Sunday, October 27, 2013

Dad of the Year!

As I mentioned, Paul just had his birthday in September (yes, I realize it is almost November now, but remember that in my blogging world we are only up to September right now!). I just wanted to take a minute and talk about the "most overshelduled adult I know" as a friend recently described him! Paul takes every opportunity to be involved with the kids. He is in his second year of teaching Sunday school at Church. He is in his third year of coaching soccer. He did not take on the head coach position of Ben's soccer team this year as he decided to coach Abbey's soccer team instead. However, he then became an assistant coach to Ben's team and was at every practice and game (unless it directly conflicted with Abbey's game) for Ben's team. He helped out at Ben's football practice every Monday night (he couldn't make Wednesday practices because that was when Abbey had her soccer practice). He is in his second year of being a Cub Scout Den Leader for Ben's Den. This year he has also joined Indian Princesses with Abbey and will be taking her on her first camp out in a few weeks. To say he is "actively involved" in their lives would be an understatement! And the kids absolutely love every second they spend with Daddy!

As if this didn't keep him busy enough, he trained all summer for the Chicago Marathon, waking up early both Saturday and Sunday mornings to log in long runs. He is also continuing to pursue his Masters of Electrical Engineering by taking one night course at a time. You might wonder where he finds time for everything because he also has a full time job to support our growing family! Paul usually wakes up around 4am to start his day! He works/studies for a few hours before anyone else even wakes up. Then he is ready for a break by the time the kids get up, which works out nicely for me as he makes everyone breakfast while I slowly get out of bed and get ready for the day!

Now part of this is all made possible by the fact that he works from home. However, he has just accepted a new job that will not be from home. In fact, come January, he will begin commuting downtown. So I am sure that will affect how much he does at home when that starts, but knowing Paul, he will find a way to stay "actively involved" :) And we will all certainly miss having him around the house during the day.

Anyway, I was just thinking the other day that I always do a post about the kids and how wonderful they are around their birthdays, and it is definitely worth mentioning all of the wonderful things Paul does for this family around his birthday. Now, on to his stats...just kidding ;)

Love you Paul!

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Birthday and Homecoming!

Paul's birthday was in September and we celebrated the way he wanted...low key! We made his requested dinner and we had the carrot cake (his favorite) that the kids and I made for him, so all that was left was to blow out the candles! Although he turned 35 (wow!), we did not put 35 candles on the cake, but we did go through our drawers and put all the candles we could find on it to symbolize to the kids just how old Dad is :) Here Juliette is trying to count them all!

Time to blow them out...he needed some help!

The next weekend was Ben's football homecoming, so we did up his hair to get pumped for the game!  He had a soccer game first though.

Best sister cheerleaders!

He was a force to be reckoned with on the soccer field!

Then it was time for the tailgate to get ready for the game!

The siblings had fun too.

Awesome picture!

Abbey got in on the blue hair paint too!

Car decorations!

Ben with his team.

Before the game with some friends.

Ready to run onto the field through this awesome rip away banner one of the parents made!

Unfortunately, they lost the was their only loss all season, but they still placed #1 and are playing in the Championship Flag Bowl this Friday night under the lights, so stay tuned for updates on that!
After the disappointing game, the kids needed some cheering up, so we went to a park to try to fly some kites.

There wasn't a ton of wind though, so there a fair amount of running involved to get the kite up.

Or just running for the fun of it.

Good job Abbey!

Dad of the year!

The girls got tired of kite flying, so I took them to the park while Ben and Daddy continued to fly kites.

Abbey is awesome on the monkey bars - her favorite thing to do!

It was a fun day!
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Monday, October 14, 2013

Apple Picking

Hard to believe, but it's that time of year again when we get to go apple picking, which is one of our absolute favorite fall activities! We went a little earlier this year due to busy schedules and trying to coordinate with the Acuff's. I know one of these years we won't be able to coordinate a time when we can go together, but I am thankful it wasn't this year and our tradition lived on! 

Juliette was ready to get started right away!

Ben was ready for a ride first!

First step...hay ride out to the orchard!

Luckily there were a lot of low lying apples (since we went so early), so Juliette was able to pick a lot of apples!

And when she couldn't reach an apple, Daddy gave her a lift.

Abbey liked climbing the trees and inspecting the apples to find the perfect one.

Pretty girl in a tree...

We put Juliette up in a tree (at her request) but she was  very uncomfortable once she was up there and wanted to get down.  I quick snapped a picture, but you can tell she is not thrilled with being up in the tree.

Daddy found a ladder to get the really high apples.

And Juliette helped pull the apples around - she loved this task.

Abbey wanted a turn on the ladder too!

As did Ben...

Juliette kept picking "baby apples" for the baby.  Here is baby's first apple :)

After soccer games, the Acuff's made it!  Caroline immediately started climbing trees!

Yay Cousins!

Silly Cousins!  Since Ben and Caroline are both missing most of their front teeth, they had to bite their apples on the side!

Hunter picking apples...

This boy is getting tall...he will pass Mommy before too long!

Then while we browsed the store and enjoyed some apple donuts, these two got on the horse rockers and had some fun.

It was a very fun and beautiful day!  I am so glad we were able to find time to go together again this year.  We then went back to our house for some chili and homemade carrot cake to celebrate Paul's birthday that was coming up! 
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Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Fall Sports

Fall is a very busy time of year for us.  Ben does flag football and soccer and this year Abbey is doing fall soccer as well (with Paul as the coach).  Our Saturday's consist of running between Ben's soccer and football games and Abbey's soccer game.  It can get hectic, but we honestly love watching the kids play the sports and have fun, so it is all worth it.  Here is Abbey ready for soccer!

My two soccer players!  As a side note, kindergarten is the first year you get to play on a real team, as opposed to just taking a skills class, so next year we may have three soccer games to get to (if Juliette wants to play of course).

Some action shots...

World's best spectator!  This girl happily goes along to all games and watches/plays on the sidelines.  She is truly a fantastic sport about going to it all!

Abbey...oh Abbey...she is actually a pretty good soccer player, that is, when she feels like playing!  She usually doesn't want to go into the game unless her friend is also playing at the same time (the one she is holding hands with).  Even then, sometimes she will just walk around the field.  BUT, when she decides she wants to get into it, she is really good.  She scored two goals in one game when she felt like playing!  So the trick is to somehow get her into the game, but so far we have seen no real rhyme or reason as to when she is into it and when she isn't...we'll keep working on it though because she says she is having fun and wants to play again in the spring, so we will see.

And then we rush off to flag football.

Good shot of Ben right before he grabbed this guy's flag.

Our Saturday's are fun and our week's are busy between all the practices, but like I said, everyone is enjoying it so we are not complaining about the business (well, too much anyway)!
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