(I’m trying to resist the urge to make excuses for how it’s been since I’ve blogged. But I won’t go there.) Let’s talk about Halloween! The pictures in this post can pretty must tell the story of how the night went, but it’s always worth writing about it for memories sake. Let me start by saying how proud of myself I was for being relaxed this year about Halloween. The Pinterest lover in me has always loved putting thought into the costumes and the kids have usually matched or coordinated somehow. This year I decided to let it go. We went to a consignment store, Finn and Everett found ones they liked and for a $6 price tag, it seemed great. Leyton wanted to be a football player, which also killed me a little because I know all boys eventually do it, it just seems a bit lazy. (don’t worry, I didn’t use that word with Leyton) And for Ivy, I borrowed some from the neighbors. Easy!
All was well the day of Halloween. Finn wore his costume, a Halo guy, to school. Everett was ready to wear his hilarious lego guy. Great. But then, FIVE minutes before leaving for trick or treating, Finn decides he can’t be a Halo guy and wants to be a hockey player. I said no, we’re going to get all your hockey gear out, the gear that you wear three times a week, instead of your original costume. He starts crying and will not cave. Everett joins in and insists on being a hockey player. So now, they’re both freaking out wanting to put on their hockey gear. I’ll spare you the details of how it all went down, but I wanted to win this won. Hence the pictures of our kids falling apart. Haha I know I did feel like a terrible mom but come on! So, we took the picture, Everett was distracted enough to run with his neighbors to start the candy hoarding, but Finn wouldn’t budge. When we said he wouldn’t get candy, he just said, “Nope, I’m staying home, we just share it all anyways.” That kid! So, we let him wear his hockey equipment, and off he went, happily joining the group. These kids are dramatic! But the rest of the night went great, we got loads and loads of candy and Ivy’s favorite part of the night was running to the front door when the doorbell rang! I guess it’ll be good for the memories but I was fine when this holiday was over!
The day before the big boys started school, we were talking about the new schedule and the new changes. I told Everett that he still had another week before he started school and he just looked at me with such a defeated look and said ,”nooo!” He has been waiting and waiting for his turn! Everett’s day is finally here. He will be doing three days a week in the mornings. The first day went so well! No fear, no worries for this one. A big “goodbye mom!” at the door and he was on his way. On the first day, he got to play with a big pool of minnows, slime, paint, play with legos and play outside. He’s in heaven!
Oh and here is Leyton’s first day of preschool and Finn’s! How cute are they?!
It happened! THREE boys are in school! Well, this isn’t as big of a deal as when Everett goes to Kindergarten full time.. that will be a big day. But, still! It’s just crazy that one by one they’re gone! Leyton started 3rd grade and Finn started 1st! They are already a week down and all is well so far! The first week was exciting and slightly emotional, but now that it’s all sinking in, they do a little more whining about heading to school each day. They miss summer! Finn has Mrs. Guimont for a teacher, and she seems really great. He has a few buddies he knows and his neighbor buddy Finley. He will start speech during the day coming up soon, but seems to enjoy it all so far! He has already gotten a few soar tickets for doing good things at school.. he’s a good kid! But he is the one who says things like, “this was the worst day ever” or “nothing was good about today.” Haha he’s our sensitive one!
Leyton jumps right in and honestly still loves the “work” of school, although he would never admit it. He has Mrs. Schwartz for a teacher and apparently already found out she’s a big Wild hockey fan, which he loves haha! Leyton is really such a smart kid.. he makes it easy on us! He says he doesn’t like math but he’s good at it!! His brief after school reports are usually details about who said what on the bus or what they played a recess. But I can actually pull more details out of him than I can Finn. I love these boys and each new phase with them!
Oh, and quick note about Leyton’s tear filled pictures. Luke was giving him a hard time because he wasn’t smiling right (he does have a hilarious forced smile).. but it was just too much for Leyton to handle. May have been first day nerves, but he broke down and had a hard time recovering. But the pics are pretty sweet!
Last week Luke and I took the three boys to Chicago for a few days! We started talking about going on a trip earlier this summer and thought Chicago would be a fun place to bring the kids. Sadly, Ivy didn’t make the cut, but that was a good thing Without her, we didn’t need diaper changes, strollers or naps! Yay! The boys did so great on the trip. The plane trips were so fun for them.. who doesn’t love snacks, pop and movies? After we got to our hotel, jumped on the beds a little, we set out to explore the city. It was a little nerve wracking at first to keep track of 3 squirrely boys on the fast paced streets of Chicago, but after 4 days in the city, they became experts at the crosswalks, city buses, and riding in Ubers.
