Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Apple Orchard 2008

A fun time was had by all at the apple orchard, which also just happens to be the St. Croix Valley Vineyard...which means you can eat apples accompanied by a bottle of Minnesota wine! Being savvy to the situation, my diaper bag contained a Swiss Army knife w/ cork screw, plastic cups, Carr's Table Water crackers, goat cheese from Costco, string cheese for Marly & Dean...oh.. and bottled water for them. I suspect the vineyard has turned out to be a brilliant marketing tool and investment for the apple orchard owners! Jenny & Jeremy joined us as they did last year. This year new edition 12-week-old Vivian was inaugurated to the activities. Despite the clouds, we had a very nice afternoon.

Silly Thomberg's!

Apple Orchard 2007

This past weekend the Thomberg's joined the Lyon's Family at Aamodt's Apple Orchard near Stillwater, which is now a yearly tradition. Take a look at us last year!

Marly and Dean at 9-10 months old

Friday, September 26, 2008

18 month check up

M & D had their 18 month check up yesterday. If you are doing the math, yes... they are just days shy of month 19.

Dean - 24 pounds and 33 inches.
Marly - 24 pounds and 31 inches.

They have been the same weight since 6 weeks of life. Since birth, there has been a 2 inch height difference.

The photos were taken after Mark and I returned from a generally uneventful trip to the clinic.

Dean's bangs look a little crooked. I should maybe try and fix that....

The humidity makes Marly's curls a little wild...

When it comes right down to it, they really just need a bath!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Red Headed CVS-er

You know there is a phenomenon called CVS-ing. There are individuals out there who use coupons, rebates, discounts, websites, circular deals, store discount cards, etc. to get a mass of merchandise at a ridiculously low price. One of the places these individuals get great deals is CVS Pharmancy (CVS-ing), as well as Walgreen's, or even Target. One of those individuals is my friend Mary M. She has a blog where she sometimes highlights her super buys.

I have this mental image of Mary as she enters Wal-green's armed with her notes/list, store map?, and appropriate coupons selected from her three-ring binder system and acquired from the Sunday paper, various web sites ,and who knows where else. I picture her gliding through the sliding doors, and stealthy grabbing the cart as the Mission Impossible music begins to play. You all may be chuckling at the picture I paint, but check out her blog and what she pays for this stuff. I swear, someday the cashier is going to hand her CASH back with her purchases. Shopping is like a conquest!

Anyway, I will NEVER have these kinds of skills in retail... but I do find a deal or two.

If you know me, you know I am a natural red head. Yeah RIGHT...unless 15 years of Loreal Performing Preference makes you "natural". Well, it is no secret I color my hair. My mom made me a convert a week before I went off to college as a freshman. I wanted a change! She colored my hair, and it came out blond-ish. I HATED it. She changed it to red the same night. I have been a red head ever since! God bless Marlys the cosmetologist (always armed with a scissors!). Word has it she was the best back-comber in town! If you don't know what that means, ask someone with grey hair who gets it "set" once a week. When I travelled to England to study abroad (three years into my stint as a red head), mom equipped me with 6 boxes of Performing Preference to keep my short locks a uniform color from root to tip while living across the pond! Thus began my do-it yourself color jobs while living in the Alnwick Castle.

Okay... back to the present here Andrea....

I think I color my hair for less then $66 a year TOTAL. Maybe I am frugal after all! Yes... it is true - I was CVS-ing on my drive into work the other morning (no extra gas used for an errand!). I stopped in with my Extra Care Card in hand and three manufacturer coupons. The card provided me with the discounted box price of $6.99. My coupons provided an addition $2.00 off per box. According to my CVS receipt, I saved $15.00 on my three boxes. (I think you have to stock up and buy in multiples to officially be a CVS-er.) Not only do I for-go the cost of the salon, but I NEVER buy my hair color at full price. Call me cheap!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Cindy!

Wishing my dear friend Cindy a VERY HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY WISH.

