December 2009

Family and Kids and Outdoors31 Dec 2009 03:30 pm
Courtney took over the hockey stick

Courtney took over the hockey stick

It’s been a week of fun for us with the kids.  Lots of outdoor time.  Too bad the weather is turning even colder now.

Saturday – skiing at Welch Village

Monday – ice skating at the neighborhood rink

Tuesday – sledding at the neighborhood park and hill

Wednesday – skiing at Welch Village again

Thursday – looking to be ice skating at the Rec Center

Family31 Dec 2009 03:20 pm
The kids with Santa at Bentleyville

The kids with Santa at Bentleyville

Back when we were planning for the San Francisco trip, I got side-tracked and decided a trip to Duluth for Christmas would be fun.  I got us a great mid-week deal on a room at the The Edge.  The kids loved it last summer and it was even more fun this time.  We spent two nights, had bunk beds for the kids, and could barely drag them away from the water slide you ride on the tube.  Both kids were much more comfortable and confident in the environment.  In a couple years, they probably won’t even be waiting for us to catch up.

Our trips to Duluth always have a variety of things going on and most are spontaneous plans.  However, this time we did have another planned adventure.  We had train tickets for December 23rd to go from Fitger’s down to Bayfront Park to visit Bentleyville.  We said hi to my cousin Rachel who was working at Wintergreen and then rode in the upper level of a double-decker train.  Bentleyville was a pretty cool production.  There were tons of light displays, including Enger Tower and an ore ship going under the Ariel Lift Bridge (while you could see the real bridge lit up nearby).  We saw Frosty and Santa’s reindeer walking around, had hot chocolate, cookies, and even toasted marshmallows over a fire.  The kids waited to see Santa and tell him what they wanted for Christmas.  Bode told Santa “anything you want to bring me is fine”.  They got hats and cookies from Santa and we took the train back.

Earlier in the day, while the waterpark was closed, we went out to find some fun.  We ended up at UMD.  We did a little shopping for some UMD merchandise and talked about how this was where mom and dad met and had gone to college.  Bode asked to see our classrooms so we took a little walk around.  After that, we continued on our way over to Superior.  The last couple times we’d been up, the kids had wanted to go across the bridge to Wisconsin.  It’s sort of a novelty to cross the bridge and be in a different state.  We met up with my friends Molly and Grant for a good lunch at C’s while we were over there.  After a quick trip to Northwest Outlet, we headed back to Minnesota and down to Canal Park.  With a strong wind and cold weather, the area was empty.  Parking was great and we played around for a bit before heading back for a little swimming.

The winter weather had started as we got ready to leave on the 24th.  We left a snowy Duluth and headed home to Rochester for some snow and rain.  It was a fun family vacation.

Family17 Dec 2009 08:28 pm
Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Last year we received a Christmas letter with something like this. I enjoyed it and decided to do one for our family. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Airports – With a few trips this year, the kids got to spend some time hanging out at various airports. Much like Aaron, they enjoy seeing the different airplanes that are waiting around or taking off. Bode has a number of toy airplanes that he flies around.

Bikes – Bode learned to ride his bike this summer without training wheels. He navigated up and down the hills around our neighborhood. Courtney got her first bike and rode around like crazy with her training wheels.

Camperland – We spent a lot of time escaping to our property near Moose Lake. We love spending time outside walking in the woods, driving 4-wheeler, fishing, and playing with dirt. Aaron likes to mow the lawn and organize his shed.  The kids call the place camperland since we stay in our camper trailer on our land. Makes sense to me.

Duluth – We took several planned and impromptu trips to Duluth this year. The whole family enjoys it. We rode the Northshore Scenic Railroad, hung out in Canal Park, played at the Park Point beach, hiked at Chester Bowl, inline skated, walked around, rode bike by the Aeriel Lift Bridge, watched ships go in and out, and visited the water park. Can’t wait for the next trip.

Eggs – The kids love to eat eggs, especially hard-boiled.

Flowers – The kids love finding wildflowers in the woods. Bode also did a good job growing marigolds and sunflowers from seeds this summer. He was responsible for making sure we kept them watered.

Green Day – The kids love music in the car, particularly the Green Day song Misery. It’s a little quirky but has been good for settling Courtney down in the car since she was a baby. They request it nearly every morning. They love the “city by the bay” reference.

Hockey – Bode has started with the mite hockey this year. He is learning to skate and improves every week. Courtney has been learning to skate too and looks forward to playing hockey next year. Going ice skating is a great family activity for us.

IBM– Yep. We still work there. Aaron is a project manager and I lead a development support team.

Jumping – Skydiving took a back seat this year in favor of other weekend activities. Aaron managed to get a few jumps in and do a couple 4-way competitions. I didn’t make any this year but did take the kids out to the drop zone to watch Aaron jump one day. They loved watching it.

Kindergarten – Bode started kindergarten this year.  He is doing a great job and having fun.

Leaping Leprechauns – I don’t know what to put for L!  Courtney knows all of her uppercase letters now, including L.

Mayo Civic Center – We enjoyed a number of concerts with friends at the Mayo Civic Center this year and plan to see more next year. Some of the bands we saw were Shinedown, Halestorm, Staind, Chevelle, Hinder, Theory of a Deadman, Black Stone Cherry, Mudvayne, Saliva, Nonpoint and In this Moment.

New Horizon Academy – The kids started going to the New Horizon Academy daycare this fall. They’ve made new friends and adjusted well. It helps that some of their friends from their old daycare also go here. I love that they take care of getting Bode to and from school.

Outside – The kids love outdoor activities. We fit in a camping trip with friends and enjoyed Forestville/Mystery Cave state park. They also loved going out on the boat to ride around, swim, and go tubing. We also spent a lot of time riding bikes and walking the dogs.

Pugsley – After 9 1/2 years, Pugsley is no longer with us. We miss him.

Quiet – Not a lot of that around here.

Reading – Bode learned to read this year. He amazes us with everything he reads around us. Don’t even try to spell something thinking he won’t know what you’re saying! It’s fun. I read a number of books this year and love how Courtney wants me to read out loud to her no matter what book it is. She listened to quite a bit of The Edge of Never.

Skiing – Ski patrol on Saturday nights at Welch Village keeps us busy and having fun. Both kids enjoy skiing. They did a great job on the hill already this year. We look forward to skiing with them for years to come. Let us know if you want to come out and ski with us.

Trains – The kids loved riding the pizza train in Duluth. They also spend countless hours setting up tracks in the house.

Utah – We enjoyed a good winter vacation again in Utah. We got lots of skiing and the kids got a week of grandparent adventures. I’m pretty sure the grandparents needed a vacation after that!

Venison – Aaron replenished the dwindling supply of venison in the freezer this year. It wasn’t a trophy deer (thankfully or we’d have another wall mount), but it fills our bellies.

Wedding – My sister Carole got married in California in November. We took the opportunity to turn it into a family trip and took in some sights. The Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, Alcatraz, and the Santa Cruz Boardwalk left impressions with the kids.  However, Bode was not a fan of walking on the Golden Gate Bridge.  It was noisy and he proceeded to stop part way, pout, and say “I hate this bridge!”

X-ray – We had a healthy year without any broken bones or x-rays.

Yellow – This has been Bode’s favorite color for a long time.

Zoo – Aunt Margaret entertained Bode and Courtney at the Minnesota Zoo in September. Aaron and I met up with them and enjoyed the animals too.