Thursday, June 30, 2011

Know What Sucks?

Realizing you are out of paper towels when you child has an epic kool-ade spill on the kitchen floor.  Yaaaaay!  At least we don't throw our old towels out.  We just use them to dry off the dogs, and for these rare occasions.  Know what else sucks?  When the culprit runs and hides instead of cleaning it up. 

Oh, darn.  I didn't take a picture.  I think we will just try to forget it ever happened. ;)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It's the Little Things That Get to Me

The other night, Kurtis and I watched the movie Killers with Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher.  I thought it was a fun movie, with car chases and romance and things going boom.  I liked the story.  But something has been bothering me since watching it.  I figured it out while I was taking a shower yesterday, and I just have to tell somebody even if that somebody is the internet because if I say this to Kurtis, he will tell me I didn't watch it so I could analyze it to death.  Neither did I, but I am an actress.  The problem I have with this movie is that I didn't believe Spencer was in love with Jen.  Ashton Kutcher's range of emotion is pretty vague.  He doesn't even do angry believably.  He skims the surface of the emotions, but never digs deep into them, to find the place where they can become real.  As an actress, I would find this incredibly difficult to work with, and I wonder if Ms. Heigl did too.  I just can't help it.  This was a funny movie, and it had a lot of potential.  The story also moved a little too quickly and felt a little dumbed down.  It wasn't exactly complicated.  It didn't leave any questions unanswered, and everything was tied up in a nice little bow when it was over.  It was fluffy, and sometimes that's what you are in the mood for, but can I please have my fluff filled with actors who want to be actors?  Sometimes it just feels like he is tired of the business, and it shows.  Oh, and I'm not sure why they used the song "Just Say Yes" by Snow Patrol for their falling in love montage.  That song is about a guy trying to get his girlfriend not to leave.  She wasn't going anywhere.  I love that song, but it didn't really go there.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Star Struck!

I've been so busy bragging about how cute Kaleb is that I neglected to tell you guys about my amazing Thursday!  Friday was really super awesome, too, but I have pictures of Thursday.
So any way, Thursday, I picked up my little sister and we met her boyfriend, Joel at the Covey Center for the Arts and watched a totally awesome preview of Kid History Episode 5!  It was such a fun night.  They played all the episodes with some commentary before each one, and then we got to see episode 5 before anybody else!  It was amazing.  The entire theater was filled.  After the showing, there was a meet and greet.  So I actually got to high five Brett Roberts!  He's so cute.  He told me I looked familiar.  My reply was, "I do?"  I was taken aback, and never really know what to say to that.  But I think it is awesome.  They signed my ticket, too.  They're so amazing.  Episode 5 was so funny, I cried.  Seriously.  I could not stop laughing through the whole thing.
For those of you who have not enjoyed this wonderful series, here.  Start with Episode 1.  The rest are also on YouTube.

Those kids are so stinking cute!  Now here is a picture from the evening.  I know. You need proof.

What a super fun night!

Friday, was pretty amazing, too.  I got to see my friend from high school perform in Pioneer Theater Company's production of RENT with my bestest friend Nicole.  We went to dinner, and we got seats that were super close to the stage.  I loved the show.  It made me cry, but not because it was funny.  It was a sad show.  It ended with feelings of hope, but my favorite character died.  The music was incredible and the cast was brilliant.

This is the cover of my program.

And this is my beautiful friend, Ginger.  We didn't try to go back stage and see her, though.  We should have.

Oh, and check this out!

Kaleb lost his first tooth this morning!  He ran around singing, "I lost my tooth!  I lost my tooth!  The tooth fairy will come and give me money!"  He's so cute!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Apple Friend

Kaleb is into making faces on things.  He'll take his hamburger bun and pick out pieces of the top, so it makes a smiley face.  It's really cute.  I only get annoyed when he asks me to make a smiley face with his ketchup and I have already started swirling it all over his hamburger.
Today, his dad wanted to cut his apple so it would be easier for him to eat.  Before he would let his dad do this, he said, "Wait, I want to put a face in it."  Kurtis let him do this and, and afterwards, Kaleb said, "Look!  It's my apple friend!  Let's take a picture of Apple Friend."  We laughed, and complied.  We took a picture, and then Kurtis cut the apple in half.  Kaleb said, "I will always remember you, Apple Friend."

