Archive for the ‘Mike’ Category

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

15 Photos


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!


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.

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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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Springtime has arrived – bring out the blankets!

We are so antsy to get outside once the weather warms up in spring.  As soon as it does – out come the blankets – Yay!

Gabe and Liy play on a blanket.
Gabe and Liy play on a blanket.

Every chance we get to go outside, we take.  We drag out a blanket, lots of toys, and plop Lily down in the middle of the blanket.  She’s mobile now though, so every once and while you have to pull her back onto her blanket as she’s wiggled out into the grass.  She loves to scoot around – arching her back and kicking out with her feet, or rolling over onto her side and wiggling like a worm.  Silly girl!

Gabe has been enjoying the nice weather too.  He will play with Lily (he likes to blow bubbles or tell her a story – either one will thrill her to no end) and play exploring games in the backyard.

Spring is for blankets!

Gabe and Lily play on a blanket.

7 Photos

These are all the pictures I ended up taking when Katie and Tom were visiting the week before Easter.  Tom had business training in Minnesota and we were so glad we got to play host while they were both in state.  We had such a nice visit – we bought and installed a basket ball hoop, visited Stillwater and hit the antique stores, celebrated Tom’s birthday, hit the Mall of America and Underwater World, tackled the sorting out the garage, had a fire and roasted s’mores.  Such fun!

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Miscellaneous March

Here is a few odds and ends that happened in March.  First – Lily looks adorable:

Cupcake Lily

Cupcake Lily

Isn’t she sweet?  This outfit came from Kelly.  It would make an excellent birthday party outfit with all the darling cupcakes on it.  Love the polka-dot tights.  Now that it’s warming up you’re going to see Lily in dresses a lot more.  Speaking of warming up:

Gabe riding his bike

Gabe riding his bike

Bike riding season has begun!  Yippee!  We go on long walks now, Lily in her stroller and Gabe on his bike.   We plan on doing lots of bike riding this summer.  There are nice routes of both straight roads and hilly roads in this neighborhood, so we have a variety of fun biking paths!

Gabe's Homonyms

Gabe's Homonyms

This is a cute little bit of Gabe’s homework.  They were working on homonyms (words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings).  This one is about flower/flour.  So funny!

Lily And Dad

Lily And Dad

We have been using the baby carrier facing out lately for Lily.  She isn’t much of a snuggler – no longer is she content to stay cuddled up against your chest (unless she’s sleepy).  She prefers to see the world all around her.  Unfortunately, she also like to grab at everything she sees.  Watch out!

Ooo - These look good!

Ooo - These look good!

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Merry Christmas Everyone!

Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday.  We had a  crazy-busy one.  Wednesday (23rd) we went to Indiana – we were planning on going down the 26th, but Snowmageddon came to town and the roads were suppose to be terrible Thursday-Sunday, so we left early.  We had good driving conditions until just after the Illinois line but before Portage, when everything go slick and snow was blowing mixed with sleet.

We saw snow blowing up in the median and thought it was a plow truck on the opposite bound lanes, but then realized it was a truck and trailer barrel rolling (side over side) through the median right towards us!  We slow downed carefully (not wanting to start spinning uncontrollably) and thank goodness the truck stopped about 20 feet from us.  Talk about heart pounding.  The truck landed right side up, and didn’t look damaged, so hopefully the person was okay, although pretty shaken up I bet.  A snow plow came up and stopped so I know they were going to help the driver.  So scary!

We made it in one peice, and after that it was a fun whirlwind of party after party – we had short ribs one night, beef tenderloin the next, then ham, then turkeys – with all the trimmings.  So much good food I think I came home 5-10lbs heavier.  Good visits with everyone.  Only thing I really regret is not being able to go and see Angie and Dad’s place (as they both live in the same housing development).  I really wish we could have done that.  Next time.

These are the only pictures I took while in Indiana:

Gabe and Elianna  Elianna

Aren’t they cute?  That’s Elianna – my cousin Travis’ little girl who is 3.  It was nice she was there, because otherwise there isn’t anyone near Gabe’s age in my family.  On Mike’s side there are 5 cousins all pretty near his age, but usually when he goes to Indy – no kids!  Kelly’s little Shelby is just a year old, and that’s all the cousins right now.  Someday there will be more, but he’s going to be so much older then them.  Now I know how Travis must have felt with all his little cousins.

All in all it was a great visit.  The only downside is we all got sick!  Boo!  It was inevitable though – all the people, all the places, all the germs running around.  Poor Lily got her first cold:

Sick Lily

Poor thing!  It just breaks your heart when itty bitty ones get sick.  They look so pitiful!  Get better soon (and the rest of us too)!

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I want to hear your best Timberwolves howl, and let’s howl at the moon:

Timberwolves Moon

That’s the moon at the Target Center where we saw a Timberwolves game.  SO MUCH FUN!  Gabe and Mike had gone earlier as a father/son evening when our neighbors gave us tickets (they had a recital to go to instead, so they gave them to us – how cool are our neighbors?).  They had so much fun, we decided to go again, and when Gabe got a free ticket through school, and reduced tickets for adults, we just had to go!

Gabe and Mike

We had a blast – we had excellent seats (they upgraded us to really good seats for free, even though we already had reduced tickets – such a nice ticket agent).  Gabe loves all the atmosphere and drama.  When the game starts, all the lights go off, and the moon lights up, then everyone starts howling (very neat) and then the announcer introduces the players.  Once the game starts, there is also a howl-o-meter, which comes up whenever the opposing team shoots a free-throw.  So we all howl like mad, I guess to throw them off their shot, but even if we don’t, it’s pretty hilarious.  Gabe gets so into it – I’m surprised his voice isn’t hoarse by the end of the night.

Timberwolves Game

The Timberwolves won too, and they won the last time Gabe went – but have lost pretty much every other game this year.  So if they want to win more – maybe they should give Gabe tickets to the games – he seems to be pretty lucky!  Gabe knows most of the starting players, but at this age, his favorite “person” is Crunch – the mascot.  He got to sit on “Christmas” Crunch’s lap and Mike snapped a picture, but unfortunately it didn’t turn out:

Gabe and Crunch

Too bad it’s blurry – it’s a funny photo.  The Timberwolves Dancers would hop out of the photos when little kids posed with Crunch, and hop back in for the adults and teens.  I guess they thought Gabe was big enough because they stayed in his photo – hah!

Such a great night – and thank you to Jacquie and Carol who were nice enough to watch Lily!


Two Months Old!

Lily is now two months old! I took waaaaay too many photos.  I plan on taking photos of her every two months (so 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 months) for her first year wearing a white onsie and on the same quilt.

Lily at 2 Months

Lily at 2 Months

Isn’t she a cutie?!?  We all just love her to pieces.  She has become increasingly social in the last two months, smiling at everyone.  She especially lights up when she sees her big brother Gabe.  She just adores to watch him. Of course she really loves her Mama and Daddy too, but it’s different.  Mama means food, and Daddy means cuddles, but Gabe means entertainment!

Lily at 2 months

Pictures of Lily at 2 months of age.

20 Photos

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