Sunday, December 11, 2016

Christmas in Albert Lea

Christmas with Dave's extended family came early this year--mid December.  The weather wasn't great, but Dave was able to get off of work early and drive us down for a late lunch.  Santa came, and the kids opened gifts.  Norah was definitely suspicious of Santa this year, and said, "that's Grandma".  We tried to convince her otherwise, but she was still pretty suspicious.  It was a quick afternoon, but fun to see everyone!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Santa visits

The girls were able to visit with Santa a couple of times this year--once was our new tradition, taking the light rail up to downtown Minneapolis to Macy's early Thanksgiving week.  This year, all of our siblings were able to join us.  Greg had even flown in for Thanksgiving, so could join us.  We had fun walking through the elf village, meeting Santa, writing letters to Santa, and enjoying some yummy treats from the bakery.  This year, Norah asked for an American Girl doll named Ginger (actually a Target brand doll--Norah wanted her specifically because she wears a red dress).  Abby asked for a double doll stroller.  She really wanted an American Girl one, but when I showed her how short it would be, she and I found a taller one on Amazon.  She had to show Santa my phone to make sure he knew which one she wanted..  After our visit, Tracy even rode the light rail back with us until her stop at her apartment.

The first weekend of December, Dave's parents came up and went to see Santa with us at a local realtor's office.  Norah was excited that Mrs. Claus was there, too!  His parents came back to our house to make gingerbread houses with the girls that afternoon.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Door County

Last week, we had a great time gathering with my dad's side of the family in Door County, Wisconsin.  My aunt and uncle had rented a stunning house in Egg Harbor, right on the bay.  Every night, we had amazing sunsets on the lake and almost all nights included a bonfire in the rocks.

Here are some of our highlights of the week:

*Sunday--Dave and some of the guys went on a salmon fishing charter for the afternoon; Greg, Rose Mary, Jenny, and my dad went on a kayak tour; the rest of us had lunch in Egg Harbor.  We had a baby shower for Ben (Kelly couldn't make it on this trip) that night.

*Monday--we had a surprise event--Mara and Bryan had rented a private trolley tour to pick us up at the house and take us around Peninsula State Park and to an orchard and winery.  It was so much fun!  The girls enjoyed riding in the front of the trolley, we picnicked at Nicolet beach at the state park, and we even had a dance party on the trolley.  Some jumped in the lake for an evening swim!

*Tuesday--we went to Sister Bay to eat at Al Johnson's (a Swedish restaurant with goats on the roof).  It was a LONG wait, so some of us took the kids to a nearby park to fill the time.  In the afternoon, we went with Mara, Bryan, Connor, and Ben to the Egg Harbor beach to swim, play in the sand, and do some stand up paddleboarding.  That night, some of us went on a ghost trolley tour that stopped at a few places, including a "haunted" house and a cemetery in Peninsula State Park.  Our family had a hard time keeping a straight face with the tour guide with the ridiculous accent at the house.

*Wednesday--we had the best time at the beach at Whitefish Dunes State Park.  The water was perfect for the hot day, and was so shallow that the kids could walk out a long ways.  We played frisbee, floated in the waves, picnicked, and played in the sand until it was time to go.  We cleaned up and met up with everyone at Wild Tomato for delicious pizza.  On our way back to the house, we stopped for some mini golf at Pirate's Cove and ice cream at a place called "Not Licked Yet" in Fish Creek.

*Thursday--the hottest day of the week, but too windy to swim at a beach, so the kids, Miriam, Sarah, my grandma, and I went to a place called "The Farm".  The kids fed baby bottles of milk to the goats and fed corn to the goats and other animals.  The goats were a little aggressive and kept trying to sit on my grandma's lap and even jumped into the wagon with Gavin at one point.  The highlight for Abby was holding a kitten.  For lunch, we met up with everyone at P.C. Junction.  The wait was too long to sit where the train brings your food, but we ate in the porch area.  Next to the pizza restaurant across the road were some awesome pedal cars and a track, and a giant chess board.  We had a blast there!  I enjoyed a nap in the hammock that afternoon!  That night, some of us went go-karting and to the batting cages.  We played games and had a root beer taste test later that night.

*Friday--in the morning, I went sailing with my dad, Greg, and Jenny.  It was really windy, but still a nice trip.  We ate at Wild Tomato for lunch, then Greg dropped me off at the bike rental place to meet up with Dave and the girls.  We rented bikes and a trailer for Norah and did the bike trail through Peninsula State Park.  It's about a 10 mile loop from the bike rental place and back.  Abby did so great!  I loved the trails and the cool breeze coming through the trees.  When we got back to the house, it was time for dinner.  Mara and Bryan grilled steaks and we had ice cream for dessert.  We had our last campfire and game time.

*Saturday--it was time to pack up and clean up to be out of the house by 10.  We were all sad our week had ended and that it was time to part ways.  We are so blessed to have such a wonderful family that all gets along and loves to spend time together like this!