Summer is in full swing

I’ve got to get back to posting more frequently – where does the time go??? So much is going on!!! We found out that we get an intern from the Spanish school – yahoo! She’ll be here mid-August through January we think (maybe December – plenty of time to figure that out). She’s from Spain and we received a short letter from her this past week – hopefully we get to talk to her soon. We’re excited and a bit nervous as we try to get the house together but it will be a great experience.

I’m so proud of Colleen. She got 10+ inches of hair cut off and donated it to Locks of Love. I think her new hair cut looks fantastic and it’s an amazing feeling to have your kids making choices on their own to give back and help others. Way to go girl!!!

I found several races and walks to support causes that I care about. I took the kids to the Crohn’s Walk this year. We made our donation, stuffed our faces on granola bars and apples, and then walked a few miles. Do you like their picture inside of the giant inflatable colon? Erik should have bought one of those instead of a bouncy house to liven up any party! Colleen also ran her first 5k with me. We did the run-walk-hope 5k for the Logelin Foundation to support widows and widowers with young families. This was founded by the guy whose blog I’ve followed for years from Minnesota whose wife died right after giving birth. I’m also doing the Stomp Out Suicide – Run for Awareness 5k in a few weeks. The Make-A-Wish 5k got rained out a few weeks ago – the roads were closed due to flash flooding. I already did the Eden Prairie Fire 5k this year and I’ll do a 5K for the Plymouth Fire Department in a few months. And Kristin’s coming up again to run the Milk Run with me at the MN State Fair – guess this one doesn’t quite support a good cause like the others, huh? 😉

We had a big ol’ snapping turtle wandering around our yard. The marsh is a few blocks away and Round Lake is 1/2 mile away…not sure where it was headed but we’ll be on the lookout for some baby snappers in 9 to 18 weeks. Wikipedia said they will “travel extensively” and here’s your fun fact of the day – impress your friends tomorrow with this one…the female snapping turtle can hold sperm for several seasons, using it as necessary. “Earmuffs” kids…they didn’t give details about Mrs. Turtle but it made me think of that old joke where the man and woman are riding in the elevator, she’s going to donate blood on floor 4 and says she gets paid $20, and he’s says he’s going to floor 3 to donate sperm for $100. They run into each other the next day and he asks where she’s going this time and she says “Mmmmmmph!” and holds up 3 fingers. Way to go Mrs. Turtle – however you do it.

We traveled to St. Louis for the 4th of July. The kids went there the week before and then we drove down to pick them up and stayed a few extra days. It was good to see everyone. We went downtown for their big fair and saw some of an air show with lots of acrobatic planes. In the picture of the arch you can barely see a plane way beneath it. The view along the river by the arch is great. And the weather wasn’t scorching for a change down there which made for a perfect day. We saw a double rainbow while driving down there. I think that’s the 2nd double rainbow I’ve seen this past year (hard to see in the pic – and hard to take that picture while driving ). And both rainbows were full – could see the whole thing. I keep looking for more signs – Katherine and I never had much to say about rainbows or double rainbows but they are still awesome to see. We did the City Museum again while we were there – this museum/playground is an amazing place full of fun and places to explore mixed with the right amount of safe risks for your children – if you have kids and are going to St. Louis this HAS to be on your list. Here’s a fun article about the City Museum and it’s approach to lawsuits.

Sports and exercise. Colleen and Megan finished up soccer. Megan had an undefeated (one tie) season due 100% to the incredible coaching. Christopher went to football camp and is getting ready for the fall season to start. Megan just took a week of lacrosse which she loved (she was one of three girls in a group of over 20 boys). This coming week Christopher and Megan take tennis lessons. Christopher also just got back from 4 days at scout camp. He had a blast – highlights included shooting a BB gun, archery, and a rock climbing wall. The water was cold so they didn’t spend much time swimming but it sounds like they had plenty of other things to do! Colleen has been busy with dance and gymnastics – she’s working on perfecting her aerial. The kids are also loving the trampoline that we bought. They spend their days running from the trampoline to the pool and back and forth and back and forth. Megan also successfully completed Safety Camp. This program combining police, fire, etc. started in Eden Prairie 20+ years ago and has spread nation-wide. All children entering 3rd grade are eligible to participate and it fills up every year. Great program – and the kids love it!

This has also been a month filled with compulsive counting showing our craziness. For instance, how can I do kid’s laundry and end up with 17 unmatched socks? Interesting, the load after that (after I had the kids hold a contest to see who could find the most socks hidden in the basement and office and under their beds) resulted in almost as many unmatched socks without making many pairs. As we prepare for our new house guest we cleaned up toys in the basement. Megan is finally ready to depart with some of the toys for younger kids. The first go around resulted in 7 big trash bags full of toys that went to Goodwill. The second iteration is looking like several more bags will go. As we cleaned up the basement we found eight fully functional remote control cars all with working remotes – we even figured out that if we put them all next to each other and turn them on that one remote can control almost all of them – that made for some insane driving to have all of the kids controlling all of the cars at once – watch out!!! I’m working on 9 rockets at once too – prepping for the scout rocket launch – we’ve got fins and nose cones everywhere – not sure if the kids or I have more fun 🙂 I was also cleaning up old power cords, telephone cords, speaker wires, etc. Over the years it’s amazing how many times (dozens of times) I must have thrown out toys and electronics but didn’t throw away the power cords. So now that I’ve recently thrown away the power cords I’m sure some random whatever will show up and I won’t be able to power it up – oh well, I’ll wait for that day to come.