On the first day, we explored Millennium Park, the bean, Maggie Daley Park, and Crown fountain. We made a stop at Ghiradelli for a massive cookie dough ice cream sundae before a little break at the hotel. Then we headed to Navy Pier for a Ferris wheel ride, pizza for dinner and fireworks. The next day, after breakfast at Yolk, we took the bus to Lincoln Park zoo. Luke and I were so impressed at the zoo, but for some reason that was one stop that the boys were totally not into. So, we walked around for a little while, dealt with the whining and then headed back to our hotel (Everett kept calling it a cabin haha) and swam in the hotel pool. Well, the boys swam while I went shopping on Michigan Ave (yay!). In the late afternoon, we went to Oak Street Beach, it was fun for the boys to get off of the busy streets for a bit and just play in the sand! That night we had Chicago’s famous pizza at Gino’s East and ice cream cones at Ghiradelli.
Day 3 started with donuts at Stan’s (we ate like 7), then a trip up to the top of Willis Tower to stand out on the Sky Deck, looking on over the city. Everett was the one scared of the high heights! After that we took the bus to the Shedd Aquarium which was so cool! We saw a dolphin and penguin show, watched Beluga whales swim, saw a Shark 4D movie and touched Sting Rays. The boys loved it! More hotel swimming, dinner and movie night in the hotel room that night. On the last day, we ate more donuts at Stan’s, then went back down the Millennium Park area and did a little more shopping before heading home!
I’m so glad we got a chance to take our boys on this trip. Vacations are such a great way to get away from the pattern of daily life around our house. I definitely needed this. At the end of summer, I’m irritated at my kids more frequently and have less and less patience. It was great to go on this trip, spoil them a little, throw out bedtime routines and not think about their sugar intake (but we did need a big sugar detox when we got home). It’s fun to watch them out of their normal element and enjoy them for who they are. Leyton seemed a lot older on this trip. He was way more aware of everything around him and wasn’t the squirrely, wild hyper boy he once was. He asked a million questions and had to be a part of every plan. Yes, that drove us nuts sometimes but I was totally that way when I was little, so I don’t mind as much. He was so curious about all the homeless people on the street. He wanted to understand why they were there and what he could do about it. He had a hard time recovering from a particularly gross open wound on a homeless person (which we avoided on that street from then on). He has a big heart and loved exploring the city.
Finn is still our even keeled one, who doesn’t get upset over much and was up for anything we were doing on the trip. He’s grown up a lot too and isn’t as emotional or doesn’t get too overstimulated. He was excited for the high heights on the Ferris wheel, was captivated by the all the sea creatures. But, he had to be touching one of us at all times. Luke and I were laughing, because he’s the kid sitting on our laps on the bus ride and insisting on holding our hands as we walk down the street. We love our funny little boy. He devoured his donut faster that anyone I know, sang the songs to the movie “Greatest Showman” at the top of his lungs and is just generally a happy kid.
Everett and Finn do have a funny relationship though. They can get along so well, but I think they’re realizing that they’re the wild little ones now and they LOVE to bug each other. Nonstop! They were the ones we had to stop from playing tag on the streets and from constantly running and hitting, smacking, pinching each other. But they’re smiling the whole time! (well, until one’s crying) I will never understand that part of boy world. Everett’s so funny. He totally thinks he’s way older than he is. He’s up for any adventure and if you ask him if he wants to do something, he looks at you with his big brown eyes and says “sure!” His biggest line on the trip was constantly asking us, “hey did you forget we were in Chicago?” He said it all the time and we would just laugh. He still has his little boy face and little boy words, I just this phase! But the kid cannot take a picture! I would just hold up the camera and he would make these crazy poses, mostly laying on the ground, even on the disgusting boys. He’s always been a show off, that boy.
All in all, we had such a great trip! I’m so glad we did that right before school, but now I’m ready. School can go ahead and officially start
We love our annual trip to the fair! No pig races this year, but instead, a crazy BMX show that the boys were loving. Some cute animals to see (Finn and I really want to get a bunny), lots of food to eat and a couple rides! It’s so fun to look back at years past, just to see how they all have changed. This year, Leyton was the moody and sulky one.. maybe he’s getting to that age, but he was also very tired. Finn was the even, go with the flow one.. typical. Everett was the party animal, loving it all. Ivy was happy, loving the adventures but also wanting to be held and demanded all the food Gosh I love each one of them!!
More summer fun: Splash pads, bunker beach water park, beaches, ice cream truck treats, hiking at Minnehaha falls, carnival rides, fishing at the pond, fun with neighbors, strawberry picking, 4th of July fireworks, and Everett riding a bike!
It’s crazy that summer will be wrapping up soon! Before I went through these photos, I was going to sum up summer pretty briefly, say that just played outside a bunch and didn’t do much. But after looking through these photos, we definitely had some moments worth remembering!