Cindy is in fact my oldest friend (in longevity, NOT age). Our relationship pre-dates kindergarten. In our elementary years we enjoyed too many sleep overs to count. Around 4th grade, for her birthday, I got her a BFF silver engraved charm for her charm bracelet. My mom took me to the jewelry store on Main Street in Hutch to buy it. In our high school years, we raced off to Johnny Holmes dances and cruised main in Hutch. In college we some how stayed in touch, although our lives veered in different directions. I was Cindy's Maid of Honor when I wasn't yet 21.

Cindy remains a tried and true friend who has my greatest admiration. I strive to emulate her as a wife and mother. She is kind. She is giving. She is fun. She is happy. She is cool. She is the kind of person you want to be around.


photo taken a few month back!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Off to Sunny California!

On Monday I am jetting off to our national Children's Miracle Network conference for work. Most years the annual event is hosted in Salt Lake City, where our national headquarters is located.

To mix things up a bit, this year the conference is being held in Newport Beach, California. I love it when our national office shakes things up a bit for the ladies of the 170 CMN hospitals around the country. I know, I know... there are a hand full of men who work in Children's Miracle Network positions at their hospital, but the vast majority of us are women. Some of us have been on board with CMN for many years (such as my manager who has been rallying for CMN at Gillette for more then 15 years), and each year there are many new faces at the conference. This is my 4th year of attendance, and I am honored I have been asked to share the fundraising materials I created for our Costco's, and have also been invited to help present about our RE/MAX Miracle Home Program.

Anyway, I return Friday, along with my CMN co-workers here. As always with our conferences, we will be staying at a wonderful Marriott property, one of our fine sponsors!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I remember when I was little, people chatting on the annivesary of JFK's death, "Do you remember where you were when it happened?" Then there was Princess Diana, and then there was the impact of 9/11.

Where were you on 9/11? I was working as the day side assignment editor at KSTP TV here in St. Paul/Minneapolis. I was in the newsroom when the first and second plane hit the towers. It was early and generally quiet, with the Morning Show Executive Producer being the most senior person in the building. Of course we didn't understand what was happening as we turned to GMA, and the row of TV's behind my desk. And then the day went crazy. I am moved by profound emotion just thinking about it. Honestly, for 8 hours... I didn't THINK about what had actually happened. I quickly and efficiently moved news crews, I moved ENG and Sat Trucks, I moved video for the network, I relayed information, I dispatched, I paged , I called, I coordinated press conference coverage, and my head set only came off to run across the newsroom for something. It was a 8 hour rush... and then I went home and CRASHED. In the evening I went to a church service at the nearest Lutheran church, and after that, my memory alludes me...

We were all impacted by 9/11, but today my thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their lives or family members to this day, including the Tom Burnett family in Bloomington.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Time at the Park

Mark, Marly, Dean and I often frequent the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park near our home. We were their just last night at the playground and strolling along the paved path. As we walked, I was reflecting on how my use of this park has changed over the years. Three years ago Mark and I could be found biking along the river and heading out many miles on the trail system. I am sure some of our conversations may have been about trying to get a babe of our own. Two years ago I was pregnant and I imagine we spent more time walking the paths, although I can't seem to remember. I did work out during pregnancy until I was unable. The photo below was taken last fall. At the time, we had four wheels with us, but it was our duo-glide stroller. The only park equipment Marly and Dean used was the swing , which was great for all four little legs, as seen in the photo below. This year they climb up to the slide themselves and walk the paths determinedly on their own...and of course, each kiddo requires their own swing.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Wilson!

Mark and I had what is a typical weekend for us, I suppose. The Lyon's joined us for Thomberg Family Pizza Night on Friday. Saturday Mark worked, but in the evening we actually had a date night! Holy Cow! We went out to eat with our friend's John and Doris. I am sure they thought we had fallen off the face of the earth, since we have not seen them for months and they have extended many kid friendly invitations to us. Next year we hope to be back on board and go camping with them again!

Sunday Mark worked and M&D and I headed home for Wilson Melberg's first birthday party. Wilson is hidden behind Saxton Melberg on his mommy's lap in this photos of the kids opening gifts.

Wilson with Grandma Jan and Grandpa Sheldon.

