Thursday, July 30, 2015

Blue Ribbons!!!

 Team Marotz had a decent showing at the Washington County Fair this year....  No Grand Champion or Reserve Champion ribbons this year, but we still racked up lots of 1st places (along with an assortment of rainbow ribbons)!
 Alex's portrait of the now-departed Cocoa won a blue ribbon!  What a nice memory for her to have in her room.
 Justin entered his first LEGO creation (a tractor and wagon).  He earned a green ribbon, and was inspired by all the other amazing entries!
 My favorite pieces also won blue ribbons-- Alex's portrait of Gandalf (seriously....can you get much cuter than that??) AND Justin's "Model A John Deere".  These are both totally going on the wall in my house when we pick them up again after the fair!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

IKEA Video submission

IKEA is having a video contest to win a room makeover!  So we entered......  we really, really, really want/need a new setup for our office.  Dave is working at a desk that I had in middle school.  I'm on a garage sale ($25) old Ikea desk...and our stuff is EVERYWHERE in this room.  So-- the kids and I made a really fun video explaining WHY our Daddy deserves a new home office (basically the 1,250 miles of trave (one way) for school, every other week for the past 2 years!).  Then we cleaned up REALLY well in order to give a quick tour around the house.   Here are some still shots from the video- since their rooms are clean---
 Oh-- we made sure we were REALLY Swedish.  Percy was snuggled up with some Lingonberries....
 Justin put on his Swedish knickers....
Alex had her Swedish pinafore on-

 A's room- with IKEA Expedit shelf in a prime location!

Gandalf approves of his new digs (see photo of Alex's room.... that's a three-story hamster home!)

 Here's a shot of my new sewing studio--  :-)

It would be really fun to win!  We'll keep you posted!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Happy Birthday, Vera!!!

Vera is ONE year old!  We can't believe how quickly this year has passed, and we were honored to be able to attend her beautiful party and celebrate with all her friends and family!

Happy Birthday, Miss V!!!!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The circle of life....

During our vacation in Missouri we received very sad news.  Our dear friends Pumpkin and Cocoa had both died.  We were a little shocked and concerned about potential environmental poisons (CO2 levels?) or food poisoning(we contacted the manufacturer and reported the event).  From what we could ascertain, they gorged themselves on the food we left out for them and ate themselves to death.  Mice aren't typically supposed to do that, but apparently it happens.  The pet sitter felt awful, as she was checking in on them.
Alex was crushed.  We let her grieve for a few days, but decided that she had enough room in her heart (and a clean, safe cage) to welcome home a new little friend.  Enter Gandalf-  a white long-haired Syrian hamster.
 He is sweet and loves tummy rubs-  the other bonus is that he is VERY clean (the mice were too, but he wants to use a litter box!) and has no rodent smell at all!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Fair prep

It's just about FAIR TIME!  The Washington County Fair is coming up, and we need to get our entries in order.  All this painting and drawing is also good for helping us decompress from our vacation!  It's nice to be home again, sleeping in our own beds!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Lake of the Ozarks vacation

We've been busy!  Right after our last camping trip, we hopped in the car and headed down to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri for a week-long vacation.
 Apparently I'm the overprotective mom......

Grams and Gramps (and Buddy and Goldie the dogs) were there for the first few days, and then we were on our own for the end of the week.  It was H-O-T and H-U-M-I-D, so we enjoyed boating and tubing in the early morning and evening hours.  During the day we checked out some of the tourist attractions (including a helicopter ride!) and jumped into the lake whenever we got too hot!  Later on in the week we braved the heat (with our frogg toggs) and went geocaching in the Missouri State Parks around the area!

 Yep- even on a boat she's reading, reading, reading...

 Kolachi really enjoyed the boat rides.  She did NOT enjoy the part where her people jumped in the water to swim or tube.  That was NOT cool, and she was very nervous until everyone was back in one spot.

Helicopter pilot?  Maybe?  Both kids really enjoyed their rides!

Doing touristy things.... like old time photos.  You wouldn't believe the negotiations that went on before this image was snapped.  I think I owe the kids $2,000 worth of LEGOES or something like that.... 

Geocaching-- we found three or four caches- :-)

 One of our DNF (Did Not Finds) was pretty interesting, though.....look who we DID find! (see armadillo below!)

 We also found deer ticks.  Yep.  LOTS of deer ticks.  Sigh.....

At TaTonka State Park-

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Willow River State Park camping trip

I am REALLY brave (or really stupid) and booked a campsite at Willow River State Park for right before our Missouri vacation.  The kids, Kolachi and I had a really fun time camping, hiking to the waterfalls and starting a new hobby- geocaching!

Our new camping cots-- double decker saves SO much space in the tent!

Unfortunately, I think my pictures all disappeared into the cloud somewhere....  these three are all I have!   

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Bunny Chores

I don't know if I've updated the online world on the status of the bunny brothers.  They are thoroughly enjoying their new location- in the backyard!

They have nice grassy runs that they can graze (supervised, only, of course) in.  The kids are doing a fantastic job with their bunny chores- cleaning litter boxes, feeding and watering.  We also monitor the weather very closely- when the outside temp is over 80 degrees, they each get frozen bottles of ice in front of their individual box fans to make personal evap coolers!  Since they are Angoras with some heavy wool, we make sure that regular haircuts happen to keep them cool- (I invested in little pair of electric shears- we aren't really using their wool for spinning yet, so I just keep them clipped short!)

While I think they liked being with the family in the house, judging by the amount of hopping and running they're doing, they like it even better with their paws on the grass and fresh clover under their chins a few times a day!  We'll re-evaluate rooming situations when the snow starts to fall, but for spring/summer/fall, this is the best setup ever :-)

Here's a video of some regular bunny chores to get a feel for their new digs :-)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Babies and Puppies and Friends!

We had a wonderful gathering and celebration in honor of America's birthday!  Thank you so much to everyone who was able to join us-- here are some photos from the day :-)