Sunday, August 27, 2017

Correlation or Coincidence?

On Saturday Evan, Jaden and I rode bikes to Uptown Normal's Sweet Corn Festival. We each enjoyed an ear of corn. Of course we also got some kettle corn for the ride home! 
Was that ear of corn responsible for putting that final pull on Evan's loose tooth?! Or was it just a coincidence it fell out the next day? 
Evan was SO excited!! Now, let's hope he falls asleep so the Tooth Fairy can visit!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Kindergarten....Times Two!

Evan and Jaden could not have been more excited to start Kindergarten! It wasn't until a couple days before school started that we knew for sure they would be in separate classes. Evan had tears in his eyes, but then was excited about making new friends. The night before school started, the school had an open house to drop off school supplies. I should have taken a picture of my cart at Target! 3 or 4 boxes of everything, times two, times 17 items! 
Evan is in Ms. Armstrong's class with 21 kiddos and a couple hamsters! 

Jaden is in Ms. Mandros' class with 21 kiddos and a back door that connects to Evan's classroom!

Their school drop off is from 7:30-7:40am. If you have seen our house in the 7:30am Evan is usually still sleeping, Kylie recently got up, I just returned from working out, and Nathan is walking out the door for work. Clearly, we are working on a new routine! 

The first day we parked and walked with them to find their kindergarten line. At 7:40 the lines of students walked inside from 5th grade until K. Then they divided the kindergarteners into their class lines and told the kids to wave to their loved ones that brought them. Everyone else waved to their parents, while Evan and Jaden turned to each other and waved:) Kylie was the only was who cried on the way back to the car!

The first day went great, although I am learning I really have TWO kindergarteners. It was kind of perviously 1.5 as they are like a packaged deal. I previously took them together to daycare, and then together to preschool, and now I have two separate classrooms to figure out all the policies and procedures. For example, Evan's teacher passed out certificates for the first day of school; Jaden's did not. Jaden gets to bring in non-food treats for his birthday; Evan does not. Library books are due Friday for Evan; Tuesday for Jaden. Jaden's class has rest time; Evan's does not. I will hear a story from one that he had art that day, the other one yells, 'No we didn't!' I hear this is only the start with siblings! 
They do get to see each other lots throughout the day. After school the first day we celebrated with the biggest cones ever thanks to the summer reading program coupons they earned! Delicious!
  I love to watch them interact together, but look forward to having them develop their independence and grow as individuals. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

End of Summer 2017

Tanners Orchard is about an hour drive from Bloomington-Normal and their play area was free the month of August. We first went with their friend Mason and ended up spending all day playing! Thank goodness for our picnic lunch!

Yup. I was the only one who could reach the pedals! My workout for the day!
Later in the week their second cousins, Ben, Isaac, and Josh came to play! What a fun afternoon swimming. I think us moms got to relax a little too in the sun. So thankful for family that live close!
 The boys have been very into their Dick, Jane, and Sally books. They refused to go grocery shopping unless they could read. Clearly this is a great way to save money by only purchasing what can fit in the cart after 3 children are in the cart. The books are my Grandma's instructor and classroom books from teaching first grade in the '60's. I am sure they are antiques, but the boys love reading them. 
 Exactly a week after our first trip to Tanners, we went again! This time we met the Giuliani family who traveled from Iowa to play! 
 All the fun things to do at Tanners, and they spent the most time in this tree. It was so fun to watch their creative minds think!
 Three of these kiddos start kindergarten this year. I realize how important kindergarten is when I think about the life-long friends like Kristin that I met in kindergarten at Lincoln Elementary. I wish the same for these kids!

July 2017

The kids made the most of their summer enjoying events around town. 
Julie K is a kids performer in Central Illinois. She came to the amphitheater along the trail in Normal. The kids actually only sat briefly at the beginning, otherwise, they were up dancing and singing along with Julie K! A treat for the moms too! 


This was a typical July afternoon! The boys loved diving for rockets this summer and doing the ABC jump in (jumping in while trying to be in the shape of a letter). Kylie climbed in and out and swam all around. She loved playing in the pool, but did not quite have the same love for swimming lessons!
 Friday Night Fun Run! Kylie ran 200 meters with the 2-and-under group while the boys ran 1/4 mile. 

Slack Line! Thanks Auntie for the fun gift. Who has done this before?! It is really tough. I need some tips!

Kindergarten check-ups at the doctor's office. Yup. No wonder the doctor said he could hear us from down the hall. 
 Thanks to the summer reading program, we enjoyed free tickets to the Cornbelters baseball game. Even better, Evan won us free popcorn!!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Other Twin Cities (part 2!)

Saturday morning, without fail, the boys did not sleep in. I knew the local berry picking farm opened at 7am, so we were first to arrive. The boys have a summer bucket list from their pre-K teacher, and berry picking has not yet been crossed off (also- I personally have never been berry picking, so I thought why not?!) We had so much fun!

 And they tasted SO good!!
 It was Hastings' Rivertown Days, so we enjoyed some of the events on Saturday. This included boat races- which once they finally started - were pretty cool to watch. 
 A church hosted a 10 cent carnival. The best 70 cents on 5-year-old's entertainment I have ever spent!! A dime was the cost of each game, and they won tickets for playing. The tickets were then used to purchase prices. They got several items including a DVD to watch on the way home. If it hadn't been way after lunchtime- we would have stayed longer. 

The other rush of getting back to the Anderson's was getting down to the river! While waiting for Carlson's boat to arrive at the dock, the kids loved swimming in the river and diving for muscle shells. 
 You really can't beat boating and tubing, especially on the river with friends.  
 THANK YOU Dan and Heather for sharing your boat and your Saturday with us. 
A truly delightful day. 
Another bonus of the day is our friend Ashley came to visit. 
We four girls have known each other for....drumroll...31 years. 
(clearly if you do the math- we met before we were born!) 
Sunday we departed the Anderson's and had breakfast near a waterfall in Hastings. 
 Then we met Aunt Laurie in downtown Minneapolis-St. Paul at Minnehaha Falls for a picnic lunch (compliments of Trader Joe's!) Of all the years I have visited the Cities, I have never been to the falls. Another must-see as the park is huge and includes a splash park, lots of trails, and of course a great view of the falls. 

We then stopped at Como Zoo. The boys were very excited to ride the shuttle from the fairground's parking lot to the zoo. A tip from Heather that I would highly recommend!
 After visiting all the animals, our final stop was the carousel. What a great way to end our adventure-filled weekend!! I enjoyed creating so many memories with the boys in the Twin-Cities that I grew up with!