Friday, August 22, 2014

Peace Lutheran Bible School 2014

My kids attended Bible School at our church for the first time this year. Last year, I couldn't seem to make it work efficiently with childcare. This year wasn't so "efficient" in getting the kids picked up, but it was worth it.
I LOVED Bible School at our tiny church in the middle of the country. My mom played a big role in Bible School. I think she coordinated the crafts, the lunch, and the music. She use to bring our stereo and speakers to church for the week of Bible School each summer. She played the music from the stereo, and new the counter for each song so she could rewind and F fwd for us to sing and practice.
I remember taking trips to Willmar to get crafts. I remember my making the Kool-Aid for lunch. My mom INSISTED on making the Kool-Aid. A sugar beet farmers wife will NOT let watered down Kool-Aid be served to church going children!
I remember playing on the grassy lawn each day - To Late for Supper and Duck Duck Grey Duck. I remember riding the church bell rope up and down to call the kids back in after break.

I remember my cousin coming some years, even though they went to another church.

I remember the Bible School Sunday Program, when it was hosted outside, and the men dame and set up benches. I remember when the worship moved inside and my mom would put huge bouquets of pink peonies on the alter. I remember the big pot luck picnic following the service, which my mom brought fried chicken and that rice bake to. I remember the games for kids, and TOO MUCH CANDY.

I cherish my memories. I wanted my kids to have those memories too. And by weeks-end, Peace Lutheran VBS had given my kids something "remember" too.

We will again be back next year!

Monday, August 4, 2014

CDAA Soccer 2014

Last summer Marly played soccer. This summer Dean was in on the action!
Marly and Dean were placed on the same team with the Champlin Dayton Athletic Association, making life very easy and convenient for Mark and me!
Marly with her Bestie - Izzi. The other mustateer (Alex) doesn't like HOT SOCCER! (Marly and Izzi always request to be placed together).
The kids played on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Although they don't keep score at this age, Dean DOES! (oh... and you MIGHT catch him doing the "sprinkler" move if he should happen to score!)
 Declan and Kelly were spectators one July evening.
The season wrapped up with a "jamboree" the first Saturday in August, and those ANNOYING trophies for all.

Disclaimor - I told me kids they did NOT earn a trophy for skill, score, wins, or sportsmanship. I told them they receive a trophy solely because mom's and dad's PAY for trophies!!!! I told them I believed they were meaningless pieces of plastic!**

**(there you have my two cents!!!!!!!!!!)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Ya Ya 2014

I am pleased as punch Gretch and my Ya-Ya week has truly become a REAL tradition. This year we were VERY sloooow to pinpoint a time or secure a place. Still - it became a priortity to get away for 4 nights at the end of July (just days after the Thomberg's returned from our family vacation).

Yes the "Ya-Ya" title is based on the book "The Devine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood". In the book, the four inseparable women  regularly took their kids off to the lake for time away each summer, while the husband's stayed back and worked. In the book, the kids swam and played during those steamy, hot, simple days by the water. In the book, the mom's drank (a LOT)... but of course this is fiction, right?

One rule G and I have for our Ya-Ya time is low cost/no cost lodging. The first year was State Park tent camping. Last year G was able to cash in her in-laws time share points at Breezy Point. This year we stayed at the lake place of my childhood neighbors, whose kids I baby-sat for. (You follow that???) THANK YOU to Linda and Mike B for letting us use your lodging on Lake Osakis.
The kids built forts, played hide-and -go seek, traipsed along the shore line, and ran wild across the adjoining lake lots.  Gretchen cooked all of our meals. I built fires late in the afternoon. We played Bag-o (and had a cocktail), and there were s'mores at dark.

I love our Ya-Ya time together. Us two just fit. (...and I promise she likes doing all the cooking!)
The kids swam every day and jumped off the neighbor's dock over and over. Marly became notorious for little dips here and there - morning, afternoon and evening. We went to a nearby public beach on Saturday. Sunday we Geo-cashed at Lake Carlos State Park and had a picnic. The kids asked to go to the playground in town one morning, so we did.
Basically, there is NO agenda and NO schedule. Imagination is helpful. The "freinds" played, and fought!!! The moms do NOT fight, but either of us may yell at the "friends" from time to time each day. (Which may drive us to mix a cocktail....)

Oh - and it is my tradition to make "Kiddie Cocktails" every night at 5 pm for the "friends". Kiddie Cocktails require some sort of carbonated beverage, some sort of fruit juice, and some sort of garnish. Sprite, Cranberry juice, and a maraschino cherry OR Mountain Dew (Yes... in a pinch) and OJ and a wedge of lime OR some concoction with lemonade and a gummy worm on the last night. The kids REQUEST their cocktails, yet rarely finish their beverage on ice. But it is FUN!
The only paid activity this year was the Runestone Museum and Fort Alexandria in town. Twenty bucks for our "family".
 Above is Miss P acting the part of a studious prairie girl at the Fort. Unfortunately, there is no great group shot with the MOM's this year, since the men didn't join us at any point.
Our last night there (Monday) the girls put on a "Dance Production" on the dock. I pulled the car up on the grass, opened the windows, and blasted the radio. (very high tech) The "friends" lined up all the chairs in front, which were reserved for Gretchen, me, Lizzy the doll, and a few stuffed animals. Gretchen and I had tickets, and I'll be darned if the kids didn't ASK FOR A DONATION during the "intermission". (Umm yeah.. I guess my kids get what mom does at work, and my belief in giving back!)

