Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Just Shoot Me

The older she gets, the more Abby's been upping the pressure to get her ears pierced.  After some thought and coaxing her father to go along with the idea, we finally decided she was old enough to handle the responsibility of taking care of pierced ears.  Today was the day Abby took another baby step toward being a big girl.

We laid out the rules: getting your ears pierced means you're a big girl; it means not only taking care of them, but knowing that you don't brag about things you have that others do not.  In other words, stop making your sister feel like garbage because you have one up on her.  She has no idea how much this works in my favor!  She also has no idea that after Lauren saw how painful it is, that was enough to turn her off to the idea of getting holes in her own ears any time soon.  Another plus in my column.

Abby hopped up in the chair at our favorite hometown beauty salon for a quick hair cut and the moment she'd been waiting for.  She knew three things: she would get to pick out the earring she wanted, it would hurt, and there would be a gun involved.  She had only question, "Will it be loud?"


It was truly hard to do anything but smile.  As soon as Sue pulled out the box that encased the gun, I knew it was the same one she'd used decades earlier to pierce my ears.  I also knew my little miss sensitive would be in pain, and for that I was partially grateful.  If she knows how much it hurts, I hope she knows well enough to keep the rest of her body free of piercings and tats.  I can tell you so far, it's worked.


{Just Shoot Me}

{Lauren Pushes Her Buttons}

{A Closer Look at Her Piercings}

{Big Girls Celebrate with Dairy Queen}

There were tears.  Lots of tears.  But all-in-all she was brave.  She only sees two types of people now: those who have their ears pieced and those who don't.  She's so grateful to finally be part of the club.  And as much as I hate seeing her grow up so fast, I'm glad she's part of our club, too.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bar Superstar

Christmas in Ohio has found its own unconventional tradition in our family.  Typically we open gifts the Sunday before we leave for Minnesota; usually packages sent by our family in Washington, and other misc. gifts that may be too big to cart back & forth.

However, this year the girls got one of their gifts (and might I add, the very best one!) a little earlier than the norm.  We stumbled upon a great deal on a gymnastics bar, and because keeping them out of the basement is nearly impossible it became an early, early gift.

Geoff was amazed when he saw what Abby can do now on the bars.  I can only imagine what having her own at home now will do to beef up her skill level.

Our bar superstar....

video

Thank you, Grandma & Papa, for the gym mats.  They make for a softer landing and a tumbling dream!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Flashback Friday

Tonight we treated ourselves to supper at Pizza Hut.  We've never been to Pizza Hut as a family of four, but the girls wanted to cash in on their Book It! coupons and I was grateful for a culinary vacation.

Consuming nearly half of the dining area was a birthday celebration for one lucky girl's sweet sixteen.  Of course the girls wanted to attend.  As we sat in our booth watching the party unfold around us, it brought back giggles & belly laughs as we recalled another birthday party crash from days gone by....

It was about two years ago.  Geoff took the girls on one of their Daddy Days Out for an afternoon of play at The Magic Castle.  A popular birthday destination for young ones, it's common to get mixed up with party-goes on weekend trips to the MC.  On this particular trip, Abby was feeling especially celebratory and doing as Abby does, she quickly made friends.  Having lost track of his oldest daughter, Geoff scanned the giant play land only to find her smack in the middle of a birthday party photo op.  The crowd of picture-takers had no problem with the stand-out snuggling up with her arm around her new BFF and, in fact, insisted it was fine that she be in the picture.

I'm sorry I don't have a copy of that photograph, although the story itself is probably just as good without it.  And yet I wonder.... somewhere, in some Indian family's collection of pictures is a birthday party picture of their daughter and all of her friends.  And Abby, the token white kid.  I can just imagine the look on her face.  I'm sure she had no idea.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. Heros never make excuses.

2. Nothing.  Nowhere to go.  Nothing on the schedule.  Except me & my babes tonight.  I love it!

3. Just when it seemed to feel like the Thanksgiving fairy had passed us by, this just might be one of our best Turkey Days yet.  Tomorrow the girls & I will come home from school & bake our pumpkin pie, and on Thursday we'll work together to prepare a small, yet hopefully tasty turkey dinner.  Wait.  We're having chicken.  But that's another story.

