The night before Valentines, Leyton told me he wasn’t feeling like Valentines felt like that big of a deal. Even though he had his school party, we weren’t doing much at home, he said. But then he thought and responded, “well, I guess you will make pink heart pancakes, a pink smoothie and write us a card telling one thing you love about us.” Haha I guess so! I wasn’t sure if I was going to the cards again this year, but after hearing that I had to! And for the record, Leyton’s word was creative. Finn’s was talented. Everett’s was fearless. And for Ivy, silly! We had a great Valentines Day, and Luke and I ended the day with a delicious cheese and meat platter when the kids went to bed. I know, we’re crazy It was a fun holiday! I love our little traditions!
I didn’t manage to sneak this post in in 2018, but we were too busy of course! We had such a great, very full Christmas break, it was wonderful! The week before Christmas, we managed to squeeze in all the little traditions so we wouldn’t miss anything. One of my favorites is when we surprise the kids after dinner some random night, tell them to run upstairs and get their Christmas pajamas on that are laying out, and head out to go look at Christmas lights together! We brings hot chocolate and candy canes and it’s really fun! We also saw the movie The Star, which was really sweet and took the boys to see the Grinch in the movie theater. Then the 23rd and 24th, we spent Prosser Christmas at Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark in Minneapolis. It’s so fun to watch all these little cousins together, they played and played and had so much fun! It was a great little getaway and a fun way to spend Christmas with that crew. Then Christmas morning and most of the day, we spent just at home which I LOVE. We opened presents (we surprised them with a bunny!), had a big breakfast and just stayed in our PJs most of the day. Around 4, we headed to my parents where we joined up with the whole family that came in from out of town. Then for the next week, we did tons of fun things with the out of towners.. mall of America, sky zone, boot hockey and ice hockey, pizza ranch, dinners together, it was so great! It’s safe to say our kids were totally spoiled with endless fun. Although at times it felt like a blur, it was honestly another sweet, sweet Christmas.. with a mix of relaxing, tons of family time and just enjoying the meaning of Christmas. It was perfect!
This week was Everett’s preschool Christmas program! I seriously love these little concerts. They’re so fun to watch and it seriously brings out their individual personalities. Everett was no exception. I couldn’t capture all of it adequately on my camera, but it was one of those moments I don’t think I’ll forget. Everett was SO excited the morning he woke up and it was concert day! He had to wait all day, and when we get there in the evening, everyone is supposed to sit with their families in the pews of the church. He gets there, sees all of his little friends and just started doing rounds. Giving everyone high 5′s, dancing in the aisles with his buddies, sneaking towards the front with the teachers. It was sooo funny! Right in his element. Of course for the songs, he was animated and singing right along! This kid is so hilarious. It was just one of those moments where you sit back and watch your crazy big boy and can’t help by smile!
My Finn man is SEVEN! Why the heck do they keep getting older?! It’s crazy to have an 8 and 7 year old. That’s just old! It’s so fun to spoil Finn on his birthday. He’s our easy going, go with flow guy.. never cares to draw attention or make things about himself. But he was very excited to turn 7! His birthday was so special. He woke up in the morning to streamers, balloons, and birthday pancakes. He opened a couple presents in the morning, scored a bunch of goals at hockey in the afternoon (he was pretty proud of that) then we had a birthday party for him in the afternoon. We had it at Jam Hops, a gymnastics place that had a ninja course and a nerf war for the party. He invited boys from his class, neighbors boys, his brothers, cousins, and one little girl was allowed We all had a lot of fun, and our 7 year old was all smiles, all day long!
It’s so fun to watch Finn grow into such a unique and wonderful boy! He has the sweetest, most caring personality. He’s our little peacemaker and the most even keeled one of the bunch. He’s an absolute joy to be around and gets along well with everyone. He’s outgoing and loves all the action around here, but can easily settle in to a slower pace. He’s a wild man on the ice and is such a crazy stick handler, but when he gets home, he’ll grab his stuffed animals or some other little toy and jump in playing with Ivy. He loves to be around all his friends but also isn’t afraid to say no to playing and keep it quiet inside. I love that.. maybe because it sounds like my style haha. His favorites right now are anything hockey, Diary of a Wimpy kid books, Duck Tales, his squirrel and frog He loves playing hockey and he recently started guitar lessons. We are so proud of our big boy!! Now please quit growing.
Just a little update about how my three school boys are doing.. figured this is a good place to record it all! We had conferences a couple weeks ago and it’s always fun to hear the update from their teachers!
Let’s start with Leyton. Our big 3rd grader is doing so well! Everything Mrs. Schwartz said didn’t surprise me. Leyton is naturally smart in math and even though he says it’s his least favorite subject, math comes really natural to him! But she says he doesn’t work above and beyond what’s expected. He does the assignment, as quick as he can, and turns it in. No double checking work for this kid. She reported that our wild man does need to reminded to not blurt out and not talk over everyone. I said to her, “you think kids would have that figured out by 3rd grade!” To which she laughed and said, “well, if it hasn’t been figured out by now, that’s probably just his personality and he probably won’t change.” I guess that’s Leyton! She said he gets along well with everyone and is generally always happy and positive! He’s doing a great job with reading and always has a stack of books by his bed to read before bed and when he wakes up early in the morning. It’s usually sports books or Diary of a Wimpy kid books, but at least it’s reading! He did read a biography of Wayne Gretsky last week and loved knowing the history of a hockey great like Gretzky Overall, Leyton’s an easy kid when it comes to school. He enjoys school and works hard! We’re so proud!
Next, Finn! Finn’s teacher had such a good report for him at conferences, I couldn’t help but smile the whole time. He’s doing so well! He’s really excelling at reading and loves working ahead on the long list of sight words. On their latest standarized testing, they graded his words per minute and he was way above average. That almost brought me to tears! For the boy who is still in speech therapy for his stutter, when he reads, his words come out so smooth! I love listening to him read. He loves reading out loud and also by himself at night. I’m so proud! His speech teacher came to the conference as well and it was great to from both of them. They both smiled when talking about him, saying how well liked he is, that he’s one of “the cool kids” haha! They said he’s confident, well behaved and just a great kid. As far as his speech, he hasn’t made giant progress but honestly, he’s so comfortable with himself and his speaking, and that’s wonderful! He’s flying through 1st grade and doing so well!
Then there’s Everett! Haha, oh my wild man. We love the preschool he is at! His two teachers are so sweet and seem to really invest in each child and her notes from the conference were so specific to him, it was really great. They said he gets along well with everyone, which isn’t a shocker. By week two of preschool, he could list everyone’s name in his class! He has a good group of little boys that he loves to play with. Now educationally, she said he would definitely benefit from another year of preschool before heading to Kindergarten. Haha I’ve been slacking on teaching the third kids his letters! We were planning on him doing another year anyways, so he’s got time to learn that alphabet! She did say he gets frustrated easily when doing his work and will quickly say “I can’t do it” and just gives up. They have to remind him to keep trying! Sounds like him! They also mentioned he is a very honest boy and can be relied on to always tell the truth if there’s a misunderstanding. See what I mean, she was detailed! And she said he has really good rhythm. Ha!
It seems really crazy that I have three boys in school. Three boys that are doing a lot of things without me knowing about them! But it’s amazing to watch them each grow, to see their strength and weaknesses and watch where God is going to use them! I’m so so proud of each of them!
I seriously love looking back at past holidays, and seeing how our kids grow so much year to year! And Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I try not to sneak much Christmas in before Thanksgiving.. it’s really nice to have a relaxed holiday where there’s no hype, no presents.. it’s really just about being together with our families and eating a lot of good food! Erin and Nathan hosted the Kirkpatricks this year, they’re house is the cutest! When we left there, Luke and I both said it was hard to leave because we were SO relaxed But we headed to the Prosser house after that, and honestly I don’t have many pictures because it’s just way to busy to pull out my camera! I did snap some pictures of the cousin crew. They’re all looking so much bigger! But they’re still so little Those kids are so lucky to grow up with cousins close by!
After recovering from Thanksgiving, the rest of the weekend was filled with hockey (Leyton had a tournament in Stillwater), and just being together as a family! We took the boys to Wreck in Ralph 2 which was so fun. I love our yearly tradition of going to a local tree farm to pick up and chop down our Christmas tree. We went into it with a plan to move quickly, as last year we spent waaay too much time picking it out. So it was quick but so fun! Then we went to Caribou after for hot chocolate. I love that about Christmas.. such great traditions for us all to look forward to!
(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!
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