Keeping Up with Ron, Sara, Jackson and Addie

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Photography (Nolan)

So then I took another birth announcement photo. But this one got tricky! Mom wanted baby and her two other beautiful children. I had been used to taking one kid at a time, but still have not been able to get Addie and Jackson together for a good photo. Here are the shots I got for this one:

Photography -- Charley Jeanne

I've been behind a camera a lot since having kids, taking pictures of their crazy artwork for this blog, staging photo shoots for milestones like first birthdays and just capturing the cute little buggers growing up. I was asked a while back to take photos of my friends Allison and Quin's baby girl for the birth announcement. I was honored, and nervous... I know how perfect I wanted the photo of my baby to be for her birth announcement. But I gave it a shot and came up with these wonderful shots of beautiful Charley.

Well since these were taken I've been asked to do another birth announcement shoot and senior pictures. I'm not sure where this will all take me if anywhere... maybe this is the end, but if that's the case, I've had fun doing it. I'll share a sampling of the senior photos and other baby (Nolan) in future posts.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A horse named princess...

Jackson says: I'd like to wish wish for a horse, a horse of my very own. I want to get up in the morning and ride my horse every day before breakfast. When I get my horse, I will name her princess. That's a pretty name for a horse, isn't it mom?

Mom: Yes son, it is. It's a beautiful name for a horse. (snicker-snicker)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Random Thoughts...

  • I don't mind Winter... for a month. I enjoy an excuse to be a hermit, but only for a month after that it's just plain too damn cold.

  • I am so thankful that my kids are healthy.

  • I have a constant feeling of being overwhelmed. It may have something to do with being in school, working full time, taking care of two kids, constant laundry, constant cleaning and constant cooking.

  • Taking care of my hair, cutting and coloring was long over due and I promise not to let it get that out of hand again.

  • Addie isn't walking yet. Secretly I'm both concerned and happy at the same time.

  • I drink far too much pop. I had to refuse a third can last night even though it would have went perfectly with the bag of peanut M&Ms I popped open.

  • This season I will make a homemade apple pie and a pumpkin pie from scratch. I have promised this to Jackson and he will hold me accountable.

  • I have switched clothes from summer to winter in Jackson's, Addie's and my closet. I feel so accomplished! Four garbage bags are ready to head to Goodwill. I really need to do some shopping for clothes that fit me, but I'm cheap, so I won't.
  • 13 month stats...

    Addie went in this morning for her one year check up (yes, it's a little late).
    Here are her stats:

    Weight: 22 lb 4 oz (58%)
    Height: 2' 6 " or 76.2 cm (63%)
    Head: 17.8" or 45.2 cm (44%)

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    Likes and Dislikes...

    Jackson likes: playing sharks at school, the color blue, drinking juice, wearing Woody (Toy Story) socks, anything pirates, trying to write his name, slumber parties at Grandma's, chinese food, watching Cars, swimming at the MCC with Dad, spiking his hair and playing Playmobil.

    Jackson doesn't like: riding a bike with training wheels, taking long naps, pizza, grown-up toothpaste and sleeping alone.

    Addie likes: feeding herself, cheese, tickles, pickles, dancing to music, swinging, hanging upside-down, green beans, playing with balls, bread, taking baths, eating paper, Jackson's bean bag chair, and her pacifier.

    Addie doesn't like: baby gates, being hungry and teething.

    Sunday, September 19, 2010

    A favorite place...

    One of my favorite memories as a child was being on Lake Superior with my grandparents. Skipping stones in the lake, looking for agates, eating sticky buns from Tobies and watching the ships come in. We did all of those things this weekend and I felt as though grandma and grandpa were right by our side. On our way back home we stopped in at Pine City to visit with Great Grandpa Jim, we learned a lot about his ancestry and remembered to write it down even! This is a lot of pictures, but I couldn't help it!

    Here we are standing out by the lighthouse

    Jackson taking his turn at the wheel in the museum at Canal Park

    Dad and Addie in the museum

    Jackson running like an airplane down the boardwalk

    The boys skipping stones


    I could have played here for hours!

    Are we in Moose Country?

    Addie swings!

    While mom and dad had sticky buns from Tobies, Jackson ate this little fella.

    Saturday, September 18, 2010

    Renaissance festival...

    Seems I'm always writing about things that happened weeks ago since I never find the time to upload photos and write as things are happening. Two weekends ago we were lucky enough to have a visit from our beautiful South Dakota friends, Katie and Jesse and Liam. We met them at the Renaissance Festival and had a wonderful time. We tried to enjoy the sites, catch up and watch kids... all together is not an easy thing to do, but we made the best of it.