4. I have a new love & appreciation for Iowa.  Great girls weekend in Le Claire with family!!!



5. Confession Alert!  When Geoff came back from his last trip to Florida disgusted, I felt an incredible sense of relief.  Finally he was seeing what I saw all that time.  I will honestly be happy if I never have to go back there again.

6. Lauren is busy practicing songs for her upcoming school concert.  Bath time is when she hits it hard.  From time to time we'll fill the room with a lovely duet.  Then she stops and asks me how I know that song, too.  Oh, Lauren.

7. How can it be time to decorate for Christmas again already?!  Almost time.  Three more days!  And in three more days I'll be much more tolerant of all of those Christmas carols, too.

8. I am finding it hard to contain my excitement over some of the gifts I'm giving this year.  It's awfully hard to keep my mouth closed.

9. A weekend of firsts.  It was the first time I'd driven nearly the entire route back to Minnesota without my girls.  It was the first time either of the lovelies had been ice skating; and Lauren has the bruised elbows to prove it.  And it was the first time the girls cleaned toilets & vacuumed with the full-sized vac.  Rumor has it they really got into the cleaning spirit.  Geoff, you're my hero.

10. It sounds like their Daddy Weekend was a blast.... fire on the deck, dinner out, ice skating birthday party, Polar Express movie night.  I'm thankful my girls have such a great daddy to make memories with.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lauren Songafies

The unfortunate side affect of finding this catchy G-rated YouTube video is that our impressionable offspring now sing Can't Hug Every Cat.  From time-to-time we catch them recording it on their own digital camera.

Introducing Lauren's version of Can't Hug Every Cat rolled into a whole lotta random....


video

{The picture is unviewable.  The audio is priceless.}

If you're looking for addtional YouTube favorites by Lauren, check out Double Rainbow Song.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Let Me Translate~À la Quatre

They're at it again.  The girls are working their way through the English language one mix-up at a time.

Abby

Melt Cup: Malt Cup
Errtificate: Certificate
Barber: Bobber
Prooverty: Puberty
America of a Mall: Mall of America
Right Outside: Right Side Out
K-Zeus: Jesus
Spit-a-Man: Spiderman
Robin Noodles: Ramen Noodles
Wing: Wig

Lauren
Burt's Weed Whacks: Burt's Bees Wax
Tip Stand: Kick Stand
Toot Toots: Beans
Bafoon: Perfume
Sparkly Eyes: Eye Shadow
Get a Piece of Fire: Light a Match
Twizzers: Tweezers
Squirt Stuff: Spray 'n Wash
Surprise Box: Prize Box (in kindergarten)
Soury: Celery
Wienies: Wheaties Cereal
Baroom: Maroon
Instruments: Ornaments
Vinepapper: Vampire
Baskwards: Backwards
Low-No Wayne: Lo Mein
Hop Suey: Chop Suey

Friday, November 4, 2011

Flashback Friday

My Lauren is never more comfortable than when her hands are behind her head.

I love my Tiny.

March 9, 2007

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thank You Thursday

1. I'm thankful for a successful conference with Abby's teacher. She's right on grade level, she exemplifies good behavior in school and she is focused on learning.  Her teachers seem to enjoy her as much as she enjoys them.  It's everything I could have asked for.  Her daddy will be proud.

2. I'm thankful for tonight.... The girls are in bed, so it's just me, a fire in the fire place & my shows.  I've needed a night like this for a long time!

3. I'm thankful for my day off tomorrow.  Just me.  I got my house clean today, so that's one less thing to accomplish.  I don't plan on leaving the house, getting dressed or wearing make-up.  It's just me and my To Do List.  And hopefully a big ta-da! 

4. I'm thankful for good books.  The Help.... a great thought-provoking read.  And Up North at the Cabin.... nothing comes close to making me feel like I'm there the way that book does.  It brought me to tears tonight when I read it to the girls.  It made my heart smile that the girls knew exactly why.

5. I'm thankful that my grandma is now cancer-free.  One of the best gifts in life is time with grandparents.  I'm forever grateful to have more time with mine.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Huly Wing

The weekend Abby got her costume for this year's haunted festivities was a busy one.  Our cousins were here visiting from Minnesota and we were all over the place showing them the highlights of western Ohio.  But when Abby returned to school on Monday to write about her weekend she was focused on one thing: getting her Rupsla costume for Huly Wing.

