Sunday, July 22, 2012


Caroline and I were sorting through papers in my office this afternoon, and Ryan came in.

In his very Ryan way he said "Mom, Dad, guess what. One of the hotwheels cars is from Liberia!".

"REALLY?" we responded in our very supportive-but-incredulous voices. "Bring it in here and show us."

He brought in the car and a kids dictionary which had all of the flags of the world (as of about 1985) in it.

Sure enough, right above the rear wheels was a little flag. And sure enough it was the Liberian flag!

"I read about this a few days ago. I saw the flag on the car and was just wondering what it was so I looked it up and there was just one word 'Liberia'".

That's Ryan for you.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cora Caroline :)

My beautiful new niece, Cora Caroline Barringer, was born on July 5th and she is such a sweet little doll.  Congratulations to Ken and Kelly!  It is such a wonderful feeling so hold a sweet brand new little baby in your arms.  I think its crazy that they always smell exactly the same, but just holding little Cora brought back all kinds of beautiful memories from those first few days with my own little peanuts.  Anyways, Cora is so very sweet, and we love her to pieces.

Me with beautiful little Cora:

The weekend of Cora's birth didn't exactly turn out as planned.  Well, it did for Cora and Kelly, that all went smoothly, thank goodness! The plan for the rest of us was that Michael and the kids and I would go to the Wisconsin Dells with my parents and my sister Danica and Ken and Kelly's other 3 kids and have a little vacation for a few days while Ken and Kelly were at the hospital with Cora. Instead on the very day that Cora was born, my poor mom was admitted just a couple of floors down for a stomach infection and had to end up staying 5 days!  Poor, poor mom was in so much pain!  I was down in Eagan already with Sophie and Calvin when my mom got admitted, and Michael was home with Ryan, so Michael and Ryan got some quality time for a day or so!  Danica, my Dad and I took turns watching the kids and going to the hospital to see Mom, Kelly and Cora on Thursday, and then Thursday night Danica and I took over so my dad could be at the hospital with my mom. Thus began a pretty long weekend of a million emotional and downright crazy children!  Michael and Ryan came on Friday and helped out, too, so that was a relief.

The big perk of the weekend was getting to spend a lot of time with Danica!  That was so much fun for me. I miss her!  But it was pretty crazy with all of the kids together.  On Saturday Michael, me,  Danica and my Dad took all of the kids to the Waterpark of America as a consolation prize for missing out on the Dells.  They had a really great time, and so did I!  It was awesome.  It did, however, make me just the teeniest bit glad we didn't end up going to the Dells for the weekend, because it is really stressful keeping track of that many kids at a waterpark!  But we all had a great time, so it was a success. 

Anyways, Kelly and Cora came home on Sunday and my mom was able to get out on Monday evening (just in time to drive to North Dakota on Tuesday to start her new job on Wednesday!  Poor mom!), so everyone is doing well!  Welcome to the world,and to our crazy family, Cora!  We love you bunches!

Here are some pictures:

Grandpa Walton and Cora:

Barringer, party of 6!

Just look at that sweet little face!

Getting love from her big siblings:

Meeting Aunt Danica:

Me meeting Cora:

A very tired Sophie sleeping on Danica at McDonald's:

Kelly snuggling  brand new Cora:

Ryan, Michael and Cora:

Ryan and Cora.  Ryan thinks babies are cute, but is only interested for a little while.

Calvin, on the other hand, ADORES babies and loves to talk to them and hold them and check out their little toes and everything for as long as you let him. Cora was no exception!

 Sophie, on the OTHER other hand, thinks babies are going to steal her mom or something, and so she is absolutely off her rocker whenever a baby is nearby.  She wants NOTHING to do with them.  I tried to get a picture of her with Cora and this is what happened:

And this is the face she made once she determined that she was at a safe distance.  Don't worry Cora, I'm sure Sophie will love you to pieces, too.  She just needs a little time.  It's not you, it's her.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


As usual, I am behind on this blog!  Lots of wonderfully exciting things have been going on, like my brand new niece (and namesake!), our Fourth of July trip up to Ironwood, spending time with friends, swimming, you name it. I don't have any of those pictures on my computer right now, though, and since I have a sinus-infection-like-thing that is killing me right now, I am just going to lie in bed and blog about our awesome camping trip at the end of June!

We went to Taylor's Falls, Minnesota to Interstate State Park and camped overnight there with just me and Michael and the kids and we had such a nice time!  There were SO many mosquitoes, but Michael had this bug spray that was basically 100% deet, and it worked like a charm. Except for Calvin, who refused to let me put any on him.  He had 58 mosquito bites by the time we got home, by the way.

Anyways, we arrived in the afternoon and set up Michael's new father's day tent and let the kids run around for a while.  Then we took the kids on a hike to the glacial potholes about 1.5 miles away.  They did so great on the way there.  The way back was a little tougher--I think a 3 mile hike is pushing it for Sophie...and Calvin and Ryan, too, for that matter.  But the hike was really nice with beautiful views and lots of little adventures.  The potholes were very cool, too, and the kids had so much fun running around and exploring.  It was a great afternoon.  While we were at the potholes, I saw a gas station near the visitors center and decided to go buy some ketchup and mustard for our hotdog dinner, since I had forgotten to bring them.  So Michael started hiking home with the kids and I bought the stuff and ran back to catch up with them.  It was like 100 degrees and super hot, so we were all tired and hungry when we got back to camp.  And then I went to get out the hotdogs and realized that I had forgotten those, too!  Whoops!  So Sophie and I hopped in the car and drove back to the same gas station to buy some hotdogs :)

Anyways, we had a nice dinner and then pretty soon it was time to tuck Sophie in to bed.  She fell asleep pretty easily and then we got to enjoy sitting by the fire with the boys for a while.  We all finally went to bed around 11, and thus commenced a very long night of Sophie being a terrible tent sleeper!  But we survived and had a nice breakfast and then went fishing!  We eventually found a nice little park with a beach and a play ground, which worked out perfectly.  Ryan and Michael had fun fishing and I had fun playing in the sand with Calvin and Sophie.  It was a really fun trip!  Here are some pictures:

The kids on the hike!

Smooching on my Sophie:

Michael and the boys having a little snack:

Exploring a glacial pothole:

3 little cuties:

Ryan going rock climbing:

Calvin found this ring in the rock wall near the river and was ver excited to show us his "trick":

Of course Sophie and Ryan had to do it, too:

Our family near the river:

Sophie catches her very first fish ever:

Morning time at our camp site:


Ryan was very serious about pumping water. Just look at the concentration on his face:

Ryan caught a fish!

 And a clam shell!

Sophie LOVED putting her head in the water like this:

This is out of focus, but right after she would dunk her head in, she'd stand up really fast with this goofy look on her face and lick all the drippy wateroff of her face. What a nut.

She had a lot of fun, though!

Michael and Ryan fishing:

Sophie and Calvin playing:

Calvin LOVES  throwing rocks in the water.  He could have done it all day.

Michael helping Sophie:

Calvin loving the sand:

Michael caught a fish!  Calvin caught one, too, but I didn't get a picture of it.

Michael and Calvin fishing: