"The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, June 27, 2011

Finding the Time...

The hardest thing about trying to get your house ready to sell is finding the time to do all of the things to it that you want to do!  It was clear that only one of us would be painting tonight since the children were going to need some pretty intense supervision after a very long day.  So while Nick painted in the living room, the rest of us went outside (again) to play.  After both of them taking off and nearly reaching the end of the street before I got to them, they were sentenced to the backyard.  Ben played on the playhouse and Conner stuck to the sandbox. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sturgis Falls!

Every year we head to Cedar Falls at the end of June for Sturgis Falls.  It is always a great time!  This year I decided to go ahead and take the boys over on Saturday morning to watch the parade, and then Nick joined us later after work.  The boys loved sitting in Gramps' car before the parade and they were so excited to see the Marine Band practicing before the parade started!  They are very into marching bands right now!  They got to see Gramps drive in the parade before they officially lost interest.  They watched the parade a little, but ended up running around most of the time.... I know... shocking...

After the parade, we had lunch at the park.  It was starting to sprinkle on us pretty good and the boys were getting restless so we went back to Great Grandma's for some relaxation before we headed back down to the park for the evening.  There was a playground nearby so we stopped there for a while to run off some energy!

We chose to sit at Gateway Park and listen to music since there is so much room there for the kiddos to run.  They all had a great time!  It was really nice to just sit outside, listen to music, and watch the kids play (and eat junk food and drink $4.00 beers!)

We all had a very fun time and I am so glad that we were able to go again this year!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Play Outside?!"

As some of you know, Ben's first words in the morning are always "play outside?!" (On vacation, everyone got a good laugh because each and every morning when Ben woke up, that is exactly what he would say!)  I try to hold off as long as I can so we don't disrupt people, but this morning a neighbor was having some trees cut down so I figured with all that noise, no one would mind the boys out there yelling at 8:30 in the morning!  They were enthralled with watching the tree service guys.  The tree guys started taking their shirts off as they worked up a sweat, so Conner followed their example!  I did have to spend some time convincing him that his pants had to stay on, however!

We decided to go to the backyard and get out one of our new sprinklers.  The boys loved it!  They ran through it giggling and then figured out that it was pretty fun to pick part of it up and aim it at their brother... and then at their mom...

I finally convinced them it was time for an indoor activity and they both wanted to use their new scissors, so we practiced cutting for a while! 

Oh, how we all miss preschool...!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

We celebrated some of our Father's Day a little early so that Daddy could take some special gifts on vacation with us! (remote control boat) 

On Sunday, we celebrated Father's Day again with our last present and a lunch outing.  It was nice to be able to spend the rest of the day at home with each other!  The boys enjoyed helping Nick outside with some yard work and we were able to get some post-vacation chores done.   We are very lucky to have such a great daddy! 

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, especially my own dad and my husband!  I love you both very much!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


On Saturday night, Nick and I were outside with the kids and we were discussing getting a pizza for dinner.  Ben heard us and he came over to us and said "I go to Pizza Hut.  Be right back!"  And with that he started walking down the sidewalk with Conner yelling "I walk to Pizza Hut!!!"  Luckily we were able to talk him into coming back and that Daddy would go get the pizza a little later!  After that he kept singing the Pizza Hut song that he had learned at preschool!

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Last Vacation Days...

On Thursday, we woke up knowing it was our last full day so we wanted to make the most of it and, luckily, the weather cooperated!  We took a morning boat ride with the boys and they got to do some more fishing.  Ben (assisted by Mommy) caught a huge carp!!! He was amazed at the big fish and talked about it for the rest of the day.  The fish was almost as long as his little fishing pole was!  We got to spend the afternoon on the beach, playing in the water.  Ben discovered what goggles are!  The boys both got to go down the big slide into the water... another first!!!  Ben went first and loved every minute of it.  I was a little worried about ConMan, but to my surprise he marched up all the stairs of that slide, looked back at Nick once, and slid down to Papa!  We had an awesome day in the sunshine and ended the night with smores!

On Friday morning, we all packed up and began the long trip back home.  It's always sad to end vacation, but it's nice to go home too.  We had such a great time.  I love that Ben and Con got to spend a week with their cousins, aunt and uncle, and grandparents.  Our favorite parts were all the times that our boys got to do something new and their faces just lit up.  It is so special to us that we get to have this time with our boys!  Thank you Mama and Papa for everything!  You not only give us this wonderful vacation, but you give us the opportunity to make all these memories with our kids and we greatly appreciate it.   It was our best vacation yet!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tuesday and Wednesday...

All of our mornings began by 6 am... Nick would get up to go fishing and the boys were usually already awake. 

On Tuesday the kids enjoyed riding bikes and playing outside in the yard.

We never had a short supply of "helpers" this week!  Jen and Ben helped Mama with supper.

Wednesday brought us rain so we got some crafts out again!  We made binoculars and Conner, Jennifer, and Ben enjoyed looking out the window with those.  We also went to the mall and kept the kids busy with some "rides!"

On Wednesday we had our annual fish fry!  Papa does a great job of cooking up some of the fish we have caught throughout the week.  Again, take notice of all the helpers!!!

After dinner, I even caught a fish!  It was a pretty good day, even though we couldn't get outside as much as we would have liked!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sunday and Monday...

Sunday wasn't a great weather day, so we spent some of our morning doing crafts with the kids.  Keeping all 4 kids entertained and happy proved to be one of the most important parts of vacation!!!  We made visors and they all enjoyed wearing them around the cabin with their craft aprons that Mama had brought for them.  The kids even fit in some movie time complete with their own special chairs and popcorn.

We made it outside later in the afternoon in time for Nick and his sister to have a nice bike ride together!!!  Bubbles and flying kites made our day complete!

On Monday we were able to do one of our favorite activities on vacation... power wheels and go-karts!  Ben and Conner were both able to ride the "big" 4 wheeler this year.  They were also able to sit in the go-karts with Daddy and Papa while they raced around the track.  I was very nervous, but except for a few seconds where Conner got scared and Nick had to slow down, they both did very well!  As usual they showed me that they can handle something new much better than Mommy can!

Nick had his best fishing day on Monday!

We also put the beach to good use!  Conner decided he was a little scared of the water on Monday, but he eventually warmed up to it again.  Ben (being the fearless wonder that he is) jumped right back in!