Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Fun Finish to a Special Week

Alexis and I are sitting at the computer together to add one last blog post to our fun filled week in River Falls. It adds a different dynamic to our house having a teenager around! :) Alexis says that we should just wait a couple more years...then we'll have two of our own! I guess that working at a middle school should have me prepared by then. At least that's what I tell myself. Really though, it has been a lot of fun having my youngest cousin stay with us for a little while during the summer again. Being the oldest of the cousins on that side of the family, I haven't had an opportunity to spend much time over the years with cousins. I'm pretty glad that Alexis was willing to stay with us again. She's a pretty special girl! (As she would say..."in many different ways.") HA!

This morning, we got up kind of early to go to church. I should clarify, we normally go to church at 8:30am, but Alexis tends to wake up closer to 11am, so it was an early morning for HER. (Just picture us sitting here giggling...)

Then, we drove to the MOA. The plan was to arrive around 10:30am because that's when the rides at Nickelodeon Universe (formerly Camp Snoopy) open. Interestingly, we actually got there about 10 minutes early! Pretty cool! We purchased unlimited ride wristbands for the 3 kids. A little pricey, but at the end of the day, it was totally worth it! Check out a few pics:

Swiper's Sweeper was the first ride we tried out. Since Finn is only 36" he was able to have a chaperone ride for free, so Torey and I were able to get in on the fun for a few rides too.

The traditional carousel ride of course -

I'm not sure if I'd be classified as a bad parent while Julia was on this ride with Alexis, because I couldn't help but giggle. She had a look of fear and surprise on her face and her pigtails were flopping up and down. Poor kid. It probably would have been easier for her had she seen someone else ride it first.

At the end of our afternoon, I asked the kids if they'd like to go on the Log Chute (water ride). Alexis sat in front, followed by Julia, Finn, and yours truly. It has been quite some time since I've been on this ride and I happen to be the one who let out the biggest scream on the first drop/splash sequence of the ride. Jeez. After the ride was done, Julia asked if we could do it again! We did! And I didn't scream the second time. :)

We're nearing the end of our special time together. I get to drive Alexis part way home - we're going to meet her mom at Norske Nook for some pie. Not too shabby!

I hope that you have enjoyed your week as much as we have.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

For Duane

We've been talking about taking the kids bowling for the first time for awhile now. Amanda's cousin Alexis is staying with us a for a few days so we thought that that would be a good activity for all of us to go and do. We decided to stay in town and go to St. Croix Lanes since we had gotten a few "free games of bowling" coupons from the River Falls Days parade.

I checked out their website to double-check their hours a little while before we were going to leave. I noticed right away that Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings was going to be at the bowling alley for a few hours at the same time as we were going to be there. I'll admit, my first thought was, "Great, there's going to be a ton of people there and we won't be able to enjoy the bowling." Don't get me wrong, I'm a Packers fan and enjoy watching them, but not a die-hard. And since my kids aren't really old enough to care too much, I just hoped they would still have a good time bowling for the first time.

The bowling opened at 11:00 and the event was set to start at noon, so we were on the 7th frame or so when 12 o'clock rolled around. There was a nice turnout and a lot of Packers jerseys. Greg Jennings arrived and was introduced as being there to support a youth bowling league. He then spoke for a few minutes and said that he would try to mingle around with everyone, but he was here mainly for the kids. I was glad to see that he was a total class act. He immediately was going around and joking, high-fiving, hand-shaking, and bowling a frame here and there. There were a lot of nicely posed pictures with kids too.

Greg was moving over into the area where we were bowling and Amanda and I briefly conferred and agreed that if the kids got their picture taken with him, good, if not, not a big deal. There were a lot of people there who were really excited and there just to see him and so we didn't want to cut into their time. Well he did stop over by us and since my father-in-law (that's Duane) is a huge follower of sports and the Packers, I knew we should get a picture.

After a few snaps of the camera he stood by us for several minutes chatting. He asked about each of the kids and said how he's got two of his own too. He commented about us getting one of each, a boy and a girl, and that he's got two daughters. He said that the kids looked like Amanda and I joked that that was a good thing and he laughed and said that he hoped his daughters looked more like his wife too.

So in the end it was a really cool experience and it'll surely be a little more fun watching Packer games this upcoming season since we have that personal connection to a player.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Strawberry Pickin'

Mandy took the kids and her cousin Alexis strawberry picking today. Pictures follow.

Ok, so this one has no fruit in it, but it is cute!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A dog, a bee, and a kohlrabi walk into a bar...

Thankfully, Grandma Ruth's supper-cute puppy Maggie doesn't mind being handled by kids.

Feel free to make up your own comments about this one!

Now it was Finn's turn for swimming lessons. Since he's still a wee tot, he gets to be in a parent-child class. It was harder for me than it was last summer with Julia because Julia was a year older and could touch the bottom easily. Finn can't and needs to be held the whole time. He enjoyed it, for the most part.

The last week of the two weeks, Julia came in the water too. I was very proud of her because she practiced putting her face in the water and by the end of Finn's lessons, she had made vast improvements.

Do you remember this picture from earlier this summer? Julia painted bee boxes for my dad and here's the proof that they got put to use!
Here are the little ladies being a little more active.

Our little garden in the backyard is providing us with a lot of food. We've been eating vegetables from it three or more times a week. Julia poses here with a kohlrabi (which I love).

Julia's little strawberry plant has produced two strawberries so far. And they've quickly been gobbled up by her.

Here's a big haul that we all helped pick: peas, zucchini, and one squash.