Uncategorized12 Dec 2012 09:40 pm

“It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas…”  And that’s the closest you’ll get to me singing for you.  It’s lightly snowing here tonight and finally looking a little like winter.  If we weren’t already thinking about skiing, this would do it, but we often are and have several days on the hill already.  I’ve decided to give you the…

Top 10 Hislop Highlights of 2012
…or at least 10 things that may have happened in no particular order.

  1. Braces
    Bode got braces across his upper front teeth to coordinate with the appliance he already had.  He is not impressed with being a frequent visitor to the orthodontist, but he is putting up with it well.
  2. Helicopter skiing in British Columbia
    This was an amazing trip we planned with a friend.  Aaron and I skied like celebrities, getting picked up in the helicopter and dropped off on the mountain for an awesome week of skiing.  No chair lifts were necessary.
  3. Inline skate races
    Aaron and I skated in the Northshore Inline Skate Marathon again.  It was a beautiful day.  Aaron ditched me after 3 miles, but the race went well for both of us with new personal best times.  The kids skated in the Kids Sprints the night before and did well too.  Courtney had a first place win in the girls 5 and under group again.
  4. Dog
    After saying goodbye to our 12 year old lab, Wednesday, we welcomed Old Hemlock Blue Sky into our family.  She is an English Setter that thinks Bode is another puppy.  We took a quick trip to New York in July to pick her up.
  5. Skiing
    Both kids love to ski and got a lot of ski days and nights while Aaron and/or I patrolled at Welch Village.   We’ll see if we get more skiing than last year.
  6. Wolves
    Maybe you heard about our wolf encounter and maybe you didn’t.  I’ll just say that 3 full size wolves running at you is mighty intimidating and not something I’ll be forgetting soon.
  7.  Kindergarten
    Courtney started kindergarten this year.  It’s going well and she likes it a lot.  I love how fast she’s learning to read now.  Before you know it, she’ll be blasting through the books like Bode.

Well, this was supposed to be 10 items.  Lots of exciting things happened this year mixed with lots of wonderful ordinary activities that make it life.  I’m stopping at 7 so that I can get this posted and go to sleep.  Maybe I’ll come back with a few more, but maybe I won’t.  🙂  Either way, happy holidays to you and your families!  I’m glad we got to spend time with so many people this year and looking forward to those we’ll be seeing next year.

Johanna, Aaron, Bode & Courtney


Uncategorized30 Dec 2010 11:09 am

You may have thought the houseofhislop.com site died, but it didn’t. Although I haven’t posted in a year, there have been new photos added occasionally…at least until August. I’ve put new winter pictures over in the photo album again. I think I’ll see if I can start putting updates on here again. A lot has happened since then, but let’s just start out here…

The kids have been busy with swimming lessons and hockey. Between the two, we spend a lot of time at the Rec Center. It’s a lot of fun to see the kids enjoying themselves and growing their hockey and swimming skills. Maybe this summer Bode will be up for trying the waterskis!

Since Bode is out of school this week, I stayed home with him yesterday. We put together the gingerbread house that Santa brought. He snuck a few tastes along the way and is enjoying eating it piece by piece now. He says it was the best present he got. 🙂 He also just put Toy Story 3 into the DVD player to watch again. It was another gift from Santa.

Courtney went to daycare yesterday and today to play with her friends and take a nap. She doesn’t seem to ever nap at home! She had mom time last night and we watched her new movie, which is Barbie Fairytopia Mermaidia. This Christmas was very Barbie and princess oriented with a splash of Dora and Hello Kitty. She loves all of those characters.

Now that I’ve spent a little time bringing the photo album back up and writing this post, I better get going at doing something more productive with my day off!

Uncategorized26 Nov 2009 08:54 pm

We took a family trip out to San Francisco for Carole and Joey’s wedding. We added a few extra days and enjoyed some of the San Francisco sites. Bode especially loved the Golden Gate and Bay bridges. He was drawing pictures of them back in our hotel rooms every day. We stayed near Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 for the first two nights. We walked around and saw sea lions, ships, bridges and other fun stuff. We took some time to go to Muir Woods and play around the giant redwoods. The kids loved climbing into the trees. We stopped at Muir beach on the way back and Courtney ended up falling down when the water came up to her unexpectedly. She got very wet and we had to head back to get her dry clothes. She still talks about “swimming” in the Pacific Ocean. Alcatraz was cool to visit. After taking a break for wedding stuff, we headed to Santa Cruz for the day and the kids rode some of the rides over and over and over and over. We wore them out. Put them in the car and we drove back up to San Francisco to kill time before our flight. We drove around and caught some more sights that we had missed…like Chinatown, Lombard Street and some other random downtown driving. Eventually we ended up back at the airport only to learn that our 12:45 am flight was delayed until 1:41 am! Plugged in the dvd player and the kids watched movies while we waited. They were great and the red-eye home was very quiet while everyone slept. I put some pictures from the trip out in the photo gallery, but I broke the camera early in the trip so they are limited.

Uncategorized10 Oct 2009 09:03 pm

I haven’t kept up with houseofhislop.com, but we’ve still been taking pictures. They’ve been stuck on camera for over a month. Tons of stuff when I looked back through it…

Bode learning to ride his bike without training wheels, pre-school graduation, first day of kindergarten, a couple trips to Duluth (visiting the Park Point beach and going on the pizza train), weekends at camperland, going to the zoo, and more. I put out pictures for August through October. Enjoy!

