Tuesday, October 23, 2012

MEA Weekend Part 2

We had lots of cousins over to eat scary food and have scary fun. We perfected pumpkins, constructed creatures, and devoured dogs. The kids had a super fun time together.

MEA Weekend

My niece hung out with us for a few days over the long weekend. We loved having her spend time with us.
 Love seeing the kids go old school with a little 4 square.

My first attempt at dipping food - ghost pretzels. We had scary fun making them.

Brydon's First Birthday

Our final camping outing of the season turned into a day trip when our truck broke down on Friday morning. We took off really early Saturday morning to join all of Corey's family to celebrate his nephew's first birthday. It was still raining a bit when we got to the state park in Albert Lea but by noon it stopped. We had a wonderful day.
 Corey and the birthday boy.

Yummy cake.

 A party with a fire makes for great ambiance.

A doggy party. So cute. Love the big water bowls.

We are up to 7 cousins. A wonderful blessing.

CDO & My Office

 This is my new favorite t-shirt. It fits me to a t. (That was funny.)

I have a paying job now. There are so many great things about it (my hours, my coworkers, the paycheck). By far the very best thing is my office. I get to see the outside world through the floor to ceiling windows the whole time I'm working.

Corn Maize (Get it?)

The second graders took a trip to Tew's Corn Maze recently. A bunch of moms joined in to help supervise. Above, Kyle is learning about the economics of farming.

Kyle is making friends with the goat. Or is that a sheep?

Oh look, it's Kyle again.

I can't go anywhere without being super obnoxious. I don't know who the cow is but Kyle and I make pretty darn good looking farm animals.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cam Helps

Cam helped with the dishes this week. He did a fine job. He kept most of the water in the sink. Most of it. Thanks for your help, son. Good work!

Apple Orchard

I met Cam's kindergarten class at Ecker's Apple Orchard this week. We learned a lot about apples and bees. While the tractor ride was enjoyable, I believe the rough ride may have jarred loose a kidney.We tried Honey Crisp and Golden Supreme apples. Both were very yummy.
The bee hive colony thing. I was so busy swatting the stinging gnats off me, I didn't listen very well. I didn't come home with a bee sting but I am still frustratingly itchy from the 14 gnat bites (no lie, I counted them) on my arms.

The view was quite scenic with the leaves changing colors.

Ladybug Girl...

We honored our favorite teacher of the year on October 4th, by listening to her read "Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad".  She got to record the reading for the Pearson Foundation's Read for the Record event. Nice job!


My parents are on one of their many annual adventures. This one takes them to the East coast. They are on a bus with 100 or so other seniors. This cracks me up because my parents still don't seem like senior citizens to me.

Before they left, I asked my dad if he had ever been to NYC. He said that he had been there once in 1965. He had stopped at a coffee shop. Sadly, they wouldn't serve him. He happened to be wearing his army fatigues. I guess it was pretty common to be treated poorly if you were serving in Vietnam.

My dad and I don't have too many serious conversations. Most of our interactions revolve around the three stooges, fishing or who can come up with the best pun. On that rare occasion when we do talk about a heavy topic, it gives me a unique perspective on my dad's life and his experiences. I find that whatever the conversation topic, they are all priceless.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Fish Story

Corey and Kyle did a little fishing over the weekend.

Kyle catches them but doesn't have to clean them.
This weekend has been a reality check for me. First, I realized Kyle can run faster than me and then I found out he can fish better than me. The 7 year-old outruns me and outfishes me. The truth hurts.
I have watched this again and again and again. It absolutely warms my heart. Fishing was HUGE in our family growing up and it was always me and my dad. When we went up north in the summer, my favorite time was going out fishing in the middle of the night with my dad. To see Kyle loving to fish so much with HIS dad puts a huge smile on my face. What a fish story!

NAMI Haircut

The Winona Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness had its annual fundraiser on Saturday. In the past, I haven't been able to attend because of other commitments so I was really glad I could finally go this year. The ladies from Nostallja Salon give $10 haircuts and some talented local massage queens gave $10 chair massages. My mom and I enjoyed some happy fingers dancing on our backs. So relaxing! Coop and I got haircuts. We both look pretty darn spanky. The best part was reconnecting with my grade school friend, Nancy. We seem to run into each other in unexpected places which is a treat for both of us.
NAMI is a vital organization nationally but also locally and is, of course, near and dear to my heart. They advocate for and support individuals with mental illness who may not get that help otherwise. They also work hard to demystify mental illnesses, which is so important in a society where we tend to stereotypify the mentally ill. I appreciate all their efforts.

Jefferson Family Fitness Challenge

On Saturday morning, we had the sheer pleasure of participating in the Family Fitness Challenge at Jefferson School. I cannot say enough about how much fun we had as a family and with the rest of the families who were in attendance. It was a perfect morning for exercising and chatting. (The chatting was mostly in the form of "bee-essing".) It was so fantastic to see so many WSU students helping out. It makes me proud to be a Warrior. The college students are a great gift to our community. After an opening ceremony that could only be topped by the London Olympics, we  completed 10 or so events in 75 minutes. Here are a few highlights.
Cam wanted to try the 3-legged race with his biggest brother.

Cam couldn't quite get the hang of it which made Coop a little impatient. Hey, if you can't beat 'em, pick 'em up and carry 'em.

Cam is, however, a whiz at hula hooping.

The running was brutal. Okay, maybe just for me. We realized Kyle is getting to be quite the sprinter. I have no chance of beating him in a race unless I push him down (I've done that) and Corey actually has to put forth some effort in order to beat him. This is extremely difficult for me to wrap my head around since I am a wee bit competitive. Just a wee bit.

Jedi Training

We don't indulge in too many birthday parties but we couldn't say no to this one. It was a reunion of a few Redeemer Preschool Alumni. Cam had a blast reuniting with his old friends while I got to catch up with the moms.

The party was all about Star Wars so of course there had to be Jedi training. Cam successfully traversed the Jedi obstacle course several times even though he has no idea what Star Wars is all about. May the force be with all of you.

Walking with Gramsie

One of Coop's favorite things to do after school is walk to Gramsie and Gramp's house. My parents live a short distance from the Middle School, so my mom takes advantage of that and the mild weather by walking over to meet Coop at the end of the day. Coop needs a little down time before he is mobbed by the loudness and demands of his little brothers, so this is a really positive transition for him.

It's good exercise, too.