Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

Nov and Dec catch-up

Saturday, October 14th, 2017

Ok…got a new computer (it’s been a pain to find and organize photos without it the way I like)…Beth’s PhD is done…I finished running my 2nd marathon of the year (4th total in the past 2.5 years)…kids are getting settled into school and sports…so I can FINALLY get around to sharing pictures from LAST November and December. Sad, I know. But hopefully I’m back now and can get these out at least once a month again. Here’s to hoping for that anyway πŸ™‚ Yes these are from November and December of 2016. You’ll just have to wait for pics of Beth’s PhD πŸ™‚

Last year I ran my first ever Moustache Run. This is part of Movember activities that raise money for men’s health issues. By race day there are so many creepy looking guys…and I was proudly one of them πŸ™‚ December probably couldn’t come soon enough for Beth!



Eden Prairie made it to the state football championship, which means we got to see the inside of the new Vikings arena for the first time. It is huge and confusing…I can’t imagine what it is like on game day and packed with people. I’m sure I sound like the old man that I’m becoming, but no thanks – watching those games on tv is fine with me.


Look at the guilty face. Poor puppy. Orca loves scratching her back on the Christmas tree. I may join her this year πŸ™‚


I’m guessing this was the same night that I took the kids to be part of the cloud chorus at the mall of america (good luck finding us in this video). There were only so many rehearsals we could take of that same song so we left the chorus early…and ran into the cast from Harry Potter at the bookstore. These characters obviously took what they were doing very seriously – and I think a few were blurring the lines between living in our world and living in their own little Harry Potter worlds. They were the ones with wands and murmuring about spells, so I’ll let them believe whatever they want to.



Genesis taught us how to make Pan de Jamon (or as I like to say, pandejamonium – sorry). So easy, and so yummy. I can eat this for days. Buen provecho! Eden Prairie has a great Venezuelan restaurant to get our arepa fix. I definitely recommend searching for a Venezuelan restaurant near you (wherever you may be)!


Nothing makes me quite feel valued as a dad, as coming home to loving notes such as these. Warms my heart. Who doesn’t love presents at Christmas time? Let me know if you want pictures of what was inside the commode πŸ˜‰


Do you ever get tired of the annual leaf photos? Fun times. I love fall (and winter, spring and summer too I guess). But it’s hard to beat that perfect fall day!






And it’s days like these when I miss fall even more πŸ™‚ I don’t think we have many more years of snowball fights. How come their main play time together has the word “fight” in it? I should just be happy that they are playing together, right?




Ok, that wraps up 2016 (whew!)…bring on the new year πŸ˜‰

October catch-up

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

Yikes! It just turned March, and here I am finally sharing pics from October. It’s time to get this back on track! It seems I’m still catching up from all of the posting and writing I did elsewhere as I raised money for the Boston Marathon journey last year. Here’s our current news: Megan scored 4 goals this morning in her team’s soccer win (final score was 6-5 and our team scored in the final 15 seconds for a thrilling end!). Yesterday Christopher won the 8th grade Life Sciences category of the science fair! This is the same category that Colleen won two years ago, so now the pressure is on for Megan in two years! Christopher’s basketball team took third place in the championships last weekend, by beating the same team twice in the same game! πŸ˜‰ Yep, you read that right. They got a shot off in time during regulation, that sat on the rim and slowly rolled into the net. The refs said it didn’t count (Booo! Get some glasses ref!), so we went to overtime – we were down with 2 seconds to go when one of our boys got a great look on a 3-point shot and put the game away! Another thrilling ending! The prior year this team didn’t win any games, so it was nice to not have another “character building” year πŸ™‚

Last night we watched My Cousin Vinny as a family. I never know how the older movies will land with our kinds. They all watched this one, which was fun. I typically go to IMDB to read the parental advisory beforehand so I know what to expect (and to decide if there is way too much inappropriate stuff going on). The worst thing about My Cousin Vinny was this, “34 f-words, with multiple other dirty four-letter words and three religious profanities.” We made a game of it by counting the f-words throughout the movie – by then end of the movie our count was only off by one – not bad! Last week I watched When Harry Met Sally (something about that movie always makes it enjoyable). Tonight maybe we’ll watch The Blues Brothers (“9 uses of “f–k”. 25 uses of “s–t”. Many hells and damns.” – so our game won’t quite be as much as My Cousin Vinny – too bad they swore so much in some of those movies), and I have City Slickers almost ready at the library for next week. Can you tell I was in the mood for older movies recently?? πŸ™‚ We also recently watched Nerve – I feel like I’m still anxious and nervous days later after that one – way too realistic!

