Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mardi Gras at OLV

The highlight of Catholic School's week at OLV School was the Mardi Gras carnival. Dressing-up, playing kids games, prize drawings, yummy food, and BINGO... all combine for a great day of family fun.
Kippy wore her mask for most of the day. She won two raffles and was excited about her Webkinz Hippo and LPS set.
We played several rounds of BINGO, but no winners at our table. Here is Luke concentrating on his card.
My little-almost-three-year-old friend Anna and I were dressed up as well. Check out the super cute butterfly on her cheek. It goes so well with her sparkly blond hair extensions.

I manned the "treat walk" game for 1 1/2 hours (which is why I dressed up). It is sometimes called the "cake walk", but in this case, there were lots of different kinds of treats to choose from for prizes. In fact, there were 4 tables full of goodies!!

Round and round they walked as the music played....

with a total of 12 different numbers to land on.

When the music stopped, one number was drawn and the lucky winner headed to the treat table to make their selection.
Unfortunately, Kippy & Steve came home today with TOO.MANY.TREATS including Lemon cake, Seven-Layer bars, and Triple-Chocolate Fudge bars. Needless to say, Steve is taking a bunch of them to work tomorrow because I can't have that much temptation in the house!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Ahoy, me Matey!

Arrrgg! Thar be not enough loot in t' box!!

Hand o'er yer loot or I'll make ya walk t' plank unless ya want me ta run ya thru w' me sword!!!

On Saturday afternoon, we had perfect show for another snowman creation. I love diggin' into the dress up bin to see what we can find before heading out.

We had so much fun dressing up our fierce pirate, even though the huge snow ball head made it nearly impossible to get a bandanna to work properly. There was a lot of improvisation.

The treasure chest had a lot of detail, but it didn't show up well since it is all white. Bella also tried to come out and play with us, but she got overwhelmed quickly in the deep snow and had to be saved.
I antiqued out this photo to make it look more rugged. Not very fierce... how 'bout the next one?

Givin' our meanest "ARRRRGGGG" along with our one-eyed-missing-arm-with-a-hook look. Are ya frightened now??
Yo, ho, ho... its a pirate's life for me.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

An egg by any other name?

Our family eats a lot of eggs. It is our go-to-meal when we are in a hurry (or haven't planned something). We like our eggs a lot of different ways. Everyone has their favorites... scrambled, omelets, hard-boiled, over-easy, fried, or poached. We can eat them for breakfast, lunch or supper. One of everyone's favorite ways to eat eggs is an Egg-in-a-Basket.
This is done by pressing the rim of a cup in the middle of a slice of lightly buttered bread to make a circle (a.k.a. the basket). After placing the basket in a hot skillet, then you crack an egg in the center to cook. Once browned, you flip the egg-in-a-basket over to cook the other side. Steve even toasts up the little circles to go with it. It is delicious!

It is also known by a lot of other names. Some examples are "Rocky Mountain toast","moon egg", "egg-in-the-hole", "One-eyed Jack", "Bird's nest", "Gas house eggs", "The Elephant Egg Bagel", "frog in a hole" or "camp eggs". Have you ever had eggs this way? If so, what do you call them?

Friday, January 22, 2010

All that and a bag of chips

Last week, I got a new LG high capacity, front-loading washer to replace my 7-year-old high efficiency much smaller machine.
The funny thing is that I have yet to fill it all the way up to full capacity! It has a fun feature where it weighs the load first, then tells you the size, so you can fill it with the correct amount of detergent before it runs. This morning I was determined to fill it up. I had both girls strip their beds and we put sheets from their beds, including mattress pads....and it still was only 1/2 full.
This thing is a MONSTER!
And I am lovin' that I don't have to do laundry as often. Another feature I love is that it displays the time remaining for the entire cycle, so you always know when it will be done. It works for the planner in me.It is most definitely "all that and a bag of chips," to me!!
Now if I could just convince my Hubby that I need the matching high-capacity dryer.... wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Kippy's Creations

Steve took Kippy to a 1/2 day 4-H event this past Saturday, which was set up basically like a Make-n-Take. Kippy got to choose 4-5 projects she wanted to make and these are the results:

Goldfish in a bag, which is actually a plastic fish surrounded by clear glycerin soap. If you look really hard you can see the green "goldfish's" eye... sort of.
Snazzy, polar fleece hat... Kippy and her friend Mia made matching hats, so that makes them extra-best-friends on the school playground.
Jewelry... necklace from clay, a record necklace and a vinyl bracelet, so stylish.
Stained-glass heart cookies: The glass is made from a melted Jolly Rancher.
It looked so cute, but Kippy said it didn't taste very good.

