Sunday, August 28, 2011

Kid Vacation!

The children spent all of last week splitting their time between their grandparents' houses.

Each of them had a backpack with whatever things they wanted to bring along. Finn couldn't fit everything he needed so he had a little extra to carry.

They got to do a lot of playing and exploring while spending the week in central WI.

Julia was excited to get to meet and hold Natalie, Amanda's cousin Leah's new baby.

Meanwhile, in another part of the state...
Amanda and I enjoyed going out to eat a few times without the extra cost of a babysitter and going on some long walks. We also took the opportunity to enjoy an evening at the Minnesota State Fair. Our only plan before going was to eat some interesting things, on sticks, of course. This was our menu of fair food that we ended up eating:
- cheese on a stick (like a corn dog, but with cheese in place of the hot dog)
- corn dog
- deep friend veggies on a stick
- fried green tomatoes
- corn fritters
- deep fried spam
- lefse
- sweetcorn ice cream
- slab of bacon on a stick

We had hoped to, but didn't get deep fried cookie dough, chocolate covered jalapenos, or deep fried candy bars. We didn't find the cookie dough and I decided to opt out of the other two at the end of the evening after listening carefully to my stomach. I think I made a wise decision because by the time we got home, I was feeling a little funny.

In one of the buildings they had several marker boards from CaringBridge to write words of support or in honor of someone battling an illness. I jotted down a quick note about Julia's outcome of her own cancer.

Here's a self-shot of the two of us above the state fair.

Although the extra free time in the evenings was nice, it was just as nice to get the kids back home on Saturday and be able to end the weekend with all of us back together.

The upcoming weeks are going to keep us busy. Amanda is already back at work, Julia starting back to school later this week, and Finn starts pre-school in a few weeks.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

August Through the Years









Monday, August 8, 2011

Filling in the Gaps

From post-cancer news to party pictures, there's been little else mentioned in awhile, so I thought I would go through our pictures from the past six weeks and throw some out here that had gotten left behind in all the hubbub.

Julia and a friend fed and checked out the animals at the petting zoo during River Falls Days.

At a Hope Kids events at Como Town (at the Como Zoo), the kids cordially passed each other while driving the little cars around.

Having aunts and uncles around pre-party led to some acrobatic hijinks.

To celebrate Amanda's golden 30th birthday, she had a weekend away. It was a little bit of a downer for her though because I tagged along. You can tell there was a nice breeze on the boat by the way her hair her looks in the picture below, taken while on the dinner cruise on the St. Croix.

We also squeezed in a family weekend before the fast approaching Fall comes around and school starts back up. We went to the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre and saw Hairspray. Below is how we looked prior to leaving for the show.

We all had a great time and the kids even got high-fived by the very tall man who played Edna Turnblad. Afterward, we were hanging around in the lobby looking at different things when one of the actresses walked by and asked Julia if she would like to meet the lead actress who played Tracy Turnblad. A few minutes later she came out and talked to us for a few minutes.

We stayed at a hotel that night so we could lounge in the pool. The kids enjoyed eating pizza on their bed while watching TV channels we don't get at home.

We let each of the kids build a teddy bear at the Build-a-Bear store at the Mall of America.
Julia made a rainbow teddy bear that she named Ella.

Finn opted to build a dinosaur instead of the standard bear. He named it Mr. Dino.

We didn't go on any rides (though the kids certainly asked enough times...) but we walked through the park at the mall and we ran into Aang, the character from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Julia didn't want much to do with him, but Finn was pretty excited.