He's going to miss his apple friend.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What Use Do They Have of That Information!? They Can't Do That Anyway!

I'm getting ready to go out and have some fun with my sister, Emily, and I am brushing my teeth.  While doing this, I think I hear Zachary come home from a birthday party, so I leave the bathroom to go greet him.  "Did you remember to bring your bike home?"  "Uh-huh.  I rode it home."  "Awesome.  At this point, Kurtis looks at me and says, "I imported some boy knowledge to my boys.  Well, two of them any way."  I continue to brush my teeth and listen to what is coming next.  I mean, he used the term "boy knowledge" after all.  "I showed them how to make a spit ball."  Because I have a mouth full of toothpaste, all I can do is roll my eyes, and go upstairs.  After spitting and rinsing, I return to him.  "What?  Every boy needs to know how to make a spit ball!"  "Why?!" Is all I could ask.  "What kind of father would I be if I didn't teach my boys how to throw a proper spit ball?"  Apparently, this information made Riley very happy, and Kaleb was impressed.  Yay.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Of All The Dreams, Is This One Still Out of Reach

We are officially back home, and I feel so happy to be here.  But I loved, loved, loved not being here!  Vacations are so awesome that way.  You get tired of where you live, so you have to go visit somewhere else and you have the most amazing time.  But when you get home, you are just content and it is okay to be normal again, and sleep in your own bed instead of an air mattress or hotel bed.
Yesterday, was so amazing!  I loved Mt. Rushmore!  Honestly, I thought it would be bigger, but I was still just so happy to be there that I didn't care!  The kids loved the gift shop and threw the best tantrum for not being able to get whatever they wanted.  Especially Kaleb.  Kurtis gave them a really awesome lecture when we got back to the car, that I really wish I had on tape.  But I was driving.  I love getting pictures of my kids pouting and crying.  I think it is hilarious.  Does that make me a bad mom?  I don't think so.  I just can't believe the things that make them cry.  Not getting a dessert.  Not getting another stuffed animal to add to their ginormous collection of stuffed animals.  I'm sure I was the same way, but my world is a little bit bigger now.  At the same time, though.  I do not like it.  Because I know how it feels to not get what you want, and that is not a good feeling.
Anyway, blah, blah.  I've spoiled my kids.  Get over it.  After Mt. Rushmore, we went to see the Crazy Horse monument.  It's not finished.  Hold on let me Google it.  Well, never mind.  There is no projected finish date because there are too many factors of why it isn't finished yet.  It was started in 1947, though.  I might be dead before they finish it.  It's going to be really huge, and really cool when it is done, though.  I hope they can finish it before I am too old and decrepit to travel.  I also learned that the Black Hills are sacred to Native Americans.  That is awesome.  It's one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.  I really loved South Dakota.  It's quite diverse.  Well, at least the southern part is.  I did drive through the entire southern part of the state.  Kurtis promised me we would go back and go camping in the Badlands. Because I wanted to take the scenic drive through, but Kurtis wanted to hurry up and get to the hotel.  It was getting late, and we were all hungry, so I'm glad we did.  Well, my practical side is any way.  My adventuring side said, "We have to!  Wait, no!  Why did you just pass the turn off?  What's the matter with you!?  Don't you know you probably won't be back here for years!?"
 Yep.  Raining!  It rained in every state we were in while we were in it! :)

 The guy who carved Mt. Rushmore.

 The walk of states. I don't remember what it is really called, but that sounds good.

 I can't wait to watch the video he shot of my stomach.  It's way too big right now.

 Some nice lady asked me to take a picture of her and her family, and she took a picture of us in return!  Now, I have proof that I was there!  We both agreed that are always the ones taking pictures and are never in any of them! :D

 Theodore Roosevelt.  26th President of the United States of America.

 He was totally posing.  He said, "Hey, Mom!  Take a picture of me like this!"
So I did.

 Seeing this made me incredibly happy.

 I love these words.

 Crazy Horse.

 My kids dug this place.