I love this picture. The colors and contrast just seemed perfect that day in October in our backyard to make for an interesting picture (see Mom – she does have braces πŸ™‚ ). And it helps that I caught both of them in a semi-reasonable mood where they put up with my pics for a bit – that gets harder every year!

Megan’s soccer team was at a tournament and were waiting to hear the news of whether they would advance or not. At one point they formed a circle and one of the girls suggested they pray, which turned into giggling, and ended up as duck duck goose. They were a great group and had a really fun season! Our coach is very active and constantly keeping them thinking and learning – exactly what Megan has needed!


Here I am on my annual 30-mile bike ride. Chad is probably 6 1/2 feet tall – at one point we accidentally didn’t realize we got on the wrong bikes – took us a few miles to figure that mix-up out. Ha! Look how far the pedal is from my foot. And he looks like he is on a kid’s bike. Insane.

Happy Birthday mom and dad. I’ll see if I can buy all these and send them your way! The next time you visit we should go back to Minnesota’s largest candy store. They have a whole aisle with candy that you probably found at the newsstand way back when.

Going apple picking is really just an excuse to go to Minnesota’s largest candy store. You can’t do one without the other. I took two of the monkeys with me for a fun morning to beat the crowds at both places.

Somebody loves us!

My finance guy sends us a Boston Coffee Cake every year. We love them every year – soooo good! But this year we got two on the same day. I let him know right away and he said he had to call real quick to make sure he didn’t get charged for two cakes for all 100+ clients!!! He told me a month later that a handful of clients got two cakes for some reason due to a glitch at the Boston Coffee Cake company. Interestingly enough, it’s sort of funny math, but we discovered that two cakes go just as fast in our house as one!

Hard to believe it is the same dog. We’re making sweaters for everyone for Christmas with all the trimmings πŸ™‚

Colleen and I ran the Twin Cities Medtronic 10-mile “Shortcut to the Capitol” again this year. It was a beautiful morning for the race. Started a bit chilly but the sun was out and the crowds were great. I love running with Colleen, and thankfully our names were pulled two years in a row for the lottery for this race!

Posing for the race cameras πŸ™‚

10-miles all behind us at this point! Time for breakfast!

Megan and I walking back to our car after the race. Snoopy in St. Paul.

Colleen (and Carrie) spent all year working hard in her confirmation classes. Although this feels like a “graduation” our pastor made it clear this was only the beginning of their journey!


Megan and her friends for Halloween.

My goal last year was to run 1000 miles outside. I wanted to get credit using an online tool but I was really having trouble getting the apps to work together. At one point it gave me this not-so-inspriational message that I only had to do 492 miles per week to hit my goal. Uh….better start running! I have the same goal for 2017…keeps me active!

Ok, enough for now. I’ll try to get November’s pics out soon!!! πŸ™‚

Is there such a thing as a free donut?

Saturday, July 4th, 2015

One final Scrambler picture from Schooner Days. I love these pics with the two of them smooshed together. These two went on this ride over and over and over and over.


It’s June – so time to celebrate Christopher’s birthday, huh? Dirt cake, of course!


No backyard is complete is without zombie and monster shooting targets (hopefully this is as close as we get to the real thing but you never know with zombies these days)!


Followed by trampoline, rope course, laser tag, etc. Remember that scene from The Matrix when NEO is dodging bullets? Here’s Christopher’s reenactment of that.


Kids are crazy – I don’t know how they throw their bodies around like that.


Colleen earned the President’s Award for Educational Excellence. Woohoo – so proud of her and all of her hard work and focus this year. There is so much going on with school and dance, and staying organized, and she does wonderful with all of it. You go girl!!


Megan’s soccer season just ended. She had a great year – started out wanting to play defense, but finally is realizing the front line is more fun and rewarding (we know goals and sometimes assists, earn the family ice cream, but we never quite figured out a consistent way to measure ice cream awards on defense – scoring is where it’s at!).


Receiving her medal – way to go Megs!



Coach bought ice cream for the girls after our final game. It’s hard to believe that sometimes we can’t fit two kids on our couch without a fight, but somehow the entire team fit into one booth!


