Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

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! 😉 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 🙂

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?? 🙂 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 🙂 ). 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 🙂

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 🙂

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!!! 🙂

Where did May go?

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

What a good boy – bringing a flower to mommy on Mother’s Day weekend. Christopher has been playing flag football in the spring. It’s been fun for him but I think he’s ready for the real deal in the fall again. Next week he starts a strength training camp put on by the football team – I think I started playing around with weights about his age – great life long habit to get into. I think he’s doing anything he can to finally be able to beat me up 🙂


And of course our standard Mother’s Day lunch at Convention Grill. Mmmmm,mmmmmm, goodness. Yummy burger, great fries, and all washed down by a super thick chocolate banana malt.


Sprinkler under the trampoline was a new one – kept him cool and wet but it makes it a lot harder to bounce.


Megan’s dream this year has been to plant an apple tree. You know I can’t resist supporting someone’s dream. So we planted two apple trees in our yard (the price was right, only $25 per tree from a local plant sale). Megan loves taking care of plants – she was a big help digging this hole! Now we just wait about five years for our efforts to pay off!


This is what spring soccer looks like mid-May in Minnesota – ha! Ok, it was unusually cold that day, but guess whose child only wore shorts and a short sleeve shirt while all the other kids had on hats, gloves, long sleeves, pants, and ear muffs? Even Megan was cold after this one.


So I see this big polyphemus moth (what, that’s not what you call them?) on the ground in the parking lot when I get to work. Not moving. And he’s in pretty much the same spot when I leave 9 hours later. Not moving. It is cold. There is no shelter or vegetation around. And we had a similar moth a few years back emerge from a cocoon in one of our bushes. So I pick him up and put him on my jacket in the seat next to me in my car and head home. About halfway home he starts moving a bit and then starts beating his wings a ton. I still didn’t think he would be strong enough to fly but before I knew it he took flight and started flying all around my car. It got me cracking up as I wondered if anyone in the cars next to me could see this enormous flying whatever going all around me and my car 🙂


Some things haven’t changed at all in the past 35 years. Christopher’s buddies have all started solving the rubic’s cube so finally Christopher gave in and we started playing with it too.


Chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool. This is a well deserved break. Grandma and Grandpa T hardly rested at all when they were here. I loved the visit and we had a great time staying busy working around the house, talking, see a soccer game, going out for dinner & ice cream, going to church, visiting the farmer’s market, sewing (thank you!), etc, etc, etc. Thank you for everything – it was great seeing you. Love you all!


Cheers at Maynards on the water while Grandma and Grandpa are in town!


Last time Grandma and Grandpa T were in town we got a new ladder because someone didn’t think my old $10 ladder from an estate sale was safe enough. It’s been laying by the campfire ever since so this time we burned it. And of course how can you resist not standing it up in the fire?


Christopher has been in a leadership club all year that culminated with a presentation to the principal and other teachers. I had to laugh when they sent a picture that night and he was wearing a skull shirt that day – and his buddy didn’t show up so he had to present alone. Fun times.


Grandpa forced us all to go to Freeziacs. Thank you Grandpa.


We changed the rules up a bit to play “speed monopoly” which ended up being a lot of fun for everyone. Everyone quit before we could declare me the winner (get your own blog if you don’t like how I summarize things – heh heh).


This first picture is what the water tower looked like the whole time Grandma and Grandpa were here. Grandpa kept saying they are painting the tower. I said that was dumb and that this was a magic show. And if not a magic show then one of those giant swing rides at the state fair. Grandpa insisted they were painting it. Uh…check out the 2nd photo…don’t you feel dumb now…it’s very obviously a magic show…and then look at the 3rd picture…ta da!




And it’s gone – totally amazing. It’s not painted – it’s just gone. That’s magic! How do they do that?!?!?


Rumor has it that when Christopher first showed this to mommy she thought it was a tank – hee hee. Don’t mess with us or we’ll send over our killer turtle tanks!


At what point do you realize your career is a bit off track when you are spending 241 hours putting 68,827 legos together to make a giant peacock for the arboretum. And whose job was it to count those legos? I swear I have never seen this kit at the lego store in the Mall of America. (note: Our local paper had an article on this a few days after I typed this post. Little did I know that there is an elite group of only 12 professionals in the WORLD recognized by The LEGO Group for their constructing skill and enthusiasm – and we have been blessed to see Sean Kenney’s work who is one of this elite group. I love it that they say they certify for not only skill but also “enthusiasm”. Dude, you got mad Lego building skills but for a 40-year-old you just didn’t show enough enthusiasm to the art – maybe you should stick with the kids jumbo blocks instead.)


We got to watch some turtle log rolling at the arboretum. Just when a few turtles would get balanced on this log, another turtle would come along and get the whole log spinning again. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat.


Schooner Days came a weekend early this year so it beat Beth’s birthday by a bit. In the first picture if you look very closely and let your eyes focus on the right hand side (just below where those bars cross to make an “x”) you can see the carnies kid playing with his toys inside of the fenced in area (he blends into the background) – he was just feet away from the swinging cars of this ride. Insane. We couldn’t watch him – we were all afraid he would stand up or get distracted. And then check out Megan’s expression in the second picture – she doesn’t get that from me 🙂



Pumpkin Gobble

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

The fall just went zooming by…from finishing up football, to carving pumpkins, to playing in the leaves, to having campfires, to cleaning out the gutters, raking up all the leaves, and getting the sleds and snow shovels down from storage. I’m not sure that I have a favorite season but I do love the smell in the air, getting out the warm flannel sheets, and that crisp slap to the face when you step outside in the morning this time of year 🙂

Christopher’s football team went undefeated this year and won the championship! He saved his best game of the year for the championship game. In that game he had a few good tackles and won the ultimate prize…brownies from the coaches (only a few players get brownies after each game from the coaches). That made his whole season! There are a ton of videos but I tried to single out the ones you should watch if you are interested – he’s #90:

10/1/2013 – EP Black (Chris’s team) vs EP Orange – watch video 20 (notice who ends up on the bottom of the pile!)

10/5/2013 – EP Black (Chris’ team) vs Chaska Black (Chris is wearing a maroon long-sleeve shirt under his uniform so look for red/maroon arms) – watch video 18 (he’s in on the tackle), video 24 (a hilarious tackle – I watch this one over and over), and video 46 (a punt from our team into the head of one of our own plays – fun stuff)

10/26/2013 – Championship Game – (Chris is wearing dark blue long sleeves in this game) – here are some fun ones to watch of Christopher – 22 (Christopher solo tackle) & 23 (helped with tackle), 28, 34, 68, 70

I didn’t get pictures from Susana of when mom and dad were out here so I’ll have to post those next time. I’m SOOOO glad they made it out here. It was an intense week of the year and unfortunately my stress was showing at times. Too many things going on at once and I was on edge here and there but I love having them come out and getting to hang out and talk and play with the grandkids. It’s tough being so far away so hopefully we can do this more often. It was made all the more special by a surprise visit from Danny DeVito – shocking.

We’ve been to two half-time dance performances by Colleen in the past week. Both times were at women’s Gopher basketball games. These games typically have lots of empty seats and by the second game we knew the routine of what they would do during timeouts throughout the game. At the first game during timeouts they threw some t-shirts and mini-basketballs out to the crowd. Maybe 10-20 of each so not that many people get them. We didn’t get anything at the first game and Megan said she was going to get a ball the next time we went. Not only did she say she was going to get a mini-basketball, but she also said that once she got it she would use it as a pillow that night. So at the second game she picked our seats (4th row on one end of the floor with no other kids around us). When they came out with the mini-basketballs she ran to the aisle and jumped and waved her arms. Sure enough…one of the cheerleaders (who had been staring at me all night already…uh…maybe I’ll save writing about that for another time) spotted Megan and threw a ball in her direction. It was a high throw…and Megan was standing on the stairs…and the lights were so bright shining into Megan’s eyes…and if she didn’t catch it the ball would be up for grabs…so Megan stretched way up…and the ball was coming…and…and…and…of course she caught it and gave us a look like “I told you I’d get a ball” and she went right back to eating her ice cream with the ball tucked under her arm 🙂 We found Goldy (Goldy Gopher of course) after the game to get his signature. She did try using it as a pillow but when I woke her up this morning the ball was on the ground. She said it was too big and rolled a lot – hee hee.

Ok…gotta go do some sit-ups and jumping jacks and whatever else I can think of to make lots of room for turkey, stuffing, pie, etc, etc, etc.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!!


Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

I spy with my little eye…a strawberry pie!

For the first time ever we truly played a board game as a family. And I loved it. A lot of fun – for all of us. Yes, we’ve played some of my favorites for years but those games either have no strategy (e.g., Pretty, Pretty Princess) or they are stacked in favor of the parents (e.g., Blokus). But this time we played monopoly (the Chicago edition). It took us about a week, but we finished the game. Colleen and Christopher played – and Megan was the banker and official dice grabber/distributor. Christopher started the game off by just going around the board – I don’t think he bought a single property after the first one or two times around the board. He would pause to consider properties but then decided he liked his money too much to spend any of it. Needless to say, I was the first one out, followed shortly by Beth, and then Christopher had no problem trouncing Colleen too. He raked it in. Somehow everything seemed to go his way. He had both get-of-jail cards. He had a hotel on the Sears Tower (now called the Willis Tower) which was the most expensive property on the board. On each of our final turns we thought we were safe because we ended up stopping just before his properties…but then I rolled a 3 to land on the Sears tower, Beth rolled a 4 to do the same, and Colleen (several turns later) also rolled a 4 to do the same. Stinker. And…he could have cleaned up a day or two ago but he didn’t want to spend much money on houses and hotels. That’s the last time we play with him!!!

Let me ask everyone who lives in Nashua this question? Is being ranked #1 in the country by CNN’s Money magazine a blessing or a curse? Is it the kiss of death? Eden Prairie is #1. We’re #1. We’re #1. We’re #1.

We watched a deer eat whole heads of flowers off of plants in our yard in single chomps…and then we sent Orca after it. Lucky for her it ran off – I’m not sure what she would have done if it had just stayed there.

Another firefighter gave us his old 15′ pool for free. So I found a somewhat level spot in the yard and set it up real quick when Beth’s parents were out here last month. The instructions just say find a “level” spot -they don’t say how level is level. After a few days it became apparent that my definition of level and their definition of level were a bit different. To further complicate my leaning pool situation the side that was downhill is of course where I had positioned the drain plug which ended up being about 1′ underneath the pool and impossible to get to due to the weight of the water. We tried this pool out to see if we would use it but it also had a leak in the air ring that kind of supports the pool…so here’s the picture of me draining the pool. I don’t know why they give you a drain valve – my method seemed to work just fine and was a lot more exciting. Just like watching the huge bucket dump tons of water at the Great Wolf Lodge! We then went out and bought a brand new 15′ pool, I moved just a bit of dirt to give a pool a better chance of surviving the summer, and the kids have loved it ever since. Every night they go out there. And during the day with sitters they are in it all the time. Fun fun fun. I love Christopher’s happy dance – he just needs some country music and a cowboy hat and he’d be all set.