Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Spring Break Fun to Celebrate National Ag Day!

Since National Agriculture Day was this week, I thought I'd post our farming pictures from last week while we were in South Dakota for spring break. It is 'calving season' for my dad. What this means is he is watching the cows 24/7. He quickly brings newborn calves into the barn once they are born or helps new moms by pulling their calf. One morning last week, I will admit, I slept-in until 8:30am....he had already put in half a days work! In between all of that last week, he played with Evan, Jaden and Kylie. THANK YOU, Dad, for all of your hard work. 

Evan's cow had a calf the morning we arrived. Evan was so excited! 
He named her Evan the Girl and even got to make an ear tag for the calf #134. 

Jaden's calf was a few days older, so we couldn't get quite as close. Jaden Edward Schumacher The Calf has the recessive genotype so he is red and sure stands out with the other Angus calves.
Once the calves are a day or two old, they are moved to another barn to make room for the new(er) ones. Here Evan and Jaden are helping block the driveway while Evan's cow and calf walk/prance/is carried to the other barn. Some calves are more cooperative than others in actual forward movement. (Don't worry, the boys were mostly hidden from the mom and were safe--they just liked to act out the role from afar!)
If you remember from the summer pictures, Jaden especially cannot get enough of the water hose at the farm. Here it is winter/spring and that's still a highlight. 
 It can't be all work and no play! Just the first day or two there was still plenty of snow to go sledding. Grandpa even made a mountain of snow that the boys could have played in for hours. Each boy easily went through two pairs of boots every day. 

The last day we were there a cow delivered twin calves!! 
The 5-year-old boys were sure excited to see these 5-hour-old baby calves! 

THANK YOU to all farmers who literally help feed the world!

Aunt Laurie is in Charge!

We convinced Aunt Laurie to brave the elements (those elements being lack of sleep, racing to get three kids ready in the mornings, and dirty dishes times three). She agreed to come play with the kiddos while I was out of town for work. (I won't comment if any dishes actually got done:) )

The boys made a bucket list of all the things they wanted to do with Auntie. 
They got right to work!
Kiwi Crate: Pinball machine!   They attended a workshop at The Home Depot. 
 They made rain gauges. 
 Dr. Seuss' birthday was celebrated at the Bloomington Library with puppet story time and crafts. 
 As if chasing three kids wasn't enough, we did get some miles in on the trail before I left. 
 Auntie even ventured to the zoo! 
Toddler Time at gymnastics! (Making sure they slept well at night!)
 The boys had a special treat when Auntie helped with lunchtime at their school......she may have snuck-in some Ranch dressing for Jaden! 
 Training Kylie for Black Friday. 
 THANK YOU Aunt Laurie for your time creating all these fun memories!!
Please don't tell my kids Chuck-E-Cheese is actually open when Auntie is not in town!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Kylie's 2nd Birthday!

Evan and Jaden were so excited to celebrate Kylie's birthday! Evan came up with the idea of a Trolls-themed party. They invited everyone at their school; including their friend's moms! Considering the party was in Iowa.....just Kylie's family was able to attend. 

But did we ever have fun! Our road trip started with using our new lap travel trays. I had one of these growing up for our road trips to Illinois, so it's fun to see the boys use them. However, if anyone has any tips for how to keep markers/pencils/etc organized let me know! I was dealer of the markers for a while!
 The weather in Des Moines was unseasonably warm! It was so nice to play outside!
 Kylie was more interested in her cake than a picture!

It's Party Time with Cousin Elliot!
 Kitty-cat sleeping bag- thanks Grandma Pam!
 Miss Kylie took ownership of her new double stroller. Thanks Aunt Rachel, Uncle Kyle and Cousin Elliot! It is funny to watch her go through doorways just like I used with the boys' life-sized double stroller. It will fit- just go fast and push!

Playing at the park! 

 Games with Grandpa!
 It's just a thing that always has to be done at a hotel......
 Thanks family for all the fun memories!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Toy Room Makeover!

What once was our office, has now served as the toy room for the past 5 years, hosting hours and hours of play. Accumulation of toys and games without much storage, created organized chaos. 
Thanks to the creative mind of Brooke, an office/study/play area was researched and developed. Soon we were on a road trip to Ikea!
Once home, a great deal of time was spent assembling each and every piece of the room. 

Just like that, the room was ready for hours of organized learning and play. 
Panoramic pic-

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Potty Training Mentors

We almost ran out of M&M's! Wait- did I really just use a 'food reward' with my children?! Yes. This dietitian confesses to the use of M&M's to get her 1-year-old potty trained. Were the M&M's only for Kylie? Nope. I think the biggest recipients of the candy were big brothers Evan and Jaden. They were fantastic mentors to the large task at hand: help Kylie learn to go potty on the little potty chair. What that meant for them: every time Evan and Jaden and Kylie went......Evan and Jaden got an M&M. Funny how those rules were changed to benefit them!

In the end- it was worth the M&M's. A big thanks to Ms. Brooke for her instigation of this whole potty training experience, her patience, and her clorox wipes for her kitchen floor:) After four days, Kylie had potty training mastered. We are now three weeks into it and Kylie continues to do great while trying to become more independent every day....keep in mind that this is not an independent activity when you are a toddler- ha!