contain candle wax ;).

Just as in the previous years, Summer received a gift that would promote spiritual growth.  This year after researching several devotional books for kids, we chose a devotional book called the One Year Devotions for Kids.  Starting last May, in addition to her Bible reading with me in the morning before school each day, she does her own devotions at night before bed, all on her own.  We loved this Adventures in Odyssey book of 90 devotions that had her reading through the book of Matthew along with fictional stories to go with devotional, however when she finished that book, the second book she received was more focused on the fictional stories and less on her digging into the Word herself.  She is almost finished with her second devotional book and I knew I wanted to find something that had her daily looking up verses in her Bible alongside a fun little story.  The One Year Devotions for Kids book is exactly what I was looking for!  Each page has a format of Bible reading, story, application, 3-5 word summary of lesson, and memory verse. 

It is the perfect format for our 6 year old and she exclaimed how much she loved it after reading her first one tonight before bed.

We had a great evening celebrating what God has done in Summer's life!  I am so thankful for how God is working in her life and I pray that he would continue to use her to bring glory to His name and others into His kingdom.  Thank you, Lord!

Cousin Laura's Wedding

My cousin Laura got married this past weekend in Michigan! 

We are lucky that our kids LOVE road trips, as we spent 18+ hours in the car this past weekend:).  On Thursday after school/gymnastics/work we drove partway to the Dells just long enough to sleep overnight there. 

 We got up the next morning, packed breakfast in the car, and drove to Michigan with enough time for a hotel pool swim before a big all family dinner at my Aunt's church. 

The original 7 cousins plus now 5 added spouses.
Aunt Lynda cooked a delicious dinner for all of our extended family and Laura's fiance' family.

Each of the parents said some words/gave a challenge for the couple after the dinner.

 The next day (which happened to be my birthday) we had fun celebrating,

They sang to me and brought cards/present into my bed :)

swimming in the hotel pool,

going out for a birthday lunch for me,

going for a run with my dad, and then going to the wedding.  The wedding was held at a beautiful park with the reception in a cute rustic barn. 

All of the cousins' kids (great grandkids to my grandparents)

Girl cousins with the bride

It was fun to have everyone together, and the kids were ecstatic about their first wedding dance, as all other dances have been too late in the evening to justify keeping them up! 

Here is a collection of the videos I took at the dance :)

After getting some sleep that night, we headed out Sunday morning for the full day drive back to MN.  It was a great weekend and the kids were awesome travelers!