The holidays are pretty busy for everyone, and we're no exception. Shopping for Christmas presents, picking and cutting down our tree, our annual drive to Arizona... the next thing you know, it's March and I haven't posted any new pictures! So, for your viewing pleasure, I present the past three months : )
First storm of the season
The weight of the snow snapped three trees in our backyard
Picking our Christmas tree
Lauren's 1st Band concert
Trent's 1st Choir concert
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With Sue on top of Camelback Mountain
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Sage and Belle reading
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Camp Verde, AZ
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Meteor Crater, AZ
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Big Hole in the ground ; )
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With cousin Samuel at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO
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Belle with cousins Emma and Ava.
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Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs
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ICE covering our car on the drive back to MN.
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Marc turns 40!
Trent dressed up for Lumberjack Days at school.
Snowbase Boy Scout Camp
The boys had to ski out to their campsite.
Building a 'quinzee'
This is the start of the snow fort that Trent and two other scouts slept overnight in.
Yes. This is what they slept in.
Shirt and bow I made Belle for Valentines Day
Belle's kindergarten performance
Belle's school friends
Two 'besties' Austin and Ella
Lauren turned 11!
First ever Vikings game!
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Trent got two tickets to the game and brought his friend Andrew
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Birthday party and airplane cake
Belle is a present : )
Minnesota State Fair time!!!
Y! M! C! A!
Belle, Trent, Jeremiah and Lauren
Foot long corn dog
Regional news guy Eric Perkins
The kids are on the evening news!
We're on TV!
Trent is on a radio talk show contest.
And he won and got to pick out this shirt!
Jeremiah: Deep fried Milky Way. Trent: Deep fried Oreos
Yes, that is a Big Fat Bacon. On a stick.
Trent is 12!
Nope, not birthday cake. French silk pie is what Trent wants!
Marc went to this camp almost 30 years ago : )
Trent camped with his buddy Garrett.
The older scouts present Trent with his newly earned badges.
Roasting marshmallows behind the cabin.
Look what Lauren found:
Row, row, row your boat...
Mr. Bald Eagle
The bear was about 25 feet away from us. Ack!
Old scout and new scout ; )
Root beer floats on the way home at A & W.
The girls wearing the shirts they made.
Lauren (in blue stripe shirt) fires a roman candle
Lauren goes for a ride.
And Trent's turn
Crashed on the ride home
Coach Marc shares some advice with Trent.
Trent on first, Dad as base coach
Kite flying on Easter
The girls hanging out in the front yard.
Marc and his curling team
Cheering Dad's team
Belle hiding from the sun
Nutmeg says Happy Birthday Ren!
Lauren wanted a cake with her gerbil Nutmeg on it : )
Petting the dogs at the Shelter
Pizza and Balloon Animals
Everybody sing Happy Birthday to Ren!
Then cake back at our house
A harness for a gerbil?
Aunt Sarah found a harness so you can 'walk' your pet. But Nutmeg was too small for it...
Showing off her new smile with braces : D
Fourth Grade Musical
All the Highland fourth graders put on a show with singing, dancing and recorder playing. The recorders are hanging from a string around the kid's necks.
Da Capo Choir. Lauren is upper far right.
First time on skis! Lauren is in purple
Lauren and Emily's ski trip
Emily, Lauren, Belle and Andrew are pooped!
Dannecker house decked out for Christmas
Christmas cookies. Notice the rasta candy cane cookie on the right? Jamaica is calling me, and someday... I WILL answer! ; )
The Holidazzle Parade in downtown Minneapolis. It's a nighttime light parade and yes, it's very, very cold.
Trent got a rocket set
Belle and Sage!
Shoveling the driveway
The girls love the snow
Trent dug a snow fort out of the snow pile left by the plows.
Broom hockey is played on ice, but you wear your shoes onto the ice. Our kids chose instead to combine ice hockey (wearing their skates) with broom hockey.
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Belle and Marc guard the goal
Marc turns 39
It's the birthday Jell-O!
Lauren's Pin the Tail on the Donkey...Hmmmmm...
