Our Family

Our Family

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Mid-Winter Check In

Hello?  Anyone still there?  The blog has taken a backseat to a busy life.  Don't worry, you haven't missed much.  Just lots of hockey, lots of school, and regular day-to-day stuff.  Now that the kids aren't changing at lightning speed, I don't have as much inspiration to write.  Here's an update anyway, just in case you were wondering.

Aidan:  He's a sponge.  Anything and everything that he can learn, he will.  He amazed me the other night on the way to hockey with his MN knowledge.  They had just talked that day about MN's "neighbors".  He told me every one of them and whether they were north, south, east, or west of MN.  I don't know if any of you saw the 60 Minutes episode about the people with the crazy memories...sometimes that reminds us of Aidan.  Example:  He asked Kyle last week if the Twins would be playing the Blue Jays again this year on opening day.  Um, what?  Aidan then explained to Kyle that the Twins were playing the Blue Jays last year at his birthday party, which was also opening day.  Like I said, crazy memory.  As I type this he is watching the Winter Olympics.  Anything that has to do with sports, he is into.

Aidan, center with the flag, skating with the Varsity hockey team during warm-ups

Aubrey:  Almost 4, but acts a whole lot older most days. (except for when she is throwing a tantrum, which seems to be quite often)  Her alphabet writing skills are quickly surpassing Aidan's.  I know girl's fine motor skills are better than boys when they are young, but seriously.  This girl has some nice penmanship.  Too bad people don't use paper and pencil anymore. : )   Aubrey still loves her dolls and dressing up.  She can spend an hour or two just singing to herself and her dolls.  I am so glad one of my children can entertain themselves.

Aubrey's sweet letter to Poppa.

Kyle:  Hockey. Hockey. and more Hockey.  Plus a little work, and add in a Master's in Accounting program.  This guy cannot have any down time in his life.  Always has to have an iron in the fire, so to speak.  The varsity team he helps coach has two regular season games left, then it's on to sections.

Courtney:  My life is everyone else's life.  I shuttle Aidan to hockey on Tues and Fri nights, squeeze in three workouts a week (thinking about adding a Pilates Reformer class...anyone tried it?), and plan between 6-8 lessons a day for my kiddos at school.  I know people may mock me for saying this when we've had an unprecedented five days off of school for the cold weather, but sheesh!, this is the busiest year I have ever had at school.  Non-stop action.

Here are a few catch-up pics, just for good measure.  Who knows what the kids will look like next time I have time to blog!

This kid could sled for hours if we let him.

Playing in the snow before the deep freeze set in

Christmas morning


Nope. This picture captures just how squirrel-y Aubrey can be.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wedding Road Trip

Full tank of gas?  Check
Movies?  Check
Suitcase? Check
Kids?  Check
Fancy(ish) clothes? Check

After that mental run-down, we were on our way to Kansas.  Kyle and I (mostly) enjoyed our first 7 1/2 hour car trip with the kids.  I sure do wish Aubrey could be just a little more interested in DVDs.  It would make road trips with her so much more pleasant.  All-in-all, the car ride wasn't too bad.

The wedding we attended (Kyle's cousin) was absolutely gorgeous.  Mid-60's, outside on golf course, getting to see extended family that you haven't seen in awhile?  What more could you ask for?

Of course I didn't get many pictures, but Facebook is great for stealing pictures that other people took. :)

Getting so big

Doesn't Aubrey look sweet? So misleading.

1st time in a hotel (that they can remember)
They we so excited, we were the first ones in the pool at 8am

Kyle's cousin, Michael and his bride, Krystal

Kyle's aunt and uncle, Laurie and David.  Beautiful

Sunday, October 6, 2013


And he's off!  No training wheels necessary.

Monday, September 16, 2013

"After" Pics

Okay, okay.  Here there are.  Finally.  I know you've been waiting and have probably given up on me.  I just don't feel the house is "done" yet, and I have a hard time posting pictures of an unfinished project.  But you win.  Don't judge the lack of decoration.  Every wall in the house is bare except the upstairs hallway and one wall in the master bedroom.  The kids' rooms are completely undecorated and a mess, so no pictures of them.

Dining room---off the kitchen and family room

Family room---Kyle finally has cable again

Living room---not used much

Kitchen with the new granite

Backyard + Sport Court
Office/Guest Bedroom

Monday, September 2, 2013

I'm Back/Pre-Renovation

***Disclaimer- I wrote this two weeks ago and never got around to publishing it***

I'm back. Then school starts again, and I make no promises.  I cannot even begin to describe how busy this summer has been.  I can count on one hand the number of days I stayed home and "did nothing" or enjoyed some relaxing quiet time.  As I write this I am eating Chinese, drinking a beer, and sitting on the back deck.  A true celebration of the last day of grad class.  Oh, and Kyle and the kids are over at his friend's house.  Perhaps the only relaxing quiet time I will enjoy this summer!

Here are some pictures of the new house before and during renovation.  We are still working on a weekly basis, trying to get things put together.  I also have to actually decorate this new space, but that can wait.  Maybe until next summer. :)  The "After" pictures will be coming soon.

Breakfast nook...that sweet chandelier went straight into the dumpster

Main upstairs bath.  Horrifically covered in painted yellow wallpaper.

Said painted yellow wallpaper

Master Bath.  Nothing special

Another view of the MasterBath

Master Bedroom before...dark purple paint

Aubrey's room before

Office before

Laundry Room before.  Also painted and wallpapered.

