We had such a wonderful week with my whole family in town! The big group of us went up to Grandview Lodge for 4 days. We went two years ago and had such a fun time, we had to continue the tradition a couple years later! It’s rare to get everyone together, so the trip was perfect to just be together. (Here’s the post from last time!) This year we added Nathan Brown to the bunch.. oh and Ivy! It’s so fun to get these kids together. They all keep getting older and cuter and they really get along so well together! We are truly blessed. And Grandview is such a perfect place for all of us. Someone commented that my mom should be a spokesperson for Grandview Lodge (and for Aldi) But as she said, “I would come just for the flowers!” The place is so beautiful. We had great weather, stayed in a nice big 5 bedroom house together, and spent four wonderful days exploring the place! We logged in a lot of hours at the pool and the kids were obsessed with the slide! We played on the beach, swam in the lake and the big boys jumped on the trampoline in the lake. We rented a boat, cruised around and some went fishing. We rented bikes, played mini golf and tennis, went on a nature scavenger hunt, roasted marshmallows by the bonfire and ate ice cream everyday! Like I said, perfect! I’m so glad we were able to do this trip again, and we’re all already excited for the next trip! (Forewarning, there’s a lot of pictures! And I seem to be partial to Ivy)
We are all pretty excited around here.. summer has arrived! Leyton finished his last day of 1st grade yesterday and he already made his bucket list for this summer. It includes lemonade stands, camping in our backyard, beach days, pool days, playing with friends and fishing I’m so ready for all of that! I’m excited to have everyone home. I like having them all home to sort of “retrain” them but bad habits learned at school. Leyton did really well during the second half of 1st grade after moving to the new house and joining Blue Heron. It wasn’t all easy, but I guess that what new changes bring sometimes. We had to deal with a few new issues that we hadn’t come across before. We had to have lots of good talks about staying away from the naughty kids and choosing to make good choices. I think everyone else in the class knew which naughty kids to steer clear from, but Leyton, being the crowd pleaser he is, went for the ones he could be goofy and squirrelly with! And he also came home with reports of bad words he learned that had never entered this house before. Again, lots of good talks! Even though all these new “issues” made us both squirm as parents, I honestly love having the chance to talk through all of this with Leyton and I’m glad he’s able to confide in us. He’s our first, so it’s all a bit shocking, but as I told Luke, we’d better buck up and be able to deal with all this, it’s probably just getting started!
Anyways, we made it through the year and he found some great friends! The boys already have a bunch of little neighbor friends and Leyton’s meeting other friends at hockey as well. We’re sinking our roots in around here! We know that God provided this lot and this house just for our family and we’re trusting him with all these changes! We love our big boy and love watching him grow right before us! Can’t believe he’s onto 2nd grade! But before we get to that.. let’s do SUMMER!
We had such a special day celebrating our big little boy today! I can’t believe he’s 3! 3 feels like a big age. And gosh, this is why I love birthdays.. it’s so fun to celebrate Everett and throw a big party for him, but I always find myself reflecting on his story. His birth, his cute little life so far, his place in this family and how much he’s grown into such a.. boy! Everett was our wild card. I was a little terrified of having three boys. And pretty much since he arrived on this earth, he’s wanted to make himself known. He does everything “big.” He’s loud, he’s wild and he’s hilarious. He’s gets so excited about everything little thing and brings so much life to everyone around him. I honestly can’t imagine life without him and I’m so glad we don’t have to. He fits perfectly in this family and we’re the luckiest to have him! I’m due for a more detailed status update on each kid (more for me so I don’t forget the little things!).. but in short, no he’s not potty trained, yes he still has a pacifier, and he’s still so naughty but also strangely, so wonderful.
We celebrated Everett’s GOLDEN 3rd birthday ninja style! We set up a little ninja course for the kids, broke a piñata, ate hot dogs and cupcakes.. it was fun! My favorite part is that gold costume. That kid loves his costumes!
Ok, just to preface.. this video is very accurate of our stage of life right now. Luke’s out golfing (haha, to be fair, it is his birthday), while I’m wrangling the 4 crazies. We get ready for bed when I remember to do this video. “Quickly kids! Get outside to the front porch!” Total chaos. It’s windy, they’re wild, we’re all a mess, so one take is all we’re getting! But we love you babe and we all LOVE living this crazy life with YOU!
