Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Concert & Sparklers


We felt the summer heat today. Michaela and Danielle invited Lilly for a swim in the inflatable pool. We grilled afterwards, keeping the oven off and enjoying air conditioning that was turned on for the first time this year today. Dessert included finger licking good smores.

After supper we attended the Winona Municipal Band concert. Danielle danced to Leroy Anderson's "The Waltzing Cat". At dusk we caught fireflies and lit sparklers in the yard.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Childhood Memories

So this seems to be the summer for re-creating my childhood memories, a few weekends ago it was Itasca State Park and this past weekend it was going to the horse races! Saturday we headed north to the cities to stay at a hotel and the girls had a blast swimming and we were fortunate enough to have all of my family there as well. I even had a chance to snuggle with Randy & Ashley's little baby, Claire! Fun was had by all as we swam, had pizza and cookies and just had a generally great time.

Sunday morning we woke to have a somewhat hectic breakfast, then headed to a park to blow some energy before we headed off to the races. When I was a kid, we used to always have the choice between Valleyfair and the horse races, for many summers we all chose to go to the races. I remember watching the horses in the saddling paddock and trying to decide which horse looked like he was going to win. I even had specific things that the winning horse could or couldn't have in order to bet on them. Back in those days, my parents would give us so much money (maybe $20-$30) and we had that money to spend on meals, souveniers, candy and betting. It was the only money we had and we couldn't get more so we had to make sure not to spend too much and always watch what we were spending. My girls are obviously too young for the betting and money handling but they did have fun picking out the prettiest horses or rather their favorite number (in Danielle's case) and waiting to see whether their horse won or not.

However much fun that was for me and the girls, the highlight of the races were the pony rides, face painting and the playground. Both girls picked out the pony with the pretty ribbons in its hair and got to ride together. I had such a fun time seeing their faces as they got to ride. Both girls also picked out matching unicorns to have on their faces. Michaela was terribly worried Sunday night that her unicorn might rub off in the night, but it did happen to stay on enough that it was acceptable.

Danielle is in the videos below and was enjoying her two favorite things at the playground...the tire swing (notice her singing in the background) and the tire horse swing. I think she spend at least half of her time on it :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Great River Ridge Trail

This afternoon we rode part of the Great River Ridge paved bike trail.  We hopped on the trail near Eyota and rode 8 miles to Elgin, where the girls enjoyed an orange push-up before returning to the vehicle. 

This is the longest distance the girls have ridden their tag-alongs and near the end they were tired.  I felt similar, as the recently purchased 20 inch 7.2FX bike wore me out more than the 22.5 inch one I've been riding the past two years.

In case anyone is wondering, the new banner is from the top of the bluff at John Latsch State Park near Winona.  It is one of the recently edited pictures from last fall in this album.  This link gives a cool virtual tour of the views from the trail at Latsch SP.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Steamboat Days

We were busy yesterday enjoying the activities of Steamboat Days in Winona. After brunch with friends I walked in the parade for St Mary's while the girls watched.

We then went to the carnival, where the girls took advantage of wristbands and rode various rides for nearly four hours. In between we grabbed a bite to eat and watched the dirt bike and clown shows of Victoria's Circus.

The merry-go-round was Danielle's preferred ride, where she favored the horses with red roses on them. They of course tried out a couple other rides as well, with Michaela being much braver with Lilly than Danielle.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pictures & Videos

Since returning to Winona from central Minnesota we've slowed down a bit. I'm trying to catch up a major backlog of pictures on our computer, which we generally edit before sharing them. Here is a slideshow of pictures from time in Staples a couple of weeks ago.

We took a couple of videos while visiting Staples as well, the first from a bike ride to DQ and the second from Itasca.

Lastly, here are other edited pictures from 2012, 2011, and 2010.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


So, it has been a crazy long time since you’ve heard from me; Malcolm has been wonderful and updated you all on the past year and I thought I’d try my hand at blogging again. After talking with Malcolm and others, I have been thinking maybe it’s more important for myself to blog and write down memories than for the enjoyment that others might receive from it. We’ll see how it goes, but I am willing to give it another shot at this point!
This past week and a half has been spent with the girls and Malcolm going home for Memorial day and myself taking the train back 4 days later and spending one week with family including a special time with Aubrey, Abi and Zach. I do have to apologize off the bat as my photography zeal has waned and photos are not as plentiful as they once were. That being said Malcolm started off Memorial day weekend fishing with the guys as Michaela and Danielle got to spend some quality time with Grandma Cindy, Grandma Betty, Aunt Chris and Grandma and Grandpa Kallevig. The weekend was cold and most of the time was spent in sweatshirts, but it sounded as if everyone had a good time. I spent the weekend reading, watching tv until late into the night (a treat for me!), painting the bedroom and visiting some friends. It was a blessing to have some quiet time in my own home. Thank you to everyone who helped take care of my girls as it is so much easier to know that they are having a wonderful time away from me.
Malcolm and the girls were kind enough to take the Jeep (no A.C.) and the bikes home so that we could ride bike more often. Danielle was my biking partner and we had a lot of fun together. I also did my p.r. of miles biked in a day of over 28 miles!
A trip to the Dairy Queen was in order as well.
The first day and half we spent at my parents and it was a wonderful time as Lisa, Hannah and Elizabeth made the trip up to spend the time with us and everyone had a great, relaxing time. I even got a chance to paint a little at my parents’ cabin. After that we went back to Staples and got to see Abi and Zach after not seeing them for quite awhile…Zach is getting so big and will be getting into all sorts of trouble soon as he is almost completely mobile by crawling around and almost standing up. The girls all got along great and had tons of fun playing together, we got some biking in by going to Brainerd and trying out their awesome trail system. It definitely made me eager to go back and try it again for a longer distance.
Love how Abi rests her head on Zach...isn't it supposed to be the other way around?! Friday and Saturday were family get-togethers with both extended families and it was nice being to have everyone in once place and being able to catch up.
One of the highlights of the trip for me was getting to take the girls to Itasca with all of Malcolm’s family. It was so special to go back to the place of my childhood and getting to ride some of the trails and walking the girls across and down the Mississippi. I have so many fond memories of doing the same thing so many years ago.
Sunday was spent relaxing at grandma and grandpa’s and having a nice outing in the pond which included swimming and paddle boats as well as a trip up the big dirt pile! Grandma and the girls were also surprised to find a chickadee family taking up residence in one of the bird houses the girls put up the last time they were home.