Sunday, March 30, 2014

Springtime Hike and ICE CREAM!?!

After Church today, we headed out to enjoy the warm weather-- it was in the low 50's!!  A family hike at Afton State Park was the decided outing-- and although the ice hadn't quite melted from the slippery trail, we had a nice time.
 
 



 




When we arrived home, the enterprising young ice cream lady decided to cash in on the warm weather as well.  I think every single kid in the neighborhood was waiting for her as soon as they heard the music coming from blocks away!  My kids waited for 10 minutes in the driveway, just in CASE they missed her drive by!
 Making our selections.  Now that our dietary needs have changed (somewhat), there are new choices to be made.  Justin is now corn-syrup free (but he can have gluten) and Alex is still gluten-free (but she can enjoy the occasional treat with corn-syrup). 
 Mmmmm...



Saturday, March 29, 2014

Packerland Kennel Club show

After our morning trip to the emergency vet (Kolachi got into a blister pack of Tylenol Junior and had to be given a bunch of charcoal and have blood work done), I had to decide whether or not to go on with the weekend's plans.  Since she seemed to be doing fine, and Dave was willing to hold down the fort for a day and a half, Kolachi and I hit the road for a 'girls only' trip to Manitowac, Wisconsin- home of the Packerland Kennel Club.  We had a lot of fun at our first dog show in January, so we decided to try our hand paw at a second.  This one was a bit of a drive (6 hrs each way), but Kolachi's breeder and co-breeder were going to be there, so we thought it would be fun to see them and take a second look at our girl's conformation to see if she has the chops for the show ring.
 Last weekend the two captain's chairs came out of the minivan, creating a nice open space directly behind the passenger and driver's seat.  It fits a kennel rather nicely, and still has plenty of room for a kiddo 'staging area' in this snow/rain/mud season.
 Brad donated some hotel points to get us a swanky room at the Holiday Inn.  We shared the wing we were in with a bunch of other dogs, so sleep wasn't really on Kolachi's agenda.  She enjoyed alerting me every time someone in the hallway decided to close or open their respective door, as well as letting me know if there happened to be a fellow canine in the vicinity.  Because of the charcoal in her system, she was also constipated.....which made it super fun to try and take her out to go to the bathroom every hour or so 'just in case'.  She finally fell asleep at 12:30, but was back on duty by 4:45am--
Hey, I'm up....did you miss me!  BTW's- there's someone ACROSS THE HALLWAY!

Even though it was somewhat of a stressful night, she amazed me by behaving like a pro at the show.  We found our handler, Kent, setting up an outside grooming station.  It was quite chilly, and once Kolachi got her fur sprayed and brushed, we headed inside to warm up and watch a bit of the crowd.  We found a little perch at the top of the bleachers and took it all in.
When it came time for Riverrock's Black Velvet to be in the ring (the 9-12month puppy class), she did very well- she moved well, stood fairly well (for a puppy) for exam and behaved nicely (yay!), she took 2nd in her class (out of two ;-P), but since I had to stand in an awkward "out of line of sight" place, I couldn't get any good shots. 
We determined that while she does have a nice head and pretty feet and moves very soundly, she does not have the angulation that meets the standards in conformation.  It may develop a bit more, but for now we're going to stick with our other activities in earnest (agility, obedience, tracking and perhaps rally, and eventually therapy certification), and just keep dipping our toes in conformation to stay fresh.  I know that Alex is interested in being a junior handler, so the more experience Kolachi can get in the ring, the easier it will be for Al to show her well.  If nothing else, I had a BLAST hanging out with all the GSD professionals that I got to meet- what a wealth of knowledge and a great group of people.
Plus, it helps me be practice to be a therapy dog.  I need to learn to be well-socialized and calm in somewhat chaotic and loud settings....

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Kolachi's building inspection--

 

So, while this was going on outside (thanks, King Winter, for another reminder of your resolution),
 
 
THIS was going on inside:
 
 
 
 Hey, what's this?  Either it's laundry day or fort-building time!
I'll just hop right up....here...
 I wonder if it's as comfy as it looks...
 Hey guys...just checking out the structural integrity....looks good...

Friday, March 21, 2014

German Shepherd Boy

Since we had nowhere to be today, when the kids asked to get the face paint pencils out, I acquiesced.  Alex has become quite the face paint artist, and when Justin told me what he was, I saw it right away.

"I am a German Shepherd Boy!"

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Finishing our Winter Work

We decided to finish some of our 'winter work' today before spring cleaning starts.  It is once again (beyond) time to polish our wooden toys and bowls.  Kolachi wanted to lick all of the beeswax/olive oil combination off of our work, so she was kindly asked to 'kennel up' during the remainder of the task.



 Our bowls and toys were very 'thirsty' and appreciative of a polish.

Monday, March 17, 2014

It's still cold out...

We're sitting inside on another snowy day.  Had this snowfall happened in November, it would have been enchanting-- big, fluffy flakes!  Instead we're all snuggled up inside our warm house, working on our individual projects while Alex is at school.
Justin headed to his room to play construction.
I have another big trip coming up in June, so I decided I HAVE to finish my Nepal/Seoul travel journal before I can begin my new one.
I don't know if I'll get to try anything as exotic as a boiled silkworm in Norway and Sweden this summer...I've had my lifetime allotment of lutefisk already (I was a student at St. Olaf College, and they had it in the Caf during Christmas Fest!), so that probably counts.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Kolachi and Justin

GranMama and GranPapa came up to visit this weekend, and, instead of taking any photos with them (oops... we were having too much fun), I did get one of Justin and his best buddy.  Now, she is NOT supposed to have paws on chairs uninvited---I need to stay strong and consistent....even when she is being so cute and loving.

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Little More Thaw

What does 35 degrees on a Minnesota spring day mean?  Sidewalk Chalk!!


 And honing glacier-avoidance bicycling tactics.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sewing with a Three Year Old

Justin and I had a rare moment to work on a project on our own this afternoon (Kolachi was at doggie daycare and Alex playing with a friend).  Yesterday, we hit all of our favorite thrift stores, in search of "train and digger and plane fabric".  While we didn't find any train or digger goodies, Justin did walk away with an airplane fleece baby blanket.  We washed and dried it, and today decided to raid his stash of John Deere fabric (what....YOU don't have a stash of John Deere fabric?) to make a pillowcase for his bed.

He did all the pinning and sewing-- on Alex's machine!  I helped cut, guide the fabric and make sure that three year old fingers didn't get sewn into the pillowcase.  Washington County Fair, here we come!


The finished product!  The back side is all John Deere!  Front side is fuzzy airplanes.  Not bad for a pre-preschooler!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Spring Thaw!

At least we HOPE this is the beginning of the spring thaw!  We took full advantage of the 50+ degree temps today and spent a long afternoon splashing in puddles, riding bikes (avoiding snow piles) and training the dog outside.

 Nothing firmly proofs a stay command like tricycles and scooters being ridden around you.  I think Kolachi will pass her Beginner's Obedience course next week with flying colors.

 After Daddy got home we took a long-awaited walk.  We're currently watching a neighbor's dog, so that's why you see a black lab in the family photo.  We're still very much a one-dog family!

But look what we found on our walk!!!!!!  Green grass!!!  Hooray!!!