Getting ready to put the tail on the donkey
Apple Valley Mid-Winter Fest. Trent, Ryan, Lauren and Emily watch the magician
Lauren was a great assistant!
Trent had fun
and was completely confounded as to how the magician did the card trick. In fact, we were ALL amazed!
Belle hold the jar of magic 'wands'
In front of the ice sculpture are Trent, Lauren, Belle and our friends Andrew, Erik, Emily and Ryan
Belle got a snowman
Her First Place Picture. She won a gift card to Old Chicago pizza.
The girls working on their puzzles.
They got to keep the puzzle and Belle got some more prizes for winning.
Lauren is wearing her 2nd place coloring ribbon : )
Marc and Belle playing Bingo with Cathy and Andrew
Lauren and Emily with Klondike and Louie the Lightening Bug. Sidenote: Belle was terrified by Louie and had to be carried past him lol
She wouldn't hug Klondike when he was standing next to Louie the Lightning Bug, but later she found Klondike all by himself and gave him a BIG hug
Petting the hedgehog
It was really cute!
Trent and Ryan are Wii bowling
The boys are checking out Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. Ew.
Trent holding said Hissing Cockroach. Double ew. Then he asked if he could have one as a pet. Lemme think, no.
Trent and I after skiing.
Lauren and Emily tried snowshoeing
Trying to get the girls to come in because it's dark outside. As usual, Belle is eating the snow.
Belle was very upset that I made her stop eating the snow long enough to stand for a picture with Lauren.
Super Bowl par-tay
Our front yard. Notice how you can't actually see the road in this picture. It's there, just covered in snow.
Our back yard. Everytime I look out there, it looks like our patio table is a giant marshmallow.
Odds N Ends
Football on Thanksgiving
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Yes, it was cold outside
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Aunt Sarah and Belle
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The kid table
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Christmas tree farm!
Picking our tree
We have a winner!
Belle is sad we can't take this tree too
And it looks great in our house too : )
Belle is having a static problem
Getting ready to take their Christmas pic
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This is the double-chin shot lol
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The girls watching the cookies bake
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Lauren and her Girl Scout troop at Spookagama, a fun day camp for the girls.
When Trent needs peace and quiet, he found a new place to hang out...
On her actual birthday, she opened gifts from Mom, Dad, Lauren & Trent
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She said: Look! I'm a present!
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Yea! Pretty Pretty Princess from the Arnolds
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Dad and Mom got Belle...
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a Big Girl Bike!
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And she's off!
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A Princess cake and streamers
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Belle and Charlie: the Princess and the Dragon : )
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Sophia is a Princess too
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We played 'Kiss the Frog' and 'Pass the Teapot'
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Then the kids played with bubbles in the backyard
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Hold still, you guys!
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Getting ready to sing Happy Birthday
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And look at the camera!
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Izzy! You ran in front of my shot! lol
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Mr. Chad gave Belle a Birthday Bug: a stickbug
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Can you see it yet?
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The Birthday Stickbug
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Trent found this little turtle in Long Lake
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He's awfully cute
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Birthday Princess Hugs!
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New matching jammies for Belle and Bitty
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Trent's 11th and Camping
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The cockpit of the F-4 Phantom
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Belle thinks she might have gotten a little bit of chocolate gelato on her hands ; )
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Ryan, Parker and Trent are ready for take off
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Trying on a parachute pack in the cargo bay
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Garrett, Sterling, Trent, Parker and Ryan in front of a P-51 Mustang
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Setting up the tent
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Scavanger hunt. This is on the hill behind our across-the-street neighbors house
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He got a new bike for his birthday. His old one was just a wee bit too small for him!
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It's even orange, his favorite color!
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Hiking in Interstate State Park, WI
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We made it to the highest point in the park, Eagle Peak
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He found this funky grasshopper
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It's actually nibbling on his finger lol
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The boys crossing the St. Croix river
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The girls are looking at frogs on the riverbank
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They made it to Minnesota!
