Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Easter on the farm!

Andrew hadn't had a chance to see the EB yet, so one evening when we were with my mom we took them to a different mall so I could attempt to get a picture of both of them.  Kerigan's face here makes me laugh.  She seemed happy and excited to see him this time!
But she wouldn't go without tears again!  So Andrew went first.
She cracks me up because she just acts so terrified, but then 3 seconds later she smiles.
This bunny was so much more fun than the other one we saw!  They let us hang out for as long as we wanted (no one else was in line!) and take as many pictures as we wanted.  I even took video of EB and Andrew dancing!  
For the first time though, Andrew told me when we were in the car "Mom, the Easter Bunny is a real person, right?" I asked him what made him say that and he said that he saw his neck when they were dancing- ha!  He never questioned how his Easter baskets get filled though, so I just went with it and told him that he must have been a "helper."  

Side note:  I realize that the EB is not what Easter is all about.  And my kids know that too (well, Andrew does, and we are working on Kerigan, but she's only 2!)  If you ask Andrew what Easter is about he will tell you Jesus.  While I think there is a delicate balance to the holidays and why we celebrate them, I also believe that they are kids.  They enjoy the fun, and the magic of the holidays, too.  And let's face it, they are only this young for so long... Andrew is only 7 and he's already questioning the reality of the EB.  These years have just flown by and I'm not ready for them to be over yet!  I enjoy creating the magic for my kids!  So yes, we do read the Easter story, we know about the empty tomb, and we praise Jesus... but we also do the Easter Bunny.  Because it's just fun!
The Easter Bunny fills one basket for the kids.  We leave them out before we go to Grandmas, and when we get home he has been there.  Our EB doesn't bring candy.  They get enough of that from grandma!  He brings useful things, sometimes for the summer, and also a couple of toys the kids have asked him for.  We have to buy them swim suits and towels anyway... so why not throw them in the baskets?!
Before heading to grandma's on Saturday, we stopped at church for a pancake breakfast and egg hunt!  Andrew was so excited his good friend from school, Eli, was there too!
After pancakes, we went to the sanctuary to wait for a puppet show!  Whoever came up with the idea of putting buckets on their heads?  Ha!
The puppet show was put on by the youth groups and they did a great job!
Kerigan and her sweet little friend Avery.
They had so much fun searching for eggs!

Andrew was in a different area with the big kids but he caught up with us at the end!  The kids got to trade their eggs in for a huge bag of candy!
When we got to grandma's, Evie and Jayden were already there, and Jayden was so excited to see Andrew that the boys grabbed our bag of toys and headed straight to the basement!  So the nerf gun wars began!!  Ha!
After a little playing, grandma got out some little cakes she had made for the kids to decorate.  They had so much fun with this!
Kerigan wasn't too sure about the frosting!  Ha!
Andrew was all proud of the big yellow blob of frosting on his! 
Kerigan just went after hers as fast as she could!  I think she was the only one who ate it all!  She loves cake!
Having fun decorating with grandma!
After our decorating, we all went outside to enjoy the nice weather.  Grandpa had some trees to plant so Uncle Jay, Aunt Rachel and daddy helped with that and I kept an eye on the kids!
This was so funny, Kerigan was over talking to Aunt Rachel and I heard her tell Kerigan to go give something to her mom... Kerigan comes running over to me with a worm!  Ha!
Rachel is always teasing me and saying that Kerigan is going to be a tomboy!  I refuse to let that happen!  Ha!  
Although she also had fun playing catch with Evie's glove!  I always say Kerigan is a girly girl who also loves to play outside and doesn't mind getting dirty!  But she'd do it all in a princess dress and heels if I'd let her!  Ha!
The boys enjoyed the rock pile as they always do!  They've played on this rock pile since they were practically babies!
Best buddies!
Kerigan climbed up for the first time!
She was so thrilled to get to ride on the mower with grandpa!
More fun outside!  It was such a nice day!  Just a little windy.  But it was so nice to get outside for a while.
After we came in, grandma had the egg decorating all set up!  The kids couldn't wait!

Andrew drew Skylanders on his- of course!
Posing with her egg
The next morning it was raining, which was a huge bummer because it started after the bunny had already hidden the eggs in the yard!  The kids didn't mind!  They headed out in their pajamas and rain gear and had their first ever egg hunt in the rain!
Grandma Easter Bunny was so smart and color coded the eggs so all the kids had the same amount (filled with the same amount of money!) and they didn't fight over which ones to pick up!
It worked perfectly!

First ever Easter egg hunt with an umbrella in tow!  The kids loved it!
They loved coming in and opening their eggs to check out their stash!
Then we got ready for church.  I love this picture of Andrew and Grandpa!
Making herself comfy at church- ha!  I wait as long as I can before bringing out the iPads, but she was getting antsy!  At our church, the kids have Sunday School during our service so they aren't as used to sitting through it.  But they both did really well!
Sweet girl folding her hands to pray.  This is what Easter is all about.  Grandpa and Grandma made the weekend so much fun and had lots of things planned for the kids to do!  But this is the most important thing we did.  

