Saturday, September 28, 2013

Highlights of our Week

Another busy week has passed us quickly by!  Here's a little of what we've been up to this past week....

Monday was flu shot and out-to-breakfast day.  Then school.  Laundry and household chores for me and Olivia.  Then home for dinner and homework before piano lessons.

Tuesday was school and preschool for the kids...kid-free grocery shopping for me.  Then home for dinner and homework before swim lessons.

The photo Olivia's teacher sent me of her having fun at preschool.

Wednesday we dropped my yellow painted car off to be fixed.  Then school for the big kids and BSF for me and Olivia.  Out to lunch with Daddy at Panera who stayed home to work and to chauffeur us around because we were down to one car.  Found out it was going to take a few days longer to get my car fixed (apparently there was yellow paint in places previously not able to be seen-gah!).  Got a rental car for the next few days.  Too tired for AWANA so we spent the night relaxing at home after dinner.  We also tackled a few things to prepare for Zach's first ever upcoming birthday party next week!

Thursday was school and preschool again.  All three kids crammed into their car/booster seats in the back of our rental Toyota Camry.  At first the kids were enamored by the "new" car we were borrowing.  By the end of the day....they were wishing for our car to be returned...Apparently it was a little squishy for all three of them in the small backseat! 

After a hurried dinner the big kids and I were off to see "Charlotte's Web" at the Minnesota Children's Theater.  I won some free tickets a couple weeks ago and after speed-reading through the book by E.B. White the kids were incredibly excited to see the play.

We arrived super early, which was ok because there were plenty of things to look at!

Zach was especially enamored by this chandelier and insisted upon a picture with it!

Writing their names on Charlotte's Web.

By the end of the evening the web was full of kids' messages!

We also had a quick snack from the concession stand before heading in to find our seats.  The kids were even more excited when they saw the stage set up to look just like Zuckerman's farm. 

I couldn't believe how close we were to the stage!  For free tickets, I was expecting nose bleed seats, but we were only 5 rows from the front.  The kids were enamored from beginning to end.  All the actors were dressed up to look like the animals from the book and Charlotte was even suspended from wires attached to the ceiling to make it look like she was jumping/floating like a real spider. 

The kids' favorite parts were the scenes from the county fair and when Charlotte "wrote" on her web (they used some pretty cool black-light effects to make the words "magically" appear).  They were both teary eyed at the end upon Charlotte's departure, but were quickly brought back to laughing by Templeton's antics (honestly, Templeton was a RIOT the whole way through!) 
The play was incredibly well done and upon leaving Zach declared it the best movie he had ever seen.  On the way home the kids' discussed what parts were like the book and what parts were different...both were a little distraught at some of the liberties taken...especially Zach who really wanted everything to be literally the same as the book! 
At first Olivia was sad to be left home, but after a trip with Daddy to Cherry Berry were she indulged in a bowl of pink ice cream with pink toppings, she was quite alright.  She couldn't wait to tell me all about on Friday morning. 
Friday morning we were all up bright and early (despite our late night...made even later by the fact that I got a little lost in downtown Minneapolis on the way home after the play) to get ready to participate in the kids' school's annual fundraiser...the FUNDATHON!  I spent the morning and the afternoon helping out at the inflatable obstacle course. 

Olivia and Zach got a chance to go through the obstacle course in the afternoon before the big kids came out. 

The Fundathon is an annual track and field day where the kids raise money through sponsors who donate money in support of their efforts.  All proceeds directly benefit their much better than selling wrapping paper and chocolates!    There were several stations set up outside (tug of war, sled races, sack races, etc) and even though the rain threatened to disrupt the fun a couple of times, it mostly held off.  We had a great time, but were pretty tired by the end of the day. 
Ben spent his day on a golf outing for work where he had his closest-hole-in-one experience ever.  I told him he should have just blown on the ball to get it to go in!
We finally picked up my car last night and gladly returned our rental.  After a restful night we are catching up on housework this morning before I leave for worship team this afternoon and we gear up for another week of fun next week.  Zach is especially excited because, he reminded us, "SUNDAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF MY BIRTHDAY WEEK!"   

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Look Who Lost a Tooth!

Unfortunately he managed to yank out the one that is NOT chipped.  So, now he has a whole in his mouth next to a half-tooth.  We still have no idea how the tooth got chipped in the first place.  Here's hoping it comes out before we visit the dentist so I don't have to try to explain it to them!

Flu Shots

The kids have been dreading getting their flu shots for weeks...which is actually quite silly considering they weren't even getting a flu shot, but rather the flu mist!  Anyway, I made the appointment for all four of us bright and early this past Monday morning.  To help ease any anxiety, I also promised them an IHOP breakfast after our shots and before dropping them off at school.  The shots/mist went off without a hitch and they were pumped about IHOP!

After consuming enough blueberry syrup to sink a ship, they were more than ready for a full day of studies.  Now, they are already looking forward to next year's flu shot!

I Love Fall Weekends!

Last weekend my sister and her family came up to our neck of the woods for a short, but sweet visit.  After a full family photo shoot on Saturday, we enjoyed a celebratory birthday lunch in honor of my sister and dad's September birthdays followed by Saturday night church.  It was definitely a full day and as we loaded up to come home from my parents' house on Saturday evening, we were all pretty exhausted!  Even Finn slept away the entire ride home snug in his kennel. 

The plan was for Sunday to be a bit of a recovery day, but when I looked at our calendar, I realized our upcoming week was crazy busy too.  My sister had brought us a whole grocery bag full of apples that I was planning to make into applesauce, and although I hadn't originally planned to tackle the job on Sunday, we decided there was really no better time to get the job done.

