Friday, December 26, 2008

Wii Wiish You a Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone had a festive and safe holiday. We enjoyed a quiet day at our home with just our family. We spent most of our Christmas Day jingling bells, roasting chestnuts on an open fire and spreading peace on earth and goodwill to each other.

Actually, you can probably guess how we really spent Christmas Day by the title of this post.

We broke down this year and finally got a Wii.

For years, we have been fighting against the X-Boxes and PSP's of the world. We had seen too many young and not-so-young brains turn to mush playing Mario Bros. for twelve hours at a time.

Here is how our road to mush started.

After the kids opened all of their other gifts from Santa, we had them open a wrapped Wii remote. It took about ten seconds for them to figure out why they only had remotes. Once they checked the TV for the game consul, you could see the realization on their faces. For the next few minutes we heard many shouts of something about the greatest day of their lives. We then officially surrendered our TV to the kids for the day.

Number One Son bowled a 216 right off the bat. Both kids quickly ran through all of the Sport games before starting the Guitar Hero rock off. Lady Di then had to step in just to see if the game was working correctly. After the kids scored more points than her on Livin' on a Prayer, she decided something must be wrong with her guitar.

Here is Sweet Pea perfecting her slide steel guitar technique. She is dressed in her rock star pink, froggy, footie pj's.

N1S is rocking out a little more conventionally. Maybe camo thermal pj's will catch on with the rock and roll crowd.

At lunch time we forced an intermission on the kids from the game. Lady Di prepared a monster Christmas banquet and we all indulged to excess. We were all feeling a little groggy after eating so the kids suggested that we get some exercise to work off some of the turkey and stuffing. So we played some baseball, bowled a few games and boxed a few rounds.

That is one good thing about the Wii. At least we get more activity out of the game besides just our thumbs.

After playing for a while I asked the kids if they wanted to get some real exercise and help me outside. They just popped in the Wii snow shovelling and floor sweeping game and said, "That's OK. We'll just work in here."

Toward the end of the afternoon, Sweet Pea was asking for some gel to put on her back.

"Why do you need gel?", I asked.

She answered, "Look at my back. Every time I move my arm, my back hurts."

Her first Wii-related injury. We may have to invest in the Wii Athletic Trainer game in case we need to virtually wrap an ankle or rub out a cramp.

God Bless us, everWii one!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Better Late Than Never

Just like all of you, we have been busy trying to get all of our holiday duties done before Christmas. Unfortunately, blogging duty has been pushed closer to the bottom of our to-do list lately. So I am finally getting around to answering Father of Five's challenge to show your crib. I'm hoping to kill two birds with one stone by combining his challenge with his other challenge to show your holiday lights.

With my apologies to FOF for its lateness, here we go.

You can tell by the photo that I don't know how to take night pictures. We decided to use red, green and white for the house and white lights everywhere else.

Inside we have our three trees up. One white, one blue and one multi-colored. You'll have to look at last year's pictures of those, since I was unable to squeeze their photos into the schedule.

I don't know how many more years I will be dumb enough to get up on the roof to put up lights. I'll have to trick Lady Di to start doing it soon.

See you after Christmas.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Long Live the Queen

We recently had a break in our cold weather. We awoke Saturday morning to temps in the thirties. This time of the year, we aren't used to such balmy winds. We usually have to wait until the end of March or April to get warm enough for snow to stick together.

We decided to take advantage our good fortune by going to our favorite sledding hill. When we last visited our hill, it was coated with a nice thick layer of ice which Sweet Pea's airborne chin greeted abruptly. I assured her that this year the snow on the hill would be much softer. Currently, our hill is half snow and half mud. Which slowed us down just enough to ease last year's fear of flying down the hill. Hiking up the hill, of course, was just as laborious as last year.

When we were muddy enough, we went home to build our first snowman of the year. Sweet Pea did all of the rolling. Number One Son was too tired. SP informed me that she had built a snow queen. That gave me an idea. A snow queen needed special royal robes, so I found some teal colored Christmas lights and dressed her up. SP found a flat piece of ice for her crown. I added a lighted tree topper, inherited from my Grandma Peg, and our queen's crown was complete.

Since our warm weather was going to continue overnight into Sunday, I was doubtful that our queen's reign would make it through the night. Especially, since the Christmas lights were burning themselves into her as well.

And sure enough, by ten o'clock pm, she had toppled.

