Monday, August 31, 2009


Sunday = Hanging Out Day
So we headed to downtown Mpls to bum around for a while.

We went to Loring Park and saw the Dandelion Fountain.

And we watched some college kids walk on a self-made tightrope.

Which of course meant Zoe had a try . . . 

 . . .  and Ella had a try . . . 

. . .  and Tom did too!!

At the Guthrie we saw a poster for the new play about Ella Fitzgerald.
Ella LOVED seeing her name all over the place
and Zoe thought it was pretty neat too.

On the way up the 'Endless Bridge'
the girls stopped to check out the view . . . 

. . .  and look at the Mississippi River and Stone Arch Bridge.

Of course we had to stop by the 'yellow box'
(and the bugs caught in the glass were still intriguing).

And the girls got a little silly.

Then Ella decided she was going to take a break,
on top of the open window that looks straight down about 100 feet,
that I can't even walk over.

On the way to dinner
we stopped to look at the giant portrait of the head.

Dinner at Sawatdee was beyond delicious,
and the girls were so well behaved.
It was actually relaxing and fun!!

Good Times!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The State Fair???

Cheese Curds?  Check.
Corndogs?  Check.
Kiddie Rides?  Check.
People Watching?  Check.
Lots of Fun?  Check.

Spending time at the Minnesota State Fair?
We went to Como Town instead,
and had a FANTASTIC time!!

Ella and Zoe rode some of the rides they've ridden before . . . 

And they listened very carefully
to the 'directions' from the ride operator . . . 

 . . .  before Ella chased Zoe in her police car.

But they also rode the Frog Hopper (a 'big-kid' ride), a couple of times,
and were fearless.  It's now their favorite ride.

They really take after their Dad,
in more ways than one . . .

Next year we'll do the Fair.
But this year Como Town worked just fine for us.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Maggie Dog

Yesterday my parent's dog Maggie had to be put to sleep.
She was 15 1/2 years old and had been part of our family
since she was 4 months old.

She was always loving and patient, and let all 7 grandkids ( as well as many neighborhood kids) pet her, hug her, sit on her, cuddle her and explore her ears, toes, tail, etc.,
She even tolerated silly costumes on St. Patrick's Day,
and pulled off the Irish look pretty well.

And just like all the other grandkids,
Ella and Zoe took to her
as soon as they became aware of her.

Ella (8 months) admiring Maggie from afar . . . 
 . . .  and up close.

Zoe (13 months) . . . 

. . .  and both girls.

It makes me sad to think of my parent's home without Maggie being there, but it truly was her time, and she actually lasted much longer than anyone (including the vet) expected.

Two years ago this Labor Day Tom, the girls and I made a special trip to Buffalo because it seemed Maggie was close to the end at that time.

Labor Day 2007

My Dad with his dog, Maggie.

But apparently Maggie had other plans,
and we were lucky to enjoy two more years with her.

Summer 2008

Christmas 2008

Winter 2009

Spring 2009

So now Maggie has her own garden in Mom and Dad's backyard.
And we have many memories from having that easy-going,
ivory-colored, super-sweet and sometimes stinky Maggie Dog
in our family for so many years.
She was a really great dog and we're going to miss her.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Big Cousins

We had an overnight last weekend with Lauren and Erin.
Ella and Zoe were super excited and had non-stop fun : )

Before dinner Z and E practiced riding their big girl bikes.  We've done this a few times and their 'practicing' actually consists more of holding on tight, sometimes pedaling and always saying 'I'm getting the feeeeeeel of it!', usually when their feet aren't even moving : )  I think we're going to put the bikes away until Spring, the girls need to get a little bigger and stronger.
But since the bikes used to be Erin and Lauren's,
we wanted to keep them out for their visit.

Ella with Lauren

Zoe with Erin

After lots of play time outside, dinner, and then more play time outside, we made popcorn with the airpopper (not the microwave) and all four girls watched a show together.

Saturday morning we packed up and walked
to our neighborhood playground and lake.
'Playground Time' was first . . . 

. . .  then it was off to the beach.

Ella found a Monarch Butterfly right away.  See it?

Dipping toes.

Writing names in the sand.

Close-ups of the little girls.

Making our sandcastle . . . 

. . .  and just having fun together.

Then it was time to try and wash the sand off our feet
and head home for lunch, before Tom drove the 'Big Cousins' back to their home.