Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wedding In August

Wedding bells here in Minnesota!  Tana and Patrick have set a date and are planning on an August 7th wedding.  You can imagine what will be happening around here the next few months!  It hardly seems possible to be celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary and looking forward to our daughter's wedding in a few months.  We are praying for God's blessing on these two as they begin planning their lives together.  I have a feeling it's going to be quite a family gathering come August!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

6th Anniversary: Afton House Inn

This is where we stayed for our anniversary get-away, a historic landmark sitting quietly by the St. Croix River.  Afton is so small and quiet, especially in the early spring, that we enjoyed amazing relaxation and a walk through the whole town in about 15 minutes.
The beautiful spiral stairway from the lobby to the rooms upstairs.

Our room had a view of the St. Croix.  Unfortunately, it was mostly covered in boats moored for the winter, but I can imagine that in the summer, it is a beautiful view.

I thought this lamp was especially pretty, sitting on an antique vanity.

This radio actually worked.

The formal dining room was ready for Easter.  In the evening it was especially classy with candles on each table.  We didn't actually eat here, but we had to peek in.

The following morning a nice little breakfast buffet was available.  It was a little like the continental breakfast you receive at some motels/hotels, but a notch or two higher with fresh fruit, bagels, pastries, oatmeal, batter for waffles, yogurt, and a variety of drinks.

This blue and white pitcher caught my eye, as does most blue and white.  It looked quite pretty sitting on the mantel in the breakfast room.

Here's where we walked and talked (and pushed a baby stroller).  Did I say Cody came with us?  He was actually a very good baby and didn't interrupt too often.  He even made us smile a time or two with his latest chuckles. 

We really felt like we needed this time, and thankfully, no one was sick, and we have wonderful friends and helpful sisters to watch the younger ones.  Besides, Kent got a great deal using Groupon, so this room was at least 50% off the usual price.  Gotta love a good deal and a memorable weekend at the same time!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

6th Anniversary: German Restaurant

 Kent and I got away for our anniversary last weekend.  We didn't travel further than 20 minutes, but it felt like we were miles from home.  With no definite plans in mind, we were pleasantly surprised to happen upon this German restaurant.  Winzer Stube, open since 1999 by a native German woman, is located in the lower level of the historic Opera house in downtown Hudson.

The  walls were lined with postcards from Germany.

A German woman was our server, making the whole experience seem that much more authentic!  She brought us this delicious sourdough bread before our meals were ready.  It was ever so soft on the inside with a chewy crust on the outside.
German books sat on the shelf by our booth (not that I could read them but it was fun to look at them)
, and the little lamp on our table actually had dried flower petals and leaves on its shade. 

Kent ordered all-you-can-eat fish and chips.
I ordered a Reuben because I love them, and never make them at home.  It came with a cup of wild rice and chicken soup all for $8.  The menu was also fun to read because it told a little about the owner and her family as well as descriptions of the food and their philosophies.

Kids eat free Thursday nights.  Certain dishes are 1/2 price on Wednesdays.  Appetizers are 1/2 off from
4-6.  Winzer Stube was voted the ninth best German restaurant in the United States. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Yum! Cookie dough!

Plain oatmeal won't ever be quite the same after this!  I was baking cookies last weekend for the girls' after-tournament treat, when, unbeknownst to me, one of the big brothers knocked this cookie-dough covered whisk on the floor.  I turned around to find Cody quite happily getting a few tastes!  I started to snatch it away and then realized the harm was already done.  I decided I might as well get some pictures!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Special Lady

DJ, Levi, Kade, and Cody with Grandma Alice.
(Kalai and Malia had already left for a class)

Living in the Twin Cities has its perks, the close proximity of the airport being one of them!  For the second time, Alice has had a chance to pay us an unexpected visit due to a layover in Minneapolis.  She volunteered to give up her seat in return for a nice voucher to be used in the future.  A couple weeks ago, she was able to spend afternoon and dinner with us.  What a pleasant surprise!  This special lady is grandmother to our children, mother-in-law to Kent, and gift from God to me.  She is the mother of Susan, Kent's first wife.  She exemplifies a woman who loves and fears the Lord, "her children rise up and bless her."  She has encouraged me, welcomed me, inspired me, and even gently corrected me. God's family is amazing!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


 Looking forward to this again...summer dinners on the porch,
And freshly picked hydrangeas from my backyard!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Cody - 8 months

I'm 8 months old and I....

  • tried out the infant swing for the first time...loved it!
  • am gradually adding solid foods like sweet potato, rice cereal, avocado, and banana
  • am scooting forward and almost ready to actually crawl
  • know that there's food under the table after dinner for me to pick up
  • put everything in my mouth...every piece of fuzz, every staple, every tiny Lego, stickers, etc.
  • am learning to sleep on my own (and it's probably more difficult for mom and dad than for me!)
  • often pat mommy on the shoulders when she picks me up because I'm so delighted
  • would rather play with a phone than any other toy you might place in front of me

Sunday, April 10, 2011

One bed is fine

They each have a toddler bed, but occasionally, Kade will decide he'd rather sleep on the floor right between the two beds, right on top of Levi, or, like this picture, beside him.  Precious moment for mom!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Black Belts They Are

Kalai and Malia passed their black belt testing a couple weeks ago.  I think I'd like to have one on either side of me wherever we go. :) They've worked very hard to get to this place.  Even though I'm personally no expert on Tae Kwon Do, having never even participated in one class, I've managed to learn some through their talks around the house.  Their instructors have the highest standards and expectations which has been good for the girls.  They've also become strong physically and have learned the value of exercise and keeping in shape.  And for the most part, they're still gentle and sweet, not running around looking to beat anyone up!  I feel like that a good attitude is emphasized at this school, and I'm glad our girls have had the chance to develop skills and build self-discipline. 

I've learned that I'm a silly emotional crier at these things.  I get all choked up when they go to break a board.  Very silly.  And I laugh at it.  So do the girls.  But I can't help it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Malia's Creation

Malia and Kalai had received a gift card to a pottery/paint shop nearby.  They spent an evening there and this is what Malia chose and painted.  I especially like the mushroom add-in at the bottom of the cup.  So cute!