First Day of Kindergarten

September 2, 2014

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We were early to the bus stop. Because it’s at the end of our driveway.

Ava is at her first day of kindergarten right now. Everything went smoothly this morning. Except for her little panic episode at 6am when she came into our bedroom crying and said, “Mommy! What if I can’t find my classroom AND I loose my backpack!”

She was having a little anxiety about her new adventure. So I let her crawl in bed and I promised her that I’d meet the bus at school to make sure she found the classroom. My only tears this morning were just after I made that promise. She snuggled into me and whispered, “Hold me close, Mommy.”  And I did with a few tears.

Of course I captured every moment with pictures. And I made Erik capture it in video. We are only doing this once so I wanted to make sure we captured it.

So was very excited.

So was very excited.

Enjoying a last cuddle from daddy before the big day.

Enjoying a last cuddle from daddy before the big day.

Ava and her neighbor buddies waiting for the bus.

Ava and her neighbor buddies waiting for the bus.

 

The bus is here! And on time!

The bus is here! And on time!

Then I walked to school to meet the bus. I’m glad I did because when I was waiting for Ava’s bus, I noticed a very little boy standing on the boulevard all alone. I smiled and said hello. I asked him if he needed help. He looked so relieved that I talked to him. With a tear running down his cheek, he quietly said, “Yes.”. So I introduced myself and made small talk with him while I searched for someone to help him. Surprisingly there was no one around. After this experience I was happy that I was there for Ava because I didn’t like thinking of her standing there lost like that sweet little boy.

She made it to school!  With only "one tiny problem". I guess the kid that sat next to her spoke a different language. Ava said she just smiled and nodded.

She made it to school!  She reported only “one tiny problem”. I guess the kid that sat next to her spoke a different language. Ava said she just smiled and nodded.

And she arrived safely to her classroom. She was a little overwhelmed when I left but I have a feeling she will be a pro at kindergarten by the end of the day.

And she arrived safely to her classroom. She was a little overwhelmed when I left but I have a feeling she will be a pro at kindergarten by the end of the day.

So what I am doing today? I’m going to Whole Foods for lunch and then to a movie. It’s a vacation day that I’ve been waiting to take for five and a half years.

Before I go to lunch, I have a couple quotes from Pinterest that made me think of this experience of sending your child to kindergarten.

ship

be who

love you

Erik has been spending almost all of his free time working on our side driveway project. (I really need to come up with a better name for it.) After the driveway was done, he built a retaining wall and did some landscaping. And now he is onto the next thing: building his new shed. Here are the before and after photos.

The before picture

The before picture

And after. Notice the next project (the shed) is in progress.  You can see two of the four walls standing behind the fence.

And after. Notice the next project (the shed) is in progress. You can see two of the four walls standing behind the fence.

Speaking of the fence... The fence is complete, too!

Speaking of the fence… The fence is complete, too!

I love how it visually blends in with the woods.

I love how it visually blends in with the woods.

Stay tuned for another update when the shed is complete! (No pressure, Erik.)

 

The Big Project of 2014

August 12, 2014

I’ve been kind of absent from hovnet the last few weeks because we have been busy. Below are some photos from one of our projects keeping us busy. But first, here’s how we got into this mess…errrr…home improvement project.

1) The first project was to hire a company to put in a fence so we could get a dog.

2) That made us realize that we really should do something about the ugly retaining wall on the side of the house so we don’t have to redo the fence at a later date.

3) Which made us realize that we might as well pour the foundation for Erik’s new workshop/shed while we are doing the side driveway.

And so it began…

Good bye ugly old retaining wall!

Good bye ugly old retaining wall!

Ava insisted on driving the bobcat. Do you need a license to drive a bobcat?

Ava insisted on driving the bobcat. Do you need a license to drive a bobcat?

The next step required some help from Erik’s family — who happen to own a masonry company. What luck!

The team is formulating a plan.

The team is formulating a plan.

The women and children went shopping while the men were hard at work.

The women and children went shopping while the men were hard at work.

The concrete truck is here!

The concrete truck is here!

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After shopping, the kids had no problem entertaining themselves. They set up this waterslide all by themselves.

After shopping, the kids had no problem entertaining themselves. They set up this waterslide all by themselves.

The kids had to leave their mark.

The kids had to leave their mark.

The next day, the men could not rest. They decided to lay the block for Erik's shed. We are so lucky they did so much work while they were here!

The next day, the men could not rest. They decided to lay the block for Erik’s shed. We are so lucky they did so much work while they were here!

