Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Happy Halloween 2014

So you all know I am kind of disorganized - Right? 
You know - I basically fly by the seat of my pants. 
It gets done, but barely. 

(Um, Yah... That is me)

So - Of course the day before Halloween, on a break from work Thursday,  I was scrambling to get to the Party Place, Michael's Craft, Target, Savers and Good Will for the supplies needed for the empending holiday, not 24 hours away. 
(By the way, I volunteered to provide the craft and help at Dean's school Fall Party.)

That evening, after eating the fried chicken dinner I grabbed at Festival and finishing up homework, we finally carved our pumpkins!
Did I mention I offered to host a neighborhood gathering at our home after trick-or-treating???
  • But we hadn't been to Costco yet,
  • And we hadn't swept our dirty garage, which would be used for the party,
  • And the house was a mess,
  • And we needed to get tables out!

Oh, and I had hoped to take a full day of PTO on Friday, but the moment you plan for such is the day a meeting cannot be avoided!

Some how, some way, I arrived at school on time for the Fall Party, with craft in hand. I even managed to change into my leopard/kitty costume in the car on the drive over.

(Don't worry, I asked Dean's permission before his helper mom showed up dressed as a kitty cat)
(Yes, I had to drive with out my seat belt to do this)

 Some how, some way, the neighborhood Halloween gathering Friday night went off with out a hitch!

 (or at least I THINK it did.  I started "sipping" red wine while the kids were trick or treating with the neighbors as Mark and I SCURRIED to set up the party)

With neighborhood assistance, there was hot apple cider, orange punch, bobbing for apples, chicken wings, chili cheese dip and snacks, and a fire pit with hay bales.

(There are no photos because my hands were full holding the plastic wine cup)
Any then there was this smiling Gopher's Cheerleader - Miss Marly!

She had to remind us last year she was too sick to trick or treat. How could we forget our fear last fall before she was diagnosed and recovered from HSP!

***Costume Credit/What we wore***

Marly requested to be a Gopher's Cheerleader. Mark googled and found a Nike minature uniform on line for $45. NO WAY JOSE! I totally lucked out. I found the exact same uniform on E-bay for $12.95 including shipping. I ordered pom poms from Amazon and her shoes are from Wal-Mart.

Dean is a mummy. His costume is made of grey long johns from Walmart and a white sheet ripped into strips. To make the costume, I used fabric glue to attach the strips while Dean wore the long johns. BEWARE - when the glue dried, I had LITERALLY mummified Dean!!! He couldn't get the costume off or on. We did some ripping, cutting and stitching and were back in business. He wore black knock off Chuck Taylor's from Walmart on his feet, and I made him a headpiece with a handkerchief and sheet strips attached.

I was a leopard/cat and wore a leopard print dress with wide bell sleeves from Target via Good Will and a half price tag sale. I put on leggings with brown boots a black kitty ear headband. There are no photos.

Mark did not wear a costume. We ran out of time, because I am disorganzied and fly by the seat of my pants!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Apple Orchard 2014

Another October means another apple orchard visit in the books.
 This year was Pine Haven, outside of White Bear Lake
 Kelly, Pat and Declan joined us.
 We took plenty of photos.
 This was Pat's first trip to the apple orchard. I explained you don't actually PICK APPLES at the Apple Orchard, it is more of a "photo op" thing, where you pay to ride in a wagon, get lost in the corn, and maybe put your kid on a pony, depending on age.
 Ah ha!
 Look at these two handsome fellas!!!!
 See how cute this photo is!
 Dean REALLY, REALLY wanted to take a pumpkin home. Mom is too cheap to pay by the pound!
 Wagon ride "us-ie"!
Another year in the books.

Friday, October 31, 2014

A Day on the Farm - 2014

We made our annual MEA treck home to the farm again this fall. Our day began just like last year. Auntie Jan delivered dinner  (roast beef, corn, mashed pototoes and gravy) to the field. Her list to feed included 12 men (or was it 15??)
We rode in the beet lifter with Michael.
Then hitched a ride to the beet dump outside Buffalo Lake with Richie. When I was little I LOVED riding to the dump with our hired man, Scott Markraff. Back then, it was a truck and not a semi.
We stopped at the home farm so the kids could play with Sutton, Saxton and Sawyer, while I sat in the kitchen and gabbed with Shylah. It was perfect. I felt so at home. We also got to load the trunk with gourds.
 Matt gave Dean a combine ride. Marly prefered to drive the mini van around the harvested field. I think it was the highlight of her day. Seriously, the girl doesn't exactly get excited about a combine ride. What is wrong with her???
We also stopped in the farm house I grew up in until 8th grade. It has been abandoned for a long time, and will be razed to the ground to fully farm the 80 -  But this psychedelic carpet remains in the entry way. My mom had an orange and brown love seat that matched. I eventually took it to college. YIKES!
Dean is phoning a friend from the laundry room. I wish that odd colored minty green phone was still in the bathroom with the minty green tub, toilet and sink! Alas, those things were gone.
 For all times, this was our phone number. Naturally, I still know my best friends phone number too.
Too bad I cannot recall Mark's number readily, since I never actually dial it.
The next day, I found this sugar beet in a zip lock bag, in the pantry, in the snack bin. Oh Dean!!!! You are a funny boy!!!