Of course Lauren had to be Scooby.  Together they make an odd little pair, but out they went into our Scareborn neighborhood awkwardly dispensing the traditional "Trick-or-Treat" long after their bags received the deposit and throwing in the "Thank you" chaser somewhere between the door and the driveway.... how this concept became so difficult to figure out is beyond me.


 {Scooby Doo & Rupsla}

Our Trick-or-Treating adventure was filled with characters, laughs and a nice evening greeting the neighborhood.  And lucky for us, we capped off our night in the cul de sac with our neighbors and our annual bonfire.

{Brooke & Abby's Jack-o-Lantern, Geoff's Jack-o-Lantern & Lauren's Jack-o-Lantern}


Happy Huly Wing!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. Who knew? GEICO stands for Government Employee Insurance Co. Thanks for the offer, GEICO, but I'm not a gov't employee.

2. Geoff bailed on me. Left me alone to endure the cortisone shot in my knee solo. I don't blame him, he hates needles. Apparently they bother me more than I thought. I turned white as a ghost and I nearly passed out. But if it means no more meds and no more pain.... totally worth it.

3. Abby is quite the reader. Every night she brings home a short beginner book to read. Already I've seen an improvement in her reading. Tonight she was reading with inflection. She fills my heart with pride.

4. Lauren.... still cuddly. Still sweet. Still spunky. Still Lauren.

5. Sometimes I think I learn more from the girls than they learn from me.

6. I'm in need of a little Minnesota nice. I'll take it with a side of Minnesota common sense.

7. Of all the parts of Ohio our travels have taken us to, the Dayton & Columbus areas are my favorite. I'm not ashamed to admit it is because it is the most like home.

8. Thing That Annoys Me No. 387: People who walk or run, and especially with a dog or a child in tow, on the street when there is a perfectly viable sidewalk a footstep away. Sorry, but I'd really rather not have to dodge you as I go about my business in my car.

9. I want an Apple computer. I'm used to a PC, and frankly I find using Apples frustrating at times. But let's be honest, they don't run slow because of misc. viruses. Total crap.

10. I am taking great comfort in our recent purchase of a cool mist humidifier. Winters are typically filled with a bounty of sleepless nights because the girls are up coughing and using their nebulizer in the middle of the night. It's a little hairy right now because the girls are getting over colds, but overall it's been a Godsend. Why didn't I listen to our doctor's advice years ago I don't know.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Little Twinkling Star

We have a rising star in our midst....

This little lady loves to sing.  I love the way she missteps with her words.

Lauren's version Twinkle Twinkle Little Star


video

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

I'm back....

1. Wet Ones has changed their Fresh Scent wipes. I'm not a fan of the new odor. I'm also not sure I'm thrilled about the idea of the girls not needing them so much anymore. I actually used one to wipe my sticky hands & glass at a martini bar. I have them in my purse for the girls. How long can that excuse be viable?!

2. The girls have finally figured out how to put the ponies on their hair. Lauren prefers the pig tail look. She wore hers to & from school yesterday, but not at school because, "That's embarrassing".

3. It bothers me when kids lean on furniture. It bothers me more that parents let it slide; parents let a lot slide. I often wonder what my great grandparents' generation would say about that.

4. While I'm on my soap box, I also have a beef with parents pushing their kids off on the grandparents. I'm not talking about the occasional hangin' out with granny. I'm talking carpools & kiddie care. It used to make me a little envious that they have the help, but now it just makes me sad for them all.


5. My two new guilty pleasures this season: Pan Am & The Playboy Club. Both cleverly written, intriguing & entertaining dramas.

6. For the entire hour of Desperate Housewives on Sunday my heart pounded with guilt as if I was the only covering up the murder! The sign of another well-written show. It may be time for it to end, but I'm really going to miss it.


7. Today=Super Dooper Check List Day! Oh does it feel good to cross things off!!!


8. Abby is obsessed with having her own room. Is there something I can inject her with to at least slow down this whole growing up too fast thing?!


9. I sneak into the girls' room at night and kiss them & talk to them while they sleep. I miss them when I'm not with them, but I'm grateful they have each other.


