Thursday, March 26, 2009


So, lately we have been back and forth to Minneapolis in hopes of finding a job for Michael. So far, he's had a couple of interviews but no offers yet. But, we have had a lot of fun hanging out with Ken and Kelly and their kids while they so graciously let us stay in their basement every time we come (you guys are the best!). We also got to go visit AnnaMarie, Tyler and Katie in Milwaukee, so that was fun. Except that Calvin got Katie pretty sick. But besides that, it was a blast.

So, while we were in Eagan with Ken and Kelly, I discovered something that I never understood at all before. I borrowed Kelly's double jogging stroller to get out of the house for a while with the boys and I discovered the magic of running. I hate running. And I never understood why anyone would ever willingly do it. But then I realized it's really just about relaxing and clearing your head and being unconfined. It was soooooo nice. So now I borrowed the stroller and am hooked. Let's hope it lasts!

So, here are some recent pics of our family:

Calvin discovered that he loves taking baths in Grandpa's kitchen sink. He seriously had the time of his little life in there.

Here are the boys with Michael's cousin Sam. Boy, did Calvin LOVE him. He was all smiles. And Ryan took one look at his lip ring (that he could spin around from the inside of his mouth) and said, "Hey Mom, maybe when I'm big I can get one of THOSE!" Anyways, it was great to see Sam. We love that guy!

I just love Christy. I don't know anyone with a better excited face. She had a birthday party a couple of weeks ago and was showing me the doorhanger things she made at her last birthday party (that was like 4 years ago).

Here is Calvin taking a nap in Katie's crib. This is what happens when the boys share a room--Ryan entertains Calvin who sits or stands up and laughs at the top of his lungs until he passes right out. You can't really see from this angle, but he was just sitting up sleeping with his head against the crib slats. Funny boys!

I guess Katie ties Christy for good excited faces. I love Katie's crazy hair. She is such a doll.

And here she is giving Calvin some hugs. She is really good with Calvin, you can just tell that she loves him. She will make a great big sister!

And now, what you've all been waiting for--THE LAST INSTALLMENT OF DISNEY PICTURES!

Here is Ryan by one of the pig port hole windows on the boat:

And here is Calvin by one of the little port holes in our room. These things were great! You can close that little door and seal them shut and the kids sleep in until record times! SOOOOO nice. Wish I still had those around.

Ryan and me at dinner at the Animator's Palatte
restraunt on the boat. It was cool, the room starts out in black and white and during dinner it turns to full color.

I just thought this was an awesome Calvin face:

Every time I see Calvin's eyes outside in the sunlight, I always always try to get a picture that really captures what color they are, but it never works. But I still thought this was a cute picture anyways:

At the fireworks at sea party on the boat, Ryan walked around like this for a while with Calvin on his shoulders. Ryan loved it. Calvin, not so much.

Here is Calvin on Castaway Cay, Disney's private island. He wasn't feeling well at all that day, but he did have fun with this big umbrella.

If you look closely, you can see that he is crying his little heart out. I thought he would like the sand, but he was just really not in the mood.

This is the closest to happy that he got on the island, but at least he wasn't crying. The weather was beautiful and I loved just being in the sun.

Here he is by the Flying Dutchman--the boat from the Pirates of the Carribean movies is actually docked here permanently now.

And here are Michael and Ryan by it. Look at that water and that sky! It was BEAUTIFUL! Michael and I got to drop the kids off at their daycares and go snorkeling and it was just beautiful. Until we ran into a bunch of jelly fish and had to high-tail it out of there. Still, it was fun!

Here is Ryan, looking awesome in his sunglasses:

We got a kick out of Calvin in his life jacket for the emergency drill. Poor guy.

And last but not least, a couple of pictures that the Disney photographers took. Yes, we broke down and bouth the digital images for these two. But I'm glad we did.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring! Spring! Spring!

Today it certainly felt like spring here in Ironwood. It was 61 degrees at one point--it was SO nice. So, Ryan got to try out his new cow rain boots (thank you Sherry and Janet!) and I took the boys for a walk. I decided to go down to the cemetery and take them to Carla and Adeline's grave.

It was really a beautiful day, and I had a nice talk with Ryan about how exciting it is that because Jesus died for us, we will get to see our family members again after they die. Sometimes it really surprises me how much he understands. I think he got most of it. Then I tried to tell him the difference between our bodies and our spirits, and I think that's where he started getting lost. He seemed to be soaking it all in and then he ran up to a big puddle and jumped in it and said, "Look! This puddle is my body!" So, maybe we'll revisit that one later. Since he never got to meet Carla and Adeline, I think they are a pretty abstract concept to him, but he really got excited when I told them that someday he will be able to see Papa again. He really really loves and misses Papa.

Anyways, it was a really nice walk and it was so nice to be out in the sunny weather. Here is a picture of the boys on our walk:

Ok, I know what you are thinking. I said it was in the 60s and there is still snow on the gound and the boys are still in their winter coats. That's springtime in Ironwood for ya! It was actually only 50 degrees this morning when we went for our walk and the boys have runny noses and coughs, so I didn't want to risk going coatless. But they still had a great time.

And I know you have all been dying to see more pictures of our vacation, so here are some of us at the Animal Kingdom:

Calvin and Michael in front of the big tree:

Ryan and Michael on the Kali River Rapids ride (which Ryan LOVED and insisted that I take him on it again later):

Calvin and myself on our jungle safari:

Ryan with some white Rhinos:

Ryan and myself goofing off at the bird show:

Ryan and Calvin joining in with the street band:

Friday, March 13, 2009

I have a new phone number

I being Michael in this case. Email, txt or IM me for it if you want it.

Caroline's number will remain the same as it has been.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Brown Ice Cream Popcorn

A little conversation Ryan and I had after his nap today:

Me: What would you like for a snack? we can have oranges, bananas, peaches, pears or applesauce.

Ryan: Maybe I would like peaches. And ice cream popcorn.

Me: ice cream popcorn?

Ryan: NO, I SAID BROWN...ICE...CREAM...POP...CORN! (Really loud and enunciating every word)

He's a nut, but I think he was referring to a popcorn treat AnnaMarie had made. Which really had nothing to do with ice cream.

So, on to the next installment of vacation pictures! These ones are from the Magic Kingdom.

Calvin is really into walking with assistance these days:

Ryan in front of the castle:

A very happy Calvin, before cutting his teeth:

Calvin and Michael:

Ryan waving at the parade:

Giving someone on stilts a high five:

The whole fam in front of the castle:


Ryan REALLY LOVED this big water wheel at our hotel:

Ryan by the castle at night with his mickey mouse ears on:

Our boys in their mouse ears:

*Update* After Ryan's snack of peaches, he came back to the table a few minutes later and licked the edge of his bowl and said in a high pitched little voice, "MOM, IT'S PEACHY!"

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Carribbean, nothin' but love for ya!

Well, here we are, back from our Disney and Caribbean vacation, and we had a blast. We spent Thursday night through Sunday morning of last week at Disney World in Orlando and then went on our Disney cruise from Sunday afternoon through Thursday morning of this week. Neither of us have ever been huge Disney fanatics or anything, but the fact that Disney cruise line is the only one that has a nursery on board pretty much sealed the deal. But actually, I thought the Disney vacation was perfect.

I thought Ryan would either be indifferent towards the characters or scared of them, but it was SO funny to watch him. He totally surprised us. He was so emotional that he nearly broke down crying from sheer happiness. It was hilarious. He hugged Minnie Mouse for a solid minute or two and we had to hold him back from tackling Winnie the Pooh during lunch. Needless to say, he had a great time. Calvin just absorbed everything, but had a good time, too. We went at the perfect time of year, because the crowds were at a minimum. I didn't even have to stand in line at all for Splash Mountain.

Oh, and by the way, the height requirement for most of the roller coasters was 40 inches and since Ryan is 40.5 inches, we decided to see how he did. He continues to surprise me, because for being such a tender little guy sometimes, he is really brave other times. He went on Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Kali River Rapids and Goofy's Barnstormer without getting scared once. He loved it! He just wanted to keep going again and again. If he had been big enough for Space Mountain, I am betting he would have loved that too. My favorite moment was on Goofy's Barnstormer with Ryan. It went a little something like this:

Me: What are you doing, Ryan?
Ryan: I'm putting my hands up in the air!
Me: Oh, ok, I will do it, too. (Putting my arms up in the air)
Ryan: Oh, Mommy, no, you need to put your arms around me.
Me: (Laughing) Ok, I will put my arms around you.
*So far this is all while the roller coaster car is slowly headed up the steep incline getting ready for it's first big drop. Now it starts down the big drop*
Ryan: (With his arms still in the air and squeezing his eyes shut really tightly) Mommy, tell me I'm so brave! Tell me I'm so brave!
Me: (Laughing again) Ok, you're so brave, Ryan!

He really had a great time. And Michael and I had a blast, too. We loved the Animal Kingdom best of all. There were fewer people, more helpful workers, and more interactive things for Ryan to do. It was really fun. We went on the Safari ride, which was very cool. We got to see a lot of cool animals up close. We did the Animal Kingdom on Friday, we went to Epcot for a few hours on Friday night and then we spent all day Saturday at the Magic Kingdom. The firework display at the Magic Kingdom was really cool. They even had a person dressed like a glowing tinkerbell fly down from the top of the castle on a zip line while a firwork arced over the top of the castle, just like the little clip that plays at the beginning of all the disney movies. It was cool. Anyways, we had a great time touring the parks and staying at the Disney Port Orleans Riverside resort. It was awesome.

Our cruise was a lot of fun, too, although it was hampered a little by the fact that Calvin chose our cruise to be the perfect time to cut his first two teeth and throw up for pretty much 2 days straight. But that's ok, it was still great. Michael and I got to go snorkeling on Castaway Cay, we all explored downtown Nassau (briefly--it was really expensive), saw a couple of shows on the boat, taught Ryan how to play ping pong, went swimming and ate some really good food. It was mostly nice to just be all together.

So, as you might expect, we have about a million pictures. So when I asked Michael if I should post all 54 of my favorites in one post and got a really big eyeroll from him, I decided I'll just post a few every couple of days to keep things interesting.

Here are the boys meeting Mickey and Minnie:

Here is our family at the character lunch buffet:

Aladdin and Ryan (now Ryan walks around with his arms folded and says "This is how I be a prince"):

Ryan and Winnie the Pooh:

I love these next few--check out Calvin's expression in every one of them. It's like "What in the.....?"

Anyways, 8 pictures down, 46 to go, so I'm sure you'll all hear from me again soon!