You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2011.

I was meeting up with some old friends that use to be part of what we called the “publications committee”. Back in the day when I was the MSPE President we worked with Jim on putting out the magazine called “Engineering Contacts”. We’d get together and discuss issues in our area affecting the engineering community. The gathering was at a local Perkins, so of course my girls wanted to tag along for the food. We were a bit early and the restaurant wasn’t too far from my old neighborhood where Anna spent her first 3.5 years. She wanted to see it again. We took a little walk to the park we use to frequent. It was by a school on the other side of the creek. It was fun re-living the memories with Anna.

July 28:

By the creek.


Even at 13 she had to try out the toddler swing she use to sit in when she was, well, a toddler.

And finally at Perkins, part of the old committee: Dennis, me, Don and Jim (seated):

It was good to see these guys again. They were all like second fathers to me.


Once again I was inspired by a recent photo of the day I took on July 21st. Ellie was a cooperative model that evening and I was thrilled with the photographs I got. Here’s my “sweet” girl:

After a restless night for Ellie due to a stuffy nose and a malfunctioning storm siren that went off at 2 in the morning for an hour, Ellie woke up with a full blown cold. So we stayed home.  Her husky voice made us laugh all day. Ellie was entertained by a whole circle of friends for most of the morning.

July 27:

Ellie’s friends.

She was feeling lots better by the time Daddy got home, so we headed downtown for $1 burger night. Yum!

Another fun morning with the Funky Minds bunch. This time we added everyone’s pets. It was Pet Show day with a guest veterinarian, Dr. Hersey. There were cats and dogs and rabbits and guinea pigs and hamsters and a toad and even a few pet rocks. After all the kids introduced their pets, Dr. Hersey told the children about what happens when they bring their animal in for a check up. Then she showed them how they would care for a wound and let them practice bandaging each other. Ellie’s pet was a toad. Ellie and her neighbor friend, Alex, had caught a very tiny toad over the weekend in the yard and Ellie had been caring for it. She named him Stripe because there was one stripe along its back. Amazingly all the creatures got along beautifully.

July 26:


Ellie’s pet toad, Stripe.


More photos from the Funky Minds Pet Show:

After this it was time to free Stripe. Ellie determined that the best habitat would be near the river. She found a good new home for Stripe that had lots of bugs to eat, water nearby to drink and shrubs for shelter.


It’s not often I get photographs of Brandon and Austin. Being older teens they tend to be off doing their own thing and not hanging around the step-mom. But I did catch them in action together last month during Brandon’s graduation party playing a game of bean bag toss. Oh they do tease each other and once in a great while the voices become a bit raised, but you can tell that they are close and I love that!


The highlight of the day was just that, highlights. Anna had been asking for highlights in her hair, so we bought a kit and spent the morning playing beauty parlor.

I took the girls out for DQ treats in the afternoon. Anna tried a peanut butter sundae which she thought was good. Ellie had her usual red/white/blue starkiss.

July 25:


Attended church with the entire family (that doesn’t seem to happen much lately) in the morning. After the service we have a fellowship time downstairs. I have a love/hate relationship with this. I love spending time visiting with people and catching up on each others lives. I love the treats that Dianna serves each week (today was rice crispy bars with chocolate and an oreo ice cream cake). I hate the treats that Dianna provides because they are so good and I am tempted to have more than one (now that’s my fault, not Dianna’s).

It was also the first Sunday, Mark’s wife from Guatemala was here. Mark and Maria married in June 2010. It has taken this long to work through the immigration papers to bring her and her daughter to Minnesota.  I am so happy that they can finally be together.

In the afternoon our friends, Brian, Orialla and their kids, Danny and Andrea came over for lunch and a visit. We actually had all 4 of our kids home for lunch with us too. It made for a crowded but fun table.

Ellie got a bit creative finally making use of some of the paper hearts she punched out last week.

July 24:

Love rocks.

Friday night I got together with Claire at her house for some scrapping. She also has a second grade daughter and our girls are friends from church. We scrapped while the girls played. I did get a few layouts completed:

All the photographs are from Funky Minds events this past month. We’re off to another Funky Minds event this morning to learn and share about pets with a local veterinarian.

Anna let her little sister, Ellie, help with baking a chocolate cake. Not sure if Ellie really wanted to help or just wanted access to the batter afterwards.

July 23:

Baking rewards.

We’ve discovered a great place to shop for clothes for Anna called “The Hanger”. It’s a small consignment shop in Victoria. They do have some kids, women’s and men’s clothes as well, but mostly teen stuff. This past weekend they held their annual bag sale. Everything you could stuff into one of their bags was only $20. We came home with a total of 15 items. Ellie got a red velvet dress and a t-shirt. I got a tank top and a long sleeve top, while Anna got the other 11 items (a pair of jeans, jacket, shirts, sweaters).

July 22:

Bargain shopper.