And just like that.. our little Finn is headed to elementary school! What?! Oh boy.. I don’t know if I’m ready for this! It’s a good thing we have a whole summer to be in denial. Preschool is easy, and sweet, and super part time. Kindergarten is ALL DAY! I know I know, I wasn’t nearly this weepy with Leyton. But Finn is my little buddy! We hang out, we cuddle and we pretend he isn’t growing up (haha I’m know I’m sounding like one of “those” parents). I’ve been extra sentimental lately about this new season. For over 3 years, it’s just been Finn and I every afternoon while the little ones sleep. We have a couple hours of great hang out time and I’m so going to miss it! Last week, Luke and I were gone on vacation (we went to Cabo!).. Finn was extra cuddly the day we got back. I said, “what do you want to do today Finn?” He says, “tickle! In your bed!” So we did! We play games, we paint, we color.. it’s the best.
But! I am SO proud of Finn and I honestly feel so confident about him heading to Kindergarten in the fall. Although he is more timid and cautious than Leyton, he’s grown up so much in the past couple of years. He is still fairly quiet and shy, but he has a greater sense of confidence and has felt so much more comfortable this year in preschool. He has a couple great friends in preschool (Teddy and Levi) and loves being with his buddies! He is confident with coloring and working on his letters and reports often about the projects they did and the books they read. His teachers were amazing and made it such a great experience for Finn! We couldn’t be more proud of our little buddy!!
It was a busy Easter, like they all are, but we honestly feel so blessed to have both sets of families to visit in one wild day! This year, we started at church in the morning, where we saw all of our cousins in their cute Easter attire. By the way, I think I’m finally learning to give up a little on cute Easter outfits. Everything was picked out, matching perfectly and ready to go but (and I know this is crazy), when you don’t get a decent picture of it all, it barely counts! Haha. The boys were a mess right away after church and wanted to change asap. I’ll try to remember to save my money next year. So after church, we headed to my parents with Tyler, Erin and Nathan. Following tradition, the adults hid the eggs and let our three boys go crazy searching for candy filled eggs! We had lunch and the kids played logos while the adults sat around for a bit talking about our favorite parts about the Easter message and what the message of Christ’s death and resurrection means to us. It’s so great sharing our love for the Lord with others in our family! (We also talked about how strange of traditions the bunny and the eggs are haha!)
We then headed to Luke’s side, where Mimi and Papa had their pool open for the first time this year! So nice to have almost 70 degree weather in April! The boys were so excited to get in the water. Leyton and Finn are both in swimming lessons right now and are doing really well at learning how to swim and being more comfortable. But speaking of the one who hasn’t learned to swim.. before we could get wings on Everett, he was so excited, yelled a big “woo hoo!” and jumped right in the water! I quickly realized that he couldn’t touch or swim back up so I jumped in after him, fully clothed! Wild start to the swimming season But we had an Easter egg hunt, ate a great meal, watched Uncle Nate play in the wild game, and had so much fun with everyone! I love this group of little cousins, they’re so sweet and so fun together!
Every year, it’s such a treat to watch my kids learn more about Jesus and who He is in their lives. With such innocent hearts, they absorb so much about the stories in the Bible and how important Jesus is to our family. I am so grateful for our redemption in Christ, new life and the opportunity to impart this on our children. So many reasons to feel so blessed this year!
Oh this was a fun birthday! Since it was her golden birthday (1!!) I went a little crazy with so much gold and pink! We had a bunch of sweets.. chocolate covered strawberries and pretzels, macaroons, pink popcorn and of course, cake and cupcakes! Hilary made another amazing cake and it was so fun that it was for a girl this time! My sister and mom helped me craft a little and we were good! It was fun to have everyone there to celebrate our Ivy. She was so cute while we sang to her and so dainty picked at her cake. And just like that.. she’s ONE!
Our baby girl is officially ONE! I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since we met our little Ivy girl! This birthday brings SO much sentiment and so many memories from her grand entrance last year on April 1st. She was our big mystery and our biggest surprise. I had imagined what it would be like to meet my baby girl but I had no idea it would actually come true! That day she was born will forever be one of my favorite days in the life of our family and I will never forget all the little details of those first days. And honestly, it just keeps getting better. I’m trying to not be that annoying mom who constantly says “can you believe we have a girl!?”.. but I think it more than I’d like to admit. Like when I’m browsing the baby girl dresses at the store, or when I’m picking out which bow she should wear in the morning, or when I’m decorating her room. All of it! It’s just so fun. And she is seriously the sweetest, smiliest little baby. Every time I come in her room in the morning or after her nap, she’s just beaming. And when anyone smiles at her, she flashes the biggest smile back.
