Sunday, December 30, 2007

Got Resolutions?

The new year is quickly approaching and with it comes the media upswing to catch us at one of our weaker moment - when we are setting a resolution. Yes, the onslaught of ads for health clubs and weight loss services has begun. It also means that the club is going to be packed for the next 4 - 6 weeks. I know, that is selfish, but I prefer to actually have a treadmill to run on rather than wait 30 minutes for one to free up or to have room to jump and wiggle my hinney during a class!

In defiance of the tradition of resolutions, I typically do not set one. Okay, that sounds like grandstanding, but I know myself and I don't tend to keep the ones that I make on Jan. 1st, so I try to make smaller ones throughout the year. They don't always work either, but for some reason I feel less defeated than when I am unable to keep them at the beginning of the year. Any psych majors out there who want to comment on that? ;)

This year might be different, though. I went scrapbooking at Scrapbooks Too on Friday night and all day and night Saturday. I ended up sitting with some of my scrapbooking friends, Susan, who I haven't seen in a while. We got talking about running and how I did the Reindeer Run while she opted to stay in her cozy, warm bed. Yes, I should have stayed in mine that day, but now I get bragging rights for doing a race in sleet and sub-zero temps! She then went on to say that missing the December race made her not meet her resolution for the year because her resolution last year was to run in a 5k race each month. What a GREAT idea!!

So, it sounds as though I do "Got Resolutions" and I will officially state it:
"My resolution is to run a 5k each month of the year"

So, here is the plan so far:

  • Sunday, January 13th
    • Frigid 5 around the State Fairgrounds
  • Saturday, February 16th
    • Marathon Sports Valentine's Day 5k around Lake Harriet (hopefully, it will be warmer than during the Reindeer Run!!)
  • Sunday, March 16th
    • St. Patrick's Day Human Race
  • Saturday, April 26th
    • Get in Gear at Minnehaha Park (MINDA - are you joining us???)
Those are the ones that I want to do for sure (along with the Turkey Day 5k and the Reindeer run again). The rest of the year is up in the air; well, except for November and December.

There are a lot in May (obviously, it becomes a little more pleasant run at that time of year). Has anyone run any of these? Any feedback?
  • Saturday, May 3rd
    • Arise and Run for the Prize at Elm Creek
    • This one has a kids run that might be fun to let the boys try
  • Sunday, May 4th
    • Sholom Community Alliance Oy Vey 5k
    • How can I pass up a t-shirt that says "Oy Vey 5k" on it???
  • Sunday, May 4th
    • Arboretum 5k Bud Break
  • Saturday, May 10th
    • Eden Prairie Spring Run for Fun
    • This one is on Purgatory Creek and around Staring Lake - that would be a nice run
    • Benefits the "Girls on the Run"
What about you? Got Resolutions?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

2,056 Legos and 31,000 Lights

2,056 Legos for ages 16+ assembled by Mr. Ethan (9 years old) in 2 days! Here is the proud boy with his amazing creation! This Lego set is really cool. It is part of their new "modular" line, so each floor is an independent entity and can be separated without disconnecting Legos.

31,000 lights cover this oak tree. The backside of this house overlooks the river valley and the tree can be seen in Burnsville and Eagan. We confirmed it by crossing the river and viewing it from other side. The picture just doesn't do it justice!

Poor shutter speed choice, but I love the smiles on the boys!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends. We had a fun day opening presents, obsessing, sledding, skating, and eating. the boys really loved their presents. Ethan's big gift was a big Lego set of Cafe Corner and one of his other favorites was Mario Party for his DS. Alexander's big gifts were a punching bag and a big Ferris Wheel Lego set. The surprise of the gifts is that Alexander LOVES his Webkinz. We spent the day attempting to get on the website and were successful most of the time, but there was a message posted about the fact that they were experiencing larger than expected volumes and were having difficulty keeping up.

Here are some pictures from Christmas Eve and Christmas.

Feeding the reindeer on Christmas Eve:
Ready to open presents!

Reading Santa's reply to Alexander's list of questions:

Sheer joy when Ethan received the Lego kit he really wanted!

Alexander thrilled with this new punching bag and gloves!
The fruits of my obsessive labors - assembling Alexander's Lego Ferris Wheel. The set was for 8-12 year olds. It took me most of the day to get 2/3 of it finished, I took a break for sledding, skating, and dinner. We finished it up a couple of hours later! Whew! The cool thing is that it has a motor so that the ferris wheel really goes around!

Monday, December 17, 2007

New Favorite Pizza

Just needed to share that my new favorite pizza is California Pizza Kitchen's Thai Chicken minus the cilantro. YUMMY! YUMMY! YUMMY! I had it Saturday night when Alexander and I had a date for dinner and Alvin and the Chipmunks. Needless to say, I liked the pizza more than the movie! ;)

Here is the description:

Thai Chicken

This is the original! Pieces of chicken breast marinated in a spicy peanut-ginger and sesame sauce, Mozzarella cheese, green onions, bean sprouts, julienne carrots, cilantro and roasted peanuts.

It is especially yummy after my butt wiggle group fitness class, aka Soul Cardio. It is a great class, but it really is a lot fo butt wiggling!

Monday, December 03, 2007

For the Love of Snow

I love snow - especially when it falls on the weekend and there is plenty of time for the crews to clear the roads before I need to drive on it. Yes, I was out in the storm on Saturday morning for the Reindeer Run, but I was in Minda's big truck, so I didn't have to stress about driving. In addition to the truck, she used to live in the areas where we ran, so she knew which roads to take that would have less traffic and be more clear.

