Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy Holidays

For the first time since I was young, I truly felt the anticipation of Christmas again. Lily was very aware of all things Christmas, which made for a fun year. For her big present from us, we got her a Princess "big girl" bike. The problem with a bike for Christmas in MN is obvious, but we have taken advantage of the abandoned halls of Concordia during the break. I must admit that my heart skips a bit at the sight of her riding so fast, but she is getting better about braking.

We also celebrated our little family Christmas with cookie cutter pancakes. I think Lily ate more toppings than pancake, but what is Christmas for?

We had a great Christmas down in Luverne with my family as well. We made it down there just before the storm, and we ended up staying an extra day because of the weather. There was plenty of space and fun to be had, so all-in-all it was a great trip (except for the drive home which took an extra 2 1/2 hours!)

Here are some highlights:

Lily attempting to be like her big cousin Connor, the goalie

Time with cousins and the candy-cane pinata

Sled rides behind the four-wheeler

Hot-tubbing in a blizzard. . .

And the hairstyles that it creates!

Lily playing dress-up and beauty shop with Maddie.

Playing "Beyond Balderdash" with the adults and older kids. There are no pictures -- we were too busy laughing ourselves to tears. I highly recommend this game!
Having my whole family together.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

"Transparents night" and Shepherds at the mall

Last Thursday was the last night of Lily's recent gymnastics session. On the final night parents are invited inside to watch. Lily was very excited about "transparents night." The video below was their "final test." It was so cute to watch each kid show off for the parents.

The bubble gum ice cream cone to celebrate!

And a few days later at the mall. . .
Lily and I were walking behind an elderly gentleman who was using a cane. Her eyes lit up as she pointed at him. "Mom, he must be a shepherd!" Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

It's the Holiday Season

Here is a little clip from Lily's Christmas Program at church. She did a great job and it was an improvement over Thursday night at her school program where she stood with her fingers in her mouth the whole time. (By the way, does anyone else notice the crazy parent syndrome that occurs at these programs -- parents doing whatever it takes to get the perfect photo or video angle?)

And on a totally different note, here is Mike's first catch of the year. Now doesn't that look much more delicious than the duck?

Friday, December 11, 2009

In the majority

Tonight at supper Lily is telling Mike that she had chips and salsa for a snack at school. He asks if she liked it.
"I didn't like the salsa, so I just ate the chips. Do you like salsa, Dad?"
"I do," Mike replies.
"I don't," Lily says with a wrinkled nose. "Do you like salsa, Mom?"
"I like salsa, too," agrees Lily.
Mike notes that it appears she doesn't need everyone to agree with her, but she does need to be in the majority.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Enjoying some local fun

Last Friday we took Lily to the Cobber hockey game. They ended up with a victory over Bethel. Lily had such a great time that she sobbed when the game was over. (Although, she may have been sad because it meant bedtime and no more skittles!)

Her girly side returned on Saturday morning when she and I went to a Storybook Breakfast at the West Fargo High School. As a fundraiser, the students in their drama department dress up like children's book characters. There was breakfast, pictures with santa and crafts. It was right up Lily's alley. Here a couple of her favorites:

Belle and the Beast

Snow White and her prince.

On Saturday night, Mike and I had a chance to go the Concordia Christmas Concert. It was an amazing production. PBS was even there filming it and plans to show it Dec 23-25. It is the first time in our four years here that we have made it. We were both impressed.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A deep thinker. . .then again. . . .

A few of Lily's recent profound questions:

* "Did God make himself?"

* "Can we talk to Jesus when we are dead?"

* "Where was I when you were a little girl, Mom?"

A few of her not-so-profound questions:

* "Why can't we lay down on the road while cars are driving on it?"

* "Can I say 'butt'?"

* "When will I turn into a dog?"

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fall Fun

Grandpa and Grandma came up this weekend while Mike was away duck hunting. It was great to have some company for the weekend, and my dad put in a new oven for me. Now I can cook and bake things according to the recipe instead of guessing how far off my oven may be. Thanks, Dad!

My mom and Lily had tons of quality time. Lily did not want to leave Grandma's side. They got a chance to play outside quite a bit on Saturday since the weather was so beautiful. We are really making up for crummy October.
On Sunday afternoon, Mike came home with a couple ducks that still needed to be cleaned. Lily was all excited to help him: she had her "duck" boots and "dirty" clothes on, and she was ready. But this video clearly shows the power of suggestion. All I say is, "Pew," and she suddenly must find out what is gross. (Could it possibly be the raw duck next to her?!) I should just keep my opinions to myself. She can enjoy cleaning ducks if she wants.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween

Here is our Princess trick-or-treating around our neighborhood. She did pretty well considering her plastic high-heeled shoes! I still think she liked handing out the candy even more. We didn't have a ton of kids come to our door, but with Lily handing out huge handfuls, our candy is gone! I guess we can say she is generous.

Here is a picture of Chad and Mike when they went grouse hunting the other day. They didn't get any birds, but had a good time.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Family Fun Day

About two weeks ago, Mike pronounced Saturday, October 24th, Family Fun Day. We would all spend the day together, and we each got to choose one activity for the day. I chose to go out for a big breakfast, so we started our day at the "Fryin' Pan". It was okay, but I don't think we will make a return trip.

Next we burned some time in Target while we waited for the zoo to open. Lily had a gift card from Grandma Olson, so she bought some glitter glues, skittles, and a stuffed Elmo doll. She still has some money left on the card -- what a frugal shopper!

Next we headed to the zoo (Lily's choice) despite the rain. It was a special Halloween festival day, so Lily got lots of treats and did a few crafts.

Riding the carousel with Dad

Showing the ferret her new pinwheel

This cow would see you coming, stick out her tongue, and wait for you to place food on it!

