Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wonders of Craigslist

We love Craigslist. It is amazing. If you have an old broken, smelly dishwasher...someone on Craigslist wants it. They will even come to your front porch and take it. Actually there were many people willing to do that. Strange. If you need a huge area rug to cover your stained living room carpet..
you can find one on Craigslist.
Need a fireplace enclosure?
You guessed it! Craigslist is the place.

We have bought: Andrew's motorcycle, crazy amounts of firewood, furniture, pets, Erik's motorcycle, cars, bikes, computer parts, guitar lessons, winter tires, hard top for the miata (twice), insulation for the garage, car parts, video games. The list actually goes on and on. We have sold a ton too.

I want to draw attention to one of our last exchanges on Craigslist.

Here's the background:

We, I mean Erik, bought our snake Alice on Craigslist two years ago. She was a surprise to the family. She actually became a lovable pet. Very popular in the neighborhood. But, Alice was spending more and more time in her cage unnoticed and alone. We realized it was time to pass Alice on to the next family that would love her. Add in the fact that Emily has been asking (by that I mean begging) for a guinea pig.

Ryan wrote this about Emily:
The most important thing about my sister is that she worships guinea pigs. She loves them so much they're her favorite thing in the world. She should buy one with her $180 but she doesn't...

So we decided that if we can sell Alice, then the kids (they all want one..Em just worships them) could have a guinea pig. Erik posted Alice on Craigslist. He added that we are willing to trade Alice for a guinea pig.

Erik was contacted by a family within 2 hours. They had a guinea pig, but their mom was allergic. They were looking for a corn snake. It was the perfect trade.

That just blows my mind that Craigslist could find us a family with a guinea pig that wanted a corn snake...
That is how we now have our Nutmeg. She is a 5 month old calm and gentle guinea pig with a killer case of bed head.
She fits in perfectly around here.
One question it bad that my dog starts licking her lips everytime she sees Nutmeg and whenever given the chance said dog tries to lick the guinea pig like crazy?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Everyone's in town

It has been 10 years since the last time the Hamer family has been all together at Christmas time (not in the picture-but still here in Mn-are Mike and Adele). We have had many additions to the fam since then too. Our holiday festivities started the week of Christmas. One Hamer family tradition is a talent show on Christmas Eve night. We each have our own different religious beliefs, but we all value each other and time together. This is a perfect way to celebrate family. The "talent" show tradition started about three years ago. It has grown into something really fun. You never know what these guys will put together.There was magic, mind reading, real music talent, readings, a visit from our distant Uncle Fester the chef, videos and synchronized swimming routine.
The whole show was quite enjoyable. Above is Uncle Fester getting ready to make his pudding dessert. We make ourselves laugh.
You cannot have a Christmas post with out pictures from Christmas morning. Smiles and surprises were everywhere : )
Since it is winter, we had to squeeze in some tubing. We went back to Trapp Farm Tubing Hill. This was the Swiss boys first tubing experience.
The hill was fast and fun. Unfortunately, Grandpa Bill hit an unexpected bump and hurt his back. But again, overall there were smiles to be found. I am grateful for this holiday together. It was wonderful to spend time with each and everyone.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Fastest way down the hill

We found our favorite tubing hill (Trapp Farm Tubing Hill) and after extensive testing we have come to the conclusion that tube trains go down the hill faster than solo trips (that fact was celebrated by a late lunch at McDonalds ).

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Family bonding

Dan had some Christmas shopping to do so we thought it would be fun to hit MOA. We convinced Lauren that she HAD to try the Flying Dutchman ropes course. This was Ryan's first time too. We all got harnessed up. If you remember: you make your way to the top which is in the roof of the MOA (5 stories up), walk out onto a plank and pull the ropes to ring the bell. Ry was scared for about the first 15 seconds and then went through the whole thing unphased. This is the same kid who hates going down in the basement by himself. Lauren and I got to the top at the same time as about 20 little kids. It was so crowded we decided to go back down before ringing the bell ourselves. The above picture is Lauren, Emily and me almost at the top.It was fun to challenge ourselves and see how far we could go.Of course we hit the rides too. We go on the rides every time Lauren is in town. I really think that amusement parks are a great place to visit with family. You are doing something fun together. In some cases even building each other up to to encourage them to join in the fun. When the ride is done you are very proud of everyone. We all talk about our favorite rides or what scared us the most etc. Bonding in its purest form!There is a lot to see at Nickelodeon Universe too. Have I ever mentioned that we are HUGE Avatar fans? Seriously, I am so happy when Nickelodeon plays Avatar marathons.I have lost entire afternoons sitting on the couch watching Avatar with the fam. So we paid our respects to the Avatar.Of course there are treats to be had along the way. My dad came to take Andrew around. That way we could go on the bigger people rides and Andrew could do his thing too (thanks dad).We all rode Andrew's favorite ride together. The Danny Phantom ride. It was great to be with Lauren at the MOA. Memories were made together today.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Grandpa Dan showed up on Wednesday night. He walked in the door and it seems like Andrew has barely left is side. Andrew has wrestled him, played video games with him and has dragged him all over the house. They have also played a ton of Sorry. Andrew's favorite strategy is to keep one guy in start just in case he gets a "Sorry". Then he can use the Sorry card to get someone. Clever guy. Lauren got in on the Sorry action..I am not sure she was ready for Andrew's strategery.

