Monday, July 28, 2008

independent isaac

last week we bribed isaac with dairy queen to swim without his floatees, just from me to dennis. he actually went back & forth between us quite a bit without us pestering him to do so. then on saturday, isaac & i went in the pool for awhile. he's been independent in the pool all summer but with the help of his floatees. when we were all done & were getting things put away, isaac decided he was going to jump in all on his own so i ran for the camera to record this:

i didn't get decent video of him doing a cannonball so will try to get that next time. for now, you'll have to enjoy replaying the above videos of my little boy who started out as a 3 lb. 6 oz. baby & has somehow grown into this big kid who'll start kindergarten in a month. yikes!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

flashback friday...august 1995

the summer before my last year of college, dennis & i decided we were going to take a trip to miami beach to visit his sisters traci & rissa. traci worked at the national hotel located right on the beach & told us she could get us a great deal to stay there. we could hardly pass it up!
so we took off on our road trip. yep, we decided to drive from north dakota all the way to miami beach. since we had cracked this hair-brained scheme to drive, we decided that we'd better take advantage of it. if we were going to drive to florida, we might as well stop in del rio, texas, to visit dennis' dad & family. we were young, what can i say!
we drove the first day to el dorado, kansas, to stay with friends for a night. then it was off to texas. dennis' dad is a borderpatrolman in del rio, 3 LONG hours from san antonio, pretty much driving in barren land with buzzards. we were very nervous upon our arrival because it was the first time dennis & i were meeting his dad, stepmom, & 2 sisters, along with some cousins. but we got past that upon meeting them because they all welcomed us with open arms. we had so much fun with them. the pictures below are of
dennis with sister stacy on the left & tara on the right, then dennis' dad kenneth, the bottom is of me with tara, stacy, & some of their cousins.

after a few days of fun in texas, it was off to see the cutie below: our niece nikiya. she still sports those adorable dimples!

below is the hotel "the national" that we were lucky enough to stay at. it was beautiful! the architecture was so different from anything i'd seen before ~ it was only familiar to me because of miami vice... :) the grounds of the hotel were gorgeous with all of the lush greenery.

while in miami beach, we of course took advantage of the beach, went dancing (it was the summer of the macarena), rissa took us on a tour of the delano hotel where she worked located next to the national, we ate yummy food (traci makes some great cuban food), took a day to tour the everglades, then took a few days to go to disney world & epcot.

rissa, dennis, & i went to orlando for a few days of F-U-N!! although there were a few down pours, we trekked on. we were completely exhausted by the end of the days because we had so much ground to cover in just 2 days. here dennis & i are modeling some nice head gear.

below is rissa with her lovely, disney purchase.

this was my first time at a hard rock cafe.

below are rissa, nikiya, & me getting on our boat to tour the everglades. there was an alligator farm where we saw a worker pretty much like steve irwin, excited about showing the tourists the alligators & wrestling them ~ crikey! dennis thought he should hold one.

the next group of pictures shows the view of the beach from our balcony. then dennis & i are in the ocean with nikiya ~ we were lucky enough to take her for her first time ever in the ocean, along with rissa. the bottom picture is typical of dennis with kids. he has a magic touch to get them to fall asleep.
so after a fantastic 8 or 9 days in miami beach, it was time to start driving back north. the crazy thing was that our trip wasn't over yet. my brother was spending the summer in bardstown, kentucky, performing in "the stephen foster story" & my parents & g'ma were there on their summer vacation. also, my aunt karen, uncle steve, & cousisns kean (yeah, the one that just graduated) & kadija drove over to kentucky from virginia. the picture below is self-explanatory.

this trip was so fun...except that dennis would tell you that was when he discovered that i was crabby when i was hungry, when i was tired, when i was cold, when i was hot...
guess it must have been true love because he married me despite all of that!

**sidenote: gas was generally around $1 on this wonder it was so affordable!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

espn friday night fights

it actually wasn't mysterious at all....we just happened to get these plans to fall in place at the last minute on friday so that's why i posted my flashback friday so late. like you really cared... :)

so what were these plans you ask? dennis had to work for compubox on friday night at the espn fights in primm, nevada, just half an hour away from las vegas. dennis was able to get these passes... for the kids & i to go along with him. boy, it pays to know someone 'cause we got seats (that weren't even ticketed seats~they were put up especially for us) to sit right directly behind the commentators, teddy atlas & joe tessitore. everyone was so nice to us. here are the kids below with teddy atlas. he's so genuine with them & goes out of his way to talk to them.

teddy made sure to give the kids these GIGANTIC espn shirts. the kids thought it was so funny to have shirts so big.

after the fights, we decided to wander around "buffalo bill's casino" to find somewhere to eat.

we settled on tony roma's so we would have a nice place to sit down & relax. our good friend richard, who is more like family, was able to join us. here he is with the kids. um, by this time lauryn had pretty much had it & was ready to go home.

richard was dennis' amateur boxing coach & a father figure to dennis while growing up. he was in primm to corner a boxer from north dakota that was fighting on the card that night. unfortunately, arthur lost & ended up with a broken orbital bone. ouch!
even though it ended up being a late night & an early morning (because our kids get up at the same time no matter how late they go to bed) it was a fun evening!

Friday, July 18, 2008

flashback friday

my brother & i when i was 2 & he was 1. i love these pictures. there's something about those white socks & those stylish sneakers...
i know, i'm just barely squeakin' this in in time for a true flashback friday. i'll post tomorrow to let you in on why this was posted so late!
sounds mysterious...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

the simple life, part deux

today as isaac was enjoying the simple pleasure of red raspberry jell~o topped with cool whip he said,
"mommy, did you know that sometimes when you are getting jell~o out of a bowl with your spoon, it makes a little toot sound?"
stop laughing & eat your farting jell~o my dear boy!

ah, the simple life

that's what kids think about life. if they want to do something, it should be able to be done, no problem. no worries about price tags, distance, time, etc. it's really very simple, isn't it?
today lauryn was watching tv & saw a killer whale.
"look mama, shamu."
"should we go see him tonight?"
"no lauryn, we'll have to do that another time."
"mom, should we see dolphins?"
"we'll do that another day."

now i wanna go to sea world....bad

Friday, July 11, 2008

flashback friday

4 years ago, we headed to nebraska with 17 month old isaac. we were going for a family reunion on dennis' side of the family. while there, we had a fireman themed b'day celebration for cousin keali'i. some of the family members had arranged local paramedics & firemen to come to the party to show the kids their vehicles & equipment. below are some photos from the party.

look at how excited isaac was to see the rescue vehicles pull into the cul-de-sac.

now check out his face as a fireman in full gear gets close to him.

by now, he's decided that the only person to rescue him is his daddy!

the way he looks as he starts to cry in this last photo reminds me of lauryn. :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


isaac saw a recent picture of cousin lilia & said, "look at all her muscles." thought that was too cute to not share. also, wanted to show you all how adorable she still is at 6 months of age ~ time flies! that means we're half-way to christmas y'all...has anyone started their shopping??

Saturday, July 5, 2008

flashback friday...home sweet home

this is where i grew up ~ newburg, n.d. we moved there when i was 2 years old. it's a very small town, with a population now less than 100. it was the best place to grow up! we could run around without fear of traffic or strangers.

an aerial view:

here's a shot from a field on the south side of town. isn't it pretty with the sunflowers? the high school is to the left.

the first picture in the group used to be the grocery store. that closed down close to 10 years ago. there is no store in town, but people can get a few things at the cenex gas station. now the store is a shrimp farm.
the 2nd photo is a picture of the school. when i was growing up, it housed the jr. & sr. high kids from newburg, maxbass, & kramer. those of us elementary age in newburg & kramer went to school in kramer, 13 miles from newburg. maxbass had it's own elementary school. but we all came together for grades 7-12. now, the newburg school is made up of k-12 grades. a lot has changed there!
the 3rd photo is the picture of the only church in town. it is the lutheran church that i grew up in & dennis & i got married in. the bell would chime each night at 9:00. when that happened, my brother & i knew it was time to go home. there was no excuse for not hearing it!
the last photo is a picture of the newburg mall. can you believe such a small town has a mall? well, it's a bit contained the bank, the post office, an insurance office, a cafe, & the beauty shop that my mom owned & ran for 20 years.

