Monday, October 16, 2017

Fast Fall!

This fall has been whizzing by!  The kids are all pretty adjusted to being back in school and seem to be doing ok.  With the exception of Avery who is loving school, learning a lot, and happy to be there, the boys are both not enjoying this year as much as past years.  It's tough to see them not looking forward to school, but I know it also takes time to become friends with different kids.

I spent a few days in Orlando for work.  It was warm and nice to be away.  However, the weekend that we left it was hotter in MI than FL, so it wasn't as much of a treat to lay by the pool as I was hoping.

All three kids have been on three different soccer teams this fall.  It's been really busy just going to practices and games.  The boys are also both taking piano lessons.  To sum it up: busy, busy, busy.  We are looking forward to some much needed down time that will come at the end of Oct!

Stay tuned...the kids Halloween costumes have arrived (I'm early right?!?!) and soon enough I'll have fun pictures to share!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

School Started!

So I may be a few weeks late, but wanted to document our first days of school.  To be honest, I started a book series while at camp and finally finished book I need to get back to my life!  So here we are, a few weeks late, but better than nothing!

Jake started 4th grade this fall.  Unfortunately he's off to a tough start.  None of his good friends are in his class or even in the half of the 4th grade that eats lunch together!  So, he's felt on his own a bit.  To make matters worse, his teacher was only in school for 2 weeks and now is on maternity leave.  So, I'm bummed for the kiddo.  He seems to be making the best of it though.

Joel is in 1st grade this year.  What do I even say about Joel?  He's finally tried hot lunch and liked it?!  That's a win in my book!  We'll ignore the fact that he's already had the iPad taken away for a week at school because he was playing on it rather than doing his reading work.  It didn't surprise me one bit.

Avery is finally in Young 5's this year.  She has been talking about school every day for the past year and she FINALLY gets to ride the bus and have a lunch box!  Both of the boys also had her teacher for Young 5's, and we LOVE her!  Avery is really loving school!  She only gets to go on MWF, but she can't wait for it every day!

Here are a few pictures of our first days and of the neighborhood bus stop.  Hard to remember the time that is was just Jake getting on the bus!
Showing off the Super Mario Brothers backpack!

The boys first day!

Ave started a day later, since the first day of school was on a Tuesday.

Moana everything!

Our neighbor, Katelyn is also in Young 5's with Avery.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

PLCBC 2017

Wow.  Camp.  Wow.  This past week has been intense, amazing, awesome, and full of growth.  It was emotional and challenging.  It was filled with family time and fun.  Our speaker this year was Matt Ness.  He spoke straight to the heart and we left changed people.  I'm still filled with wonder at what's next, and how do I bring this change home, and keep growing, and I just keep contemplating what I learned.  The rest of the week was also really fun!  The kids are finally old enough that we were on the go all week.
Ya know the card game spoons?  We played a giant version, thus the helmet.  We had to run to the center and dive to get an inter-tube.  Super fun.  We came in 3rd.

Jake's first time down the zip line!  He said it was his favorite part of the week!

Joel did the Flying Squirrel - and was scared.

Then Ave did the Flying Squirrel too!

The boys got to play some pick up ball.

Ave painted her name on the wall in Arts and Crafts and spent a lot of time there!

She climbed the indoor wall.

We tried another year at the Portager...and lost again.  That darn pop corn, final event!

We spent an evening watching the sunset on Lake Michigan and playing on the dunes with friends.

And were blessed with more sunsets at camp.  If you don't already know, sunsets are my FAVORITE!

Joel tried Crate Stacking.

Lots of beach time.  I even read an entire book!!

This crazy family includes the loves of my life!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Double Digits!

Sometimes it's a little overwhelming to think that I'm old enough to have a child in double digits...and then I remember I'm old.  Jake's 10th birthday was a very fun celebration!  It was his year for a party and he had things planned.  Unfortunately only 2 friends were able to join us, but he still had a great night!  They started off at Rebounderz playing and jumping and getting totally worn out.  Then it was home for pizza, presents, a water balloon fight, brownies (not cake for this kid!) a movie, and finally they all feel asleep.