After the party, we stopped at Cindy and Mike Koenig's! We LOVE stopping at their house. I always fear getting the kids back in the car, because the Koenig's have cool toys, and great yard, a dog, plenty of balls to play with, and super cool kids. Here is Marly with Katelyn.

Cindy and I are each others oldest friend. I was delighted to visit, but quite bummed because I wanted to spend a whole afternoon playing...and I can't seem to find the time. For my drive home, Cindy made me a CD with 'New Kids on the Block' music to remind me of our younger years. She also included the new Kid Rock song I love. Somehow the song just represents my younger years... although I was much more innocient, and was not sipping whiskey with a guy. I was probably drinking something else, but it was just with my cousins. We did listen to Sweet Home Alabama and Steve Miller too, perhaps while water skiing.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I spoke too soon...

Well... forget the line in the last blog about the convention not effecting my work. Everyone in my administrative building has been encouraged to leave work by 3:30 PM. Word has it the anarchists may prostest and may come in our general direction! I work at the foundation at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare. We are located across the interstate from downtown St. Paul. I have not ventured into downtown proper this week.

Popcorn and Politics

For the last two weeks in the evening, you can typically find Mark & me reclining and watching the Democratic National Convention and now the Republican National Convention. We have been sucked in. I am positive I did not watch a single speech from either convention four years ago. This year I actually made my favorite - air popped popcorn with a butter/olive oil mix - to munch on during Barack's speech. I plan to do the same tonight for the McCain gig. I have not thrown any popcorn at the TV yet. We will see what tonight brings.

Mark and I have enjoyed observing and commenting on the set, the speech, the delivery, the media coverage and commentary, the clothing, the family, the audience and so forth. Last night provided PLENTY of fodder for conversation! Now I can clearly identify and state why I have always known I do NOT want to be a hockey mom. I NEVER want to be described as a pit bull with lipstick!

Last week Dean insisted on joining us for Hillary's speech. Turns out he must of been a closet supporter. He was snuggled between us in bed and would turn to Mark, turn to me, then turn to the TV and grin at Hillary....

As a side note, the RNC has not effected my life at work in St. Paul. My commute has perhaps been quicker then usual, and I park in a secure key in/key out ramp. After I had already left on Tuesday, there was an e mail put out to the employees in our administrative building urging us to go home if we were still on site, as protesters were headed our direction.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

This post feels rather uninspiring to me already, as it is nothing more then an overview of our weekend...but here it goes.

Saturday morning Mark worked and M&D and I headed to Maple Grove for a few errands. We stopped at Creative Kidstuff to get a b-day gift for Miss Piper. We were having so much fun, we picked up something for the birthday party we have next Sunday too. I LOVE Creative Kidstuff. Their toys are unique, lasting and not the usual plastic stuff from Target. The owners spend a lot of time testing the products they carry, and they have the cutest wrapping for a Buck. Can't go wrong. Plus... the employees played with M&D and helped me get out the door. They are so skilled at their trade, there was not a single scream from M or D when the toys they were 'testing' were magically removed and they were shuttled creatively toward the car. Next we headed to Byerly's, as Mark wanted to bring Miss Piper a cake for our visit. M&D cruised around the quiet store in the cool car cart with two steering wheels and had a lot of fun. If only I could do all my shopping at Byerly's while indulging in a Caribou Coffee!

Anyway, Saturday afternoon we headed to Gretch and Dan's and had our usual fun time at the H-we's. P and M have a super cool new playground set, and of course we took a cruise around in the golf cart too. As we have grown to expect, Gretch placed a delicious meal in front of us after the kids were tucked into their beds and sound asleep. She made home made tomato bisque soup and gourmet grilled cheese - simple and perfect. We dined on a candle lit picnic table and enjoyed the bright country stars afterward.

Sunday we headed to Mark's parents for supper. Monday for supper we hung out at Grandpa David's and Nana Chris's with Brett and Rachel. Somewhere in there on Monday, Mark worked and I enjoyed a great lunch at Salut with my girlfriend Jesse. I made Jess sweat it out on their outdoor patio so I could soak up the last of summer.

I think we had a positive mix of friends and family and a generally nice weekend. Now if only I could play hookie on Tuesday and extend the weekend farther....


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