Saturday, March 24, 2007

I saw this at Favorite Apron and wanted to do it too.

Our boy is 7!

Our first born son is now 7. He asked to go to the Mall of America and ride the rides. We obliged.

What a fun day we had. After sleeping in, I fixed a big breakfast of sausage gravy and biscuits and fried eggs (his request - so like my dad!). We left around mid-morning and I continued our read-aloud of "The Goblet of Fire." Our first stop was for me to pick up some needed spices. I'm going to try their "ozark blend" for oven-fried chicken. If I like it as well as what I had been using, I'll switch. But if not, I'll have to pick up more of the original when I'm back home visiting Mom.

Then off to MOA. We hadn't been there for the kids to ride rides for at least a couple of years. But they still remembered certain rides. MOA offers a birthday package and we chose option 2 - 5 hours of unlimited rides, a free cupcake, and 3 free tokens for the game room.

We started on the rides and for 5 hours we went around and around riding and re-riding all their favorites. David and I each took one of the older girls on one of the roller coasters - both liked it. No one would ride with me on the "big" roller coaster though, simply because the cart you ride in spins as you move along the coaster. Other big favorites were The Camp Bus, The Frog Hop, The Log Ride (Youngest son even asked to go on it again!), and The kid's mini roller-coaster.

But I think the family favorite was Bumper Cars. We rode them three different times. Our family took up 5 cars - 1/2 of the ride. Only the two littlest weren't big enough to drive. The second time we rode, all the other cars had good drivers and it was a lot of fun. All of us were able to zoom around, bumping, or narrowly missing other cars. At least one of the other times, it wasn't that way. The other drivers only wanted to bump into each other and would remain, or lock you up, in a great big clump of cars.

After our five hours were used, we took the kids to the game room. With a total of 21 free tokens, there wasn't much to do. But since this was the first time our kids were ever in such a place, the game where you roll the ball and try to make it land in either a basket or in the rings was great fun. They each played twice. With one token left, one daughter suggested the game right behind us. It was the type where you put the coin in, it will roll down, and if it lands in a train car to "dump" it, you win tickets. So David tried it - and won! It was really quite funny. We ended up with enough tickets (from all the games) to cash in for a sucker for each kid. They thought it was great fun.

Since we ate a late and big breakfast, and had a treat of a cupcake (and purchased an icee), we waited till supper to fill our tummies. We chose "Nathan's Hotdogs" in honor of the birthday boy. They were pretty good - mostly we were all pretty thirsty.

After supper, while the kids enjoyed their suckers, we walked around the Mall for a bit. But by this time they were getting pretty worn out and quite a bit grumpy. So back to the van, more reading about Harry, a brief stop at the Lands' End Inlet (found sandals and tennis shoes for all but one) and finally we arrived home.

The kids went to bed and slept right away. David and I chose instead to relax a bit with a bottle of Gewurztraminer and a bit of reading first. (him, me)

Now, before you wonder. The birthday boy will get his homemade angel food cake and homemade ice-cream on Sunday afternoon. Along with a fish fry to feed whatever family is able to come join us. If you're in the area, and want to come, let me know! :-)

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Friday was our stop in Germany for the day. It wasn't as elaborate as some of our other days but we did have fun and tried some excellent food.

Fruhstuck (Breakfast)
Brotchen (hard rolls - well, not really, they were left-over homemade buns)
Weiches Ei (soft-boiled Egg - well, not really, we like ours hard-boiled)
Frisches Obst (fresh fruit - apples, oranges, kiwi, grapefruit)
Der Kase (havarti with dill)
Kaffee (coffee for Vater und Mutter)
Milch (Milk for das kinder)

Abendessen (Supper - but since we planned the big meal for evening, our noon meal was the smaller, "supper" style)
Das Brot (Bread)
Der Kase (cheese)
Der Aufschnitt (cold cuts)
Apple Pie ala mode (okay not the most "German" dessert, but hey - I had a pie that needed to be eaten! :-)

Our Mittagessen was in the evening with guests. A family in our church has hosted over the years many foreign exchange students. This year, they have a girl from Germany. We invited them over to be our guests. This is Lisa. She is from a town south of Hamburg.

Mittagessen (Dinner)
Sauerbraten (Marinated Beef Roast)
Rotkohl (Red Cabbage)
Grune Bohnen (Green beans)
Kartoffel (fried potatoes)
Reisling (for the adults)
Milch (for the children)

The food was most excellent. Lisa said this is very similar to what she would eat if she went to Grandma's house. She said it is very hard to tell people what a "typical" German meal would be because they eat a lot of different foods. Her mom makes a lot of pasta dishes.

As a gift to her host parents, Lisa gave the Lloyds a cookbook on German desserts. For supper, they brought two, which Lisa told Mrs. Lloyd to make. The first was Marble Cake. Chocolate and vanilla cake baked in a bundt pan and sprinkled with powdered sugar it was quite good. Lisa said this is made at every birthday party because it is easy and good and all like it. The second dessert was Zitronenrolle (swiss roll with lemon and cream). It was also very good.

Hannah did her presentation at supper, and Lisa enjoyed it. She especially got a chuckle (as did the rest of us) over the national costumes that were modeled for us.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Sleeping Swan-Cracker

Last evening my husband was given tickets to a private ballet. What a lovely ballet it was too. An original, written and produced by the Mumme kids, we were impressed with the skills of the actors and actresses. Afterwards, we were able to meet them and inquired of their training. Only two of the actresses had any training and that they informed us was only minimal. All the rest were self-taught.