It was a good Father/Daughter day and Kippy was quite proud of her creations.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Results fom a week of coping with my inner critic (MIC):

Sunday Jan 10: Volunteered to be a chaperon for 6-8 grade Youth Rally at St. John’s Prep School. MIC started spouting negative comments complaining about giving up my entire Sunday coping with tweens/teens while having to ride for 4 hours in a noisy school bus, and telling me about other things I could be doing. The reality was that the day allowed me to see the very best of some great kids who made me laugh while absorbing a wonderful message about using the Gifts God has given each of us. I also enjoyed the bonding time with other like minded adults. I reflected on the gifts I have been blessed with and how I can use these gifts to improve my relationship with God and His Son, my family and friends: Determination; Compassion; Humor; Intelligence; Musical abilities.

Monday, Jan 11: Got up at 5:30 AM to workout at Phatty Natties; MIC tried to get me to step on the scale so she could beat me up about my bad lifestyle choices, but I showed her and didn’t listen. However during class, I listened to MIC pick out all of the physical flaws visible in the huge wall-to-wall mirror. I was in agreement with MIC and she drained my mojo, and left me deflated, which wasn’t a great way to start my work week. After reading an e-mail from a close friend who is dealing with serious health issues, I pulled myself out my self-absorbed funk and extended sincere prayers for her health and asked other close friends to join me.

Tuesday, Jan 12: Up early and got on the treadmill; MIC distracted me by focusing on all the areas that jiggled while I ran. I turned up my ipod to drown out her nagging voice. I sent an e-mail to my dad to wish him a happy birthday in the morning and had good intentions of following up with a phone call in the evening. The reality was after being distracted with managing after school activities/homework, playing wii Just Dance with Kippy and I zoned out watching several DVR’s programs and totally forgot to call. MIC shamed and berated me for me for my selfish choices.

Wednesday, Jan 13- Thurs, Jan 14: Headache, sore throat, back ache. MIC blamed it on my poor food choices and overall unhealthy habits. I retaliated by researching body cleanse options after sleeping most of the afternoon.

Friday, Jan 15: A day of ups and downs… Down: my back still ached, so didn’t get up to go for a run; MIC called me lazy. Up: seeing the beautiful hoar frost decorating everything outdoors. Up: I heard positive news from my girlfriend’s husband that her surgery had gone well and prognosis for being cancer-free was very high. Up: meeting close friends for lunch. Down: finding out about life changes one of my BFF’s is facing, mostly because MIC was shouting in my ear about how I would be affected. Hush up, MIC, I am trying to concentrate and offer support!

Saturday, Jan 16: I started a new crochet project, but ran out of yarn. MIC gloated by taunting “I told you so!” in my ear. My mom made a surprise trip to our house in the morning, and Abby & I got to go shopping with her. Didn’t find any yarn for my crochet project (MIC kept up her “I told you so.”) I tried on a bunch of coats at Herbergers, but MIC found something wrong about almost all of them. I have found that MIC really thrives on the power of a mirror. Luckily, my mom was able to drown out MIC’s nagging voice and helped me to select a really cute option.

Sunday, Jan 17: I would say this was the best day of the week for me. Our family attended Mass together, which gave me time to reflect back on the message from the last week’s Youth Rally. Have I used the gifts God has given me? My intentions were good, but the execution could definitely be improved. When I got home, I felt stronger in spirit and my body felt healthy. The weather was unseasonably warm (33 degrees), so I went for an invigorating run. We were expecting company for supper, so did some sprucing up of the house and tried a new recipe: Crockpot Lasagna. Kippy and I also made a chocolate Bundt cake. It got an F for its mangled appearance, but thankfully still tasted OK. Our company wasn’t really fussy, so that helped me to keep MIC’s negative comments at bay.

Overall, I am becoming more aware of the negative self-talk MIC does and how much she tries to sabotage my efforts. I read an article about MIC and it offered some constructive coping skills. So for now, I am trying to recognize MIC’s destructive patterns and tune her out! MIC is loud and very bossy especially in front of a mirror. Please share any coping strategies you have for dealing with your own inner critic.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I have a dream.

Actually, I have a lot of dreams. One of my dreams is to win the HGTV dream house. Since 2005, it has become a fantasy an obsession. During the 6 week entry time-line starting at the beginning of the year, I attempt to do a daily on-line entry, which basically means about 3 times a week I actually remember to do it. Some years I like the location of the dream house better than others, but I try not to be too picky with where my multi-million $ dwelling ends up being. This year, the location is Sandia Park, New Mexico. I never have been there, but I promise when I win the dream house, you will be invited to come for a visit. After all, this year, my dream house has a casita (guest house)! I would love to hear one of your dreams if you get a chance.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It's a special day!