After arriving home from the race, I didn't leave. I opened all of my blinds and admired the storm. My favorite place to admire it was curled up on the couch watching movies. It was lovely. Sunday was a busier day, but the day still had a wintery theme to it. I went over to the house and helped put up the Christmas tree because I learned that Kyle wasn't going to put it up. I couldn't let the boys be without a tree and I didn't want to haul everything over to my apartment, so we put up the tree in the traditional place in the living room. Side note: I learned today that a friend at work is going to loan a small tree to me. I can't wait! I need to get some lights and a few ornaments. Okay...back to Sunday. After the Christmas tree, I headed home to relax, but how could we let a beautiful, wintery afternoon pass by without sledding?! So, I called up the boys and they agreed to meet me at the sledding hill. It is pretty close to my apartment, so I walked over there fully outfitted and ready to go. Alexander, of course, was right in with the big kids who were building a snow jump. He was one of the several "testers" and "crashers" for the snow jump. Ethan took the more even routes without jumps. Needless to say, I joined Ethan on runs down the hill, but never Alexander! My brain still remembers the pain in my tailbone after going over one of those snow ramps last year! Our festivities on the hill ended when it started to get dark, Ethan was cold, and Alexander did a nose-dive into the snow off of the snow ramp and his nose hurt.

We then headed off to the Galleria to pick up some yummy, Big Bowl. While we waited for our food, I couldn't resist going into Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, and Pottery Barn Kids just to see the looks on the clerks' faces when someone dressed like us entered the store. Side note for Mom - the Galleria is the snooty mall by Southdale where most people where fur coats rather than sledding gear!

Today, I didn't really get to enjoy the snow, but I do love the crunchy noise it makes under your feet. What we did do instead of play in the snow is volunteer at Creekside to serve ice cream for after the meal and to sing Christmas carols. This was the resulting service project from our small group's 40 Days of Community study. I have to admit that I was a bit nervous about it, but I ended up having a blast. The boys weren't too sure about it either, but after a while, they really warmed up to the microphones and had fun singing carols on the stage.

Afterwards, I headed to the club for a run. I hope I get used to running on a treadmill or else it is going to be a VERY long winter!!! Maybe it is time to get some running snow shoes and to give that a try! I do want to try cross country skiing. I hear that Hyland lights up their cross country trails - that should be a lot of fun. Maybe we will try it this weekend!

Saturday, December 01, 2007


Minda and I successfully completed the Reindeer Run this morning! Woohoo!

I finished in 35 minutes even after a super slow start. It was sleeting directly into our faces for the first leg of the races. I reached a point where I couldn't feel my lips and was getting nervous about frostbite. Luckily, the run was around Lake Harriett, so after the first 1/2 mile or so, the wind wasn't too bad.

Minda brought her camera, so I should have some pictures to post later today! WE already have a couple of inches of snow on the ground! I am going to take a long, hot shower and then plan some inside activities for the rest of the day. I might even pull out my scrapbooking stuff again!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Alexander's Christmas List

Original form:
- a pachen beg |favorite
- the huvr kraf
- a dort board
- a big hockey net
- hockey pucks
- tennisboll - prackdis hockey
- a snowe mushene
- a D.S. lite that is white
- a gam qood
- a set uv ney hockey
- sum stuft anmuls
- a book lite
- a hockey tadeul not are hockey
- lageos and pepol
- x box 360
- a x box | 3 favrit
- lots uv siins!!!!!!!!!!!!! | 2 favrit
- a lechrickgotor

- a punching bag
- the hover craft (remote control)
- a dart board
- a big hockey net
- hockey pucks
- tennis balls to practice hockey
- a snow machine
- a [Nintendo] D.S. lite in white
- a Game Cube
- a set of knee hockey
- some stuffed animals
- a book light
- a hockey table, not air hockey (like foozball, but with hockey)
- legos and people
- x-box 306 | 3rd favorite
- lots of SCIENCE!!!! |2nd favorite
- an electronic ????? (I will have to check with him!)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Friendly Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving is being labeled the "Friendly Thanksgiving" in my book! I have had the pleasure of having two Thanksgiving meals with friends. It has been fun and relaxing and I haven't had to cook!

My holiday started with the Turkey Run 5k in downtown Minneapolis. It was my first race in over 11 years and it was the first time EVER that I have attended a race alone. I have to admit that one of the motivating factors for me was the cute T-shirt. Could you resist a turkey t-shirt like this:
and the back:
I heard that over 10K people participated in the race. With that many people, it was really surprising that after I picked up my number, I turned around and there was Kris from my church! I ended up hanging out with Kris and her sister in law until the race started. I knew that they would be faster than me, so I wished them a good race and started off with my slow and steady pace. I ended up running a big part of the race with a woman named Sue. She was really disappointed at how slowly she was going, but I was thrilled to have someone to run and pace with. She ended up having to walk the last 3/4 of a mile, so I finished up the race on my own. I jogged the entire race (woohoo!) and finished in about 35 minutes. It was really hard to tell since it takes a while to reach the start and then there was a bottle neck at the end, so that took a while, too. Regardless, it felt GREAT! After picking up a water and a banana, I had a difficult time finding my parking garage and then the stairs to the garage. So, here is a shout out to all of the strangers that helped me that morning, "THANKS!"

