Thursday, May 30, 2013

Vadering {Life with Boys}

On Mother’s Day we spent some time playing in a park and the boys let me have some fun taking pictures.  I took a ton of playground pics, but these are some of my favs from the day.

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It was hubby's idea to try and get some vadering pics.  Hilarious!

Who do you think had more fun?!? 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Bowling! {Family Time}

It has been raining most of the past 3 days, and for it to rain all weekend on a 3-day weekend is a big bummer.  On Memorial Day weekend we are often camping, and if not camping, we are outside doing something.  We had hopes of going kayaking and just enjoying some time outdoors this weekend, but Mother Nature had other plans.  Instead of playing outdoors, we worked on inside projects (aka the basement) off and on throughout the weekend.

This afternoon we decided we needed to get out of the house (and not be running errands) and do something fun together as a family.  Anthony had won a few free bowling passes in a raffle at school, so off we went!

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Anthony started out bowling with an 8 lb ball using a left arm swing (aka a twist leading to a big bang as the ball is slung forward and slowly rolls down the lane).

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After a few frames he decided that maybe he should try a 6 lb ball and throw more traditionally (now with his right arm).

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“Ohhh, yeah!!!”  He got a strike!!!  Go Anthony!!!

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Hubby is such a smooth bowler.  Seriously, the ball just glides out of his hand and down the lane!  Such form too!!

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You can just see the energy in Anthony here – foot raised and the right hand trying to coax the ball right where he wants it. 

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I have never been a great bowler.  My form is terrible, I am not consistent and I am just happy to break 100.  On our first game, the boys BOTH beat me.  I didn’t even come close to 100.  Did you notice the bumpers?!?  Bowling is so not my thing…

On our 2nd game I opened with a BANG though!  Striiiiiikeeee!!  Notice my look of surprise!!

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Not only did I open with a strike, I followed it up with another one!!  YES!!  (and I even had two spares in a row after that before I tanked)

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As a family we had lots of laughs and giggles while bowling a couple of games.  We were playing just for fun, but I’m proud to say that I won the 2nd game!  HA.

We had a great afternoon!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby

Anthony’s Cub Scout graduation was Mother's Day weekend and I’m finally going through pictures of the Pinewood Derby (from February!).  Better late than never, right?? 

Pinewood Derby by MomsGonnaSnap
The kids (and their parents) made great Pinewood Derby cars, huh??  The cars were equally impressive last year too.

Anthony’s car is the Batmobile.  He made the car with hubby and I helped out with the logo. They built the car pretty quickly, found the cockpit at Hobby Lobby and glued his Lego Batman inside.  I used my Silhouette to cut out the Batman logo and set Anthony up to paint. He did great!  More info about the Batmobile here.

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They set up a big track and the boys get to set their cars up on the track for each race.

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Here are the 4 cars for the Tiger Cubs (1st graders) -

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One of the boys gets to stay at the start and push the button to release the cars.  They love it! 

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Here’s Anthony waiting for his car to come.  His car placed 3rd place in the Tiger Cubs.

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Each year they ask a handful of people to vote for different awards for the cars. The kids names are hidden and their cars are numbered for the voting. The awards include Most Wood Removed, Least Wood Removed, Scout Colors, People’s Choice, etc.  Anthony’s car won the People’s Choice award – he was so excited!

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Another successful Pinewood Derby in the books! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Islands of Adventure {Universal Studios}

Wizarding World of Harry Potter by Mom'sGonnaSnap
Get ready for LOTS and LOTS of pictures! 

There was no way we could go to Orlando without going to Universal’s Islands of Adventure.  We were SO excited to check out The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  After spending Monday at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, and Tuesday at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we enjoyed the change and LOVED everything Harry Potter.

We arrived before the scheduled opening and were very surprised to find that the park was ALREADY OPEN! What?!?  Our goal was to get in with the initial crowd.  We quickly made it through the gate and went straight to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.  The line was already pretty long but we braved it.  Sorta.  After about 20 minutes, we had to quickly separate.  Mitch took our backpack and my purse to lock in a locker and was supposed to re-join with us after locking up our things.  The backpack wouldn’t fit, so he didn’t make it in…  Meanwhile, Anthony and I continued to work our way through the line.  The line initially wrapped around the side of Hogwarts and then led us through the greenhouse, through the halls of Hogwarts, past the Potions classroom, in to Dumbledore’s office, etc. Anthony was pretty nervous, he kept reading the warning signs and he was worried that the ride would be too scary.  We continued on though and after they measured him twice, to be sure he was tall enough, it was finally our turn.  What an incredible ride!  This is a simulation ride that really plays with your senses.  At times you feel like you are on a broomstick zooming through the air following Harry, then you are in the castle, there’s a fire-breathing dragon, the whomping willow tree, a huge spider, etc. We were both a bit dizzy after the ride and Anthony needed a break from rides for awhile… I still feel guilty that hubby missed out. Like most rides, you have to walk through the gift shop on your way out.  This was not just any gift shop though, it was Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods.