She was beautiful while she lasted. I'm sure she will rise to power again come March.

And just so Mother Nature could keep me on my toes, the temperature dipped to 8 degrees by three o'clock pm on Sunday. So I was standing out in the frigid wind, pulling tangled lights out of a block of ice, instead of something productive like an afternoon nap.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Son of Snowhill

The weather lately has just been cold. Yesterday, our weather was upgraded to fun. It's still cold, but we finally have snow. Not a lot of snow yet, but enough to shovel, sled and snow angel in.

Past winters have provided us with enough snow for the snow plow to build a mighty mountain in our cul-de-sac. The kids really look forward to that hill. So far this year's hill is acting like the sequel to a really great movie, which is never as good as the original. This year's snow hill has a slow start compared to the last two years, but the kids still know how to have fun.

Sweet Pea and her friend were determined to make the snow hill bigger by adding more snow to it. I offered the girls all of the snow they could shovel from our driveway. Instead, they decided to borrow the snow from our neighbor's driveway. So much for tricking them into shovelling our own snow. After ten minutes of hard work, the girls abruptly changed their plans to include sledding in our back yard.
In this picture, they are coming straight for me and I did almost lose my shins.

That left Number One Son with the snow hill to himself. When I was half done shovelling our driveway, I walked over to see what N1S was doing. He was digging a tunnel through the snow pile. He had gotten close to halfway through using only a child size snow shovel. He needed more power, so I gave him a spade and garden hoe to finish the job.

Once SP and her friend saw N1S's accomplishment, they wanted to mine their own tunnel two inches to the right of N1S's tunnel. After I relocated them a couple of feet to the right for safety reasons, they commenced their burrowing. The snow was flying as they dug like crazy for fifteen minutes. When their tunnel still hadn't materialized after that time, they drew faces in the snow instead.

So even though our snow pile is starting out small this year, we have one and half tunnels to enjoy until the next snowfall brings the plow around.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Weekend Warriors

Well, we certainly got our money's worth out of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. I'll start with Thanksgiving morning. At 8:20am Lady Di ran in the Turkey Trot 5K race in Minneapolis. She ran with over 5000 other runners. Thirty-four minutes later, the kids and I were cheering for her as she finished strong. Even though it was cold, watching the kids give Lady Di a big hug after the race gave me a warm feeling. Way to go Lady Di!
We then drove back home to start the turkey and the rest of our meal. Our nephew, Kubes, stopped by to celebrate with us. Before the meal, we had to play a game of Life. When starting the game, you have to decide if you want to go to college first or start a career. Since Kubes hadn't played in years, he couldn't decide where to start so he asked Sweet Pea what his best strategy would be. "I'm not sure what to do. How should I play this game, Sweet Pea?", he implored.

Sweet Pea answered, "First, you spin the spinner. Then you take your car and move that many spaces. Like, two, three, four,..."

He decided to go to college first.

After the game we scrambled to the table to see how much food we could eat. I went around the table asking for preferences for white or dark meat. Sweet Pea requested a turkey leg. "You can't have the whole leg." (that's for Daddy), I admonished.

"Yes I can.", she countered.

Well, at least I got the neck and giblets. And she completely cleaned that leg.

Once we were miserable and in our food comas, Lady Di brought out her homemade pumpkin cream cheese pie with homemade whipped cream. There's always room for pie.

After dinner, Kubes found a nice comfortable spot on the floor while Lady Di and I cleaned up. We spent the rest of the evening joking and watching football.

Friday night found us in Minneapolis again. This time for the Hollidazzle parade. We even got to wave to Lady Di's favorite weather man at the WCCO television building. This is our second year seeing the parade with our friends from LD's hometown. They have kids close to our kids' age and they got along very well. On our way back to the hotel after the parade, two horse drawn carriages were waiting for us. We couldn't resist taking a 15 minute ride through the cold streets, bundled up together with a warm blanket.

Our horse's name was DJ. Sweet Pea wanted to take him home.Lady Di and Sweet Pea enjoyed their snuggle.
After a restless night in the hotel, (Sweet Pea's stomach had had a little too much excitement.) we went to Macy's to view the Christmas display they have every year.

At lunch time we had a small brush with fame. We got a booth at Hell's Kitchen restaurant and were just getting our drinks, when local politician Al Franken walked in. I just about elbowed Lady Di out of the booth when I saw him sit down with some friends two tables away. Lady Di knew just what to do. "Number One Son!"

