Sunday, January 31, 2016

Daddy went fishing, and left us home alone on this beautiful beautiful Sunday.  We decided to pretend like it was spring.  I must clarify, however, Harper was not playing this pretend game, because she promised to learn to ride her bike this spring, but it's really not spring yet, so she didn't have to ride her bike, she could just ride her scooter, because it's REALLY NOT SPRING YET. Aren't you glad I cleared that one up?

We rode our bikes/scooter to the park, and took the long way home.
 I had to convince Bennett to ride though the giant puddles.  He didn't think it was safe, no one could tell how deep it actually was, and who knew what was under there??  He didn't want his pants to get wet, or his bike to freeze.  I leaned over to Harper and said "Go, Harps!!" and off she went though the puddle.  Bennett looked at me, looked at the puddle, shrugged his shoulders, and (slowly) pedaled though.  After he decided that the sky wouldn't fall if he splashed through the wetness, he did it again and again - with a giant grin.  For Harper, once was enough.

These two little loves are just enough for me...

Saturday, January 30, 2016

and someone is going to need a heating pad.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Each day, Harper has homework called a "flip book".  Most of them are rhyming books.  The "teacher" reads 3 words, and Harper must make a fourth rhyming word.  Or, the "teacher" reads 3 words, and H must say the beginning sound...  There have months and months of these books.  Harper is smart - but some days (ok - mornings, this only seems to happen in the mornings) her processing is a bit sluggish - or she is easily distracted - or her pony tail is too tight - or her socks are squishing her toes - and it takes fOrEvEr for her to shout out her answer.  Not gonna lie - some days I get a bit frustrated, and have things that need to be done before the school bus arrives.  On these days, guess who dons his cape, and swoops in to our rescue?
You know it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Harper's latest share day is in February.  Her assignment was to interview someone in her family - she (of course) chose her namesake, Nicole.  On our recent Sunday video chat, Harper asked her questions, and Auntie responded in true Auntie style ("Do you want my real age?  You can't tell anyone.  Ok, you can tell your teacher, but that's it." and "My advice to you - share all the good stuff that's in your head with everyone.  Be brave.  Oh, and wear sunscreen.  That's prob the most important one, wear sunscreen!!")  Harper took her job very seriously, and has taken to practicing every single night.
 We sit down, and listen attentively as she recites her questions, and answers.  The only thing that remains is the actual performance - and selecting the perfect picture for the back of her paper.  There are just so many choices!

Monday, January 25, 2016

No school Monday!!  I gave Bennett two choices - Kidstop all day or Ricky's Daycare.  The kid didn't even hesitate - and off to Rick's they went.  This daycare is the best kept secret - pancakes for breakfast, and an afternoon on the sledding hill - and it's CHEAP.  However, my favorite was the photo stream that appeared on my phone as I was sitting in very important and pertinent and useful meetings.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A warmer weekend at home - Bennett and Daddy attended an afternoon ice fishing community education class, and then hit up the real ice.  Harps and I went to the store- and took our time filling the cart with goodies and yarn.  Then, we baked - peanut butter balls and chocolate lava cake.

 I also made two scarves for Harper.  Why two, you ask?  Well, the first one was "too fat!!!" so we unraveled the entire thing and started over for a thinner version.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

It's been a long time since we loaded up Snowflake and went out to dinner - just the eight of us.  There was no better evening than tonight - especially considering those girls were dressed to impress. Ricky picked us up, and after scoping out three different places - we settled on Partner's Pub (with no bowling - but fortunately, not one of the Littles even asked!).

Friday, January 22, 2016

A couple of pics from Mom and Dad's fancy camera - love those rosy cheeks.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Packages in the mail are a pretty good surprise.  And, when said package is from Colie, it's even better.  However, when the box is full of glow in the dark badger shirts, coloring cat cards, Hilary swag AND ALEXANDER HAMILTON STICKERS????

There are no words.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Reason number #3 the move to Sartell was a good move. MLK Day is not a PD Day!!  Whoop whoop!  As Bennett said yesterday, "Raise your hand if you don't have to go to school tomorrow!!" and three hands shot up, and Andy sighed one big sad sigh...

This day at home was one of those moments when I stood and stared at my kids, and thought "Holy cow.  What happened to my babies?  Where did these big kids come from?"  and then laughed out loud, at HOW AWESOME THEY ARE!!

No, they are not awesome solely because they can now complete chores effectively and efficiently - even though that is pretty incredibly awesome - but they are awesome because they are growing into people who want to help.  They ask what they can do next.  They love to be with each other, and be near their mama.  They request that the TV is turned off and the music is turned up.  They sing and laugh and dance.

Oh - and they clean effectively.  Did I mention that?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Bennett needs some new kicks.  And, of course he selected Air Jordans - who wouldn't??  Andy's response, "Oh yeah!!!  Let's do it!!" and then he whispered in my ear, "They still make these??"

