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 :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Christmas in Jamestown

We celebrated with the Olins in Jamestown the weekend before Christmas.  Matching jammies are a must at Christmastime with the cousins.  
Santas - Riley (5) & Henry (5)

Elves - Lydia (2) & Jack (3)

The Olin 5

We made a trip up to Hillcrest for some good ol' sledding.  Henry was loving it and Lydia was NOT loving it.  After one trip down, she had had enough.  She wouldn't even go near the sleds to take a photo here, ha!  Henry and Riley decided to sled together every time, because they figured out quickly that they'd go faster if they put both of their weights onto one sled!  Lydia did enjoy the hot cocoa inside the Bunker though, of course!

The next day we got our sledding in right in Grandma & Grandpa's backyard.  This trip was our first time sledding this season, as we still had no snow in Blaine.  Pretty sure Lydia only made 1 trip down the hill on this date too.  She wanted to like it, but just couldn't :) 

We made a trip to Bismarck to see the extended family for the day.  I do love taking selfies with Great-Grandma!  "What is that thing?  It's a camera? "  Man does she look great! 

Great-Grandma loves to hug and kiss up these little ones.  

She could have snuggled with Lydia forever :)

Henry, Lydia, Great-Grandma, Riley, & Jack - all dressed in their Christmas best, I might add :)

Friday, January 8, 2016

getting ready for Christmas

The month of December is so much fun for the kids!  Henry had 4 countdown calendars going, which were all completed by about 6:15am every morning.  I feel like he was up so early the entire month!  He was so pumped to see what their activity would be for the day in his Advent calendar.  I really did enjoy that he was able to actually celebrate Christmas this year at his Christian school.  I'm pretty sure every single lesson revolved around Christmas and Jesus' birthday for the whole month.  

The annual Santa parade is always a big hit.  The local firetrucks, police cars, etc are all covered in lights, the officers all walk alongside and collect food for the food shelf, and then there's Mr and Mrs Santa to finish off the night!  

Henry wrote out his letter and mailed it at Macy's when we went to visit Santa!  Here it is.....

Lydia had to write him a little letter too :)

We went through the Macy's 8th floor Christmas display before seeing Santa.  

Henry loves his pin that he gets from Santa every year, saving it in his nightstand at home :)

Henry asked for a Hotwheels volcano and Lydia asked for purple footie jammies.  

Henry and I had our annual cookie decorating date at the Blaine City Hall one night.  It's fantastic - each child gets a dozen sugar cookies, along with unlimited frosting and sprinkles.  He goes to town on the decorating, he doesn't want my help one bit, he makes a huge mess, there are sprinkles EVERYWHERE, and then we take our cookies and head home!  No mess for me to clean up!!

We did make a batch of Gingerbread cookies one morning.  The kids helped with everything from start to finish, so it was quite a lengthy process - 3 hours long!

Of course, no shortage of sprinkles here :)

Henry called his Gingerbread house "the fish house" this year and wanted to use Swedish Fish to decorate it.  He definitely has ice fishing on the brain!  He was too sweet for this project - I asked him if he wanted to do it all by himself when Lydia was napping or if he wanted to wait and do it together with her.  He chose to wait and do it with her because he knew that she would like all the candy and frosting!  


We celebrated Friends-giving this year with some great friends of ours :)  

Here was the squad - Henry, Kate, Anna, Tommy, Ben, and Lydia.  Henry certainly looks up to these older kids - he LOVES playing with them!

Thursday, January 7, 2016


Oh, what a beautiful day this was!  It was 70 degrees on November 2nd!  We were off to the park.  Far be it for Lydia to ever want to ride in her stroller anymore.  She preferred to "wun" or run to the park instead!

We've made quite a few visits to the Children's Museum this fall, both the original in St. Paul and the pop-up museum they have going at the Mall of America.  

Just doing a little grocery shopping :)

Henry is getting awfully good at making huge bubbles at the bubble table!

Here's the "little h" from the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom exhibit.   

The girl loves her make-up!

We went to this little bowling alley called The Nook in St. Paul with some good friends of ours.  This bowling alley was fantastic - the scoring was good 'ol paper/pencil, nothing was electronic, even the thing that brought your ball back was old-school.  Good times!    

Lydia is potty-trained!  A couple weeks after she turned 2, I went for it - no more diapers during the day.  I used the same 3-day method that I used with Henry and it worked, thank goodness!  Day 1 was ROUGH to say the least!  She went through 18 (yes, 18) pairs of "unnies" as she calls them.  I was physically exhausted by 11am.  Day 2 - she went through 4 pairs by 9:30am, and then something must have clicked and she "got it" and has been good ever since.  Of course she still has her accidents every once in a while - one of my least favorites was when she was standing at the very top of the play structure at Burger King and Henry yelled down to me, "Mom, Lydia just peed in her pants" and then of course, she proceeded to slide, I mean squeak, down the slide.  Gross.    

And here was one more of those beautiful fall days we had around here.  We were just out for a Monday morning stroll through the neighborhood :)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Fall family photos

We went to a park in Coon Rapids one morning in September and had a few pics taken by a neighbor of ours.  Here are a couple of my favs.....