Archive for the ‘Gabe’ Category

Where did Lietzau Family go???

So sorry for the long hiatus.  We got pretty busy towards the end of August with a trip to Indiana, school starting, our 10th wedding anniversary, Lily’s first Birthday, a trip to New York, Halloween, and then Mike’s birthday.  And once all the pictures and events started piling up, it was daunting to make a post here – where do I start?

I’ll take a page from Julie Andrews in the “Sound of Music” and start at the very beginning (the beginning is a good place to start).  So I’m going to start with few photos that highlight August.

Gabe and Lily go down the slide.

We spent a lot of the summer at the park up the street.  The city of Golden Valley runs a wonderful park program every weekday from 1-4pm.  Lots of neighborhood kids come to the park and play games, work on crafts, and just have a good time.  This was great fun for Gabe.  Often Lily and I would walk down to pick him up and end up play at the park ourselves for a bit too.

Amy and Gabe fish for crappie.

When we could, we also did a lot of fishing with Jacquie.  Largemouth, smallmouth, and rock bass; crappie, sunnies, and bluegills; even the occasional carp or catfish.  So much fun!

Homemade pluot jam with cream cheese - yum!

We also did a lot of canning, mostly jams and sauces.  Such tasty results, and we’re capturing a bit of summer for when it’s all cold and dreary this winter.  Except it’s so good, we may eat it all before the snow starts!   Ah well, we can always make more.  It’s also a good way to deal with the extra veggies from our CSA farm share.

Lily wears her new lemon overalls Amy made.

I also did some sewing.  I’ve really enjoyed making clothes for Lily, and plan to do so until she gets sick of homemade clothes (or it stops being fun – ie, she wants me to recreate things exactly like store-purchased items – what’s the point of that?)

You can see more pictures by checking out the August Wrap Up gallery of pictures here.

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St. Louis Park Aquatic Center

Gabe and I have season passes to the SLP Aquatic Center.  I wasn’t sure we’d get use out of them (and we may not, compared to other families) but they are working out perfectly.  Since we have season passes, I never feel obligated to spend “all day” there to get our day pass’ worth.  If we feel like just going for a couple hours one night, great!  Weather turns south, no worries!  It’s kind of nice.  And so is the park:

Gabe at the SLP Aquatic Center

Gabe figures out what the wheel does.

It is a zero depth entry pool, meaning it gradually deepens from zero to 24 (or 36, I’m not sure which), but is deeper yet after the ropes and in other areas of the pool.  It has slides for little kids and bigger kids, and plenty of sprayers, fountains, and splashy things.

Do you like my hat?

Do you like my hat?

Lily loves to hang out in water (with me) and splash and kick, while Gabe runs all around having a blast.  One of these times I need to get Mike or someone else to come with me so I can take Gabe on the bigger slides.  He’s not sure strong enough of a swimmer to do them completely on his own, and I can’t leave Lily on her own either.  Next time.

Gabe at the SLP Aquatic Center

Gabe at the SLP Aquatic Center

SLP Aquatic Center

Gabe and Lily at the SLP Aquatic Center

10 Photos

 
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Fishing!

Gabe and I went fishing last night at Jacquie and Carol’s.  We went for a canoe ride with Jacquie; I was in the front, Gabe sitting on a tackle box in the middle, and Jacquie in the back of the canoe.  We went to Hidden Lake rather then Sweeney Lake – Hidden doesn’t allow motorboats so it’s better fishing, at least at the time of day we went.  We caught so many fish!

Fishing on Hidden Lake

Fishing on Hidden Lake

Jacquie and Gabe’s poles were set up for crappie, and mine for blue gill and sunnies.  It turns out that’s where it’s at – as fast as I could cast I was pulling in fish!  So we switched over Gabe’s pole, and he was catching them too.  End of the night, Gabe caught the biggest crappie and sunny, while I caught the most fish, as well as the biggest fish – a nice small mouth bass.  Almost caught a wee little pike but he jumped off.  There is a nice variety of fish in Hidden and Sweeney Lake, and I look forward to fishing again!

Fishing on Hidden Lake

Fishing on Hidden Lake

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Fourth of July Weekend

For the Fourth of July weekend we went out west to Kristen and Chad’s cabin.  Technically it was the 5th, but we were celebrating the Fourth, so that’s what I’m calling it!  The Scheuneman’s lake cabin is very fun, on lovely Lake Mary out near Winsted, MN.  It was a good day – warm enough to play on the beach or in the lake, but not so hot the grow- ups (who didn’t go in the water) were nice and comfortable.  We did get a spot of rain – but it was a two minute sprinkle that helped cool things off, and it was instantly sunny again.