The music was fabulous. They have a cd which you can see here. We are inclined to purchase one for ourselves.

Here are pictures of the program and also of the actors and actresses. My husband and I had a lovely time at this ballet. We were told later that this was produced all to cheer me up on a day when remembrances of my Dad had me in tears. I was quite honored. We look forward to any upcoming performances by this talented troupe.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Memories of Dad

  • He would always let me stand on his feet and hold me as he walked around - even when I was a teenager.
  • When he laughed it was a loud, shake the rafters kind and sometimes his eyes would water. When he laughed like that you knew he was enjoying whatever made him laugh.
  • He would always grab whatever dog we had by the ears in a firm grip and say, "I oughta just skin you alive and put you out of your misery." That sounds sort of bad now, but if you saw it, you knew that was his way of telling the dog, "I love you."
  • His love of fishing and the many trips to northern WI we went on so all he could do was fish.
  • How he would say, "let me sleep on it" no matter what you had asked of him.
  • How he kept the vehicles so clean. He could have wore his church suit in his semi.
  • He would have a beer or two or three every night and if I brought it to him, I could steal a sip or two or three.
  • He always wore work pants and button down shirts and work boots. It was the very rare occasion you saw him in shorts.
  • When driving, he would rarely talk, just look contemplatively out the window and smoke his cigarette. I often wondered what he thought about.
  • I was always a little afraid of him.
  • How he never let me wear pants to church. To this day, I still don't, it just isn't "right."
  • How he always made sure we prayed before we ate.
  • How well respected he was in church and the bank and the tire dealer, and here and there.
  • How happy he and mom were to be going to FL for the winter of 99-00.
  • When we visited them in FL in February 2000, how they ate out all the time (never happened growing up) and he wore shorts and tennis shoes, and how happy and relaxed they were.
  • Before we left FL, how he apologized for all the tests that took him away a couple of days during our visit and he kept apologizing for "not being there" when I was growing up.
  • How I told him I loved him and knew he was there and was providing for our family.
  • How 7 years ago today, He was called home by His heavenly Father to live with Him in eternal glory.
  • How exactly two weeks later God blessed me with a son whom we honored by giving him Dad's name.
  • How I love my Dad and miss him incredibly and can't wait to see him again in heaven.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Snow Pictures

I finally am able to upload some pictures of all our snow that fell over the past two weekends.

As you can imagine, the kids had lots of fun. They were out even during the snowfall loving every minute.

My kids get the enjoyment of the big snowpiles that come from the clearing off of the church parking lot (another benefit to living in the parsonage). With this much snow, the piles were quite high and has made for lots of fun outdoors.

You can see that the pile almost covers the view of the bus from our sight. What the kids love doing is packing down the snow and making a slide. Doesn't it look like fun?

Some of the other pictures are of the piles pushed by a snowblower for our sidewalks or by a snowplow for the driveway. I love the way a snowblower makes the sidewalks look like tunnels. It is such a cool site! These pictures don't really do justice to all the beauty and the amounts. This has been the most snow since we've been back living in the state. The snowmobilers were just as excited as all the kids! I bet they've put on more miles in the last week or so than the last couple years combined.

I think the only one of our family who didn't enjoy the snow was our little sheltie. Poor girl, the snow was so tall, she could barely walk. And aghast! she couldn't even see and bark at all that was going around in other yards from people walking to animals running because she is too short to see over the snow. We even had to shovel a path for her to get into the yard to do her duty.

Picture Trouble

Still trying to upload the pictures of the snow and I can't figure out what the problem is. It is slowly driving me mad!!!!

Snowmobile Fun

On Monday afternoon we went to a friend's house. Her kids only had a half day at school and therefore wanted mine to come over to play. The oldest, a 7th grade boy wanted to pull my kids on sleds behind the snowmobile. Taking turns (only 3 at a time could go), they had a blast! It was cold and somewhat windy, so they all came in with rosy cheeks and great big smiles.

Then my friend said I had to go on the snowmobile. So I borrowed their gear, bundled up and enjoyed the ride. This young man is a very cautious driver - no funny things - and in the straight aways got us up to about 40mph. What fun! Now I understand the appeal of snowmobiling. Living in town, we have no room for snowmobile fun, but where my friend lives, it is perfect. Her family runs a campground and the big field in the back is a cool place to snowmobile.

If you're a camper and would like to visit, check out their site here. It is very family friendly, and if you're here over the weekend, I know of a great church you can attend. And if you come during the week (or over the weekend) I know of a great home where you can enjoy a meal or some nice quenching beverages and a treat. :-) Or if you prefer, we can hang out pool side while the kiddos splash around.

Friday, March 02, 2007


It finally looks outside like we live "up north." Last weekend's supposedly "big" storm didn't seem like much, but the paper said over the three days we officially got 10 inches. It didn't seem like a lot though since it mostly came down as icy pellets .

This storm that started yesterday and is going today is more impressive. We are getting about another 12-14 inches. The kids are loving it! The girls are taking pictures for me and as soon as I can get Blogger to upload them, you'll be able to see our winter wonderland.