In Spanish this phrase literally means "pure life" but is more commonly thought of as meaning "full of life." Costa Ricans use this phrase to express a philosophy of strong community, perseverance, resilience in overcoming difficulties with good spirits, enjoying life slowly, and celebrating good fortune of magnitudes small and large alike. This blog is about our life... Pura Vida!


Friday, February 28, 2014

The last five months :)

Oh where has the time gone? Life has been so hectic in this house lately, I guess I sort of slipped on the blogging. Let me catch you up quick.
The girls had fun dressing up for Halloween and trick-or-treating. Here is my peacock, Minnie Mouse, and kangaroo:

We celebrated Thanksgiving. And boy do we have a lot to be thankful for!
Maria and Emma had their first dance show in December. They did awesome! They knew their dance perfectly! But they were most excited about wearing makeup! (yikes!)
We celebrated another wonderful Christmas with many activities and many family members. Here is a picture of Natalie on her very first Christmas:

 Then a little New Year's Eve party was in order. Cheers to the New Year!

 A cold winter hasn't allowed us too many outside days, but when there is a chance, the girls are playing in the snow or riding snowmobile with daddy. Maria especially loves the snow and snowmobiling. Both the girls also took an interest in ice skating and can go all by themselves!

Joe and I got a chance to get away for week in February to Mexico, which was absolutely perfect! We could not have asked for a better vacation. We went to Playa del Carmen 6 years ago for our honeymoon, and decided to return there for this vacation. It was pure relaxation. (I needed that sooo much!)

We returned from vacation to find Natalie crawling regularly, blowing kisses and climbing stairs! Ahhhh the things that happen in just one short week! And sitting in the mail was the Kindergarten Roundup packet. NOOOOOOOOOOOO it can't be that time already!
But it is that time. Last week, my big girl had to go and turn 5.
Here is a few photos from her "Magical Unicorn & Rainbow" party. 

 The inside of our rainbow tie-dye cake:
Time keeps flying by. I wish I could slow it down just a little bit... (because seriously, my baby turns one in two months!!)
But since I can't really slow time down, I will try to enjoy every moment and feel blessed for the people in my life that keep me busy.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What We've Been Up To...

It's been a little hectic here with back to school and back to work for me. Here are a few updates:
Maria started her second year of preschool.

And has already been on a field trip!
Maria & Emma started dance class. They LOVE it! They can't wait until it's Wednesday each week.
We took a family vacation to Duluth for Joe's inline skate marathon. It was less than ideal weather with them fighting the wind the whole way, but it was still an enjoyable trip.

We got a new car!
We celebrated Oktoberfest for the first time.

Maria and Emma both had their first hunting experience with daddy, and were actually mostly quiet!
Natalie tasted her first rice cereal and loved it! She's six months old already next week!

We picked pumpkins from our garden to get ready for Halloween!
It's been a busy but very fun few months. Hope you're enjoying your fall!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Classroom Makeover

During the school year I spend almost seven hours a day in my classroom.
That's a long time in the same room!
For the last three years, I hadn't done much with my room. I hadn't made it my own. It didn't feel welcoming to come to every day of the school year with it's enormous high walls, huge pipes decorating the ceiling, dirty white walls, and not much bulletin board room. Oh, and let's not forget the completely mismatching tables. (half were rectangles, half were trapezoid tables).
So this summer, I spent some time painting and decorating to make it feel more inviting.
Portions of the walls became blue.

Different sections of my room became different countries.

The rubric that I use for grading became real and visible.

I'm excited to start my new school year on Tuesday with a new feel to my room.
What do you think?


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Weekend Away Part III

For us, this summer meant a lot of traveling. Lucky for us, we enjoy it and have wonderful parents who take care of our little ones while we are away! We are very thankful for them!
This past weekend we were able to enjoy a trip up to the North woods for a wedding. Even though I was a bit under the weather, we still had a wonderful time.
We left early Friday morning and started on our six hour road trip. It seemed so quick after our Chicago get away a month ago! We checked out the resort scenery and headed up to our condo. Joe immediately found the pitch and putt golf course at our resort and played it 9 times while I napped hopping to get rid of my cold... no luck. Later that evening we checked out the Superior National Golf Course across the road. I still wasn't feeling strong enough to play, but enjoyed the scenery of the mountains and Lake Superior and driving the cart! :)
The next day, Joe played some more golf while I rested and then we headed up to Lutsen Mountains to check out the Alpine Slide. I was a little nervous. I had never heard of it before. I thought it was a big slide that went really fast straight down the mountain. It wasn't what I was expecting. You got to sit in a little yellow slide where you could control the speed. It went around curves and up and down. It was worth checking out.

Then we played the pitch and putt at our resort before we got ready for the ceremony. I only lost by one stroke on my first time out for the summer, so I was pleased!
It was the PERFECT day for a wedding. The people up there said it was the nicest day of the summer. We were very lucky! The wedding was held right on the shores of Lake Superior. It was beautiful! We are so happy for my roommate and her husband! :)
The ceremony was followed by supper on the outdoor patio, and a bonfire by the lake. It was so much fun!

Congrats roomy!

A Cowgirl Party

A week ago today, one of my sweet little girls turned THREE!
It was a perfect day!
She had only been talking about and planning her big day since, oh, I don't know... her last birthday! For the first six months of being two, she thought the next birthday needed to be a Daisy Duck party. However, when a certain birthday catalog arrived at our house with more options than we could even think of, the plan changed. She knew what she wanted...
It all started with these cute plates:
Then we made these invites:
Made this cake (idea from Kara):
Made some yummy s'more bites:
Decorated a bit:

 And we were ready for a cowgirl party!

Happy Trails to You!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Weekend Away Part II

Last weekend, we took the girls on a mini vacation. The girls had been begging to go to a hotel for months, and since summer is quickly disappearing, we decided to pack up the bags and head to Brainerd for a few days.
We took off in the morning, and got into town early afternoon. We grabbed a bite to eat and headed to the course. (mini golf, that is...) Pirates Cove is the place to be for golf! The girls slowly tried to figure out the whole golf thing, but it went more like this: Maria would put her ball near the hole and hit once then pick it up and be done. Emma would bring her ball to the hole and push it in with either her club or her hands. It was pretty entertaining. Either way, they enjoyed themselves and all the pirate decor!

That night, we hit the pool. This was probably their favorite part, seriously. Next time, we might as well just go to a hotel nearby! ;) They swam for over two hours before we headed up to the room to order pizza. The girls hung out in their "bedroom" with the "hot pool" and watched cartoons while waiting for the pizza to arrive. They loved this "hot pool" because the water coming out looked like a waterfall!

The next day, we had breakfast and were off to the pool again for some final swimming before we checked out. Once we got all packed up, we were off to Paul Bunyan Land! We went here last year and decided to go again because it is the PERFECT place to bring this age of kids. They rode all the rides several times, visited with Paul Bunyan, and hung out at the petting zoo. It was a great day!

Our final stop of the day was an ice cream shop! YUM
Then back in the car we went to go home. It was the perfect vacation for us. Two days was just right to have some fun and not get too overtired. And Natalie was a trooper! She enjoyed her first of many vacations as well!
And I leave you with our family picture from our trip. Last year, a certain young lady in our family was crying her eyes out during our family vacation picture... this year you get...

...her butt. Yep, the memories! :)