I have to thank Kristen for these photos.  We didn’t bring our camera, but she had great one and took wonderful photos of everyone.  Especially Lily.  She’s a cutie:

Lily on the Fourth

Lily on the Fourth

Gabe mostly played on the beach making elaborate sand and water contraptions, Lily sat around looking adorable,  bonding with Maisy and Austen (those two couldn’t get enough of her), and getting cuddles from the grandparents.  We did get to take out the boat, and Gabe got to ride in the tube.  He loved it (as long as it didn’t go fast enough to get tossed out of the wake!).  It was a lovely way to cap of the Fourth weekend.

Fourth of July 2010

We celebrated the Fourth of July at Kristen and Chad's lake cabin this year.

15 Photos

 
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Indiana Trip (Part 2)

If you’re just joining us, go read Indiana Trip (Part 1) before you start in on this post.

After the super hot day at Holiday world, the weather turned a bit cooler, and we ended up with great weather the last couple of days.  It was cool enough we could finally hike the trails without soaking your clothing with sweat.  So Katie, Tom and I tackled the parks trail system – and we did them all!  Oh wait, *technically* we did not do ALL the trails – we did not do a quarter mile, paved, handicap trail that ran around a picnic shelter.  That trail aside – we hiked every trail (and a few offshoots) and it was lots of fun.

Hiking the trails at Harmonie State Park

Hiking at Harmonie State Park

The trails go through some very nice forest – made of a large variety of trees – beech, oak, maples, sweetgum, redbud, sassafras, walnut, and many more.  It feels very undisturbed and natural – vines, mature trees, ferns and smaller woodland plants, and vast gullies and ravines.  Even the trails themselves were in the process of being reclaimed by the forest – trees and limbs down across them, a bridge that had collapsed, and sign posts that leaned against trees instead of standing next to the path.  Some people may not have liked that, but I thought it added to the adventure.

Hiking the Trails

Hiking the Trails of Harmonie State Park

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The last nights we were all there we had a big cookout between Katie & Tom’s and Kelly & Shelby’s campsites.  We pulled all the picnic tables (and another site’s too) in a half circle, and then set out all the camp chairs for the other half, circling the camp fire.  Lots of yummy food, and good company, made this a great night.

The whole family together for a cookout

The whole family together for a cookout

We got someone across the road to take a picture of everyone (which turned out really nice – I’ll replace the Myrtle Beach one on my wall with this one).  Once it got dark we tossed a lantern up in the trees and then played cards long into the night.  I’m sure the neighboring sites probably didn’t like that, but it was the last night for all us there anyway.  So much fun!

Cookout

The whole family together for a cookout

12 Photos

 

On Saturday, our last day, we packed up the cabins and campers and headed home.  Our little family, along with Katie and Tom, made a stop along the way at Grandma Nita’s.  Grandpa Joe, Travis and his family, and Susie were there too.  Grandma made a pretty little doll blanket, and her sister Marcia made an old fashioned doll for Lily.  After a wonderful supper of soup made from veggies from the garden, we headed down to the barn.  Susie, Katie, and Gabe all went for a ride on Splash, Grandma Nita’s Tennessee Walker (because Splash is such a nice horse to ride).  Susie worked out all the jitters and calmed Splash down, then led Splash around while Gabe rode.

Gabe riding Splash

Gabe riding Splash

Gabe was pretty nervous at first (“It’s so high up!”), but he settled down and loved it so much he had to go a second time after Katie.  After the horse rides, we headed back to the house, and Grandpa Joe gave Gabe a ride on his motorcycle.  Two firsts in one night for him!  We hung out and talked until way too late, then hit the road at 6AM for Minnesota.  A wonderful ending to a wonderful trip!

Grandma Nita

Photos from our visit with Grandma Nita and Susie

7 Photos

 
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Indiana Trip (Part 1)

This June we went to New Harmony, Indiana and stayed in the family cabins at Harmonie State Park.  It was hot – upper 90’s – and it was humid.  But it was fun to see everyone, and neat to share with Gabe things I did when I was a kid, so all and all a good trip for us.  We ended up with lots of pictures, between my camera, Katie & Tom’s camera, and some Grandpa Joe took at Grandma ‘Nita’s.  I want to give a big thank you to Tom for letting me have a copy of the pictures – he was the most on the ball of all of us to remember to actually USE a camera!  So a big chunk of the photos I’m going to share are ones he took.

Around the Campground

Around the Campground

The first group of pictures are ones that didn’t really fit into a category.  Shots from around the campground of things that caught our eyes, or cute kids, or what-not.  Lily ended up in a lot of pictures (cute little baby!), as well as snakes, for some reason!  Kelly, I”m surprised at how few shots everyone got of baby Shelby.  I did take some – but they ended up being little blurs as he ran by, bounced up and down, or was swung from our arms on a walk.  Very few turned out!  He just doesn’t hold still anymore.  Maybe next time.

