Lasts and Firsts 2014

I wrote about lasts and firsts in a post last year, and was looking back and reread my words and was inspired to write about this year’s lasts and first.  Reading what I wrote reminded me of things I had not thought about in a long time, small details that I am glad to have written, so I am writing one for this year, if for no one else, for me;)

Last morning of school for the 3 bigs today, Avalon has been out since before Memorial Day.

This was Avalon’s LAST year of preschool , after 9 years of being connected to an amazing preschool with teachers that became family we are done…..this was a HARD morning, but I can write about it now, so it too shall pass, my small little people growing like trees into beautiful strong beings. She is already begging me to teach her Kindergarten.

It seems like ages ago I took their FIRST day of school pictures, which I never posted…oh well;)

Total they lost 6 six teeth, had 5  haircuts, we packed hundreds of lunches and snacks, had one case of strep and 2 ear infections, 2 times someone missed the bus, 2 new sets of glasses and Raiven is set for braces in August.

Solomon survived his FIRST year of middle school, which for us is 6th grade.  I love his school, his test scores and exceedingly high so he qualified for the highly gifted program (only 18 kids in his year qualify in the district) at a small choice middle school, it is truly what he has needed since kindergarten, to be in a class with his peers.  This was a decision we did not make lightly but are very happy with so far.

Santanna’s First grade teacher taught her FIRST First grade class this year, Mrs. A was actually Solomon’s 2nd grade teacher so we were super excited to have her, she is amazingly patient and organized, I need some of her skills!!!

Raiven had the same 4th grade teacher that Solomon had and this is his LAST year of teaching 4th grade for 3 years.  he has taken a position as a student teacher assessor, I am hoping he is back to teach 5th grade for Santanna, there is a rumor he will come back and teach 5th grade but year by year I am learning that until that first day of school nothing is set in stone. Right?!?

In a few hours it will be the start of The FIRST day of summer vacation…

Did a little photo shoot after they all were home:

Last day of School!

They just REALLY Love this jumping thing when I ask for a photo….here is some good news, stats are up from Last June:

from 75% to 100% excited about summer!

If you remember:

Last day of shool 2013

Have some fun this summer!!!!!

 

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Snow My Goodness!!!

I love snowboarding.
I love watching my kids enjoy a day of skiing.
I love making forts…with or with out my kids.
I enjoy snowblowing…weird I guess, add to that vacuuming and mowing, and you could charge me for a visit.
I really like making snowmen, hot cocoa and vanilla steamers for pink checked freckle faced little mes.
I do not like -40 with/without wind-chill.
I do not like that it feels like we have been on Holiday since winter break, the kids are always home.
No complaints, but is it not lending to much productivity.
We are working on the front closet nook that I blogged about sometime before winter set in.
I actually think I will be able to give an update as to our progess thus far in the next couple days. Until then I really like snacks, shelters, and smiles:
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I love how this picture makes snow look so beautiful, even though it is breaking the limbs off our birch tree out front.
I love how every pink face in this photo is smiling back and having a blast!
Snow on Mother Nature, you are beautiful and powerful and we are respect that.

Wee hours card making..

Last night I stayed up until today working on our holiday/Christmas/keeping up with the Jones’ card. Which for the life of me I cannot figure out how to share here….seems like I should be able to do so easily but NO. So you will have to wait until I get a hard copy in the mail and I will promptly share.
I do enjoy making these and sharing our cute little selves with friends and family, but it seems like so many cards come with beautiful faces in matchy outfits and perfectly edited digital pics, I know we all want to look amazing, I know I do, which I think is why it seems a lot of cards just have the kids photos and everyone’s name. C’mon people love yourself enough to make it onto the card, we want to see you.
Speaking if touché, you may remember last year when I posted about how adventurous it was to get the right photo…I sent a card with only kids and everyone’s name. 2012 Holiday card
SO this year, with our lives being so hectic I just plugged in 2 photos from earlier in the year and added them to a beautiful snapfish template, one of the kids, and one of all of us. I had visions of us dressing up goofy with goofy glasses and ‘staches with a caption like “We seriously hope you have a merry…happy…”, I came close, but it is never quite what my mind dreams up…work with me people!! Anyway  I chose a cardstock paper and it allowed me to put a photo on each side and even had a little space to write a little family update. Again are these letters taboo? I feel like I have read so much satire about how these holiday letters have become inflated ego boosters for the writer, but nonetheless I shared highlights of accomplishments and activities. When we went to bed last night I was joking with Jon that next year we should dodge all normalcy and sent a lowlights list: child one is beyond sassy, the dinner dished sit in the sink overnight 75% of the time, neither of us have worked out since Thanksgiving…you now the REAL deal.

