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Nearly half a million babies (1 in 10) are born premature in the US each year which is higher than that of most other developed nations. This is the journeys of our first born son, Finnegan, who was born 14 weeks early and weighed only 1 pound 15 ounces at birth. Of our daugher, Korrigan, who was born a healthy 7 pounds, 7 ounces at 37 weeks. And of our second son, MacKeegan, who was also born at 37 weeks at a whopping 8 pounds, 13 ounces. Our continued adventures reminds us daily how good God is.

Tuesday, August 30

She's ready, am I?


Last night, Korri had Kindergarten Open House! I'm so glad they do Kindergarten on a different day than the rest of the elementary (it was chaotic enough as it was!). As we were leaving, I said to a mom (who also has a daughter in Finn's grade), how glad I was that Korri was my second or I'd be totally overwhelmed! It is a LOT of information.


But it was fun to spend the time with just Korri. NeNe graciously came over to watch the boys so we didn't have to drag them along. We dropped supplies off, paid lots of fees (I feel like I bleed checks this time of year!), met her classmates (she knew several kids...maybe 5 or 6?...from preschool, even if her best friend Neve has a different teacher), had an introductory meeting with her teacher, Ms. Ready, read some books and got to know the classroom and received and filled out a mountain of paperwork! Seriously, so much paper!

Coloring with her friend Allison while the teacher talked with the parents.
I think Korri was a little overwhelmed as we were getting ready to leave, as she was quieter than normal but she said she was excited, too. I think she just wants the first day of school to be here already! Seven days, for those of you keeping track at home :)

Korri with her best friend from preschool, Neve.
I'm doing okay. I mean, she has been going to this school for preschool and riding the bus for two years already. But Kindergarten is different. It is every day, all day. It is LEARNING like she's never learned before. It is having a strict schedule and following LOTS of rules. It is making new friends. She is my Baby "Grill." I know with all of my heart that she is ready and she will not only do fine but excel. I'm ready for her to go, but I'm still a little sad. Once they go to school, they are never truly just yours again. No morning snuggles in my bed, Candy Land games before lunch, play dates with friends, colors and crafts all over the kitchen table EVERY SINGLE DAY! We'll just have to squeeze that stuff in on the weekends. I guess I'm just a little surprised at the emotions I'm feeling. We'll be fine. Just different. Maybe appreciate each other a little more :)


Tonight, we have Finn's Open House and then we are ready for the 2016-17 school year!!

Monday, August 29

Unders? Really?

And just like that, my baby is wearing Big Boy unders! I feel like it is premature, but he's been going potty in the potty chair every day (not consistently though) and sometimes poopy, too. So, after he pooped three times in his diaper yesterday (he is VERY regular!), I thought, "why not?"


Not to sound like a perv, but is there anything cuter than a little one in unders? I mean, his cute little butt!! And, of course, he picked Thomas ones (thankfully I found some in the 3T box of clothes!).


I wouldn't say he is "potty training" per se but I would say we're exploring the possibility. I HATE the idea of accidents, so we'll just take it day by day. However, we went for a walk last night with the unders on (and VERY clear instructions about NOT going poopy or potty in his unders during the walk) and he did fine. Until we walked into my bathroom to rinse the bug spray off in my shower after the walk...potty on the floor! Oh, well. He had them on and was dry for about 4 hours yesterday. Also, during the period, he went potty or poopy on the potty chair maybe TEN times! At least he was very aware of having to go. Now he just needs to learn to hold it!!

Also, we may need to alter or rule about getting a piece of candy every time you go in the potty chair! Maybe it will be for one day without accidents, but that is so much harder to understand because the payout isn't instant. Hmmm...

And in case you were wondering, he wants to make sure you know his penis is in there!

Mac must take posing lessons from his big brother (Finn circa Feb 2012):

Saturday, August 20

I did it!

As you know, the kiddos were gone this past week at Memere's house (bless her heart!!!). I SO needed this time to recharge and get some stuff done around the house and do some things for just ME! Oh, and spending time with Jim without kiddos is pretty special, too :)

I had 9, yes NINE!, things on my list to accomplish this week. I did everything except get my nails done (tear!) and one photo project involving the kiddos. Not bad, especially considering how much longer than planned Korri's sleeping bag took!

Well, I had one final project that I REALLY wanted to do before they got home yesterday. I've been thinking about it and getting it ready for about a year and a half. Yes, these things take time. Here it is (no before picture, sorry!):


The wall at our stairs landing was fairly bare and I didn't have a spot to display pictures of my nieces and nephews, so I thought this would be perfect. But it was involved getting everything ready. I wanted unique frames for everybody, I had to figure out the layout, considering we aren't done getting nieces and nephews and then I had to have the time to DO IT! Which I did yesterday in about two hours, right before the kiddos got home.



I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! It fills the wall so well and shows how important these kiddos are to us. And there is still room for future nieces and nephews. It also freed up space on the ledge under it, so I could space out those photos a little bit. I obviously need to get updated pictures for most of them, but I'm impressed I have pics for each one (except Katie, but she's only 4 months old!) and I could find each frame today when I was looking for them. Also, I'm so excited to have a spot to put said pictures when we get them instead of putting them somewhere "I'll remember" but then never do!

