Sunday, August 25, 2013

MN State Fair 2013

Of the 11 summers we have been residents of Minnesota we have attended the MN State Fair all but 1 year (8 months preggo with 90-degree temps and an 18-month old in tow just didn't seem like an enjoyable combination for Fair fun).  We look forward to the Great Minnesota Get-Together all summer long and it has become our traditional last "hurrah" of summer before school and Fall is upon us. 

This past Friday, as in all 9 years before, we made sure to catch the bus bright and early to ensure a full day of Fair fun. 

First stop, as always, was the giant slide followed by breakfast!

This was the first year for Olivia to ride the Giant Slide (with Ben) and she LOVED it.  Zach went all by himself for the very first time and although I was pretty sure he appeared quite terrified the entire time down, he proclaimed he loved it as well! 
Ben's Fair breakfast of choice...and no, we did not eat all of those cookies in one sitting.  But, yes, by the following day the bucket was completely empty. 

By 9:00 am, Zach declared his stomach was upset.  It only took 10 cookies, 4 mini donuts, and a dish of ice cream. 

My very favorite food at the Fair. 

We always make sure to hit the prime kid spots while the crowds are low early in the morning.  That meant we made stops at the Kids' Farm, Home Depot project booth, and the Lego booth right away. 

Along the way, me managed to acquire quite a vast collection of interesting food and animal themed head wear.

After wandering through the pet building and 4-H buildings, we decided it was high time for some lunch.  Corn and Pronto Pups to go around!

We spent the rest of the day wandering through the animal barns, watching the afternoon parade, snacking on popcorn and cotton candy and funnel cake fries, picking out our yearly Christmas ornament, and riding the sky ride. 

 By the end of the day, we could barely put one foot in front of the other....

One of us didn't really make it at all.....

We spent the ride home recalling all the fun of the day and already looking forward to next year.  Then, once we arrived home, with the sugar-high officially worn off, we all crashed for the night.  Definitely another successful year at the Fair! 

Beatin' the Summer Heat

Although the calendar says summer break is swiftly coming to an end, the weather outside seems to disagree.  When the 90-degree temps moved back in this week, we decided to hit the pool!  We packed a lunch and enjoyed the sun while we stayed cool in the water. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Como Town

Last week I took the kids to Como Town for our annual summer carnival ride extravaganza.  I was able to secure a great deal on Groupon for unlimited ride wristbands so the kids rode rides to their hearts' content almost the entire day long. 

This was the first year that Olivia was tall enough to do all of the rides without an adult chaperone.  Also, Allie was finally tall enough this year to tackle the bigger rides (like the roller coaster, bumper cars, and zip line) without an adult chaperone.  Both girls loved the ability to ride without their momma....and honestly, I was totally okay with that.  We did manage to do the swings and the Tilt-a-Whirl together so I didn't feel too left out. 

I packed a picnic lunch for us to enjoy and when the sun got too hot we played in the splash pad and indulged in strawberry smoothies.  After the kids were sufficiently soaked and ready to dry off, we redeemed our coupon for free glitter tattoos before seeing parts of the zoo and gardens. 

Since it was getting later in the day, we only saw a few of the animals:  the gorillas and monkeys in the new gorilla house, the giraffes, and flamingos.  The kids also said they absolutely could not leave without seeing the bonsai trees and the Japanese garden.  We made the trek across the grounds and saw both before heading out for the day. 

While Olivia fell asleep in her car seat before we even left the parking lot, Allie and Zach were too wired from the events of the day for sleep.  After a somewhat rowdy ride home, we snagged a pizza for dinner and enjoyed telling Ben all about our fun day and anticipating our return next summer! 

Summer Swim Lessons

For the past two months, every Friday morning Zach and Allie have been attending swim lessons at the YMCA.  They've each done amazing in their classes and have enjoyed every minute in the water (so much so....they will be starting another session in few weeks). 

Last Friday was their very last class of the summer. 
Zach Passed! 

Although Allie did not pass, her teacher did advance her up two levels on the second week of class.  So apparently, I grossly underestimated her swimming abilities!  He said he feels confident she'll pass next session. 

Zach passing his swim lessons was reason for celebration!  He has been working since April to pass his class...and not only did he pass, but he also acquired his pink wristband which allows him to go down the waterslides!  He picked out brownies and root beer floats to share. 

We took the kids on Sunday to swim at the YMCA and Zach was thrilled to be able to go down the waterslides.  All of his hard work definitely paid off!  Way to go Zach!