Over the past month, each kid has had a friend spend the night. I have to admit, Billy nudged me to make these sleepovers happen. I think he was big on making it happen because his 2017 New Year’s prediction was that we would have more sleepovers…and we didn’t. We had some, but mostly if parents were out of town and we were helping out. OR we all rent a house in MN for NYE. OR we stay at a friend’s cabin. BUT these three were firsts for all different reasons:
-Josie’s friend attended her hockey game first, then came over for the sleepover.
-Will’s friend was the first time we managed type one diabetes through the night (well sort of, thanks to technology his parents were really keeping track of everything)
-Ben’s friend was the first time he had a sleepover and the first time Ben had a sleepover!
There’s no snow on the ground, there hasn’t been any at all yet this winter! It feels so strange to be a week away from Christmas and no snow!
We’ve had a busy December and it’s been a lot of fun too. I feel like every age we say this is the best year yet, and as this year comes to a close…I’m feeling like our kids are at the best age and this is the best year yet! Here’s some of the fun we’ve done this month so far:
- I took Josie and Ben to Katy Perry with some friends. It was Ben’s first big concert. He was nervous for the loud noises. Especially since Josie told him that at Paul McCartney, there were fireworks. The usher saw he had his ears plugged on the way to the bathroom, so she gave us earplugs. By the end of the show, he didn’t need them in. We danced, sang, and rocked out. It was great. (Billy and Will did an indoor golf simulator with friends. Livi was on a date with her boyfriend).
- Ben was in his first performance of The Nutcracker. I say first, because it won’t be his last. The kid was beaming. He’s feet never touched the ground, Ben was on cloud 9. He was in the Infantry. His part was very small, but he has a ball. We had two full rows of friends and family that came to support him. My heart felt full the whole day, we are lucky to have so many special people in our lives.
- The kids had their piano recital at school last week. They did fantastic.
- I had a birthday!
- Livi turned 16 two days ago. We currently have a house full of teenagers. It’s our first time with a teen birthday party. I think we pulled it off pretty good. They are all nice kids, but we hid the alcohol just to be safe. 🙂
We have one week left of school then holiday break begins. Ready or not, here we come!
Will, Ben, and Josie.
This year marks 6 years of doing our month of give thanks. Here are some of the highlights:
- We donated to the school library for the first time. We gave over 100 books so students could enjoy them.
- Josie and I wrapped presents for Amanda the Panda (They support families that are grieving the loss of a loved one)
- We wrote thank you cards to farmers to show them a little love.
- We donated a buddy bench to the school in memory of our neighbor and buddy we lost earlier this year.
This year was also the first year we let the kids select a charity to donate to. They researched and we made the donation. Josie selected Children’s Cancer Connection in memory of Aunt Meredith’s mom, Lynn. Will selected JDRF for his buddy Luke. Ben wanted to donated to research, originally he said wikipedia. But thanks to a good friend we were connected with the Drake Library and got a behind the scenes tour of the archives. It was really cool!
The boys turned 8 in Orlando at Universal Studios….It was so fun! We tackled the Harry Potter stuff and they were on cloud 9 (or platform 9 3/4). The boys got to go to the wand store and because it was their birthday, they had a private ceremony of the wand picking them. I think that was their BEST memory. They loved the train ride between the parks. It felt like you were a part of the movie. They were a little nervous about the simulator rides…well to be honest more like a LOT nervous. Ben also didn’t care for the fire breathing dragon. It may have been a little too real for him.
We didn’t tell the kids we were going till the night before we left. It was such a fun surprise.
I am not sure how this happened, but we are already at the start of October. YIKES! Here are a some fun things that happened:
- We went to Omaha for a whirlwind day over Labor Day. It was quick but fun to be with family. We got to meet our new niece and spend quality time with Lynn before she passed away.
- We created the “Wakonda Quad” then accomplished it: tennis, swim, golf, and dinner all in one day. So fun!
- We started soccer for the kiddos and volleyball for Livi. It’s been fun to watch all the activities.
- We celebrated Grandshe’s BIG 7-0 in a BIG way. Party, family pictures, mother daughter pedicures (that might have been my fav). By the end of the celebration, I think she felt all the love.
- We sent Livi off to her first homecoming (our first to send a kid).
Things I don’t want to forget:
- Ben pretends the “audience” at soccer games are strictly there for him. He puts on his own half time show on the way to the bench to talk to his coach. One handed cart wheels, round offs, and a BIG wave and kisses blown to the parents before his water break.
- Will had to make a church at religious ed and list all the people that support him and lift him up. At the top of his list was his friends Luke and Blake then family. It completely melted my heart and makes me so thankful he loves his buddies.
- Josie was at the store with me and I told her she could pick out a bouncy ball. One was more expensive than the other, so I said “What’s the difference”? I was thinking why was one more expensive than the other, what does this one do that that one doesn’t? Without hesitation, Josie said “Three dollars!” I couldn’t stop laughing. She said “I thought you were giving me a pop quiz.”
On August 11th we welcomed Livi from Switzerland into our home for the school year. The idea of having a Foreign Exchange Student came this summer, but we were thinking of doing it in a couple of years. After playing on the website for a few weeks, we decided to request more information. I emailed on a Thursday, had a conversation that afternoon, filled out paperwork on Friday, had a home inspection on Saturday, and by the following Tuesday we found out Livi would be living with us starting three weeks later!
Since Livi’s arrival, here are a few things we’ve done:
- Took a surprise trip to Orlando to go to Universal Studios, 5 days after she arrived.
- Started school
- Started volleyball
- Lake weekend at our friend’s cabin
- Tried a donut (her favorite new food)
We are learning how to have a teenager (a few years earlier than planned) as well as having 4 kids. We think it will be a great adventure for all of us. #bemispartyofsix