Thursday, December 31, 2015

Early Fall Misc.

Emer is SO into decorating for holidays.  The girl always wants to go all out. Since Zack and I don't love doing a ton, we usually compromise, and land somewhere in the middle.  She and I filled the front porch with glowing webs this year, and orange lights of course.  She paid so much attention to every single detail and had me redo lot's of parts. It made her whole day.

 There's an awesome pumpkin patch right by our house, that is free every day. They have bounce houses, a slide, farm animals, a little hay maze, etc. Smith and I spent a lot of time there, just him and me, while the kids were at school, especially because the weather was so hot and amazing for so long. Smith could jump on the bounce houses for hours.

We went as a whole family, just once.
 This day, for Emmy's gymnastics, she had a sore leg, so she wanted me to be there with her for the beginning.  It was fun seeing all she's learned.  She's getting pretty good!
 I volunteered at the kids' school to monitor "Friday Football." It was pretty crazy, trying to ref a TON of 3-5 graders, all playing one huge game with one ball. They fought, yelled, complained, cried, and maybe had a little fun on the side. ;) Now I know why Zane gets frustrated at recess! The fun part was the cute little 1st grade guy who stood by me the whole time and "helped" me make all the calls.
 Zane being silly - wearing about 10 layers of costumes for an obstacle course they set up.
 New Karaoke machine!  Woohoo!!  Guess what music Em likes to sing?!?  Yep, you guessed it, Taylor Swift.

 Family get together - I love this shot of Em touching Nell's pregnant belly, and my mom and Grandma joining in on the conversation.
 Molly and I got to have a few dates while Smith went to his speech session. This day, we walked over to Sweet Cow, our favorite ice cream spot. I love my Molly Girl!
 While Emmy does gymnastics, the boys and I usually try to do some wall climbing.  I cannot get over how they can all 3 just go for it.  They are so good at it!  I'm always in awe.
Smith got over half way up the wall this time.
 Zane and Em can get up there in no time!  Getting down takes a little bit more courage and time.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wedding in Minnesota

We got to spend a long weekend in Minneapolis, for Nancy and Dennis' wedding in October. We spent a bunch of time with family, celebrated Gigi and Dennis, ate awesome food, and did some exploring around town.  

The first morning, while we waited for our cousins to arrive at the airport, we went on a family walk/hike by the river. The weather couldn't have been more perfect, cool and sunny.

These guys could throw rocks into the water all day.

 We found some bridges

 These two little buddies held hands for a lot of the walk
 COUSINS!!!  We ate at the Smack Shack for some crab!
We love spending time with the Stones. Fisher and Perry are such fun friends and cousins.
 We hung out in the game room in Gigi's building one night. She had tons of fun activities planned for the kids.  Games, play doh, and lot's of other things. Here's Em and Perry with Aunt Sandy.
 Zaney and Smith being boys.

 Silly monkeys
 We snuck away to Mall of America the morning, before the wedding.  We love this place. Here's a pic of the straight up and down roller coaster and Zane, Em, and I rode first. I'm so thankful to have adventurous kids who will ride big rides with me.

 Em was BARELY tall enough.  Just got by.
 Emmy and Fisher - sweet buddies
 Zack took the two big kids on the log ride -it was their favorite all day.  Smith was too scared at first, and then Zane and Em talked Smith into trying it with them the second time...

 We got all dressed up for the wedding.
 Zack and Zane both got to read for everybody.
 Cutie pies in suits.

 Dinner afterwards was awesome. The kids were SO GOOD. They mostly played with toys at or under the table.

 Special drinks

 My view from a walk one morning.
 We walked to this nearby park several times.  These guys played forever together this day.
 Two artists, using the park for inspiration.
 Aunt Sarah got to be there too.  The kids had a ton of fun with her.  Here she is, saying good bye to Smith, who looks like a giant in her arms. She and Em did yoga and gymnastics together. She and Zane talked books and other topics. She and Smith snuggled and played.
 Pizza time!
 We visited an outdoor art museum.

 Out of order - a few more pics from Mall of America...

 heading home ...
Such a good trip.