Saturday, October 31, 2009


Happy Halloween!!

Please note Cinderella's sparkley shoes and the cow's tail...each of their favorite traits.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Funny

Our Friday Funny isn't a picture this week - but a statement.

Last night Katie and I went to the Miley Cyrus concert.

Are you laughing yet? Stay tuned for pictures and 1-2 videos. We were ridiculously close...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Good News

One of my roommates from college, Julie, had her first baby last week. She delivered a baby girl via c-section, Lydia Kay. And she is gorgeous!

Unfortunately a few minutes after birth they realized something was not right with her color. PICU nurses ended up taking her upstairs to see if they could help her. It was discovered that there was a problem with her heart. They thought that the pulmonary veins were not connecting to her heart and therefor not supplying it with any oxygen. The decision was made to transport little Lydia to Mayo for immediate surgery.

She was taken via ambulance across the state line and was in surgery for about 5 hours. The doctors discovered that the pulmonary veins looked ok. Instead, the problem was that there were some holes in her heart that needed to be repaired. Lydia was a trooper and did fine during surgery. She was then put on a heart/lung machine to give her little body a break and be allowed to heal. Julie was allowed to leave to hospital the next day - a little bit more than 24 hours after her c-section. Her and her husband traveled to Rochester to be with their daughter.

The updates I have been getting everyday have been good. Lydia is passing her neurological tests. My friends Jamie, Laurel and I visited Julie and her husband Russ last night. Lydia was taken off her heart/lung machine and she seemed to be doing well. The doctors and nurses were working to try to find a balance in her drugs and medications because she didn't seem to be tolerating some too well.

They are hoping to close up Lydia's chest today. That means that hopefully by tomorrow or Saturday Julie and Russ will be able to hold their precious little girl for the first time. They still need lots of prayers and good vibes, so send some their way.

Luckily Julie and Russ got into the Ronald McDonald house today. It's such a wonderful service that they provide people. Hotels are SO expensive and don't offer the comforts of home. Hopefully they will be more comfortable now. We're thinking of you!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkin Carving

After John carved our wall, we thought he was on a roll. After supper he set to work on the pumpkins.

Katie got into it this year, actually happy about sticking her hand in the pumpkin to pull out the insides. Will...not so much.

In the beginning, Will was all set to join in.

And then when he saw what Katie was pulling out...not so much.

John carved a 'happy' face and a 'scary' face - one of our traditions. We also roasted the pumpkin seeds - another of our traditions. A little oil, salt and mmmm...yummy.

Speaking of traditions, I think I'm gonna start a new one this year. Underwear and socks for Christmas presents. When I was little I got underwear every year til I was like 15. I swear it was SO embarrassing! It's time to pass that warm fuzzy feeling on. I was thinking it would be good timing to give Will his first pair and see what he thinks. I don't think we'll give Santa Claus credit for these gifts. Who wants some creepy old white haired guy giving you underwear?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Another Brick in The Wall

Ok, ok - it's the only 'wall' title I could think of right now.
This weekend John got so mad he put a hole in the wall. Well...not really. He wasn't angry at all - this is a project we have been meaning to do for a long time. There was a solid wall separating our kitchen and living room on the main floor. We always thought it would be nice to have either a low wall there or a type of 'peek-a-boo' window. So yesterday John sketched an outline on the wall and voila! Suddenly it was gone! (Ok, maybe not that quick, but it really didn't take him too long.)

There was a slight hiccup in the project...wires. We weren't expecting to find any, so of course they were there. There's two outlets near the floor and those wires run straight up and over. So John will have to get some more wire and re-run them around our new window. Eventually we'll re-paint next spring and be officially done...with that project anyway.



Saturday, October 24, 2009

Frog in my throat

Katie got involved in a new program at school. It's called Information Investigators. It's run by accelerated learning teacher and offers an opportunity for some kindergartners to take home kits on all kinds of topics. They are bags filled with books, videos, projects, worksheets and more on a variety of topics like China, Sign Language, Art, Music, The Ocean, Spanish, Cooking, Architecture and more.

