Family Time

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I promised Ethan we would play some games a couple of nights ago. I think it was Wednesday. We got out some cards and played Go Fish and Bible Memory. I wondered how well Isaac would cooperate, but he did great! We gave him some of the cards that were missing matches and he played with them. It’s the kind of thing I usually think will be too much work or I’m too tired to do it, but when we do it, we have fun. I need to remember that!

I’ve been trying to think about what I want my kids to remember from their growing up years. Spending time as a family playing games is one of those things. I also want them to remember that we played with them and were willing to imagine and go along with their crazy schemes sometimes. We’ve been reading The Long Winter so, someone (maybe it was me or perhaps Ethan) had the idea to pretend that we were the Ingalls and there was a big blizzard outside. Ethan was Pa, I was Ma, Audrey was Laura, and Isaac was Baby Isaac (we added him to the story). We snuggled under blankets and marched around the house to stay warm- just like they did in the book. And “Pa” would “go outside” and hunt bear. Every time he opened the door to the outside, there would be a bear waiting. It was amazing! Pa kept bringing us more and more meat. Lots of fun!

On Friday night, as we were tucking in Ethan and Audrey, Ethan told me that I should be careful not to step on his imaginary friend, Thunder. There was a sleeping bag laid out on the middle of the floor. I guess that’s where Thunder was sleeping. I went to the pantry and grabbed 2 cookies and brought them back to their room. I told Ethan that I wasn’t sure that I believed that Thunder was real. I told them that I was going to leave 2 cookies on his pillow and if they were gone before morning, I would know Thunder was real. Ethan and and Audrey looked at each other and proclaimed that Thunder would definitely eat them. I left the room and listened to them whispering and sneaking about the room. A few minutes later, they ran out of their room to tell me that Thunder had eaten the cookies. I guess they proved me wrong!

This weekend is the Winter Festival in our town. That means there is a parade that goes by our house. It’s like a miniature Hollidazzle parade. All the vehicles/floats are decorated with Christmas lights since it happens at 6:30 and it’s dark outside. We stood at our front kitchen window and watched as it went by. Ethan and Audrey were standing on chairs. Isaac was in his booster seat. All three of them had flashlights and would shine them out the widow and wave them wildly to catch the attention of the passers-by.

These are parenting moments I want to remember.

Oh, we also attempted to take a family photo. It was disastrous. This was the best we got and Ethan isn’t really smiling and Isaac is fuzzy. It was hard work.

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We’ve got rythm, We’ve got music

Thanks to Jesse Wagner from Crown, we scored ourselves some free Higher Ground passes. I spent the day scrapbooking with Kimberely, but when I got home this evening, we all headed over to the Higher Ground Music Festival here in Winsted, MN.

Since the tickets to get in didn’t cost our family anything, we decided we would spend a little money so that the kids (and me) could play in the inflatables area.

Waiting to climb the dragon:

Climbing through the last obstacle at the end:

And then I made it through and pointed at the camera:

And then it was time for music. One of Ethan’s favorite groups was there to perform. Audrey and I were excited too.

This is the look of a boy who is at his very first concert:

Guess who else has rythm? He was jigging, clapping and kicking his feet the whole time.

A good time was had by all. It was, afterall, music our kids like that wont drive us crazy :-).

Home Again!

After I blogged yesterday, Nathan did his long run. I need to brag on him now. He did 6 miles! He did awesome and I’m very proud of him. I figure he has earned his extra set of workout clothes 🙂

We went to church with my Dad today. Joyce met us there and so did Brian and Missy. We all spent the afternoon together. Dad planned an awesome lunch of tilapia and salmon and asparagus and rice. After cleaning up lunch, we lounged by the pool.

Oh yeah, not the kind of pool you would think of when someone says, “lounging by the pool”. And it wasn’t as quiet and peaceful. Joyce and I did sit by the pool with our feet in the water, but we were also regularly shot with water guns and spray bottles.

We headed for home at about 3:30. Less than two miles down the road, Audrey was asleep. 3 of the 5 of us ended up falling asleep on the way home. The driver stayed awake and so did Isaac.

