Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dominican Republic

We're off to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic!  We had a bright and early 6:30am flight.  Why would this 2-year-old be tired at that time?!  She was a great little traveler (they both were).  With endless snacking and electronic devices, what's not to love about flying?!

We 'spring-breaked' with the Olin crew and Auntie Jackie too :)  It was a week straight of sun, water, fun, food, and drinks.  The days were all blending together as each day was the same.....eat breakfast, go to the water park/pool/beach (visit the swim-up bar a few times), eat lunch, rest up in the room, go to the water park/pool/beach, happy hour, eat dinner, go to bed!  What a relaxing week it was.  My favorite restaurant that we went to was definitely the hibachi experience.  Phil was even invited up to help cook our meal for a little while - he had mad skills!  My favorite cocktail throughout the week changed, from piƱa coladas to slushy vodka lemonades (on a hot day, mmm mmm good)!

The Darcy and Krump kids were in heaven.  Riley and Henry were inseperable :)
Here they are, standing with their friend "pretty" as they named her for the week.  There were a few peacocks roaming around our resort at all times.  

Let the water fun begin!  I remember the first night we got there (not this picture), it was getting dark already and the pool was closed, but Henry insisted on putting his swim trunks on.  He just HAD to check out the ocean before going to eat dinner :)  He loved the water, any water, all water, he loved it!  

Check out that beach babe!

We were applying and reapplying sunscreen non-stop.  Our poor Minnesota skin was not used that sun!  Lydia was so good about keeping her hat on all the time.  The Krumps were definitely BFFs with 50 SPF for the week.  

Lydia's new Minnie water toy from Auntie Jackie didn't leave her side the whole trip!

The water park was so much fun - here was a little splash pad action!  

This was a "big" waterslide according to Lydia :).....

.....they were just the right size for her!

We didn't see much of Henry or Riley's faces some days - they were seriously underwater non-stop!  We brought along a few water toys to keep them occupied - good plan.  

Here was a little more water park fun, silly faces.....

.....and muscles, of course!

Lydia was getting awfully spoiled with her "special drinks" at the bar!  She had to pick orange or red each time - tough decisions! 

A quick rainstorm was coming in and downpoured on us about 3 minutes after this windy pic was taken, ha!

On our last morning, we headed out for an early walk in our pajamas to catch the scenery one final time!  
Thank you, thank you, thank you to Grandma & Grandpa Olin - a trip we'll never forget!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Here's a recap of the month of February around our house.....

There are 3 brothers in New Brighton who build a different snow sculpture every year.  We had to go check it out after seeing it on the national news.  Here is their snow octopus for this year.  This thing was amazing!  It's 18 feet tall, solid snow, and they estimate that it weighs 300,000 pounds.  The brothers were so nice when we were there, they let the kids walk all around it a few times, so they could count the tentacles and make sure they were all there :)

Lydia has been through so many clothes phases that I can't keep track of all of them.  For a couple weeks, she was into wearing all stripes or all polka dots.  I tend to keep up on the laundry pretty well around here, so it seems like she was alternating stripes/polka dots every other day.  On this date, it was obviously a stripes day.....we visited the Brown Family Adventure Park for a little indoor playground action!

Lydia finally got her first real haircut at Kids' Hair, complete with a sucker and a quick episode of Paw Patrol to keep her occupied.  

They sure had plenty of days to play out in the snow last month.  One day, Henry and his little buddy, Brennan, decided they were going to "shovel off the whole lake!"  They tried so hard to get the job done.....

.....and even enlisted Lydia for her help too :)

Henry is still hard at it with his various Home Depot and Lowe's kids projects.  I took them both by myself a few weeks ago when Phil was out of town.  Henry was excited to build and Lydia was excited to supervise.  She was perfectly content just sitting there, with those crackers of course!

Henry has another little friend in the neighborhood, Evan.  His dad is big into ice fishing out on the lake.  The little boys all got to take their turns reeling in the perch that he was catching that day.  

On Super Bowl Sunday, I took the kids over the Cub so they could pick out their own donuts.  Henry picked one with Panther sprinkles and Lydia had to pick a Broncos donut, just to go against the grain :)

Then later that day, we headed over to the Nelson's for their annual Super Bowl party.  This year, the husbands were all in AZ for their annual "college buddies golf trip" but that didn't stop us from partying!

Here were Henry's valentines for all his lovely little classmates.  
You are EXTRA awesome valentine!  

This is what he brought me home from school as my valentine gift.  Check out that beautiful bouquet of roses (strawberries) and dirt (cake), hand-painted flower pot, frosted cookies, and portrait.  So cute!

I was doubly spoiled on Valentines Day this year by Henry.  Here's another beautiful bouquet, filled with Acts of Love (with a little help from Oma) - each heart had a different Act of Love that Henry does for me.....folding socks, setting the table, giving me a hug.  I tell ya, I'm one lucky girl!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Happy New Year!

We spent New Years in Nisswa at the Grandview Lodge with friends.  We rented one big cabin and had such a great time!  They had so many activities for kids, that we couldn't even squeeze them all in in the time we were there :)

The little ones (Reese and Lydia) riding in the shuttle bus to/from the pool.....without carseats, how fun!

The Lodge has a fantastic breakfast.....Phil's favorite part about staying there, ha!
Henry, Olivia, and Gwyneth

Everyday we spent a good chunk of time at the pool.  If only it was a little warmer for the adults, but of course the kids didn't seem to mind.  I forgot Henry's goggles, but thank goodness the girls had a spare pink and purple pair for him to borrow.  Olivia and Henry were definitely the fishes of the group.  There was a twisty waterslide there, which they went down about 100 times total.  

I do love the look from the back of the Lodge, so pretty!

Henry and the ladies.....they all just love to play together!

Cheers.....sparkling apple juice!

The lobby even has fun stuff to keep the kids busy!

Before we headed home, we all went out on Gull Lake to play.  The kids liked following all the animal tracks they could find!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Merry Christmas

We celebrated Christmas at home in MN this year.  All of the Krumps were in town, so we were lucky enough to hang out over at Oma & Opa's for the majority of the time.  It was a relaxing few days, which was perfect.

Christmas Eve by the (real) Christmas tree.  

Lydia and Opa, reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  

Old Papa made the trip down from Grand Forks!  He's so sweet to these kiddos.  

Henry and Lydia left out cookies and milk for Santa, along with celery for the reindeer.  We were out of carrots, so Henry thought celery was a good substitute.  He made sure to leave Santa a note so he knew who the celery was actually for :)

Sonja gave the kids these great snack cups - they love them, along with those Christmas jammies!

Henry actually wanted to wait for Lydia to come downstairs on Christmas morning, pretty impressive if you ask me.  Henry got his Hot Wheels volcano and Lydia got her purple footie jammies, yay!  We went to church on Christmas morning, a packed house for sure, and then off to Oma & Opa's for the day.  

Here's everybody - the Krumps, the Gillespies, and the Richters :)
No smiles from Henry.  He was being quite the pill that morning for pictures :(  His behavior was so extremely good on Christmas Eve (in preparation for Santa that evening, I'm guessing), that he must have used it all up and had nothing left for Christmas Day, ha!

All in all, a very Merry Christmas it was :)