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Belle is showing me her favorite poutly face
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The boys take a rest after rowing back
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In front of the ST. Croix Dalles
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Checking out the potholes. This one was about 12-15 feet deep.
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Yep. It's the end!
Fourth of July!
Lake Marion, Lakeville, MN
We call her 'the Schnoz'.
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Belle and Abby are buds. They had fun at the beach and the playground
Checking out the tube are:
From the left: Lauren, CarolAnn, Belle, Tony and Marc
Lauren is trying to figure out how to skip stones
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Getting on her life jacket
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Belle prefered this to the tube : )
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24 hours before the fourth of July parade, people start claiming their spots.
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Fourth Bike Parade
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Ready for the Parade!
Trent and his bud Sterling, Amadeus, Lauren's friend Lila, Lauren and Belle!
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I think Trent said these were P-51's.
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Eating parade candy and 'freezies'
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Flying over our house
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Too Much Fun To Contain In Just Pictures!
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Belle meets the Easter Bunny
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Minnesota State Capitol
Lauren as Helen Keller. It took all morning to curl her hair into little ringlets all over her head!
Fifth Grade Music
Highland's fifth graders sang and played songs from all over the world. Trent is to the far right, front row wearing a red shirt.
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The kids had their recorders hanging from a string around their necks.
This is from when Belle fell and bent her front tooth back. Her top lip was so swollen that she couldn't hardly smile!
Still trying to smile!
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Belle loves to go to the Mall of America (or MOA) to meet all her favorite cartoons. This is Belle and her buddy Charlie with Linnie from the Wonder Pets!
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This is Sharky, who is Belle's absolute favorite. She can't wait to get to the MOA to see him every Tuesday. He is the mascot of Underwater Adventures, an aquarium on the bottom floor of the MOA.
Lauren's 9th Birthday
Please, mom?? I really really want her. Who could resist those puppy dog eyes?
Emily and Lauren with their Bitty Babies
Lauren had the grilled salmon and I had the panko-crusted chicken. It was delish!
Taking a rest from all that running around the store
Lauren saying goodbye to her Bitty 'Katy Nicole'. Katy's head had come off and we were sending her to the Bitty Baby hospital to have it fixed.
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The girls with their dolls
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Lauren putting on make-up. You need to go a little easy on the blush, sweetie LOL!
Fun in The Sun
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We Have Lots to Give Thanks For!
Dad and the big kids before their dip into Lake Superior. See the video for the run into the lake.
Jeremiah helps out too
The boys playing Connect Four.
Grandma Sue and Jeremiah teach Belle how to play Slapjack.
The view from the deck of the cabin.
On the 'beach' in front of the cabin.
Trent skipping stones into Lake Superior.
We visited Split Rock Lighthouse while up on the North Shore.
View out over Lake Superior from the lighthouse
Split Rock from across the bay.
We visited Two Harbors Lighthouse at night so we could see the lighthouse beacon.
Belle, Jeremiah and Trent visit a 1940's steam engine.
Looks like a cool ghost picture, but it's only my breath lol
fun trivia: 3M started in this building in Two Harbors, MN
Ten Pounds of Candy!
Trent picked a twenty-five pound pumpkin
Lauren's wasn't quite as big
I think this one weighs more than Belle : )
In the corn maze. Belle was tired of me taking pictures by now lol
Belle says, 'no pictures, please!'
Trent and Jeremiah on the hay ride up the hill to the apple orchard
Marc and Rennie on the hay ride
One type of apple we were picking were so dark red, they almost looked black!
The kids starting tasting our apples. They were delicious!
Lauren biking along the Mississippi River with Minneapolis in the background
Heading back towards St. Paul
Family cheese shot!
I took all these while riding my bike, so they're a little out of focus...
Marc took this from on top of the stone bridge.
Belle loves trains so we drove to the tracks to see this 1940's steam engine. I can't believe how BIG the engine was. The engineer blew the whistle at us and Belle just about went nuts.
It's hard to tell, but the back wheels of the engine are six feet tall! way cool
Belle's 3rd Birthday...and more :)
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Belle gets some help from mom
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Cruising around the rink
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Belle is waiting for the Zamboni
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The party room is still clean and quiet...too quiet.
Engineer Paul leading the kids in Choo Choo songs
Belle singing 'I've been working on the railroad'
Playing on the train tables in the back of Choo Choo Bob's
Belle and Abby. We got to go to Abby's 3rd birthday party last Saturday!
Greta helps Belle open her My Little Pony
She loved her Choo Choo cake that mom and dad made! The engine was chocolate and the cars were confetti cake. Yum!
Trent and Marc went with Mike to go fishing...and Marc caught this thing. That's the nastiest looking fish I have ever seen.
I think he said it's called a 'northern'. It's big AND ugly...I'll let you know how it tastes : )
What can I say. She asked to kiss the fish. YUCK! lol
Rennie wanted her picture taken with it too
first treat of the day at the Minnesota State Fair: the girls chose gelato
Trent tries deep fried Oreos and Marc has a deep fried Snickers bar. On a stick.
No, we did not try any of these!
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Yes, we did try a Big Fat Bacon. On a stick.
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Belle pets a newborn pig
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Getting ready to ride a REALLY fast ride!
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Fishing off the dock at Lake Koronis
Belle and Tony (Mike's son) are working on their fishing skills.
Lauren and Marc on the BunBuster
Fishing off the boat at dusk.
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Trent's first time on water skis!
He didn't quite make it out of the water : )
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Belle and Marc share s'mores by the fire
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Trent and CarolAnn roast their marshmallows
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Trent, Belle and Tony having fun on the swing
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Yes, Belle is fishing in her undies
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Trent's a pro at getting the hook off the fish.
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I don't think CarolAnn has caught anything yet!
Marc and Mike on the dock
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Lauren! Open your eyes when you're driving the boat!
CarolAnn knows how to drive the boat
Witch Crossing. Watch out for that pole!
Darwin, Minnesota. Home of the worlds largest hand-wound ball of twine.
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Trent had a birthday cake at his party and a birthday pie on his actual birthday!
Camping Up North
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Eveleth, MN. Home of the worlds largest hockey stick
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Trent's still in his jammies because we dragged the kids out of bed at four a.m. to get up north nice and early
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That's Ren's store!
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Water Carnival days in Hoyt Lakes. We spent the day here watching the parade and a concert
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The girls running through our campsite
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Daddy and Belle in the lake next to our campsite. Check out how red the water is.
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Lauren said that the water 'looks like a sunset'. I think it's red because of all the iron in the water up there, so the water looks rusty
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Trent caught a crawdad.
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Dad and Trent at the concert
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Belle and Ren dancing to the music
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And they're out! The girls fell asleep and missed most of the concert
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Trent, Lauren and Bell asleep in the tent.
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Hanging out in Duluth before the ride back to the twin cities
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Rennie at the Army Corps maritime museum
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Belle thought it was much more fun to chase the seagulls then to feed them.
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Trent dips his toes into Lake Superior
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This canadian goose kept following Belle up and down the shoreline.
Drive to Minnesota
It was dark when we reached the Hoover Dam
That vast dark space behind the kids is the Hoover Dam. Beautiful, isn't it? ; )
Yep, still the Hoover Dam
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Look kids! It's Nevada!
Breakfast at the Circus Circus buffett
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Trent is too small for the quarter carusel
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Yep, those are M&M's in every conceivable color.
Trent and Marc are in the U-Haul towing the truck
Hey, look! It's Wyoming!
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Cool land bridge near Mt. Rushmore
Wall Drug, in Wall, South Dakota. Trent has a horse's patooie
Still at Wall Drug
Riding the Jackalope at Wall Drug
Wall Drug has everything, including alternate forms of transportation
Mitchell, South Dakota. Home of the Corn Palace.
Inside...you guessed it, The Corn Palace
Two blown tires and four days later...We made it!
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Our big annual camping trip took us four hours north to the headwaters of the Mississippi River on Lake Itasca. The kids had fun crossing the rocks that mark the beginning of the Mississippi and playing in the river. We had a beautiful campsite right on the lake, where a bald eagle swooped down and tried to take off with Lauren. (Okay, not really. But it did swoop right down almost on top of her.) After heading to the gift shop to pick up an ornament (we have a collection to put on our tree to remind us where we've been) and squishing a penny in the penny squisher (another collection...but much cheaper at .51 cents a pop : ) we packed up our campsite and headed four hours east to the north shores of Lake Superior. We camped this time at Gooseberry Falls, an amazing set of waterfalls that drain into the lake. Although we had stormy weather at night, the days were dry and the kids had a blast tromping through the water and playing on the waterfalls. After getting everyone dried off and warmed up, we headed to Split Rock Lighthouse to celebrate the lighthouses 100th birthday and watch as it was lit up again (The lighthouse has been out of use for many years due to the use of GPS on the Great Lakes ships) Though we had to pack up and set up our tent and gear three different times, the weather stayed at about 50 degrees the whole trip, two nights it rained and stormed so bad I thought the tent would blow away with us in it...through it all... we had an AWESOME trip! So much cool stuff to see and do, new friends made, and hanging together as a family... I couldn't have asked for anything better!
Lions, Tigers and BEARS!
Marc, Kristin, Lauren and Belle started out July by traveling to Tomahawk Scout Reservation to visit Trent at his very first Boy Scout camp. Trent spent seven fun-filled days sailboating, swimming, whittling, chopping, hiking, firemaking and merit badge earning. On his last night at camp, we joined him to watch his Troop's Court of Honor. He earned two merit badges, Brownsea, ten camp segments and two bananas. Yes, bananas. He was voted by his Troop as 'Best Camp Story or Unique Event' for 1. drinking too much coffee, and 2. for sinking up to his waist in a bog. The second banana was awarded by his Scoutmaster for being a 'Big Bog, Frog, Log and Crawdad Scout'.
While Trent was over having fun at camp, we were nearby in a cabin having our own adventures. After canoeing to a nearby island, we were able to see a Bald Eagle nest at the tippy-top of tall tree. The nest had to have been at least six feet in diameter. The eagle wasn't inside, but we did get to see him fly over us awhile later. A bigger surprise awaited us later that day when we went down to the lake to take pictures of loons. We got to the dock and: no loons. What did cross our path (literally) was a full grown black bear. Although searching for his dinner, he wasn't interested in us. He wanted the hot dogs and chedderwurst we had just roasted in the fire pit at our cabin. That bear was WAY COOL - and not just because he chose NOT to eat us ; )
The rest of our time at the cabin was spent doing fun camp-y type stuff: horseback riding, tie-dying shirts and picking raspberries.
For extra fun we got to see two firework displays this year. On the fourth, we watched Apple Valley's parade then headed down our street to watch our neighbors shoot off fireworks bought in Wisconsin. The little kids (Belle) got to pull little 'poppers' and the big kids got to hold 'roman candles' before walking up the top of the hill to watch the real fireworks. The next weekend we headed to our friends Crystal and Bob's for more fireworks, a parade and rides on Bob's Harley.
Finally, we have a few more baseball pictures. Just because Mom thinks Dad and Trent look so cute in their uniforms : )
Finishing up the year
Yes, a new year has begun. And I haven't even gotten the Christmas pictures up. What a slacker! So without further delay, here's a quick recap. We had Christmas with our Minnesota family, drove down to Arizona and had Christmas again with all our wonderful Southwest families. We drove back up to the frozen north, shoveled out our driveway, taught the kids to play broomball and got ready for Marc to turn 39. 39!?! Whew, that's one year away from 40! I'd better start preparing for that now...
The best parts of Marc's birthday were Lauren's inappropriate Pin the Tail On the Donkey and Marc's 'birthday Jell-O'. Sticking candles in a bowl of Jell-O is about the funniest thing one can witness at a birthday party. However, not to be outdone, Lauren created a Pin the Tail on the Donkey game...well, you really just have to see the picture. I think I've seen this game before at a bachelorette party, let's just leave it at that.
