Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Saturday, October 31st, 2015

Last year we went to watch the finish of the Twin Cities Marathon. That was when I reiterated that I would NEVER run a marathon, and Colleen and I said we would run a 1/2 marathon together. Neither one of those statements ended up being true last year 🙂 I ran my marathon, but Colleen and I completed a 10-mile race instead. The marathon goes from Minneapolis to St. Paul, but takes an indirect route. We ran the “shortcut to the capital” which goes straight from Minneapolis to St. Paul and finishes on the marathon route. It starts an hour before the marathon so crowds are starting to come out and the atmosphere is fantastic. Tons of fun. We ran and laughed and talked and had a great time. Here’s what we had for breakfast before the race 😉 (not a good idea to go to the largest candy store in Minnesota the day before running our race!)


And here we are at the finish. This was a great course and awesome crowds. It is a lottery to get into the 10-mile race so not yet sure if we’ll do it again next year, but maybe we’ll be up for it! Colleen did amazing for her first race of this distance!!! And I loved doing it with her! So cool!!!


First day of school for all of the kids. This year they are all at different schools. Three different bus times in morning and night. Three chances to miss the bus! One of them got rid of braces, one added braces, and one still needs braces!



Colleen (upper left in front) is helping to lead her dance team onto the field at half-time!


Wow does it seem like she grew up fast! It’s been a fun year for her on the dance team. And so fun to watch. Go Eagles!


Football. Grrrr. Create the lane!


What goes up…must come down! Head it Megs!



Erik raved about Amazon Prime so I gave it a shot. Wow does it make it sooooo easy to think of something and then order it instantly. One such purchase was light-up badminton birdies. Megan and I go outside most nights before bedtime and play for 10-20 minutes. It’s been a ton of fun playing in pitch darkness. Here is the camera on a tripod with the shutter open for 30 seconds watching the path of the birdie 🙂


Anyone can go to the apple orchard to pick apples. We go to play a round of one-handed catch with the apples 🙂


We had some friends come up from Illinois so they could check out several colleges along the way, and, of course, see Beth’s lab with their daughter. It was a really fun weekend catching up on old times and hanging out by the camp fire as our stew cooked on the open flames.


Where’s Waldo? Can you even guess which kid this is? Megan is somewhere in both pictures.



Colleen and I did a color run at the high school this year. Most of the color runs cost tons of money (and then you read how dishonest many of the organizers are), but this is a local race that’s been going on for years that switched this year to making it a color run. Perfect for us! Unfortunately it was the same night as the homecoming dance for Colleen, so she was a little colored in spots still while wearing her fancy dress 🙂 I met up with a few of our neighbors at the start and ran with one of them the whole way. Colleen wore a hat to help protect her hair, which also made it SOOOO easy to find her.






Ya know how they say that most accidents happen within a few miles of your home? Beth was a mile away from home, dropping Colleen off at school in the morning, when an inattentive driver rushing to work decided she couldn’t wait for Beth to completely clear the 4-way stop intersection. Grrrr. Wake up lady. Pay attention. 4-way stops aren’t that hard to figure out. We got the estimate today and unfortunately will be without that car for maybe 10 days. No one was hurt. Life goes on.


And, finally, it’s time to carve the great pumpkin. We rolled it onto a tarp and dragged it into the front yard. Megan has had a blast all day watching the expressions on just about every driver as they go past our house. Mouths agape and thumbs up signs. We weren’t sure what we’d find inside. The shell was about 6-7″ thick, but otherwise was easy to carve through. It’s been a fun spring, summer, and fall watching that thing get bigger and bigger!!!








Frozen Fun

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Happy New Year! The last I wrote it was probably almost 100 degrees warmer (and in just a few days it will be 80 degrees warmer than it is now). Can you believe it? 100 degree difference? What a swing in temps! It is -50F with the wind chill now. Which lets us have some fun outside. Well…lets us have fun in 5 minute increments outside or we lose fingers and toes. Tonight we: loaded squirt guns repeatedly with boiling water and shot cool vapor trailed streams, froze a spoon straight up in an egg that had been cracked just minutes earlier (even with a broken yolk it worked), and hammered a nail through two boards using a frozen banana (it really worked!). Fun stuff!

Back in December we rang bells at the Mall of America with the Purdue Alumni Club. The weekend before Christopher and I could have rang bells with the scouts for 1.5 hours in negative temperatures outside of Walmart. We’ve done that before and the clock ticks sooooo slowly while your toes freeze soooo quickly. So…instead I signed us up for 2.5 hours of bell ringing in a somewhat enclosed entrance to Macy’s at the Mall of America – that cleared my conscience! It was great to see little kids so excited to put some coins in the bucket or watching teenagers pull out their pop-icon-wallets or purses and get a few wrinkled bills out to put in the bucket – those kids were raised right! But it was sad how many people would avoid eye contact at all costs and try to completely avoid you. I don’t care if you donate money or not but at least look us in the eye and know why you aren’t giving money. What are your values? What do you believe in? Why are you so afraid to look at us? Feeling guilty about something? I made it our family’s goal to get everyone to look up and smile at us. We cheerfully said “good morning” to everyone – and if you tried to avoid us we smiled bigger and yelled out to you even more cheerfully. I felt like we were a mini-brigade of Boston Samaritans on a campaign to spread happiness to everyone as they started their day. It wasn’t about the money – it was about spreading cheer and smiles and happiness! But we also made a lot of money on our shift 🙂

Here’s some randomness to go with many of the pictures. We went to St. Louis for Thanksgiving – saw the zoo there, visited the arch, ate at Gus’ Pretzels and had frozen custard at Ted Drewes. Megan did a planet presentation on Jupiter. I was recently going through my childhood scrapbook and saw that I also did Jupiter at about the same age. Guess I shouldn’t be surprised that in 35 years the fun facts about Jupiter haven’t changed at all between what she and I each came up with. The kids and Susana have had a lot of fun sledding. Susana and Irene (her friend from Spain who is at another immersion school nearby) made us some fantastic Spanish food. Nerf battles all over the basement. Ate some Greek food. Ate with Danny DeVito. Kids got bit by a turtle. I chilled in the backyard in the awesome chair and foot rest that the kids made. Watched Colleen dance some more. Christmas morning in rockin’ footy pj’s.

I went jogging on New Year’s Day. Ran 3.5 miles. It was a bit below zero. I figured everybody would be out running on New Year’s Day taking care of their resolutions on Day 1. Go figure – I didn’t pass anyone else out there. Shocker, huh? There’s a special spot I have on this run where I talk to Katherine for a bit. I ran more than I ever have that first year after she died – somehow I ended up having a special spot on the trail for a few hundred feet where I feel close to her. Glad I started my new year that way. Ok, when I came back from my run I had ice caked on my back…Megan thought that was cool and wrote her name in the ice on my running shirt. The run was great – I ran off a few of the pounds I gained from our fun New Year’s Eve randomly assigned spouse swap cooking fest 🙂

So what sounds worse…Nordic fare at the Taste of Scandinavia with items such as lefse, krumkake, sandbakkels, kjottboller, julekake, kringle, sot suppe, risengrynsgrot, flot brod, fattigmand, and egg coffee, or………Harry Potter Every Flavour Jelly Beans???? If you chose the Taste of Scandinavia you are wrong big time. The Scandinavian food was great – we got plates full of sweets of all kinds and meatballs and all sorts of yumminess. On the other hand…Megan got six boxes of Harry Potter Every Flavour Beans for Christmas. Flavors of jelly beans include the following: banana, black pepper, blue berry, booger, candy floss, cherry, cinnamon, dirt, earthworm, earwax, grass, green apple, marshmallow, rotten egg, sausage, lemon, soap, tutti-frutti, vomit, and watermelon. I thought they were a joke…uh…no…they taste exactly what they sound like…so nasty…but so much fun for Megan and friends 🙂

Happy New Year everyone! Good luck with those resolutions – or better yet…dreams!


Monday, September 21st, 2009

Little Miss Megan has started doing all the things the big kids do…here she is going to dance and her first day of school. She is really loving doing all this cool stuff. She got to bring home the “share bag” today from preschool and she is psyched to “stump” everyone with what toy she brings to school in the bag. I suggested she put Orca in that bag, and between her and Christopher somehow Orca-in-the-bag evolved into bringing a bag full of poop to school. Ahhh…my type of humor. Poop, poop, and more poop.

We finally launched Christopher’s model rocket this past weekend. The girls especially weren’t very excited to go do this…but after that first rocket shot in the air they changed their minds. I forgot how fast they took off – I’m hooked again. The rocket we have comes down with only a streamer (no parachute) so it is a lot easier to find but it gets dinged up fast! Especially the last time when we put a B engine in it and the streamer tore off way up high…and of course that was the only time it drifted far enough to land on pavement instead of the grass. I think Christopher will definitely be asking for more FlisKits for Christmas. Daddy will be asking for a supply of engines – I had one pack of engines from 20 – 25 years ago (man am I getting old!) – they cost $2.99 back then. Care to take a guess on what they cost now? $5.00? Higher. $6.00? Keep going. $7.00? Try $8.69 – zowy! Thankfully the launcher still works (that would have been another $60 at least).

Forgot to include this picture from the fair before – but I think it’s a keeper:

Mom (or anyone else), if you’re sitting around with some time on your hands, and are still wondering what my department (Pearson VUE) does within Pearson…well here’s a good idea of what we do based on a new program we’re rolling out soon: Pearson Test of English Academic. Maybe a bit dry but all of the software and services to support everything they’re talking about pretty much comes out of our department full of rock star developers located in Bloomington, MN.

We’ve got 10+ girls coming to our house this Friday night for a campfire, tie-dying, and a sleep over for Colleen’s birthday. Wish us luck 🙂

Ok, enough for now. Keep bending that knee waaaaaaayyyyyy back mom. 20 more reps. Atta girl!!!

All talk, no pics

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Spring is here – every day when we do a garden walk there are tons of new things sprouting up. It all looks so manageable now. Hard to believe we will have completely lost control of the yard in another few weeks! Hopefully I’ll be able to plant the garden this coming weekend. All of my neighbors have mowed…I’m hoping I can get away without mowing for a few weeks yet!

Mini-marathon status update. This past weekend I ran 10 miles. I hated every step after about mile 5. And then I feel awful the rest of the day too. Why do people run this far (and beyond)??? Blah. If I don’t enjoy it and it makes me feel bad then part of me wants to quit (actually, I haven’t registered yet so technically I’m not quitting anything), but another part of me is saying this is as close as I’ll ever come to running this far in my life…so I’d better do it now.

We did the Arbor Day walk this past weekend too. This is the time of the year that we throw the saplings away that have been in our refrigerator for a year and replace them with new saplings 🙂 Ok…we have a few to-do’s coming up…plant our new saplings and bury Raja (yes, she’s still sitting on the bookshelf). I can’t help but laugh as I type this. Maybe if I blog about it we will finally take care of it, huh?

I didn’t have the heart to tell Aunt Katherine months ago that right after Christmas, Christopher loaded up the Pokemon album that she got him, took it to school, traded it for a few crappy cards, and thought he made out great. Yep, that Christmas present was instantly gone. So…5 months later…that album apparently has been traded back and forth at school between Ethan, Havey, and Cap, and finally…Cap traded it back to Christopher (less most of the cards that were in it) a few days ago. Christopher is Mr. Happy Go Lucky and is happy to have his album back even if it is empty.

Christopher told me the other day that I shouldn’t say “hello” or “grass” since they both have bad words in them. He proceeded to say “you know, helllllll……o, but I don’t know the bad word in grass”. Ahhh, growing up quickly in the YMCA.

Hey Norm Coleman, the majority of Minnesota (including the people who originally voted for you) wants you to quit and stop wasting everyone’s money and time. It’s over buddy, pack up your crap and git.

Biking 30 miles this coming weekend. I’m thinking I should get my bike down from storage and put some air in the tires before Saturday morning. Beth reminded me a few months ago that for our “fruit and flowers” anniversary many years ago I gave her a bouquet of something and bought her tickets to Elton John…so…tomorrow night we see Elton John and Billy Joel. Yes, we’re old, and loving it 🙂


Thursday, February 12th, 2009

The latest version of this blogging software has a “quickpress” feature to do quick updates…here’s my first test of that.

We finally did it! The last few years we’ve come in 2nd or 3rd, and up until last week I was ready to accept a 3rd place trophy again. But…it finally happened…we beat the defending 3 time champions who live directly across the street from us. We are officially the last people on the block with our Christmas lights still up!!! Ok, we were…ours got shut off tonight. Victory is all ours!!! I used to think they thought when the Groundhog saw his shadow it meant six more weeks of their Christmas lights – but not this year. Ha ha – losers!

Test – Movie

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

Colleen’s quick intro