The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Memorial Weekend + Field Day

Friday was Field Day for the girls. My dad and I have volunteered the last few years, and this year my mom came along as well since she’s retired now! Now that the girls are in 3rd grade, Field Day is in the afternoon. We met them for lunch, then headed over to hand out ribbons at the 50 yard dash. You would think this would be a straight forward task but it isn’t. The kids argued with us over which place they came in. Over and over. They were wrong much of the time but that didn’t stop them. Also, there were a bunch of times when three or four kids would cross the line at the same time. So much pressure! It was fun though, and I love getting to see all of the kids that we know.


This year they added the tug of war. Caden’s classroom won the third grade contest! I’m sure it was her brute strength that gave them the advantage.

As soon as tug of war was over, we grabbed their backpacks and headed home to grab the dogs and get on the road. Our route to the cabin is the same as many, many others and we knew we would run into traffic. Which we did. It was slow going much of the way, but we stopped off and grabbed dinner which broke it up a bit.

The weather on Friday was absolutely gorgeous. Saturday was warm but cloudy, and it rained off and on. We fished a few times, and the girls swam for a bit. I thought I took way more pictures than I did, but apparently I only grabbed these two of Caden. Then the rain came so I headed up to the cabin with my camera.


Luckily we got some fishing in on Saturday, because Sunday was cold and windy. I read my book and watched the seven hour Twins game. The girls reconnected with their friend and played Barbies and ate way too much candy. We headed back to the Cities after dinner so that we could get the house organized before another busy week.


On the dog front, Midas crazy, crazy loves the lake. He has so much fun there, I think he really loves the change of scenery and the wide open spaces. I figured I would work with that tendency to run and have him practice walking on a leash. He did pretty well! As long as that was the way he wanted to go. If he didn’t, he just sat there until we picked him up and carried him. So, mostly the same as usual, but at least I did less chasing.

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Paddle Boarding

When my parents got the new lake cabin, they also bought a paddle board. We were all very excited! We tried it out Father’s Day weekend and of course, the girls were pros at it. So, they got a second one, except the second one is little and Caden is the only one who can actually use it. The adults sink it, and Delaney can only do it if she’s on her knees. More paddle boarding time for Caden! (Delaney is on the blue/brown board).

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Last week we were able to get out twice. It needs to be fairly calm or it just isn’t doable. The first day I just tried to get the feel for things. Once you find your balance it’s very peaceful! The girls and I tried to go across the lake, but we only made it halfway before we decided to turn around. The second time I brought Lark out with me. She looooves the lake, and I thought this might be fun for her. She did great! I put her in front of me, but she quickly moved to the back of the board. I had to have Caden keep track of her for me, since I couldn’t balance and turn around to look at her, but she alternated between laying down and standing up. Her ears were up the whole time with me, which means she’s happy. (We tried her on the paddle board with each of the girls and her ears were flat so, only with Mom.)

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Vacation!

We spent most of last week up at my parent’s cabin. It was great to have a nice break from everything, even if the weather didn’t cooperate every day.

The last two years we’ve done Saturday to Saturday at the Lake Mary resort, but since my parent’s have a cabin on a good fishing lake now, we could do whatever we wanted. Two things factored in. First, the girls had a softball tournament Saturday and Sunday that we didn’t want to miss. Second, I was bringing all three dogs along. I knew my max with the dogs was probably five days? So we headed up Monday evening. It was really nice to have a few days at home, plus it rained all day Monday anyway.

So the drive. As we were packing up the car my mom texted and said there were bad storms on 94, which is right on our route. I decided to wait an extra 15 minutes before leaving to give the storms time to pass. As we’re driving, the radio announcer says something about a tornado warning in St. Cloud. (For those who don’t know, a watch means potential, a warning means one has been spotted.) I immediately call my parents and ask them to look up the weather and wouldn’t you know, St. Cloud was under a tornado warning until 8:00pm. I thought we would just miss it, but as I was listening to the very concerned radio announcers on the St. Cloud radio station, I realized it was going to be very close. They were very pointed that this was real, and to take cover. In my head I was going over protocol if you’re in a car and there’s a tornado. I think you’re supposed to get out of the car and lay down in the ditch? With two kids and three dogs are you kidding me? That’s when I thought “Why on earth am I driving into a TORNADO?” and pulled off at the next exit. Best. decision. ever. We hung out in a gas station parking lot for 25 minutes until the tornado warning passed.

Note for future storms. Lark and Midas FREAKED OUT a few minutes before the rain started. They had their noses in the air and Lark headed for the floor of the truck. They knew what was coming! Annie watched out the window, not a car in the world. Turns out I was a lot closer to St. Cloud than I realized and we definitely would have driven straight through during the warning. (That said, as I was driving I checked out the fields and surrounding area and I don’t think any tornado went along our path, but they got a lot of rain.) The rest of the drive was a bit stressful with rain off and on, at times coming down in buckets, but Lark remained calm so I knew nothing bad was coming.