So about every 3-4 weeks Katie will get to bring home an Investigator Bag. We'll keep it for a week and check out all the fun things inside. Tuesday she brought home her first one...Frogs! We have videos, books, puzzles, worksheets and more. It offers a chance to really study a specific topic, and gives Katie a sense of "homework". Will likes the fact that they included a Kermit the Frog video.

So if any of you had any burning frog questions that you never seemed to get answered...ask now because we are all experts on the subject.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Funny

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Spicing it up

This summer during my garage sale-ing adventures I had found a sweatshirt for Katie for $.50. It was dark blue, and yes, probably intended for a least that's what she was convinced of.

I had tried to get her to wear it a couple times and it was a struggle. She made it clear that she would NOT be wearing it to school. I suggested trying to decorate it, and she seemed open to that.

So I bought $2 worth of iron on transfers and had Katie help me in deciding where to put them on her shirt. Those transfers were WAY easier than I expected, and while they may not last forever...they only need to last long enough for Katie to start liking the sweatshirt.

The front...

...and because I had extra - the back.

There may be more projects like this in our was fun and easy.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Will's dresser

This weekend we made a trip to Ikea - our second trip in 5 years.

Will needed a new dresser. His old one had once been mine, then Katie's, then Will's. I bought it used after college for $20. It's a pressed particle board type material and couldn't handle being opened and shut so much. Out of 4 drawers we had two that we could use, and that just wasn't cutting it.

Ikea has some good deals - the only draw back being that you have to assemble everything yourself. I thought I would get started putting it together while John ran some errands, but then I read the instructions and had to wait.

See? I needed a happy helper.

Will jumped right in and wanted to help.

Katie dressed to help, but chose to do her own thing...big surprise.

The finished product....almost
The bottom drawer is missing a piece...but it'll get there.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Funny Friday

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Maybe it runs in the family...

As you all know Katie is the next up and coming superstar. Well, she may have some company....or competition as the case may be.

Katie talked John into hooking up his microphone so that she could sing. Once she was done with her 'set', she let Will have a turn who actually made some sounds into the microphone for the first time. And then - we couldn't get it away from him.

This is a movie taken with our new camera...

Sunday, October 11, 2009


It isn't even mid-October yet and already we have awoken to snow. Saturday morning we woke up to find a dusting of snow on the ground. Yet it was enough to provoke Katie and Will into getting all geared up to go outside. I went along to take a couple pictures, but dang - it was cold! Are we even going to have a fall season??

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

ACL mud

This is what the mud was like on Sunday and why I had to throw my shoes away. I had to get new ones at "the Wal-Mart" (said in a thick southern accent).

That's just salsa coming out of my ears...

Well, we are back from our journey to the Lonestar state. Our plane was late getting in yesterday, but we finally got to Minnesota around 4:15. We met my mom and picked up the kids - who were actually quite happy to see us. It's nice to get gigantic hugs that that, and Katie even started tearing up cuz she was so happy.

I wish I could say I had a lot of pictures for you - but I don't. :) John took a few on his blackberry...but our camera got wet from the rain on Saturday and is no more. But you'll make do.

Here's some fun festival facts -
* 3 days, 8 stages, 130 bands
* 65,000 people each day
* 650 port a potties (usually a line anyway)
* 500 bartenders serving drinks (never a line for beer)

John and I on Sunday...that's mud and pooled rain water in the back...and no, I'm not wearing Green Bay colors...that's a Pearl Jam shirt. :)

Friday we got to Austin about our rental car....a MIGHTY Cheve Cobalt. :) Ahhh, the sarcastic power. Once we got to the hotel and dropped our stuff off, we hopped on their shuttle to take us to Zilker Park where the festival was happening. From where they dropped us off it was a little less than a mile walk to the park. The weather was gorgeous - clear sky, about 70 degrees. We caught Kings of Leon at 8:30 who brought Eddie Vedder out to do their last song. We missed Them Crooked Vultures which I am still kicking myself about. That's the new mysterious group with Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters, Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age, and John Paul Jones from Led - freaking - Zeppelin. I heard it was a good show.

