Sunday, July 16, 2017

Staycation - AKA a Weekend at home!

July 14th weekend!
What a perfect weekend at home! The summer can get busy with traveling, so every now and then a weekend at home with no plans is refreshing. Of course, we find things to fill our time. Trying to live out the message in a sermon I recently heard, I carefully chose not only the things I did, but the order I did them. The big choice I made was to spend lots of time with family, as my work can wait until Monday morning (along with the emails and social media scrolling!)
At the end of the week, I had a lunch date with Evan and Jaden. They have never been to Steak n Shake (okay, so clearly we've done happy hour shakes, but have never actually eaten there), so a stop there on the way to the dentist clearly seemed appropriate. 
 Their kindergarten check up at the dentist passed with the prediction that Evan's bottom two teeth will fall out in the next two weeks! Yikes, the Tooth Fairy better get a plan together. 

The boys had a playdate with their former Pre-K class on Friday. It was priceless to see how excited the kids were to see each other again!
After the Fun Run, it was Movie Night! We popped lots of popcorn for the long movie - Harry Potter #3 as Evan called it. Wow, did Evan ever get the Schumacher gene of loving action filled movies! I did find other things to do during movie time:)
 Saturday morning Nathan and I both fit in some workout time as I began the day with an early morning run with a group we started running with back in 2004! What a great group to keep me motivated. I got a bonus workout  - yoga at the new Destihl part was everyone got a free drink afterwards. 
 She clearly has brothers! Bugs, bugs and more bugs. 
 Lots of pool time both Saturday and Sunday! 

On Sunday I rode my bike to Lake Bloomington with a group of friends and grabbed a quick bite before turning around to come home. I kept my cycling gear on and grabbed the boys for a ride on the trail. I got lots of practice clipping my shoes in and out while riding with these two:) But it was fun to create a new adventure with them on part of the trail they don't typically visit. Yes, I snuck fruit snacks along!
I picked a restaurant that seemed laid back which was also a place our family had not yet eaten at before. (We like to try all the restaurants in our area at least once). Lake Road Inn is an oldie but goodie that I had found during a bike ride, and lucky for us, tonight they had karaoke! Great entertainment for the kids, and.......
Nathan even sang! He did an excellent job singing Under the Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers!
 We played at the lake a bit before heading back to town. 
 What a perfect weekend filled with lots of playtime!

Cousin Elliot's Visit to Normal!

May 26, 2017
Elliot is Kylie, Evan and Jaden's only cousin, so obviously he gets spoiled with attention when he comes to visit! Elliot loves the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so the boys chose that theme for his (belated) birthday party for him! 
We played a lot outside. 
Which included a fire with s'mores!
The party continued at the zoo!
Pool time fun! 
Movie night in bed! Nothing beats a sleepover with cousins! 

Evan and Jaden's Last Day of Pre-K!

May 25, 2017

We had a wonderful experience at Mulberry School for Evan and Jaden's Pre-K year. 

The boys made many friends, and especially enjoyed the friendship of two other twins in their class! 

Ms. Colette was their all day Pre-K teacher. Thanks, Mulberry School for all the memories. 
 And who knows.....we may be back in two years!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Evan and Jaden's Piano Competition

May 20, 2017

Evan and Jaden started taking piano lessons last summer. Their teacher, Miss Jenny, came from the Chicago area to Bloomington/Normal, so instead of having a recital, she asks students to participate in a state music competition. I went back and forth on whether or not to have the boys participate, but they were excited to hear Miss Jenny talk about it. The process of learning a piano piece, practicing, memorizing, practicing, and more practicing was a wonderful learning opportunity for them. They competition was divided by age groups and years of playing. They were in back to back groups so they didn't compete with each other! 
It wasn't until during the competition I learned that the other 7 kids in each group were kindergarteners and first graders! I was really proud with how well the boys not only played, but composed themselves before, during and after they played.

 Clearly ice cream was well earned! Bonus- I got to quickly run through IKEA since I was in the area!

 We took a two month break, but they both were excited to restart lessons this month!

NCY Day 2!

Food. Always a highlight of a trip for Evan. For all of my foodie friends, I know I committed a food-sin by picking a chain restaurant to eat at for breakfast (and later, snack) with so many other amazing options. Sorry, anything to keep the kiddos happy!!
 When Nathan and I were in NYC in '08, we visited the Top of the Rock. It was again recommended to us, but we chose to go to the top of the Empire State Building instead to get a different view. There was an indoor floor with a 360 view of the city. I was anxious to get to the outside observation deck on the 86th floor. However, it was SO windy up there that this was about the only picture without our hair standing on end!

Can't be in NCY without eating some cheesy pizza!! 
 We had time in the afternoon to explore Central Park. It was fun to take time to do this and not be busy site-seeing. The kids enjoyed climbing and running around. It was also a spot I could put Kylie down without worrying about losing her in the crowds!

Remember watching Home Alone: Lost in New York? The boys love the Home Alone movies, so they reenacted Kevin running and hiding in Central Park!
 Another carousel - must stop and ride!
 Afternoon nap and ice cream snack time! From this point, we gathered our stuff from the hotel and went on trains in opposite directions. Aunt Laurie headed to the airport, and we took the commuter train towards Trenton, NJ. 

From there, Auntie 'got' an extra night in NYC thanks to a cancelled flight while we drove several hours to have a head start on our trip home. 
It was a very busy family trip, but I would do it again in a heartbeat! 
Clearly Evan and Jaden were excited to be home in their own bed!