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Boo and I made (roughly)175 (roughly) 1 year ago.  Our freezers have been empty for months, and there have been many conversations about making more.  But, busy lives - ok really just Boo's busy lives - have made it difficult to schedule.  Until she emailed me and said "January 16 you are busy.  Making burritos." and the date was blocked off on the calendar.

This year, I was pretty much on riding on easy street.  Boo bought all the groceries, Ricky grilled all the chicken, "we" prepped the vegetables Thursday night (ummmm.... yeah, Boo prepped all the vegetables, I watched and visited and participated in Happy Hour.), Friday, I prepped the hamburger.  Saturday morning rolled around, and the Prose Family took their sweet time before heading across the yard (which means, more work was done without our help.  By the time we arrived, "we" had prepared 60 plain burritos for the kids.)

Last year, it took us all day - literally - to roll and wrap 175 burritos.  This year, in half the time, we doubled our supply by stocking 276 burritos in two freezers.  Huge thanks to the Statsick team, especially for several shopping trips, and the wonderful prep kitchen.  I wonder how long these will last???
While the adults worked - the kids played with a giant bubble.

Friday, January 15, 2016

It was a first. Bennett came home requesting a sleepover. We've never had a "real" sleepover, and couldn't really think of any reason not to extend the invitation.  Plans were made, and Andrew was dropped off around 5pm (with a giant duffle bag that indicated he may be staying longer than one night...) I chatted  with Mama Hackenmuller (it being Andrew's first over nighter, too), and the boys disappeared.

We didn't see much of them, but knew all was well by the giggles heard from the basement. Andrew and Bennett have a lot in common. They are old men, stuck in boy bodies. They compete with each other on using big vocabulary words and talkpolitics (they both agree that Trump is an idiot - and both looked at my apologetically when using the word "idiot"). 

They told me that they were going to "pull and all nighter" but decided 10pm was probably more appropriate. Most of the evening was spent watching "America's Funniest Home Videos" and playing chess.
I really shouldn't be surprised that Bennett made such a responsible choice for a best friend - and I'm not -  it really makes this mama happy. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Moon phase quiz anyone? Room 75 is totally prepared - with Oreos.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Headed to Rose for a little family fun...  Safar Family Fun Day never disappoints - and I wish we could get together more!  There is always too much food, a lot of laughter and a bit of competition...  
Probably my favorite part of the evening was when Bennett asked who the smartest people in the room were, and with out hesitation - Bennett and Skip raised their hands.  Immediately.  Without even a sideways glance.

Oh - and we got to leave with a snowblower and deep freezer.  
Now, we just need some burritos and a blizzard.

Friday, January 8, 2016

In preparation for Safar Family Fun Day - this evening while the mister and gnomeo made supper,
 Bbones and I shook some dice.  Of course, we will bring our bags of quarters, not the poker chips. High stakes, baby!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Dear Hazel Ranae,

     Happy happy birthday!!!  Oh sweet Hazel, we have been waiting and waiting for your arrival. From my perspective, it has gone by super quick. It feels like last week, your Mama and I were on the beach, talking about your possibilities, and what the new year would bring. (Not sure your Mom's perspective is the same...)

 Quite early this mild January morn, I started texting your Mama. And, even though your Daddy did an excellent job kept me posted throughout the morning, I could not escape school fast enough.  It was different for me to be so far away - I needed to see your mom, to meet you. 

Thankfully, you arrived with a far less dramatics, than your sister.  (But, I'm certain you will make up for that in the coming weeks.  Maybe even days.) Upon the arrival to your room, I sat with your Mom and gave your Grandmother some time to snuggle.  Soon, though, a perfect round head, 8# 10 oz and 20.5 inches was placed in my arms - and there are really no words to describe it.  Like Lola, your birth teaches me so much, and changes my perspective on so many levels.

I used to kind of roll my eyes when other people would call babies/kids- who were not their own - "my baby" - thinking, "Ummmm no.  It's not YOUR baby. It's actually MY baby" But when you were placed in my arms, that was my first thought - a part of you was mine. I felt this overwhelming love and sense responsibility, a desire to protect and excitement for watching you grow, and anticipation for what you will bring to the world.  I believe it really does take a village, and I am so unspeakably happy that our little village grew a +1 with your arrival.

Welcome to the world, Little Nut.  Welcome to the world.

(Hey, Lola.  It Hazel's birthday - but you really get the best present ever - a sister.  You will have a live in playmate, a keeper of your secrets and a partner in pranks.  Hazel may steal your toys, borrow your clothes, require extra attention from your parents, and cry over every little thing - but she will also love you - like no other.  I know this to be true.  You lucky ducks. XOXO)