While Megan, Colleen and I were eating our ice cream, just 20 minutes away our house was under the darkest little blip on this map and they were getting some big ol’ hail. Crazy how isolated those summer storms can be.


Christopher has also been busy with sports. He tried a flag football league for the first time this spring. Something to keep him busy in the off season. He had fun doing it and had an amazing last game. He scored several times including the last 2 or 3 scores of the game. This summer he is taking a strengths training program put on at the high school by the football team. His first ever bench pressing and squats. Way to go hulk!




These pictures crack me up. I love the serious faces. Leave us alone, we’re not messing around dad.





How cold is your water straight out of the hose? Yep – ours is that cold too. I don’t know how she did it but Megan was swimming as we were filling up the pool. It felt like ice water. Brrrrrr!


I went for a jog over lunch one day at work and came across these three little dudes wandering around by the side of the road. Little bundles of fur that weren’t even as high as the curb. Cracked me up. Cool little dudes that will turn into masked trouble makers.



I ran a 10-mile course last weekend for Break the Stigma. It was a beautiful cross-country course through Whitetail Woods Regional Park. I’m not one to ever brag about going for a “PR”. I don’t even ever really say “PR”. But you’ll have to check out this link to see my Personal Record for a 10-mile course ( Yep, that’s me – averaged 6 minute, 53 seconds per mile. Wow – that is insanely fast for me. How could it be? Maybe because this course did so many loops and twists and crisscrossing of paths and doubling back that most people ended up taking a slight wrong turn and only ran about 8.24 miles (according to my phone). I bet a ton of people got their best times that day if they also got credit for running all 10-miles πŸ™‚ I probably would have finished about 8:45 min/mile, regardless, it was a beautiful course, for a great cause. Here are some pics from the course – sorry they are blurry (that’s due to my blazing speed!) – took them while running over bridges and trails and past turkeys (or are those raptors?!?!).




On Father’s Day we hit the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market. There was one person in front of me and there was only one person working. I had only been in line for about 10 seconds when the dude behind the counter, who was waiting on the only other customer, gave me a wise-ass remark that he’d be with me in about 20 minutes. Without missing a beat I said right back something like, “Glad you’re improving, that will be quicker than last week.” He started laughing and bought me this donut. See mom, being a smart ass does pay off. Nah nah.


Beth and I went to the final Wits show of the season. It was a great show – funny and with great guests. I wrote a small post about something Cary Elwes said if you’re interested. Before the show, and at intermission, you can tweet and they will show some of them on the big screen while people are mingling. Got mine posted just in time!


Early summer is here! I’ll call this piece, Scapes & Berries. Megan left me strict instructions to pick berries each day while she is in St. Louis. This was my first day’s harvest. And I ate every single one of them (the berries, not the garlic scapes – well not yet at least)!!!


Global what???

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

The rest of the world had a record hot year while Minnesota has one of the coldest falls ever – really? Is that how it works? I still love the winter and our seasons – no complaining here. Bring on the cold and snow!

We graduated from running down the hill to jump in the leaf pile. Now you have to sit & balance on a tiny snow board and get dragged down the hill. Wheeeee!




Another fun night roaming the neighborhood. Christopher is second from the left, Megan is the werewolf, and Genesis is on the right. Christopher and his friend were gone for hours and ended up in another neighborhood with some friends…including a group of girls…first we heard of that happening with him and his buddies. And so it begins.


Colleen and her friends did an awesome job as Alice in Wonderland this year.


Love it. Now get to bed so I can eat all the good stuff!


Beth and I went out several weekends in a row to celebrate our anniversary…a few nice meals (La Belle Vie finally was one of our stops), went to Wits (with Weird Al Yankovic as a guest) and also did Prairie Home Companion’s every-few-years joke show).



We did the zoo on a nice, crisp fall day. This zoo is great for the animals (natural habitat surroundings and lots of land) which means it isn’t always so great for the humans, but this day we got to see several animals fairly close up. We even had a moose come right up to a fence which was fun.







My version of this is that I asked Megan to take the cattails from the pond and carefully throw them over the hill so that the seeds didn’t all land in our yard…I’ll have to write that down for her next year πŸ™‚


Remember that big rock that used to be right next to the driveway? You remember it. The one that didn’t used to be sitting in the street? We have cars crash into our yard every year – slight curve going downhill in a residential neighborhood – why wouldn’t everyone drive crazy fast and out of control? The lady who moved our boulder last week almost made it a 1/2 mile from her house. She also almost took out me, Orca and two of our kids. Hitting the rock deployed her air bag so I got to be first “on scene” 10 seconds after she crashed. Drive safe everybody!!!


