Thursday, February 18, 2016


We switched it up and I registered Harlow for gymnastics at a different gym this year. At the old gym I would've still had to do the classes with her, but at Turner Hall, she could do them herself....biggest reason I switched! But that wasn't the biggest difference, at the old gym she would have 4-5 other kids in her class, at Turner there is about 30 kids! They split up into smaller groups but it sure is busy! Harlow does a pretty good job at waiting in line and listening to direction though. She says the beam is her favorite, and she struggles the most with vault, or rather just the springboard. Having the coordination to run and then jump with two feet is a little much for her rambling brain.

That red blur behind her is her biggest brother. She always wanted them to come and watch her, even though they spent more time rolling around on mats than they did actually watching their sister. She would remind them a few times during the 45 minute practice, "Brothers, are you watching me?". She would also come and give me a hug or kiss a few times during practice. Other parents thought it was so cute, but I'm pretty sure it was just that rambling brain again.

It was her final practice and program last week, but since she loves it so much, I signed her up for the spring session and she starts back up again next week. I'm hoping she continues and follows in her mommy's footsteps.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

paxton's friend party

Paxton has been counting down the number of "sleeps" before his "friends" birthday party for weeks! The anticipation was high, and he would ask me on a daily basis, "Did anyone else's mom say they could come to my party today?" He sent out 11 invitations and 6 friends were able to make it. He chose to have his party at the Vogel Fieldhouse so they could run wild in the gym. Before we let them loose though, we played some games, had snacks and cupcakes, and opened presents.

I was able to get some good smiles out of some of them with the promise that the next picture could be silly faces.

They played Pass the Pickle.

Harlow was one of the last ones in the game. These two took it very seriously; eyes on the pickle, hand off was pretty funny. And Harlow was defeated.

We let them frost and decorate their own cupcakes. You can imagine how exciting that was for 9 kids with free reign on frosting, candy, and sprinkles!

Once we had them wired on sugar, we sent them off into the gym to let loose! And it was 60 minutes straight of running and screaming. Paxton had the best time! And just by chance, his teacher was running the track and popped in to say hello to several of her students. Paxton was genuinely grateful for each friend that came to celebrate him, and that made me happy for him and proud of him.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Pax is 6!

The middle child turned 6 years old on December 28th. Once again, different from the other two where it never seems possible they can be that old, Paxton seems his age, he seems 6. Also true to middle child stereotypes, Paxton is easy. He never cares too much about anything, doesn't share his opinions on every subject (ahem, Hudson!), I tell him what to wear and he puts it on, I tell him our plans for the day and he doesn't complain, I put a plate of food in front of him and he eats it. He loves basketball! He started this year and is thoroughly enjoying it. After practice, he asks how many sleeps there are until the next practice. Other favorites include; Nerf guns and having wars with his brother and dad, going to Grandma Sharon's to play with his cousins, anything and everything Minecraft, and watching movies, currently the Twilight series. He has blown me away this year in Kindergarten! Going in, my expectations were low and frankly, I was worried. But just last week I got an email from his teacher, telling me that for the 5th time this year, Paxton had earned "pink" (the highest honor on the color chart) and she mentioned, "I laugh now thinking back to our first meeting and you being so worried about him and certain that I'd be calling with the bad news that he was on "red". He is such a joy to have in class." I was wrong about this boy. I thought he'd be a follower and go along with poor choices and bad behavior, but he's done just the opposite. He's a leader, and a good one! And I'd say he is the favorite sibling of both Hudson and Harlow. He's easy to love.

The traditional birthday balloon archway made by Dad.

We had an early morning celebration with presents and singing.

He was lucky to have the day off of school and spent his birthday at Grandma Sharon's with his cousins.

For supper, another tradition, Happy Joe's.

With his favorite cake, chocolate on chocolate.

We were finally able to have his big birthday party last weekend. His chosen theme, basketball. Look at that sweet, sweet face. 

Another cousin celebration. 

I love this boy who deserves more attention but doesn't ask for it. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Christmas 2015

Christmas came and went all too fast this year, as usual. It seems like we put up the tree, decorate the house, wrap presents, read Christmas books and watch Christmas movies, and just like that, wrapping paper fills the floor, new toys are scattered around the house, it's all over and everything is coming down. It's both the best and the fastest time of year.
We had another Christmas Eve in our jammies this year. I love our new comfy tradition.

Christmas Eve night Grandpa and Grandma brought bags and bags, and more bags of presents. It takes only minutes for the kids to get through all of these and it happens so fast that they end up opening each other's gifts without even noticing. It takes me longer to go through and look at all they got after the chaos calms down.

A favorite this year are the hoverboards each boy got (Swagways).  It didn't take them long to figure out how to cruise around the house on these (took me a lot longer!). I already have some nicks and chips in my walls and wood trim, but its worth it. These things are FUN!

Here's a little video of their first day trying them out.

A huge THANK YOU to Grandma and Grandpa for all of the great gifts and spending the holiday with us.

And just in case they didn't already have enough, Santa came on Christmas morning!!! More wrapping paper, more STUFF! Hot items were Nerf guns, Minecraft stuff, and Barbies.

And this little girl's wish came true....a Barbie Dream House.

She really liked it. Really, really!

After the chaos, we went to Grandma Sharon's to spend the afternoon with the Johnsons. We took advantage of having ALL of the grandkids (and one great-grandchild) there and snapped a picture with Grandma Sharon.

Our last stop of the holiday was at Arnie and Sheri's. It was a packed house, lots of food and drinks, and lots of love. Especially for our Uncle Arnie. He's the greatest man alive in my book! 