I am eager to share the card when it comes, but in the meantime, tell mw what you send in the mail, photos, cards, nothing?  Do you enjoy getting cards and letters about others lives?  I know we do, so keep sending and writing!!

Pumpkin Patch Flash

Say that 5 times fast!

Just like any other great small place you find that is amazing and not well known, once word gets around it is the new hot spot, still great but changed.

Alas our charmer of an apple orchard/pumpkin patch falls into this category.

But first this past weekend I had my mind set on a photo shoot with the kids, me=photographer, kids=subjects, then a visit with some family and then the pumpkin patch, remember hubby is working, I am going solo.

There is a small town in MN where 3 generation of my dads family have lived on a farm that has been shrinking as each generation passes it on, however there is a fantastic bike trail, and now an orchard/pumpkin patch, that butts up next to what used to be “our land”, and land that still belongs to a cousin, how can this not be the place to gather fall goodies!?!

Pictures first:

This is one of my faves…such personality! I took hundreds of shots, just clicked away and chatted with them, seemed to work well.  The quilt they are sitting on was made in 1937….it does not come out often but what better time then a photo shoot to use some of the special pieces we have right?!

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This one was right before someone was pinched I think…and I forgot Avalon’s hair pretty ( I made all the hair pretties…blush) but look at how big they are getting!

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We visited with my Aunt and uncle that still live on the family farm and went with another Aunt to the pumpkin patch.  In the meantime we picked up a friend who is like a sister to Tanna.

Holy cats, they piled out of the truck bee lined for the big orange pumpkins, each picked out a pumpkin that they needed to have another buddy help them carry to the wagon  which we used to haul the pumpkins to the truck. Patchwork pumpkin patch

Than they ran from animal to animal, through a barn…fed some goats..my aunt and I could barely keep up. We did get to see some animal very close, the kids just loved these pigs…

Piggy

Changes I noticed from years past; They no longer let you pick apples off the tress, we used to each get a bag and fill it up off the tress, they now sell bagged apples and donuts and have a small concession stand. The corn maze seemed to have been down sized a bit to allow for more parking and there were less animals, the kids were bummed that this year there were no kittens.  Still a Great pumpkin/apple/gourd place, and the people are so friendly it just feels a little more commercial, maybe the kids felt it too.

I had the kids pack and bring a sack lunch which we enjoyed on a hay wagon under a beautiful weeping willow and everyone was ready to go.

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It was fast and furious Pumpkin Patch flash fun…

Haystack photo

Poppa’s Day

At our house he goes by Poppa, some families use different aliases, dad, pop, daddy, padre, poppy, fathter…and not all are created the same, but thanks for life right?!

This Poppa here has a heart of gold, he has been a trooper since before they were born, he went to almost every OB appointment, got up and brought the baby to the milk supply every night that he was home., changed and washed countless diapers.

Rocked and sang all these littles to sleep with more patience that I could muster some days.

He trades shifts to be at ball games, pick up from camps; music performances and pre-school special days.,

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I am immensely thankful that all 4 of his children have been patiently taught how to fish, quietly catch frogs and bugs, and have had his soothing voice read them stories for bedtime.

All that being said, he still knows how to be a circus dad and get them riled up right at bedtime, taught them how to make fart noises with their hands, and probably other fun/gross tricks when I was not home.

Poppa

I am so very thankful to celebrate with day with my kids, because they truly have a special Poppa who loves them more than he could have ever imagined.

Lasts and Firsts

Last morning of school for the 3 bigs today, Avalon has been out since before Memorial day.

It seems like ages ago I took their first day of school photos.

Total we lost 7 six teeth, had 5  haircuts, 2 calls from the principals office, only 1 time did someone miss the bus, and we got one new pair of glasses.

This is Solomon’s LAST day of elementary school , where did my baby boy go?  He is so big and confident and independent…my heart!

Santanna is the LAST kindergarten class that her teacher, Mrs. C, is teaching, she will be moving to first grade next year, she has been teaching kindergarten for 25 years….she was barely holding it together this morning, I think we both almost starting crying.

Raiven in the FIRST 3rd grade class that her teacher has had and she has been amazing, I hope she is still teaching 3rd grade when our littles come through.

In a few hours it will be the start of The FIRST day of Summer vacation…

Did a little photo shoot this AM:

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Look at all those legs, just getting longer and longer!

This is the “jump shot” from the FIRST day of school this year (this is their favorite way to have me photograph them, they think it is so funny to look at themselves in this frames):

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And here is the LAST day of school jump shot (with my own personal statistic):

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You can see with all this energy at home all day my posts my become more spaced but hang with me, I have lots of ideas just waiting for these little hands to help me with, plus lots of trips to share.

HAPPY SUMMER!

Wormin’

Not sure what yours was like, but our Memorial Day Weekend was R-A-I-N-Y!!Which actually worked out perfectly because instead of working in the yard, we ripped out our carpet and installed that hardwood flooring we bought earlier this month.
It is still raining, not all day but most, I can’t tell you how many sports practices the kids have missed due to rain.. and snow…in May. Weather is not my area, but I am thinking this is strange.
Solomon’s class is going on an end of year tour of a local fish hatchery and then they get to fish for few hours, before Jon left for work he suggested he go out a gather some of the worms that are crawling all over to use as bait.
No need to tell him twice, this boy was born a naturalist, one hand in the dirt , one foot in the water and both eyes in a book, taking in all the information he can gather.
Best part is: he includes and teaches his sisters.
So him and Raiven set our with a shovel, a bucket, slickers and boots..I did some of this:

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But caught them on their way home.

I always wonder what the conversation topic is.

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The orange in his hand is a candy package he found and brought home to throw away, this is something I have done with him since before he could walk, I would pick up recyclables and garbage on walks and hikes and bring it home.

They also found this guy:

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A bucket full o’ bait:

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And picked a few up from the path on the way home:

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I am eager to show you our new floor, it looks amazing, but these moments are way more fun to share.

Spring Break….Last Day

Well that FLEW by!!

Not even sure that much more happened from day 4 to today, just living, breathing and eating.

I was a little bummed at the prospect of just hanging by “our dish” and not traveling for spring break, I really love an adventure, I even considered  packing up the kids and the tent and driving south until it was warm enough to set up camp for the week. However, we all had a great week, there was loads of down time, games, puzzles, a few playdates, and today even warmed up to the middle 4o’s.

I went to pick up 2 kids from my mom’s house in Lake City and we went for a walk and got pizza to eat in the park…yes if you live in MN a pizza picnic in the park is totally acceptable once the thermometer passes 40.

Lake City boat docks, not sure when they will get the boats in, but I bet it won’t be long!

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Papa Tronnios pizza, if you ever venture to this side of Lake Pepin, get you some of this pizza!!  It is awesome!  We also noticed that Rabbits Bakery does a wood fire pizza night the first Sunday of every month, which we will be enjoying in May, I will post details then.

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Swinging after devouring some za!.

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I just love all of our time together, it can be a lot to organize and the house gets messy, not everyone’s hair is always smooth and pretty, but man we have fun together, and that is what is important!

Hope everyone had a great 2013 spring break.

Now that the weather is nice I am going to be posting more home and wood projects, it is just to hard to get to them in the winter without proper ventilation.  Can’t waist for you all to see them!