After successfully finding my car (with help!), I headed home, enjoyed a long shower, put on my thick, fleece pj's, and lounged around, cut cheese for the upcoming festivities, did laundry and watched my Netflix DVD's. It was soon time to head up to Bernie's in St. Francis. It was supposed to be Bernie, Dawn, Wendy, and me for Thanksgiving dinner. Wendy's family activities went longer than she expected, so she wasn't able to join us. That means that we had 3 people to eat a 20 lb bird, about 5+ lb of potatoes, and TONS more.

Here is a picture of Bernie carving our bird:
Here are Dawn, me, and Bernie getting ready to eat. After we ate, I said that I should take a picture because it didn't look like we had made a dent in ANYTHING!

After cleaning up a bit, Bernie and I head out for a big, long walk (we measured it later and it was 2.5 miles). That felt great. We then attempted to rent National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation to no avail and ended up getting Deck the Halls. That movie was lame - a rip off of the one we wanted, but not nearly as funny. In fact, we all fell asleep during it!

I then loaded up my car for my long drive home only to find that my trunk latch wouldn't work! So, Bernie rigged up a lovely bungee cord, rag, duct tape, one of my workout socks contraption to keep my trunk closed. I was able to get scheduled at the garage on Monday to have it fixed, but there is no using the trunk until that time (lugging stuff for hockey practice this weekend is going to be fun!).

On to Friday....
No early morning shopping for me! I slept late (only 8ish), puttered around my apartment, and then headed to the club. I did a funky new angled elliptical machine that focuses more on the gluts and quads. It was interesting and I will try it again, but I'm not sure how much I liked it. I then did a few laps in the pool since I had a desire to do some swimming. That also felt great.

Then, it was off to Paula's for another feast! Paula, I need some pictures! We had the cutest place settings with lots of fun turkey motifs including turkeys created by Dani made out of candy corn, icing, and cookies. They were adorable! Lots and lots of food was eaten and we had lots of fun conversations.

After helping with the clean-up, I headed back home to get some more things done. I have decided to get back into my scrapbooking, so after unsuccessfully attempting to upload pictures on the Ritz website, I burned a CD and headed in. While they were being printed, I headed to REI's sale to pick up some winter running gear. Whew! Exercise gear is NOT cheap, even on sale. I realize that REI is spendy, but I have been pricing workout gear at a variety of places and I think I found some of the right mix. I found a wicking, long sleeved t-shirt and a jacket that is actually for biking. I like the jacket because it has wind breaking capabilities, but it doesn't have front pockets -only a big pocket in the back (since it is a biking jacket). I actually use the hand pockets quite a bit in my fleece that I have been wearing, so we will have to see if it works for me or not.

All in all, it was a fabulous couple of days and was definitely a "Friendly Thanksgiving"! I am looking forward to the boys being back in town this afternoon for hockey practice, but I had best get moving in order to get the rest of my list completed before they get here!

P.S. Another fantastic thing happened on Thanksgiving Day... Shawn and Deb became parents of Swayer Kay! Check out this adorable little girl on their Baby Blog!!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Fabulous Fall Day

What an amazingly beautiful day today! I am thrilled to say that I spent most of it outside enjoying the sunshine and the warmth.

The day started out with Sherry arriving at 7am for our trek to St. Francis to Bernie's place. He promised us omelets before our 9am tee time and we were looking forward to trying them. They weren't your typical omelets. They were omelets constructed in ziploc baggies. 2 eggs and then the fixings of your choice all in the bag and then knead well. Write your name on the bag and then throw the bag in a pot of boiling water. Leave them in for 17 minutes and viola you have an omelet. The interesting thing is that the fixings go to the center of the omelet! How? I have no idea and I don't know any food science majors to help me answer that.

We then headed over to The Ponds for nine holes. I had a horrid game, but still had a great time. Sherry's game was on fire. For a girl who only golfs twice a year, she blew us away. Bernie was frustrated during the first half of the round, but then caught his rhythm and did a fantastic job.

The course was really wet, but it was absolutely gorgeous out. The trees were vibrant yellows and rusts. The morning sunlight made the tree colors even more vibrant or was that an optical illusion since we have had rain for the last 17 of 19 days?

After lunch and some chatting in the clubhouse, we headed back south. We only made it to Ramsey before we both realized that we needed some coffee, so we stopped at Caribou and chatted some more.

I crashed a little bit when I got home, but then couldn't let any more time pass without being outside. I headed out the door with my bike and my camera. I decided to head over to Hyland and bike the trails there and then loop back down 84th St down the new bike paths. The trees were gorgeous (surprisingly, they were a little past peak versus what I saw in St. Francis). I also saw lots of things that made me smile. After taking this picture, I took a picture of two new parents with their little baby. The lighting was just perfect and the baby cooperated nicely by giving me a big smile. One thing that surprised me was how thankful the couple was and then another couple stopped me and said how nice it was of me to do that. Taking a picture for someone is such a simple gesture that I didn't even think before offering. Wouldn't most people offer?

The photos just don't capture the splendor of the yellows and the ducks on the lake. Trust me on that one!

This one is on the bike path south of the lake in the first picture. Soon after I took this picture, a snake crossed the path. I was glad that it was in front of me and didn't go under me!
Below is the lake when you are heading towards Richardson Nature Center
On my way out of Richardson, I had a woodpecker just feet from me, but I didn't get my camera out in time before it was too far in the shrubs to see it.

The bike trail then heads down to Normandale Lake. One of my favorite things that always intrigues me is the ski jump. I couldn't resist taking a picture of it. The sun was behind the jump, so this picture was taken with manual settings. It is a little washed out, but I like that you can see the tree colors.

Okay, my long day is coming to an end and I am sleepy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

1st Hockey Practice

The first hockey practice was a success! Alexander did a great job skating and worked really hard. His best friend Keegan was there for practice, too. Having a good friend to hang out with and to skate with makes it even more fun.

Here are the little guys all lined up and ready to hit the ice. Alexander is in the middle in the far back with the light blue jersey and the black helmet. No, he wasn't standing on his tippy toes. That is just how much taller he is than the other kids!

Here is skating (he is in the middle of the pack in the light blue jersey:

And, of course, a good workout requires a lot of rehydration! Here are Keegan and Alexander refueling after practice:

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Hockey Player is Born

Yes! I have given in and I am now officially a hockey mom. The result is that I now have a very excited, happy boy:

Here is all ready to go!

Check out this game face!!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Thankfulness for Friends

The end of this week has been a bit trying for me. It started Friday morning with Minda's husband, Scott, knocking on my door at 7:00 am on his way home from work. I opened the door and was confused to see him. All he said was, "Have you seen your car yet?" My heart sunk immediately. He told me that two of my car windows (on the doors) had been broken. I didn't want to see what was missing on my own, so I asked if he would come downstairs with me.

As we walked to the elevator, I started to make a mental list of the things in my car: my golf clubs, my computer, my roller bag containing my computer, and some shoes that I was going to return.

When we got to the car, the first thing I saw was my golf clubs peaking through the backseat (I had one of the seats down) and I was thrilled that they weren't gone since I had a golf game scheduled for that night! I then popped my trunk to see what else was missing. My computer roller bag and everything in it including my work laptop, my notes, and the worst thing of jump drives with the backup of my computer! Ugh. How stupid to store the jump drives in the same bag as the laptop!

So, as best as I can figure, the thieves noticed that my one back seat was down, so there was easy access to the trunk. They broke the window closest to the backseat that was down (rear passenger side), but then the child safety locks wouldn't let them open the door with the inside handle. So, they then smashed in the driver's window in order to easily pop the trunk and unlock everything. Needless to say, there was glass everywhere in the car. I am still finding pieces of glass.

I have learned a few lessons from this experience:
1) how to lock my backseats so that you can't put them down
2) how to lock my "trunk release" on the driver's door
side thought - these two things my aggravate thieves and make them cause more damage to the car, but I guess I will live with that if it happens
3) never, ever leave your backup copies of your computer in your computer bag
4) never leave your laptop in the car (in fact, I hardly ever do this, but Thursday night, I had worked late and then run some errands, so I had plenty to carry up to my apartment and was way too tired to do any additional work, so I decided to leave it)
5) Friends are wonderful

#5 is my favorite part. It helped me so much to have Scott find the disaster and then to walk me downstairs. After he dropped me off at my apartment to call insurance and the police, his wife and my friend, Minda, came down. Minda and their son Andrew spent the entire morning with me. They helped me call insurance, they helped me clean out my car, and most importantly of all - they were just there. After we got the car cleaned out and I made some phone calls to work, I went to Minda's apartment where she made me a latte and I just sat. It was what I needed to recenter myself. Being near someone who loves you is often the best remedy of all!

Thank you so much Minda, Scott, and Andrew!!!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

First Day of School

Today was the first day of school which brings about several emotions for me: I am excited that the boys are growing and gaining experience, but the same thought also makes me sad. It is also a stressful day full of change and new schedules. I am really sad to say that I didn't get many good photos this morning. Now that I have them downloaded, I notice that many of them are out of focus (poor lighting choices) or the boys have fake smiles. I do have two favorites

This is my favorite of the boys because they have real smiles and their personalities are showing through:

This is my absolute favorite. I was locking up the car after taking pictures of the boys by the school sign when I looked up and they were already half way across the parking lot - a definite sign of their independence and confidence:

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Last Day of Summer

Where did the summer go? Did I accomplish the things that I had planned? Nope. Oh well...another summer has gone by and I can still answer that question with "NOPE!" I did accomplish some things such as learning to play golf, starting to teach my boys to golf, starting to run again, etc. All very fun things, but once again, I did not accomplish that academic-side of things that I had hoped with my children. Did they read as much as they were supposed to? No. Did we research topics like I had planned and then do something fun related to the topic? No. Did we practice "bridging" activities? Well, yes, thanks to the GRASP program for Ethan? Whew! I get to answer that one with a YES! Am I upset about not accomplishing these things? Not really - except for the reading part. I love to read! Why do I have such a hard time encouraging my boys to read. I admit that I find it difficult to find the time to sit down with them, but that isn't really a good enough of an excuse. So, to make up for a lackadaisical summer, I had both of the boys read tonight. Ethan read on his own while Alexander sat and read to me while I did dinner dishes. That wasn't exactly the best environment in which to encourage reading, but we made it 25 minutes!

On to a line of questions that won't make me feel guilty...Did we enjoy the last weekend of summer? YES! Was today a fabulous day? YES! Was there time spent this weekend golfing, hiking, biking, and swimming? YES, YES, YES, and YES! Whew! Some affirmative answers.