This year we did not find the Apple Valley Mid-Winter Fest Medallion, although not for a lack of trying! (Last year Trent and Lauren found it and won $250) We did have a lot of fun at the magic show, where all three of our kids managed to get picked to assist the magician. Belle and Lauren also entered a coloring contest; Belle got first place and Lauren got second in their age categories! Later, Belle, Lauren and Lauren's friend Emily entered a puzzle competition where once again Belle took 1st (against all six years olds!) and Lauren took 2nd. Trent and Marc entered a Buffalo wings eating contest; Marc finished but didn't win and Trent made it though three wings before his mouth caught on fire. He did a little better at the Wii bowling tournament against his friend Ryan. The kids all got to pet a bunch of creepy crawlies and jump in the bounce houses. Pre-Super Bowl we headed out for more fun; outdoor s'mores, horse-drawn rides in the snow, snowshoeing and skiing. Boy, oh boy do we know how to keep busy!
This year we had the privilege of growing our own pumpkins for Halloween and let's just say it was a learning experience... Although the two pumpkins that grew got kinda big, they never made it to 'carving size'. I think that was okay though, because Belle had gotten pretty attached to them and might not have liked to see Mom or Dad cut them up. She had even given them names, Dave and Baby Dave. We'll try again next year!
Halloween night, the kids got dressed up as: a ladybug (a poor substitute for what Belle actually wanted to go as - a butterfly. Again), Indiana Jones for Trent (again) and Goldie Gopher, the University of Minnesota's mascot. Marc's mom made Lauren's costume and I was amazed at how cool it turned out. The kids went trick or treating with their cousin Jeremiah and brought in a haul of candy. However, I was very disappointed at the lack of bottlecap candies in their bags ; ) Those things are my favorite! Darn. Maybe next year...
Trent Turns 11!
What a big year for Trenton! Turning 11 isn't too much of a big deal, but heading to Middle School is. But before he gets to hit the halls of Falcon Ridge Middle School, he got to have a fabulous 11th birthday party. We took Trent and his gang of friends to the Minnesota Air National Guard Museum to check out all the cool planes. The boys got to sit in the cockpits of a helicopter and several planes, Trent's favorite being the F-4 Phantom. After the museum, the boys headed to our backyard to set up the tent they'd be sleeping in. They got it up in short order (there were four boy scouts in the group ; ) and were promptly sent on a scavanger hunt to find their goodie bags, with clues hidden all over our neighborhood. I think everyone had a good time!
On Trent's actual birthday (Monday), we headed to Taylor's Falls for camping and boating on the St. Croix river. We actually camped in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, so the kids and dad took turns paddling from Wisconsin to Minnesota and back, the river being the state line. This was Trent's first time taking his boat, christened, 'Bite-Size' onto a river. He quickly learned that if you don't pay attention, you'll be floating downstream and have a heck of a time paddling back! Interstate State Park, where we camped, has an interesting geological feature called 'potholes', where water once swirled so fast and violently enough to create large holes in the volcanic rock. The kids enjoyed climbing in some of the shallower ones, checking out the deeper ones and agreed that they were pretty darn cool.
The Great Outdoors
OKAY! Here we go - and this time I have faith that the website will actually let me save everything I type. A little bit of faith. Okay, really not that much, but here we go anyway.
As everyone pretty much knows, Minnesota is covered with lakes. They're almost literally everywhere you look. And some of them have beaches. I do not know where the sand came from, maybe they trucked it in, but regardless, they are a great place to spend the day. We brought Lauren's friend Jade with us to Shultze Lake and a great time was had by all. Even Lauren, who was fairly grossed out after discovering a leech on her toe. All was well with the world again after Dad removed it. Then it became a celebrity as all the kids rushed Dad to check the thing out. Say it with me now: EWWWWWW!
That's right, we took the kids to the races! Free pony rides, face painting, petting zoo and of course, watching the horseys race. The kids had a great time and it was fun picking a horse and cheering it on. It was made more fun by the fact that nobody lost any money! At least, nobody in our family...
