Friday, October 21, 2011

Women of Faith Conference

Good morning all! Guess what I get to do today!  That's right...I'm attending the Women of Faith Conference here in St. Paul!
I was blessed to recieve 2 free tickets from Tommy Nelson's blogging site Book Sneeze!  They just asked that I post about this before I go and after I go.  You can see that I procrastinated a bit and I'm just getting this up literally right before I go but I've got to admit I'm really excited!

After I found out I had recieved the tickets I began to pray about who I should bring with me (since they were so kind enough to give me tickets for 2 people).  I had a couple of different people in mind but couldn't really decide on which was the right person.  Then about a day later, a girlfriend from work posted on my fb page asking me if I was planning on going to the Women of Faith conference and I knew then and there that she was the one I was going to bring with me!  I'm super excited to see what God has in store for both of us! 

It will be 2 full days (today and tomorrow) of teaching and music.  Both Mary Mary and Natalie Grant will be preforming and I love both of them!  :)  I'm looking forward to posting about all the amazing stuff that we see and learn next week!

If you live in MN and are bummed that you missed this one...don't worry, they'll be back next year!  And if you don't live in MN be sure to check out what dates are coming to a town near you.  I'm sure you won't regret it! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Little L Update

Well this is now a couple of months behind but Little L hit the 2 1/2 year mark at the end of July!  She is turning into such a little girl and has definitely left the "baby" stage behind (although she still likes to pretend she's a baby these days!)  I don't even know where to start with how much she's changed over the last six months but I can say that she is such a JOY to be around!  We have our moments of tears and little tantrums (although no terrible twos for us praise God!) but truly she is usually in a good mood most days and she has such an amazing heart for people!  Making friends is probably one of her favorite things to do! 

We've had an extremely full summer but we have had lots of fun!  Little L got to do some normal summer stuff like swimming, playing outside, bubbles, sprinlkers, etc.  She also got to do a lot of "firsts" this summer, including dance class, pony ride, and a trip to the state fair (with a ride down the Giant Slide).

Little L has definitely blossomed in the area of communication!  (She's taking after both her mommy and daddy!)  Just in the last few weeks she's started really role playing with her toys, giving them names, having them talk to each other, and acting out different ideas.  She loves to give directions to her mommy and daddy and anyone else that might want to do what she suggests!

Some Little L stories:
The gum situation...Little L wants to chew gum since mommy and daddy do but we decdided that we weren't going to let her chew gum until she is 5.  Still, every once in awhile she will say "I older Mommy, I chew gum now!"  She definitely has the concept of older down but not necissarily time!

Our little ballerina...Ever since we took dance classes (more on that in another post) Little L has been a little ballerina!  She loves watching Angelina Ballerina and wearing anything that makes her feel like a dancer (dresses, skirts, clothes with ruffles, sparkles, etc.).  She will dance or anyone that will watch (recently when we went to church, instead of shaking people's hands or giving high fives she would dance for them when they greeted her!)

Potty's in full swing now although we are struggling with #2.  It's a little frustrating since I know she could do it if she wanted to but it's a work in progress!  :)

Making friends...Like I said earlier, it has to be on of Little L's favorite things to do!  She will make friends at the church, the grocery store, garage sales, wherever!  It's really nice though because she warms up to people extremely quickly!  A few weeks ago we had some friends that I've know for years from CA come to MN for a trip and they were able to swing by our house for 30 min or so to chat.  Within that short time Little L was climbing all over the guy and having him throw her in the air and sitting in his lap!  Then when my brother came the other day from Norway (she hasn't seen him in person in 1 1/2 years) she started showing off (acting silly) and then he became her new best friend (she even told him that!) and they did puzzles and played catch and all sorts of stuff!  She even cried when he left!  

Reading stories...Little L has always loved to "read" but lately I've been really impressed with her ability to memorize books so quickly and "read" them back to me!  She also loves to get our books from my bookshelf and "read" them outloud.  They usually have a story that is about Jesus or someone getting stuck and her helping them out!

Singing...Little L loves to sing songs (some of her favorites right now are "Mr. Sun" "Baby Beluga" "Itsy Bitsy Spider" "I'm a Little Teapot" but she also loves to make up her own songs.  Those are usually about whatever she is doing at the moment!  Too fun!