This crane was pecking at the window trying to get Mike's gum

They were feeding the wolves while we were there. Who knew they liked pumpkins? (After the deer legs were gone, of course!)

After Lily took a long nap, we made a supper of steak and potatoes. We also dug out the air popper (haven't used it in years!) and made some caramel corn.

And finally for Mike's choice of activity, we snuggled in to watch a movie in our PJs. (I don't know that "VeggieTales: Jonah and the Big Whale" was his first choice, but parents make sacrifices, right?

Overall, it was a very fun day. I would recommend Family Fun Day!

Stubborn Singer

Here Lily is singing a song she learned at school. There is another part to the song that I was trying to get her to sing at the end. That is why at the end she says, "No, I'm not going to say that."

A note about the shirts: Mike went to a Neuroscience conference last weekend and bought matching shirts for the two of them. It is supposed to be a scanned image of a brain. If you look carefully you can see "FUN" in the brain. (Foundation for Undergraduate Neuroscience) Lily wanted to know if Dad shot any ducks while he was there!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Go Cobbers!

Well, ironically, Mike is gone this weekend for Concordia homecoming -- he is at a professional conference in Chicago. So, Lily and I represented him. . .well, just at the parade, where they throw candy. The temps were a bit too chilly for Mom and preschooler to sit through a football game!

At all the parades this summer, Lily hated the fire trucks. She would cover her ears and even cry sometimes. But today, she said, "I like the fire trucks now, since I am a big three-year-old."

Cobber didn't show up until the very end of the parade!

Don't you think Concordia should pay us for this picture?

Saturday, October 10, 2009


October 9, 2009
Once again, why do people live here?

Thursday, October 8, 2009


A couple of conversations with Lily that I want to remember:

  • On the way home from school, Lily was bending her plastic headband back and forth. I told her to be careful so she wouldn't break it. (This had already been the fate of one of her headbands!) She said back to me, "Oh, is it fragile?" A little impressed that she used that word correctly, I asked her if she really knew what "fragile" meant. After a little thought, she said, "It means only moms and dads can touch it."

  • Apparently God gave little girls a dad to help her learn patience. True to what I experienced as a child with my dad, Mike seems to enjoy antagonizing Lily at times. I don't even remember what he was doing, but her frustration level was rising. At her breaking point she shouted, "Daddy, you're poopy!" She was headed to her bedroom for a timeout before we even had to tell her to go. As we snickered silently, Mike commented, "Isn't it great? That is the worst thing she can think of to say to me." Ah, time will pass too quickly. . .

  • When my parents arrived for visit a few weekends ago, my dad asked Lily, "Where's your pa?" She looked at him quizzically and said, "I don't have any. Only Ollie does." :-)

  • When Mike returned from his recent duck-hunting trip, Lily was very interested in the ducks and goose he brought back. She wanted to feel the goose's feathers and beak, even tried to pick the heavy thing up by its neck. "Mom, you try it," she said. After a polite refusal she used a very motherly voice, "Dad can help you try." I kindly refused again. "He's a nice goose, Mom. He doesn't move or anything."

Friday, September 25, 2009

Birthday Party

We had a great time last weekend. Mike's mom and brother, as well as much of my family came all the way to Moorhead to celebrate Lily's big day. The weather was unseasonably warm and we had tons of fun. Lily has had to readjust this week -- she can't understand why she is no longer being spoiled!

Her new bouncer!

Waiting to blow out the candles

Her only requests for her cake: "Pink with sprinkles!"

Cute cousins

The water balloon fight

Uncle Jon getting cornered!

The pinata fall-out

The dads

The moms

The girls playing dress-up -- so adorable, and funny (nice pose, Madison!)

Monday, September 21, 2009


Our silly Lily is 3!
My life has changed so much since September 22, 2006:

*I have lived a year without a single full-night's sleep

*I have experienced near insanity over many seemingly small things (nap schedule, strange poop, to snack or not to snack)

*I have spent way too much money on cute clothes she never wanted to wear

*I have cleaned up mess after mess after mess after mess. . .

*I have experienced worry on an entirely new level

**I have had excuses to wear stained clothing in public

**I have become less judgemental

**I have never tired of kissing those sweet cheeks

**I have a whole new part of my husband to love

**I have learned to appreciate the value of tickling

**I have felt love in parts of my heart I didn't know existed

Happy Birthday, Lily! We love you!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Real Lily

Well, this little video pretty much simulates two minutes with our busy, sometimes bossy, bright and beautiful little girl.

(By the way, Ollie is tied to her trike in the background. Lily rides up and down the sidewalk with him trotting along beside.)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Hippo song

Lily learned this song at daycare and I think it is so cute. It is hard to understand some of what she says, so I put the words below.

In the beginning God made the seas and the forests filled with trees.

God made the mountains way up high and flying birds up in the sky.

His fingerprints are everywhere, just to show how much he cares.

And in between God had some FUN! He made the hippo who weighs a ton.

Hip-hip-hip-o-potamus, hip-hip-hooray God made all of us. (Repeat until dizzy :-)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Lily LOVES candy, maybe a bit too much as evidenced by her high regard for it in these two stories.

The other day I was rocking with Lily before her nap. We had just finished reading Barnyard Hullabaloo which has a page with a very angry bull. She asked why the bull was so angry, and I told her bulls are just that way. We finished the book, and I thought she had drifted off to sleep when I heard her tired voice. "Maybe if I give the bull some candy he will feel better."

Tonight as we were saying prayers before bed, she asked where Jesus is. I told her he is in heaven. She said, "Do I have to go there someday?" I told her she gets to go there and that it is a very happy place. Her eyes brightened and she said, "Does Jesus give out candy there?"

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Soak it in



every moment

of summer

before we kiss it