We had a few days of sun, and a bit of rain, so we tried to make the most of our sunny days! Lots of time down at the lake, lots of time fishing! We tried trolling for walleyes but that was a bust. We did hit on the sunfish a few times, so at least we got a meal for our efforts.

The lake is so clear right now it’s crazy. We kept marveling at how far down you could see as we cruised around the lake!

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4th of July!

Picture heavy post warning! We headed up to my aunt and uncle’s house for our annual 4th of July family gathering. We’ve been doing this for a few years now and I feel like we have a nice routine down. Lots of lake time, lots of game time, the meals are covered, fireworks from North Dakota, and everyone has fun.

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We had gorgeous weather for Saturday (Sunday was a cloudy and windy but we didn’t let that stop us) so we spent a lot of time in the water. My uncle has a nice pontoon, but since there’s a lot of us and the kids like to tube, my cousins both bring their boats too. We got to see Alyssa’s new boat! It’s so nice. Such a smooth ride and the perfect place to chill. Captain Dood thought so as well.

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Missing one sibling, but here’s the group that brings us all together.

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A lake selfie. We took a few this year.

The girls love my aunt and uncle’s house. First off there’s a lake, so that’s huge. They also have chickens that lay eggs (they got to collect four!) and a huge garden. Delaney kept talking about how peaceful it was, which is what she says when she wants to move somewhere. That kid seems to be a country girl at heart!

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This was the first year in a while that water volleyball made a comeback and it was a huge hit! When forced to divide into two teams Coach told us line up shortest to tallest and number off. Dane, I’m not sure you belong at the end of the line.

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Our family is a little bit competitive, and whenever there is a lull we immediately bust out a tournament bracket and throw down. Water volleyball was no different. I am sore from diving after balls and my swimsuit had a fair amount of sand in it! Still can’t believe we lost both games.

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Sunset cruise time. The lake they are on is small, but there are always a ton of boats out! We’ve been coming up here for 30 years, so it’s fun to see what’s changed as we cruise around the lake. 2016 will forever be the year of the new canal.

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All three of our dogs stayed behind with the dog sitter and we missed them! Luckily there were a few dogs around for us to love on. Asa loved Caden. He was a big, sweet boy.

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The swan floatie that is everywhere! It’s everywhere for a reason people, this thing was awesome. Super fun to play on, and also super fun to just hang out on.

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My aunt and uncle got a jet ski this year and everyone was excited about this new toy! Both girls rode on it and loved going super fast.

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A little blurry because the sun was going down, but the younger cousins swinging. These kiddos had so much fun! And even though Sam is the oldest, he still hangs with them and indulges them.

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Paddle board

We were up at the lake last weekend with the family when someone decided to bust out the paddle board. I watched everyone else do it before I hopped on. Since I didn’t have a swimsuit on and was feeling a little wobbly, I stayed in the swimming area. One by one the girls sat on the board with me, then they got on the board by themselves!

And then of course their sister sat on the board with them because why not.

I can’t wait for another calm day so we can take it out a little farther. It’s definitely a good workout for your core!

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Played Too Hard


It was another lake weekend! My brother and sister-in-law were at a wedding, so my parents had my nieces this weekend. They headed up to the cabin on Thursday, and we headed up Saturday. It was hot out, so it was the perfect weekend to try out the swimming beach. We were a little worried it was too small, but they weren’t that many kids there, so it was fine. We had a bunch of floaty things, but agreed that a swimming raft or slide would be perfect.

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I’m still figuring out how to have all three dogs up there and not go crazy. Lark does best when she’s with me, so I decided to just have her with me as much as possible, which meant she needed a life jacket for the boat. I bought this one from Amazon and it worked perfectly. For reference, she is 8 lbs and is wearing the extra small. She wears a fleece sweatshirt most days, so wearing this was NBD.

We took the boat out Saturday afternoon and the kids jumped into the water to cool off, so I jumped in too and brought each of the dogs in with me one at a time. It was pretty cute. I was holding them the entire time so there was absolutely no risk of anything happening, but their eyes were pretty big. All three of them swam with their legs, but I’m not sure how far Annie or Midas would have gotten. Lark’s life jacket totally held her up, so she was good to go. I’m annoyed because I bought one for Annie last summer, but cannot find it. It’s somewhere in the garage, but exactly where is anyone’s guess. I need to find one for Midas. He’s so little, will there even be one that fits him? But, the dogs all love going for boat rides, so he needs something. Safety first!