10. Tonight Abby confessed she doesn't like black people because she isn't fond of that color. Of all the reasons not to like people Abby would pick that one. In all honesty, I'm glad this conversation is coming up now over a trivial reason than because she is being told not to like a group of people by her peers. I figured we'd have this conversation sooner or later, I just thought it would be later than sooner.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I'm a Little Teapot

My little songstress is at it again.

I apologize the video is not rotatable {if you know how, please pass suggestions my way!}  But I had to get in her tootsies.  They make the jammies.

Lauren, starring in "I'm a Little Teapot".


video

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My American Girl Doll

This morning my little dollie walked out of her room dressed in her Old Navy Old Glory shirt.  She said she was wearing it because of a song she's learning in school: "I Pledge Unallegiance".

I'm happy to report that by this afternoon it sounded a little more like she was pledging an allegiance.  I'm also glad I got it on a digital recording before she learns how to say it like the rest of America.

[Don't forget to pause the play list in the right column to hear the video's audio.]

video

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. My grocery list on the fridge reads tampons, then peanuts.  An odd pairing.

2. I am learning that doing less is doing everyone a favor.  It only took me ten years of marriage & six and a half years of motherhood to figure this one out.  But truly, the less I do, the more others do.  We're all much happier for it.

3. Lauren has two friends from school she can name: José & Nathan.  Leave it to my tom boy to befriend the boys.

4. I'm annoyed.  Apparently I've maxed out on pictures Blogger will allow me to have on file.  I have two choices: go back and delete some or stop posting pictures.  This mama is conflicted.

5. The talk of the neighborhood is the pack of coyotes that were ever so close to the house last night.  One would have thought with all of the construction going on in the no-longer-vacant-field the coyotes would have vacated.  Not so much.

6. Abby has yet to go head-to-head with her first grade teacher, and last night she was in top form for her new gymnastics coach.  I'm holding my breath this is the new norm.

7. Happy Crocking!  I liked the Crock Pot Girls on Facebook.  Please tell me this makes me cool.

8. I don't know what I did to deserve the fabulous staff that I work with and the great group of kids in my class this year.  I don't ever remember loving a job this much.

9. It amazes me how far we've come.  For the first few years here in Ohio we were quite happy keeping to ourselves.  Maybe it's because I didn't want to get attached.  Maybe it's because I didn't care about anything much outside of our home.  But now that the girls and in school we're all making friends.  What a great 'hood we live in!

10. Confession Alert: I think Tucker Carlson is my new conservative crush.... it certainly wasn't his debut on Dancing with the Stars that wooed me.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Big K

Finally.  After watching all of her friends at preschool head back, and now her sister, it is finally Lauren's turn for the big time: Kindergarten and the bus.

I wish I had a cute little story to tell, or a fabulous tale from her first day, but I don't.  She bounced around the house this morning as happy as a clam.  She was ready in record time and waiting for me to head outside for our traditional First Day of School photo op.  And then we made the walk she's made so many times before, only this time she brought along her lunch, too, and there was no walking back until her day at school was complete.




My favorite kindergarten teacher happily reported that there were no tears shed today, and by the looks of the pictures she sent out to us anxiously waiting parents, Lauren and her cohorts did just fine.  Lauren walked off that bus with a smile on her face and a new friend.  A boy.

Congrats, Lauren.  You're a kindergartner!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Grader

It's the day Abby's been waiting for all summer.... The day she can officially call herself a first grader!

Our morning was one of our smoothest to date.  With a slim selection of new clothes to start the school year, Abby opted to sport an old favorite; though I'm guessing the sparkly new Scotch Guarded Shoes and the new Duluth Pack were enough to make her feel special enough.

And I am happy to report that first grade really suits Abby.  She stepped off that bus a positive, upbeat young lady who had manners of every sort and happily held my hand with a firm, loving grip all the way home.

Thanks, Abby.


{The First Grader}


{Abby & Lauren}


{The Bus Stop Gang is Back Together at Last}


{There She Goes}


{Front & Center}


{First Day of School in the Books}


{Lauren & Mom Made Me Cookies!}

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. Smart mosquitoes hover around your coffee planning their attach.  No doubt they're doing a little mosquito giggle as they watch your fingers dance around the mug trying not to lace your drink with their bloody insides.

