Monday, March 28, 2011

Celebrating Steve

I think the girls and I did a great job surprising Steve for his birthday this year (March 27th). He isn't very easy to surprise... and he isn't very easy to even get presents for... but this year we scored!

One of the things that makes getting gifts for Steve is that he never, ever, says that he "wants" something for his birthday, or for Christmas or for any day. OK, maybe never is a little strong, but it seriously rarely happens. And because of that, it is hard to know if you are choosing the right thing for him as a gift. I always have doubts... will he like it? Will it be a home-run-kind-of-a-gift?

This time, I had scored some insider information from my brother, Russ. He told me that Steve was really checking out a Harley coat and had even tried it on, but didn't buy it about 4 weeks ago when they were out at a Gun show together in Grand Forks. I asked Russ to go ahead and buy it and keep it at his house so I could give it to Steve for his birthday. Winning! I knew I had a home run gift this time!
Steve had no idea what was in the box. I loved watching his facial expression change when he figured out what his present was. And he makes that leather jacket look GOOD!

The girls wanted to give their dad gifts that he would love as well. After the success with the giant chocolate chip heart for Valentine's day, I suggested they each bake him something.

Kippy decided to make lemon bars, which is one of her dad's favorites. She squeezed the lemons and mixed up the filling herself. Abby helped out with the crust. And it was all a surprise, because we did the baking while Steve was gone for a Sportsman banquet the night before his birthday.
We fancied the bars up with some extra powdered sugar, wedges of lime and a candle. The Lemon bars were delicious and definitely loved and appreciated by her dad.

Abby wanted to combine her dad's love of chocolate chip bars with brownies and found a recipe for Brownie/Cookie bars. Steve came home in the middle of the assembly, but as soon as we told him it was a surprise, he didn't ask any questions and stayed away from the kitchen.

The layered bars were fabulous, especially with the extra chocolate drizzled on top and another candle to blow out. It is true, the secret to Steve's heart is definitely with his favorite desserts (and his girls). Happy birthday to my wonderful Husband and the best Dad in the world!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lindgren Life in a List

I have not blogged much of late, but there has still been plenty going on in the Lindgren household. Mostly it has centered around our two lively daughters.
  • Abby has been involved almost daily in practice for the Middle School musical, Aladdin, since the beginning of January. The show performance debuts today! We are excited to see the second performance tonight and will also go to the final performance on Thursday night with Grandma Shirley in attendance.
  • Steve is on Spring break this week, which means he is able to go to lunch at OLV with Kippy, have a somewhat leisurely schedule & knocking off several fix-it items on the honey-do list, all while I have been seriously jealous of his freedom.
  • I have been able to go cross-country skiing almost every Friday morning since mid-January, when I purchased my own ski equipment. It has been the perfect stress-reliever for me. Steve has gone skiing with me several times as well and we finally got a method worked out so we begin and end at the same time. It takes mad wizard skills, but we got it figured out.
  • We have been selling and eating lots of Girl Scout cookies, thanks to our soon to be Jr. level girl scout, a.k.a Kippy. Wish we had sold more so I would have ate less.
  • Snow, snow & more snow... winter has been dragging on and on and on, but was so very happy to escape over President's weekend for a girlfriends' weekend with Lori & Heather. It was energizing, therapeutic, & productive in terms of laughing, shopping, bonding & crafting.
  • Last week, Steve & I got to watch our niece play hoops at the Regional Basketball tourney in Fargo. It was great to watch, even if the scoreboard didn't reflect the effort the Tornadoes put into it.
  • Best movie so far this year {actually the only movie I have gone to in 2011}... The Fighter. It was fabulous. Two thumbs up from Renae & Steve even if we had to drive to Alexandria to watch it since the Fergus theater closed the beginning of January.
  • Seven weeks of Lent started last week on Ash Wednesday and the girls and I are jointly working on our preparation for Easter by abstaining from meat daily. Meal planning has been a bit challenging, but it has made us more mindful of sacrifice both physically and spirituality.
  • Abby finished up the Speech season with her last contest in Underwood on March 14th just in time to start the Track season. With all the extra time spent taking her back & forth from events, perhaps it won't be so bad to think of her driving herself. What? Driving??? Forget I said anything... I must be sleep deprived.
  • Text message tally for February: Steve = 157 Renae = 574 Abby = 1199 I am speechless. Literally.
  • The girls aren't the only ones involved in extra-curricular activities... Steve is on the OLV school board & Knights of Columbus while I have AAUW, OLV Endowment board meetings and responsible for decorating the Church over Lent.
  • My biggest obsession so far in 2011... My Fitbit. Steve gave it to me for Christmas and I keep telling him it is the best Christmas gift I have gotten EVER! I wear it almost 24/7, with the exception of having to charge it every 7-10 days. It tracks sleep efficiency (as in how many times you wake up each night) as well as activity, steps, & mileage. There are more numbers to compare and track and I am positively in love with it. I already had to replace one Fitbit because I was sweating so much while cross-country skiing that the first one shorted out. Thankfully it was still under warranty so crisis was averted and I was back to tracking within 24 hrs.
  • Reading, reading and more reading... the four of us keep our library cards active and are checking out or returning books at least twice a week.
  • Kippy's newest obsession... Spore.
  • Progress is being made on my 2011 Theme... Power. I attended a 20 hour IMPACT class at UND the first weekend in March and am still processing all of the lessons learned.
Lots of other stuff, but I think I hit some of the highlights that are at the front of my brain right now. I am glad we are busy and I have much to be grateful for. I am working to stay-in-the-moment and practice daily gratitude even if I fail at documenting.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mardi Gras @ OLV

The annual OLV Marti Gras event is a school fundraiser and a very kid centered, fun-filled afternoon. It was held on Sunday, Feb 6th and we were excited to be able to have our nephews Nixin and Noah join in since they were visiting with their parents for the weekend.
The kids start out with tickets and play games. Most games allow the kids to earn gold coins. Nixin had a pretty good sized stash of coins he had earned.

Said coins are then turned in for prizes... lots of choices, so the decisions are very difficult.

Tickets can also be used for other fun items. Here is Uncle Steve helping Nixin to get

this cool dinosaur tattoo!
Some kids had fun Mardi Gras masks...

And some kids were just content to play with colorful fringe.

I helped with the Children's raffle, which had a little over 80 different prizes. The kids could place their tickets into the bag representing the gift he/she most wanted to win. Of course, the more tickets placed in the bag, the more chances of winning the coveted prize. As it turned out, announcing the prize winners yielded sequels of excitement from the recipients as well as tears of sadness from the kids who didn't get selected. Out of our kids, Abby won two of the raffles, but neither Kippy, Nixin or Noah were chosen. Noah did however, become the winner of some yummy chocolate/peanut butter bars from the Cake Walk; while Nixin & Kippy were happy with their prizes that they chose. All in all, it was a joyful day.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Another conversation with Kippy

A couple of weeks ago, Kippy and I were going to Target together.

From the backseat, Kippy said, "Hey mom, you know how you said that you like to walk on the spicy side of town?"

I frowned and tried wracking my brain to figure out what the heck she was talking about.

Kippy kept right on talking, "Now all of us like to eat Medium salsa instead of Mild."

Then it clicked... and I replied, "Remember, Kip, I said I like to walk on the spicy side of life, not the spicy side of town."

Kippy replied, "Yup, now all of us like spicy food!"

That kid cracks me up... I am now wondering what Kippy's teacher would think if she shared with her class that her mom now walks on the spicy side of town???

Wordless Wednesday