Things Little L says:
Everything is "so cute!" or she "loves" it!
"I older Mommy" (see above story)
"Get me out" (usually yelled from her crib when she wants to get out...yes she is still in a crib but since she's not climbing out yet we are sticking with it!)
"Can I have some chocolate please?"
"I'm a ballerina!"
"Happy Birthday!" (this usually accompanies some type of "gift" that she is giving to you!)
"I love you SO much!" (That's my favorite!)

with daddy

She absolutely LOVES puzzles and she is really good at them!  She does some of the 24 piece puzzles all by herself!

Grandma S took this picture when they went ot the mall...Little L loves to accessorize!

Art time!

Pretending to be a rock star with daddy!

When we bought the top we thought it was a dress so this was the first time we put it on her and we realzied it's a bit short to be a dress so it gets shorts or leggings underneath it!

first candy necklace!

More puzzles!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Grandma S's Vist and a Trip Up North

My mom came to visit us and to attend my aunt and uncle's 50th wedding anniversery back in July.  Here is the trip in pictures!

On my mom's first day here we took a trip to McDonald's for lunch.
Little L with a yummy cheese burger!

Mommy and Little L (love how her lips pucker from saying "cheese"!)

Little L and Grandma S (same lip pucker!)
After lunch we took a trip to the library to return some stuff and pick up a bunch of books on cd for Little L to listen to on our trip up North.
Then Grandma S and Little L had some fun in the yard!
Watering our flowers

Picking a pear from the pear tree
No visit from my mom is complete without (many) shoping trips!  On one of our first ones we stopped at Target and they were in the middle of some awesome clearance sales.  We got a bunch of things but one of them was a potty doll for Little L (at that point in time she was interested in talking about the potty but didn't actually want to do anything on it but just a few days ago she went on her potty chair for the first time and has gone a couple more times since then!).  The doll is actually really cute and it came with its own toilet that flushes and all!  I think the cutest part about the doll is how she "brushes" her teeth!
Like I mentioned earlier, the timing for my mom's trip was based around my aunt (her sister) and uncle's 50th wedding anniversery up in northern MN.  It's about a 5 hour drive so we made sure to come prepared with audio books, a couple of dvds (although some were from the library and didn't work on our portable player)  :(, LOTS of books and LOTS of toys!
Little L surrounded by her "stuff"
The drive was uneventful for the most part but unfortunately I was running on very little sleep and Little L decided not to nap at all in the car (or at my aunt's house when we got there) so it was very frustrating. The party was very nice (although we missed most of the actual presentation since Little L wouldn't sit still).  After the presention we had a super yummy dinner in the church basement and then since it was so hot a lot of us went outside on the church grounds.  Little L started "picking flowers"off the graves and once we explained that she couldn't take the flowers off of the graves she just started collecting all of the silk flowers that had blown around and weren't actually from any place in particular.  So by the end of the night she had a pretty little collection of silk flowers from the graveyard!  :)
Grandma S, Little L and me at the church for the anniversery party

Little L and my cousins daughter Miss H

My cousin's twin girls (only a few months older than Little L) and Little L ...this was the best picture we could get of three 2 1/2 year old girls!

The cake

Little L LOVED all the golden balloons and spent a ton of time running around in circles with them getting all sweaty!  That's my aunt's wedding dress in the background!  So fun!

Here she is all hot and sweaty with the balloons!

We stayed at my Aunt J's house and she had a great tub of toys for Little L to play with!

Looking at the Fourth of July decorations at Aunt J's house...Little L was in awe!

Here it is...the fiber optics changed colors and looked like little fireworks!

Little L playing in Aunt J's backyard

Checking out my cousin's horses

Playing at my aunt and uncle's farm with my cousins twin daughters
Uncle T's fishing boat

And for the trip home we stoped at Burger King so Little L could get a crown!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

4th of July Weekend 2011

Yup, I know the 4th of July was a loooong time ago but here are the pics!  We went to my dad's lake cabin up near Bemidji and joined my grandparents, aunt and uncle and cousins.  The weather was great and we had a ton of fun!

Fourth of July Boat Parade:  Every year we decorate our boats and join a mini parade around the lake.  This is my Grandparent's new pontoon boat that they just got.  It's been great since it is easier for my grandpa to get in and go for boat rides now.

