Wednesday, March 25, 2015


"La la la la! I love to sing! Nothing could go wrooooooong!"

"Juliaaaaaa! Look out behind you!"

"Peace, Finn. Nothing bad could happen."

There was an optional science fair at Westside and Finn decided to participate. His experiment was to understand why raisins sink and float in pop and if grapes will do the same thing. First things need to be set up.

Then data must be collected.

And if you get thirsty, you can always take a sip of your experiment.

The night of the science fair, each kid set up their results and had to explain their work to the judges and other interested parties.

Finn explained to a judge that the bubbles from the carbonated beverage stick to the raisin causing them to rise to the top of the glass. At the top, the bubbles pop and the raisin sinks back down. This repeats as long as carbonation remains. Finn's hypothesis was that grapes would not have the same thing happen because their skin is smooth, unlike the wrinkly raisin's skin, and so the bubbles wouldn't have anywhere to hand on to. His hypothesis was wrong because the grapes rose and sunk with bubbles as well. SCIENCE!

Finn chatted procedures (I'm sure) with one of his classmates.

March started out with snow, but ended with bare ground. Julia looked good in shades while picking up Skippy's winter waste.

The bare ground very evident while Julia and I went on our go-to, close-to-home hike to Foster cemetery and the Kinni.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


JanFeb would be the celebrity couple name if the months of January and February were celebrities and they dated. It could happen.

Finn and Skippy have always had a good relationship. She frequently gives him "lick attacks," which consist of Finn sitting on the floor, the dog jumping on his chest to knock him down, and then furiously licking his face while Finn giggles. They're buds.

And as buddies, Finn will sometimes build Skippy a fancy bed or a fort. If she finds them cozy and comfortable enough, she'll give her stamp of approval by sleeping in it.

Skippy didn't get to have anything out of this giant box of snacks, but I was excited to open this gift from my family for my birthday.

We had to improvise on the candles. One of the complications of getting older!

At the Westside Elementary musical production of Mary Poppins, Julia played in the xylophone ensemble and sang in the 5th grade choir.

Finn also participated in his first musical. He was a chimney sweep for the song Step in Time.

In the below video, I zoomed in on Finn after about 30 seconds. With all the kids dressed the same, it was hard to spot him.

After the last performance of Mary Poppins, we hung out with my parents at the after party, complete with cookies and punch.

Julia's bed seems to be 75% stuffed animals. She (after much prompting) set many of them up in her closet instead.

After what likely turned out to be the last snow of the season that was playable, the kids took to making a snowman in the backyard. I helped them a bit with lifting the big snowballs to put the guy together. The snow was perfect for packing too so we had a parent vs children snowball fight.

I can clean up nicely when I put my mind to it!

It was our last year attending the Daddy Daughter Dance as Julia will be too old to go next year. We made sure to get some posing in before we left.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Twelve Months of 2014

Even though 2015 is already a month old, I've decided to do a review of 2014. I've gone back and chosen one picture from each month of the last year. The leading off picture is a gift we got showing the whole family. It's detailed enough to have my beard and glasses, Julia's Harry Potter shirt and scarf and Skippy too.

A common winter scene of the kids playing outside for the January, 2014 photo.

Sometimes you just gotta get through the winter with a bit of snuggling.

Sometimes the snow doesn't look terribly deep until you try to walk through it - then the walking turns to trudging.

As the snow was turning into slop in April, we took in a Minnesota Swarm Lacrosse game.

Strolling along the Kinni and looking for baby ducks and geese is always a good May activity.

Finn started playing violin during the summer.

And in July he was getting his exercise playing soccer.

The kids got their first spelunking adventure while underground at Crystal Caves.

Skippy plays this funny game where she sits at the top of the stairs and gently drops a ball on the edge of the step. It then slowly rolls and bounces down the steps. If someone is there to throw the ball for her, she fetches it back to the top and drops it again. She does this all year, but it was the September picture I liked the most.

Julia's not a teenager yet, but she's preparing by spending more and more time in the bathroom.

After reading Watership Down for her book talk assignment for school, Julia also designed a board game as part of the project.

Our Christmas time at our house is the always the first one we do. It's a nice tradition for just the four of us that we enjoy.

Monday, December 29, 2014

In Before 2015

Because I dragged my feet on getting last summer's vacation pictures posted, I'm now in that familiar place of playing catch up. So here goes...catch up lightening round - GO!

Julia turned double digits in August!

She posed with her cake and ate it too!

Finn was also allowed to fill his face with cake!

First day of school: Julia in 5th grade, Finn in 2nd!


Llamas wearing scarves!

Pre-season Packers game with the family!

Regular season Packers game with my parents and brother!

Finn finishing lunch and working on violin music.

Finn making scrambled eggs!

Halloween costumers: Julia a Gryffindor wizard and Finn a shadow!

Playing Settler of Catan with Grandpa Dayton!

Bathroom hijinks with a stolen camera!

Standard autumn hiking picture!

Flitting with butterflies at the Science Museum!

Finn controlling a T-rex!

Makin' a list...!

The kids with Great-Grandma Laverne!