    Jackson and Liam rode on pirate ships and played in a band. While Liam napped, a fairy came over with Peter the rabbit for Jackson and Addie to pet. And Jackson has found his new favorite summer festival activity, face paints! This time though, it was an googly eyeball with wings... strange.

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010


    I've been meaning to write this post for some time now, but can't seem to find the time to devote to it. So before he enters kindergarten, I'd better make at least an attempt to tell you all about his first day of preschool.

    Jackson started preschool a few weeks ago already now. We had been driving by his school for a couple of weeks telling him that it was going to be his new school, he was very excited. After a couple of times, he'd point out his "new school" to us.

    The week before school started we brought him in for a free play time at his school so that we could meet his teachers and he could slowly acclimate a bit. I was very nervous that he would be too rough with the other kids and his new teachers would groan over the new boy coming too school that would be a challenge. Jackson did okay though and was excited about going back to spend more time with his new friends.

    The first day of school went fabulously according to his teachers. Jackson however had a different story. He seemed to only dwell on the things he didn't like: He didn't like lunch (though he couldn't remember what was served) and he most certainly didn't like nap time. I'd ask what he liked about school and again he'd tell me that he "didn't like lunch and he really didn't like nap time." Day two and three got a little better. Then on day four Ron brought him to school, and he cried and cried and dad had to break free from his grip and leave him there.

    Oh that's so sad, I felt horrible for both the guys in my life. I thought by the next week, it'd get better but we spent one full week of Jackson gripped to my legs as I walked out the door. He told me one day that he had to sit in the "sad area until he could stop crying." Oh if that doesn't make a mother cry. I even started to ponder how I could stay home with him.

    But the next week was better! And ever since, he's been doing great: he loves playing with new friends, has gone on a field trip to Lookout Ridge, is great at making crafts, brought in a picture of his big apple for sharing time, has worn a cowboy hat for crazy hat day and showed up in his space shuttle pajamas for pajama day!

    And a parent's proudest moment: Last week when I picked him up, his whole class was sitting in a row waiting for their name to be called to play. I walked over to one of the teachers who said, "he's so good!" I did a double take and thought to myself, is she speaking of my kid??!! What? And then she goes on about how well he listens and follows directions.

    GET OUT?!?!

    I'm so happy to learn that he's a good kid at school. I hope the listening improves at home in the process.

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    A spending freeze...

    So the family is trying something out for the month. Remember back in 2008 when we did the compact? We lasted for six weeks without buying anything new, and after the six weeks our purchasing habits changed dramatically and we knew of ways to purchase/borrow/trade to get the things that we needed. Over the years though, we've gotten out of some good habits and resorted into some new even worse ones.

    So for the month of September, we will not buy ANYTHING or spend any money, we are on a spending freeze. Of course there will be have to be a few exceptions: we will continue to buy groceries and gas and we probably should continue to pay our bills, like the mortgage, utilities and student loans but after that... nothing.

    Oh, and we had to make an exception for the MN State Fair. We made our plan to go to the fair on the 3rd of September before we agreed on a spending freeze.

    Now I know this sounds like a lot of exceptions, but think of it: no going out to lunch, dinner or getting coffee, no ordering pizza, no shopping, no Twins games, no going to the movies and no girls/boys nights out.

    What we've learned so far in the experiment is that we shop... because it entertains us. We leave the house every evening looking for something to do that will be entertaining, and we inevitably end up spending money along the way, and sometimes LOTS of money.

    What's the one thing you couldn't go a month without spending money on?

    Monday, September 6, 2010

    The fair was good to us...

    Like a lot of Minnesotans, our family took in the state fair this year. We went on Friday, on what turned out to be a very cold and windy day, high in the upper fifties... we wore jackets and the boys even wore stocking caps. Originally the plan was for Ron and Sara to take in the fair, as adults on their own, but the plan changed up a bit. Sara really wanted to share the fair with Jackson, but to make it a little easier on ourselves, we kept Addie in childcare at Grandma Jan's.

    We got into the grounds at about noon and were set and ready to find lunch. Jackson counted that he tried seven things at the fair: a corndog, corn fritters, deep-fried pickles, sweet martha's cookies, cheese on a stick, chocolate malt and french fries. The real winner for mom was the deep-fried pickles and the boys are sweet on sweet martha!

    Unfortunately for us, the winds were too strong for rides on the space needle and skyride so we stuck to more of the ground events -- building tours, eating and farm animals. Jackson tried out and old-fashioned race car, listened to lots of music, found the state's largest hog, searched for walleye in the big fish pond and was strongly encouraged to ride the big slide. (Okay, he was forced a bit, but he loved it!)

    And here are the photos to prove it: