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!

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



 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!


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