Bye Bye 2019

We’re sending away this year with some family gathering times, and choosing to let them continue even after the new year arrives.

Our first holiday gathering was with the Rush family at a delightful little parks & rec center in Roseville.


First Christmases for my first niece and first nephew!!!!


It’s been raaawther snowy here in Minnesota.


We don’t mind


In fact, it was actually disappointing that we couldn’t sled when we got to Iowa!

Then we walked outside in that 60-degree weather, and let our disappointment melt away. The WHOLE Petersma clan came together this Christmas in Pella


Henry is enjoying his new drawing pens immensely


I love this picture of Bret trying out one of Charlie’s new sensory experiments. Blind spot, anyone?


Our generation


We had to get some winter activity in, despite the sunshine, so we hit Brenton Skating Rink downtown. Henry’s body goes into some delightful shapes when he’s skating.


We had an amazing week in Iowa. Outdoors nearly the entire week, including a multi-hour Rocket Ship Park adventure on Christmas day, where people were wearing shorts and t-shirts. Sadly, my camera stayed in my coat the whole week, so I only have the photos of others, and they end here for now.

So journey back north with me. We left early due to impending snow, and I’m glad we did. It was icy rain, so…yeah. Don’t want to drive in/on that.

Today it snowed all day, so lots of shoveling sessions. But it’s always good to get home. These pics are from the weekend before Xmas, but they’ll get you back into the Minnesota Mood. Check out these snowballs I rolled! Charlie thought they looked like good seats.


Then the boys both wanted to roll their own. So we ended up with four of them.


So why not a four-ball snowman?


Joe thought dirt might be a good way to add a face. Now we know that it’s actually creepy. But you live an learn!



A friend of Charlie asked him to do a project in the Science Fair with him this year, so that was a new experience for all of us. It was cool watching them put together their ideas, and bringing up what was interesting to them. Sadly, I wasn’t able to make it the night of the actual fair, because I had class, but here’s Charlie showing off his stuff.aAIMG_6722

A few weekends ago, I got to travel to Chicago to stay with  Jane and Darren and their new baby! Ryan and I also got some excellent time together.


While I was in Illinois, the boys all drove over to Wisconsin for the weekend.



The next Saturday was Charlie’s ninth birthday!
Henry made a sign for the door, because it was the first year Charlie wanted his friends to come over for a party.


It was about as silly as this mad lib birthday card from Grandma Penny turned out to be.


Everyone had a ball, running around, playing hide-and-seek, and making up games. It was such a nice day, so after pizza, they decided to head outdoors. Instead of hauling them back inside for cake later, we just brought the cake out, too. They decorated it together.




We were concerned Henry might want to be a little  too involved in the party, but he ended up tagging along with the games in a non-intrusive way. It was a great time for all, including Joe and I. The kids were so self-sufficient, we even got time to sit and read our books!


The next day, we celebrated with the Novaks


Henry’s birthday was on Thanksgiving, so while it was a fun, exciting day, it still felt less like his very own day. So the next day, we met Joe downtown for lunch, and then went to enjoy a commons area for Target employees that has all kinds of games. Henry looooves games, so it was a pretty great treat for an over-shadowed post-birthday boy.



Turns out, he’s really into Skeeball


I enjoy these hockey games, but man am I terrible. I’m good at foosball, so you’d think the skills would transfer. Nope!


Aw, these guysIMG_6772

When we headed out to grab the bus, the boys were insistent that we take the “highway bus.” It’s Joe’s and my regular bus for getting to downtown and campus, and it goes right down the middle of 35W, so they wanted to get to experience it. It was a limited transit day, though, (post-Thanksgiving, nobody goes to work) so we were going to have to wait over a half hour for it. There were several other buses we could have taken sooner.

But they didn’t care. Highway bus.


And I am so glad they wanted to, because we had so much fun at that bus stop!


We got out the camera and took silly pictures of each other from different angles,



and things we saw,


and upside-down


and, my favorite, doing dances!


What a wonderful way to spend a day!


That night, Joe and Charlie got very sick with whatever was spread at the Thanksgiving gathering. So Joe’s birthday on Saturday was a total bummer! We were going to celebrate their birthdays with the Novaks that next day, but that was a no-go. He and Charlie are still (today is Wednesday) not 100% yet. So think strong and healthy thoughts for them!