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We’ve found that we have the best luck when fishing after dinner, just before sunset. We were having a little trouble finding the spot where they were hitting, but my dad had a little luck off the back of the boat so boom! The three kiddos hustled to the back to get their lines in. They didn’t have any luck in that spot, but eventually Delaney started hitting crappies with her new red fishing hook. I don’t know what it was about that hook, but my line was a foot away from hers and she was the one catching all the fish! Luckily, Emma had a red hook too and caught a few, which meant Caden needed a red hook immediately. At least we caught enough for lunch the next day.

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Catching Fish

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After the girls’ recital we piled into the car and headed up to the lake. The girls were very excited to finally get to go fishing! We went out Saturday evening and got a bunch of crappies, so Sunday evening we headed back to the same spot.

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Didn’t take long before this girl pulled in a fish!

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After that it was fairly rapid fire.

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We were all fishing off the back of the boat and wouldn’t you know, they both caught a fish at the same time!

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Caden moves around the boat quite a bit, fishing in various spots. She was fishing off the end of the weeds when she caught a bigger fish. My dad came over to her to help her get it in when he shouted “Get the net!” I scrambled to get the net out of the back of the pontoon before she lost the fish. When I scooped it out of the water I couldn’t believe it! An 18″ walleye! She was pretty proud of this fish.

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Annie, The Lake Dog

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This was Annie’s second trip to the lake. She was a little more relaxed, and a little more curious. Saturday afternoon we had chips and salsa on the patio and she stayed right next to my chair. She wandered around a bit, but then seemed to want to stay close to me.

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She loves the boat so much! As soon as she saw the dock her tail started wagging and she started tugging at her leash. Caden took this picture and I love it! She stayed on my lap most of the boat ride.

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Except for when she was on my mom’s lap giving her kisses.

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Such a pretty girl. Her nose was twitching with all the smells.

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She even let Delaney rock her in the rocking chair. Although at this point, she may have been too exhausted to protest.

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We packed it in!

My parents came up Wednesday evening to watch the girls softball game. As we were driving back to our house, we were discussing the weekend and our plans for the lake. My dad asked if we could come out Friday night? I said why not! I picked the girls up a little early on Friday, and we headed to the grocery store across the street to grab a quick dinner. Mashed potatoes and pizza for them, a salad for me. We got to the lake in time for a few golf cart rides, ice cream, and some relaxation.

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We wore Annie out. She did awesome this weekend! She’s one of the few dogs who does not wind herself into circles when on a tie out. She loved being in the house, minded the screen door, and only ran off once to chase a bunny. She even went on her first boat ride! And stuck her little paws in the lake. Once the water warms up a bit, we’ll get her life jacket on and see if she likes to swim. By Saturday night she was so tired she could barely keep her eyes open. She snuggled up to my dad and fell asleep with her head on his leg. She spent all day Sunday sleeping on my bed. Poor thing.

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There was a lot of this this weekend too. Both girls are so into reading right now. Caden got up first Saturday morning and headed to the screen porch to read her book. Delaney did the same thing Sunday morning. On the ride out Delaney read her book the whole way, and on the ride back Caden did the same. Choosing books over electronics? Yes please.

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After a lunch of grilled pizzas, we headed up to the softball fields for a little practice. My dad coached me all throughout my childhood, and my mom also played a lot of softball, so they were both excited to work with the girls on some of the fundamentals. Since my mom was pitching to them, I got a different perspective and could really help them with their swings.

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Delaney has a great batting stance. We worked on bringing her bat back a little, and not opening her chest so much towards the pitcher. Every time she got her stance just right, she got a hit.

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In the beginning of the season Caden was awesome at hitting, but I think she started overthinking things, so we went back to basics. Her timing was right on, but the bat was too close in. By the time she got the back out and back and then swung, it was too late. Bat back, booty out, and the girl was getting hit after hit.

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After softball my mom mixed up some pina coladas so we could have a little happy hour on the boat. While we were doing that, the girls got in some fishing. They caught a bunch of good sized crappies! My dad cleaned them and fried them up alongside some chicken/bacon/pineapple skewers for dinner. After dinner the girls wanted to go swimming. I said no, right as my mom said sure! At least they’re at the age where an adult doesn’t have to get in the water with them. It was overcast and cool (which worked to our advantage since no one was hot or sun burned) so they didn’t last long. After swimming it was finally time for s’mores and banana boats toasted over my perfect fire. I kept the fire going all day long, so by nighttime things had burned down to perfect coals. Perfect end to the perfect day.

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Labor Day

I’ve been going with pictures over words lately, and honestly, I kind of like it. It’s nice not to have to try to pull the words out when they won’t come. Friday night we headed out to my parent’s lake, then Saturday morning we got in the car early and headed up to my brother’s new cabin. It’s so beautiful! The day was cloudy, but I think that just makes the pictures more dramatic. The cousins had so much fun together. Who knew they were such die hard fisherwomen?!

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