Hey, it's the little things in life that make it fun and rewarding. Now Jim wants to do a "godchildren" wall, so that might be my next project! Or the one of the kids I mentioned about. So much to do, no time to do it when you're a stay-at-home mom and your munchkins keep you busy!!

Friday, August 19

Frozen, Tinkerbell and Disney Princesses

Oh, my!

A while ago, I ordered Korri a sleeping bag online. It was Sophia and came with a pillow and I was super excited to get it. Until it arrived. It was that slippery fabric that isn't warm or cuddly and the pillow was more of a "puff" than a pillow! Korri liked it but didn't like to sleep in it for the above mentioned reasons.

Well, two years ago I made my nephew, Zander, a sleeping bag for his birthday and she immediately knew she needed one too. I learned a few tricks while making his and I figured that if I could make one, I could make two. So we went shopping for fabric and this is what she picked:

In true Korri fashion: Frozen, Tinkerbell and Disney princesses! Great. Let's do it.

Well, I made Zander's a week or so before Mac was born. You know what? It is nearly impossible to sew when you have anybody under the age of three in your house. Lesson learned! SO...I knew this was one project I wanted to do while the kids were at Memere's this week: make Korri's freaking sleeping bag!

And in true Stacy fashion, nothing goes according to plan. I seriously thought I'd have this sucker done in less than two days. I mean, I even had to YouTube how to wind my bobbin!! Well, today, day five, after at least FOUR trips to Walmart or Joann's, I finally FINISHED it! It isn't perfect and I learned even more lessons with this one but it is done and I can't wait to give it to her! I even added the straps and pillow by myself without any directions (thanks, Miss. Kluver and 7th grade Home Ec!). I think/hope she is going to LOVE it. Here are some final pics:



And while I thought the patterns and colors were going to be too much, it somehow works...for a five year old girl, anyway! Now I want to make a little smaller version for Mac. Ha...he'll probably get his when he's five, too! Unless any takers on having my three beautiful children for five days before then?!?! LOL

Now to do one more project before they come back...in THREE HOURS! Better get to it. Pictures on that later, if I actually get it done!!

Wednesday, August 10

Three Little Pumpkins

Mac is obsessed with pumpkins (he says "papas"). We have three books about pumpkins and I read them one thousand times a day. Okay, not quite that much, but you get the point.

So when I was looking online for a few back to school clothes, I came across what? A pumpkin shirt for him! Adorable, I had to get it. But then on a whim, I thought, maybe they have ones for Finn and Korri, too. And they did! I was so excited (hey, its the little things!).

Well, the package arrived today and here are my three little pumpkins (I figured that while it certainly isn't fall yet, I'll never get them all in clean shirt at the same time if I didn't do it now!):


Each shirt is just a little different, which I love. Korri's glows in the dark, which Finn was PISSED about. Hey, you can't win them all. And while I did bribe them with candy, they even hugged each other without fighting!


They kind of look like a pumpkin all huddled together like that. I "only" had to take 13 pics to get a couple good ones. Not too bad! Again, bribing probably helped ;) School is only 27 days away and fall is 43! Here's to enjoying the last bit of summer and lots of beautiful fall days so they can enjoy their new shirts.

Tuesday, August 9

Final Payment!

This came in the mail today:


"Our records reflect we have received the final payment of your student loan. {The account} is paid in full."

I paid the last payment in June, but it doesn't feel "real" until you get a notice that it is paid in full! I have been waiting FIFTEEN years for this day! This is for my undergrad AND grad school loans. What a great feeling. Now if only I were "using" those degrees! Ha.

Wednesday, August 3

Terrific Twos

Mac had his two year pictures taken last week. After being forced to switch photographers (tear for Jess!), upon the recommendation of a friend, I found Renee in Dassel and used her for Mac's 18 month pics. I was pleased, so we went with her again.


Well, she outdid herself for his 2 year pics!! She did such a great job of getting the many faces of our very expressive boy (how can he not be with eyes like that?!?!). She did an amazing job of interacting with Mac. Without further ado, here is this link to all of his pics:
Mac 2 years

I love the mix of inside and outside (summer birthdays are WAY easier for pictures, although the ones at his 18 month with it snowing were pretty cool!!). He was so happy to be the center of attention (the Bigs just came for the last fifteen minutes). He seems so OLD! Here is a side-by-side of all three at two:

  

I forgot that Finn was so chubby! I always think of him as being so small. I also forgot the "purple" memo for the two year pics with Mac, clearly! Oh, well. Korri looks two going on twelve! LOL

Feel free to download any directly from the website and order from your favorite online photo vendor if you feel so inclined. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 2

Ortonville Rox Retire Number 35



A SPECIAL TRIBUTE WAS HELD FOR THE LATE RON THOMAS prior to the Ortonville Rox game against Clinton on Sunday, July 17. The Rox team presented Ron’s family with two framed jerseys as well as flowers. Ron passed away on Feb. 7 after managing the Rox since 2006.

Rox to enter Region 9C Tourney against Dumont Sat.