Our day today was split into two main activities biking and swimming/hanging out at the beach. Our biking adventure was a Elm Creek Nature Preserve that is filled with fabulous bike trails. This is a place that we haven't been to for about 4 years and it was as fantastic as we remembered; in fact, it was even better than we remembered because most of their large construction project is now complete. Kyle agreed to go with us since I don't have a bike rack yet and both of us have been wanting to get up there, so we combined our trip. I am really proud of the boys because we ended up doing at least 10 miles today. They were really good troopers until we hit this hill (E and A were not pleased that I was taking a picture of them trudging up the hill):

Here is a lovely picture of a sweaty, tired me at the top of the same hill as taken by Mr. Alexander:

Here are Ethan and Kyle waiting for Alexander to catch a grasshopper:

Here is Alexander and his grasshopper friend:

After the bike ride, we were going to play at the swim pond, but decided that it was a little too shallow and unexciting for the boys; instead, let the boys play for a little while at the big climber at the park:

At that point, it was already well past lunch time, so after 15 minutes or so, we hit the road again.

Kyle dropped us and my bike off at my place and the boys and I changed into swimsuits, grabbed our towels and water and headed off to West Bush Lake beach where the boys enjoyed another afternoon of digging in the sand.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Ending the Summer

How many things can you squeeze in a day? The boys and I had a busy day trying to fit in a bunch of things that we have been talking about doing a some things that I had planned for them. The themes of the weekend have been getting outdoors, working on a puzzle while inside, and watching movies.

We started the morning by missing church and heading out for a hike. We took the woodchip trail that is across the street from my apartment's driveway. The trail leads around the edge of a marsh and ends in a development behind the Hillcrest School that has a great play set. As you may have guessed from previous posts, there was much whining and groaning throughout the walk. The hike home wasn't as whiny because it lead to the promise of food (they were bottomless pits today!). I was pleased that they made it since it was a 30 minute hike each way. It was quite impressive to see them make it!

After lunch and some work on the puzzle we have going, it was a Mommy enforced body rest since everyone seemed really tired. The only issue with that idea was that I gave them a new alarm clock yesterday, so instead of taking a nap, they sat in their beds and watched their clock tick its way to 2pm. Oh well, at least they stayed quietly in their room for 45 min!

This afternoon, Alexander and I managed to pull Ethan away from Star Wars for a trip to the beach. We spent a few hours there digging in the sand, attempting to catch fish, and some general lounging in the sand. This, of course, made the boys really hungry, so I took them to Perkins for dinner after getting cleaned up. They were amazingly good waiting for our food and we really had to wait. There was something done with their printer and so everyone else ended up getting their food before we did. Oh well, it all ended up well and was really yummy. Ethan ate and ate - his food, quite a bit of my food, and some of his brother's food! If you know Ethan, you know this isn't typical!

After dinner, we walked to Lund's and picked out the movie, Happily N'Ever After, to watch after hitting some golf balls at the driving range. The driving range went well. My hits are slowly getting more consistent. The boys decided to practice putting while I hit balls. After reaching home, we watched the movie (quite good for an animated flick) and the boys ate and ate.

Watch out - they are either going to grow or we will have another blowing chunks incident like a few weeks ago! I'll keep you posted on that one!

A Day of Golfing Firsts

Yesterday was the "Day of Golfing Firsts"!

First #1: I took Ethan and Alexander to the Hyland Greens Short Course for their first ever golfing experience on a course

First #2: By Hole 6, I realized that we had left the boys' "Long" range iron (probably a 9 iron) somewhere on the course

First #3: On Hole 8, I made it to the green from my tee shot!! Woohoo!!

First #4: To continue the fun on Hole 8, I parred!! Another Woohoo!!

First #5: Walking down the fareway, I somehow managed to lose the head cover for the boys 4 hybrid club (yes, by this point, I was carrying their clubs most of the time)

First #6: Alexander had an awesome chip shot from 30 yds out and landed on the green!

First #7: Ethan had some great, long shots down the fareway (actually, he had several good chips that were hit so well that they flew right over the green!)

First #8: Yesterday was the first of several golf outings with my boys!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Justin Timberlake / What Goes Around Live

An Embarrassing New Love

Quick edit - the video came in above this post, so hopefully after reading this, you will see the connection!!

I have a new fascination, adoration, admiration, obsession (whatever you care to call it) with Justin Timberlake and his music. Yes, I officially feel like a teeny-bopper for saying that! I started to like him when he was on SNL over Christmas. His skits were great and hysterical. As for the music, I have heard some of his live performances and I am always impressed when a singer sounds as good live as they do on CD. I have also heard interviews with other musicians who have commented on what a good musician he is. For instance, he doesn't need to take a dozen takes to get a song right.

So, I have been thinking about how much I like his music and I refused to allow myself to openly admit to it because I thought that he got his start with New Kids on the Block. Each time that I thought about NKOB, I kept going back in time to when I was a camp counselor. During one of the summers, I had a slew of 3rd grade girls were absolutely in love with NKOB and that they were all excited to go to their concert later in the summer. It was all that I heard about for a week. Since I was a senior when those girls were 3rd graders, I refused to age myself to that extent. So, yesterday after downloading a few of his songs, I decided to check it out and good news - he isn't from NKOB. Granted, he is from 'N Synch, but at least he isn't from NKOB!

Do any of my girlfriends out there like Justin Timberlake? Kirstin? Susan (your girls probably listen to him!)? Anyone?

I just attempted to link a youtube video of "What Goes Around Comes Around" to my blog. Check it out! (as will I since I have no idea how it will post!)