My cousin and her little one, one of my other cousins and Little L waving her flag!

Making buns with GiGi!  Always an important part of visiting the lake.

Eating the dough is the best part!
Driving Great Grandpa's new pontoon!
Taking Grandpa and Great Grandpa on a "ride"

Daddy caught a big sunfish
Look at that guy!
Since the actual Fourth of July was on Monday this year we weren't sure if we were going to do our fireworks on Sunday night or Monday night.  The weather for Monday was looking like a 50-50 chance of thunderstorms so we opted to be on the safe side and shot off all our stuff on Sunday night.  We were glad we did since there ended up being a pretty big thunderstorm right around dusk when we normally start lighting our fireworks on Monday night. 

As for our fireworks, my cousins always go to the same guy every year and he gives them great deals!  We always make a list of all of the names of the fireworks (and seriously...who names those things?) and then using ipads this year (we have come so far from our old pencil and paper routine) we rated them all on a scale of 1-3.  We have had varying scales over the years but eventually came down to this simple scale of (bad-ok-great! or 1-2-3!)  That way we know what fireworks to get next year.

Since this was Little L's first time seeing fireworks I wasn't sure what to expect but I was pleasently suprised!  Other than one incident with our first fountain, she absolutely LOVES them!  Her quotes of the night were "Fireworks make me happy!" and "More?!?"  :)

Miss A and Little L with their glow stick flags
Little L with my cousin L and all of the fireworks!

Catching her first glimpse of a fire work...she LOVED them!
I LOVE this picture!  It totally captures how she felt about the fireworks!

Another one of my favorites!

I just LOVE all the looking up shots!  (My parents have one of me from this age and looking at these pics always reminds me of that!)

Below is the first fountain that we lit.  We were sitting a little closer than we probably should have been, and the fountain was a little bigger than we thought so in trying to move back quickly I tipped my chair over and Little L got a little concerend and started crying, saying she wanted to go to bed.  After we got her calmed down she was back into the fire work action!

Waiting for the next firework to light up the sky!

Watching fire works with Daddy...

and Mommy!

My cousin's daugter A wasn't quite as sure about the fireworks but after awhile she got into them too!

They sure did have fun waving their glow stick flags (seriously worth the dollar from the dollar store!)
My dad snapped this picture of Lydia sleeping with her glow flag after all the fireworks! 

When my cousin L and I were little we had our picture taken with another cousin of mine (K) when we were in the 2-3 year age range.  We were all wearing matching dresses my grandma had made and sitting together in the hammock.  My aunt K decided that it would be fun to reproduce that with our little girls (K is still newly married and hasn't added a little one to the bunch yet so for this version it was just L and my daughters).  So my aunt made matching dresses for the girls (she actually finished them up out at the lake) and then we used my dad's hammock to take the picture.
Hammock shot...this hammock is so big it was hard to get the girls in there sitting up!

So cute!
Caribou Coffee had a coupon for the 4th of July that let you get a kiddy drink for free with the purchase of an adult drink.  So my cousins and I took Little L and Miss A into town to get "big girl coffee drinks"!
Little L's favorite part is the whip cream of course!

Sportin' momma's glasses!

Playing together in the Caribou kiddy area
On the actual Fourth of July we did some low key firework stuff like snakes, poppers (or snaps depending on who you are talking too!), bottle rockets and firecrackers. 
Those are so loud!

Miss A wasn't too sure about the fire crackers...

This is what caused the girl's to cover their was a long string of firecrackers and once they burned up it lit the top ball on fire which caused it to rain down little exploding was quite the show!

Little L hanging out with T

She LOVES her corn on the cob!

Eating our traditional 4th of July cook out with Grandpa M

Cousin hugs!

Miss A is such a little fish!

The hubby and me on my grandparents dock

Little L trying to do a handstand

"I wanna go wakeboarding too!"

Daddy waving bye before he takes off on the wakeboard
Little L and Miss A had a great time playing in the sand and "baking"
Sliding into the lake

After a nice long day on the beach you've got to use the foot bucket to get all of the sand off your feet...Little L sure is a lake girl!

Sorry for the lateness and the looong post with lots of pics but I hope you enjoyed them all!  :)