Schoolyear 2019-20 Begins!


I’ve got two kids in elementary school!


And they are both loving it.


This past weekend, we got to hang out with my parents. They came up to see us, and it was an awesome weekend to be here. Not only was there a pancake breakfast and book fair at the elementary school, but Saturday was also Trucksploration!


At a school parking lot in Minneapolis, they gather buses, SWAT vehicles, fire trucks, buses, and nearly any other kind of vehicle you can think of. Then kids can get up close and personal with them.

This snowplow was a hit with my boys




Forget Pigeon…don’t let Charlie drive the bus!!!


Mom experiencing the “bendy bus”


What’s Charlie looking out of?


A SWAT truck. Freaked me out, but the kids thought it was super cool.


Hey! I’m on closed circuit TV in the Sheriff’s Mobile Unit


One of the stars of Minneapolis’ Mounted Patrol


In the evening, we had to make the walk to Pumphouse Creamery for the best ice cream in the Twin Cities.




The week before all of this was a big week for all of the Novaks. Here’s Joe Monday morning before his first day of his new job! He’s a Target guy again.


The day before that, Katy snuggled her month-old niece on her baby bump. This was barely a day before her own baby boy made his arrival into the world!


Since he arrived five weeks early, he is still in the hospital. But he’s getting stronger every day! The boys have been to see him twice, but I only finally got to meet him this weekend. Everyone send Luke healthy and healing thoughts!


This weekend was also Nicollet Open Streets. We started at the Farmer’s Market


Admiring the produce 🙂


We got some breakfast pizza to get up our energy for the afternoon


The boys are always interested in the Washburn Millerbots’ booth. They’re the robotics club at the high school they’ll one day attend. I have little doubt that they’ll both end up in the club.


Finally, classic cars, of course.


Grad school has been wearing thin for me already, but there is a lot of consolation in the program’s brevity and that I’ve enjoyed my time observing in schools. Just got to make it to next June!


Don’t Take Yourself So Seriously

The rest of our little break was delightful. We hit the sandpits, took bike rides, walked to a candy store…Just all around good stuff.


Henry experimented with mustache stamps


Charlie, too. They both went to their school Open House like this, so their teachers saw them for the first time with mustaches on. Being memorable definitely counts for something!


Speaking of Open House, it went well. Henry loves his new playground.


Oh yes! And there was that day that Henry was the queen. We read a pretty awesome book about a goose stealing the Queen of England’s purse that inspired some super fun dramatic play.


The boys went to the State Fair with the Novaks and enjoyed some Pronto Pups and mini donuts.


Charlie has been wanting to ride the BIG ferris wheel for years, and finally the line wasn’t prohibitively long.


We’re in the process of looking for new couches–it takes Joe and I years to pick out big things like furniture. We’re willing to stick with what we’ve got–regardless of the state of it–until we find precisely what we’re hoping for. So we did some perusing over the weekend to get inspired. Charlie loved this chair, but I can’t tell how Henry felt about it.


I got no good pictures of this, but we got to spend time with my mom and Arlys on the front and back end of their bicycling tour of the Netherlands! It was great to get some time with them, and to hear about their trip while it was all still fresh. Naturally, we had to have poffertjes to welcome them back.


Little did I know they came with their own Dutch breakfast to share. I enjoyed several rounds of Hagelslag!


I eventually decided it might be nice to share at least ONE of the four packets with the boys, so I sacrificed. They loved it, naturally.


Sigh. And now. Back to school. It’s tiring to be back in class. Here I am in the classroom I spend three nights a week in.


At least during the day I’m doing observation hours in schools, so that part is fine. I’m TOTALLY on the right career path, which is fun to know. I love spending time in art classrooms, and I can’t wait to have one of my own. Right now I’m at an elementary school, and man I love those ages. 

Charlie and Henry are back in school now, too, which is going super well. Henry was not so sure about going to school, but his first day was “awesome!” and he’s been excited to go every day since. Hooray!


He’s been learning a lot, surely, but mostly I know that he’s learning to cross his eyes. Here’s how he gets there:


As a third grader, Charlie is already a pro at the eye crossing thing.


Eeek! That’s one blue ring pop!


Henry’s also learning important skills outside of school. Like, how to turn a napkin into a hat…


…and how to get abs of steel at the grandparents’ house.


You know, the really important things.

We did construct a suspension bridge out of dental floss and packing material in our mud room this past weekend, though. So don’t worry, it’s not all serious all the time at our house. We have fun, too.