Something about snow on pumpkins makes me want to take their picture every year. Going from scary teeth to old man toothless smile.


It seemed like a good idea at the time to leave the trampoline up for one snow storm. But then the weather turned and it looks like it won’t get above 40 until May the way things are going. Sigh.


Baby got back. Having fun at the intern festival for our school.


The snow chairs are back!


This snow man is going to need an all-over body waxing!


Summer – Part IV (b-day)

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Megan’s 9th Birthday

My favorite food is…Mommy’s mac-n-cheese
When I grow up I want to be a…person who makes people have babies (which we clarified to be a nurse who helps deliver babies and helps take care of the mommies
My favorite restaurant is…Noodles
My favorite possession is…Pengui (penguin stuffed animal)
My favorite color is…blue
My favorite song is…Hunger Games I Wanna Go
My favorite book is…Spirit Animals
My favorite movie is…Catching Fire
My favorite holiday is…Christmas (because of presents)
My favorite season is…winter (so we can sled)
My favorite thing to do is…play video games
If I could do anything tomorrow I would…go to the north pole and meet Santa!
It would be a really good year this year if…I met Peeta and Katniss

Hard to have a birthday any more without a dirt cake. It turns out that Megan didn’t even want a dirt cake but asked for it because a girl at her party last year asked her if she was having a dirt cake again. Megan says she doesn’t like cake…she’s realizing it a lot earlier in life than I did…pies is where it’s at.


We had an outdoor beach ball themed party. Here are the girls running through the yard on a scavenger hunt.


And in the pool. And then to the trampoline. And then to the hammock. And repeat, repeat, repeat. We had an absolutely beautiful day for the party!


Look who showed up at the party. The girl that found him and was playing with him remembered about half way through eating her cake, etc that she had been holding him a lot. Hee hee. You ate frog germs.


Dogs don’t belong on couches, laps, or hammocks. Not in my house. No way. And don’t give me that look.


Megan loving her legos.


The ducks didn’t make a nest in our yard or around our pond as far as I know but momma duck proudly marched her ducklings through our yard so we could see them. Thanks momma duck!


On the kid’s dream list for the summer…sleep on the trampoline! Check that one off the list!




Sunday, January 20th, 2013

Our church attendance has been a bit spotty this year (uh, just a bit of an understatement) but we decided last night we were going this morning no matter what (e.g., no matter how close to 0F the temp was). The sermon was great (the weather was 3F – not bad – it’s going to get A LOT colder the next few days) – all about joy and how we should laugh in church and life, and we need to find this happiness all around us all the time – this joy comes from deep within, is part of our being, and helps us feel connected and care for others in the world. Yes, it’s been a tough year but there are still happy moments and there will be many to come. Here is the joyful Affirmation of Faith from today’s service:

We believe in a God of joy, who shows up
In roasted marshmallows and chocolate cake and fresh fish;
In the feeling of sand between our toes, a kitten’s fur, the touch of another person;
In the sun that shines in our faces (even, inconveniently in this sanctuary);
In falling snow;
In the life-giving green of new life and in new birth.
We believe in the joy that God creates in our lives.
We believe in the joy that resides in each one of us.

Our minister told several stories about weddings that she has presided over and that after one wedding she got a comment from someone that they had “never laughed at a wedding”. I know I wrote about it before but I still have good memories of the whoopie cushion that Katherine gave to Christopher at her reception – I don’t know how many whoopie cushions make it to wedding receptions but I’m guessing it can’t be that many…it was a great moment of joy and having fun in the moment.

Here are some other moments of joy I captured from this week.