By Chris Doney

The week of July 15-17 was the final weekend of the 2016 Land O’ Ducks regular season. The Rox faced Chokio and Clinton, two of the top teams in the league.  On Saturday,  July 16, the Rox headed to Chokio to take on the Coyotes in a game with playoff implications for both teams.  The Rox (10-1) were trying to stay ahead of the Morris Eagles (11-1) as the top seed.  Meanwhile, the Coyotes (9-3) were doing their best to end the season in front of Clinton (9-2). A win for Chokio would mean a bye week and an automatic bid to the region tournament.  

As the Rox and Coyotes got underway, thunderstorms rolling through western Minnesota put the game into suspension with the Rox leading 1-0 in the bottom half of the second inning.  Chance Haugen had scored the lone run in the top of the second inning.  The game was resumed to Sunday at 1 p.m. on the Dumont Saints home field since Chokio’s field was presumably flooded. Both starting pitchers from Saturday, Nick Hervin for Chokio and Curt Schake for Ortonville, returned to the mound to resume the contest on Sunday.  

In the bottom of the third inning Chokio tied the game 1-1 with the help of a Rox fielding error. The Coyotes would continue their scoring in the fourth inning as they suddenly began making solid contact with Schake’s pitches.  After three runs on four hits and a walk, Tony Schake was brought in for relief.  He pitched four and a third innings allowing no runs and only one hit.  

The Coyotes remained ahead 4-1, with no threat from the Rox until the top of the eighth inning when Chris Doney hit a solo home run over the left field fence, to bring the Rox within two. In the top of the ninth inning the Rox threatened to tie the game by putting runners on second and third base, with only one out.  Unfortunately, the Rox were unable to produce any further offense against Hervin. The final two outs were recorded without another run scoring.  Hervin gained the 4-2 complete game win allowing, only six hits and two free passes.

The now 10-2 Rox were not allowed any time to contemplate the loss as they needed to shift their focus to the second matchup in Ortonville against Clinton (9-3).  With the loss to Chokio, the Clinton game became monumental.  A loss to Clinton would send the Rox to the league tournament to battle Dumont, Hancock and Appleton.

As many readers know, the Rox late manager Ron Thomas passed away on Feb. 7.  Although tragic, it was not entirely unforeseen, as those close to Ron knew first hand the numerous, difficult battles that took place between Ron and complications secondary to a congenital heart condition.  These battles lasted Ron’s entire lifetime and until the end of December it looked as if Ron was going to win another battle and join the Rox for the 2016 season.  Ron managed the Rox for nearly 10 seasons beginning in 2006, the past 10 years have contained many of the most winning seasons in Rox history.  Preceding the final 2016 home game against Clinton the Rox planned a ceremony to recognize Ron and his significance to the Rox.  The tribute began with the guests of honor, the Thomas family, taking the mound as Matt Fellows spoke about Ron and the pivotal role he played in taking the Rox, from a team of kids and immature young adults, scratching out the occasional win in 2005, to a team of men perennially fighting for a state tournament appearance.  

As Fellows’ speech concluded Ron’s number 35 was retired. The ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by Jim and John Thomas to Bruce and Chris Doney.  Following the first pitch was a presentation of flowers to Lynn Thomas and DeAnn Thomas-Kvidera by Chris Fellows and Riley Sammon and a presentation of Ron’s game worn jerseys enclosed in display cases to Jim and John by Joe Fuller and Curt Schake.  It was an emotionally difficult, but touching moment as the ceremony closed with the Thomas family being consoled by many Rox players and fans.    

As Ron would have had it, the game was played and won by the Rox, 7-4.  Maybe not exactly as he would have had it...The late manager may have voiced some complaints regarding the lack of perfect defense and inability to score any of the first five runners in scoring position.  Not to say it was an error filled game, but a few well hit balls seemed to elude the gloves of the Rox defense.  

Going into the bottom of the seventh inning the Rox were trailing the Cards 4-1.  Joe Fuller had scored the Rox lone run in the sixth inning.  Chris Fellows, Rox starting pitcher threw six and one third innings giving up four runs, only one earned, on six hits.  In the bottom of the seventh the Rox finally took advantage of their scoring opportunities. With one out, Riley Sammon reached on a fielding error.  John Thomas and Fellows followed with walks.  Chris Doney was hit by a pitch scoring Sammon. Jeff Watson and Joe Fuller connected on back to back hits followed by a Chance Haugen double.  In all, the Rox scored six straight runs to take a 7-4 lead into the eighth inning.  

A three run lead was more than enough for Tony Schake who came in for his second relief appearance of the day. He pitched well for two and a third innings, with two outs in the ninth he lost command and walked three of four batters. With the bases loaded and tying runner on first Schake handed the ball to Fuller. Fuller pitched the final out of the game getting the save, with the win going to Schake.

The weekend split cost the Rox (11-2) the number one seed going into the 9C Region Tournament, but it was enough to the Rox as an automatic qualifier and the two seed. The Rox will be in action at the Dumont Saints home field in Wheaton on Saturday, July 30 at 5 p.m. vs. the Madison Mallards.

Picture and article from the Ortonville Independent - www.ortonvilleindependent.com