A place to share our story.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


We finally have snow on the ground and lots of it.
The boys are thrilled, but unfortunately it's been too cold to really enjoy playing in it. Even Logan, the toughest of the boys, didn't last long during his sledding time on Saturday.

Tomorrow is looking to be a warmer day, so I am hoping that we can do some sledding in our yard and maybe even make a snowman for Christmas.

For today, though, Marshall and I decided to have some fun with the bag of dry black beans that I have had in the pantry for over 2 years.

I know that Logan will enjoy this activity after school today as well, and maybe we can bring some snow inside later as well.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Our basement is a giant playroom, and in our giant playroom, there is a CD player.

Up until about 2 weeks ago, the CD player was only used for the radio (which doesn't always sound the best) and always set to KTIS. The boys would turn it on occasionally.

2 weeks ago, I brought down my 2 Go Fish Christmas CDs and the boys and I listened to them.
Since that day, all 3 boys will put a CD in whenever they are down there playing football, creating art, baking in the play kitchen, or building train tracks.

Yesterday, while throwing 3 footballs to 3 kids (and then trying to catch all 3 simultaneously), I realized, as Logan was rushing over to push the repeat button on the CD player, that there was one Go Fish song that I have been hearing more than the others.

When I asked about the song, all 3 kids told me how much they loved it and always listened to it several times in a row. If my boys are going to listen to a song over and over, this is definitely a great one!
It is my favorite song on the CD as well, so I thought I would share it.

Listening to my favorite song on the CD while looking at my boys' faces and listening to their voices singing means so much to me.
This song pretty much explains my reason for not teaching my kids about Santa Claus. Sure, they know who Santa is and the story behind him, but I have decided to spare them the lie that he knows all about them (sees you when you're sleeping, knows when you're awake) and that he comes into our house with gifts if they are nice...honestly, it's just weird.
First of all, I don't what my kids to think of me as a liar when they someday find out that Santa was just a story, and secondly, I don't ever want them to think that the story of Jesus' birth was just a story as well. The story of Jesus is indeed More Than A Story and I am so thankful that my boys believe that!
Oh, and while we're on the subject of Christmas and Go Fish, this is definitely our second favorite song.

Friday, November 22, 2013


Today was the first time this season that we were able to get out and play in the fresh snow.
At the bus stop this morning, I watched Logan go sledding down the neighbors driveway again and again. He is SO excited to have enough snow on the ground to go sledding down our big hill--hopefully soon.

Later this morning, Marshall and I made our way outside to play as well.
Then we followed it up with some warm chocolate, since Marshall doesn't like his drinks too hot :).

We shoveled a letter "M" for Marshall

Our lake is just starting to freeze, which is always a little sad for me, since I like to see the water moving out there.
I can hardly believe I am saying this, but I am really ready for a little more snow on the ground too.
I am trying to embrace the winter this year, I guess. We'll see how long I can manage to stay in the winter spirit.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lower Case Letters

Although we haven't made it all the way through the alphabet just yet, Marshall is doing a great job of learning his lower case letters.
He's also been getting a lot of practice writing his name.
This little boy is sure to be ready for preschool next fall!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween! (updated)

Happy Halloween everyone. This picture was taken last Friday, on our way to the Halloween walk in town.
I love letting my kids dress up in costumes, eat too much candy, and just enjoy being young. These days will be over before we know it.

This is the group shot of those of us who dressed up last night.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Upper Case Letters

Yesterday Marshall completed his first book in the phonics program: Upper Case Letters.
For review, we practiced writing the letters and a couple of familiar names.
We also reviewed with his beloved flashcards (I have no idea why kids love flashcards SO much, but all of mine sure have!).


On Thursday, we'll begin the Lower Case Letters---stay tuned :).

I also wanted to add that I wish I had a video of Logan reading. He has made such major gains in his reading ability and I would LOVE to share it on my blog.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The View From Here

This is the view from Brady and Logan's bedroom window today.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Florida 2013

We are back from Florida, after extending our trip one extra day. We arrived home on Sunday evening, and we were welcomed with some freezing cold rain and the reality of MN fall heading soon to be winter.

This was my 5th trip to Florida, and my 3rd trip in 3 years, all during the month of October--what a great time to visit!
In case you didn't know, Peter and I purchased a time share in 2011, which is why we have been taking so many trips in the past 2 years--it was an amazingly wonderful decision! If you're ever interested in hearing more about the time share, we'd be more than happy to share.

The highlights of this year's trip were:

Finding 45 different license plates
Watching every movie that we brought along on the trip down
The beautiful scenery, especially through Tennessee and Kentucky
2 very spacious and clean hotels for our traveling nights (in Nashville, TN and O'Fallon, IL)

Plentiful sunshine and warmth (temps between 80-90 degrees all week)
LOTS of time in the swimming pools and hot tubs
Swimming in the ocean
Sandcastle building
Drawing pictures and letters in the sand with sticks
Downtown Disney and Disney's Boardwalk
Our "fancy" dinner out at Kobe
Riding scooters and playing basketball
Playing games at the arcade
Being together as a family for 9 completely uninterrupted days!!

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the trip (choosing 30 pictures out of 161 was tough, but these ones were pretty good)....

Brady reading books to his brothers before bed the first night in Nashville

Burger King in Macon, GA at outside play place

Palm trees at the front door of our villa

Playing in the Kid's Club area at the resort


Homemade dinner in our villa

Daddy reading bedtime stories on Monday night

At Disney's Boardwalk

Daddy's cupcake at the Boardwalk (he missed out on one last year)

Poolside Kid's Bingo. Marshall won twice and he shared his prizes.

Downtown Disney group shot

Downtown Disney

Updated picture in the shirts (Downtown Disney)

Air Hockey at the arcade

River Island (one of the pools at our resort)

Water squirter fight with Mommy

Relaxing in the sun while Marshall pushed us

New Smyrna Beach. Playing in the sand.

Picnic at the ocean

Basketball with Daddy on Friday morning at the resort

Ready to leave the North Village pool and head back for lunch

In Iowa City, on our way back home on Sunday morning.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Getting Ready To Hit The Road

This week has been primarily about getting the house clean, the yard ready for winter, attending Brady's last 2 football games, and getting all packed up and ready to hit the open road once again.
We are leaving for Florida on Saturday morning!

We're in the middle of one of the greatest fall seasons that I can remember, and although I love that, I'm still longing for a few more days with temps in the upper 80s, so we can swim and sunbathe once more before winter hits.

For this trip, we'll be gone for 8 days. Of those 8 days, 4 of them will be travel days. Sound awful? Not for us. We all enjoy our travel days--seeing the scenery (especially this time of year with all the beautiful fall colors), stopping for gas and food in new places, and just spending a ton of time together as a family.
Since we'll be traveling for 24 hours each way, I try hard to pack accordingly. Each kid gets to bring along a backpack with fun things to do in the car, and they all love having them as we travel.
Since we are in the car for SO long, we also bring along the portable DVD player and Nexus 7 tablets. After all, they do get tired eventually and need something more relaxing.

Here are some pictures of the boys' backpacks almost ready to go.

Brady's backpack

Logan's backpack
Marshall's backpack

I had to include this last picture too. This was Logan and Marshall playing ships (colanders) and tug boats (measuring cups), with rubber spatula railroad crossings, and wooden numbers for freight. I came upstairs after cleaning in the basement to find them doing this :).