Thursday, January 3, 2013

12.11.12 Matthew Turns 8!!

Yes ... he is 8!  Can you believe it?  We certainly can't!  What a difference a year makes.  Whew!  I think Matthew grew 4 inches in the past year.  We needed a whole new wardrobe when school started earlier this year.  All of his pants and sleeves were too short!

He had such a fun birthday this year.  We started off with a kid party at Vertical Endeavors.  He had recently gone with his after school program, so we knew it would be a hit.  As usual, we had blizzard to contend with on the day of the party, but all 8 kids showed up!  Amazing!

We let the kids climb for two hours, and then reserved their party room for a half hour to eat cake and open presents.  For the first time, Matthew invited a girl to his party!  His beloved Ana.  She is adorable, and Matthew just adores her.  She was such a superstar for joining these crazy boys for an afternoon.

We also held a family celebration the following weekend with both sets of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and baby Bruno (well, not such a baby anymore).  That was fun too.  Rocco taught Matthew a bunch of knock knock jokes during brunch, so I am sure he will be entertaining his class with them all week!

Happy birthday buddy!

Family Photos

As a belated gift for my Mom's birthday this year, we decided to do some professional family photos of the whole Hanson/Bonello gang.  They turned out great.  We booked a local photographer while we were up in Lutsen, and she did a fantastic job!  Here are a few of our favorites!

Lutsen - November 2012

For the second year in a row, we headed to Lutsen, MN over MEA weekend for some much needed R&R!  We stayed in one condo with my Mom, Rocco, Meg and Bruno.  The Pomroy's and the Martell's stayed just a couple of doors down.

Tom and Mindy were able to come up with their boys, so that was great.  It definitely helped to keep the kids entertained.  We built lots of fires, did lots of swimming, and even worked in a few hikes.  The resort had all kinds of fall contests going on while we were up there.  Matthew and Amy won both the coloring contest, and the pumpkin carving contest - AMAZING!  They got these cute little gift bags with play-doh and other stuff in them.

Our winning design?  Hello Kitty!  Check out the awesome pics below!

Halloween Cookies!

One of our favorite pastimes ... any time of the year - cookies!  Check out my little helpers and the awesome Halloween cookies we created!

Field Trip!

This year I got to tag along on Amy's first field trip.  All four kindergarten classes made their way to an apple orchard in Lakeville.  It was so cold, but the kids had a lot of fun.  They got to run through the maze, take a hayride, see how they make apple cider, and pick apples.

It was fun to spend some time with her class, and get to know some of the kids we hear so much about!

Soccer - Fall 2012

2012 marks the first year that Amy gets to join in the soccer fun!  You have to be 5-years old to play organized sports through Pearl Park.  Amy was on the black team and did an excellent job - she even scored a few goals!  She is a natural athlete, and this was a great opportunity for her to flex that muscle and meet a bunch of new kids from her school.

Matthew was on the maroon team for his third season of soccer.  It is amazing to see how much the kids have improved since last year.  They got really good at passing this year, and working together as a team.  Matthew scored a lot of goals, and we were so proud of him.

What cracks me up about fall sports is the huge variation in temperature.  In the beginning of the season you are on the sidelines in shorts and sweating to death ... and by the end, you are in full winter parkas praying for a cup of hot chocolate when it is over.  It is so funny!

The Porch

Our big project of the summer was putting a screen porch on the back of our house.  It is officially done - with the exception of the paint - and we are loving it!  We are so happy we did the vaulted ceiling.  It just makes it feel so much bigger.  I think there will be a lot of time spent on this porch.

Next up ... landscaping ...

Porch by day ...

Porch by night ....

State Fair 2012

The annual pilgrimage to the State Fair is complete!  This year we tried some new things.  The kids got to experience the big trampolines for the first time, and finally took a trip to the midway area.

This is Grandpa Hanson's favorite part of the Fair, so both Arik and Aaron had LOTS of experience with the games.  Check out the loot!

Little Miss Kindergarten!

Who can be sad when this is the face you leave on the first day of kindergarten?  Thank goodness for that smile.  Poor Mom was hanging on by a thread :(  Amy is so ready for school and we are so excited for her, but this is a HUGE change for us.

On one hand, we are so happy to have them both in one place.  We are back to having one drop off and one pick up on a daily basis.  But on the other hand, this means the wee one isn't so wee anymore.  She is growing up so fast!  She is so excited for school, and we cannot wait to see how she adapts.

She has Miss Mathiowetz as a teacher this year, and it will be fun to see the contrast between her many years of experience and the first year teacher that Matthew had.  There are 26 kids in her class, so it takes a special person to keep that madness under control.

We love you Amy!!  Happy first day of kindergarten!

Matthew and Amy walking to school on her first day!
The first of many pictures in front of the school sign!

Sitting at her table looking at a book.

2nd Grade Begins ...

Second grade officially begins for Matthew!  What an exciting day!  We have already had a home visit from his teacher, Mrs. Anderson, and I think he is going to have an amazing year.  She seems fantastic, and we are looking forward to the difference a few months of maturity brings to the table.

Matthew doesn't really have any of his close friends in his class this year, and we are ok with that.  We think it will allow him to focus more on his work.  We'll see what the year brings.  I feel like it was just last week that we were walking him down for Kindergarten!  I have no idea where the time goes, but we are excited for the new academic challenges of 2nd grade!

Walking to school!
Traditional picture in front of the Hale sign.

Sitting at his new desk!  Check out that smile!