Posts Tagged ‘finnegan’

Not A Beach Vacation But Better Than No Vacation 2018

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

Our beach vacation got canceled this year because of a hurricane. I was VERY angry about it, that vacation means a lot to us as a family and as a friend group (we go with two friends from high school and my college freshman roommate). We didn’t want to completely cancel our time off though, and since E hadn’t been to the lake house yet this year we hung out in Virginia. It was a little colder for my taste, but it was still fun. Our best Navy friends came to hang out from Virginia Beach so Caroline got to see her favorite person. We even did a grown-ups only day in NoVa with most of the friends I was supposed to see at the beach, so we don’t have to wait another year to see my BFFs. It’s hard to complain about a lake vacation, especially now that we’re home and I’m just looking back on the pictures.

Knobels With Friends 2018

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

Holy shirt you guys, this is the longest month of my life. I am trying to catch up on the photos I have to edit because this blog is basically just a photo album of my children’s lives now and I feel very guilty when I don’t keep it up. I mean, none of them have baby books, so hopefully, the internet still exists when they get old enough to want to see photos of their childhood. I thought I was two full months behind with updates. but then I realized our trip to Pennsylvania was actually the first weekend of September. AND IT’S STILL SEPTEMBER.

We spent a weekend with my freshman year college roommate and her family in PA. For most of the time, the kids absolutely DESTROYED her basement playroom while the adults ignored them, but once the kids started driving each other crazy we decided to take them out in public somewhere loud and crazy. Knobels is…hard to describe. It’s a free amusement park, in that there is no actual entrance and nothing to keep you from just wandering in (also no security checks which felt suuuuuuper weird). They have HUGE pavillions people rent for company picnics or family reunions. The rides all cost between $1 and $3 to ride. Most of them are legitimate rides, not the scary carnival kind from the fair, although a few of them are actual carnival rides. A lot of things are very old, but in a charming way. The food was shockingly good (get the pulled pork nachos). Sometimes they offer wristbands for unlimited rides, but most weekends they don’t. Luckily they did on Labor Day weekend so we got the unlimited bands for the kids and husbands. They offer free packets of tickets for military and vets though, so my friend and I both had $40 worth of ride tickets for ourselves. We didn’t even use half of them.

The kids had a blast. There was no height minimum for the kid rides, so little Finnegan got to ride a bunch of stuff. We split up so the big kids could ride roller coasters with the dads, and then met up later for food and so we could do some rides as a family. We were there ALL day and didn’t even see a single show or visit the water park side. I think next year we might rent a cabin and stay overnight. Mostly so the grown-ups could enjoy the no-rules nature of bringing in our own beverages while the kids ride.

I’m missing half my photos from our trip, but since I still have almost 300 I’m not too upset. You’ll just never see the pictures of the giant ice cream or the Ferris wheel or the kids soaking wet from the Viking boat log flume. I think you’ll probably survive.

p.s. You pronounce the “K” in Knobels, which is VERY HARD to remember.

 

First Day of School 2018

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

This year, Evan is in 4th grade, Caroline is in 3rd grade, and Lincoln is going to full-day preschool. That means from 9 am until 4 pm every weekday I have only ONE KID to take care of. So far it’s going great, both here at home and at school. Evan and Caroline both love their teachers. Evan gets to take band this year and he’s chosen the trombone, so he’ll also get a pretty good workout carrying it back and forth on the bus twice a week. Caroline is pretty jealous but she’ll get to pick an instrument next year. Lincoln has gotten on and off the bus cheerfully every day, even if he is still mad he’s in a “downstairs” classroom instead of his old class upstairs. I’m not even sure his best friend goes to his school anymore, but I’m sure he’ll make a new best friend quickly.

Besides these big kids, Finnegan and I are SO excited to hang out together. He’s so NICE when he has my undivided attention. His language has exploded, he likes riding in the car and he has chosen to take naps almost every afternoon, so I’m getting our disaster house back under control and preparing for some big renovation work this fall. It’s a good time of year for all of us.

Linc and Finn’s Superhero Birthday Party!

