Friday, May 19, 2006

fyi part 6

Below is Mom's final entry of her "fyi" series for her trip to Minnesota!
Dear All:
5/10/06 - Marcy took off this a.m. and tomorrow a.m. to do some things w/us. Off to Target. Wanted to buy a shirt for youngest grandson Nicklaus. Found one that said "it's my brother's fault."

On to Japanese Garden which is near Marcy & Kyle's and may be quite overlooked by area people since so close by. It's behind a college. A peaceful, lovely garden w/a small waterfall, several Japanese buildings/bridges, etc. Very calming.

Had decided to go to the Mongolian BBQ for our final lunch in MN. Usually when I get to MN we go there first. Wanted to have Logan experience it. There's a long counter full of raw meat (turkey, chicken, shrimp, pork,beef) and vegetables plus rice noodles and pasta. You fill a bowl w/what you like. Then choose a sauce to wet the bowl. A chart tells you how many scoops of oil, etc., lobster sauce to add. Then you walk over to where it is cooked. The worker takes your bowl and places the contents on a huge round black heated flat surface and begins tossing away. Once it's done he gives it back to you to enjoy. If you want to tip the cooks, you put your money in a jar, then you can hit the huge "gong." The cooks all yell "thank you!" Very neat place. Logan enjoyed it (once the meat was cooked).

That night Ethan recited a bird poem for all of us. He needed a prop to go along w/the poem so Marcy cut "wings" out of felt for him and she, Kyle and Xander pasted feathers on it. Looked really cute w/all the colors of the feathers added. It was attached to Ethan's shoulders and wrists so he could raise his arms and look like a bird w/wings.

5/11/06 - Last day in MN. I had given Marcy a "shoe show" earlier. She commented the one summer slide looked short on my foot. I hadn't realized it before. So we decided to go back to Nordstrom Rack - yeah! We were on our way to Mall of America when Gordie called quite upset - the airlines had called that our flight had been delayed and we needed to make other arrangements in Phila. So Marcy called Jenny and between their calls things turned out all right. It seems that the Phila. flight was also delayed so there weren't any problems.

Of course when women are in NOrdstrom Rack they find more shoes - Marcy is the opposite of me and needs wide shoes (which they had a nice variety for her too). She chose sneakers and some nice white slides for summer.
I, of course, took the too short slides back and found 2 more pair! Thank goodness Logan had his gameboy w/him! Must tell on Marcy & Logan @ this point. I was quickly looking @ shoes after returning the pair when Marcy & Logan raced up the aisle. Marcy said "you have to leave NOW for the airport!" I tossed the shoes on a bench and was racing towards them when they both laughed! It was a joke. HA HA

Since our flight was delayed we had additional time so Marcy & Logan went to the MOA Aquarium. I'd been there before so I relaxed, admired new shoes & cleaned out my purse. They got to touch a shark and several other creatures. The Aquarium has a moving walk area which you stand on and admire fish all around you - beside, above. Beautiful.

We had Donna as our stewardess from MN to Phila. - and again from Phila to Elmira! She recognized Logan and said "hey, I remember you!" The flight from Phila to Elmira was so turbulant Donna had to stay in her seat facing us the entire 35 min. flight.

Once we landed & went in the terminal Logan said "I think you'll recognize the guy over there in the white shirt." It, of course. was Gordie who'd been @ the airport so long they probably thought he worked there. We went to p/up our luggage. Uh oh. A man popped out of the luggage carrier and announced that if our bags weren't out there already, they weren't here yet. Oh great! Good news is they came the next morning. I was upstairs when the phone rang. A man said he was in the driveway right then and had put our luggage on the front porch. I zoomed downstairs and waved & thanked him for our bags. Logan had two broken items in his bag but I was lucky.

Well, that's the story. Back home and in the groove again. Looking forward to moving June 24th.

Have a great day!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

fyi part 5

The nice thing about Mom's daily habits is that she journals daily and while attending events, she takes "notes" in a small book that she carries in her purse. What a great idea for those of us who scrapbook! How else do you remember the details? It has been so nice re-reading and re-living Mom and Logan's visit! Thanks, Mom!

Dear All: part 5 -

While @ the Mall of America, Logan & I decided to enjoy Famous Dave's Restaurant. The waitress asked if we minded sitting on the porch - huh? It was right where shoppers passed by which was fine w/us. If you ever get a chance, enjoy Dave's babyback ribs.

The waitress said since we were hungry for ice cream next to to to Cold Stone Creamery just around the corner. This place was unique. Logan picked cotton candy ice cream plus cheesecake ice cream. The worker scoops out each kind, then "smashes" it together on a marble piece. Then you can add any amount of extras. He chose Reese's peanut butter cups. I know it sounds terrible but it was delicious.

Next we took part in a new movie survey. The movie was Cars starring Paul Newman & Owen Wilson. You put on glasses w/earphones that showed a small piece of the movie to you. Then you answered questions about it. Interesting.

Logan had wanted to go w/the boys to Camp Snoopy (now known as "The Park). So that night was the only night available for all of us. We all trooped through a department store to get to the park in the center. You used a machine to enter your money, then it gave you a "ticket" that deducted your points each time you went on a ride. I was expecting the boys being only 5 & 7 to go on the kiddie rides but NO - they rode the Mighty Axe (twirling upside down and high up in the air as Marcy & I could barely look), flume ride, the Spinner, and Logan & Xander in the spook house. They had a great time.

5/9/06 - I went for a walk around the block as Logan stayed at the house. I looked over at two houses when 2 beautiful deer ran through the grass there. What a shock in that area!

Marcy & Kyle belong to Netflix. For those of you who don't know about it, you send them a list of movies you want to "rent" and they send you 2 at a time. When you're done watching them, you send them back in a postage paid envelope they provide and they send you more on your list. They had received the movie The Notebook. It was a very well done movie. We both ended up watching it. Hope all of you get a chance to see it.

That's all for now. Have a great day!

fyi part 4

Mom's "fyi" part 4 for your enjoyment!

Dear All: Here we go back to MN memories -

5/7/06 (Sunday) We all went to Church (Lutheran) at 9:05 am. Marcy, Kyle & boys practiced w/other families for the next service in the same room where folks mingle, snack, and drink refreshments. Then all in for the Church service. It was really nice to see all the families sing together in front of the congregation. Then they had communion which was done a bit differently than the Presbyterians do it.
We went up front to receive the communion. Marcy was one of the helpers. She was to say a small message to each person as they took the bread. Then they moved on to receive the wine/juice. It was a lovely service.

After a hasty dinner, the boys got ready and we were off to watch them take their swimming lessons at a shopping plaza-type storefront. It seemed odd to go in and see a swimming pool! The boys had separate teachers w/about 5 little ones in each group.

Once home again, Marcy & I dropped all the guys off (their choice) and we went around the block to an open house. Marcy couldn't believe whose house it was - the thistle man's house! Apparently when M&K had just moved into their home, Mr. thistle man came over to their mutual boundaries and "told" Kyle to remove such and such.
I always enjoy looking at houses so it was fun and surprising to see how "choppy" the home was. I did like the color in the kitchen - a mariner's blue I would say w/silver cookware here & there setting it off.

Must mention supper that night: Kyle cooked steaks on the grill. We enjoyed corn on the cob and the boys and I had made my homemade macaroni & cheese. I never seem to have luck w/my tried & true recipes there though. And their stove is gas while mine's electric. It was OK mac & cheese but we had doubled the recipe so maybe that was the problem.

Later Marcy & Kyle decided we needed pie for dessert so off they went to Cub Foods for a giant apple pie which we enjoyed w/ice cream while we all watched the movie Zathura. Xander sat there through somewhat scary scenes just as calm as could be while poor Ethan had his ears covered, leaving the room, then standing in front of the TV (much to the couch people's disgust)!

5/8/06 - Logan & I got up late so in order to have Kyle's car for the day went w/Marcy to drop her off @ work in our pj's. We called Logan's Mom who was home sick. She had good news though - Mr. Nicklaus is walking @ 13 months!

Once around we headed for Auto Zone to replace Kyle's car's driver's side windshield wiper. Isn't that always the one that goes? I had a touch of senility as we drove up to the store. I asked Logan which door we should go in. He gave me the strangest look - maybe because there was only one door! A nice young man helped me decide on which wiper to buy, then kindly installed it. Didn't take more than 10 min.

After that we got back on route 98 which takes you right by the Mall of America. Each parking area and floor level is named after a state so Logan chose NYC this time. We walked all the way around the 3rd level.

Here came my exciting part: Nordstrom Rack. It had about 25 pair of 10 narrow shoes! I was in heaven. Needless to say Logan was not in heaven. He headed right across to a few gift shops. One was full of Indian gifts, another pet supplies to pamper your pet. I filled the old shopping cart up first w/10 medium thinking maybe they ran narrow. Logan came back in to find me and was shocked I'd picked out 20 pair to try on. Rather 20 right hand shoes. You try them on. If you like them, you go to the counter and the worker gives you the left hand shoe. Then I finally thought to ask if they had just 10 narrows in a set section. Yes. Heaven all over again. But pricewise I needed to narrow it down. I happily left w/3 pairs of shoes.

To be continued. Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy it.

fyi part 3

I am falling behind in posting my Mom's "fyi's"!! I am going to play catch-up and post parts 3 through 5 today.

Happy reading!