So here's to a very late Merry Christmas to all, from these three beautiful kids!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Santa & St. Nick

I took the kids to see Santa a couple weeks ago. We weren't able to go to our usual bank (FREE!) visit due to the boys having basketball practice, so I decided on something a little different this year and that we'd make a day out of it. So we headed to the mall in Mankato to see Santa. On the way there Hudson was wondering if it was going to be the real Santa or just one of Santa's helpers. I asked him to keep quiet if he thought it was just a helper, not to ruin it for Harlow. When we caught our first glimpse, I whispered to Hudson that I thought he was the real thing. Hudson wasn't sold though, his hair was a little too blondish-gray for the real Santa. I'm afraid we don't have much longer for him to be a believer. He has told me that some friends at school don't believe and that they think their parents just buy them presents. Not that I wouldn't appreciate some credit for all the work that goes into being Santa, I was glad to hear him say that even if he didn't think he was real, he would still believe because it's just more fun that way. He loves the magic in it all.

(So because we were at the mall, we're charged for our picture with Santa, but I was able to sneak a quick picture in with my phone too.)

Like most years, I got tears in my eyes listening to the kids talk to Santa. The boys asked for Nerf guns (and Minecraft stuff) and Santa told them his little secret. He said he has Nerf guns too, and that he shoots his elves sometimes. The "awe" in my kids' faces was priceless. Harlow replied with, "My brothers shoot me sometimes." So Santa told her that he might have to bring her her very own Nerf gun then, for protection. Thanks Santa! He did still ask her what she wished for this year, and she asked for the dreaded Barbie Dream House. I say dreaded because it is 4ft. by 3ft. and I know will be in my living room, barely touched. But, none the less, this year's visit to Santa was a success, picture perfect.

On our way out of the mall, Paxton noticed that Harlow was holding her jacket so he offered to carry it for her. My heart melted. Then he said, "And you should hold my hand while we walk through here." Tears in my eyes again.

After the mall we went to the Children's Museum. The kids ran around for 2 hours while I literally just sat and watched. I texted a friend of mine who frequents the museum with her 3 year old and 1 year old, and says its exhausting because she's always chasing after them. I joked to her that I was sitting down, relaxing and enjoying a hot chocolate. They're at the perfect age to be independent at the museum. They worked up an appetite so we treated ourselves to frozen yogurt. A favorite for all of us!

The next day was St. Nick's Day. Maybe not a holiday to most families, but in ours, we celebrate!

Go figure, St. Nick brought the first round of Nerf guns. I can only assume Santa is bringing more. This picture is frightening, isn't it?!?!

And Harlow got a Barbie pool. She opened it and immediately asked if she could put water in it and play on a towel. Smart girl.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Thanksgiving/Parade of Lights

Thanksgiving 2015 was another busy one. We had three places to go in one day. But before we can leave the house, I must get a picture of the kids together, something that is not always easy! Hudson and Paxton are usually very cooperative, but give me the fakest of fake smiles. Harlow cooperates too, but her eyes refuse to look at my camera. They're looking up at the ceiling, down at the floor, out the window, pretty much anywhere by my camera, all coupled with another fake smile. So I take about 50 pictures of the same pose and hope for at least one decent one.

And per tradition, the Friday after Thanksgiving is the Parade of Lights. Although it had been a warm 40 degrees all week, the temp on Friday dropped down to about 20. Still warmer than years past but we bundled up!

See Harlow's eyes, this is usually how our pictures turn out. In her defense though, she was desperately waiting for Santa to come and was not going to miss it!

chipmunks show

A few weeks ago Grandma and I took the kids to Alvin and the Chipmunks- Live on Stage. The kids watch Alvin nearly every morning so they're big fans and Theodore is everyone's favorite.

Harlow was super excited for the chipmunks to take the stage. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Paxton the Super Star

When Paxton started kindergarten, with the same teacher Hudson had, I walked into his classroom and warned her that this boy would be a complete opposite of Hudson. This boy tests limits, runs a little faster, doesn't mind breaking rules, gets a little rowdier, and doesn't have the patience or ambition to learn. To prepare myself, I asked her who would be calling me if he ever gets on the dreaded "red" color on the behavior chart. She laughed and said it would be her voice I hear on the other line. That is what I was anticipating....but man was I wrong! This boy has far surpassed all of my expectations, both academically and with his behavior. And just last week, he brought this certificate home, for reaching the highest "pink" color on the behavior chart. It also came with an email from his teacher telling me how awesome he was, that he is a helpful student and friend. Wahoo!! And even better, he was so excited to tell me. As soon as Jamie picked him up from school, Paxton called me with every detail of his awesome day. I am so proud of this boy.

I visited his classroom last week to make muffins for their Thanksgiving feast. They dressed up in the Native American and pilgrim costumes they made. 


Maddi's Bday

Because Maddi is a fun-loving kid at heart, she decided to throw her birthday bash at the Water Park of America this year. Of course my three kids were thrilled! And believe it or not, we had never been to this water park so it was a new experience for all of us. I barely seen the boys. They were off going down all of the slides, numerous times, either with Jamie or cousin Carson. I hung out with Harlow in the smaller kids area which she thoroughly enjoyed! But we did all go down the family slide and seeing Harlow's face was priceless. She LOVED it with the perfect mix of fear and excitement.

Hunter and Harlow going down the lazy river.

After all the swimming, we went out to eat and back to Maddi's hotel for cake, presents, and a good night's sleep. Happy Birthday Faddi!! We love you!