Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Snugglin'

When I caught these pictures of my dad snuggling with Abby and Nixin this weekend, it made my heart do a flip-flop. There is something so special about time with your grandparent. My dad's lap is rarely empty when the grand kids are around and they all love it.
I certainly remember being snuggled in my Grandpa Rudy's lap when I was a kid. In fact, I think I got to snuggle with Grandpa Rudy well into my adulthood and that puts a smile to my face.
I get a little squeeze-y feeling in my throat when I see my mom or dad showering attention on one of my children. I'm just so grateful and I hope they know how lucky they are.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Another milestone.

Angelique celebrated her First Communion on Sunday, April 26. Angelique had a successful interview with Father Leroy where he verified that she did understand the significance of receiving the body and blood of Jesus. We were proud of the work she had done preparing for this sacrament.
I hoped Angelique would be able to wear Abby's First Communion dress my mom had made; however, when I had her try it on in December, it was way too short and too tight across the shoulders. I moved on to plan B... ask my sister-in-law, Anna, if Angelique could borrow Makenzie's dress. Plan B didn't work-out because Anna had already borrowed Makenzie's dress to someone else; however, Anna worked out plan C for us and we borrowed her neice's (Brooke Thompson) dress instead. So for the ceremony, Angelique's veil was the one I had made for Abby; the dress was from Brooke in Casper, WY; the shoes were from her cousin Makenzie.

We planned an open house for Sunday after church. Thankfully, my parents and my brother Russ' family came for the weekend and helped us get prepared. The weather was forecast to be cold and rainy (and it was), so that meant not only getting the house ready for guests, but we had to get the garage ready. Steve & Russ did a great job getting the garage set up and heated as well. My Mom helped tremendously with all the food preparation. It is easier planning an event with so many willing helpers!
Things were going very smoothly Sunday morning, except for estimating how long it would take me to curl Angelique's hair. It was nice for Angelique and I to have some one-on-one time before the ceremony. You guessed it, I got a teeny, tiny-bit emotional. Kippy said, "Mom, you look like you are about to cry." I answered in my choked up voice, "That is because I am!" Angelique replied matter-of-fact-ly, "Oh, I know why. It is because you're sad that I am growing up too fast." My heart squeezed so tight... thank goodness the Kleenex were close.
We got Angelique to church on time, however, we were cutting it down to the last minute and that meant Steve & I had to set in the last pew of the parent section opposite from Angelique. I couldn't even see her throughout the church service! Steve could see her and I would periodically ask him, "Does she still have her veil on?" The good thing about not being able to see her is that I didn't cry.
but my baby is definitely growing up... sigh... gulp... sniff
The grandparents...
The godparents, Russ & Kristy...

Uncle Randy and Aunt Anna...
Proud dad and mom...

Cousins... Kaleb, Logan, Nixin, Abby and Noah.

It turns out that I didn't take pictures at the open house because apparently, I am not able to be a hostess and a photographer. Who knew? I am disappointed that I didn't capture some pics of family and friends. I think it also had something to do with the fact that Angelique had her dress and veil off within 60 seconds of getting home and was back to being our tom-boy. A huge thank you to everyone for making Angelique's day special. She said, "I feel like it is my birthday!"

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Excessive talking paid off.

Throughout her Elementary school career, Abby has gotten into trouble for talking too much. Sometimes it was due to talking without raising her hand or talking before being called on or talking during quiet time. More than once, Abby had to go to the principal's office to discuss her problem of talking too much. Every parent/teacher conference, this characteristic of Abby's has been mentioned.

But on Saturday, Abby's ability to talk was very positive. She was one of two sixth graders representing Our Lady of Victory school at St Mary's Speech Festival in Morris, MN.
Abby's speech was a memorized recitation of the book "Gigi, God's Little Princess" by Sheila Walsh. Abby received a superior rating and did a fabulous job!
Her Grandparents were able to watch the competition.

We were all so proud of her and of all the OLV kids.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

Much accomplished!

It was a busy weekend and I am so thrilled at how much got accomplished! It was a great balance between fun and work.
  • The girls helped me rake the yard, bag up leaves and clear all the flower beds
  • Steve cleaned out the garage and pressure washed the porch, deck and garage floor
  • Attended the Razzle-Dazzle musical at the Center for the Arts where several of our friends and their children performed - it was fabulous!
  • Painted the kids picnic table
  • Printed lots of pics at Wal-Mart... lots of waiting, but love the prints
  • Got Abby packed up for a birthday party sleepover on Saturday
  • Steve set up the trampoline and boy did it get a work out from Kippy and the neighbors' kids
  • Admired every single tulip, leaf bud and perennial that was peeping its head out and declaring "it is Spring"
  • Steve watched Ultimate Fighting with friends on PayPerView
  • Completed an 11 mile run averaging 9:27 minute miles
  • Restocked our pantry - Kippy was a great help
  • Enjoyed a twist ice cream cone
The best part of the weekend was the forecast said it would rain and IT.DIDN'T!!! We wouldn't have gotten half of this list accomplished if it had rained. SO.HAPPY.NO.RAIN!! {picture me doing the happy dance}

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Good enough.

Since it had taken 2 days to get the first 4 windows in, we figured it would take another 2 days to get the last half done (I'm good at math). This morning the window crew showed up at 7:15 AM and started in on the 4 remaining windows. This time there were three in the crew instead of just two. Needless to say, things went much faster today. Not only did they get the rest of the windows in today, but they got 6 of the 8 windows are completely trimmed out in the interior.

I am just so happy to have all the window treatments off the floor/furniture and back to treating the windows!! In case you forgot what our living room looked like before, please follow this link.

Here is a look at the oak transition piece that we will need to get stained sometime in the near future.

