Saturday, February 27, 2010

Four little ducks all in a row

We had our neighbors over for a fun game night. When it was time to for them to go home... this is what we found. (Ry and Trenton were still up playing wii-1:45am!)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Ski trip

It is time for the fourth grade ski field trip!
While I was stuck in a lecture hall busy taking notes, Erik and Emily got to go skiing. I can't complain, I got to go last year AND now I know about what Vygotski and others have to say about language development in toddlers (lucky me)!
It is so great that Em's school exposes the students to so many fun experiences. On the ski trip, the fourth graders have to go through a series of stations. At each station they master a basic ski skill. They learn stopping, skating, snow-plow and other essential ski skills. The last station is the ski lift.I know that Em was nervous about that part, but I am told she soon got over it and LOVED the ski lift.At one point, Emily got on the ski lift and clicked her skis together to get the snow off. Unfortunately, the ski fell off. Luckily, it was still at the bottom of the hill and the clever ski lift operator just sent it up with the person behind her. Erik says that Emily picked up down hill skiing pretty fast. Em even went down a black diamond. Nice! They stayed for 7 hours and had a WONDERFUL time. We are excited to take these guys back and try again. Then I can go too : )

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Shadow is here to stay-for a while

Emily and Erik started a pet sitting business a few months ago.
So, when given the opportunity to watch Shadow the cat, Emily excitedly said yes. Shadow needs a place to stay for 4 weeks? Even better! Shadow is HUGE cat. Yes, he is fluffy, but the kicker is that under the fluff is a seriously huge solid cat! He his 18 pounds.His first day was an adjustment. Shadow did not enjoy the relocation...and let us know with some serious hissing. After an afternoon of upset cat, he settled down. Emily has gotten him to purr a bunch. Now he is a very happy kitty. We are happy he's here.
He is venturing out of Em's room and seeking out love and attention. He is even tolerating Ashley (our dog) although Shadow is keeping his distance. Ashley is curious and ready to be friends as soon as Shadow is ready. I predict a good cat/dog friendship in a few days.Marlin, on the other hand, is taking an I am not going to acknowledge this cat and maybe he will go away approach.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Something New..

There was no school today. This usually means we would sit at home playing video games and watching TV all day. But instead, Grandma and Grandpa invited us to try something new. We got to go cross-country skiing with them. After saying good-bye to Lauri and Joe this morning at the airport, we went over to Highland Hills park. We were able to rent skis there, so we could gain some experience before we buy skis of our own (of course if we do, it would be from our beloved Craig's list).Actually this was the kiddos second time on cross-country skis. I missed the first trip last week. I am told that they have improved a bunch in just two trips. I thought they did great today.
The park has a wonderful short loop to learn practice on. The kids are already getting familiar with the hills and turns on this trail.Andrew loves this sport. He really enjoyed telling me all the secrets he has learned to be a successful skier...he talks non-stop on the trail. He kept telling me how to go down the hills with my knees bent and not to cross my skis. He was determined to not fall down as much this time. It is seriously the cutest thing to watch him learn to ski. Andrew and Grandma went around the shorter loop twice. Grandpa and Emily took a longer trail and the shorter trail. Now we want to try some of the trails near our home. It is crazy that we have lived so near Lebanon hills park and never have ventured in...maybe this is our year.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The other thing we do with visitors...

As you can see there are a few things we seem to always do when we have guests come visit us. MOA is always top on the list. We didn't waste any time getting Joe up to Lego Land yesterday. Today we went tubing.Joe loved it. Actually, we all loved it. Tubing is a great way to spend a winter afternoon.
Lauri borrowed Erik's really cool circa 90s jacket and away we went. This was Erik's first time at Trapp Farm tubing hill too. We got some good speed today. The sun was shining and the snow was fun.After going up and down the hill tons of times and a bunch of playing in the snow we headed for lunch. We were so hungry!We went to Pardon My French a great restaurant in Eagan. Joe is giving thumbs down for the Oregon Beavers...not the food. We enjoyed guessing what each person's favorite thing to do in the winter. We decided it is not Andrew's favorite thing to: brush his teeth outside in the snow in his boxer shorts-in case you were wondering.
and we split some AMAZING desserts!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Two Equations

Lauri and Joe are here from Washington for a fun weekend visit. Here are two simple equations:+
++=Happy family

(Lauri and I got to see it in 3d-loved it)
( Ryan went with Grandma Ginger, Emily and I went to see it at a birthday party. )
Two movies in one night for Cathy... personal heaven

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Smell the Roses?