This election year saw many political ads and N1S was very interested in them. He knew exactly who Al Franken was. When we visited Mr. Franken's political opponent's booth at the State Fair this summer, N1S son said, "Thanks for the sticker, but I think I'm going to vote for Al Franken." He asked the waitress if she knew who was sitting next to them. She said, "Sure, he comes in all the time. Would you like to meet him? He's very nice."

That's all N1S needed as he marched over to Al's table. Followed closely by his little long haired shadow, Sweet Pea. We watched N1S introduce himself and shake Mr. Franken's hand. He then introduced his sister. He then kept talking, about I don't know what, and seemed to go on and on and on. When he came back he said that Al Franken's wife said they had very good manners. He couldn't remember much of anything Al said. I think SP said something about losing three teeth this year.

Regardless of your political views, it was kind of exciting to actually see someone who has been on TV. It was also nice to see the kids use appropriate manners to initiate and hold a conversation. Who knows, if Mr. Franken ends up in the Senate, the kids may end up with an invitation to Washington.

Sunday passed rather quietly. I got a couple of our Christmas trees up and not much else done.

The weekend must have been too much excitement for my stomach too, because Monday morning found me with the stomach flu. Since this post is a bit long, I will save those details for a later post.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Dancing Queen II

Last weekend, Sweet Pea had her dance recital. We were advised to arrive early because the seats fill up fast. Since this was our first dance recital, we didn't know what to expect. It was held in the high school gymnasium so I figured they must have a limited number of seats set up. When we arrived, we found out it was bleacher seating, and SP's dance troupe was number thirty one on the performance list. This was much bigger than we were expecting. The night included dance routines from preschool through high school. So instead of a 30 to 45 minute program, we sat for 2 and 1/2 hours. It wasn't too bad though, there are some very good dance teams in our area.

Number One Son was a pretty good sport throughout. He was attentive and really enjoyed the high energy techno-music. His favorite team, other than Sweet Pea's, was a kick team that wore black t-shirts with the word 'Police' on them. One of their songs was the 'Bad Boys' theme song from the TV show Cops.

When it was SP's turn to dance, she came out all smiles. She has good rhythm and plenty of showmanship. And she was cute as kitten too. The only bad thing was that, as a new student, she was positioned in the back of the dance formation. Therefore, I couldn't get a good action picture of her. That was probably alright because I was able to give up on the camera and was able to enjoy her routine more.

When she was done, she was still all smiles. We gave her a small bouquet of carnations and a love card which made her even happier. She sat on my lap for the remaining dances and enjoyed reading her card.

On the way home, in the back of the van, I heard her tell her brother, "This is the bestest day of my whole life." "I got to see Kung Fu Panda (which we did in the morning) and I had my dance recital."

It was one of my bestest days too, SP.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Traditions

Have a Happy Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy Boating, Cranberries, Yams, Pumpkin Pie, Whipped Cream, Hot Buns, Green Bean Casserole, Pilgrim, Big Buckle Hat, Horn-o-Plenty, Fold Out Paper Turkey Centerpiece, Grandma's Dishes, Wine Sipping, Overeating, Belt Loosening, On The Floor Napping, Football Watching, Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys, Domino Playing, Uno Cheating, Relative Visiting, Cold Turkey Sandwich Eating, Leftovers for a Week, and (for Lady Di) 5-K Racing, Thanksgiving Day.
We certainly do have an awful lot to be thankful for. God Bless.

Friday, November 21, 2008

All in the Family

Of the many posts I've written over the past year or so, I haven't dedicated one yet to our first baby. Before you get the wrong idea, we don't keep her locked away in a tower or have her clean the 'cinders' from our fireplace. She is our dog, Liberty. What more deserving subject for my 200th post?

We got Liberty in 1995, three years before Number One Son was born. So she is really our first child. And when she was a puppy, we treated her like a baby. We addressed each other as Mommy and Daddy when talking to her. We had some cute sweaters for her to wear in the winter. We even ordered a small vanilla cone at the Dairy Queen drive thru for her. Yup, we were pathetic.

But once the first human baby came along, Liberty found that the time for walks, playtime and attention took a nosedive. However, her table scraps volume increased greatly underneath the highchair.