Okay, time to switch from teeny-bopper to Mom - time to get groceries!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Alexander's Notions on His First Grade Teacher

This year, Alexander will be a Firstie and we have been anxiously awaiting news from the school as to whom his teacher is (Ethan's will be the same since he is in a mixed age program, so we weren't anxiously awaiting to hear who his teacher is).

Well, the teacher announcements came out this week. First, I need to tell you that there was quite a bit of shuffling of teachers from one grade to another due to retirements and other changes. For instance, one of the Kindergarten teachers from last year, Miss Ludgate, has moved up to be a first grade teacher and this is the teacher that Alexander got. What was his response??

"Whew. She's only a Kindergarten teacher, so she doesn't know that much!"

Boy, is he in for a surprise!!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Rainy, Sunday Afternoon

I love rainy (or snowy) Sunday afternoons. Why? Because it forces me to slow down and relax. If you don't want to brave the elements, the errands can wait, the outdoor activities can wait, everything can wait. Well, except for one thing today - birthday parties! Both of the boys are at birthday parties at opposite ends of the southern-side of the Cities. Ethan is in Eden Prairie at the bowling lanes for Austin's party and Alexander is in Eagan at Gleason's Gymnastics for Keegan's party. Where am I? I am sitting in a Caribou in Eagan, enjoying part of a blackberry, white chocolate scone, a cup of dark roast (hmmm...will I sleep tonight?), and enjoying some free wireless. I had grand intentions of getting some reading done for work, but the Subledger Accounting Setup document was putting me to sleep - even with the French Roast coffee pumping through my veins. Accounting is not my strongest point and when the manual is walking through setups and I can't actually log into the application to see what they are talking about equals Yawn City in Low Retention Land. Ugh. So, I gave up and decided to play on line.

What to do this afternoon? a different movie? play a board game? go to the club and swim? It is difficult to decide because I think that I am going to have two very tired boys on my hands this evening. Ethan had another birthday party last night and it was an overnight which means he will be Mr. Grumpy Pants later today. As for Alexander's level of grumpiness, I have only myself to blame. After we dropped off Ethan at his party, I took Alexander to Old Navy to get some more school clothes. He was quite a trooper even though I had him try on about 10 pairs of jeans (I must admit that he looks darling in his painter pant style of jeans!). We then headed to Southdale to catch the movie Under Dog. I told him that after we found out what time it started and bought our tickets that he could choose where we ate. I said that if he wanted to, we could run over to McDonald's. He said, "NO! I want to go to that place with the yummy crab cakes." six year old already has good taste - he wanted to go to PF Chang's! I was really excited because that meant that I could get my favorite Kung Pao Chicken. We purchased our tickets for the 7:05 show and headed upstairs to PF Chang's only to find out that seating was being accepted for 7:15!!! Bummer....Oh well, so we ended up eating in the food court (not EXACTLY the same ambiance as PF Chang's) at Subway. Speaking of ambiance, as we were leaving PF Chang's, we noticed that they hadn't opened the inside "terrace" seating. He asked me why that part wasn't open and I said that I didn't know, but that it could be for dinner that they prefer a certain type of ambiance rather than having people eat on the interior patio. His excellent reply was, "I don't care about ambiance; I just want my crab cakes!" :)

Well, after our yummy meal of Subway subs (yes, Alexander had a ham with Ranch dressing), we headed to the moviesw and decided to splurge on candy: Reese's Pieces and Sours. Under Dog was very cute and fun. There were several lines and scenes that made Alexander laugh and laugh. He also didn't ask even once how much longer the movie had to go. Both of these are signs of an excellent movie for Alexander. Oh, another cute note - he said that if we couldn't see Under Dog, then he wanted to go and see Nancy Drew again. I MUST remember to get Nancy Drew for him for his birthday (or Christmas) if it isn't out yet.

Okay, my battery is running low, I should get some more reading done, and I have rambled long enough. If you are having a rainy Sunday afternoon then I hope that you are able to relax and enjoy it to the fullest!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Successful Triathlon - even if it was a bit cold and wet!

Today was the third year that Ethan has participated in the Miracle Kid's Triathlon at Lake Ann in Chanhassen. The triathlon is a non-competitive, fund-raising race with the logo "Kids racing for kids who can't". The Miracle Kid's foundation donates money to families with children with cancer so that the family can do something "fun".

The day started a bit chilly, but not too bad. We were hopeful that the cold and the rain would hold off for the race. Here is Ethan waiting for the line up for the parade to start. At this point, we were all still dry and warm, but it wouldn't last long!
After a long, chilly wait (I didn't include those pictures), it was E's turn to hit the water. I love the way he is rushing into the water (green shorts). Soon after I snapped this picture, he stopped short when he realized how cold he was. After a brief pause, he kept going and finished the swim.

Off to the transition to the bikes! Ethan stood in the pose for a long time with his wet towel wrapped around him and the volunteer from Cargill trying to convince him to put his shirt and shoes on.

After a bit of cajoling from the volunteer, E was ready to go and off he went on his bike!

The second transition to the run was MUCH faster. E was smiling and yelling "Hi, Mom!", so I knew he was in good spirits. Off he went on the run through the woods. Here is his racing down the shoot to the finish line and his medal!
Here is a cold, wet, but proud Mr. Ethan after the race. It was the only picture I was allowed to snap because after this pic, all he could say is "I'm cold! I want to go home!"

You might be wondering what Alexander did while E raced. A could have raced this year, but he decided to wait one more year before starting the tradition. Here is by the lake waiting for the race to start.

Alexander's favorite thing to do during the race is to dig in the sand. Kyle stood over him while he started his little hole so that he could keep him semi-dry in the rain. The hole gradually grew into quite a large hole that impressed several of the other brothers waiting nearby!

Monday, August 06, 2007

My Obsessive Boys

For those of you who know me, I am about to ask a ridiculous question...Where on earth did my boys acquire or learn their obsessive behavior? No, it couldn't have been from me! :)

Over the last two nights, there has been some obsessive Lego building going on. Most of the Legos are at Dad's house , so after having some fun with the very cool dragon set that Ethan got for his birthday, we decided to go on a quest for another Lego kit. The original plan was to have both of the boys agree on one set to purchase - HA! Who was I kidding? Even more frustrating than trying to get them to agree on a single set was finding a set within the price range that I had established before we left. Our goal: to find a Lego set $30 or less with a large number of interchangeable pieces. What that last line means is that there are some really cool Lego sets, but most of the bulk of the sets are taken up by pre-cast items (ie. dump trunk beds) rather than a large number of pieces. So, we search for sets with lots of cool pieces that you can't get in the regular "Creator" set.

We didn't match all of our goals, but we did find a high volume set for Ethan. It is a 6 in 1 set where you can make lots of different items, but not all at the same time. Does he elect to start with one of the easier, smaller airplanes or boats? Absolutely not! His choice was to make the airplane that used ALL of the pieces. It took two nights for him to complete (yes, he would have stayed up all night last night if I had let him) and the end result is gorgeous:
Ethan post-bath and his completed airplane
Another view of Ethan's airplane

Alexander had a very difficult time agreeing with Ethan's choices. We finally opted for a smaller set for him since the airplane set was less than I had alloted for this purchase. He opted for the catapult! He did a great job and methodically followed the instructions. He had nearly convinced himself that he would never be able to do it on his own, but after some encouragement from both Ethan and me, he did it. I don't think I helped him at all. Well, I guess I did help in a way - he likes the punch down on the catapult at full force (of course) to make the Lego "boulder" fly as far as possible. The result is that the entire catapult comes apart and we have to find the pieces on the floor. The Lego piece search work is the only assistance that I have given to him!

Alexander and his catapult with the good guys and the bad guys!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Wisdom of A Continues

While on the Ripshaw Rollercoaster at The Park at MOA (the amusement park previously known as Camp Snoopy) with Alexander, he expounded in his great excitement the following pronouncements in quick succession:
"This is so much fun!"
"This is so much fun!"
"Good Times!!!"
"Good Times!!!"

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Reasons to Listen to Your Children

It was a busy Saturday for Ethan, Alexander, and me with lots of errands of both the fun and weekly duty kinds. We started our morning at Home Depot for the monthly Kids' Workshop event. As we were walking across the parking lot, Alexander started to complain that his stomach hurt. At this point, you might say or suggest, that we should have headed home immediately since I had a sick child. My response to that piece of advice is that you need to know Alexander. The tummy ache excuse is used when he is hungry, bored, tired, nervous about a new situation, or sincerely has a tummy ache. So, I encouraged him to try to make it through the Kids' Workshop event and then see how he was doing. He made it through the event and the only mishap was that we had to ask for extra nails since we bent so many while assembling his toolbox.

Our next stop was to JC Penney's for some jeans, shirts, and backpacks for school. They were having a sale of buy 1 get 1 for $1!!! I couldn't pass that up when it came to jeans! So, even through A's complaints we forged our way forward. We even made a pit stop at the bathroom in order to rule out the need to go potty as the reason for the tummy pains.

The shopping event was plagued with complaints (can you blame them?) and whines about tummy aches, but overall it was a good experience for all of us. Good experience may not be the correct word, but it was definitely less stressful than last year. Both boys were big enough this year to allow for me to leave them in the dressing room with a pile of jeans to try on, I would leave to get more things, and then assess the clothing they tried on. It made our time go quickly and we were able to find 2 pairs of jeans, a shirt, nice roller backpacks (at 50% off!!), and swim trunks on clearance in under an hour.

On to our chosen lunch place - Chipotle. Alexander devoured his quesadilla and chips. I thought for sure that hunger and bored were the original sources of the tummy.

Next, on to Eden Prairie Target for a baby gift before heading to Karis' baby shower at Nancy's house. A was so excited to get cake. He ate fruit, he helped carry gifts, and then he enjoyed his cake. On our way home, I decided to squeeze in one more errand (yes, I am obsessive about completing my lists) to go to Cub to get things we needed to make sloppy joes for dinner and other things we needed.

At this point, A was really complaining about his tummy and not wanting to walk down the isles. We would leave him sitting on empty spots on the shelf or on cases of pop while we shopped down one isle. While was checking out, he sat in one of the bagging areas and looked miserable. I was just focused on finishing and getting home him.

Well, we didn't make it very far after loading up the grocery cart...we were heading out the doors with A in front of us...and yes, he blew chunks all over the exit. Ughh.....I really need to learn to be less obsessive and listen to my children!!