2. Abby is working on her two-handed mosquito killing technique.  Lauren prefers the fly swatter.  Both are effective pest eliminators.  Proud mama.

3. I've had it with the heat.  Hoping for some reprieve from the land of ten thousand humid days in a row and that times itself in mosquitoes.  San Diego or bust, Geoff.

4. Not the Japanese, not the heirloom Italian, but only the American eggplant comes in both a male and a female version.  The male has less seeds & is less bitter.  Who knew?!

5. I'm glad my dog isn't the only one who insists on being under foot.  Consequently, dogs are now topping my annoying list.

6. Abby's interest in boobies has heightened in recent days.  It is often the topic during our morning and evening grooming.  Tonight she wondered, "If I push my body hard will boobies come out?"

7. Games, games, games.  I'm pretty sure if given the choice between ice cream and playing a game Abby would choose the game without flintching.  Memory and Jump Over are her current obsessions.  She schools me every time.

8. It's amazing how much older Cory Monteith looks when he is not on Glee.  And I'd have never known if I wasn't up late last night watching Jimmy Fallon.

9. Iowa chops, Minnesota sweet corn, and a cold glass of Kemp's milk.  Midwest is the best!

10. Thank you, Facebook. Now I'm hooked on Blunt Cards.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tiny Conversation


Lauren: "Where are you going, Papa?"

Papa: "Crazy.  Do you want to come along?"

Lauren: "Yes! Do we have to wear our shoes?"

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Replacements

Yesterday was D-Day.  The day Abby's been waiting for.  The day she had a date with dental destiny.  The day she lost her first tooth.  Correction, her first teeth.

{The Baby Teeth and The Replacements}

{Sharon Shows Abby Her Extractions}

{Toothless and Lovin' It}

Abby handled the dentist's chair like a pro.  She was full of patience and giggles as Dr. DeLaitsch wiggled & pulled out her teeth.  The tears came later.

After a night out for supper to celebrate her Papa's birthday, we returned to Grandma & Papa's house to retire for the evening.  Abby didn't need to be reminded to place her little treasures in her Tooth Fairy pouch and place it under her pillow, but somewhere in it all the emotions inside of her got the better of her and she fell apart.
Tears streamed down her cheeks.  After taking a few moments alone with her teeth I found her crying, "I have to let them go, it's part of life."  I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.  "All my teeth were my best buddies."  And on and on she went.  Finally I sat down for a heart-to-heart and simply told her she did not need to give her teeth away; if they meant that much to her, they were hers to do with as she wished.

In the end, the magic of the Tooth Fairy reigned.  Abby placed the pouch with her first two baby teeth under her pillow, and when she said good night she confided, "I'm moving over to make room for the Tooth Fairy."  No doubt that Tooth Fairy was grateful to have the space to reach under her head that night.
My usually late sleeper was up at 6 am this morning with the excitement of striking gold.  Low-and-behold the Tooth Fairy had left in their place Dr. Seuss' The Tooth Book and two one dollar coins.

I am happy to report so far today there have not been any tears.  Only little Abby with exactly as many teeth as she should have, and a whole life experience richer.

Flashback Friday

When all our baby had was her two front teeth....

August 23, 2005

 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thank You Thursday

1. I'm thankful for life.

2. I'm thankful for drinking in Crazy Days, but mostly I'm thankful for this year's only taste of a State Fair Malt.  Delish!

3. I'm thankful Abby giggled instead of crying when she had her teeth pulled out at the dentist today.


4. I'm thankful I move fast.  Unfortunately the mosquitoes still move faster.


5. I'm thankful for the comedic relief of irony.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. Summer dentist exam. Check.

2. Catching up with an old friend & an enjoyable afternoon at the water park.  Check, check.

3. Looking forward to a day at Mall of America & supper with Grandma tomorrow night.  Life really is good.

4. Thanks to my mother-in-law we had the recipe for super-delish burritos tonight.  The yummy rhubarb crisp was just the icing on the cake.


5. Abby is working on getting out her two front teeth.  She tells people she has two teeth she doesn't need.  True.  Her adult teeth are about as tall as her baby teeth now.  If they don't come out I guess the dentist will have to step in.  D-Day is Thursday @ 10:20.

