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.

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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
Courtney

Courtney

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.

Family and Kids and Outdoors03 Jul 2009 10:11 pm
Bode and Courtney

Bode and Courtney

We spent nearly a week up at the camper and are back before the 4th of July. Bode absolutely LOVED riding in the tube behind the boat. He decided Dad was a better boat driver than Mom. Mom’s ride was too scary. Oh well…I ended up riding in the tube a lot with him and with Courtney. She thought it was great fun and didn’t want to go too fast. I did learn to take my wakeboard run first. Otherwise, my arms and hands were already fatigued when I tried to wakeboard. The weather wasn’t super warm, but we got a number of boating times in. Aaron’s aunt and uncle were super nice and even put Courtney to sleep in the boat a number of times. She has a tendency to fall asleep when the boat starts running.

The kids enjoy being at the camper. Bode did tons of coloring and it is fun to watch his choices there expand. He also is getting to be quite the reader. It’s amazing to me, but he can make his way through a number of easy books. He tries to read EVERYTHING…shirts, signs, etc. Riding in the car with him is like having a police officer in the back seat. He tells you what all the signs say and lets you know about the solid and dotted lines and what you should and shouldn’t be doing! It’s fun and funny. Courtney loves riding on the 4-wheeler and, much like the boat, has a tendency to be lulled to sleep on it.

Once again the dogs did not get on our good side. I let them out of their kennel one morning and within minutes had encountered a skunk…again. Arghhh! Stinky dogs. They’re not too bad now.

We came back early so Aaron could go skydive with some friends that had been bugging him to compete on a team for the weekend. We’ll join him at the DZ on the 4th for a day of fun hanging out and visiting with friends. Eventually Monday morning will roll around and I’ll be back to reality. Until then, I’m enjoying this time away from work!

Other19 May 2009 07:58 pm
New floors going up the stairs from the entry

New floors going up the stairs from the entry

Finally!  After years upon years of having bad carpet, we took a leap and put in new flooring.  Dogs were hard on our carpet.  We wanted wood but kept getting deterred from it by every salesperson we talked to because of the dogs.  We liked tile, but didn’t want to necessarily put it throughout the entire upstairs.  What we settled on was vinyl product from Mannington – Adura Luxury Vinyl.  It is wood look vinyl planks that are put together like a laminate.  In the entry it is vinyl tiles that mimic a stone look with grout between them.  Overall, I think it looks nice and it feels good to get the carpet out.  We did the entry, up and down the stairs, living room, dining area, kitchen, hallway and into our bedroom.  We left Courtney’s room with the carpet.  They ordered one box of wrong tiles for our bathroom so we are waiting to have that part finished.

Entry

Entry

New floor throughout the upstairs.

New floor throughout the upstairs.

Bode and Courtney and Family and Kids and Outdoors12 May 2009 08:51 pm
Bode and Courtney enjoy watching flowers float down the river.

Bode and Courtney enjoy watching flowers float down the river.

We spent our first family weekend at “camperland”.  The weather was pleasant and we spent a lot of time outside.  The kids enjoyed watching dandelions and other flowers float down the river.  They also enjoyed shoveling dirt, driving the gator, riding 4-wheeler and hiking around.  It made for a great Mother’s Day.  They played and played.  They even got to go visit a nearby farm that had llamas, chickens, peacocks, ponies, pigs, rabbits, dogs, cats, birds and probably more.  There were lots of baby animals to visit.  Bode loved the chickens and Courtney thought the pigs were very loud.  They were!

I don’t think I’ve posted a picture of the new camper yet.  Lots more room to live in there than the old one.  Also, we’ve managed to keep the dogs out of it so far.  They got a kennel and are learning to accept it.

Our new home

Our new home

The view from the deck in front of the camper.  Beautiful!

The view from the deck in front of the camper. Beautiful!

So long until the next visit.

Bode and Courtney and Kids and Outdoors03 May 2009 05:02 pm
Bode & Courtney

Bode & Courtney try out the inline skates

The kids had fun taking turns using the inline skates I picked up last year. They are Fisher Price adjustable ones I got at Aldi, of all places. Bode is at the max size and Courtney is just big enough for them. It works out ok since I wouldn’t be able to manage both on skates at the same time anyway. They have three wheels which can switch between three in a row to one in front and two side by side in the back for stability. We opt for stability!

They both did a super job and did some skating on their own. I’m looking forward to the day when the family can go out for a skate together.

Bode and Courtney and Kids02 May 2009 08:23 pm
Courtney at Fleet Farm

Courtney at Fleet Farm

The kids cracked me up the other day when we were walking through Home Depot and they started pretending to use the “toilets” on the wall.  Wished I had my camera.  Frustrated by that missed opportunity, I started keeping my little camera in my purse.  It has come in handy.  Walking through Fleet Farm a week or so later, Courtney found the row of toilet seats.  She tried several of them out complete with sound effects.  It was hilarious.

The kids recently finished up swimming lessons.  They had a lot of fun.  Courtney was in the parent/child class and Bode moved up to a class where he got to be in the water alone.  That was fun to watch.

The photo gallery has been a little empty lately.  I was having technical difficulties with it.   I’ve resolved the problems to some degree and there are new photos for April and May in there now.  Go check them out and see the cuteness of Bode and Courtney.  🙂  I’m a little partial to them.

We started getting new flooring in our house yesterday.  They’ll finish it up next week.  Once things get settled back, I’ll post some pictures.  Lots of dust floating around for now.  Bye bye doggie carpet!

We went to the park today to fly Bode’s kite.  I brought the camera and got a lot of cute pictures.  Both kids love the playground.

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