On a side note because I know Grandma will be worried, A is doing fine. He came home, curled up in bed and slept for 2 hours. He has since bounced back and woke up hungry (in typical Littlest fashion). He ate a little dinner, but I wouldn't let him eat too much until we see how everything digests. Poor little man. Glad that he is feeling better!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Airport Adventures

I dropped Mom off at the airport this morning. It was sad to see her go, but as usual, it was quite an adventure getting her to the airport. The "as usual" statement is generated because a couple of years ago, we were wasting her last day in town away by tooling around town and going out to eat at Culver's. When we returned home, I just happened to glance at her itinerary that was hanging on the fridge and noticed that her plan left in 1/2 an hour and not in the 4 hours that we were planning! YIKES! Mom ran downstairs while I called the airline to see if I could change her flight or if they could hold the plane. Well, we made it there JUST in time for her to catch her flight and all ended up well.

This year, only 2 min after pulling out of the driveway the fun begins! She panics about her itinerary so I have to pull over and get it out of her other bag. Then, we were on 494 and pulled into the fast lane (and I had PLENTY of room to pull into it) and a Mercedes with the vanity plate "Laidy 3" zooms up behind me. I could tell he wanted to go FAST (even though there were cars in front of me), so I pulled back over to the other lane as soon as I could. He proceeds to honk and flip me off - NICE!!! I laugh and of course, that made him made so he tried to cut me off. Then, Mom can't find her license in her purse, so she is all panicky again about that. So, we jump out at the airport and dig through her carry-on - no license. I am starting to shake at this point and she is gasping for breath like a pre-panic attack. I then dig through her purse again (the original location) and it was right where it was supposed to be!

For Mom's next visit, I think we will include a departure checklist and maybe I shouldn't do the driving!

Monday, June 25, 2007


Wow! You can really tell when my life gets busy because I completely stop posting. It has been busy and fun. Currently, my Mom is visiting from PA. We had a busy, fun-filled weekend that involved two trips to the Mall of America on Saturday, a trip to the local swimming pool, and eating lots of not-so-good-for you food! wasn't all bad for you food! We had P.F. Chang's one night and only about half of it involved a large amount of oil or deep-fried food! :)

It has been a great visit with Mom. I had to work today and I have to work most of tomorrow. This is a bummer, but due to the current steps of the project, I need to be there. I did take the time to work from home this morning so that I could drop Mom off at the MOA (yes, again!) today. Kyle picked her up as he passed through from St. Paul which was lucky because I didn't get home from work until 6:45 or so!

Okay, I am off to get ready for bed in order to tackle another day. You might notice a new badge on my blog. It is from One of my good friends, Shawn, talked me into giving it a try. The cool thing is that it is Shawn's birthday today, so I signed up and posted my badge in honor of his b-day!

Happy Birthday, Monk Shack!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

for the love of golf

Lesson #1 with Ali at Hyland Golf course is complete! I had a wonderful time. Ali is hilarious and kept the lesson light and fun. He provided plenty of praise and kept me laughing through the entire lesson. I can't wait to go back next week, but first I need to get my 10 min of practice each day!

Monday, June 04, 2007

A loose conversation

A conversation with Ken this morning:

"Did you go clothes shopping again?"

"Not recently. It is just that you don't see me everyday."

"Oh, that's true."

"I did just buy this a few weeks ago."

"I thought so because I judge newness of your clothes by how baggy or fitting they are on you."

"Ahhh.. that is a good way to determine that."

"Well, the shirt looks nice, too."

"Good catch. I was wondering where you were going with this conversation!"

"Well, I had so much sexual harassment training in the 80's that I am afraid to give compliments!"

Sunday, June 03, 2007

A Rainy Sunday Afternoon

What I "should" be doing:
  • cleaning/sorting my craft space
  • mopping the floors
  • doing some work that I am behind on
What I AM doing:
  • blogging
  • e-mailing
  • waiting for coffee to finish brewing
  • lounging on my bed (my eyes have shut a few time)
  • playing board games with a bored Alexander
I love rainy Sunday afternoons and the laziness that they induce! Why is it that you feel less guilty on rainy days? I also not feeling guilty because I know that from 2-3 I will be under a golf umbrella watching Alexander's soccer practice and game. I really prefer being INSIDE on days like this rather than sitting on a camp chair under an umbrella, so there is no guilty feelings here - I am savoring each moment before I need to leave!

Friday, June 01, 2007

My New Love

I bought these a couple of nights ago:

and I took them to the driving range for the first time today. I am absolutely in love!! I attempted golfing in college, but never got the ball off of the ground. Today was the first time since college that I attempted golfing and I can't say it enough - I'm in love! I can't wait to get back out there and I can't wait to go on an actual course!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The House Painting Has Begun!

I came home tonight to the pleasant surprise of a house without shutters and with splatters of white paint everywhere. You might think that sounds horrid, but I am so pleased. It took 3+ years to reach this point, but we are FINALLY getting the house painted. We are keeping the color close to the current color which I thought was a light yellow, but I was wrong. It is actually in the cream colored family, but it must have just enough yellow in it to make it look warm. I love the combination of the light yellow and the colonial blue shutters and porch.

Here are some pictures that I snapped when I got home tonight.

The freshly primed porch (this area needed a LOT of work - I need to get the gutters fixed above this area. Does anyone have anyone they would recommend for gutter repairs?):

The freshly primed house minus shutters - what a different look without the shutters on it! Yes, I included the sign in the photo since I am forwarding these pictures to the College Pro team)

The College Pro Team - we are a "trainer" house, so this is their first group project:Donald scrapping paint off of the garage window:
A random angle of the side of the garage being painted: