Merry Christmas (Eve)

Merry Christmas everyone!  Today was a day filled full of old Christmas movies (A Christmas Story, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, and Home Alone to name a few), a little bit of shopping, and some fun craft time.

Full on craftin'

The proud girls with their creations

I did it all be myself, I swear!

Following dinner with our famous homemade pizza, the girls took quick baths and then got to open one present.

One of Violet's handmade goodies

Sylvia's GoldieBlox

Both were then very happy to go to bed, knowing Santa is on his way.  Last check on NORAD, he was dropping off gifts in England.  He will be here soon!

Ho Ho Ho

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sylvia's Christmas Program

Last Thursday night was Sylvia's 1st school Christmas program.  The kids have been working for weeks to pull together this special night.

The gym was packed with parents and their camera / phones / video cameras / etc. 

It was tough to get a good picture of the group, but Jamie managed to get one of Sylvia

A little of the music we all enjoyed!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. We don't have a kitty :)

Autumn Pumpkin Celbration

The annual tradition of the fall celbration is becoming the annual weekend of rainy, cold weather.  That being said, when a group of friends get together, we can manage to make the best out of anything.

It turns out a clean garage with a space heater serves as a great pumpkin carving location.  This year people got even more creative with their carvings.

Sydney's Guy

The Happy Pair
Jen and Theo w/ the pint sized "o-face"

Liz and her lady friend

Per normal tradition, following the pumpkin carving, and assuring all the children have arrived, we bring out the pinata.  With the fact that the kids are getting bigger (i.e. stronger) and the cheaply made Target pinata is weaker, we only made it through a couple kids until it broke apart.

Thank goodness we have the 3M stash of tapes!  Between clear packaging tape and decorative masking tape, we were able to fix up the pinata for several more whacks!

Following the "outdoor" fun, we headed downstairs for chili and hotdogs.  The kids (and adults) were all well behaved and we had a great time.

Following dinner, the kids headed back out to the garage for a movie on the big screen with homemade popcorn! 

Another year in the bank.  Maybe 2014 will offer better weather?

Happy Halloween!

Hope you all had a fun and safe night!

Our Princess (with kitty paw) and Monkey (with winter hat) sure had a good time tonight.  Can't wait until next year!

All Smiles

Violet Goofy Face

If all goes well, we will be able to ration out the candy for about three months...

3M Picnic

Once again catching up on old posts...  The 3M Family picnic was held in early August and again was a success.  The girls love the jumpy houses and pony rides as well as the slides from over a half century ago!

Sylvia and Violet spent a good amount of time in the traditional jumpy castle, while the other ones were really only fit for Sylvia.


With Auntie Liz now working in the same division as Adam, she and Kevin were at the picnic as well.  It's sliding time!

While Violet wasn't quite sure about this next part, after feeding the pony a bunch of carrots...

She hopped up on her and took her for a ride!

No screaming, no crying, not even a look a fear... 

Until next year when the jumpy houses and pony rides continue!

Cabin Fashion

Just catching up on some old posts.  This one captures the true essence of what a weekend at the cabin is supposed to look like!

Hoping for another fun time this weekend... likely with even one more layer of fashion now that fall has arrived!

Friday Night Funnies...

Sylvia has been very proud of her new computer skills she has learned in her first week in Kindergarten.

She wanted to do some typing tonight, so Jamie opened up a blank Microsoft Word document.

In front of the keyboard was her new My Little Pony Applejack binder...

and on the screen....
I think we may have to have a discussion with her teacher about what is really being taught on those computers!

First Day of Kindergarten

Today was Sylvia's 1st day of Kindergarten!  While the drop-off and pick-up remains the same for Mom and Dad, the daily schedule for Sylvia will be quite different.  A much more demanding day academically, no more nap time, and maybe the biggest change of all is the uniforms!

I am trying to smile, but I think I am nervous...

This backpack is huge!

Both Mom and Dad dropped off the girls this morning and Sylvia was very excited (and proud) of her big girl locker and all the awesome Command hooks that daddy put in for her!

