Monday, February 22, 2010

St. Paul Weekend

Last weekend, the Chad's and I went to St. Paul, Minnesota to visit my sister Sarah and her husband, Mike.
Why go North in the dead of winter, you may ask?
Well, I will tell you.
Reason #1
The rock climbing is great there, year round.
This was one of my favorite moments.
I got to that overhang, and, not being the impressively muscled athlete I used to be(just humor me), I slipped off the wall and went spinning out into space. A little boy was walking by with his mom at that moment, spied my acrobatics and said, "That lady made a trick!" At least I impressed him.
Chad was, actually, impressive, and made it over that overhang, and all the way to the top. He climbed many other routes also, and only yanked Sarah off of the ground once.

Sarah was the expert belay-er, and made sure I got my knots right.

I was the expert chromatographer, and made sure she stepped on the right color of rock.
Chad and I conquering the rock face together.
Ah, the symbolism...

Reason #2 to visit the frigid North...
Snow! They had lots of it!
This is S & M's adorable house.
Just check out those icicles!
Reason #3: This mirror.
It made me look 6 feet tall, and lithe!
I look like a Bloomin' elf!
The legs o' that lass are just long!
And they're really not!
It was a fun-house-esque mirror
worthy of any amusement park in Orlando.
Reason #4
The ice fishing!
This was the hole in the 20-inch-thick ice,
out of which I pulled a 14 inch Walleye,
with my bare hands.

This is the 10 inch crappie that Mike held by the bottom lip,
with his bare hands,
so that Sarah could take a picture,
with her bare hands.
This is Chad, with a bare-nickle grip on the edges of his hole, as he enjoyed the wet-dog/dead-fish smell of the floor of the ice house, which you could only appreciate fully when you were trying to see if your bait was barely touching the actual bottom of the lake.
This is Sarah, holding her head in her bare hands, barely able to hold it together after her husband one-upped her with his catch.
And this is Chad. He does not have bare hands, only bear ears,
and he didn't get to hold anything.
Here are our palatial accommodations, complete with four ice-holes, a heater, and one light bulb, connected to a car battery, which was making less light than the heater by the end of the evening.
Interior view.
Actually, quite snug.
Reason #5
The Mill City Museum.
Minneapolis is the furthest navigable point North on the Mississippi.
Thus, all the wheat, from miles around, used to be shipped here, to be milled into flour, and then shipped down the river.
This is one of those mills. It happened to have gotten blown to smithereens in a dust explosion.
However, out of those smithereens, they have rescued a lovely courtyard for the museum, fit for many an engagement photo, or Russian spy movie set, depending on the season.
Reason #6
Ice Hockey played by Golden Gophers
Minnesota beat Colorado, 3-0.
Did you know that the Minnesota cheerleaders cheer on the stairs, because there are no sidelines in hockey? And then, as if that weren't talent enough, in between periods, they don ice skates, and show just as much prowess on the rink as the players!
They do.
And finally, Reason # 7
Sarah and Mike!
The best reason of all!
Thank you for a wonderful weekend guys!
We love you!

Friday, February 12, 2010


Little Chad is getting bigger, and has definately learned to smile! He was such a fussy baby until I quit drinking milk, and now he's great. Good thing I like Rice Milk. I just wish they made Rice Ben and Jerry's.

It has been RAINING! [We had twice as much rain in January as we had ALL of last year.(1.3 in vs. 3.6 in.) Then we had more rain in Feb!] The wash across from our house fills with water and the kids are drawn like monkeys to a banana tree. We Googled how to make paper boats, and they tested their new skills on the "lake." The boats didn't last too long. We need to figure out how to make paper boats out of something besides paper.
"Ow Mom! I bit my tongue!"
Uh... Do you want me to kiss it?
"No. Your lips would get all wet."
OK. (Phew!)
Eden lost tooth #2 last week. She informed me a the next morning that the tooth fairy had forgotten to come. We encouraged her to look again a little while later, and waddaya know? There was money under her pillow!
"So, the tooth fairy waits till you leave your bed, and THEN comes?"
Sometimes, my dear, sometimes.

Lil, Samuel and Eden are playing community basketball right now. When it is not your turn to be on the court, it is often your turn to get Sage off the court.

Lex is not playing basketball this year, but she is dancing at half time of the Jr. High games. We stopped to grab some groceries after a game last week, and she was dancing through the aisles. It made me smile. She's so uninhibited, and loves dancing so much. And, how often do you see a 12 year old dancing down the aisle at the grocery store. Turns out, pretty often. We turned the corner, and there was one of Lexi's team mates, doing the exact same thing.

One of our Christmas presents for the kids was a playhouse. I was waiting for the trim to get painted before I posted pics of it, and now one of the post caps has popped off... oh well. Here it is, and Gary is glad.

And so is Sage.

Fun stuff!

And one more of Chad. I told you he could smile!