Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Neighbors that Lick

We have new neighbors.
They moved in about a mile away

They like visitors
They like their Rye Crackers

But be careful ..
they lick.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Escape to Wisconsin

We needed a get away. We got a get away. We are lucky enough to live near the family cabin. We had time off and wonderful weather so we took off to the cabin for a long weekend.
Of course I had my camera with me to capture some of our adventures. Over time the lake has changed, but the fun has remained the same. We LOVE the cabin.
The cabin faces onto the lake. These days our end of the lake has become very shallow. That does not stop us from enjoying it though.
One of our favorite things to do is explore the lake and see what we can find. There are many sand bars and areas to play. The kids like to name each one. Here Emily and Andrew are discovering "Warm Water" lake.
We also found a new Sand Island, Skeleton Island (be glad that I did not have my camera at this island..dead fish galore, Ry would not step foot on it), Mini Island and the Circle of Islands.
We also went kayaking.
Here's Andrew managing a kayak pretty well.
On this trip, Emily kept catching frogs.
Across the street (behind the cabin) is a mini-forest. This year we set up cans and got to try shooting a BB gun into the forest (complete safety was practiced and taught during this activity..and it only shoots plastic pellets).
Andrew actually knocked some cans down.
Emily shows her skills.
Ryan has great aim.

This last part of the cabin I will share today is one of our favorites:
the hammock. It is a great place to just sit and relax
or goof around.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

She's ONE

It's hard to believe that it has been a year! It is so easy to forget how tiny babies are when they are born. Since the first meeting of baby Fiona, all the cousins have loved having her in the family (esp. Emily)!

Now its been a year and..
we have a birthday girl in the house! Look how much she has grown.
We were lucky enough to go celebrate Fiona's first birthday last night. Andrew helped pick out the gumball toy. Right away she enjoyed shaking the "gumballs."

We also passed on the power wheels rider to Fiona. Emily and Fiona had fun playing on it in the back yard.

I love watching Emily play with Fiona. Emily is so careful with Fiona and Fiona is completely comfortable with her big cousin. I also enjoy seeing the boys play with and watch over Fiona. They are so gentle and loving towards her. I really love that they all get to grow up together!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Brotherly advice

We are ready for summer. I think this picture is just a preview of of the fun we will have this summer. The boys were having a great time laughing and getting wet.
Emily decided that the fun was just to tempting. She thought it was cold, but had to join in. Her big brother gave her some advice, "if you just take it like a man it is fun!" (FYI yes that is my dog coming home from the park by herself and no we did not know she was even missing)
I don't think Em was able to "take it like a man." Man or woman...cold is cold.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


I was going through the mail the other day when I came across:

Lauren's graduation announcement.

My little niece is graduating (why am I tearing up?)! I knew it was happening. I knew she was looking for schools and had already decided on one. I knew she was generally wrapping up her senior year in high school. I knew all that. But having the announcement in my hands made me really think about Lauren.
When Erik and I were first married, I was so excited to become an instant aunt. Lauren and I got along right away. In fact, it really didn't take her long to realize how much cooler I am than Erik!
Unfortunately, we have always lived far away from each other. Luckily, because of our trips to Oregon/Washington, I have gotten to spend lots of time with her and watch her grown up. When she was little we laughed, played dolls and read stories. Later when her family came out to visit, we hit the Mall of America by ourselves...not to shop, but to ride the rides. Love that!
We started a "going to a movie together" tradition which I am happy to report still lives on! I love visiting and spending time with her. I am excited to watch her and support her as she enters this new phase of life.
Thank you Lauren for being a great niece and wonderful cousin.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ninja in training

