Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Soccering: The Boy.

Soccer is so highly anticipated around here. Starts at the very beginning of June, you can play in the city program from the time you're four, it's great exercise, 90% of the games are played at the park that's close enough for us to ride bikes (albeit carrying snacks, chairs, water bottles, bug spray, etc), and it's FUN.  

So it's a little sad when you've gotten used to the routine of packing up and heading to a field three nights a week, and suddenly, end of July. End of soccer. (Of course there is fall soccer, but that can be darn right freezing around these parts.)

This kid went out there every night to have fun, to play with his friends (his friend's dad has even coached the past 2 years), and has gotten better and better. He is a leader, always helping kids get to their positions.

He has been very fun to watch, and I'm sad, too, that the end of July is here and we have to wait another ten months for this kind of fun.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Ohio Road Trip, Part 4: The Tripping Part.

Really our trip was all about the getting there, to our friends, so we could soak up as much time as possible, but we had a few surprises in store for the long ride home. First up, Dayton to Indianapolis, where we surprised the kids by pulling into a strip mall, purportedly for gas, and next thing we knew, Alla says, "Is that Aunt Renee? What are Aunt Renee and Uncle Will doing here?"
Well, Aunt Renee was visiting Will, who lives in Indy, for one last visit before their August wedding!

Next there was a lot of driving, the goal being to get to Madison from Dayton on our first day, so we'd have less driving the last day. We passed a lot of corn.

We made it to Madison that night, swam in the hotel pool a bit, and then ate at Uno's for dinner, which was a score because it was in the same parking lot as our hotel so we didn't have to get back in the dreaded car until morning.

Before we truly got on the road, we drove into downtown Madison to check out their famed Farmer's Market. Boy was that amazing, four city blocks around the State Capitol filled with vendors.

Alla bought a gourd and I got some veggies.

 We cooled off in the State Capitol.

And then headed on our merry way with our box of organic Wisconsin strawberries, which we demolished in the first hour.

Our other tourist stop before home was Red Wing, MN, where there was a huge park on the Mississippi, with all of these lovely raised garden beds, including this fairy sort.

The other goal was a coffee mug from Red Wing Pottery, but I changed my mind and got a small crock instead. We got to watch a potter create something from scratch.

Last stop: the big boot at Red Wing Shoes!

And then, home. Which felt great after two days in the car. But you won't hear any complaining from me, because not only did we get to see our friends, but the kids were excellent travelers. Still, you know, one is always glad to get out and be home!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Ohio Road Trip, Part 3: Saying Goodbye.

Always, the hardest part of leaving our friends is the saying goodbye. We lived in Ohio for three years and saw them all the time, until we moved to California in 2002. Since it's highly unlikely that we'll ever live in the same state again, we really do have to settle for vacations. Which are lovely. But oh so hard to leave.
Bye, Louis.

Bye, Stelley.

Bye, Ellery and Adeline.

Bye, my Catie!

Oh, there's Randy in the background. Bye!
We had such a wonderful time!! Can't wait to do it again:)

Last installment coming up!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ohio Road Trip, Part 2: How to Enjoy a Parade in the Rain.

We headed out Fourth of July morning for a parade, only to start noticing sprinkles on our way there. My smarty husband had thrown his rain jacket in the car right before we left Minnesota, so he was set. The girls grabbed umbrellas. The kids had hats.

Estelle was all set in her stroller, digging all those loud drum beats and horns.
I got Lou to stay under my umbrella for most of it.

Randy, thankfully, grabbed trashbags on the way out that morning, so he and most of the kids were bagged by mid-parade. We sure do miss that guy.

A little rain did not stop our fun, and truthfully it was WAY better than it being a hundred degrees and sunny.

Gotta love a parade!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Did you get to see our pics from our trip to see The Derenzos? Stay tuned tomorrow for the next installment!

2. Fisher had his last soccer game last night, which reminds me that maybe I should post some cute pictures of him soccering it up this year. He is quite the little player, so fun to watch.

3. This is Alla's last week of soccer, too, with games tonight and Thursday. August will be quiet.

4. I finished Looking For Me, which was a great fun read, perfect for summer, and am now onto The Death of Sweet Mister, by Daniel Woodrell, who is new to me, but if you saw Winter's Bone, he was the author of the book behind that movie.

5. Fisher spent a good deal of yesterday morning cleaning out his room, saying he's just going to give away all his toys except his Legos. I think he's planning on selling them at the city's annual Kids Garage Sale in September, so he can earn money for, you guessed it, more Legos.

6. He's a funny kid, always been hard to shop for, always been hard to pick out books for, because he likes certain genres, and almost always non-fiction. But I don't think he'll miss the stuff he's packed up; he really only plays with Legos.

7. Now he's gone and made a liar of me! He's playing with wooden blocks.

8. The kids are eagerly awaiting the Planes movie. I hope it gets good reviews or they will have to wait for DVD.

9. Purchased school supplies because they're cheaper now, but no one can make me look at them til September 1st.

10. On tap for this week: both Paul Spring and The Okee Dokees!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Ohio road trip, part 1: Simple Pleasures.

As promised, photos from our first big road trip. It was a success, and the destination was Dayton, Ohio, a do-able 2-day drive to see our best friends, The Derenzos.
We did little, which, if you know any of us, is how we like to do things. I mean, for starters, getting 6 children and 4 adults dressed and fed and somewhat regularly cleaned, is quite a feat. So we stuck with simple: parks, backyard, each other.
We first decided to corrupt their children with the filthy-eating of cherries. See the next several photos for how filthy our children were with a simple bowl of cherries.

Since we last visited, a natural playground had been built right across the street, and also, stone steps leading to a shallow creek. The kids talked and talked about what shoes they could wear there so they could wade in the creek. Highlight of the week.

 Nets were provided. Crayfish were caught. And released.

"Creek portraits" were taken.

Little ones were left at the playground to amuse themselves with woodchips and sand. Luckily for me, one little person sat pretty much still for her picture. Her brother, well, you'll have to wait for another day to see his mug.

They headed home happy. All their plans had definitely worked out.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Since my hard drive is mysteriously un-connected today, I am going with a traditional Ten on Tuesday post instead of the hoped for snapshots of The Derenzos from our Ohio trip. Thankfully Dropbox has my iphone pics from the last few days so here we go.

2. On Saturday we dropped the kids off with Nana and Pappi for a date afternoon/evening. They were thrilled! They walked the dog! Caught a frog! Swam!

3. We headed down to Lake Couhoun for a nice long bike ride ride, dinner, and a movie. We are so adventurous!
 4. When we picked them up Sunday we headed to Elm Creek Park for a picnic. It was hot, but what a cool park!
 5. There were lots of thank yous in our bedtime prayers that night, most notably from Fisher who was thankful "for us be abling to go to a surprise place with Mommy and Daddy."

 6. That was the beginning of the heatwave, although last night at soccer it really wasn't too darn bad. Fisher had a special guest, the nurse from his preschool, with whom he is very tight. She brought part of her family for us to meet, too. We are going to miss you next year, Lucinda!
7. Today, however, is another story. It is extremely very very scorching hot. We hit up the splash pad before 10am, when the thermometer had already passed 80 degrees. Whew! 

8. The newest breakfast craze around here is egg in the hole. Kids are loving it.
9. The newest game craze around here is mancala. Kids are loving it.
10. It's been awhile but I'm actually reading a good book right now and would recommend it, though I'm only a third of the way through it. Check out Looking For Me.