Minnesota Zoo Trip

The kids had been to the zoo once this year already when Aunt Dori was here, but for some reason they didn’t ride the monorail. So they asked right away if they could today and I said that we could. But we usually do that at the end of the day. So when we finally got around to it and went up, we found out that it was the very last day of the monorail – there isn’t enough money for upkeep and the number of riders has dropped for many years so they just decided that the time had come to retire it. Thus the photo of the kids on the monorail with the unhappy faces. Although they were quite giggly while waiting for the train to come.

Here is one of the photos now and from over eight years ago.

Haven't taken a photo here in many years.

Haven’t taken a photo here in many years.


Liam’s First Fantasy Football Draft

Ten friends spend a long evening at Ruben’s house for their first fantasy football draft. I was amazed at how well the kids did keeping their focus for the few hours that it took even though they did have one break.


Vikings Game

Liam and I went to a preseason Vikings game against the Titans. This would make two games in a row that Liam and I went to that the home team has one.

The highlight for Liam was the wave and throwing paper airplanes (before we were made to stop). The Vikings had a 32-page magazine on everyone’s chair. And since the stadium was only half full, we all got two. When the wave began, after many false starts, we noticed that the people in one section were throwing their magazines up in the air. A couple more passes and we all the biggest confetti wave I’ve ever seen. Well, the only one I’ve seen, but it was big!

Open House #2 (Grand Opening of Lake Harriet Lower’s Expansion)

Lake Harriet’s lower campus opened its new expansion on Open House night.

We already knew that Ada and Abby had gotten the same teacher, but we found out that she sits with her in one of the new rooms. It will probably be the last time Ms Cologna puts them together at the same table all year.

At Home and Away

The girls were pretending that their Barbies were in a Jacuzzi, so I got some straws and showed them how to really make it into one.


I had never been to Sonic, so we went there for lunch. Kids liked it a lot. And one of the workers there knew me from school so we talked to him for a minute. We laughed because he was going next door to Wendy’s to get lunch.


The reason we left the house was to go get Liam sneakers for school since we didn’t have the time to do it when we got shoes for the girls. Unfortunately, the Puma store was closed for the day for inventory, and DSW didn’t carry boys shoes. Other stores didn’t offer any help by way of sales. But the girls just had a grand ol’ time. Liam happened to be wearing a Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles t-shirt so we took his photo in front of them at the park, although with the sunlight, it is difficult to see.





On the way home we stopped at the Global Market for some tabbouleh and pita. Ada posed in front of one of the pieces of art there.


Headwaters Trip Day Four

The day the kids were dreading…our last one.

After breakfast, it was cleanup time. We took down the tents and packed our stuff into cars in between playing with our friends for the last time. Once we left the camp, we travelled in a caravan to the other side of the park for a walk to see the old burial grounds, have lunch, and say our goodbyes.

Once everyone had gone, since I hadn’t gotten to go up the fire tower, we went around the park (once again!) to take a walk up.

Last morning.


On our walk at lunch time.

The fire tower. All steel. It takes a little bit of guts to make it all the way up, but all three kids did it.


Although Helena still seems a little unsure.

Headwaters Trip Day Three

After breakfast, we were given the option of two excursions – one was another canoe ride, the other was to go to a fire tower. I lost the vote on the fire tower three to one. Today we canoed around Elk Lake (our campground was between Elk Lake and Lake Itasca)

One of the other parents was giving “points” for snacks if the kids would see various things. And that kept Ada and Liam engaged the entire time. Helena was in the other canoe with her friend, Mara.

The kids really knew each other by now and were comfortable with each other. Here they are all while the adults were getting canoes of the trucks and putting them into the water.


Both Helena and Liam learned how to throw a frisbee on vacation.


After lunch we went back to the beach. Helena now has a swimsuit since Mara brought two. Still, she didn’t go in the water for very long.


Helena has a frog, but it was hard to get a photo of it.


After dinner, Helena and about every other girl was at Jackie’s Hairstyling, the finest in the North.





Headwaters Trip Day Two

The kids began to get to know one another on the second day. My kids especially liked the canoe rides, but I never heard one complaint about anything other than having to go home at the end of the four days.

In the morning after breakfast we went to the headwaters of the Mississippi. Here are the kids walking across the Mississippi River.


This is the actual start of the Mississippi (in the foreground). In the back is Lake Itasca.

And here are the kids walking in the Mississippi River.


After lunch we went on our first canoe trip onto Lake Itasca.


This is the end of Lake Itasca. The group of people in the far end of the photo are at the head of the Mississippi.


Later in the afternoon we went swimming. The days we went were all warm, with no rain, but it wasn’t especially hot, so we weren’t in the lake too much. Helena had forgotten her swimsuit, so she stayed on the beach or just waded in the water a bit.


There was a playground adjacent to the beach. Ada was spinning of the bar and jumping on the dismount. Apparently I didn’t think that she would get as high as she could go.


Ada beginning to make friends.

Dinnertime. Helena was very good about helping cook the dinners. All three were very good about cleaning up after themselves. Rinse, Wash, Rinse, Desanitize,Dry!


Kids playing games again. No adults needed anymore!

Helena made chicken for us all, but Ada decided that she only needed some white rice and some cheese in a tortilla that she didn’t eat.
Ada was stationed here almost every evening playing house with “my friend”.
Liam met another Liam. Little Liam liked big Liam a lot.


S’mores again.

Headwaters Trip Day One

Day one:

We got to the campsite late. We would have been a few minutes late, but because of a misplaced Do Not Enter sign on a One Way road, we had to go all the way around the park to get to the campsite.

Once we got there, we began putting up the tent and getting settled in. We then went for a walk to see the largest white pine tree in the park with the rest of the group.


We even found some dead snakes and…


trees in the middle of the road.


After that we made some smores quite early in the evening.


And then the kids played some games. At this point the kids didn’t know many of the other kids, but these games got them to know each others’ names.



This was just down the steps from our camp. We saw and heard lots of loons over the course of the trip, day and night.


And every night there was a campfire. Each night was clear, so it was easy to see the stars, and we caught lots of shooting stars and two meteors.