Dear All: The next segment of the ongoing MN saga -

5/6/06 (Sat.) We all started North @ 7:30 am towards Duluth & beyond. Stopped for an important item @ Tobie's for carmel rolls (they don't spell caramel like we do). More about them later. Also Marcy bought "neater" car food - the best ginger/molasses iced cookies I'd ever had.

Kyle said we were then traveling through the Finnish/Italian area. Italians were brought in as miners. Went past the Black Bear Casino.

Stopped @ Thompson Hill Rest Area. Our first view of Lake Superior from high atop on a mountain! Two male bikers were there offering to clean travelers' windshields - sure! It was motorcycle awareness day/wk.

We drove on the Skyline Parkway way up the lake. The guard rails were big rocks - that was it.

Next stop: Gooseberry Falls State Park. Beautiful waterfalls there. Took a million photos of boys/us close/near/nearly in the falls.

On to Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. This was the first lighthouse most of us had ever seen in person. Unfortunately it was closed until 5/15. It was absolutely freezing standing outside there. I ran back inside to the gift shop. After we all bought t-shirts, etc. Marcy drove down to Pebble Beach picnic area for lighthouse photos from the water level. From there the lighthouse was sitting on top of a huge rock ledge. Stunning. THEN we ate our delish carmel (sp?) rolls in the car (in order to thaw out a bit).

Next: Canal Park, Duluth. We saw the aerial lift bridge raise for a huge barge to pass through. Men on the front and back of barge waved to us observers. We found out afterwards that the barge was from Greece. There was a free museum there (which I enjoyed getting warm in).

On to a nice supper @ Perkins Restaurant (I forget what town that was in). Cute Grandson story @ this point: Xander was more than thrilled w/all the mac 'n cheese he was given for his meal. He asked which girl was our waitress. His Mom & I both asked him why he wondered that. He wouldn't say. So when we saw our waitress we told him and guess what he did? He got her attention and said "thank you for all the mac 'n cheese!" Is that too precious?

To be continued. Stay tuned. Have a good evening.


Sandra Jean

Ethan & Alexander traded spots in the van. All the boys were really good travelers.

All the manmade creaters we saw on this trip:
1. dinosaur (this was @ a gas station
which had NO attendant at it;
2. giant Paul Bunyon (sans axe);
3. big chicken;
4. a bison;
5. a giant blue king kong;
6. a carved bear; and
my favorite: a giant squashed cigarette sitting in a giant ashtray!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

fyi part 1

I found Mom's first entry in her "fyi" series regarding her trip to MN. This entry was sent on Mother's Day, May 14th.

Dear All: Happy Mother's Day to all! The following is re: my trip to MN so if you're not interested, delete!

My Grandson Logan & I left Elmira 5/2/06 bright & early. No problems w/flight. Arrived in MN @ noon (they're 1 hr behind our time). Logan had the idea to put our hoods up on our coats & me to put my sunglasses on. Didn't fool Marcy @ all!

First thing Logan wanted to go to the Mall of America (of course!). It was there that I realized I'd forgotten my sneakers. You're required to remove your shoes when going through security so I wore my loafers fully intending to throw the old sneaks in the suitcase. So off we went to DSW Shoes. It's a very large shoe store w/boxes on the low shelves and the shoe that's in the box on top. Plus a huge clearance area. Luckily I found some Asics Gel that fit my skinny feet. Off we went to find Logan's preferred brand of sneaker in a store called Journeys.

5/3/06: We had slept 12 hours! Marcy took us to the MN Sculpture Garden. Most of it was outside. We got our culture that day! To Ikea Store for lunch of Swedish Meatballs w/baby red potatoes plus a dash of lingonberry sauce (a true Swedish food). A bit sweeter than our cranberry sauce. Then Marcy took Logan through the whole store for the experience while I visited the Market. Gordie has a fondness for their chocolates.

After lunch off to Sociale Gourmet. This is a place where people over 14 prep their own meals. You sign up for a time spot and the meals you want to assemble on the computer. Then just show up, don the apron, wash hands, and go the the proper "station." There you'll find the meat, etc. all chopped, cut as you need. Logan couldn't help only being 11 but he was allowed to sit in the same room as us on a stool. Plus the place had a nice gift shop where he found a gift for his Mom.

We were near a White Castle fast food place when Logan mentioned he'd never been to one so next thing we know Marcy has us in line to order one of their famous mini cheeseburgers in a box. Delish! I forced Logan to stand by the White Castle sign for a photo (much to his chagrin!)

5/4/06 - We didn't have a car today so we walked to Bruegger's Bagels (my favorite breakfast place). Then to McD's where they have movie videos to rent from a machine. Trouble was it was out of order.

We were always looking for "D" quarters for Gordie's coin collection. Came home only needing 1 more Nevada quarter.