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Walking around Hogsmeade was really neat.  Everywhere we looked, the details were incredible! 

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We went to HoneyDuke’s for some treats…

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Yes, we bought some Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans!  The boys liked them, but I thought they were disgusting!  We also bought a Chocolate Frog, which came with a collector card too.

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Zonko’s Joke Shop was connected to HoneyDuke’s and was full of all of the fun jokes and tricks from the books.  It was so fun to see all of the “jokes” that you could purchase!

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Extendable Ears!

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We even had some Butter Beer.  And by some, I mean 3 glasses!  I highly recommend the frozen Butter Beer (which I have heard is caffeine free, unlike the regular Butter Beer).  I’m hoping to try and re-create Butter Beer at home this summer!

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We had lunch at the Three Broomsticks.  The food was okay but the decor was fun.  I had fish and chips and hubby had Shepard's Pie.  I’m pretty sure Anthony had a fish kids meal.  It was fun to watch the open walkways on the 2nd floor.  Sometimes you would see a shadow from a house elf!

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We couldn’t go to Hogsmeade without stopping at Olivander’s to find the perfect wand! Anthony had saved up lots money for our trip to Florida, and buying a wand was at the top of his list.  After finding the perfect wand, he asked the sales clerk if it was a real wand and would shoot sparks.  She told him that it would, if he’s a wizard.  Ha!

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Boxes and boxes of wands...

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Anthony couldn’t wait to get out his new wand to cast a spell on Mitch.  There were LOTS of kids casting spells throughout the park.  The roller coaster track on the right is Flight of the Hippogriff.  Anthony LOVED this ride.  I think he rode it 4 times!!

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No trip to Hogsmeade would be completing without the Hogwarts Express!  What a fun addition to the Wizarding World.

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There is definitely more than the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to see at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, however this truly is where we spent the majority of our day.  Stayed tuned for another post (coming soon!) about how we spent the rest of our day at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

Want to read more about our trip to Florida?

Countdown to Disney
Downtown Disney
Magic Kingdom
Animal Kingdom

More posts yet to come:
     Hollywood Studios
     Universal Studios 
     Universal’s Islands of Adventure {Part 2}

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother’s Day!

Each year on Mother’s Day my thoughts are full of memories of how I became a mother.  I feel like becoming a parent through adoption, brings a different feeling about Mother’s Day.  Not only am I celebrating the Mother’s in my life (my own in WI, hubby’s in MN, and hubby’s step-mom in IA), I am celebrating and honoring the mother who helped me to become a mother.  Anthony’s birth mom made an incredibly difficult decision to allow us to become his parents, and we are thankful for her every single day.

Yesterday we met my parents in LaCrosse, WI for an early Mother’s Day lunch.  My mom LOVES BBQ ribs and Famous Dave’s, so guess where we went?  Haha!

Here we are right after lunch -

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Month in Photos {April}

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April was a little more quiet, which was perfect after our trip to Florida!

The Minnesota Zoo
Break from school
Lunches with Hubby
Friends over for the weekend
Color Dash
Playing with the neighbors

**Want to see more photos? I’m @MomsGonnaSnap on Instagram

Thursday, May 2, 2013

SNOW Day in Minnesota {in MAY!!!}

When I went to bed last night it was raining.  I knew there was snow coming, and the forecast was predicting a significant amount of snow, but wow, I was not expecting this. In May!  I woke up to our cell phones receiving texts and instantly knew without even looking: SNOW DAY = NO SCHOOL.  In May!!  Sure enough, no school.  Luckily my meetings were all canceled, and I work a part-time flexible schedule, so I am able to just flex my work day and stay home with Anthony.

Here’s the beautiful view outside my house on this lovely spring morning. In May!!!

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Why am I blogging instead of playing with Anthony?  Because he won’t come play with ME!  I’m sitting at the table, with a new game, ready to play, and he’s snuggled in on the couch reading.

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The wrinkled brow is how we know he is really into what he’s doing.
We have always called this his “learning face”.

He picked out two new books at the book fair at school yesterday and has been reading them ALL MORNING.  For an hour and a half!! (He now has a blanket – he’s still in his PJ’s! – and a kitty curled up with him)   He’s such a big reader, and the educator in me is having a hard time saying, “Stop reading, and do something else” so I’m sitting here waiting and waiting and waiting.  And blogging…  Right next to my fireplace.  On May 2nd!!! 

From what I have read online and over email, there’s around a foot of snow (I’m not going outside to find out), the roads are terrible, trees are down all over the place, and the power is out in neighborhoods all across our city.  Many of our schools sites are without power today too.  Crazy!

Did I mention it’s May??  In Minnesota!!

I’m ready to move south.  Who’s with me???