Megan and I were playing a game against each other on the computer and she named our teams. She kept her hand over her team’s name while I went first, and I could tell she was so proud of her team name…which…after the big reveal of removing her hand, was…team “aSOM”. Totally aSOM!!! πŸ™‚

We got a late Christmas gift this week. 3 slingshots, 2 packs of paint balls, and magnetic toys that have been recalled. We had a good laugh over this one. Payback is a you-know-what πŸ™‚

I’ve been pushing the kids to do more laundry. I caught them doing my and Beth’s laundry – as they were folding they were slingshotting our underwear and having a fun time (which Megan tried to blame on daddy – uh uh, I’m not taking the hit for this one) πŸ™‚

I was reading a story about sperm donation (related to a sperm donor being involved in a paternity suit when the female couple split up who had the baby – bizarre). Anyway, Schipper used to donate plasma in college – he was limited to doing it to something like once a month and the first experience made him either pass out or puke or both…and as I was reading the story we temporarily got confused as to what he used to donate in college – oops. Our confusion got even funnier thinking about which substance would be limited to once a month and would make someone pass out πŸ™‚

We had a scout pool party last weekend. Beth very clearly told Christopher and me to bring a towel and underwear for him. Those were our instructions…”bring a towel and underwear”. We’re no dummies…we don’t need to be told twice…we can remember two things…duh. So I drive him there, and we remembered the towel and underwear just like we were told. Like I said, we’re no dummies and we had it under control. So Beth shows up (she was taking over and I had to leave) and she asked where his clothes were. Clothes? We brought the towel, we brought the underwear…and of course he only wore his swimsuit & swim shirt there b/c it’s only early January in Minnesota. How Christopher and I get blamed for not bringing clothes still doesn’t make sense to either of us – we have been trained to turn off our brains and follow directions – and we’re pretty good at it! πŸ™‚

Ok…switching topics just for a minute. Aaron Swartz was in the news recently. As described by Wikipedia he was an “American computer programmer, writer, political organizer and Internet activist.” Smart dude, who created some companies and contributions to the computer world, but…he committed suicide (hanging) on January 11th, 2013. In November 2007 he blogged about his illnesses. He was a good writer and I was drawn to how he described some things in that post here –

Alright, switching back to joyful topics again. Check out the pictures. In hopefully not very random order…Christopher’s new pet Sammy; our beautiful children on Christmas morning posing with some of their new gifts which didn’t come as a packaged set; Christopher doing a combo skiing stop and Michael Jackson pose; the entire height of our ski MOUNTAIN (hill); Megan’s chair in the snow; Colleen’s Sammy Sosa outfit for a school report; Colleen and her friend at their science fair exhibit (on how tie dye stains different types of material); and finally, we had two visitors this morning who came to play with Orca – this picture is right off our patio – yikes coyotes are big up close!!!

No more homework, no more books…

Monday, June 11th, 2012

School’s out – hooray! Beth quit her job and is looking forward to August – hooray! We’ll be out in NH in a few weeks – hooray!

I don’t think I posted this yet…but maybe I did…oh well, shut up and watch it again πŸ™‚ It’s going viral! All you really need to watch are the first 10 seconds!

EPFD Video

I hit 10 years with the department in August – crazy it’s been that long. Lots of great experiences. Last week I did a presentation at school for both Christopher’s and Colleen’s classes – it was a ton of fun. I always really enjoy that and the kids are great & have many good & interesting questions.

Ok – here’s some more Katherine stuff for a bit…ready? Is it too much that I built a reflecting pool in our backyard in her memory? Is that normal? Did you all build one too? It looks nice, huh?

Christopher seems to be getting the most use out of it – he spends hours at a time reflecting. Anybody buying that? So I spent a day leveling the spot for our pool – and I got it all ready…and then it rained for like 3 days straight, and then it took a week for the mud to dry up, so finally 2 weeks later we got the pool set up. But it’s up now, and no support beams have bent this year so I’m somehow getting better πŸ™‚

So I wrote this phrase down probably in February and was going to see if Katherine could use this to communicate better with Erik’s family. I never got around to sending it to her – probably an old one everybody has heard before anyway and it just took this long for it to get to the midwest. Mom, maybe you can still use this when talking to Erik or his family: WHALE OIL BEEF HOOKED. You’re welcome – always happy to help.

So…I thought maybe I could bank up some brownie points and I brought Beth to the Princess Diana exhibit at the Mall of America. Wow – I still can’t quite find the words to describe how I felt about all the dresses on display. And I’m still wondering why they let me into that place but somehow managed to pull every other guy out of line (it didn’t help that Hooters was right across the hallway from the entrance to this exhibit). Oh well – I made the most of it. One room focused on her funeral and had a speech on the wall that was written by her brother – maybe eulogies are just like reading a horoscope in that somehow it applies to most anyone but I still found comfort in many parts of Charles Spencer’s tribute to his sister Diana and that I could relate portions of a speech about a greatly admired princess to Katherine.