But back to Liberty. She is a Yorkie-poo, (Yorkshire terrier/poodle mix) When we got her she was a small black fur ball that fit in my palm. The seller and everyone we talked to said she would not get much bigger. She ended up growing the same size as a poodle. But back in her cute days we would take her for walks on a little leash and she would have to stop every three feet or so to put something from the ground in her mouth. She once found a cigarette butt on the street and held it in her mouth just like she knew what to do with it. After a block or so we had to scold her for being too young to smoke.

She was a pretty smart puppy too. We of course spoiled her with many toys in her toy basket. We would ask her to get a toy from her basket and she could retrieve each toy by name. She was pretty quick at learning to sit, roll over and speak too. She can catch a piece of popcorn thrown from any angle. Even when she is sleeping, she is always ready for popcorn. She will often nap on the couch and snore loud enough to wake the dead. But just whispering the word 'popcorn' will perk up her head from the deepest of dreams.

Now that she has reached geriatric age (13 years) we have to treat her differently. She can still catch popcorn but now we have buy the high fiber brand. Sometimes we need to lift her up to our bed at night. And with Sweet Pea's improvements, we now have to lift Liberty up to her own bed too.I'm not sure what SP was thinking when she stacked all these pillows under Liberty's bed. Perhaps it is fun to have a bed that can topple at any moment.

There are a few things Liberty has taught us too. Her food and water bowls are in the laundry room and she has a clever way to let us know when refills are needed. She will stand just outside the laundry room door in our mudroom and paw at the springed doorstop on the wall sending out a 'boing-ing' sound just like she's ringing her own dinner bell. So then I'll get up and fill her food dish. When she 'rings' again, I'll usually have to check to see if her water is cool enough. She likes ice cubes in her bowl. There are times when she boings a third time. When this happens, we have to turn on the laundry room light for her. Once the lights are on, she will go in and eat. Then there are times when she just wants to frustrate me by signalling a refill of her food, and then turning and walking away as soon as she sees me fill the bowl.

So that's the story of our 'first'. She has been a happy part of our family for 13 years. She still likes to chase tennis balls and chew bones. The kids are now gentle enough to her that she will let them pet her. She will always be the big sister and hopefully she will continue to help us to keep the young ones in line.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Does She Speak For The Trees?

Today was a lazy Saturday. The weather was cold with flurries. We had gotten our chores done in the morning, so we decided it would be a good day to watch a movie. We had rented a DVD of Dr Suess classics. The disc included The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham and the Sneetches among others. Even though it was a little young for Number One Son, we enjoyed comparing the cartoon to the books we read when he was younger.

When the story of the Lorax started playing, I thought it would be a good lesson in conservation, pollution and the environment. The Lorax tells the story of the Onceler who cuts down all of the Truffula trees to make Thneeds. He ends up running out of trees and all of the animals leave the area.

When the story ended, I asked Sweet Pea what she thought of it.

She said, "I know what I want to do. I want to grow a Truffula tree."

"That's a good idea.", I said.

"So I can cut it down to take just a little of the Truffula fur to make a pillow case.", she stated.

I answered, "That's just what the Onceler did. What about all the Barbaloots that had to leave their homes?"

"I would only take a little fur.", she answered. "And I would grow a lot of trees but only cut one down."

I'm glad the message sunk in, even if just a little.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Picture This

Here's what you get when a six year old gets hold of your digital camera.

You get lots of pictures of her favorite puppy, named Puppy. Puppy was then photographed at all of the 'hot spots' around the house. She's seen here on the hearth.

This is how her puppy gets around. In her 'Paris Hilton' carry bag.

She even got a closeup while helping Number One Son with his homework.

Here's another interesting location shot. It must be at the health spa. Celebrities are always concerned with their weight.

At last, a picture of her real favorite puppy, Liberty. Liberty is just as hungry for attention and loves the camera. I don't know why dogs always have flash eyes, though.

I see a real career for Sweet Pea in photography. She has a good eye for composition, color and centers her subject pretty well. She must really enjoy it too, because Lady Di said she could hear SP giggling out loud after each shot she took. So as long as someone needs puppy pictures, she will be happy to supply them.

Self portrait of the artist.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wednesday Pumpkin Roundup

In a continuation of a Halloween tradition, here for your consideration are our pumpkins for this year. Once again our kindly neighbor hosted his annual pumpkin carving party. And once again, he donated his extra pumpkins to our Halloween display. This year ten pumpkins were the victims of a vicious holiday display. Investigators found the murder weapons in the garage.

The crime scene was secured and chalk outlines were drawn.

