Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Dates, Outings, and Special Stuff

We had a lot of special outings and dates the last two months, because we gave the kids  (and requested from extended family members for the kids) a lot of experience gifts this year for Christmas in place of "stuff gifts"!  We are so grateful that so many of our family members decided to gift us in this way!  Here are some pictures of many of these dates/outings, along with some other fun stuff we have been up to.  Our experience gifts will continue almost all the way to next Christmas, as we still have Aunt Nancy and Uncle Paul's Christmas gift (Mall of America wristbands) we will use in March and Grandma and Grandpa T's gift of a waterpark stay in Duluth (planned for next fall!).  Experiences truly are such a fun and memorable gift, and we are so grateful!

Grandma K gifted the girls a mall date and lunch at the American Girl Store at Mall of America!

While at the Mall, the girls had a blast using the Claire's gift cards from Gee Gee Sandy!

While we girls were at the mall, Colton was gifted an outing with Grandpa K to the Works Museum!  What fun for those two engineering minded boys to have a chance to learn together!

Grandma and Grandpa K gifted Paul and me a date certificate to go climbing at Vertical Endeavors! 

Meanwhile, the kids had a blast going out for shakes and to see Mr. Poppers Penguins at the Children's Theater, their combined Christmas gift from Grandma and Grandpa K!

The kids had so much fun with their experience gift from Uncle Ty and Auntie Sarah - gift cards to wild Rumpus Bookstore in Minneapolis, a bookstore full of character and live wild animals!  Not only did it quickly pass a cold snowy Minnesota Saturday exploring the many books, but the kids each got to pick one to take home!

 Thank you, family, for all the creative and thoughtful gifts!  We truly enjoyed each one!

Paul and I also made each of our kids' main Christmas gift as an experience gift as well.

For Summer, our mystery lover, we chose to gift her a date to an Escape Room!  She had been wanting to try one for a while!  We went out to lunch before, and we SURPRISED her with her best friend who moved to Tennessee joining us for lunch :).

Larkyn's gift was tickets for her and I to go see The Biggest Little House, a play put on specifically for preschoolers at the Children's Theater!  Complete with a 1-on-1 lunch date afterwards :).

Colton's gift was tickets to go to Monster Jam with Daddy, a giant Monster Truck Show, complete with giant pizza and Sprite!

In addition to the gifted experiences, here are a few other things we have been up to this past month.

Ice Skating!

We got the kids ice skates this year, and the kids and I have made quite a few trips to the local outdoor community center skating rink after school when the weather isn't TOO cold. The girls started with pushing folding chairs around the rink and just trying to stay up.... both of them were "cautious" learners.  Colton powered through a zillion spills on the ice to find his balance and loved every minute of sliding around, often bringing a hockey stick and puck and endlessly asking Mom to play with him ;)....I am proud of ALL three of them persevering through lots of spills, and its been really fun to see all three of them love and look forward to the days we can go skating together!   Apparently the outdoor rinks all closed around here this past weekend, which made us all sad, so we made a trip to an indoor rink where I captured these videos...


Paul and I went curling with a group of about 40 people from our church.  It was SUPER fun and a was great chance to connect with people.


Daddy Daughter Dance

It was Summer's turn for Daddy to take her to the Daddy Daughter Dance.  They went out to dinner at Chik-Fil-A before, and it just so happened to be Daddy-Daughter night there too!

Summer and I had fun getting her ready...nails painted, hair in "waterfall braid curls, dangly earrings, heels, and sequin dress (thanks Grandma T!)

 Water Park

We enjoyed a fun Saturday away (for a few hours!) from the freezing cold outside, at a local indoor water park!  It was SO fun!  The family tube ride was by far the favorite!  Both older kids are now above 48" and can ride anything.  Little Larkyn was so brave and went down the huge body slides all by herself!  Colton decided he wanted to try surfing, so he and I waited in the looooong line, and both gave it a whirl.  I was so amazed at his bravery, staying in the long line even though he was probably the youngest kid to give it a try, and the only other kid trying it ended up in tears before him!  It was really fun!  And challenging!  Our time was up so quickly, and we both want to try again if given the chance!  I'll include a few videos of our attempts ;).


Paul always outdoes himself in preparing a feast of delicious meat and snacks for the Superbowl each year.  This year, Uncle Eric, Auntie Kristin, and the cousins joined us!!!

Teddy has matching shoes to Colton and Uncle Paul!

 Paw Patrol Live and Chinese New Moon Celebration

Six months ago I got tickets for Larkyn and I to see Paw Patrol Live when it came to Minneapolis!  It was a fun date for the two of us!

Daddy and the big kids drove downtown with us and went to an international event downtown where they got to make and try international foods, watch a Chinese new year celebration (complete with the man-acted out dragon!), and much more!

 Girls Night

The girls and I had a fun night in while Daddy and Colton were at Monster Jam watching the gymnastics American Girl movie, complete with snacks for their dolls!

Valentine's Day

We celebrated as a family with a red meal of food coloring tinted spaghetti, homemade meatballs, and lots of red fruits and veggies.  Paul and I went out on a date the following week, where I got all you can eat shrimp and Paul got ribs!  Then we went to an Escape Room, just the two of us.  It was really fun to work as a team to solve the puzzles, and was a super fun Valentine's date!

Larkyn spent almost the entire Valentines Day making Valentines projects!  

She decided she wanted to make everyone Valentines hats, complete with stickers that reflected things each person liked.  I especially liked that she put a picture of "Prince Charming"  on Daddy's hat :)

Among the many crafts she made, these were my favorite...hearts made from baking soda reacting with food coloring colored vinegar.

 Date Night!!!

 A huge thank you for the sweet cards and gifts that Grandparents sent for Valentine's Day to love on our kiddos <3 .="" are="" blessed="" nbsp="" p="" truly="" we="">


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