We don’t have much on the calendar for this week. I’m hoping Isaac’s molars cut all the way through and that will be the end of his constant fussing. Please! I’m already saving up cute sayings for another blog installment of “Things I heard. . .” due to popular demand (Chris!). Watch for that later this week.

The moment you’ve all been waiting for

Before and after photos to document my weight loss progress. I actually changed my clothes and did my hair and makeup at 6:00pm for this photo shoot. As you can see, Audrey also dressed up for the occasion.

The first photo was taken close to the time that Isaac was born.

Audrey and I tried to recreate the initial shot, but we didn’t remember how we were standing!

Back

Front

Side

My awesome muscles.

Now that I’ve posted all these photos, I feel sort of vain. Oh well. I just wanted to document my progress. I don’t think I look like a supermodel, but it’s my journey and I’m embracing it! My official Friday weigh-in yesterday brought me within 3.8 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight.

Beginning of Summer

Summer doesn’t officially start yet, but school is out here. So, it’s summer.

So far we have not played a lot outside in our yard. The mosquitoes are really bad. Ethan and Audrey are freaked out by them. I would be frustrated with their response if there were just a few mosquitoes. There are tons of them. We’re keeping the yard mowed, trying to make sure we don’t have water collecting anywhere and still our back yard is like a jungle when it comes to those critters. It’s no fun! They aren’t as bad in the front of the house or even when we go to the park by the lake. Sort of strange.

We’ve been making lots of treks to the park. I’m thinking of making a goal to visit all the parks in town this summer. There are 6 of them. Ethan and Audrey love going. This stage for Isaac makes it really hard for me though. Isaac isn’t big enough to play on the equipment. He will tolerate being pushed in the swing for a little while, but not long. Then he starts to whine. For the remainder of our time at the park, I have to either hold him or let him crawl around in the wood chips/sand. He doesn’t really want to be held and he’s heavy and he likes to put everything in his mouth (sand and wood chips included). We don’t stay very long. I’m trying to figure out a good solution to this.

Last week we had two birthdays. Mine was the 2nd and Isaac’s was the 3rd. Nathan brought us a cake.

I’m finally having a good week for my diet. I had been really bad for a couple of weeks (see previous picture!) and put on about 5 pounds. I just made poor decisions. The gain wasn’t surprising. This week I decided that I was going to plan ahead what I was going to eat the next day. It’s worked really well.  It has taken my focus off of food. I don’t have to always be thinking about what I want to eat next or eating too much. Tomorrow’s weigh-in should bring good news!

Ethan, Audrey and I had dental appointments on Wednesday. The kids LOVE going to the dentist. This was their second visit. They do such a great job with kids and they schedule us all at once. The kid’s teeth were good. Audrey has a cross bite on one site that they will watch when she gets her permanent teeth. Hopefully it will resolve itself. I had 2 cavities. I suspected it because they had been watching these areas for a while now and they just now are bad enough to “restore”. They have this cool wand they run over your teeth and it beeps if it detects decay and reads out a number saying how bad it is. Nathan calls it the “guilt-o-meter”.  Next week I get to have fillings. Not my favorite thing. but better than losing all my teeth, I guess!

Isaac isn’t walking on his own yet. He will push the little pooh-bear walker across the room. He even turns it a little when he gets stuck. Soon he’ll be independently walking. He says, “”dada”, “mama”, and “did it”(or something that sounds a lot like it–he says it a lot) and he makes lots random happy sound effect noises while he’s playing.

Our van is still in Lake City. I think this may be the end of the line for it. The electrical issues have gotten to be too many or just enough that I can’t count on it working right. Not a single mechanic has been able to fix it. This will be the 3rd place that has attempted it. If he can’t assure us that this most recent issue is resolved, I don’t think Nathan or I will want to be driving it. So, anyone want a Ford Windstar whose battery randomly stays running even with the keys out of the ignition, speedometer and other dashboard indicators sometimes stop working while you’re driving (do you really need to know how much gas you have or how fast you are driving?), and now, sometimes thinks it’s being stolen when you try to start the car and locks down and wont ignite the ignition?

We’re excited to see everyone at the birthday celebration on Sunday in Cottage Grove! I’m especially excited that I don’t have any cleaning to do so I can focus on the fun stuff- like food 🙂 !