Monday, August 20th, 2018

Lincoln turned 4 on July 23rd and Finnegan is turning 2 on August 30th. Since they’re only 5 weeks apart, they get joint birthday parties. I asked Lincoln what kind of party he wanted, and since he’s totally Batman-obsessed, his answer was A SUPERHERO BIRTHDAY PARTY! Finnegan has no objections because a) he’s still 1 and b) he also loves superheroes. I had a hard time narrowing it down to which superheroes – generic Super Hero stuff? The DC Universe? Just Marvel Comics? Am I a monster for mixing it all together? I decided I didn’t actually care and we went with every kind of Superhero from all the worlds. Fight me if you think that’s a crime.

After years of throwing Evan cold spring parties and Caroline cold winter parties, it is SO FUN to throw a party where 90% of the activities are outside. This was also the first party where I planned actual activities for almost the entire time – we had 2 straight hours of games before we did cake, then the grown-ups all got to sit down while the kids burned off some of their energy. It was the most fun I’ve had at one of my own parties ever, even though the noise level was insane.

Previous parties for Lincoln and Finnegan: 2017 Children’s Books, 2016 Camping Party, 2015 Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

There is a ton of superhero stuff available everywhere from party stores to Target, so I grabbed stuff whenever I saw it. The pinata was from Walmart, the napkins are Party City, the backdrop and banner are from Amazon. All the crepe paper and regular balloons and silly string came from the dollar store and the quick-fill water balloons have been purchased for the last year every time I saw a pack on clearance (although they are available online as well). Let me know if you’re looking for anything and I can be more specific.

The party wasn’t just a party – it was Superhero Training School. The kids had to complete their superhero tasks in order to get a certificate (my husband had all the parents fill in the name once the kids were here).

The training stations included:

Hulk Smash Bricks
Laser Maze
Bomb Disposal
Web Slinging
Bad Guy Capture
Leaping Tall Buildings Practice
AND
The Infinity War

We used jumbo cardboard blocks to make smashable tours for Hulk Smash practice.

Almost all the kids at the party fell between age 12 and age 2, and they all loved all the activities. Once they picked out their mask they were ready for training.

These masks I got from Amazon were GREAT – 2 of each hero so there wasn’t any fighting over who got to be the only Superman or whatever, plenty of “girl” heroes, and they held up through a lot of wear without falling apart.

After we finished the training, we celebrated with the pinata. I hate the pull-strings, so we did it the old-fashioned way. We lined the kids up by size and they each got two hits. It survived all the way to the last kid!

Of course, all these superheroes needed plenty of energy to save the day. I’ve always loved doing themed food at parties, but I’ve learned over the years what is popular and what just ends up as leftovers. I definitely over-estimated on the cake, but I’m not even that sad because I love leftover cake.

superhero birthday food

superhero birthday food

superhero birthday food

superhero birthday food

You can buy a 40-count box of individual Fritos from Amazon for around $15, which works out perfectly for portable, fun taco salad. At the camping party we called them walking tacos, today they were “ready for action” tacos, since you can eat them while running to stop bad guys.

Two bottles of red wine, a bottle of lime selzer, some fresh fruit. It was DELICIOUS.

We also had favors (bubbles, tattoos and a toy) as well as a tattoo station.

Finnegan did not understand how to blow out his candle, but he definitely liked the cake and the part where everyone sang. Linc just loves everything about birthdays.

At the end of the day, we even managed to get some family photos of us all in our on-theme outfits. It was just a perfect day with amazing weather and SO many great friends. A huge thanks to my parents who did an enormous amount of work for party prep and clean-up and all our Ohio relatives who made the super long drive to help celebrate the babies! Having cousins here for their birthday was such a treat.

(Finnegan isn’t dripping blood, it’s ring pop. He’s obsessed.)

Happy Birthday to Lincoln and Finnegan! We love you!!

 

 

Sunflowers for Wishes 2018

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

Previous year Sunflowers for Wishes: 2013 2012 2011 2010

Apparently, I didn’t manage to blog our trip last year, even though I know we went. I have one picture in my 365 project but I remember it being REALLY hot and crowded so I don’t think I took many photos.

This year was not at all crowded and only a little bit hot. I took a ton of pictures.

Key lime & chocolate brownie batter

Lavender honey

Peppermint stick

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