Labor Day Weekend

We’ve had a good weekend!

I took Friday off and ran errands and got my haircut… had some “down” time by myself.  It was a good way to start the weekend.

On Saturday the kids and I went to Rochester to visit my parents.  We also were able to get in a visit (and swimming) with my best friend from junior high who I haven’t seen since probably the early 90s!

Yesterday both kids got some special attention. Chad & I took Maria to Valleyfair and Charlie stayed home with Grandpa & Grandma all by himself. Both kids were very excited!

This was our 2nd visit to Valleyfair with Maria and I have to say it was very different!  As she had grown over 3″ since last summer (and over an inch since May!) and was now able to go on most of the big rides.  The Wild Thing and Monster being her favorites!  Her favorite from last year was not quite what she remembered although she tried to make it fun!  She also declared the Looping Starship (the upside down Viking ship) the most boring ride ever, even though Chad almost got pegged in the head with someone’s cell phone that came loose.

Today is laundry day… 🙂  and both kids are off to school tomorrow – Maria starting 1st grade and Charlie starting preschool! Both are excited!


Lifting weights at Grandma's

Summer Review

Here’s what you missed in July:

      • Our annual 4th of July picnic was small (just family) but fun!
      • Maria had a belated birthday celebration with her BFF – lunch at American Girl store and a sleepover!

American Girl Birthday Celebration

      • Maria took a hip hop dance class.
      • Charlie and Maria took swimming lessons.
      • Introduced Charlie to Playland at McDonald’s (LOVED IT!)


      • Maria spent several days with her cousins and went to Vacation Bible School with them.

VBS 2013

    • Charlie went to one of his cousin Drew’s baseball games.
    • Discovered Chutes & Ladders park.


    • Maria went to a week of day camp with her friend Gracey


  • Both kids had a week at backup daycare – Charlie loved it!

And August:

      • We spent a week at Luther Park.
      • Maria went to see Dispicable Me 2 with a friend
      • Signed Charlie up to start preschool and Sunday School in September (next week!) and toured both!
      • Maria went to a Lynx game with Chad.

Lynx fan!

    • We went to see Planes – Charlie’s first movie.
    • Chad golfed in a couple of golf tournaments
    • Checked out the Splash Pad at the YMCA and a newly “remodeled” park near home

Teeter totter

  • Celebrated our friend Ellis’ first birthday
  • Met Maria’s First Grade Teacher

Can’t believe it’s time for a new school year!

Luther Park 2013

We spent the first week of August at Luther Park.  It was a really great time. The only downer being that the pool wasn’t open much and when it was, it was chilly!

Other than that, both kids had a blast!  Lots of scootering, bike riding, soccer, GaGa, singing, dancing, and playing with friends and cousins!

Chad and I had a good time too!  Lots of relaxing and being outside!  Looking forward to going back next year!  Next year I’m going to take more pictures!
Pontoon Ride

Playing GaGa




Surprise! It’s July!

Did anyone see where June went? Wow that was fast. But as they say, time flies when you’re having fun. And mostly June was fun!

When I say mostly, that implies that parts of it weren’t. Those parts would be weekends #1 and #2 and the week between. Why do you ask? Well if you remember May, the last weekend Maria had a stomach bug. Which Charlie didn’t pick up until the following weekend. There was a lot of sheets changed and rugs washed that weekend. Which I’m fairly certain was why I got the bug that following Monday night. Then the weekend came again, and it was Maria’s turn again. Chad drank grape juice and remained safe!

We pulled it together and stayed healthy for a week. We had a fun barbecue at Karin’s while learning a good lesson about setting boundaries for a 3 year old boy.

And the following weekend we had a family reunion with Chad’s family and cousins. Good times! And the following weekend, we had Chad’s 20 year class reunion while his parents hung out with the kids.

In between all of that:

  • Maria graduated from Kindergarten
  • I cleaned up the landscaping and spread a LOT of mulch!
  • Both kids started swimming lessons
  • We’ve played a lot of Thomas the Train Uno and Spot It.
  • Charlie also spends considerable amount of time pushing a dump truck
  • Maria learned to ride her bike!
  • I upgraded to an iPhone5… which is probably the only reason there are pictures for me to post below…
  • Chad and I also worked. yeah, those jobs sure get in the way of summer.

So yeah, my things to do for June did not get done, except for the landscaping things…

A Few Pictures
Outside Uno
Outside Uno!