6. Now that I'm in complete summer relaxation mode it seems almost unfair for it all to end.  I love Geoff, but I'm not ready to go back to Ohio.

7. You never know what you're going to find under Grandma's steps.

8. I love spending time with my cousins when I'm home.  How lucky I am!

9. Lauren's thing lately is that everyone is breaking her heart.  If she only knew.  Funny how in such a disagreeable state is so cute on her.

10. I think it's cute how my Grandma loves Jimmy Johns.  I love Jimmy Johns, too.  I also love Jimmy Fallon and Taco Johns.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Flashback Friday

September 13, 2006


It's hard to believe there was a time when my Tiny was mosquito bite free, wore a hat and stayed so still.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thank You Thursday

1. I'm thankful for cousins.

2. I'm thankful for being in Owatonna and just being.

3. I'm thankful Geoff got our air conditioner fixed, but sorry he had to endure a night of suffocating heat.  Consequently, I'm thankful he's reminded why I want to move north & avoid south.

4. I'm thankful for the time & resources to move along with my Christmas projects.

5. I'm thankful my little ladies are enjoying life and gaining opportunities they can only have here.... it fills their minds & their souls.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

{Between the Pages: "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt"}

The novel that pulls at your heart strings.  Beth Hoffman's Saving CeeCee Honeycutt tells the tale of a preteen whose life is riddled with the torture of a mentally ill mother and an absent father.  When it seems her world has fallen apart around her, she is saved by the love of women far away from her modest Midwest home.


Beth Hoffman has penned a beautifully uplifting story of hope in Saving CeeCee Honeycutt.  A delightful summer read, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is the perfectly constructed tale of a little girl in the 1960s who is all but lost in the world by the mistakes of her parents.  But by the grace of a great-aunt in Georgia, CeeCee leaves the only home she has even known in Ohio.  In doing show she has opened a door of opportunity, stepping into the lives of women who show CeeCee her true potential, her boundaries, and an endless bounty of love.

I enjoyed every page of this novel.  It was easy to get into, easy to follow, eloquently written, and left me with the wonderment of the adventures that lie ahead for this seemingly lost young lady.

I recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a story of hope, the power of love and friendship, or a light-hearted, inspiring read.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. I've met a lot of people, but never met an umpire for professional baseball.  I've also never met an air marshal.  Maybe neither are allowed to discuss their professions with lay people.  Maybe I just need to get out more.

2. Do me a favor, don't buy the girls balloons.  Balloons that are already inflated are mildly acceptable.  The others just create a circus of latex chaos.

3. If I had three wishes one of them would be for snow.

4. Minnesota mosquitoes are usually witty & excellent swatting evaders.  Not this year.  It seems the heat is even slowing these guys down.

5. The two years I spent isolated & alone with the girls in our house in Florida I wondered if we were ever going to be out in the real world enjoying ourselves.  This summer we're making up for lost time.

6. I like roasted hot dogs on the fire.

7. I had one beer last night at the Twins game. I'm not usually a fan of consuming a malted beverage in such sweltering conditions, but it really helped to dull the pain.  This morning I needed two Tylenol to combat the effects of last night's drinking spree.  I'm getting so old!

8. Why is it that I can only find Canadian Bacon Party Pizzas in Minnesota?  And why is it that they are about a third of their original size?!

9. I really thought Abby had the crossword puzzle thing down.  To each her own, I guess.  Any guesses on which word Abby found?



10. People thought we were strange when we dipped bacon in chocolate.  I have to admit, I never would have thought of it myself, but it was oddly delicious.  Yesterday I saw a recipe for a peanut butter cookie with chocolate & bacon.  I'm not sure I'd be so tempted to try it if they weren't raving about it on Twin Cities Live: {http://twincitieslive.com/article/stories/s2203500.shtml?cat=10931}.  Good luck with your entry at the Minnesota State Fair this year, Alice!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Cabin

My favorite place on the entire planet.  It's always my favorite part of summer.  The place where we go to rest, relax, play & fill our souls.  I'm so grateful that I am blessed enough to share it with my lovelies.