Of course you wonder why the dock was on dry land? You see, we have all been praying for Daniel B. (the neighbor I babysat for as a child). He is grown (of course) and battling cancer. He had a stem cell transplant at the end of June, and is recovering. You can guess where Linda and Mike spend all of their free time, and it isn't at their new lake home.

Anyway - It was another GRAND Ya-Ya trip. I can't wait to see what next year will bring!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer Vacation 2014

Dad and Chris took us back UP NORTH for our summer family vacation. The Lutsen area will ALWAYS be a tried and true family favorite, from which we will never tire. With Peter being barely a year, Brett and Rachel and the boys opted out, but we hope to all gather together somewhere next summer.

In the mean time.... The Thomberg four-some headed north and kicked off vacation with an over-night in Duluth. We stayed in the Sheraton down-town and spent time in Canal Park. We rode the Suri bikes along the Lake Walk, and had the pleasure of meeting up with the Walter crew at Grandma's the first night for supper. Carol, Loren and Jeff, Jared, wives and kids were vacationing in Duluth at the SAME TIME, which was soooo cool (So dang cool I don't have a SINGLE photo!)

We kicked off Sunday by heading  up the block from our  hotel to the Duluth Coffee Company on Superior Street. We walked out with a SUPURB latte (with perfect frothe), before cruising another two hours up the shore and checked in for a week at Bluefin Bay.

I highly recommend this resort as the perfect destination for families and multiple generations.

You can walk to the Coho for coffee or treat, there is an indoor and outdoor (YEAR ROUND) pool, a bar with acoustic music every other night for the adults, a good restaurant, bikes for check out any time (adjacent to a major trail system within easy distance to Temperance River State Park), nightly campfires, a great kids program, and of course - a place to play on the rocks. I think we may be back next year!
Wednesday we headed south on 61 to the Split Rock LightHouse to meet the Walter Crew. Once again, I cannot seem to locate any photos, but is was SO MUCH FUN. It was an AWESOME time to connect with cousin's I don't get to spend regular family time with.
We all ate lunch, then spent the afternoon hiking at Gooseberry. (Okay the kids and grandkids hiked, the older adults were driven down to the lake shore by Mark). All the grandkids played by the water, and of course one had to fall in (Marly this time...) It was THE - BEST - DAY and I need to locate some photos!
You can bet we went down the Alpine Slide on afternoon.
 At age 7 you are instructed to ride solo. Dean was all for it. Marly opted to pretend to be 6.
Mark and I also kayaked on Lake Superior at the resort that same morning.
Saturday we headed in to Grand Marais and sailed abourd the Schooner Hjordis through the North HouseFolk School. Unfortunately is was cloudy, raining, cold and foggie!
 Oh well, afterward we got lunch, a hot latte, donuts at the "World's Greatest Donuts", threw more rocks on the beach and it was yet another grand day!
There was also plenty of time for naps, relaxing, a cocktail in the late afternoon, a meal out at Lutsen Resort, Naruralist talks in the evening, a puzzle on the coffee table, walks and whatever else you did or didn't want to do.
 and of course, we spent time being just plain silly. Below are Marly and Nana. They are pointing at one the crafty projects Nana brought with to entertain the kids.
A grand, wonderful, memorable time was had by all.
(Sunday is was time to get back and return home to Oliver the dog!)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

MARK!

MARK!

 With his Twinners on Father's Day in Wayzata, looking good in his Father's Day Ray Bans!

 With his silly son Dean!

 With his dog Oliver intensely work on our patio one morning this summer!

With his wife at Bruno Mars at Xcel Energy Center!

With a cardboard banjo playing hard a work one day!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day Dad/Papa 2014

Hey Kids, Can we all please get a picture with Papa!
Charlie, Can you please stand up?
Charlie, Please will you stand for just a minute!
 Charlie - Stop!
Charlie - Get in the PICTURE NOW!
 Look how good Peter is Charlie!
Dean - Do you always have to be silly?
 And... We give up!
But - Look at the smile on my Dad's face in every photo!
Happy Father's Day Grandpa David!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Last Day of First Grade!

The days leading up to the last day of first grade included:
Chaperoning both kids trip to the Coon Rapids Dam.
Here is Marly with her BESTIES - Izzi and Alex!
 Track and Field Day - I volunteered and sold lunch tickets to parents.
 MN Zoo field trip.
 And the LAST DAY of First Grade at CBPA with Mrs. Dahl for Marly and Mrs. Gotz for Dean.
The Twinner's year end gift to their teachers included a gift certificate to the liquor store. I kid you not!!! Teachers have a TOUGH JOB!
Of course our new puppy Oliver made the shot on their last morning!

What we wore - Marly is wearing a Matilda Jane skirt, and Dean is wearing a thrifted Hawaiian shirt and his "too cool for school" fedora from Children's Place!

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