Aren't we supposed to stop and smell the roses once and a while? That is hard to do in the middle of winter around let's stop and enjoy a pretty icicle. I noticed these babies this morning and thought I'd share them with my warm weather friends.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Don't Hibernate, Celebrate!!

It is winter time still. The snow has been falling pretty consistently throughout the month. Except for the occasional tubing outing, my impulse is to stay indoors by the fire, drink hot chocolate and hide myself in layers. BUT other people I hang around with have other ideas, so..our neighbors alerted us to the fact that it was time for the Apple Valley Mid-winter fest. I am so glad they did.

It was a two day celebration of winter. Its purpose is to To make citizens aware of the winter recreational activities available in Apple Valley and give them a mid-winter boost via participation in a special winter oriented program. Personally, I think they succeeded.

Day 1: consisted of magic shows, bingo (I LOVE BINGO!!), jumpers, face painting, coloring contests, wii bowling tournament and other fun things at the community center. Andrew and Erik each won bingo rounds and Emily won a puzzle contest. Andrew did really well in the wii bowling tournament (he got one less than the high score). Andrew also put in about 1000 bounces in the jumpers.

Day 2: there was cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, tubing, fire pit with s'mores/hot dogs, and horse drawn trailer rides. We participated in the s'mores and hot chocolate part
Emily tried some snow shoeing
But, I think she enjoyed the s'more part more.
We all took a fun ride on the horse wagon ride through the golf course.
We decided we had our "mid-winter boost" and didn't last as long on the second was COLD and the wind picked up and we are not insane...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Cute half time show dancers!

We went to the Timberwolves' basketball tonight. Yes, it was fun to see the game. Actually, it was amazing because the Timberwolves were behind throughout the entire game, but ended up catching up and winning in the last minutes. Very cool. Very unlike Minnesota sports it seems.

The reason we went to the game on this particular evening was for the half-time show. We heard the dancers were cute tonight and we thought we might recognize one or two of them.So, we got some nose-bleed seats (which I have to say I love). They are cheap, uncrowded and we had almost an entire section to ourselves. We grabbed some family. This year my cousin Beqi and her daughter Scotlyn came for the show too. Scotlyn loved the music and the lights. It was great to see her enjoy the crowds.
This is Grandma Ginger's first time watching Em's half time performance too. It is so cool to have such a big cheering section. Hooray for living close to family! Andrew loved the top row rafter seats. He LOVED the view. The dance company that Emily participates in put on a great half-time show. They danced to a Mamma Mia mix. It is so much fun to watch Emily participate at these shows. It is a huge experience for her to be on the basketball court in front of thousands of people.
Look at how much fun she is having!I love Emily's green costume this year. It looks great on her. Actually, this year I think all the classes' costumes looked great together. Good job Em! Another great year.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fads...and this time I love it.

I am from the Cabbage Patch Kid generation. I had to have a CPK. I got a Cabbage Patch Kid.Parents were lining up to get their kid a CPK. I think I heard that someone died getting their child a Cabbage Patch kid. The commercials were fun with a cute catchy jingle (I can still sing it for you upon request). The was a demand because stores would run out..making people that much more desperate to get their hands on the beloved Cabbage Patch Kid.

Remember the Tickle Me Elmo craze?Again with the cute commercials and the shortages in the stores. Wii is another one that lasted through at least 2 Christmases. Stores could not keep them on the shelves. That was amazing to me.

This year it is the Zhu Zhu Pet.
Briliantly marketed pretty dumb toy. Emily and Andrew got a few of these things when they first came out. They were done with them before we made it home from the store. I think I have already explained to some of you that my cat had a "zhu zhu" pet mouse for years before they started marketing these babies to kids. I will admit the commercials make this thing look fun and it helps that they are hard to find.

But the latest craze around here truly stumps me. It's SQUISHIES. Yes, the rubber pencil toppers. The ones from the gumball machines.

I know it is not just my kids too. I have talked to kids from other schools and from other school districts. I have seen kids run up to the quarter machines at malls, grocery stores and movie theaters.
Kids at school collect and trade these guys. They know which ones are "rare" and what qualities make them rare (but every machine has some rare ones so they are not impossible to get). They know exactly what restaurants and stores have the machines.

It is amazing to me. How did this happen? There is no commercial, there is no shortage, there is no web-based games to play with them (like Webkins) and they are super cheap. When we go places my kids are begging for quarters. I love it! I love that they will do anything for a SQUISHY! Hooray for cheap findable fads!