Monday, February 21, 2011

It did this last night...

And this...

What's worse than one truck in the ditch? Two trucks in the ditch. My brother Mark, and Nathan. Thank goodness for nice neighbors with big tractors. We had overnight guests....5 of them. And thank goodness I've got a stock of new toothbrushes.

And I'm going to use those things to think that this is related...
That's my arm. And what are those two slightly damp spots? They came from the nose of this thing...
She just sat on my lap...looked at me and then proceeded to bend her head down and swipe her nose right across my sleeve. She then looked up at me as if nothing had happened. Nice.

Good thing it snowed...I'm not leaving the house today. She must have known. See, I told you they were totally related. I knew you were wondering.

PS...the big government snow plow creamed our it's not standing it's not in one piece anymore. Don't send mail.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Big "V"

Valentine's Day.

If anyone knows me at all, they should be quite certain that I don't like Holidays...I could skip every single one and be just fine. Yeah, Yeah I know. I guess that it's not that I dislike them, but I could just not have them and still live a happy life.

All of them are over-commercialized, over hyped, turned into some sort of money sucker. The history and origin of each and everyone isn't necessarily something that I want to celebrate. Sure sure, we all put our own spin on them so it's something that lines up with our social, religious, and political beliefs. Fun Sucker Me, I know.

But we had a Homeschool Valentine's Party...I wanted to go to get the kids together with all the rest in our group, I knew the kids would have fun...and I knew I couldn't come without any Valentine's. I was forced into it. I was fully prepared to just buy some store bought cards, stuff some candy in and be done with it.

But my dear friend Deb just happened to find the cutest homemade idea. She helps me put a little fun back into the Holidays.

It all started with the sucker.

Some tissue paper...
And some pipe cleaners...sparkly ones.
And then the disaster began. Quaid opted for the photojournalist side of the project over the creative side.
Keeping the kids focused was a little tough.
But I finally got them going. Wrapping each sucker with tissue paper.
These were balloons which the girls were giving as their Valentines.
I don't have any pictures of the bomb making process because Daddy was in charge of those. I had to work so begrudgingly he made all of them for me. What a guy. He always comes through for me!

The kids then had to write a name on each one.
I wish I could take credit for those seriously cute tags...but they were a total Deb thing. It's she great?!?! They totally made the whole thing. Aren't they cute?
And here are the bombs...made completely by Nathan. Isn't he great??

The party was fun, the kids had a blast.

In the 10 years that Nathan and I have been together...we have never done anything for Valentine's Day...not that I can remember anyway. (I hope that doesn't get me into trouble!) I am sort of an unexpected thing at an unexpected time just for no reason sort of a girl. But this year he came home with a single red rose. It was a beautiful, unexpected surprise. I would rather get one single flower over a bouquet any day.

I love my man, and he loves me!

So am I a total dork that I forgot to post anything about Christmas...and am I a bigger dork to do it February?

I don't care...I'm going with it.

This is the first year we've gotten our kids presents. Last year we spent a night in a hotel with a little waterpark. I'm all about memories...and Nathan's a gift guy. So we did one present each this year and we'll see what happens next year. I just think our kids have so much already, I'd rather create the memories. But I'm not going to lie. It is fun to see their faces beam when the rip open the paper.

Keria got some necklaces and play-doh. One of which she promptly ripped apart and the beads went flying all over the kitchen floor. Pretty sure I swept up another one just last week!

Jentzen got the Rex from toy story. He loves dinosaurs.
Ava got Spin Sorry. She loves games so I made sure to pick out one that I wanted to play too :)
Quaid got a Superman dress up. He loves dressing up and flying around the house.
Me, I got a Ipod shuffle....very unexpectedly. We agreed not to get eachother anything. But Nathan being the gift guy he is couldn't resist. I'm pretty sure he thought he owed me for being the best wife ever. I do not like technology, I don't like to figure out how things work, I don't like being confused. I had a Shuffle years ago and it broke and I've wanted another one ever since. How thoughtful, right? And I even know how to work it. Turn on. Push play. LOVE IT!
After our little family opening we headed to my Parent's house for the big Pahl family gathering...all 26 of us. Bob wasn't in town yet. But he did send a classic Bob present...He got my neice Jacqueline the entire US quarter collection....but that's not it. He wrapped each quarter individually, with 2000 layers of paper. It brings me back to when I was little he brought in this huge garbage bag. I pulled off the bag, to find another bag, and then another bag, and then a bog, and another box...etc....all of which were taped up with duct tape. It took me what felt like hours to open it and inside was a brick. Yes, that's right, a brick. Just some old thing he found in my dad's shed. He had been joking for weeks that's what he had gotten me as I was begging him to give me a clue to what he really got me. I'm glad to see he hasn't lost it.
Keira got a ball from Nancy and Jose. One of those squishy, squirmy things. She LOVED it!! She wouldn't put it down the entire night.
And then there were the pillow pets. All the little ones got them. For sure their hightlight of Christmas.
Oh, and there's Keira with her ball....again.
Quaid and his favorite....LEGOS!!!
Ava got a play kitchen to go in the toy room, and of course, what's a kitchen without some food. And Keira with her ball yet again.
She also got a crayon maker. My vacuum is going to protest me soon if I keep sucking up broken crayons. This just may stop that from happening.
Who needs presents when there's bubble wrap.
My other sisters (I was busy that day, I didn't try to ditch on purpose :) made a photo book for my parents. It was very cool. We all got a copy. It's great to have pictuers of the extended family all in one spot. I know it's something that will be cherished by everyone.
And last but not least...all the grandkids...together in one place! And Keira with her ball one last time.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Buck Hill Tubing!

