End of summer 2013

Wow – where did the summer go??? School starts tomorrow!!! It’s been a really good summer – and we’re looking forward to a good year ahead of us.

Our biggest news is that Susana joined our family a week and a half ago. She is an intern with the Spanish school and is from Spain (a small village of 100 people but she has lived in a larger city called Soria most recently). She will be living with us until mid-February, and we are loving having her as part of our family. I’m sure she’s trying to look up what “redneck” means in Spanish…so far we’ve taken her to the State Fair, and to Friday Night Destruction at the car track (the highlight was a figure 8 school bus race), we sewed with glue (hee hee), introduced her to Kristin (one of my crazy college roommates), and we fed her food fit only for animals in Spain (corn – ha!). Fun stuff! We’ve also gone on a bike ride, and showed her Costco, cooked some Spanish treats together, and taken her to the Mall of America, and the Cherry on the Spoon, and to Beth’s lab, and had a small ice cream social at our house with our buddy (helper) families…all sorts of fun stuff!! And she hasn’t asked us to take her back to the airport yet 🙂 It’s been a lot of fun talking to her every day and learning about each other’s country – it’s going to be a great semester! And the kids are exposed to more Spanish which is also great.

A HUGE benefit of having Susana joining us is that we cleaned our house to a level we hadn’t done in 10 years. Bye-bye box of old trophies (Mom and Dad – Are you proud of me? Do I need a box of old trophies to get your love and support?). Bye-bye boxes of old cardboard for making cardboard tunnels in the basement (we made our last one to send the boxes out in style). Bye-bye load after load of toys and clothes and books and picture frames, etc to Good Will. Bye-bye bicycles and scooters and big wheel we left at the end of our driveway with a “Free” sign (draws ’em in like moths to a light!).

I don’t think I could ever get sick of trampoline pictures. They crack me up every time. Goofy poses and goofy expressions and big smiles and bouncy fun every time! Colleen’s aerial now keeps her nose 1-2′ off the ground, but they were a lot more fun to watch when her nose would almost scrape the mat. She’s worked hard on those this summer!

Got some hail! Haven’t had our house checked yet. Lots of people lost windows to their cars and had screen, siding and roof damage. This is the biggest hail I’ve ever seen. The kids had a lot of fun jumping on the trampoline when it was covered in hail. They would bounce and then try to catch hail in their hands when it bounced back up. It was insane when it was hailing to watch the hail hit the trampoline and the hottub cover and the ricochet every which way.

I led my last rocket launch for the scout troop (well…I still have all the supplies and haven’t officially handed it off to any else yet…who knows what will happen). We’ve got over 20 rockets in our house now! Wow – fun – zoom. Is this for the kids or me??? Both? Ok, fine – it’s all for me – and if the kids have fun then that’s just a bonus 🙂

Have you ever looked at those “wait for it” pictures online? You think you know what you’re looking at and then you realize there is more to the picture. Look at the picture that is mostly green with a tree and our yard – and the colorful birdhouse hanging from a branch. The birdhouse had several newly hatched, very chirpy baby birds in it – make a huge racket. Keep looking at the picture…what else do you see?

And we did our trip to Grand Marais again. It’s always great to go up there. It was just us this year. Great weather, great food, beautiful views, good hikes, and great time with all of us together. We went fishing and had worm races too this time 🙂 And lots of the World’s Best Donuts!! I got up to see two sunrises (Colleen joined me for one of them). The first several days were great – lots of hiking, and I jogged twice on the jagged rocks and rough terrain of Artist’s Point (Colleen joined me on one of those runs too). So we are always careful because it is so easy to fall or twist something – and I take pride in my coordination and athletic ability. So everything was going great…up until the day before we left…we just arrived at Judge C. R. Magney state park (where you hike to see the Devil’s Kettle). It’s a great park with a fun hike. I had just gotten out of the car in the FLAT parking lot…was putting sunflower seeds in my pocket and was looking up at Beth who was asking about sunscreen…and then I stepped in a rut and twisted my ankle. Pop. Man does that hurt and scare you. We watched my foot shake a bit for 5-10 minutes, saw it getting red, and maybe a bit bigger, but I decided we were there and it didn’t hurt(much) to walk on it…so we hiked…probably 2.5 – 3 miles total…with 200 stairs near the top leading down to the river (and of course back up when you’re done). Probably not the smartest decision I made that trip. We got home that night and my ankle was as big as a baseball…and then over the next day or two it turned some fun shades of purple. Three weeks later and it’s still swelling every day. Went to the doctor last week finally and they said it is just soft tissue damage…so it should all be good (the two 5k races I ran last weekend, and doing the state fair two days in a row probably didn’t help – that was my attempt to stay still). Enjoy the pictures 🙂

Apologies to everyone who has ever stayed in our basement. Don’t be jealous of Susana – instead, you should thank her for giving us that push to make that bedroom actually look like a bedroom!! Hope you like it 🙂 Maybe you can come stay in it sometime 😉

Megan eats way too much junk food and four of her teeth just fell out one morning. Roots and all. Darn orthodontist – you stop by just to say ‘hi’ and they find a gazillion things wrong with everyone’s mouth. Somebody gets braces in a week or two, too. Megan’s reward for getting teeth yanked was a fishing trip that afternoon – she caught 11 fish! Colleen caught 4 fish. Susana and Christopher didn’t catch any!!! Susana said the tooth fairy brings presents in Spain, so Megan was delighted to find a puzzle, a small air-rocket, and two other presents under her pillow the next morning – and she got to keep her teeth – lucky girl! She didn’t complain at all about getting them yanked and they said she was a perfect patient – awesome job Megan!

Ok – enough for now – best wishes for an incredible school year to all of the kiddies!!!

2 Responses to “End of summer 2013”

  1. Dad & Grandpa T says:

    Wow! – makes me tired just looking at all the pictures of your recent activities. Glad you’re having so much fun and able to fit so much into summer. I’ll try not write too much since we talked to you on the phone tonight. Thanks for calling. We enjoyed talking to you hearing about all your activities and adventures.

    Susana’s stay with your family should be a great experience for her and your family. Hopefully, we will be able to make it out sometime before she heads back to Spain so we can meet her.

    Those are big hail stones. Not sure if I have ever seen any that large either. I’ll be satisfied though if we don’t. They must have done some damage. Hopefully not to any of your property.

    You have quite a collection of rockets. I have a feeling this won’t be the last year for launches even if you aren’t the lead rocketeer. I’ve thought about seeing if Daniel’s crew would want to do that. I’m not sure where people launch them around here. They must find someplace because I see the supplies in most hobby stores.

    I imagine you helping to clean out Grandma and Grandpa T’s house in April also helped inspire you to clean out some of your collection in addition to Susana’s anticipated visit. I’ve started a little light cleaning out, but still have much more to do. I started with a car load of my old electronic collectables. Our church had a fund raising event for recycling electronic items. Don’t worry, the H-89 is still safe and sound in the basement.

    Looks and sounds like you better learn when to stay off your injured limbs. Glad it was just soft tissue damage. I assume Beth is in the lab with that cloud in front of her face and I also assume she is exhaling and not inhaling whatever is in the cloud. Regarding the tree picture, the bird I notice doesn’t look like one that will fit in the bird house. I hope it’s not preying on the inhabitants of the bird house. Yes, you can tell Susana thanks for helping to clean out the guest room. Mom and I never used the weight lifting apparatus and won’t miss that in the room. Looks like Grand Marais was enjoyed by all as usual. Maybe we should add that to our plans for a summer coming up. We all regret that our plans to meet there last year didn’t happen and are even more sorry for the reason those plans were disrupted. The trampoline pictures are great. Looks like that was a good investment. Glad Megan’s visit to the dentist went so well. If you need to look at family albums to see who to blame for your contribution to the orthodontist’s new Mercedes start with Beth’s family. We did our check years ago when we were buying our orthodontist a new car and didn’t find any obvious culprit. Keep enjoying your family and all you do with them – you’ll be amazed how quickly your 50 year class reunion sneaks up on you. We are looking forward to mine this weekend.

    Better close. Best of luck to all going back to school this year. Hope it is a great year for everyone.

    Love, Dad & Grandpa T

  2. Dave says:

    You are welcome any time to join us in Grand Marais. I think it would be fun to spend some time in Duluth with you too! The more the merrier. I do think of Katherine while I’m up there – but it’s also the perfect, peaceful spot to get away with my thoughts up there when I need to. Thanks for responding about so many of the photos – that’s very rewarding for me. Just like Bill Clinton – Beth didn’t inhale in that one photo 🙂 Have fun at your 50th!!!

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