 Riley kept getting on the platform, and making me yell, "Get off there!  You aren't supposed to stand on that!"

Old time post office.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Time Together Isn't Ever Quite Enough

Sunday, June 19, 2011
   We left my sister's house early this morning.  We packed out stuff in the car, and shoved the kids in before they were even awake.  We were on our way to Rapid City, South Dakota.  We decided to stay there and drive to Mount Rushmore the next day.
    Yesterday, we finished the laundry we started, and went to Target.  We got some things for lunch today, and some snacks.  We also watched the final Pirates of the Caribbean movie of our trilogy.  We had been watching them each night because Michele's kids had only seen the first one, and we brought all three for the boys to watch during their drive.  The kids really liked watching them and eating dinner.
   On our way out of Minnesota, we had to make a stop in Blue Earth at the Jolly Green Giant statue.  It's just this cute, 55 foot statute of him.  It was cool, and the kids liked getting out of the car.  I saw a frog in the marshy water by the statue, but Kaleb scared him away before I could take his picture.  It was an accident, so no big deal.
   For lunch, I had to stop in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  There is a place there called Falls Park.  If you are ever passing through there, take the time to stop.  It's totally worth it.  There are many places to take pictures of the falls, and to explore.  You could spend all afternoon there, but we only stayed an hour.
   After that, we pretty much only stopped for gas and restroom breaks.  We were twenty miles away from Rapid City, and Zach declared that he couldn't wait to go to the bathroom.  He had just asked us to stop two hours before and had to pee on the side of the road, but this time, there was no where to stop.  I looked at Kurtis, and said tentatively, "Well, he is a boy.  He can just pee in a bottle."  And so he did.  Kurtis made him hold it the rest of the way, and throw it away as soon as he found a garbage, but still.  That's just gross.
    It's good to finally be here and to have a place to stay.  I'm so excited for tomorrow.

 He's cute.  I'd date him. ;)

 Kurtis actually took my picture!  So now I have proof!  I was there!

 South Dakota!

 Falls Park

The boys loved this place.

 South Dakota is lots of farms and cattle ranching.

 It reminded me of Little House on the Prairie, but I suppose this is where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived.

 A few of the rest stops in South Dakota look like this.  I think they have to tepees when they have some historical significance because the one we stopped at was on the Lewis and Clarke Trail.  It was cool.  There was a little mini museum in it.

I really liked these clouds.  They were so fluffy!

I Am Floating Away

Friday, June 17, 2011
   Sometimes I feel I lack creativity.  I mean, I seem to start all of these posts with, "Today,..."  Lame.  But I am coming up empty when I try to think of some other way to begin.
  Our time with my sister and her family is nearing its end.  But I am not sad to go.  We've had amazing adventures while we were here.  I mean it.  It's been super amazing, but I will see my sister again soon.  Okay, so maybe I am sad to go.  I love being around her.  She's so smart and creative and it rubs off on me.  She is an artist, so most of the paintings in her home are done by her or her children.  I want to paint a picture and hang it on my wall now.  I'm not very good at painting, though.  I've decided to at least give it a go, though.  One of the pictures I have taken on this trip is going to be my inspiration.  I just need to pick one.
   Today we went canoeing on French Lake.  There is a park called French Park near my sister's home, and you can rent canoes by the hour.  We rented three canoes and paddled each other around for an hour.  It was marvelous.  Kurtis has decided we need to get a canoe now.  I agree.  They are expensive, though, so that will have to wait.  When our hour on the lake was up, we came ashore, and the kids played in the lake and in the sand.  It was so much fun.  I took a nap.  It was probably only ten minutes or less, but it was sleep.
   Tomorrow we are going to do our laundry and go grocery shopping and pack.  We leave Sunday morning to go to South Dakota and see Mount Rushmore on the way home.  I'm so excited.  I have never seen that before either!  So much I haven't seen and done before.  I love trips like this!  And I love that I get to do it with my kids and my husband.  It has been so much fun to watch them as they've seen new things and explored new places.  Zach and I had gone to French Park and went canoeing the last time I came to Minnesota.  It was so fun to hear him exclaim as we pulled into the park, "Hey!  I remember this place!"  I had been telling him we'd already been there, but he would just look at me like I was insane.  It made me laugh.  Best trip ever, I tell ya!

