Saturday, May 23, 2015

Early Morning Adventure

Our neighbors invited us to go to a 'hidden' dog-friendly beach in Afton this morning.  We got the girls up and out the door at 7am, hoping to beat the regulars so that our pups could play without too many distractions.  I've never brought Kolachi to an off-leash dog park (too many variables out of my control), but the idea of a beach was one that I couldn't pass up.
We arrived (after all crowding into the minivan- K is in her crate) to be momentarily disappointed.  Because of all the rain we've had, the normal beach area was flooded. There was perhaps a 50 yard 'moat' that separated us from what looked like a sandbar (actually a legit part of the beach).  I'm so glad that my neighbor Ali is adventurous, because we decided to wade over and continue our morning.
Kolachi was VERY hesitant to wade across.  The water was chest/chin high on her, so I put her leash on to lead her across.  About halfway over she decided it was super-fun!  Alex was game for splashing on through, and we all made it over to the dry spot.  I'm super-glad we don't have alligators in MN.  That is all.


The dogs had so much fun running and swimming--  the girls played for a bit in the sand before putting their 'brave' pants on and just swimming in their clothing.  We had some 'emergency' clothes in the back of the car that they changed into for the ride home.  What a fun morning-- I'm sure we'll be back when the water recedes a bit, but it was really a neat experience to have our own 'island' to play on :-)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Grad Party at home!

When we arrived home, Grandma Mary and the kids had prepared a SWANKY graduation party for Daddy!  Thank you for all your hard work, Mary!  It's so wonderful to know that these guys are so well loved and cared for when we're gone!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Congatulations, Daddy!!!

For the past two years, Dave has been travelling back and forth to New Haven, CT every other weekend to study for his MBA at Yale University.  Justin doesn't even remember a time when Daddy wasn't studying constantly!  If you remember, the deal was that if Dave got into business school, I'd get my puppy....who is now a beautiful almost-two-year-old girl.  So, while we've kept busy at home, he's kept VERY VERY busy at work and school.  And now it's over!

I got to travel out to Yale for the first time to see his 'home away from home' and meet his wonderful classmates- a very distinguished and brilliant group of professionals all in the health care field.  We had a full weekend of events and ceremonies.  Grandma Mary volunteered to stay with the kids so that I could go and cheer my husband on.  Papa Bob flew out to New Haven for the ceremony, so we got to see him for a few days as well.

I am so proud of Dave for balancing work, school and family the way he has for the past two years.  After talking to some of his classmates I'm only now realizing how much he was able to shelter us from the craziness and chaos of his schedule!  (I also was able to experience his commute from home to school and have so much respect for his positive attitude.  Three hours by plane, two by train with a smattering of 20-45 min car/taxi rides thrown in for good measure JUST to arrive at school every other Thursday!)

We are SO PROUD of you, Dave!  Woo hoo!!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Introducing 'Pumpkin' and 'Cocoa' Marotz....

Alex has been saving her money (from earning stars for chores AND selling some items at the garage sale) for mice.  She's been slowly collecting all the gear she needs ( I think she's had the aquarium in her room for two months now) and researching.  She conducted two in-person subject matter expert interviews (Dalton the small animal expert at our favorite pet store- Pet Evolution- was the best source!), library research as well as a few online sites as well.  She made a budget and planned to have enough food and bedding for three months before she brought her new friends home.
Introducing Pumpkin (left) and Cocoa (right)

We originally weren't going to bring them home before Daddy and I returned from his Yale MBA graduation, but on a scouting mission to the recommended mouse breeder (40 min from our house), they informed us that they were not planning on having any more 'fancy' spotted pups for a little while.  Alex already had all the needed supplies, so I bent the rules a little and let her purchase them from the store.  I think the below video proves that she was ready for the responsibility.

Percy is very interested in them, but they seem to ignore him completely.  The kids, however, spend hours in Alex's room watching the mice cavort and play-- too fun!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Violin Lessons begin!

The kids have been wanting to try a formal music lesson, and we've all agreed on the violin!  I found a Suzuki violin teacher in the area who will split a 30 minute lesson between the two kids (score!).  We brought two of our old instruments (one from when I was three) to her to see if they'd be appropriate.
We are going to refurbish the little one for Justin, but Alex will just rent until she gets into a full-sized (and/or wants to continue at that size).

 Oh-- did you notice something NEW on Alex's face?  No big deal.  Just some glasses!  (She has a VERY slight prescription in both eyes, but a substantial bilateral astigmatism that hopefully these glasses will help correct!).

Upon returning home, the kids had a HUGE surprise waiting for them in the mailbox-- a REPLY LETTER from the Okee Dokee Brothers!  They not only sent a handwritten 'thank you' for the fan letter note, but also sent two patches for the kids to put on their backpacks.  What a treasure!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Starting the garden

 Dave and Alex prepared the tomato beds.  We got our plants this year from a plant sale in the neighborhood.  The gardener had a beautiful selection of organic heirloom plants!  We are hoping to be around a lot more this summer (especially now that Dave will be done with school shortly), so we are planting a much more serious garden this year.

 "Why do the keep throwing this thing?  All Iwant to do is help them dig holes in the garden....."

 Justin took his job of watering the plants (and washing off random implements) very seriously.