She loves her brothers and love when they kiss her, tickle her, push her around, drag her by feet.. all of it. And she lights up for her daddy! She can handle being pretty roughed up by Luke.. It’s the sweetest thing to watch! But she’s definitely a mommy’s girl. She loves being held and is attached to my hip anywhere we go. She still won’t do church nursery, but prefers just to hang by our feet or on our laps during church. We’re not too upset about it She totally skipped crawling, but has figured out a little scoot that will get her around. She motors in the walker, it’s so hilarious to watch! But for the most part, she’s content wherever you set her and will play so well with anything around her. This is so different that Everett at this age! He preferred to dump the tupperware and the ziploc bags, or anything non-toy. Ivy’s a nice change of pace
She’s a much better sleeper at night, but I’m a sucker, and give into feeding her if she randomly wakes up. She naps usually just once in the afternoon. Sometimes we’ll give her a morning nap, but it’s so rare that she’s getting used to just the one. She eats quite a bit, but definitely has her preferences. She’s a big fruit and carb girl and tends to pick around the veggies. She is only 18 pounds (20%) and feels so little! She makes so many noises with her mouth and sticks out her tongue when she gets excited. She makes so many faces and straightens her arms and legs and does these little feet rolls when she’s happy! Last night, the boys were having a tough night and being so wild and bickering way too much. While we were getting everybody ready for bed, Luke and I were in Ivy’s room just hanging out while little miss smiley. We both commented how she is such a ray of light.. she brings so much joy to our family! Although I still feel like I’m getting used to the fact that she’s here and she’s ours.. we definitely can’t imagine life without her! We are so thankful God chose to bless us with our baby girl. We love you Ivy doll!
Our big boy is 7!! He woke up this morning with streamers on his doorway and balloons covering his floor.. the birthday week continues with this special March 6th birthday! Of course this day will always hold a special place for us. It’s the birth day that made us parents! The day he was born will always be so clear to me. It’s those years in between that are seriously starting to get a bit fuzzy! He has changed so much in 7 short years. He’s grown into a unique, individual boy who we have the absolute privilege of calling our son! He’s sweet and caring, and he loves with his whole heart. He has a way of unifying a wide variety of friends and gets along so well with so many different people. He’s always so positive and up for any challenge you throw his way. He has so much energy and loves to do anything active. But he also has a sweet, sensitive side. He goes out of his way to make cards or write notes for others. He loves to write, color and do anything crafty! His favorites right now are Pokemon cards, the Trolls movie, Piggie and Gerald books and anything hockey. He’s loving his new school and fits right in. At his school conference last week, his teacher told us that he’s doing so well and exceeding academically. She also told us that he came into his new school with confidence, but now he’s getting a little too confident and they’re seeing the squirrely side of Leyton. We knew it would happen eventually! He gets along really well with his brothers. He plays so well with Finn, he laughs hysterically at Everett and has the cutest baby voice for his sweet little sister. He sleeps well, eats well and is still waiting to lose that first tooth! We are so proud of our big boy and love watching him grow! I would say I can’t believe he’s 7 but seriously I couldn’t believe he was still 6! He’s a giant and seems to much older to me lately! Oh buddy, we love you more than you will ever know!
We had a birthday party for Leyton last weekend at Pinz. He played lazer tag with a wild group of boys, mostly from his old school in White Bear. He was so excited to see all of them!
This past weekend, Leyton had a hockey tournament to finish out the season and his time with his White Bear team. He did so well and had a lot of fun! He does have a bit of a competitive/perfectionist spirit.. he shed a few tears that he didn’t win any ribbons in the skills competition and that he didn’t score a goal for his mom on her birthday But we are all such proud fans!
I know Ivy is waaay past this milestone, but I pulled out the good ol’ archives to compare all 4 kids at the same age! 2 blue eyes, 2 brown eyes. Very similar hair, except Ivy’s standing alone with that ginger hair! And Ivy’s the only one without 2 teeth at this age! Oh how I love these little ones!