Ok…moving on to other topics. Can anybody guess what this is?

Bizarre food crime scene? Bizarre fantasy food scene? Give up? This is what happens when you let boy scouts create devices to try to protect an egg as it is dropped off a 90′ fire truck ladder. Some boys tried to protect their eggs, while others decided to put their eggs in jello, or peanut butter, or bags of flour for the splat effect! And my boy was the former πŸ™‚

Speaking of my good boy. Here’s the day he was initiated into his new “Grease” gang.

That was crazy hair day, and that’s as crazy as he was going to get this year. No colors and no hair out of place. Absolutely crazy!

And here’s Colleen stopped on the bridge as she contemplates whether or not to advance to the next level in girl scouts. Not sure what she decided – guess you’ll have to ask her.

Schooner days was here again for mommy’s birthday. This is the little fair that is staged about a mile from our house. They bring in all sorts of rides and deep fried foods and of course a gigantic bingo tent. It’s always a fun time and holds us over until the state fair arrives.

And then for Beth’s birthday we went and ate outside on a dock by a huge lake and got our kids all liquored up. Nothing says party like a 6 year old drinking beer.

The flowers are starting to wake up in our yard. The poppies only bloom for a day before a light breeze blows their petals everywhere. Crazy how fast they bloom and are gone. But if you catch them on that day they are beautiful. I call this one “Here doggie, here doggie”:

And of course I call this one “Poppy and killer whale”

So maybe it’s my fault for not bringing in the flag before it got dark. But I went to get the flag the other night and about crapped my pants when something fairly big moved at my hand in the darkness. Turns out it was a friendly neighborhood tree frog way up high on the drainspout. He almost got smooshed just like I did to his buddy accidentally last year πŸ™

And finally, here’s Megan’s new trick…


Sunday, November 27th, 2011

Boo! (right after I took this photo we had Colleen put on her Halloween costume too – tee hee hee)

Here’s the move I taught Colleen. She’s almost doing it the way I do it. With a little more practice she’ll get it to be perfect and not look so strained & uncomfortable! I think this may be the first costume that Megan actually likes a bit.

Christopher’s cub scout den got caught by the cops for causing some trouble at the mall. Here they are getting handcuffed and locked up. We let them all (including Megan) spend the night in jail to teach them a lesson!!!

I’ll let you add your own caption to this one. I did start locking the liquor cabinet after this one if that makes anyone feel better.

We got our first real snow of the season last week. Megan spent hours and hours outside in 20F weather – she is quite the trooper when she wants to be – and loving everything outside but mainly focusing on sledding, sledding, and more sledding.

Our kids are getting so smart. Megan’s latest learning from school is that she has started adding “pyramids” at the end of every sentence. Christopher’s flash of brilliance tonight was when we were working on his religious emblem award for scouts. I was trying to give him hints about who were the first people to visit Jesus. “They brought gifts and followed a star…”. Nope – no guesses. “The three…”. Nope – still no guesses. The “three wise…”. Pause, followed by this guess – “the three wise guys”? Goofball. Everybody got their report cards last week – lots of P’s, a few D’s, and I’m not sure if there were any B’s which is great for all of them. Does NH have P’s, D’s, and B’s? We made a quick trip and back to St. Louis this week – left on Tuesday and were back by Friday night. It was quick but a good time with lots of great food and seeing family. Our kids have fun playing with all of the cousins down there. We brought Orca – wow, she barely ever got a chance to rest – the kids in St. Louis love her and definitely are making up for not being allowed to have dogs of their own. Orca is always a great dog and thankfully deals very well with constantly being chased, grabbed, etc.

It’s a good day when we can get up for the early church service and do brunch afterwards. Today we tried Tilia. This place has been getting tons of rave reviews this past year and I’m glad I could finally sample it too (although I discovered that I need to go back and work my way through their outstanding tap beer selection). It was a hip place with fun food that you don’t see every day that tasted great (e.g., I had slow-poached eggs in parmesean cream with grilled bread and “three little pigs”; Beth had yogurt creme brulee; Megan had a peanut butter french toast waffle).

Tuesday of this week is the space derby for scouts and on Wednesday I make my first home visit to talk to a child about what wishes they want (for Make-A-Wish). I’m very excited to start participating in this program. I have a wish partner who is also new to this but this first time we will have an experienced wish granter going with us to mentor us. I’m really hoping this Wednesday goes well, and after this “interview” then we will focus on what wish we can deliver for this child.