there was a period of about 10 years in the 90's that our town would have a summer weekend celebration known as "nonsense daze". it was a lot of fun!! it consisted of a parade (of cars & farm equipment & businesses,etc.), tennis tournament, volleyball tournament, street dance, bbq, contests, games, arts & crafts, & some more things that i'm sure i've forgotten about. one of those years dennis was the grand marshal of the parade, being a local celebrity & all! :)

here you see my parents...

...who decided to dress up like this for the nonsense daze parade one year, riding a bicycle built for two. i imagine i was a bit embarrassed at the time!

here we are playing volleyball ~ dennis & me on the left, my parents on the right.

after a few years of regular volleyball, it was decided that mud volleyball would be even more fun. this is my dad with us. the grand prize for winning the mud vb tourney was towels & bars of soap. after the tournament was over, we'd pile in to the back of a few pick-up trucks & head to the local dam to share the soap & towels with all of us covered head-to-toe in mud. the towels were pretty much useless after that!

i have the best memories of growing up there & sometimes am saddened that my kids don't get to experience the same things that i did growing up. on the other hand, they live in a large city that offers opportunities too numerous to count!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

cookie monsters

today it officially reached 110 degrees in las vegas which means it is usually 5 degrees hotter than that. so what to do on a hot day? bake cookies & warm up the house even more than it already is, of course.

these were my two lovely assistants:

who helped me turn this:

into this:

now i probably could have had two other helpers, but they were so engrossed doing this:

& listening to this:

they were all very happy to take part in this:


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

top 11 highlights from our trip to north dakota...

i know, usually people do a top 10 list. while 10 is great, i figured 11 is even better!! here they are in no particular order:

#11 ~ we had a lot of fun with family!!

#10 ~ swimming was a priority when staying at the hotel for the wedding. although lauryn made a show of getting in her swimsuit & heading down to the pool with everyone, she only played a little in the shallow water. isaac had fun swimming with cousin keali'i & friend kole.

#9 ~ isaac had a blast fishing with grandpa. we all spent a day on the beach of lake sakakawea playing in the sand, fishing, & snacking. it was a perfect day ~ 75 degrees, clear skies, no breeze!

#8 ~ see how much fun lauryn had eating some pudding??

#7 ~ bubbles are always entertaining...

#6 ~ comfy shoes...

the entire wedding party wore black converse sneakers for the ceremony, reception, & dance ~ how cool is that??

#5 ~ we had a hard time fitting in fun with friends ~ we just seemed to run out of time! we were lucky to have former las vegans, the fitzpatricks, drive to minot to spend some time with us. we miss them!!! then dennis & i spent an evening with friends, laughing it up!!! the guys are all friends from high school. they love to tell their "old" stories (yep, we're old now) from back in the day. i can actually retell them myself since i've been hearing them for 16 years now. :) anyway, they are such a fun group to hang out with.

#4 ~ i witnessed my mom ALMOST getting a hole in one...
so close, but yet so far...

#3 ~ the kids & i tag along with the golfers...there are usually ladybugs to be found.

#2 ~ summer at the lake isn't complete without s'mores!!
g'pa & isaac & lauryn waiting patiently to start on s'mores...

skewering the marsh-pillows (an isaacism)...

toasting the marsh-pillows...

OOPS! i forgot to take a picture of us eating them ~ guess my hands & mouth were full!

#1 ~ and the main reason we decided to go to north dakota in june...
our little jordy was getting married!! jordan is our niece whom we adore so it was hard to see her grow up. but we are very happy for jordan & adam & know they will receive many blessings in their marriage. the wedding was beautiful!! my mother-in-law & sister-in-law, rissa, made the topsy~turvy wedding cake. it was delicious!! isaac was the ring bearer & did a fantastic job. lauryn had a blast dancing with all of the other "princesses" at the dance.