After Ben did a little bit of tweaking on the apple peeler/corer/slicer I borrowed from my mom, it worked like a charm to quickly prep all the apples.  Although Ben was reluctant to release control of the super awesome apple contraption, he did allow the kids to each have a turn at the crank.

The kids were way beyond thrilled to find this apple that looked like a butt.  Lovely.

After the sink was full of peels and cores, I put our apple pot on the stove to simmer. 

A couple hours later and with the addition of some cinnamon and sugar, we had some pretty awesome applesauce!

We spent the rest of Sunday catching up on some yard work and housework before heading out to a local park for a long walk.  The kids took their bikes while Ben and I walked Finn along the trails.  Although Zach almost had a coronary when we decided to trespass on a few "closed" paths, he eventually got over his fear enough that he could bike along with us.  Granted, the entire time he was keeping an eye out for the police because he was convinced we would be arrested and thrown into addition to reminding Ben and I the entire time that we were "BREAKING THE LAW!"

We took a break at the park for snacks and for Ben to finish listening to the Packers Game.  The kids played while Ben listened...a little brokenheartedly (don't worry...he felt better upon discovering the Vikings suffered the same fate).

It was a great beginning to many Fall weekends to come! 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Moment Ben was Replaced by our Dog

Ben went out of town for work a few days this week and upon discovering he was going to be gone overnight, Allie declared, "Hey Mom, you could just have Finn sleep in bed with you.  It would be kind of like Daddy, but just a bit more hairy!"

For the record, Finn slept in his crate. 

My Embarassing Moment of the Week

For those of you wondering, when you don't see a yellow striper truck (because it is at the bottom of the other side of the hill you are driving up) and you drive too close to the newly painted line on the left hand side, your car will look like this:

When I took it to the auto body shop to get an estimate on having it fixed, the guy asked if I wanted it removed or if I simply wanted the other side of the car to match.  Ha.  Ha.  Ha.

While the kids think this is about the coolest thing to ever happen to our car, I'm still rather mortified...and hoping that when I take it in next Monday that the "cheap solution" (according to estimator guy) will work like a charm. 

Until then, I'll be fielding strange looks from drivers who pass me by on the road, wondering how in the world I got such an awesome custom paint job.....

O's Big Day

While Allie and Zach started school last week, Olivia observed them enviously hopping out of the car with their backpacks and new tennis shoes as I dropped them off each morning.  Time is such an abstract concept for an almost-three-year-old, and so to Olivia, I'm sure she felt like the day would NEVER come when she would get to grab her Minnie Mouse backpack in the morning and head off to preschool herself. 

When Ben tucked her into bed Monday night before the first day of preschool, he said she was so excited she could barely contain herself.  On Tuesday morning, she literally leapt out of bed declaring, "TODAY IS MY PRESCHOOL!" 

Before we left, I ushered her out of the front door for her obligatory first-day-of-school photos.  And while Zach allowed our white dog to roll in the mud in the back yard, I tried to capture just a little bit of Olivia's contagious excitement:

After containing our dirty dog in his crate (we were running late and I'd resolved to deal with him later), it was off to school for all three!

First stop was Allie and Zach's school and then we made our way to preschool.  Olivia quickly located her backpack hook and cubby:

Even though Olivia just wanted to get inside her classroom, she agreed to a quick picture outside her door:

We finally made it inside where she located her name and placed it in the attendance pocket chart. 

Then, before even giving me a hug and a kiss goodbye, she cozied herself up to one of the girls in her class playing puzzles at a center table.  After a quick "hello" to her teacher, I made sure to snag my hug and kiss before leaving. 

I spent my very first morning kid-free in YEARS at the grocery store.  While it doesn't sound glamorous, let me tell you, after a summer of bringing all three kids with me to the grocery store, Tuesday morning's grocery run was pure bliss.

I returned home to unload the groceries in the rain and to discover my muddy dog had gotten out of his crate (totally my my rush to get out of the door, I didn't latch the door completely).  So, then, I spent the remainder of my kid-free time putting groceries away and giving the dog a bath. 

When I picked Olivia up, she had a little "moment" where she refused to wait for her name to be called to leave.  She hopped up from circle time as soon as she saw me and started objecting rather loudly when the teacher told her she had to wait for her name to be called:  "NO!  I SAID MY MOMMY IS HERE!"  She stomped right away from the teacher and came running to me where I informed her she had better go sit right back down and listen to her teacher! 

On the way to pick up Zach from kindergarten I got to hear all about her day.  There was snack time and outside time and the teacher read them a book about a bear who went to school.  I also heard about a naughty boy who took all of the food from the kitchen so the girls couldn't cook dinner.  Then, he had the audacity to put the baby in the cooker and Olivia took it upon herself to rescue that baby.  "We don't put babies in cookers, Mom...someone should make sure that naughty boy knows that!"

Olivia is totally in love with preschool.  In fact, there were tears shed on Friday upon realization that preschool only happens twice a week and Friday is not one of those days.

I don't know if it is her younger age (the other two didn't start preschool until they were almost 4) or the fact that she has two older siblings, but it does appear we may struggle a bit more with Olivia's behavior at school.  On Thursday when I picked her up, the teacher took me aside to let me know that Olivia had pulled a boy's hair when he tried to sit on her carpet square.  The teacher was completely shocked.  Her exact words were, "She's just so cute!  I couldn't believe my eyes when she did it!"

When I asked Olivia about it, she simply told me he wouldn't move so she had to pull his hair to make him move.  Lovely.  We had a nice long chat about using our words and asking the teacher to help us instead of hurting others to get our point across.  Thankfully, she knew what she had done was here's hoping our chat will make a difference...otherwise we are in for quite the year!