Finally on Sunday, everybody took a break at the beach. It was a wonderful day!

Finally on Sunday, everybody took a break at the beach. It was a wonderful day!

The concrete is done but Erik is still working on building a new retaining wall and finishing up the fence. I’ll post some “after” pictures when it’s all done.

Fishing Camp 2014

August 12, 2014

fishing crew

Erik went to fishing camp again last month. It’s not really called that. But I affectionately refer to it as fishing camp.  Here’s an earlier post that tells you why.

As always, Erik had a great time. He caught some monster walleyes.  Yes. The fish below are walleye.

fishing big fish 1

fishing big fish

Erik also had his 20 year reunion the weekend after so Ava and I had fun while he was away. Here are a few pictures from our adventures.

We made an appearance at Chuck-E-Cheese. There was nobody there so we actually had a relaxing afternoon there.

We made an appearance at Chuck-E-Cheese. There was nobody there so we actually had a relaxing afternoon there.

 

We got out the Easy Bake oven and made frosted cookies.

We got out the Easy Bake oven and made frosted cookies.

We met my friend Becky and her friends at the pool for an afternoon.

We met my friend Becky and her kids at the pool for an afternoon.

Grandma G came to visit!

Grandma G came to visit!

July Summer Update 2014

July 29, 2014

It’s almost August! Only about five weeks until my baby starts kindergarten. Sighhhhh….

Until that happens we are going to continue our summer fun. We have been having a great summer. Here are a few pictures of our fun.

Our garden has started producing. And we have started pickling.

Our garden has started producing. And we have started pickling.

Ava has been taking golf lessons again this summer. She really enjoys it.

Ava has been taking golf lessons again this summer. She really enjoys it.

We have been having lots of play dates with friends.

We have been having lots of play dates with friends.

We went to the St. Louis Park splash pad one afternoon with a friend.

We went to the St. Louis Park splash pad one afternoon with a friend. (Ava on the right in the greenish suit.)

We have met Aunt Kimmy and cousins Caleb and Peyton at the swimming pond.

We met Aunt Kimmy and cousins Caleb and Peyton at the swimming pond.

Cousin Peyton hanging with me at the pond.

Cousin Peyton hanging with me at the pond.

Shameless mom brag warning... But doesn't Ava's hair get gorgeous in the summer? This was just air drying after a bath.

Shameless mom brag warning… But doesn’t Ava’s hair get gorgeous in the summer? This was just air drying after a bath.

And finally, we have season passes to Valley Fair this summer. So we have been frequent visitors there — mainly at the Planet Snoopy section of the park.

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We are lucky to have such fun summers with family and friends and make these wonderful memories.

Park Program

July 29, 2014

Last day of Park Program.

Last day of Park Program.

This is the third year Ava has participated in Minnetonka’s “Park Program”. I put it in quotes because that is not the official name of it. I think it’s Summer Adventure Club or something like that. We prefer Park Program.

They do crafts, games, read books, and play on the park equipment at Park Program. The leaders are college students that really enjoy kids. They are assisted by high school kids who also enjoy kids. This year was super fun because Ava’s cousin Caleb was also in her program.

Minnetonka Park and Rec runs programs for different age groups all over Minnetonka and Hopkins. At the end of the program in late July, they hold a carnival for the kids. This was the first year we went. I suspect we will back again next year because Ava had such a blast.

Eating dinner at the carnival.

Eating dinner at the carnival.

Playing basketball with her Park Program friend, Xavier.

Playing basketball with her Park Program friend, Xavier.

Ava was surprisingly talented at disc golf.  She wants to find a disc golf course and play some more.

Ava was surprisingly talented at disc golf. She wants to find a disc golf course and play some more.

Erik swinging Ava far too high on the swings.

Erik swinging Ava far too high on the swings.

Going home after the magic show at the carnival.

Going home after the magic show at the carnival.

Oh, it is good to be a kid during summertime!

Surprise!

July 13, 2014

We drove to Duluth yesterday to attend a surprise birthday party for Erik’s brother’s wife, Jenna. There was a live band, great food, and lots of fun.

Not surprisingly, Ava was the first person to hit the dance floor. She really got the party started.

Ava says, "Happy birthday, Aunt Jenna!"

Ava (and Hans) says, “Happy birthday, Aunt Jenna!”

Lon (the party planner), Erik's dad, Erik's mom, and Erik.

Lon (aka: the party planner), Erik’s dad, Erik’s mom, and Erik.

"I'm with the band!"

“I’m with the band!”

 

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