Uncategorized16 Aug 2009 07:20 pm

Kids are goofy and fun. I’ve uploaded more pictures into the photo gallery.

Uncategorized08 Aug 2009 11:50 am


I decided to pull together a mosaic of the hats and helmets that Courtney runs around in. We don’t have pictures of everything she puts on her head, but this gives an idea of what she enjoys.

Uncategorized15 Nov 2008 11:52 pm

Woh…I haven’t been keeping up over here.  I’ve been posting pictures from time to time over in the photo gallery, but I haven’t put post here in way too long. 

Courtney turned 2!  We had a small party at home on her birthday with our family and then grandma and the young aunts and uncles came over on Halloween for trick-or-treating and more birthday celebration.  Courtney especially loved the stroller from Uncle Al and Aunt Holly.  Bode loved it too.  Trick-or-treating was a hit.  Aaron and I took the 6 kids out while my mom stayed and handed out candy at our place.  They hauled in a lot of loot and we’re still working our way through it.

Bode decided recently that he didn’t want to wear diapers to bed anymore, even though he was wet most mornings.  So far we’re having pretty good success and I haven’t had to do too much extra laundry.  Courtney still isn’t using the potty but she sits on it.  She’s getting good at taking her own diaper off.  A little too good when I come check on her at nap time and find her naked.

Court’s words are expanding like crazy these days.  She’s putting together short sentences and I’ve noticed Bode has some conversations with her where she responds with very simple answers.  Here are a few things that Bode has said recently.

Why don’t we go skiing anymore?

They are healthy in moderation.

Court…don’t look at me.  I don’t want to see your eyeballs.

Court is killing me.

You’re hurting my bones.

Does fish have juice inside of it?

He then proceeded to try to suck juice out of a tilapia fillet.

I was amazed how well the kids ate dinner tonight.  We had tilapia, squash and green beans.  Early in the meal I asked Bode what his favorite part of the meal was and he said the milk.  Shortly after that, he said he ate all his food and would like more of everything!  Both kids ate a lot of everything and there were nearly tears at the end when we ran out of squash.  In the future, we’re going to have to make two squashes if we want to actually get some.  We were lucky that Aaron wasn’t here eating squash too since he now likes it as well.  I have a squash-loving family!

Uncategorized05 Oct 2008 05:30 pm


After about a month break from hanging out at our camper home, we were back.  As a result, more pictures!  Cool temperatures and very few bugs made for an enjoyable weekend.  Bode and Courtney enjoyed playing in the leaves.  Even Wednesday found the pile of leaves to be a cushy bed.  Bode especially liked the pink leaves.

What were we doing in between?  I came up and visited the camper briefly a few weeks ago as I went up to Duluth to skate in the NorthShore Inline Marathon.  I did that with some friends and had a good time.  I finished in under two hours, which was my goal, and made me happy.  We also spent a couple Saturdays doing ski patrol stuff and Aaron managed to get a few skydives in.  The kids have made a couple trips over to grandma and grandpa’s house and have gotten to spend time with their aunts and uncles (young and old). 

Bode started school again in September.  He’s happy to go and ride the bus again.  He goes to daycare in the morning, gets picked up on the bus after lunch, goes to school, and then the bus brings him back to the daycare.  He’s usually having fun playing at daycare and doesn’t want to go home when we get there.  That’s good and bad.  Courtney is learning more and more words all the time.  She can tell us when she’s soiled her diaper and requests a change.  That’s nice, but I wish she would figure out the potty training thing.

Uncategorized02 Sep 2008 09:12 pm


Bode found this hanging in the tree near our outhouse.  If you look closely, you can tell that it is active.  Aaron got stung once, but luckily nobody else did.  Bode started calling it a "bee five", which was pretty cute.  After watching the Simpsons Movie for a while on Saturday night, Bode asked the next morning whether we were going to put the bee five in a mailbox.  Apparently Homer puts a beehive in Flanders’ mailbox in the movie!  Don’t worry.  We didn’t put the beehive into any mailboxes.

We had a good weekend with a campfire on Saturday night with Brent, Danielle, and the kids.  They loved toasting marshmallows.  On Sunday we went into Moose Lake for a while and hung out in and by the lake with Auntie Babe.  I put some pictures into the photo album of Bode by the water.

Both kids seem obsessed with poop lately.  Bode talks about poop and butts waaaay too much.  I think it’s the age.  A recent visit with Uncle Jon (age 5) seems to have encouraged it even more.  Courtney’s change is a good one.  She decided over the weekend to start telling us when she had poop in her diaper.  When she starts saying poop, her diaper is usually dirty.  I am so glad she can tell me that.  She kind of has an idea of what to do on the potty, but we’re not there yet.  Check out the photo gallery to see what she’s learned to do in the woods.

Uncategorized28 May 2008 08:12 pm

Dad & Jo

Today is my Dad’s birthday. He’s been my dad for a lot of years. All my life to be exact.

I called tonight to wish him a happy birthday and found that he was out riding his motorcycle. What a great way to enjoy the day. As a kid, I loved going for motorcycle rides. Doing things with Dad was always special. Dad did them differently than Mom. (That doesn’t mean anything bad about the things Mom did. This is about Dad.) With Dad we got to feed cows, ride in the back of trucks in the field, drive tractors and combines and do all sorts of other farm things. It was fun. When Mom was sick, Dad would make us eggs and baked beans for dinner. I loved that. He could make scrambled eggs in a square that fit onto the toast. It was perfect.

Happy Birthday Dad! I love you.

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