We slept in on Saturday then ran down to REI to get me a raincoat. I had brought trash bags and an umbrella along, but the forecast looked like rain all day, so I thought an actual coat may work better. I was SO glad to have that coat. We headed down on the shuttle and grabbed some late lunch/earl supper at a place called Chuy's. We got to sit in their hubcap room...hubcaps lined the ceiling. They had great Tex-Mex. When we left around 3:30 it was raining...and never really let up til 7:30 or so. We got to the park, bought some t-shirts and a festival poster which luckily survived in it's tube. I had wrapped the camera in a couple trash bags from the hotel - but that wasn't good enough. By the end of the night there was an inch of water in the backpack.

We caught some fun music that afternoon. Flogging Molly was a fun Irish rock group -good rain music. We also caught And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. Their name was intriguing so we had to check them out....good hard, intense rock. Bon Iver was on after that and the band seemed interesting so we wanted to check them out. Geesh - it was depressing. Maybe I would like the haunting, whispering voice curled up on my own couch, but not in the rain. So we moved on to other stages. The Levon Helm Band was on before DMB and they put on one heck of a show. For a guy that's gone through as much as Helm has - wow. They rocked. Finally Dave Matthew's Band closed out the evening - it was a fun show and we had awesome spots to stand. But thanks to the few beers I'd had - we had to head to the bathroom halfway through and watch from further back. Once it got dark, John and I didn't want to get separated. It was hard enough to get back to your spot during the day.

Sunday we wanted to get to the park early so we could get a good spot for Pearl Jam that night. Plus there were some good bands lined up. Thanks to the rain the day before there was about 2-3 inches of mud - sometimes more to tread through. It was messy, but you just had to do it. There were the occasional people covered head to toe, but most people were just mud from the knees down. We parked ourselves in front of the main stage by 3:30 to watch the Toadies and The Dead Weather before Pearl Jam at 8. The Dead Weather is Jack White's new group. It may be a bit scary, but they were VERY good.

One was HOT. The clouds cleared and the sun came out. When you are standing shoulder to shoulder in a group of about 10,000 people for 4 hours it gets to you. So by the time Pearl Jam started we had to move back a bit. I couldn't see the stage where we were anyway, and my neck was starting to hurt looking WAY up at the video screens. It wasn't just being on your feet for almost 7 was not being able to take a step in any direction or bend over. Thanks to the mud you couldn't sit down - although John and I did take turns for a couple minutes hunkering down on a trash bag. That's why festivals are only 3 days - 4 would kill people.

Peal Jam rocked though...Eddie brought out Ben Harper to do a song with and then he also brought out Perry Farrell to rock with. As an encore, Vedder jumped off the stage and dove headfirst into the mud - everyone loved that.

Don't get excitied...not my picture...we weren't this close.

Funny thing is the company that puts on the festival sodded the entire grounds earlier this summer because they'd had such problems with dust storms. This year, it rains and the grass is totally gone. The company has said that it will pay to repair the park, re-sod, whatever and it will re-open at the end of October.

Monday we got to do some touristy stuff - we went shopping at some eclectic stores and went to the Capitol. Around dusk we took our spot on the Congress bridge to watch the thousands and thousands of bats that were supposed to fly out to go hunting for the night. We waited and waited...nothing. We saw some bats - maybe 100 or so, but not what I had seen in pictures. A cab driver told us that some colder weather had settled in and that may have sent them south. (70 is not cold in my book.)

We had a good supper downtown at Maria Maria la Cantina - thanks to our combined Spanish knowledge, we knew they'd at least have beer. Got to watch the Vikings game too.

The only negative? While we were at the Capitol (for 30 minutes) our car got ticketed. We were parked there from about 5:00 - 5:30 pm....there was 45 minutes on the meter - 14 minutes left when we got back. We got a ticket saying that at 3 something we were parked there illegally. What? I blame George W.

Thanks to all our family for watching the kids while we were gone. They seem to have had a great time. And so far, no de-programming has been needed. :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Karlie!

Happy 4th birthday to our friend Karlie!

(4, right? Geez. How did that happen?)