Around the Campground

Photos from around the campground at Harmonie State Park.

19 Photos

 

On the second hottest day (nearly 100, full humidy, and super-sticky (what were we thinking?)), a few of us explored the town of New Harmony.  Grammy K, Katie, Tom, Lily and I walked all around town.  I’m happy to report that the Labyrinth is doing really well – thicker and nicer then ever.  The town itself is picturesque with great historical buildings and homes, lovely gardens, and quaint shops.  Definately a good town to walk around (but maybe not when it’s that hot (are you sensing a theme yet?)).

New Harmony toll bridge

New Harmony toll bridge

Either I’ve forgotten it, or we never went across it when I was a kid, but there is a GREAT old metal bridge.  It connects the town of New Harmony to Illinois, spanning over the Wabash River.  It’s amazing – so high, and old, and kind of rickety looking.  You have to pay a dollar to cross it – but it’s so worth it.

New Harmony

Pictures taken exploring New Harmony, Ind.

10 Photos

 

On the HOTTEST day of the trip we went to Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana.  Yep – Santa Claus is the name of the town.  It’s next to Christmas Lake, and every store and street has something to do with holidays.

Amy, Gabe and Lily with Santa Claus

Amy, Gabe and Lily with Santa Claus

It was a good day to go to Holiday World because it has a HUGE water park with the longest water ride and the highest water ride in America (so their signs say).  We didn’t go on either – but we played in a fun kiddie water park most of the time which helped us stay about as cool as we could.  We ended up with a hot sticky baby though, and had to head home early.  On the way out we saw the diving show – and they had somebody who set themselves on fire, and jumped 60 ft down into a tank of water.  It was actually pretty cool!

Holiday World

Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana

8 Photos

 

There you go – that’s about half the photos from the Indiana trip.  I’ll add the rest soon!

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Scientist Birthday Party

Gabe’s 8th birthday party with his friends had a scientist theme.  We got lab coats with embroidered patches with the kids’ names on each one. It was adorable:

Playing Before the Experiments

Playing Before the Experiments

For the first experiment we made slime.  We used water, Elmer’s glue, borax, food coloring, and glitter (optional).  This was a fun hands on expirment with a lot of gross but fun factor.  I’d definately recommend this one again.

First Experiment - SLIME!

First Experiment - SLIME!

The second experiment was called Elephant’s Toothpaste (that’s what the science teachers call it) but I prefer calling it foamy bottles, as the kids were extremely tempted to eat it or try to brush their teeth with it!  It’s made using hydrogen peroxide, yeast, water, dish soap, and food coloring (optional).  This was a hit and miss.  For some kids – it worked like a charm – lots of warm (it’s an exothermic reaction) blue foam came pouring out of the bottles.  For others – total duds.  We figured out it has to do with the yeast – some packets were more active then others.  So if I was to do this one again – I’d make sure to have lots of extra packets on hand just in case.

Second Experiment - Foamy Bottles!

Second Experiment - Foamy Bottles!

Our third and last experiment was the infamous Diet Coke and Mentos Geysers!  I’m sure many of you have seen the videos on YouTube, or on tv.  Gabe saw this on “Myth Buster” and knew right then this had to be part of his party.  When you drop Mentos into Diet Coke, it causes all the carbonation to instantly leave the bottle, very quickly.  We rigged up a way for the kids to do easily by drilling a hole in the cap of the bottle, threading 4 mentos onto a pipe cleaner, threading that through the hole, then attaching a stick on top.  When they pull the stick, the mentos fall into the bottle and the geyser erupts – 20 to 30 feet into the sky!

Third Experiment - Mentos and Diet Coke Geysers!

Third Experiment - Mentos and Diet Coke Geysers!

This was a huge hit with the kids – they loved this one best!  I was surprised at how many of the kids wanted to drink the Diet Coke – some even tried to drink it while the pop was shooting up (and it was flat, minty coke too – yeeeck).  You can’t really get the full effect of this experiment from photos – so we made a little movie of it:

Movie of the Mentos Geysers - Click to watch

Movie of the Mentos Geysers - Click to watch

All in all – I think it was a terrific party and I think Gabe has made some wonderful memories.  This will be one birthday we’re going to talk about for years to come!

Happy Birthday Gabe!

Happy Birthday Gabe!

To view even more images of the party (two dozen!) please view the album:

Scientist Birthday Party

Gabe's 8th Birthday Party

24 Photos

 
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