Inside this seemly innocent child
Is a Little Ninja in training
His Ninja moves will bring justice to the world
He has already found his first mission
On the way to the park we saw a dead squirrel on the ground (yucky). Andrew told me that he was going to find whoever killed that squirrel and use his "ninja moves on them because that squirrel didn't do anything to them. Right?" It sort of reminds me of a certain other super hero...
Batman (in case you did not recognize the above Super Hero in ninja training)
Squirrels can now breathe a little easier knowing they have a Little Ninja watching over them.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Today was a crazy day. We all had to be in a different place throughout the evening. Somehow it all worked. I am going to have to break it down...first we had the end of year school picnic.
That is always fun. We sat with friends and ate hot dogs and played around. It was a beautiful afternoon for it. We got to stay for exactly a half hour.
Then I had to run home and put the artichoke dip in the oven for recipe group this evening.
Then I ran up to Trevor's house to drop Ryan off. Tiffany was nice enough to take Ryan and Trevor to a VERY cool book signing. The Last Olympian (book 5 of the Percy Jackson series) has just been released and the author was in town tonight. Ryan has been waiting for this book for a LONG time (sort of like me and a certain other series).

Sadly I could not go with them...because I had recipe group...but they had a blast.
I love this picture. This is the moment they announced the author's name and he came onto the stage. Look at their expressions!
The author, Rick Riordan, talked about his next book project and going to see the filming of the first book in this series (The Lightening Thief). We will be there opening night. Can't wait!
Tiffany said there were about 450 people at the book signing. So while the boys waited for their chance to meet the author they happily read their new books.
They each got a chance to get their books signed and ask a question. Neither of them actually HAD a question...but they could have if they wanted to.

Thank you Tiffany for taking Ry with you guys. Thank you for overlooking the fun hair due that Ry is sporting. He had a blast.

After dropping off Ry, I ran home picked up Emily and my dip. We got to meet some friends at Dairy Queen and we all went to Recipe Group. I have to say that I think this group is so much fun. How can you go wrong? Food and friends. Perfect combination! I picked up a bunch of great appetizer ideas. Now I just have to find a party to go to that needs some yummy appetizers.

After Recipe Group, I raced home to watch kids so that Erik, Robert and Ben could hit Star Trek at the Imax. Here is exactly what I think of the movie. Only I did not write it. My dear Louise did...and she nailed it.
The guys are still there. I am just happy to have a picture of the new Capt. Kirk on my blog :)
In the mix of it all, Erik and Andrew had their own errand to run. Thank you David for helping them out (more on that later).

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Scottish fair

Let's just start the post with a picture of my beautiful Scottish niece. Isn't she so cute? The Scottish people in the family are the ones who inspired this trip to the fair today. Without them I would not know what a caber is and I would never have seen my brothers in kilts.
Did you know that every year there is a Scottish Fair about 20minutes from our house? Today was our second year going to this event. It is a fun place to learn about all things that are Scottish. Today we started at the Caber toss. That is the Scottish sport of throwing heavy telephone poles up into the air and trying to get them to flip around. All while wearing a kilt.
Here are some fun facts for you. The caber is a tree trunk that has been trimmed so that one end is slightly wider than the other. They vary in length from 16-22 feet and weigh between 100 and 180 pounds.
A perfect toss lands in a twelve o'clock position from the tosser.
This picture just makes me laugh for many reasons..thank goodness he seems to be wearing something under the kilt for the games.
They had an area for the kids to give the caber toss a try.
The funny thing was the kid's caber toss was in the same small area as the kids golfing. Those two sports were not meant to be played in the same area.
They did a good job. Ry might even be ready for a solid one.
I think Emily's toss was a perfect 12 o'clock toss.
Andrew had some balancing issues with this big caber.

Another fun thing to do at the fair is watch the dogs work the animals. They do a good job of keeping track of their herd.
As a mother of more than one child I can appreciate this talent.
The dogs are beautiful and focused.

Throughout the entire day there are bag pipe bands playing.
The music is cool and it is fun to watch them march around in their kilts.
The music really helped set the theme of the fair.
Not to mention all the random people in kilts..this guy was funny to me. Long hair, leather biker jacket and a kilt is a funny combination.
We ended our time at the fair with a visit to the "hee-land coos." Here is one more fact for you.
"Hee-land coos" are one of the oldest known cattle breeds. Records of the breed date back as far as the 12th Century and there is archaeological evidence of them from the 6th century. Give me a brochure and look what happens : )