While we never will have the true story of how the day went, here are the highlights of the day, per Sylvia, while discussing over dinner tonight:

1.  "I got to walk back from the bathroom ALL BY MYSELF!"  (It sounds like in Pre-K, the teacher had to escort them back from the bathroom, but now the kids can do that themselves)

2.  "I drank almost all my water today.  Only three kids brought water bottles, and only two kids brought snacks.  I loved my animal crackers, they are much better than the ones my sister has!"  (She can bring her own water bottle and morning snack to school.  Sounds like many of the other kids didn't.  The animal crackers likely contained gluten, so of course they are tastier!)

3.  "We got to play on the biggest, hugest playground today!"  (The playgrounds are separated by age, and she has now reached the 'old kid' threshold apparently)

I am sure there will be more stories to share as we begin this new adventure... We will try to share as many as we can.

Sylvia's 5 Year Update

Last week Sylvia had her 5 year exam.  While she continues to remain in the lower percentiles for height and weight, her BMI is on the high side...

Height - 39.5 inches (20th)
Weight - 36.2 pounds (25th)
BMI - 16.2 (75th)

Her vision and hearing screens were both a pass.

Now for the fun part - pictures!

Thanks auntie Missy!

Happy Friday

Happy Friday from the corn monsters!

Edit:  While we have no idea how this gif appeared on our computer, that is actually Sylvia from Sept 2010!

Birthday #2 and #3

The nice part of a summer birthday is you generally get to celebrate several of them!  Since many people are vacationing over the summer, getting all the friends and family together for a large birthday party is difficult, so we enjoy several of the smaller varieties.

Ben - happy to be back in Minnesota, Sylvia - not impressed... 

OK, this is more like it...

It's present time!

We had a good time up at Charleen's and Micheal's house.  It was warm outside, but we were able to welcome back Ben and Hope to Minnesota and have some birthday cake for Sylvia as well.

As for July 12th...  Sylvia's actual birthday, she enjoyed a great day at school including "bike day", "treat day", and mom and dad both picking her up.  She got to pick what she wanted for dinner - shrimp on the grill.  And of course, got to open some more presents.

My little pony - "Rainbow Dash" w/ Violet testing out the new water gun from Zach and Charlie

New sheets from Ben and Bonnie!
Violet thinking that the presents may actually be for her! 

So that concludes Sylvia's 2013 birthday celebrations.  Now mom and dad just need to get all the thank yous sent out!

Violet's 1st Haircut

The day had to come... our little baby (who is officially 2 years, 1 month old) got her first haircut.  We visited the great folks at Salon Bambino and Violet was a champ!  We figured she wouldn't sit on the chair herself, but mom's lap was perfect!

Getting ready... good-bye long hair!

Clipped up and starting in the back

Almost done - with the assistance of a grape sucker

The finished product!

Big sister also had some fun!  A nice manicure to celebrate her first full day as a five year old!

In all it took about 35 minutes and there were no tears, no screaming, and only two bribes (suckers)...  I would assume the next haircut will be sooner than two years out!

4th of July Celbration

The weather was much improved this year (temp and dew points at least 20 degrees cooler), the water was perfect, and Oasis Island was buoyant again!

About 20 of our closest friends joined in the festivities of the 11th annual 4th of July"celbration" last week and the countdown to July 4, 2014 has begun.

After some significant patching, the Oasis Island was back in full use!  It needs a daily fill of air, but hey, it is floating again...

Zach and his "star spangled" glasses over-seeing the action

New for 2013 - "water rockets"... I don't know the official name, but they are squirt guns on steroids.

Also new for 2013 - "sandbox on the beach"... In an attempt to bulk of the sand beach, we purchased some new sand.  Luckily for use, the kid at Menards gave us the "premium" sand which must have came direct from the Gulf Coast.  It was wonderful!

July 4th means the early B-Day cake with Sylvia.  Anxious (or hungry) friends watch closely as the candles are about to be extinguished.

Sunset on July 4th with my love, Mr. Oasis Island

The day after was a bit windier and a bit cooler, so the kids were mostly confined to the beach...

and the swing-set...  Not sure what is going on with Sylvia and Violet?

We did need to take a quick paddleboat ride however.  Zach and Sylvia doing the leg work while Violet was captain of the vessel! 

Looking forward to spending the 12th annual 4th of July celbration with our family and "our family".