Here he's super excited to have received a watch that counts your steps.  He's been asking for one of these since Christmas!

Somehow I got in on the action.  And then they all ganged up on me...

Jake's favorite things right now - all things sports!  He loves to watch sports and read the ticker scrolling at the bottom of the screen while watching ESPN.  He loves being with friends!  He's started to enjoy reading - a little.  He likes to be outside, and fishing seems to be a new favorite.  We love this kid to the moon and back!!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Happy 5th Birthday!

Is it really possible that my baby is 5 years old already?!  This little girl wanted a Moana birthday.  She asked for a doll, dress up clothes, cake.  She loves it all!

We had a fun evening celebrating this little girl.  We went miniature golfing, to Panera for supper, and home for cake, ice cream, and presents.
Avery is such a spunky kiddo.  She loves to wear dresses.  Her favorite color is pink.  Tomato soup and gold fish are her favorite food (although I think bagels are a close second.)  She can't wait for school to start in the fall.  She's a girly girl, 100%!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

5K Fun?

Think back to the spring of 2006...I make a decision that before we start having kids, I want to get into really good shape and run a 5K.  Jeremy is at the state track meet and I'm home alone.  I decide to go for a run to begin my training and I take our dog Mara with me...she lunged at a dog coming toward us that I didn't see or hear because I had earbuds in, she tripped me, I broke my elbow and sprained my wrist, I had surgery, and spent the next 3 months in therapy trying to twist my wrist.  Yeah, no 5K that summer.  And then in 2007, along came Jake.

Fast forward to tonight.  I finished an actual race.  A real 5K!  After busy season this year, it was so beautiful outside that I decided to start the Couch to 5K (C25K) workout routine.  It took me a little longer than the suggested 8 weeks to train, but I did it.  I did all of the training.  At that point I decided I needed to reward myself by actually running in a real race.  So I searched and found an evening 5K!  I HATE running in the morning, so to find one in the evening is awesome.  Plus it was a huge 5K, which makes it more fun because you're running with a massive group of people and the streets are shut down.  Finally, to cap things off, it was a completely flat course.  Umm, sign me up!  So I did sign up!  And I finished with a time of 31:52.  I'm totally happy with that.  My trainings were mostly around the 33:00 minute mark, so I feel really good about my finish!
I was actually really nervous before the race.  I know that's totally silly.  I had run the distance during my workouts a few times and was confident I could do it, but still, so many people and feeling inadequate...
A little past the halfway mark.  I was feeling really good here.  In a groove! (And yes, someone pushing a stroller was keeping up with me...actually a bunch of them finished ahead of me.)
Post race.  Joel and Avery came to cheer me on and thought I won since I got a medal.

Overall a very fun (did I really say that?!?) night!

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Annen's Attack Chi-Town!

For Memorial Day weekend, we decided it was time for a mini-family vacation.  I've been wanting to go to Chicago for a while now and it's also been a while since we've been away together as a family.  I researched everything, trying to figure out what we should do that is age appropriate and also wouldn't break the bank.  We managed to fit a lot in, completely wear out the kids, walk miles, and have tons of fun!
We took the train from South Bend into downtown.  It take a little extra time, but so much less stress driving and NO PAYING parking rates downtown!

When we got to our hotel, we realized we were right across the street from Harry Carey's!  So of course that was our first dinner stop.
We spent a morning at Shedd's Aquarium

Shopping at LEGOLAND and the American Girl store.

We watched the Tigers lose to the White Sox

We were crazy (and only saw this car, didn't drive it.)

And had fun at the Bean!

Overall, it was a great weekend!  The kids did really well with all of the walking we did.  We took the bus and el everywhere and survived!  I did find myself with a death grip on the kids a few times, but they never complained, so they must have been nervous at times too.  We got to see a lot and it was a beautiful weekend to be outside.  We got around town for sure, but it you ask the kids, their favorite part was still the hotel pool.  Of course!