OK, things are not 100%, but compared to what things looked like at the end of the work day yesterday, this is a huge improvement! The trim on the kitchen and bathroom windows aren't done. Apparently, special trim has to be ordered and hopefully that will be in by next Tuesday.
The bedroom windows are white in the interior and don't have the faux wood thing going on. I think it makes them look brighter.
The truth of the matter is that the faux wood cost more, so we opted to do all white where we could.
The shutters on one of the windows in the front and three in the back of the house still need to get put back on. Guess there was a problem with not having enough of the little button things that cover the screws.

Tasks remaining:
  1. Two windows need interior trim
  2. Four windows need to have shutters re-installed
  3. All windows need transition strips stained
But honestly, things are good enough for me.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A huge mess.

I knew this day was coming. We have been planning to replace the windows in our house for the past 4 years. So, after years of procrastinating, reviewing, getting quotes, hemming and hawing, we finally put-our-money-where-our-mouth-was and purchased new windows for our house. Yesterday, we got a call that our windows were ready to be installed. Tuesday morning, Cullen's started in on the project of replacing all of our main-floor wooden windows (8 total) with vinyl clad windows.
They cut out the existing window after they remove the exterior siding. The original interior trim stays in place.
Then, they slide in the new window, shim & attach it, put in new insulation stuff and then put the exterior siding back in place.
The interior will have a transition strip installed that we will have to stain to finish everything up. The windows in the living room and kitchen have a faux wood finish, which is not an exact match, but does look complimentary. The windows in the bathroom and bedrooms will be all white.

Right now we are in the "mess stage". People, we are deep into the mess stage! Window coverings strewn willy-nilly. Complete upheaval.
My problem is that we were told that this would be a two day project. Based on the fact that only 1/2 of the windows are installed at the end of day two, it is definitely going to be at least a four day project. Question... if installing windows is what you do for a living, wouldn't you be better at estimating the time that it will take to complete the task? Apparently not.

Luckily, the weather has been incredible and since we are just into our first few days of above 60 degree weather in MN, we have no bugs to contend with. This is especially important because we have gaping holes in our house.

Hopefully, I will be able to report on the completed project soon. For now, this is what my living room looks like and my blood pressure is on the rise.
Please, please, let it be over soon!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Yippy, Brac is three!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRAC!
We think Brac is a very special little boy and we are so happy to be his Godparents.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

An Easter tradition

Our favorite tradition for Easter is dying eggs. Last year after Easter, I picked up several egg dying kits on clearance. Today we busted out three different kits and combined them to create Easter egg masterpieces.
Abby, Logan and Kippy worked together to design these fabulous eggs. Abby mixed the colored tablets to make very vibrant colors with some slightly different hues.
Each kid had varying levels of patience making many varieties of colors. We ran out of hardboiled eggs way before their creativity was used up.Dye, glitter, stickers, crayons, and shrink-wrap combined with laughter, a little whining and some spills equalled a great time and some beautiful eggs.

Here are each of their personal favorites... from left to right, Abby (pink & sparkly), Logan (orange & shrink-wrapped), Kippy (lavendar & stickered).

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Chipmunks on Park Street

Now I ask you, is there anything more funny than a grown man sucking on a helium balloon and talking like a chipmunk? I think not!
We decided to treat ourselves to a chipmunk concert by using up the rest of the black balloons from Steve's 40th birthday party.
We each took turns sucking on helium balloons and belting out songs and phrases and then collapsing into giggles.
Did you know "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" is particularly hilarious in a chipmunk voice?
Each round, everyone tried hard to think of something creative to sing or say.
We were sad when the balloons ran out!
Of course, if we would have done it any longer, we probably would have passed out!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The adventures of flat Logan

There once was a boy named Logan who was in the First grade at Oakes Elementary School. He had a class project where he made a flat picture of himself and mailed it in an envelope. Logan is my brother Randy's youngest son, who is 7 years old. We were the lucky recipients of "Flat Logan" and these are the adventures we took him on.
First we took flat Logan to the Fish Fry Friday night, April 3rd at Our Lady of Victory. Abby and Angelique took pictures with flat Logan in front of their classroom doors and also by their school banner. The walleye was delicious, but flat Logan didn't eat any of it.

Angelique is 8 years old and in the 2nd grade.
Abby is 11 years old and in the 6th grade.
Saturday morning, Abby and Angelique took flat Logan for a walk to the Veteran's Home, which is only a 1/2 block from our house. They had to wear boots because of the recent snow, but didn't wear mittens because it was 30 degrees.
After lunch on Saturday, we loaded into the car and decided to take flat Logan to a few locations in Fergus Falls. The first place we picked was at the memorial of the Cyclone of Fergus Falls at Lake Alice in the middle of town. This cyclone was the 4th worst National Tornado disaster in history up to 1919. We noticed that flat Logan was wearing his "Oakes Tornadoes Rock!" sweatshirt so we thought he would appreciate learning about this tornado experienced in our town.

Our next stop was to the world's largest Otter, which is near Grotto Lake right in Fergus Falls. Fergus Falls is located in Ottertail County and our home team mascot is the Otter. As far as we know, Fergus Falls is the only team in the US with an Otter as a mascot. Fergus Falls also has the Ottertail River running through it.
This picture gives a better perspective on how large the Fergus Falls Otter actually is.
Our final stop of the day was to visit the community college called Minnesota State Community and Technical College (MSCTC) which is the home of the Spartans. Here is a little more trivia; one of the most popular team mascots is the Spartan. Those who are interested in Twilight will know that even the town of Forks, WA has the Spartan as their mascot.

Angelique thought the Spartan was wearing a dress, but in actuality, it is a part of his body armor.

Steve works at MSCTC as a psychology professor and also as a counselor.
This concludes the adventures of flat Logan in Fergus Falls, MN.