Monday, September 24, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

Last Friday was my birthday - I turned 35 years old!  I had a fantastic birthday even though Collin was not home - he was in Japan on a business trip (the fifth trip to Japan this year, with a couple more planned before January 2013).  I went out for lunch with Delta, and my parents took me and the boys out for dinner. 
I got presents too; my parents bought me this beautiful right-hand ring that I love, love, love.
So pretty!
My left hand also got something to wear - although it's not as nice as the ring...

I went to the doctor's complaining of extreme thumb/wrist pain and lucky me, I have some tendon issues in my left thumb and now I have to wear this ugly bulky brace.  It isn't nice to look at, but boy, does it feel good!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Better Late than Never - Winthrop, Washington

In August Collin, the boys and I went for a trip to Eastern Washington to look at some property.  It was just a quick overnight trip and we spent some time in Winthrop on the way to where we were going, and on the way home.  Winthrop was the highlight of the trip!

The boys loved these saddles.

Baby Finnian - yes, we still call him that - had a great time too.

On the first day we didn't have much time to spend since we had an appointment with a realtor at noon.

We stopped in Winthrop on the way home not only to spend a bit more time there but also because Latham left his Batman toy at the restaurant where we had breakfast the previous day.  As you can see, he got him back!
Being that it was Eastern Washington in the summer, it was hot, hot, HOT!  Just the way we like it!  We had a break with some cold beverages.  The older boys and I sat in the shade...
..but Daddy and Finnian preferred the sun.
Our boys - love 'em so much!

Left - Ronan; Right - Latham

Winthrop is a cute, picturesque town.

With old buildings
and a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere.

I love the old wooden sidewalks.

With it being so hot out, we figured we'd treat the boys to some ice cream.  Latham's flavor was "Birthday Cake" and it actually did taste like cake!  That's my new favorite flavor of ice cream!
And no, we didn't buy anything.  Maybe next summer!

Better Late than Never - Mariners Game 2012

It's a yearly tradition to take our niece, Lauryn, to a Mariner's Baseball game in Seattle.  I think this is the fourth year going, and this year, for the first time, Latham was old enough to come with us.
The five of us before the game started.

Halfway through the first inning Latham asked when it would be over because it was "super boring".

The boys with the Mariner Moose

Collin & I always get a picture together at every game.

The Mariners were playing the Minnesota Twins, and we won 5-2.

After the game there was time for the children to run around the bases, so we got right out on the field.  Afterwards we went to West Seattle (where we lived for our first three years of marriage) and had milkshakes at Luna Park Cafe.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

LaConner, Washington

We have had a beautiful summer here in the Pacific Northwest and the weather continues to be perfect!  Collin has been able to get out on his boat several times this summer, though still not as much as he'd have liked due to a busy work schedule with regular trips to Japan and Argentina.
The weekend before school started Collin and the older boys took off on the boat from Bellingham, and Finnian & I met them in LaConner for lunch.
We got a great table on the patio of a restaurant that looked out over the marina and water.  Finnian loved watching the boats as they passed infront of us.

Latham, looking like a cool dude in his shades.

Mommy and Boy #1
This picture shows the blue streak that I got in my hair last summer which I've kept up with since then.

After lunch Ronan, Latham and Collin took off back to Bellingham (just over an hour away by boat).

Daddy and his babies (two of the human kind, and one of the mechanical kind).

The boys love being out on the water.

Ahoy, mateys!
On the way home, Finnian & I stopped in Ana Cortes, for a little retail therapy at Ana Cross Stitch.  I was in heaven!  What a perfect day.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

First Day of First Grade!

Ronan's first day of first grade was yesterday!  I can't believe we have a first-grader!
Daddy delayed going to work so that he could wait for the bus with us.
Ronan was so excited for school to start.  He woke us up shortly before 7am and stated, "It's my first day of first grade today!"


Band of brothers - all sporting matching buzz cuts.

Daddy and his boys.

I love this picture, mostly because his eyes are closed and he just looks like such a boy.

Saskatchewan Trip - Part One

There was a Holte reunion planned for the August long weekend, so on Thursday, August 2nd we packed up the boys and hopped on a (extremely early) WestJet flight to Saskatoon.  We arrived at Norm & Diane Janzen's house at noon, just in time for a rollkuchen feast!  Along with Norm & Diane, Curt, Michelle and their boys were there, along with Rachel, my sisters, my parents and Mr. & Mrs. B.
My boys enjoying their first tastes of rollkuchen and watermelon.
I think they quite enjoyed it, as they should! One-quarter of their background is German Mennonite.
I am quite dissappointed that I got absolutely no pictures of the other people that were there that day, or my gracious hosts, Norm & Diane.
We stayed the night at the Janzens, and the next morning left for the Town of Wadena, Saskatchewan, a very small town near the old family farm that was celebrating their 100th birthday with a town home-coming. That, along with the fact that my Grandmother (on the Holte side) is turning 90 years old this year, were the reasons a family reunion was planned. It was great timing since the last reunion was in 2006 when Ronan was a baby, and not everyone made it to that one. At this reunion there were four cousins that we hadn't met yet, and there were cousins, aunts and uncles, that had not yet met Latham and Finnian.

Before we left the city we made a stop at my old alma-mater - The University of Saskatchewan (Master's degree, 2005). It was very surreal being back in the halls that I spent so much of my life in, and not only that, but taking my children there as well.
The home-coming festivities started with a town pancake breakfast, which was served by the mayors of Wadena, SK and Wadena, Minnesota. A quick history lesson - 100 years ago Wadena, SK was founded by a bunch of people that had left Wadena, MN - including my great-grandfather. Anyways, at the pancake breakfast was where all of the family met up. The majority of the families were dry camping on the old Hendon school grounds, but there were also a few families that were in nearby hotels. Collin, the boys and I stayed in the Blue Willow Inn that the boys absoltely loved since our beds were in a loft.
Ronan and my cousin's son, Evan, were instant best friends. They are only six weeks apart in age, so they had all the same little boys interests and were two peas in a pod for the time we were there.

After the pancake breakfast was the home-coming parade! We stationed ourselves on Main Street, across from the Town Hall. An old-time band was playing, and we had the best area for watching the parade. Especially since we were also right infront of the Royal Bank, which was giving out free root beer floats, balloons and face painting.

The RCMP and the (super old) Majorette.
The blonde woman in the convertible is Pamela Wallin (famous Canadian newscaster and current senator). She is from Wadena, and they named a street after her.
The kids got a kick out of the old men on little scooters.
The twins, Samantha and Stephanie with the boys cousins watching the parade.
Fun old time car in the parade.
That evening was a dinner and dance at the local curling rink. Ronan and Evan had a great time dancing with their cousins.

Latham declared he was tired and promptly fell asleep on two chairs pushed up against a wall. He slept soundly throughout the loud music. Note the name tag he's wearing. Although at one point in the day he had his own name tag on, after dinner someone noticed that he was now wearing a tag that read "Larry Barabonoff". He knows that his name starts with an "L" so he must've assumed that it was his tag and put in on. We called him Larry Barabonoff the rest of the weekend.
Ronan and I dancing.
Left to right: Corey Holte, Collin McLoughlin and Neil Kostyk 
Ronan with Stephanie and Samantha.
The dance concluded with fireworks in the nearby park.  It was a fun-filled day!