Happy birthday to YOU, dear Grandpa Rod!
Thank you for your strength,
your support,
sense of humor and
most of all your unconditional love!
We love you much!
Hope you have a wonderful day!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Auld Lang Syne

auld lang syne Pronunciation: \ˌōl(d)-ˌ(l)aŋ-ˈzīn, ˌl(d)-\
Function: noun
Etymology: Scots, literally, old long ago
Date: 1692
: the good old times

And boy did we have good old times playing Left Center Right on New Year's Eve with Russ, Kristy, Bob & Judy, in Esko while the 4 kids played games and watched movies! It was the first time Steve and I had played LCR and since we were playing for CASH$$ and not chips... the stakes were HIGH. Ok, not really high, because we were playing for quarters, but it was pretty competitive nonetheless.
Kristy and Judy were the lucky ladies in the dice game. I ended up borrowing $ to my husband so he could stay in the game. So many laughs and such great memories.
The kids had lots of fun blowing on the horns, sounding like a flock of wild geese. We had to send them outside to whoop it up because our poor ears couldn't tolerate it any longer! Kristy decked them all out in hats and it was a festive way to ring in the New Year (and new decade.)

The kids got BB balancing games from Bob and Judy and they were excited to show off the results when they got all their BB's in the correct spots.

Kippy composed this little song on a scrap piece of paper before we got them tucked into bed at 12:30 AM...

"It's 2010 time, everybody's feeling fine. There's lots of food to eat. There's lots of friends to meet. I'm happy that I'm getting kind of fat 'cause it' 2010!!"

Here is the whole crew ringing in 2010!
Uncle Bob and Aunt Judy... love those two!
Our three macho, masculine men...

The three dice-winning ladies....
The 4 loveable Lindgren's...
The 4 spectacular Sells...

I am looking forward to what the next decade is going to bring to our family and friends.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lessons from Lutsen

True to our Lindgren Style, we didn't have a clear plan of what we wanted to do as we entered into our Christmas vacation. Steve and I had a vague idea that we would like to go skiing, but we never went any further to even clarify if we would go cross-country skiing or down-hill, much less figure out where we were going to go. As vacation began, we got more serious about trying to make some decisions. I threw out that I would just like to go somewhere we haven't been yet. As it turned out, my vacation time started before Steve's so I reluctantly became the person in charge of the plan. I did some Internet searching on Lutsen Mountain, because I had a few friends and family members who had been there and said it was great skiing. Luckily, just one week in advance, I found a two bedroom villa in Grand Marais available for Dec 29-30th, which included two days of skiing for the whole family at Lutsen Mountain. It was stressful committing to this vacation because it had a two-week notice for canceling, so this was a no-refund, the-$-is-gone type of commitment.

We officially had a plan. Of course, we needed to shore up a few things, like what were we going to do with Bella while we were gone. Luckily, Russ & Kristy said they would doggie-sit her, so we dropped her off in Esko early Tuesday afternoon and headed up the North Shore drive.
Although Steve had taken a summer-time motorcycle trip two years ago, the winter version of the north shore was a first-time experience for all of us. We stopped a few times along the way to enjoy our surroundings.
Gooseberry Falls was amazing, although it was rather scary navigating the icy trail especially after Kippy slipped and fell just 5 feet from the edge of the frozen Upper Falls. Both Steve & I yelled at her to be careful which made her cry. My heart may never be the same again after that experience.We also stopped at a scenic vista to take a few pictures of the split rock lighthouse, but with time getting tight, we didn't actually go into the park. I was anxious about our accommodations in Grand Marais, because I had committed the family and spent the cha-ching and really, really wanted this vacation to turn out well. I'll cut to the punchline, it was SO worth it! This was one of the nicest places we have ever stayed. It was a two bedroom, three bathroom condo right on the shore of Superior. The living-room had a hide-a-bed sofa, so Abby made that her bedroom, thus allowing the girls to sleep separately and reducing the inevitable squabbles.
Lessons learned:
1. Steve & I found out we are not as skilled as we thought we were on the slopes. Conquering Andes Tower Hills did not make us experts.

2. Chemical foot and hand warmers are a necessity for Abby and I to be able to tolerate the cold, even though it was a balmy 20 degrees the first day and 10 degrees the second day. Warmers are the bomb!!

3. Steve needs to brush up on his map reading skills. He navigated us up Moose Mountain and down some blue squares and black diamonds on our first run. Poor Kippy took the brunt of that lesson.

4. We operated best by pairing Kippy with Steve and Renae with Abby. By the end of our second day we all felt better about our skiing abilities.

5. When you have a bad wreck and you are 40+ years old, expect to need some ibuprofen to be able to sleep that night. Wrecks for Renae over two days: 3; Wrecks for Steve: 2; Wrecks for Abby: 2; Wrecks for Kippy: numerous. Funny thing is that Kippy was the one who never wanted to stop at the end of the day!

6. It was a complete blessing that the sub-zero weather blew in the day after we left Lutsen.

It was a great experience and we all want to go back again!