It was another blessed trip home.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall Weekend FUN!

A Friday night sleep over with Marly and Dean's dear little friends - Izzi and Alex.

Dance Party required!

Dean LOVED playing flag football with the CDAA on Saturday mornings, and spend EVERY OTHER FREE MINUTE obscessively watching college football and cheering on the Gophers with Papa.
Around town at our beautiful lakes in Minneapolis on a Sunday afternoon, with ice cream from Sabastian Joe's in Uptown.
 Fishing at Lake Calhoun and burgers after at 5 Guys on Hennipen.
 Before we play, there are leaves to rake.
 ... and jump in.
 ...and enjoy before Dad quickly moves in and quickly cleans up his perfect lawn.
Ahhh - Those glorious fall sun shine filled weekends ....

 And no shortage of places to play.

Including  the Twin Cities Corn Maze!
Happy Fall Ya' All!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ren Fest 2014

We were back at the Renessaince Festival this year. Dad and Chris have taken us a bunch of times, and this year Brett, Rachel and the boys joined us too.

We waited FOREVER to park. Once inside, it was packed with all the people who parked before us. It was hot too....
 Dean rode the elephant with Papa. Marly refused, and Charlie was scared.
 Fruit smoothly, root beer floats and fruit ice were the perfect treat for the fall heat.
 Peter's favorite part of the day.
 And a giant pickle before we hit the dusty trail.
 Big enough for everyone to pass around!
I will be honest with you -- The Ren Fest just isn't my cup of tea. I am not sure if it will make it into our fall activities next year. Maybe Dad can just take Dean. Dean enjoys it. Dean enjoys anything and everything with Papa.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The First Day of Second Grade

Our school open house occurs the week before school starts. The night BEFORE the open house, the class list comes out ON-LINE.  Several weeks before the classroom list is released, the school distric sends a snail mail letter with the log in code to your home.  (Just yesterday I found the letter and codes in a pile on my desk at work)

You see where I am going with this... RIGHT????.

Of course I couldn't find the log in info that evening. OF COURSE, Marly's little bestie's mom texted to compare teachers. Of course I did NOT have the answer.

BUT - SHhhh... Don't tell...

 I called the school at 8 am the next morning and begged the administrative assistant to tell the Twinner's teachers. They are NOT suppose to do that, but I convinced her when I told her the Help/Support office wasn't answering. (and I think she recognized my voice as a friendly volunteer mom too!)

BELIEVE IT ON NOT - For the second year, Marly was  placed with her two besties since kindergarten, leaving the Three Musketeers in tact.

Dean has too many friends. Who ever he gets, he has friends with him too!

The kids headed off to school the Tuesday after Labor Day with smiles on their faces and excitement in their steps. Dean's teacher is names Mrs. Ellena and Marly is with Mrs. Dau.

Here they are with Oliver! I notice the mum's are already in place. I wonder if Mark knew they would show in the first day of school photos??? He is cool like that!
We always need a silly face photo!
 Dang... I have a bit of a boufant going on above! YIKES!
Lily the neighbor. We shuttle her to the bus stop with us in the morning, and her mom shuttles them home.
At the bus stop!

Everyone had a good first day!

What they wore:

Dean is sporting kahki shorts, a plaid shirt from Marshall's, and his personalize "D" "Dean"

Marlyh is where all Gap Kids.

Both continue to use their Land's End backpacks.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The REST of Summer

The kids had a GREAT August. We opted out of A+ childcare at school for the last month. We winged it, and it worked.

The kids spent time at home on Mondays like normal. They spent time with Auntie Kelly and Declan, and had an overnight or two there. They spent time with my Dad and went swimming at the Condo on a bunch of Fridays. And, the Twinners spent a grand amount of true quality time with Grandma and Grandpa Thompson too. They went on adventures around the area, spent time at the beach in Forest Lake and elsewhere. They got fishing rods and Dean LOVED every MINUTE of fishing. They played bad mitten in our backyard. Grandpa threw a football to Dean, and so much more. I hope their time together was priceless for both parties.

The kids also went to a Twin's game with Mark.

We babysat Charlie and Peter for an overnight
 Dad took Dean and Mark to the first Gopher football game of the season. Dean goes to  EVERY football game he can with Papa. He is dedicated and  true fan.

Of course we went broke at the State Fair.

Mark and I went to Toby Keith the first night of the Fair with Jess and her boyfriend Bill, and caught up with the Hentges too. Those outdoor concerts are so much fun!

As usual, we took a Friday off work, headed to the park and ride, hit the Fair as a family, and met my Dad. Marly was getting cranky by time we took this photo. Dean could hang out at the Fair until sundown if given the chance. (Dean has on Gopher ears from the U of M building in this photo). Shortly after this, it started to pour. We booked it across the fair, sloshed through the parking lot, and caught the bus back to our car. We didn't even get to go down the Giant Slide.

As the free days of summer drew to a close, Dean started flag football practice! He is having a grand time.

And to wrap up August and the carefree days, we had the H-we's, Jess & Bill, and Sam for a Labor Day barbecue. We also spent time basking in the sun on the beach and in the water at Brett and Rachel's.... 

... and then it's BACK TO SCHOOL!


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