Surprise...yes complete surprise!

We are having family come visit. Lots of family. I cannot wait for them all to get here. Our first scheduled visitor was supposed to be Grandpa Dan. Erik left to go pick him up at the airport Tuesday night, while I stayed home and tried to quickly clean up around the house. But Grandpa Dan did not walk through our door. It was LAUREN. We were completely not expecting her to come. We are completely happy that she decided to come. Our first activity with our Washington State cousin was to enjoy some snow. We bundled up and walked across the street for some good sledding fun.Here is Ry, Em and Lauren ready to go.
Everyone took a turn sledding down the hill with Lauren. She is so much fun to be round!
This picture of Emily cracks me up. Doesn't she know that if she makes that face it could get stuck that way? (we brought our neighbor Lauren with us too).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

First Concert

This past summer, Ryan started to learn how to play the alto sax. He has really enjoyed learning this instrument. Now that school has started, he has band every Tuesday at 7:15 am. It is tough to get up and at school so early, but it is completely worth it. The band had their first band concert last night.
After each song Ryan would find us in the crowd and give us a proud smile.
Here Ry is after the concert with his band director, Mrs. Firchow. She is an amazing woman. The 5th grade band is record breaking size and she has complete control of them. They sounded great. Grandpa Bill said that Ryan's band sounds WAY better than my Cornelia 5th grade band ever did (I am sure he is right too). We are all looking forward to the spring concert! We are amazingly proud of Ryan.

Wrestling trophy

Andrew's wrestling season is coming to an end. Actually, the in-house portion is done and the traveling wrestling season is about to begin. Andrew had another tournament last night. He did really well. When I asked him to tell me about his night of wrestling (because I went to Ry's band concert-which I will soon be blogging about) he said, "Can you not see the pictures?" So we get to look at some of the pictures and decide how it went.

It looks like he has the right shirt on...and he is wearing shorts. Looks like a successful night (we aim high in this house).
Looks like he was on top some of the time and it looks like he was intensely focused.

This looks like a good move. Wait...I think he practiced this move on me yesterday morning. It is hard to get out of..right before he did this to me he said, "Now I bend (you) like a pretzel".
When the tournament was over...Andrew got his FIRST trophy. He decided he is going to start collecting these babies. I look forward to a fun future of watching my son turn people into pretzels :)!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Team Awesome Wassail ??

Are you still feelin' Awsome?
Good times guys..better luck next time. If it helps, I think you guys make AWESOME snow angels at 2 am.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Some of us had a snow day, some did not!!

It started snowing last night. It started getting windy outside. It started getting cold last night. We joked about the possibility of a snow day. We went to bed thinking it'd be nice to have a snow day-but it ain't gonna happen. Then, our phone rang this morning at 5:45am. It was from the school district letting us know that it was a SNOW DAY today for our school district. Hooray for the kiddos. They get a surprise day off.I had an orientation meeting at the U of M scheduled for this morning. I got my hopes I remember doing so many times when I was young. I jumped on the website and my email to see if I got a snow day too. Sadly, I did not have the same luck. Again I was feeling the same feelings of disappointment from my childhood as schools around me close but MINE does NOT. I got to brave the elements and drive downtown for school orientation early this morning (miraculously I made it on time too).
The kids spent last night and today sledding at the park across the street, playing in the backyard in the snow, drinking hot chocolate and I will admit playing some video games today. I joined the sledding crew last night and this afternoon. We had a blast.We kept a fire going all day. It has been an incredibly cozy day.
*I did get a call from work telling me I did not have to come in tonight because of the I guess you don't have to feel to sorry for me-unless you want too.*

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lunch Date

I dropped Andrew off at school (he missed the bus), and I noticed a familiar fifth grader who was about to go to lunch. I needed some company for lunch. So I signed Ry out and we had grilled cheese, chicken soup and hot chocolate together at home. He made it back to school just as his class was returning from their lunch. I love spontaneous lunch dates.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Winter Dance Show

Emily had her Holiday dance show. She is now on the third /fourth grade dance team with U Can Danz Dance Company. They did a great job.
The dances were energetic, the costumes were beautiful and the music was festive.
For one of the dance routines her team wore a cute elf costume. They danced to the song We are Santa's Elves from the Rudolph Christmas Special.It was fun to see Emily dance. It seems like yesterday when Emily was on the Kindergarten team bouncing around...time flies!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Adele Virginia

I am excited to introduce Ben and Louise's new Baby Adele. She was born on Dec 3. She is 3lbs 2.8oz. She is doing great. She is even breathing great on her own. Which means she doesn't have to go to NICU. She gets to stay in the special care unit for a few weeks before she can come home. Her auntie (and the rest of my crew) cannot wait to meet her!