“Helping” with the Mulch
Mulch Riding!

4-wheeling with cousin Owen
Riding with Owen

Our Bike Rider

On Sunday evening, we decided to get the kids out of the house. Even though we had a fun-filled weekend, we wanted to make sure we burned off a little energy before bed.  So we hauled the bikes up to the school to get some riding practice in. We figured we just needed a big flat space.

And it worked.  Maria rode her bike by herself – start to finish! time and time again!  So proud of her. We’d been struggling about 4 weeks ago with starting and keeping it up for more than 10-15 feet.  We hadn’t practiced in a long time but on Sunday, she didn’t hesitate – just got on her bike and went!  We were all excited!

The Kindergarten Graduate

Today we celebrated Maria’s Kindergarten Graduation.  She has had an exceptional year. She has made friends and really blossomed socially – honestly this is the part I was most worried about. I never doubted that she’d be great at reading or math or art or any of that stuff.  Although I must say I am very proud that she is coming out of Kindergarten reading chapter books and understanding basic math (including multiplication).

So proud.  Can’t believe how far she has come since last year’s graduation.
The Graduate!

More Graduation Pictures

Maria is SIX

Six years ago – I introduced my baby girl on my blog.  Six. Whole. Years!

We celebrated last week with our family.  It was a fun party – We also had a girl scout event, so her friend celebration is post poned a few weeks.  We had a tired 6 year old after all the celebrating.

At age 6,  She is just 2 weeks from being done with Kindergarten.  She is starting to read chapter books all by HERSELF! Ivy & Bean are her favorites right now.  She loves princesses. (The theme of her party was princess with emphasis on Sofia the First).  She wants to dress like a teenager (?!)  and loves having her nails painted.  (which we do every week to celebrate her NOT sucking her thumb)  Maria is really close to learning to ride bike on 2 wheels.  She loves to play with Charlie (even if she may not admit it).  They play “babies” a lot. He loves to have her nearby. Even if he isn’t playing nicely, he gets upset if she leaves him at the sand table by himself.

We get the occasional eye rolls and sassy-ness.  Typical things like negotiating for dessert and trips to the Mall of America.  And also times when she forgets things and loses focus on the task at hand.  I’d say pretty typical for her age.    And really, it could be a lot worse.

She is loving school, loving having friends, writing notes to the 6th graders who are going to junior high next year. A real social butterfly.

We are just blessed to have such a special girl!

Birthday Presents!

Birthday Party w/ Cousins

Birthday Girl & Cake

More Birthday Pictures

Maria’s List of Supplies

When I was tucking Maria in after stories tonight, she turned to me and said: “Mommy, I was thinking about making a toy wheelchair.  I’m going to need a carpet square, some cardboard, scissors and glue…  oh and 2 training wheels and 2 bike wheels.  And some tape!”

Not sure where she came up with that and I’m tempted to gather everything for her to see what she could come up with!  Love trying to figure out a 5 1/2 year old’s thought process!

New Year’s

We are not all that exciting on New Year’s Eve. But we did actually go out that night.  Last minute we got a babysitter so we could go to dinner and a movie. Except there was beef stew in the crockpot and it smelled too good not to eat. So we ate an early dinner with the kids. Then went to Target for some shopping and then to “This is 40”. It was a good movie. We were home by 9:30.  I think I stayed up until 11.

New Year’s Day we made our annual visit to the Children’s Museum with cousins Jana & Luke. Charlie is the exact ideal age and would have spent all day there if we had let him!

2013 is off to a great start!

New Year's Day

Christmas 2012

We had a great Christmas.  I loved have the weekend leading up to the holiday. It seemed so much more relaxed. And then I took an extra day after Christmas and worked primarily from home after that.

Family Picture

Maria got her American Girl doll that she has been talking about since September.  She was pretty excited to get it from Grandma and her aunt on Christmas Eve, because she thought that meant she would have 2 when Santa brought her one that night.  (She asked Santa for the doll, because she knows they are expensive and that way I wouldn’t have to pay for it!)

Maria & Kit

Charlie was a pirate for a couple of days.  He got a spyglass and pirate scarf, complete with a map leading to buried treasure.  Fortunately we realized the map was a prized possession and scanned it in before it got lost so we can make more copies.  He used the map to guide Chad to my parents house on Christmas day. “Go to the X, Daddy!”

Charlie the Pirate

More Christmas Pictures