This concludes today's typing. Everyone have a great day and enjoy!

fyi part 1 (missing) and part 2

Since I have been so neglectful of my blog, I thought I would copy and paste my Mom's "fyi" e-mails about her visit to MN. Mom's, aka Sandy's, fyi e-mails are distributed to family and friends to update them on what is going on in their lives. I have been trying to coax her into starting a blog, but to no avail. So, I'll just use her e-mails to enhance my blog! I will post pictures as soon as I remember to !

fyi part 1:
- oops. I don't have that one with me. I will have to post it later!

fyi part 2 (sent 5/15):

Dear All: Here's part 2 of MN trip (so don't read on if you're not interested) -

There is one of the most important reasons we went to MN in the first place: Ethan (7) and Alexander(5). When it was time to p/up the boys from first grade/day care, Logan went w/Marcy while I reclined. I heard the garage door go up and went out to be greeted by two TALL sweet boys w/their arms out! That was worth the trip alone!

Back to the happenings: 5/5/06 - Logan & I were loaned Kyle's old (but running) car to go where we wanted as they both went back to work. Marcy said "whatever you do don't roll down the driver's window!" Yes. Sure enough - Logan & I attempted to go on the highway to Mall of America on the busy highway when I felt perklepsed (sp?) and opened the driver's window just a bit - oops! Logan said "oh no!" The more I tried to remember which way to press the lever, the more the window went down to the point it disappeared into the door! I decided to go to the nearest car repair garage to Marcy's house. The worker told me it would cost $100 to begin and run up to $350 or more! I thank him & promptly went back to the house to call Marcy. First she sweared, then said she'd call me back. Now here's the clincher: when she called back she said "here's what you do - go to an empty parking lot and leave it!" Then I heard her whole office just howling w/laughter! She'd put me on speaker phone! I'll get her for that one!

But seriously, she told us to pick her up at work right away. She'd held a meeting prior and asked if anyone would take her to lunch. Renee' offered so we 3 went to garage and waited for Renee' to pick us up. Then she dropped us across the busy roadway to the Eden Prairie Mall (beautiful) and she and Marcy went to lunch & back to work.

Logan & I spent the afternoon there. About 4:20 up pulled Marcy in Kyle's car. She was just beaming! We were thrilled to see her but couldn't figure out her mood. Once we got in she told us: the mechanic had fixed the window (now permanently closed) for FREE! No way! We cheered and felt so much better. I just couldn't believe it! Must send the garage a thank you note today!

Oh, there's more crisis w/Kyle's poor car: Marcy drove over a railroad crossing - and a hub cap flew off! It was too busy (4 lanes) to stop so we looked for it several times but didn't find it.

That night we all attended a carnival @ Ethan's school. I was very impressed. The parents bought tickets ahead of time. Marcy gave each of the boys tickets and they were off. There were games like pick a pencil - if it has something on the bottom you win a prize to toss a ball @ tin cans and win a fuzzy hat. All sorts of games set up in their gym and over 12 varieties of games outside besides a dunking booth which teachers and the principal manned. Great fun!

To be continued.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

from the mouth of babes...

Well, we officially have had our first swear word incident this weekend. It was a rainy weekend with Kyle and I busy sorting through things: the playroom, my scrapbooking area, the paper pile on the counter, etc. Neither Kyle nor I are big swearers, but I think that we both had a couple of frustrating moments or moments of stubbed toes in which the swear word/phrase of choice was "GO* D&M**$!" Okay, the stage has been set, now fast forward to Sunday evening. Ethan is sitting in the play tunnel and Alexander decides that he needs to be in the exact same spot as his brother, so he climbs in and plops himself down on top of his brother. I am sitting at the computer next to the tunnel and I hear, "God dammit, Alexander! Get off of me!" Kyle's eyes and my eyes met in horror from across the room. I kindly ask, "What did you just say, Ethan?" His response, "I said 'God dammit, Alexander'". Oh boy, what to do now? Especially when you KNOW you are the source behind that statement. I decided to calmly ask Ethan to come out to talk with me. I explained that we can't use that word/phrase and that Mommy and Daddy shouldn't use it, either. I did point out that he used the phrase correctly so in some sense it is nice to know that he IS listening to us and learning from our conversations.

Ethan and I agreed that if he said it again, it was a zero tolerance phrase and that he would get an automatic time out if I heard him say it again. I also agreed that he could give me a time out if he heard me say. His wise response was, "But kids can't give grown-ups a time out!" I agreed that I probably wouldn't take a time out, but that he should feel free to at least point it out to me if he heard me say that word again.

I comfort myself with the fact is that at least it isn't the "F" word. If I have to rate swear words, at least the one that is floating around our house right now is one of the tamer ones!

It must be time to sign off because our youngest just replied with "dammit" when I told him that he couldn't get into something. Oh dear....time for another conversation!