This will be a longer post at some time, as I'm trying to take pics of all the critters that stop by our house. We live close to Long Lake so frogs and toads abound. They're friendly enough, and all three kids are now members of the T.P. (Toad Pee) Club. This does not stop them from catching everything that hops in our yard, though. Also in our yard are caterpillers. These come in every shape, color and length you can possibly imagine. Trent found a gazillion of them recently while on a scouting campout. And then he tried to bring them home. In his hat. Thereby breaking Mommy Rule #27: no wildlife in the car. Thankfully for me (and the caterpillers!) Trent set them free in the woods to live their out their happy caterpiller lives.
The last few pictures are of Belle trying to fill up a water balloon. She tried forever to the the balloon onto the little spout on the hose. She was so pleased with herself when she finally did it! And then came the waiting...for the balloon to fill up...and it slowly...slowly...filled up. Finally!
Fall Has Arrived
Last Saturday we drove to Minnetonka Orchards to pick apples and choose pumpkins for Halloween. It was a beautiful day and perfect fall weather for letting the kids run amok on the farm. We let them each choose a pumpkin and I don't think they had any under 15 lbs. These things were huge! Then we headed to the corn maze and Trent and Lauren discovered how to pelt each other with corn, off and on the cob. We took a hay ride up the hill to the orchards, where they must have had 10 different kids of apples to choose from. We picked a bag full to take home and enjoy, and the kids picked a few to munch on while we were there.
Our Drive to Minnesota
As you can see from the pictures, we had quite the adventure filled trip. Apart from two flat tires and nearly running out of gas in the middle of nowhere, we had alot of fun.
On our way out of town, the kids and Kristin stopped by the Hoover Dam. Marc would have liked to join the rest of the family, but he was driving the U-Haul and large trucks and trailers are no longer allowed to drive across the dam, so he took the long way around to get to Las Vegas. We stayed the first two nights at Circus Circus and took off very early the next morning.
Along the way, we also got to visit Mt. Rushmore. The U-Haul had it's first blown tire (it didn't really blow out, but all the tread came off) so the kids and Kristin kept driving so they could get to Mt. Rushmore a little bit early. Kristin tried to follow Marc's directions, but even with the atlas she got on the wrong road and ended up trying to drive to Canada. Thankfully, cell phone service was restored, and Marc got Kristin driving in the right direction.
On the fourth day we set off for our final destination after breakfast. After a quick stop at Wall Drug for ice cream and root beer floats we set off again. We were cruising across South Dakota when another tire went out on the U-Haul. While Marc waited with the truck for someone to fix the tire, Kristin and the kids took a detour to Mitchell to see the Corn Palace. Yep, the whole outside of the building is decorated in corn. With a new tire, Marc met up with Kristin and together we finally made it to Minnesota around 8 p.m.
While Marc drove the U-Haul, Trent kept him company by reading facts about the states they were in and being his usual funny self. Kristin had it easy driving the Yukon with Lauren and Belle. With an assortment of CD's to choose from, the girls sang along to Belle's favorite songs : )
End of another School Year
Tomorrow will be the kids last day of school and we will celebrate by having our annual camp-out in the backyard. We will set up the tent for the big kids to sleep in, build a small fire in the pit to roast hot dogs and marshmallows and talk about their favorite parts of the year.
Trent and Lauren have had an exceptional year in school.
Lauren quickly became one of her teacher's favorites and kept her grades at the very top all year. Second graders don't get A's, B's, etc. they are graded as *Area of Concern*, *Developing*, and *Proficient*. On her report cards she received Proficient in everything except writing conventions and she got a Developing. She has really worked hard this year and we are so proud of her!
Trent skipped third grade and entered fourth for this school year. After a bumpy start, he began to catch on and once he realized he could easily do the work, he took off. He has held straight B's throughout the schoolyear with many admonitions from his teacher who felt he could easily have straight A's if only he would turn in his work. Turn in your work Trent! : )