Tuesday, July 14, 2015

2015 Week Twenty-Four | June 8 - June 14

Our vacation around Duluth continued at the beginning of the week, then we did a bit of traveling through Wisconsin to see Emily. After spending time with her, we drove to the Twin Cities to chill with Darrin's best friend Matt and his wife. Always leave wishing we lived so much closer to them.
Monday we spent the day driving Old Highway 61 and exploring the state parks along the way. We had so much fun exploring the falls at Gooseberry Falls State Park. They were beautiful, and fell into shallow enough water we could step out into them. 
Another favorite stop on Monday was Split Rock Lighthouse. Beautiful lighthouse set high on the cliff. 
Tuesday we took a ferry from Bayfield to Madeline Island, where we rented bikes and rode the 7.5 miles to the state park to play at the beach... and then rode all the way back. Our butts were sooooooo sore. 
Wednesday we drove to Cable, WI, where my childhood best friend Emily works as a naturalist at the Natural History Museum. We checked out the exhibit at the museum, then headed to a nearby pond to learn about nature up close. 
Wednesday night we spent in the Twin Cities, stopping by the Mall of America to visit the Lego Store and ride a roller coaster. Thursday morning we spent time with Darrin's best friend and his wife, then headed home. 

 Saturday our town had its local celebration. Ian was in the parade for cub scouts, and after, the kids had a blast cooling down in the pool. We had friends over for dinner later, and the kids spent their time rolling and running down the hill in our backyard.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

2015 Week Twenty-Three | June 1 - June 7

This was the week of the frog. I spent Monday working on opening the pool- cleaning out the debris, getting the hoses hooked up, fixing chem levels, etc. While I was working, there was a frog climbing the side of the pool, and later I found him in the grass by the pool. I went to take replace the brackets around the edge (many were damaged in a hail storm last year), and discovered three living under there, which resulted in Darrin getting a text that HE will be changing the brackets. The next day I discovered three or four in the skimmer basket, and Darrin got another text letting him know he'll be dumping it. I just don't do frogs/toads. They jump.

The rest of the week was some normal stuff around home, a trip to the zoo with friends, and the start of vacation in Duluth.
They look cute... but then they jump. Ugh!

This was gross! 
We went with Marlena and the boys to the zoo. Forgot how much longer it takes to see things with a toddler along. There's lots of construction going on there right now, and Henry was fascinated by all the tractors. And water bottles. Even though Marlena had one along for him, he preferred to drink from Ian or Annaliese's. 

We had cherries for the first time in a long time, and Annaliese loved them. She couldn't figure out how to put it in her mouth and then spit the seed out, so she held the cherry and ate around the seed... which was messy!
We've been reading the Harry Potter series, so we had one happy boy after a stop at Game Stop. 
Annaliese got a toy the same day, a Barbie made for the water, and she got used right away when we got home,
with the first dip in the pool. 
Supper on the scenic train ride in Duluth. 
Excited for the train ride to start. 
Big Manitou Falls in Superior, WI. 
Choosing the 'fun' route to the tower at Enger Park instead of the sidewalk. 
Feeling good about themselves after making it to the top and back down. 
Programming a flight at the Duluth Children's Museum. 
Having fun at Park Point in Duluth. 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

2015 Week Twenty-Two | May 25 - May 31

Monday was Memorial Day, and we celebrated the holiday with some sprinkler fun (we hadn't opened our pool yet- darn rainy weekends).  But this weekend, the rain cleared and we were able to stain the deck on Saturday and Sunday, taking the cover off the pool Sunday night (I, thankfully, did not get a picture of what the water looked like under said cover). I had been saying to Annaliese for months now she needed a hair cut, and Friday of this week, I had finally had enough with trying to comb through her knots and managed her mane. An impromptu trip to Great Clips and six inches, and my frustration, were gone. We also signed up for the summer reading program at our public library this week and the kids read like crazy. Ian discovered if he read to her, they would both get credit for the book, and we spent a lot of time reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban aloud. 

They kids helped... Ian for about 15 minutes and Annaliese for about 30.
Spray it on and brush it to even it out- best method ever. 
First time having her hair washed at a hair cut. 
Before and After
It's great having a big brother who can read to you.
The porch is proving to be a favorite spot to read. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

2015 Week Twenty-One | May 18 - May 24

The beginning of this week was spent celebrating my grandfather at his visitation and funeral, and the rest of the week flew by just as fast, as it was the last week of school. Memorial day weekend means the start of summer, and we celebrated by going to the zoo.
The night we returned from Grandpa's funeral, Annaliese snuggled with her pink princess zebra for bedtime. I'm not sure if she did this consciously or not, as Grandpa had won the zebra at BINGO and given it to her as a gift. 
Last day of second grade. How do I have a third grader already!

Our first day of summer vacation was rain filled, but that only lasted Saturday...
Sunday the weather was perfect for the zoo. First stop is ALWAYS the aquarium. Annaliese and this puffin were checking each other out. 
Checking out the sea stars, crab, urchins, and other sea dwellers in the touch tank. 

It was her idea to have Ian bury her at the fossil dig site. Luckily, it's not sand, but tiny rubber pellets that make clean up so much easier. 

Petting the goats at the big red barn. 

My two loves with my favorite zoo animal. He did this on his own. They love each other so much. Darrin and I are so blessed!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

2015 Week Twenty | May 11 - May 17

This week is really all about Friday, May 15. It was a busy day in our lives. Darrin and I took the day off to attend Annaliese's preschool graduation. We then treated her to lunch at Spaghetti Works (and I stopped by the administration building to fill out paperwork for my new job). That afternoon, my dad called, voice cracking to tell me my grandfather had passed away peacefully in his sleep. After having a good cry, Darrin and I decided to wait to tell the kids until Saturday, because I was headed out the door to pick up Ian and his best friend from school for a sleep over. It was definitely a day I'll never forget. 

My little graduate 
The director of the program read each child's journal to the friends and family gathered in the room. Annaliese was the first one who went. I have no idea where her Popsicle comment came from. My guess is that another friend said that and she joined along. 

Celebratory lunch at Spaghetti Works

The boys hanging out playing a little B-ball after school.
I posted this picture of my grandpa on Facebook Friday night, along with this for my status:
To steal my sister's status: "Heaven gained a good man today." When I remember him, I'll remember tractor rides and squirts of milk into my mouth straight from a cow. I'll remember him every time I see a farmer- farming was in his blood. I'll remember watching him with my kids- how he'd reach out his hand/foot/cane to try and catch them as they raced around him in his chair, doing whatever he could to get them to smile and laugh. I'll remember his hugs- they always lasted longer than anyone else who gives me a hug, and he'd squeeze just a bit tighter before letting me go and kissing my cheek. And I'd smell just like him for hours afterward.

Saturday Annaliese and I went for a bit of exercise on our avenue. She kept the perfect pace that I was able to speed walk and keep up with her. 

She has figured out how to make her own PB&J, which will pay off this summer for me!
She has also learned how to read a few words (no, on, of, to). She was stoked when she found the book, "No, David!" on her bookshelf, realizing she could read a lot of the words in it. Think she aspires to be a teacher?