And Jesus Christ our Lord was shown to be the Son of God when God powerfully raised Him from the dead by means of the Holy Spirit.  Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to His name.

Romans 1: 4-5

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

not so spring break

So, our new town doesn't have a spring break.  I know, I know.  I couldn't believe it either.  I had never heard of somewhere not having spring break.  I figure this year, I'm okay with it because I can give myself one and just avoid subbing jobs for a week!  Ha!  But really, I felt the kids were ready for a break and we needed some family togetherness.  
So we talked daddy into taking an afternoon off so we could head up to Minneapolis early and spend the weekend.  Ga Ga and Papa were flying in from Phoenix and we wanted to meet them.  It made for a nice mini getaway, even though it still wasn't anywhere warm!!  (And they are watching Frozen in the car for probably the 100th time).
Friday night we stayed with Craig's brother and went out to eat yummy pizza and took the kids to Dave and Buster's.
Andrew was in his element with his cousins.  He couldn't have been happier.  Dave and Buster's was a little too much for me though!  It was super crowded, loud and crazy!  Ha!
Kerigan playing air hockey with Uncle Keith
Andrew and Jack played several games- Andrew loves this!
Daddy teaching Kerigan how to play Guitar Hero- Ha!  We all headed back and put the kids to bed so we could watch the ISU game!
The next morning the girls were so excited they both had Sofia the First pajamas!  As a side note- Kerigan is obsessed with pajamas.  She will not be in the house without them on.  It's the first thing she wants to do when she gets home and she also wants everyone else to wear their pajamas.  She will get mad at Andrew if he doesn't put his on.  And she won't wear any unless they have a princess on them!  Seriously... this girl!  
We all went out for a delicious breakfast at one of our favorites- the Original Pancake House.  Then we headed to the Mall of America for a little fun! 
The big kids pretty much split up from Kerigan and I because she wasn't tall enough for what they wanted to ride so she and I hung out a lot of the time.  So a lot of these pictures are just of her!
I couldn't believe she was tall enough to ride this by herself!  She loved it!  A few months ago I couldn't have enticed her with anything to get on something like this and go by herself.  She is growing up fast!
We grabbed Andrew to ride the Fly Boat!  She had a blast!  It was one of her favorites and she wanted to go again and again.
This is blurry because they were moving, but I love their happy little faces!
Brooke and Kerigan by another Dora statue.  Kerigan was so excited about all the Dora things, but when she saw the real Dora, she was just mesmerized!
She actually stood there, held her hand and smiled!  She wanted me to carry her up there first, like we learned from the Great Wolf Lodge, if you introduce her slowly, she does better!  So I held her and showed her Dora's backpack.  Then we touched her pretty bracelet.  After that, she was sold and was fine with me putting her down.  But she wanted Boots (the monkey) to go away!  Ha!  So he stood in the background and she never knew he was there.  She has not stopped talking about this.  She still tells everyone she sees that she met Dora, and she held her hand and touched her pretty bracelet.
This was a Dora train ride, so of course she had to ride it!
All by herself again!
This one she had to ride with me and I was secretly glad.  Ha!  I was getting kind of sad thinking she was big enough to ride everything all by herself and she's only 2!
Surprise!  Ga Ga and Papa showed up at the MOA and the kids were so surprised and excited to see them!
We all had lunch.  Craig was the entertainment as usual.  I love how Jack is reaching to take a picture of him with Keith's cell phone.  Classic.
Andrew with his big cousin Jack- he looks up to Jack so much and just adores him!
I got to take my little man on my favorite ride- the Pepsi roller coaster.  It's a super tame ride, but that's the way I like it!  The one in the background of this picture? Not.so.much.  I think the big kids rode this with their daddies!
Here we are on the pepsi coaster!
Craig's brother's family and our family.  We love being able to visit them when we go to Minneapolis!  It is so great to be able to stay with them and the kids just love playing together.  So blessed to have cousins for our kids to grow up with!
And someone finally crashed after all that fun!
We headed to our hotel to stay with Ga Ga and Papa for a night too!  We decided we wanted to stay in since we had been busy all day so we got pizza and ate it at the hotel and went swimming!
Ga Ga and Papa brought gifts for the kids back from Arizona and they were so excited!
We always love swimming at the hotel!
We forgot her floaties but she was still super brave and kept wanting to jump right in!  She didn't even care if someone was there to catch her!
Andrew is getting to be such a good swimmer.  We are starting him with private lessons again this week and plan to continue them throughout the year so he will keep up with what he's learned.
These two were so cute together.  Kerigan kept hugging him and she wanted him to carry her around the pool!  So sweet.
Sunday morning we slept in, had a nice breakfast at the hotel (made our own waffles- yum!) went for one more swim, and relaxed for a little bit before heading back home.  We stopped at an outlet mall on the way home.  It felt like a perfect little getaway and even though it wasn't "spring break," we made the best of it!  Getting to spend time with our family was the best part!

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