March of The Three J’s

How blessed we were this year for Katie and the boys to visit Minnesota first in February and then in March! The week was so warm that we shed our coats and sweatshirts and unpacked our sandals.

1Jordan is getting pretty good on the drums and Judah loves to cook! Judah made us scrambled eggs and helped make caramel rolls. Sam and Tyler came over many times to play with their visiting cousins. 2Just like February, March has some birthday to celebrate. 3While in town, it is always important to get the best hair cuts from Aunt Holly!hair cutsWhen the weather is nice and the snow is pretty much gone, where is the best place to find kids? At the park, of course!!parkWe went for a walk. We threw sticks in the river, trying to get them over the ice. The boys tried pulling up a tree. Jacob was so worn out near the end of the walk that he wanted to be carried to the car!walk1 walk2

{R&K Wedding} Before the Wedding

Flying Teddy’s, oh my! Kris put on a fabulous party (as usual) for Rob and Kristin’s wedding shower, with a theme of camping. All the prizes were camping themed, and there were s’mores cupcakes. We played Mad Libs with stories of Rob and Kristin (hilarious, btw) and had a good time eating and laughing.

Some of the cupcakes went flying on the drive to the park, but many lived on to be consumed. ๐Ÿ™‚ Sorry, no pictures of them today.shower1 shower2 shower3 shower4

{Craguns} One Day in 2013

Excuse meย while I remember warm sand and three silly boys and a day at Craguns…

craguns6Loud, sensitive, shy, funny, insightful, thoughtful, loving, always hungry, great imagination…this describes The Three J’s. My {favorite} boys.

Oh, Jordan! When the family arrived, the first thing Jordan said after he jumped out of the van was, “Oh! You’re here! First grade is great! I had computer lab and they taught me about computers and stuff!” Jordan wanted to jump off the dock into the lake, but was told ‘no’ so….dragged a lawn chair into the water to jump off! He can entertain himself seemingly for hours on end with games he makes up and other random bits of imagination. (but then there’s the times when he says “Come play with us! I want a ‘dult to play with.” FUN!) Spreading lots of hugs around made everyone happy….even when he was wet and mom was dry. ๐Ÿ˜‰

craguns3Judah. What a little sweetie! He likes to be clean, he likes ‘pwiiiiivicy’ and loves anything sweet. (He has a sweet tooth unlike anyone I’ve ever met!) Super polite, he enunciates things so properly (like mom) and says things like ‘I am not shy around you because you are not a stranger’ or ‘we will be on the same team so you won’t attack me wif da bawwoons.’ He likes Civil War stories and playing on the beach. It is so. much. fun listening to him tell stories, or hearing why we must do something. He has the most fascinating way of explaining things…I love this little J so much!craguns1craguns2Give ‘Gup 10 seconds and he’d be down in the lake playing in the sand. In his pajamas. or clothes. As long as he was in the water, he didn’t care much. Unless there was food involved. ‘Gup is so serious about his food. And your food. He will climb to get food, to get in the water, and just to climb.craguns5Vacation done in pajamas are best. Add a beach to improve said vacation. Combine pajamas at the beach and throw in The Three J’s and that vacation is pure gold. Even if it is only one day long on a Sunday.craguns11It was too windy to take the boat out right away, so we headed to the pool room. Where the Three J’s rode…a boat. And swam.craguns4After the pool room, we did some boating and playing at the park. Oh! The nice warmness of it all!!craguns8craguns10The Three J’s driving the boat…and of course, ‘Gup went straight for the horn! He knows his noise-makers. ๐Ÿ™‚craguns7Who knew one day could hold so much fun? Fireworks, (glow-in-the-dark) balloons fights, boating, feeding ducks, playing in the pool room and at the park, sitting in the sun on the sand, and a million laughs at what The three J’s would say and do.craguns9I think somewhere in this day in between playing with the boys there was time to visit with Katie and Aunt Judy (Thank you as always for letting me crash your family vacation!) and Kris and Ryan and….

Do you have a favorite vacation memory from this summer?

{N.E.C.} Oh, The End of School

This last winter I had the privilege of meeting and being a part of the Gustafson family and watch the three kiddos grow and learn new things: N (four), E (three), and C (9 months).

For our last ‘Kandi Day’ we had a day-long party. Lucky us that indoor activities had also been planned, because it was rainy and blowy and lunch and playing in the park was out of the question. N requested that we watch Court Jester and E wanted Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. We finished off the finger paints, made bath paint, had chocolate cake for snack and after lunch, watched some movies, played hide and seek, and pretended to be kitties.

1N is so…so…great! She tells great stories and sings the greatest songs. N is full of great art sense and it was fun seeing how her coloring changed in these past months. Playing Queen and tag were a blast with N and also curling up for Scary Zoo Stories which could last for hours on end. We may have had a bit of a rocky start (with new-adult-telling-me-what-to-do-when-I-just-want-my-mom, who wouldn’t?), but in the end, I will miss most this little girl who is a great helper. N works hard at keeping her siblings in line, because she wants them safe. She would often pick up toys ‘to make Mom happy when she gets home’. And MY mom loved getting the flowers N would pick for her ‘for another mother’s day’.

2E was two when I first met her. She immediately warmed up to me and we snuggled on a chair and read books all morning on the days N was at preschool. E still loves books, but she likes the park even more. She tells fantastic stories and likes to do whatever N does. Her good-bye ‘sloppy wet kisses’ were a highlight of my day (three year old’s are excellent at giving them!). E really knows how to encourage people in whatever they are doing. She is good at sharing and letting others have their way and making others happy.

3

C is such an easy baby to take care of – even when he’s sick! I got to watch him grow 7 teeth, learn how to scoot, crawl, pull himself up to standing, and walk around a (short) table. He loved being able to climb the steps to the kitchen while the girls were eating lunch and play under the table! C’s favorite song to fall asleep to was Baby Mine by Alison Krauss. He would do a little dance when Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk were playing.

This was my prayer over the kids for the last month of watching them. It is Lullaby by Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk.

Picture 1PS – in all the jobs I’ve had, this is the only one I cried about ending.