This was the summer of hockey cards. The boys save for them, collect them, memorize them and trade them non stop. Besides breaking up the occasional argument about it, it’s been pretty fun for them. As far as sports, Leyton played lacrosse this year, which he totally loved! It was so fun to watch him. It’s a fast sport, non stop movement and it’s competitive.. perfect for Leyton All three boys started golf this summer. It’s a great change of pace. But after one practice where Everett took his shirt off and was pouring his water bottle over his head, we’ve had to talk about golf course etiquette Everett also started hockey this summer, which he was SO excited about! He had an intro to mite team and then he just joined Finn’s Skeeters team. So between lacrosse, golf, hockey and soon to be football for Leyton, we are busy! But I honestly don’t mind. I’ve become a professional schedule juggler, but it’s fun. The boys get to hang out so much at home during the day that we don’t mind getting out a little bit in the evening.
Not surprisingly, it’s been a busy and wonderful summer so far! So crazy that we’re over halfway done! I will get to a big summer picture dump, but first, a momentous event that deserves it’s own post. A couple of weeks ago, Leyton was baptized!
We started attending Eagle Brook church about 6 months ago. One day, Leyton came out of Sunday school and said, “I want to be baptized!” I asked him why and he said “because I want everyone to know that I’m on Jesus’ team.” That’ll make a mom cry! We talked about it more just to make sure he understood the idea and he was so sure of this decision and so excited! He keeps telling everyone that he went into the water to show that his old life is gone and he has a new, clean life with Jesus. Seriously I couldn’t be more proud. Leyton’s relationship with Jesus has been growing even more recently and he has such a sincere, innocent faith. He definitely understands the idea of inviting Jesus into your heart, of letting him be the Lord of your life with the promise of living in heaven for eternity. It’s a very cool thing to watch! The day of the baptism, I told him that out of all the things he has accomplished.. the good grades, the goals in hockey, that this is what I am most proud of! This is what matters!
The afternoon of the baptism was so special. Our families were there, everyone was cheering for him, I was crying of course! I’m so so proud of you Leyton!
Summer is here!! Leyton and Finn are officially done with 2nd grade and Kindergarten and I have my crew all back together! Everett and Ivy are thrilled. Life just got even more wild and they are loving it. I haven’t decided yet. I’m a mix of.. this is wonderful/I love summer/I love the chaos/wait, it’s too much chaos/I have too many kids… So.. that’s summer for ya!
The last day of school was a little anti-climactic. It was a rainy morning when we were trying to snap these last day of school pictures. Leyton was over it, Finn wasn’t feeling very good, but off they went. Then at noon, I got a call from the school nurse saying that Finn was in her office and wanted to be picked up. Haha, I couldn’t say no to that, but when I picked him up, he was FINE. My guess is that he wasn’t feeling the best, but maybe the little buddy was just over this school thing. It’s all a bunch of hype, I get it. So, he stayed home with me and helped the neighbor parents and I get the big celebration going for when the kids got off the bus. We had signs, silly string and an ice cream sundae station. Lucky kids! But ironically, Leyton got off the bus not feeling well, complaining of a pain near his appendix. We did eventually bring him up, being the responsible parents that we are, but he was also FINE. See.. just an odd day! But, bring on SUMMER! We’re ready (ish) for ya!
Playing a little catch up on here and wrapping up the school year! First, Leyton’s 2nd grade concert from back in March. I just never got around to posting these but it was so cute! Leyton always seems to old to me, but there’s something about these sweet concerts that remind me how little they all are. The years really are flying by. I have memories of plays I did in 2nd grade.. it’s crazy that this will be in Leyton’s memories! (or maybe not haha)
And then Finn’s! Blue Heron does such a good job at this Kindergarten graduation. Finn was so excited for this concert. They worked on the songs for weeks and they did such a great job! Then then had a slideshow and they each received a little diploma from their graduation! My favorite is all their little hats that wouldn’t stay on. Finn’s constantly trying to keep his head down so it won’t fall off
Then, the Kindergarteners did a poem with volunteers reciting something for each letter of the alphabet. Finn had the letter U! I was SO proud of him for volunteering. I was a bit surprised when I got the letter in his folder saying he volunteered. Finn has been in speech class this year and has been working on his stuttering. Although it hasn’t immensely improved, I honestly couldn’t be more proud of his confidence. We had an IEP meeting in May with his teacher and his speech teacher about his progress. They all just smiled talking about how well he is doing and that he isn’t your typical stuttering student. He is confident and not ashamed in the least bit about his stuttering. Mrs. Callahan said that he is well liked by everyone and they always want to be his partner for activities. She also reported that for their standardized testing, Finn tested among the highest in the class in the fall. Then in the spring, he had the highest score in the class by quite a bit. I seriously could have cried. This is what I have been praying for! I don’t know what God’s plans are for Finn and for his speech. But I have been praying that this wouldn’t hinder him, and it definitely hasn’t. God is going to use him in big ways. I have loved watching him this year as he’s grown up into such a confident, assured boy!