 {Abby Splashes in the Lake}

 {Lauren Steps In}

{Lizzie Guards the Steps}

{Room For a View}


{Lovely Strawberry-Picking}

{Lauren Fishing with a Loon}

{Minnesota's State Bird}

{Papa & Lauren's Perch}

{An Eagle Fishing Down the Shore}

{Papa & Lauren....
Lauren's First Ride in Great Grandpa's Boat}

{Abby's First Ride in Great Grandpa's Boat}

 {Papa & His Girls Fishing off the Dock}

Friday, July 15, 2011

Flashback Friday

It's pretty much a right of passage at one point in time to be weighed by the fish scale.

June 3, 2007

 {Papa Puts Tiny in the Sack}

 
{Great Grandpa Guesses Her Weight}

{The Verdict: 20½ lbs.}


{Time to Unwrap His Birthday Present}

Grandpa, the cabin isn't the same without you.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thank You Thursday

1. I'm thankful for summer vacation, and for the memories we're blessed to make.

2. I'm thankful for the people in our lives that teach the girls about some of the best parts of life.  You know who you are.


3. I'm thankful to be back in Minnesota.  This will always be where my heart is.  There really is no place like home.

4. I'm thankful for the strength to go to the cabin on my own.  I hate being here alone, but I guess just being here outweighs the fear.

5. I'm thankful my parents & Shawn are coming up to the tonight.  The girls & I are looking forward to the fishing & the company!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ten on Tuesday


1. Minnesota, your state shut-down sucks. You leave me no choice. I will be fishing, with or without a license.  Do you suppose a tackle box full of old licenses is enough to prove good intention?

2. I need a vacation after that vacation.... Time to head up north to the cabin.

3. Okay, so I don't need a vacation.  But we're heading up north for the weekend anyways.  Why not go up a few days earlier and jump in the lake?!

4. I've decided I need to start training for next summer's trip to the water park.  If you only knew how much strength repeated trips up the mountain require.

5. I loved my time in Washington; all of it!  With that said, I cried Sunday morning as I drove down 35 back to Owatonna.  I don't think I could ever love being anywhere as much as I love being in Minnesota.

6. Why is it that the nails on my ring fingers grow faster than the rest?!

7. Confession Alert: I'm taking my time finishing my current read. I'm determined to finish Wicked this summer; I am not looking forward to it.

8. Reason No. Two Minnesota's State Shut-Down Sucks: I promised to take the girls to walk across the Mississippi while we were up north this summer. Come on St. Paul; I'm sure I'm not the only one annoyed!

9. Fireflies hide under shingles in the rain.

10. My new favorite thing: Burt's Bees Outdoor Bug Bite Relief {http://www.burtsbees.com/natural-products/all-products/bug-bite-relief.html}. Lauren's skin thanks you, Burt!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Abby Talks Fishing

These days Abby loves to talk.  She loves one-on-one time with adults, just chatting, just talking about life.

Last night it was my turn.  Me & my girl snuggled up my bed watching one of my Sunday night faves, Minnesota Bound.  One segment featured a young woman's adventures in fishing.  It sparked Abby's memory of trips to the cabin gone by, and with this year's cabin adventure closing in, she's looking forward to getting into Great Grandpa's boat and dipping the line of her new pole in the water with her Papa.

This is Abby's take on how to catch a fish....

I think that you find fish when you're swimming in the water.  You catch it with your fishing pole & you bring it into your boat.  Then you find it some water.  There's a box & there's water, and you can put the fish in there, and you close it up.

You bring them in the house, and then you bake them.  Or you can put them in the fridge.
 

{Lauren & Abby Watch Fish in Uncle Kim's Live Well}

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Golden Girls

Yesterday just might have been the best day of our trip!  We worked hard cleaning up Grandma & Grandpa's house in the morning, and in the afternoon we played.  By now we've been here two weeks and we've built up quite a base.  But Friday was golden.


{Aunt Heidi & Lauren Floatin' in the Pool}
 
{Lauren Toss}

{Abby Toss}

{Jump, Lauren!}

{Lauren Plays with Her Circle of Swimming Friends} 
 
{One Tired Tiny}

{Abby & Grandma.... The Golden Years}

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Fairborn, Ohio, United States
I'm a teacher by trade, writer at heart & mom in every sense of my being. I never considered writing as a profession, but after I got married and began moving around the country, I began sharing my adventures, misadventures & updates through a sort of e-mail newsletter. I found a true passion in unconventional story-telling that has followed me into motherhood.