 I love how green it is here.

 These are awesome turtles at French Park.

 More turtles.

 Henry was so excited to go on the canoe!

Ana hadn't ever steered a canoe before, but she got the hang of it.

 We all stopped to say hello! :)

 Zach had a lot of fun, but he didn't like it when they rocked the boat.

 We also chased the ducks.

And they flew away.

 They created towns and buildings.

 Okay, so their buildings look like huts, but they still rock!

 Finished product.

 The kids playing on the sand.

 More playing.

 Michele and Brian play, too!

It's pretty much William's favorite thing to do.

Kurtis relaxed on the bench.


 This was a really cool spider.

 Oh, and Kaleb got a mosquito bite on his forehead and it swelled up so much he looked like a Klingon.  He's allergic.

I Will Race You To the Waterside

Thursday. June 16, 2011
  Today was the best day.  We got up early and drove to Two Harbors, MN.  What's there you ask?  Lighthouses!  Our first stop (well, after my stop at a gas station to use the facilities), was Split Rock Lighthouse!  I went there with Kaleb when my niece Ana got baptized, but Kaleb was only six months old, so he doesn't remember it.  I really love Lake Superior.  I don't know why but bodies of water make me really happy.  The ocean is my favorite, but lakes and rivers will do the trick, too.  If I believed in zodiac signs and that stuff, I would say it's because I am a water sign.  Maybe it is.  Maybe I just appreciate the beauty and power of water.  I really love the sound of the waves on the shore and the way it moves.  I should learn to swim.
   After Split Rock, we drove to the lighthouse in Two Harbors, too.  I've never been to this one, so it was a treat to go and see it.  It's not as big, but it is still beautiful.  Lighthouses are really ingenious.  The idea of something out there to help keep sailors safe is just nice, and makes me smile.  Lighthouse keepers really took their jobs seriously, and I think that is comforting.
  We stopped in Duluth for dinner at Grandma's Saloon and Grill.  It was a great place, and can only be found in Minnesota.  There are a few of them around, but only in that state.  They have great food - a little something for everybody, and they are very family friendly.  I loved the kid's menu.  It said something like "If you are really good you can have dessert!"  We didn't get dessert.  Zach cried.  Literally.  He's a little old to be crying like a three-year-old just because he didn't get dessert, but this trip is revealing to us just how spoiled our children really are.  They just expect to get what they want, and when they don't, it's not always pretty.
    But it was still a really good day.  Nobody can spoil this vacation for me.  Nobody!  Not even the fact that it has rained every day since Tuesday!  I love rain!  Bring it on!

 Father/Son make a face for my picture!

 This is such a great post card!

 This was our tour guide at the Lighthouse.

 It wasn't raining at the lighthouse.  It was more like misting.  Which I thought was cool.

 Split Rock Lighthouse and its Keeper.  In the mist, it looked kind of eerie, but it was so awesome!

 The mechanism.

 The lighthouse keeper.  He was explaining that this stove would not have been in the lighthouse while the lighthouse was working.  It was put in to help tourists keep warm after the lighthouse was closed.

 This is the light.

 What a nice pantry!  It's bigger than mine.

 One of the children's rooms in the Keeper's house.

 This is a keeper's uniform.

 Heading down to Lake Superior!

 Split Rock Lighthouse as seen from the shore of Lake Superior.

 Can you see why I love it there?

 Another reason why I love it there.

 Throwing rocks in Lake Superior.

 The waves.

 Two Harbors Lighthouse.

 Kaleb in the Pilot House.

The view from the window at the top of the tower.

Kurtis chasing the kids around in the grass.  Good times.

We ate dinner here.

 Michele and her family checking out the menu.

 I wasn't kidding when I said he cried.

Their menus are so cool!

 I just loved this tug boat in Duluth.

 This bridge is really cool.  Apparently when boats come by, it raises up on both sides instead of opening up in the middle and lifting up.  It's one of a kind.

 Skipping rocks in Lake Superior.  Kurtis got six skips with one rock.  Impressive.