The grisly details were documented in several photos taken by officials.

Jack Skellington 'the Pumpkin King' and Cinderella were patterns chosen by myself and Sweet Pea. Thank you to Creative Type Dad for supplying the patterns.
I also have Creative Type Dad to thank for this Chewbacca pattern chosen by Number One Son. And by thank, I mean, I'll never do Chewbacca again because my hand is cramped into a permanent claw.
Here are two of Sweet Pea's original designs. Frankenstein is on the right and a five eyed alien on the left. She seems to want to put whiskers on at least one pumpkin every year.
Lady Di wanted to send a message to all of our trick or treaters on Halloween.

Lastly, I liked this little pumpkin just because he had a long curved stem pointing straight over his face like an elf hat.

We had a few other pumpkins that didn't make it into the camera, but believe me they were spectacular. Last year I let the kids each carve a pumpkin. This year they were so tired from poking holes around their patterns that their hands had no strength to hold the pumpkin saw.

Maybe, next year Creative Type Dad will come out with a nice triangle eye, nose and smile pattern.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Trip or Treat

I hope everyone has recovered from their sugar induced comas by now. I was glad for that extra hour on Saturday night to help get my blood sugars down. This year we observed all of our Halloween traditions. The kids dressed up and went begging for candy. I hid behind our front door and jumped out to scare kids away from my candy basket. I didn't really scare any kids, but I still had fun.
Here's a picture of Indiana Jones and Foxy Lady.This year our Halloween weather was unseasonably warm. And it was just a coincidence that it was Lady Di's turn to take the kids around the neighborhood. That's what she informed me anyway. I could swear that I have taken the kids out on the last four bone chilling, thirty degree, howling gale Halloweens.

Oh well, it was fun to stay home once just to hand out candy. This year I had an epiphany and took the screen out of our storm door. Every other year, the ghosts and goblins would ring the doorbell and wait directly in front of our out-opening storm door, causing us to warn the mob to back up or they would be pushed off of the porch like a bug being smeared by a wiper blade on the windshield. With the screen out, I was able to hand out the candy without moving a door. Earlier, with the screen out, I was stepping through the storm door to put the finishing touches on the decorations. When I asked Number One Son to help me, he opened the storm door to come outside. I told him he didn't have to open the door. So then next time he opened the door halfway, hesitated, backed up and then stepped through the opening. I think it made him a little uncomfortable to do something so unnatural.
Before the kids went out in their trick or treating group, they visited our bachelor neighbor to show him their costumes. He apparently was not planning on staying home to give out candy, but he found a couple candy bars and wrapped a dollar bill around each one for our kids which was very nice of him. But before he could leave home, Sweet Pea ran to her group of friends and loudly announced, "Hey guys! Paul is giving out dollar bills!" Like moths to the flame, about ten kids all raced as a group to Paul's house and started pounding on his door. I think he turned out the lights and ran for his basement.

The kids eventually left to go seek their candy fortune with Lady Di leading the way. I can't tell you much of how things went except to say that Lady Di told me that this would be her last year to take them out. I asked why. The weather was perfect and a lot of houses were giving candy. She said, with so many people out, she only had time to take the kids to fifteen houses in two hours. She had to stop and visit with just about everyone on the street that night.

Back at home, I was trying to keep the kids moving through our candy line. We have two steps on our porch and at least a half dozen kids missed the second step because of their mask. Then the poor young ones had to stop and return their spilled candy to their bucket before the next wave of kids trampled them. The really young ones would also stop to talk to our pumpkins and other decorations. They didn't care if they got candy or not, but were hypnotised by a glowing plastic ghost. I'm glad someone was appreciating my work.

The end of the night brought out the older trick or treaters and only a couple of them arrived without costumes. With those kids I tried the old trick of placing their candy deep in their bags and coming out with three or four candy bars in my hand. Both kids gave me a wry smirk and a 'heh'. I guess I'm not as hilarious as I thought.

One thing that disappointed me was I had no 'box costume' kids come to the door. No kids in a homemade robot, TV set, or bucket of chicken costume. The combination of an unwieldy costume, dim light and a tricky porch step was something I was looking forward to.
Even though I enjoyed giving out candy, I think I prefer walking around the neighborhood with the kids. Even if it is cold and miserable some years, I just like being able to relive my own trick or treating years with them. I don't want to miss any chances to make Halloween memories with them. They will only be doing this a few more years before they start going to Halloween dances. Then Lady Di and I will be at the top of the chaperone list, much to the disappointment of our kids I'm sure.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I'm Not Dead Yet.

Sorry that I haven't posted anything new lately. Just too busy with Girl Scouts, play practice and various other familial distractions. This week we will be carving pumpkins and putting the finishing touches on the kids' Halloween costumes. I was able, however, to finish my first ever guest post over at Dad of Divas. If you are interested in my take on a fatherly upgrade, go ahead and click on the link and see what you think. Later this week I will hopefully shake some of the dust from our keyboard and post something.
"Come on kids! Do something cute or else!"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Who Are These Kids?

I was recently, perusing some family albums and came across a bunch of spooks that have shared our house through the years. I'm talking about the kids' Halloween costumes. Each Halloween, we take the kids trick-or-treating. Most years, the kids' have donned home made costumes. This is due to their Mom's amazing creativity and their Dad's amazing frugality.

So now, without further ado, for your consideration, our family's Halloween parade of the ghouls.

This was Number One Son's second Halloween. He was only 1 month old for his first Halloween. But we still put him in baby bib overalls, a straw hat and surrounded him with farmyard Beanie Babies. So his first costume was a farmer. Sorry that I can't locate the picture.
N1S's second Halloween costume kind of took us by surprise. He was only a year and a half old, so we weren't planning on any trick or treating. But when the night came, we through a costume together involving cutting apart and gluing a furry boa and black makeup whiskers. Even today we're not sure what kind of animal he was.

Next year was a little more creative, but just as last minute. On Halloween morning we decided to use black electrical tape and white sweats to create a 'jailbird'. Lady Di made the hat and fashioned a Styrofoam ball and chain. Sorry for the grainy picture. Our camera just didn't want to focus.
The following year saw yet another home made costume. With N1S's build, a scarecrow was inevitable.

We finally got caught up with Halloween the next year and Lady Di outdid herself. She captured, perfectly, the ultimate personification of one of N1S's heroes at the time. She dyed a mop head red, made eyes and a nose and sewed it to N1S's red hooded jacket for a great Elmo. She completed the costume with a giant crayon and Dorothy the goldfish swimming in his candy bucket. Dorothy was another Beanie Baby.

I think I missed a year or so, so this is our next picture. You will notice that Sweet Pea has now made her appearance. She was a Princess Ballerina in pink, of course. You will also notice that N1S wore his first store bought costume. We still have Scooby Doo in the costume box in the basement and SP still puts it on when she is playing dress up.

The following year, SP was still a princess. N1S started to express his own choices for a costume. The mask is bought, but the bones are more electrical tape.

In 2006, SP decided to ditch the princess and be the Corpse Bride. N1S opted for a vampire.

In this picture you will see that N1S finally chose a Star Wars character. He, of course, is Obi Wan Kenobi. And Lady Di, of course, made his cape. Or 'Jedi Robe' as N1S would say. SP went back to being a princess. Although, she is a fairy princess with pink wings that you can't see in the picture.

Last year, the kids went as the Soldier and the Kitty. N1S used an uncle's old Navy uniform and we broke down and bought SP a kitty nose and tail.

Well, that is a mostly complete rundown of the Halloween costumes through the years at our house. I'm sure, in a couple of weeks, the list will be updated with this years choices. I don't know if they will be scary, cute or weird. You will just have to wait for Halloween.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Here's proof that our season is definitely changing. This week our temperatures took a serious dive into the 30's causing our local foliage to accelerate its fall transition. I took pictures in our yard around mid-September and again in mid-October. This is our maple tree in the front yard. Despite my best pruning efforts over the last few years, it still continues to thrive.

Now you can see the tree's true colors shining through.

We also have a hedge of cranberry bushes and burning bushes.

You can see that some leaves are already starting to turn crimson. Still, they are mostly green.

Now it is a row of orange and red. Even the trees in the background are turning yellow. Below, our fledgling oak tree is getting in on the act. My apologies for the poor photo efforts.

Last, but not least. Here is N1S helping his Grandpa pilot the pontoon this summer.
And here is what the change in seasons has done to him. Some of his 'leaves' seem to have fallen already.
I guess we will have to wait for spring to see things change back again.

Stuff About Me

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I'm a 40 year old dad of two. My wonderful wife, Lady Di, and I try to keep the kids from blowing things up here in central Minnesota.