We rescued a bunny from our egress window well. Grrr. Stupid bunnies. That’s all I’ve got to say about that. Just glad it didn’t tear up my pond net.

I took the kids to Extreme Race Day at Canterbury Downs (about 20 minutes away). In addition to horses (not so extreme) we saw jockeys riding camels and ostriches. We didn’t stick around for the zebras. The camels weren’t that thrilling but the ostriches were a riot. Most jockeys fell to the ground but the winning jockey and ostrich made it look easy and he even was on the jumbotron holding on with one hand while pointing to the camera & crowd as he crossed the finish line. Fun stuff!

We successfully survived another birthday party. Megan had 9 girls over for a pool and trampoline SpongeBob party. We are still trying to get the water in the pool back to normal a week later but other than that it was a great party. Beth once again did a great job planning everything and making sure Megan and everyone else had a blast! Megan got a beanbag for her birthday from us and she has been sleeping in it every night since she got it – love it! Megan’s new self-assigned chore is to pick wild berries every night – we’ve had these prickly vines growing for years that only produce a few berries but this year the bushes have gone crazy and are producing berry after berry after berry – we just made some berry crisp last week. Yummy!!! Nice work Megan!!

And the highlight of Megan’s week…we finally went fishing. She caught a sunny (sun fish) on her first cast! We fed the fish for a while after that but managed to reel in a few more that night. She got a fishing rod for her birthday so I’m sure we’ll be out some more. She really liked it. She’s been asking a lot of questions about being a vegetarian lately and isn’t quite sure where she stands on fish. She was surprised to learn last week that Colleen wasn’t born a vegetarian 🙂 I thought that was cute – she has said a few times this week that she is now a vegetarian but then we had bacon, and then we had hotdogs, and I’m sure if we have salami she’ll give in again. That’s how Colleen started too – pepperoni and salami were the last to go for her. We have all started eating a lot healthier the past several weeks. Not that we were that bad to begin with but we’ve stepped it up and it’s been great for all of us.

At the start of summer I had the kids make a list of things they wanted to do this summer. I cut a few lines for you to read. Need a translator? I think all interpretations of the first few lines somehow work (I can read it at least 4 ways with different meanings – I’m sure there are more), although this could be fun that first week back to school when Megan has to write about what she did 🙂

And finally, I was so glad to hear that mom was able to meet Bil Bihlman (my roommate from freshman year) as part of his long bicycle journey across the United States (too bad dad couldn’t make it work out that day too). He is a very neat person and is on a several month journey from California to Virginia, which he then decided to extend by biking up to Maine (and then will bike back to Indiana). I think this is how Forest Gump started – he may never stop. It’s all for a good cause – Riding for Hope. Incredible story that the ex-governor and mayor stopped by the same restaurant that my mom and Bil were eating at – I think that type of things happens to Bil all the time and it doesn’t even phase him.

Ok…more than enough for now…take care everybody. Happy Birthday Dan!

One Response to “Summer is in full swing”

  1. Dad & Grandpa T says:

    Better get around to replying or you might think we don’t enjoy the pics and update as much as we do.

    You’ve certainly had a busy and fun summer. Hard to believe it is sneaking by so quickly and Christopher is into to football already. We enjoyed talking to you and the girls the other night. We too are very proud of Colleen for her donation to Locks of Love. Her hair looks nice and I’m sure will be much easier to take care of. And, congrats to Colleen for running her 1st 5K. Sounds like Megan had a nice birthday and it looks like you are having better luck catching fish in MN than I ever did. Maybe you’ll have to take me out to your favorite spot. Glad you got the word on your intern. That should be an interesting and rewarding experience for all.

    We looked at the web page of Make a Wish and Faith’s wish coming true. That must be very rewarding to see how happy the patients and families are when their wish is granted. I know it is a great help as young patients are going through treatments and procedures. I took the Cougar to a car show last Sun. and Make a Wish was receiving the donations. It is certainly a worthy cause and you should be proud of the difference you are making in the lives of others.

    I also finally looked at the email you sent of Bill B’s trip to China, etc. I must have missed it back in July. Interesting account of his travels and interesting pics. He certainly gets around.

    Was that you on the camel in the race? I couldn’t tell from the pic. Did you know that one hump camels run faster than two hump camels? (I read that in my bathroom reader.) The ostriches don’t look like they are enjoying the race too much. Actually, they never look like they enjoy much of anything.

    Speaking of errant critters (bunnies and turtles), I just had to take a break to go find our errant dog. Lately, she’s been wandering when we let her out. It doesn’t take her long to leave our yard. We’ve been lucky as neighbors know her and have brought her back, but we need to get in the habit of putting her on the rope if we aren’t going to be out with her.

    Sounds like the trampoline is getting a good workout. That museum in St. Louis also sounds like a lot of fun. Their view of lawsuits is different, but I kind of like it.

    Hope the rocket launch is as successful as usual. I’m sure everyone is excited for your guest to arrive from Spain. With Grand Maris, state fair, start of school, you certainly have a busy few weeks ahead of you. Makes us tired to think of it, but wish we could join you. Have fun.

    Love, Dad & Grandpa T

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