This was our first time as a family and pretty sure Emma's first time tubing also, seeing how she hasn't seen snow since she was 7. We rounded up some friends and headed to the hill. It was pretty fun. Would have been way more fun if they would let you chain up and fly down 10 in a row like a bunch of lunatics. Pppfffff to safety!

My beautiful friend Sarah joined us.

And Sam was there much to Quaid's delight. Jacq and Kayla came also...somewhere...
Surprised by this picture? I'm not.

Quaid looks mad...he's not. Ava looks like she can't breathe...she can.
And there's no better way to end an evening than Perkins breakfast at 10pm!
And oh yeah, Ava like's taking pictures of people's feet. Guess who's sock says Billabong? It's really becoming a problem.
Yet, one more totally unrelated picture...but who can resist an Aussie, wearing a MN Vikings shirt, pretending to be a turtle....not me.

Friday, February 11, 2011

That we had to go the Mall of America...more affectionately known as the MOA.

How often do you locals go? I try to never go there...unless I really have to. Like if I have to go to a store there that's not anywhere else. Most often....the Apple Store....with Nathan....because he crashed his Mac again...

(he he he...sorry honey, I had to!)

It is actually fun to go with a foreigner. It kind of makes you step back and realize how pretty cool it is....

Like a restaurant full of aquariums, animals hanging off the ceiling through a jungle canopy.

A store that sells a burger and fries....FOR YOUR DOG! Seriously!

Let's not forget one of those stores that as soon as you step inside you know that you're seriously out of place, as a conservative mom type wouldn't be caught dead in any article of clothing sold in that store. A store that is also small enough that you can't really walk in without being completely noticed by the store clerk who sort of looks at you strangely and trys not to be awkward while your foreigner friend insists that you take a picture sitting on a couch shaped like a big set of lips.
Gotta have a picture with something local. And while you're posing for the picture state for the record, "I don't even know who the Vikings are or what sport they play!"
Oh yeah, there's a roller coaster and many other amusement rides INSIDE the mall. If you're a local...isn't really that big of a deal because you've seen it 100 times and it just makes sense being winter takes up 2/3 of the year. Unfortunately it's seriously over priced and plays on parents desperation's during mid January to get their kids out of the house to let off some steam. But let's all think back to the first time we saw it.....It is indeed pretty cool.
And last but not least...the most hugest, giganticest flag of the U S of A.
Do you think Perkins tops this off?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Back to Emma

Okay, I think I have recovered from the incident 2 days ago (read previous post if you're confused...or don't and just stay works for me). I'm now walking normally through the house (shudder).

We went bowling when Emma was here. I LOVE bowling. I mean really LOVE it. I'd go every week if I could. We ditched Keira and took along my neice Jacqueline, and nephew Sam.

Just a fore-warning...Most of the pictures were taken by this handsome lad:

And this cheeky, sneaky girl:
Jentzen was stellar at bowling. He just told the ball where to go and VIOLA!
In case you're wondering...they must not bowl in Australia...the "E", that stand for Emma. Those little dashes all in a row...they stand for zero, as in gutter ball. Emma claims that "Jentzen was helping her." Sure he was.
This is least the top half of him.
And this is a blurry Quaid post-bowl. But the true sight in this picture is the guy in the background. Look at that form! Perfection. I hope to be like him someday.
Emma, with all 8 layers she wore that day. Including her jacket, which seemed to be needed indoors, where it's heated, where it's "warm." Does anyone see Jentzen helping her? I think not.
Ava giving the ball a good chuck down the alley. If you release a ball say 2 1/2 feet off the makes a big bang...and the pros down the lane all turn and stare.

And here's Jacq...loading up Jentzen. She's a beautiful, helpful girl. Oh how I love her so. And she's taller than me. She's 11. It's okay, don't worry, I've accepted it.

From Ava after she snapped off this award winning picture..."Oops, I missed her head!"

Guess Who??

There we go...that's a bit better.
Ava got the biggest kick out of taking a picture of her feet. She laughed...and laughed...and laughed. Oh to be that easily entertained!
This...well just the ball ramp.
And this is the ball ramp....with Jentzen. Oops...Ava has a problem with the head thing.
There we go!! How's that for an action shot!
Hhhmmmmm....things must have not gone so well on this trip down the lane.
And to wrap it up...
Oooohhhhhhh isn't that the cutest!!!