Kitchen before

Front entry/view into family room before

Upstairs hall before

Front entry/upstairs before

Dining Room before

Family Room before

Pool before

Franconia Sculpture Park

While Kyle and I car shopped on Saturday, Grandpa, Carolyn, and the kids climbed, swung, and chatted up artists at the Franconia Sculpture Park. Based on the pictures, I'd say they had more fun than we did.

Aubrey's favorite part.? The swings. 

One of the artists that Aidan talked to.
  I think that metal was going to turn into a cat with flames coming out if its eyes.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

(de) Construction

The first half of July has been spent in deconstruction and reconstruction mode.  The new house turned out to be more labor-intensive that originally planned for. (doesn't that always happen?) However, my dad took it in stride and thankfully patched holes in walls until we ran out of drywall mud, then continued to patch holes after we bought more.  The walls have all been repaired, painted, and the tape has been pulled, and Mick (grandpa) has installed all new light fixtures and ceiling fans.  Before/After pictures will follow once the carpet is in.  As I write this, the first coat of polyurethane is drying on the newly refinished hardwood floors, and the carpet is being laid on Monday.

One of the bigger projects has been the main upstairs bathroom.  First, it was wallpapered and then painted an offending shade of bright yellow.  The wallpaper was peeling and in obvious disrepair.  The bathroom was my first major project, and it took me three solid days to get all the nasty wallpaper off.  Wallpapering should be a crime punishable by massive fines, or you should be required to remove the wallpaper you chose to put up.  It is NOT a fun job.

Second, the bathtub/shower was tiled with those white tiles, you know the kind I'm talking about.  Well, the one right next to the faucet was cracked, allowing water to leak downstairs into the kitchen ceiling every time the faucet was used.  "Out With The Tile", I proclaimed.  Ugh, not so fast.  After ripping out the tile and trying to install new fixtures, my dad found out that our plumbing was not up to code and we could not buy a fixture that would fit.  Call the plumber and $400 later we have a new piece of pipe (literally the size of my fist...plumbers should NOT be so expensive) and my dad could finish off the tub.

If you know me, you know I do not like to clean more than I have to.  The thought of keeping tile and grout clean was making me sick to my stomach just thinking about it, so I opted for a nice fiberglass surround for the tub walls.  Much easier to keep clean with two kids.  The bathtub stays.  My dad is almost done with the tub, and then we can paint the bathroom.  The last room we have to paint in the house.

Next up on the list of to do's: counter tops for 3 bathrooms and the kitchen, doors (seriously, why were there large holes in every door in the house?), and then we will tackle the jungle that awaits us in the backyard.

Hopefully the hard manual labor part of this project is over and the rest of the project will just involve my credit card.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Monthly Update

Lots to share. Lots, Lots, Lots.

1) We bought a house. WHAT?!? Yep. We did. When do we close? This Friday. WHAT!?? Yep, this Friday.  Take a deep breath, it's all going to be fine. (Can you tell that I've been practicing a lot  of self-talk?)  While we are only moving 15 minutes to the east, life is about to get crazy. This "new" house needs the carpets ripped up and replaced, every square inch needs to be primed and painted (my dad is helping BIG time with this), and there are lots of other odds and ends that need to be fixed/ taken care of before we actually move in mid-July. Take another deep breath, it's all going to be fine. Oh, yeah, it has a pool. After the house is fixed up, there will be a nice pool to relax in.

2) I finished my first of three graduate classes this summer. Come August, I will have my license to teach students with Autism. Not that I haven't already been teaching kids with Autism, now I will just be licensed to do it.

3) Aidan went back to the eye doctor on Monday, and even with patching for 4 hours a day, there is still no change in his left eye. 20/40. Now he is patching all.day.long. Minus any time he is playing hockey.  We'll keep patching all day long until his appointment in August, and if his vision gets better, great!  If not, then I think we're done patching and his vision will just stay 20/40 in his left eye. The opthamologist said he will still be able to get a driver's license, etc.

4) I'm sure there are lots of other things that I could update on, but my brain has already started thinking about my next grad class in July. Lots to read, and lots to write. Better get started.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Just in case you haven't laughed at these yet, here they are. One.more.time.  My reaction every time I see them ranges from a giggle to a full out laughing-so-hard-I-am-crying fit.  Priceless.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mucho Informacion

Lots if information. Lots.  So much that I really need to blog more than once a month. But where's the time???

So, Aidan turned 5 and Aubrey turned 3 at the end of March.  Both of them are still talking about it, a month later, and Aubrey is convinced that she has another birthday coming up soon.  The concept of a whole year is just too much to digest.  And really, who doesn't want to get presents every month? She gets that from me.

Aidan: Height: 43 1/2" (60th %-ile)
           Weight: 39 lbs (36th %-ile)

Aubrey: Height: 38" (74th %-ile)
             Weight: 31 lbs (60th %-ile)

Both healthy and, now that the memory of the shots have faded, happy.

Then there was Easter, spent in IL at my mom and dad's house.  It was so good to see everyone, especially Kali, Kyle, Reese, and Preston.  The kids had a fabulous time playing together.  As long as it did not involve Aidan touching Aubrey.

April.  The only way to describe it is rain, then snow, then rain, then lots more snow.  If you can't beat it, join it.  The kids hopped in rain puddles one day, then went sledding the next.  Every once in awhile Aidan has been able to squeeze in rides on his new bike and trips down the block on his new roller blades.  That kid continues to be one big ball of endless energy.