I’ll close with this scanned homemade card that I think Katherine and Dan sent me just a year or two ago πŸ˜‰ I found this card when I was looking through old photos that I’m trying to pull together for a calendar of my college roommates. It made my day to feel loved and handsome πŸ™‚

Spring has sprung

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

Across the street our neighbor has not one, but two concrete geese on her porch – one dressed as an Easter bunny and the other dressed as a cardinal. I guess that’s a sure sign of spring. Or a sign that she belongs in a looney farm. Dressing geese up? Multiple fake geese? Can you say wacko? Stick with barbies and keep them in your house lady.

The weather was absolutely beautiful this weekend. We ate dinner by a campfire last night and today we ate lunch outside on the patio. After dinner Beth and I sipped some wine on our bench on the hill – yep, got all the lawn furniture out yesterday, did some raking, cleaned out the pond, etc. Another sure sign of spring – today I saw two big fish in the pond (they survived the winter – yah!) and we also sighted the first duck of the year landing in our pond. Love to see the animals come out this time of year.

And our last big sign of the weather getting better…we finally got Megan’s Christmas present out of the shed!!! Thankfully it worked – she loves tooling around the yard and is having a blast with it. I’m not sure that Christopher will ever figure out that the doors won’t open no matter how hard he pulls – but all the kids are lovin’ it.

The water park was great for spring break. Had a fun time as always. The kids are now doing every slide in the park. Remember a photo similar to this one three years ago (yep, this blog has survived 3 years!!!)?

Ian and Wendy couldn’t make it this year b/c our spring breaks didn’t line up so we replaced them with some friends up here πŸ™‚

One of the highlights of the trip was that all of the kids defeated the dragon in the MagiQuest – don’t mess with us!!!

Check out Colleen’s elastic arms – how did she do that?

Our local hardware store (Menards) closed for a year so that they could completely rebuild a brand new super store. It is an amazing store now. Here’s a picture of Colleen riding up the moving walkway that will move people and their carts up to the 2nd floor. When’s the last time you saw a player piano in a hardware store?

Megan was helping me switch my gear at the fire station. Almost fits πŸ™‚

Christopher will soon be a Wolf scout. I think he gets to walk across the bridge to earn his new rank in a few weeks. Last week the scouts learned about marbles. I learned more than I ever needed to know about marbles in my life.

That groundhog was wrong

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Did you check out that Purdue basketball game today? Ohio who? Not in our house. Boiler up!

Yesterday I think the forecast was something like 2″ – 12″. Today it was 12″ – 15″ and they think more is coming tonight and tomorrow but at this point I guess it doesn’t really matter. Here are a few pictures of our house, the road into our neighborhood, and me shoveling. Whew! Lots of work!!!

Ok, maybe those weren’t quite accurate (thanks Paul Douglas for letting me borrow those from your website – that’s the least you could do for being so wrong on this weekend’s forecast, huh?). Here is a photo from tonight. This morning we could see 100% of our patio…and tonight it is a different story. So here’s a question, if Beth is the one who wanted the little kick-me foo-foo dog then why am I the one shoveling the backyard?

I had to drive through the neighborhood this afternoon to pick up the kids from play dates. The road conditions were awful – I blew through several stop signs so I wouldn’t get stuck. I also feared for my life driving through my neighborhood – house after house had mean looking dudes wearing ski masks and goggles out front looking angry at the snow as they pushed their snow blowers around. Perfect day to rob a bank – you’d fit right in.

Christopher was star of the week last week in school. That just means that his parents get to stay up late making posters about how wonderful he is πŸ™‚

I used to recommend that it is a good idea to create a chalkboard wall for your kids. I’m having second thoughts about that now. Grrrrrrrrr.

Has anyone read The Dream Manager yet? Created your dream lists? Or bucket lists? One of my dreams was to take some art lessons. I took a soldering class in the fall and made the ugliest jewelry you’ve ever seen in your life. Absolutely awful. Not my calling. So now I’m taking some water color classes – they fit with my open Wednesday nights and it is a TON better than that last class. Here are two of my paintings after a few lessons…the lighthouse painting isn’t done. I think I paint a few nudes next. Guess what everybody’s getting for Christmas this year?

I’d write more but it’s time to go shovel (again).