Monday, November 30, 2009

Family Photos

Okay, Okay... I just couldn't resist. It is 10 pm at night and I should be prepping my coffee pot for morning, making my lunch, and hitting the sack... BUT, the CD from our family photo shoot a week and a half ago arrived in the mail today, and I simply couldn't wait to share just a few shots.

The photos are by Deitrick Geisk, who was also our wedding photographer. They were taken at a park in Edina. I really tried to resist posting, since Mark and I just finished creating our Chistmas card on Shutterfly, but I couldn't help myself. I made sure to share only shots that clearly won't be on our holiday mailing.

Here is the LINK to lasts years family photos.

If you should be mailing us a card this holiday season, please remember our address has changed. Feel free to contact me for our updated contact information.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The Thomberg's had a lovely day. Here is our photo play by play!

At noon on Thursday Marly and Dean were ready to greet their guests! I took Wednesday off (while the kids attended daycare) so I was READY to greet the guests too.

We live in a split level home, which was not the design Mark and I originally hoped for when house hunting, but we are liking it surprisingly well. This cabinet and counter area is opposite our fireplace in the lower level. When guests arrived, we showed them downstairs for appetizers and drinks. Mark just added the tin tiles last week. We love the inexpensive, easy decor update!

Mark's family relaxing before dinner. This area is now 1/2 painted...

Wednesday I shopped, cooked, cleaned and gathered the china, linens, and crystal. I mashed the potatoes, set up the green bean casserole, etc. Above is my cranberry relish in a beautiful Waterford Bowl, which was a wedding gift from Chris. The candle sticks (below) are also Waterford. Have I mentioned I LOVE Waterford and its beauty. I visited the factory in Ireland in college.

Our table - Of course most everything you see was wedding gifts, most being used for the first time. Please also notice the buffet transformation (see previous post). What do you think? Not bad for $64, 2 quarts of paint, and 6 new drawer pulls. The table is from our house at the farm. The tablecloth was also my mom's. Yes.. I had my bittersweet moment when ironing it for use after so many years of being packed away. I know this tablecloth saw many, many Thanksgivings at our house with the Toren family when growing up.

The black frames hanging by the window (above) contain seasonal artwork made by Marly and Dean at daycare. We change them out as we get new.

Me prepping the food. I can't believe I didn't take a picture of Mark cutting our 19 pound turkey (with an electric knife). It was moist, tasty, and done on time (I used a Renyolds Oven Bag... worked like a charm). I put the turkey in a bucket of brine the day before. Not sure if that was worth the effort or not.


Marly and Dean at their own personal kid table. The children's table is normally in our downstairs family room.

A few hours after the main course we had pie, with home made whip cream and hot 'Bou Coffee. Thank you Pauline for bringing our desert. The bowl with the gourds on the left is another thrift store find for $1.94. If you look in other photos, you may notice mumms in white vases, which are my $.94 thift store purchases. That $6.00 mumm bunch from Cub packs a lot of festive decor punch when divided through out the house.

So there you have it. I am sure you all have similar photos of a similar day, hopefully filled with many blessings.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


A while back I lost my cell phone, or rather...It went missing. I had it at home, and then it was gone. Mark kept trying to make me retrace my steps. I kept telling him OVER AND OVER, I knew it was some where on the upper level of our house. I was sure the kids had stashed it somewhere. It disappeared on a Saturday, and I tore the place apart looking for it. On Sunday afternoon, the kids and I made a little trip to the AT&T store in Coon Rapids to visit their Uncle Pat so I could get a replacement. We have no home phone, and I felt very unsure and unsafe to be with out communication. Folks, let me tell you I am NO techy. I had a simple phone, free with the plan, and I purchased a nearly identicle $34 go-phone as a replacement. Say what you like.. but I don't even text.

Well - Just the other day I located my original phone... in the freezer... with freezer burn... under frozen chicken, and at Dean's level! Oddly, it was good timing, because Mark's phone then died and he took this one!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The buffet...

Here it is folks... my thrift store buffet project I mentioned on Saturday! By the time I took the photo, Mark had already removed the doors, and I had started to lightly sand the side before priming. The project is nearly complete. We took home a couple different drawer pull from Lowe's this weekend and found one we both like. After Thanksgiving, my china will be at home behind the drawers, with my silver in the drawers!

New Moon

Yes... I have read the first three Twighlight books. Yes... I enjoyed them as much as everyone else. I haven't read the 4th installment because I haven't come across a hard copy yet, it is not out in paperback, and I have been too cheap to buy it.

Sunday I got to see 'New Moon' with Gretchen, her mom, her sister, and Dan. We saw it at the Imax theater in St. Michael. The movie was fun to take in on the huge screen, and it was an enjoyable afternoon out. Yes... I do think Cullen is quite sexy, expecially when he stands in front of his Volvo!

Dad watched the kids NAP while I was away. Mark had to do inventory at the 'Bou. Unfortunately, the kids slept the entire time I was gone! They had been up late Saturday night because our church had a farewell dinner for our much loved Associate Pastor Kyle.

Sunday night the kids enjoyed the beef stroganoff I had managed to get in the crock pot before departing for the theater... then they were still running WILD at 8 pm, due to their nap time overrun.

Oh well! I did let the 'Madagascar Christmas' DVD act as a babysitter after supper while I slapped some more paint on some patched areas ... and um yes.... I did then pop the classical 'Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer' to get the kitchen cleaned up...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Update and Stuff on Saturday

So... Here are some random updates for you (minus photos) this Saturday afternoon.

Paint Projects
  • Mark continues to paint trim, and the downstairs doors and hallway are complete. Today at Lowe's we picked up two Valspar samples and may have hit the mark for the colors in the lower level family room. The dark trim downstairs is now a nice crisp white like upstairs.
  • I have a paint project of my own right now - a buffet purchased at one of my favorite thrift stores (the Salvation Army on University near my work). You all may not know I have a thrift store addiction. I love to search for home accesories, or items I can transform with paint, at the best bargain price. Anyway, I have been searching for a sturdy buffet and finally found one. I am nearly done painting it white, and will change out the hardware. The Ikea side table formerly in our dining area was returned last Saturday. It cost $125, plus the baskets. It was more then I wanted to spent in the first place, and especially in comparitive to the $64 I bargained for at the Salvation Army. One of them is solid wood, the other was not!


  • While I was gone to Salt Lake, the kids flushed bath toys down the toilet. We called RotoRooter... then needed to call them AGAIN when it was clear the passage was still plugged. I had a coupon for the first visit. Due to an unusual customer service issue, the second visit (when the toilet needed to be removed to get the busted up squirt gun out) was FREE of charge.
  • In the mean time, our bathtub faucet fell right off and water went shooting across the tub. I called our home warranty hot line, hoping this might be covered, and was told it was NOT. I e mailed my neighborhood ladies bookclub list for plumbing references, and was quickly recommended to Paul the Plumber. Paul the Plumber noted our bathtub had no access from the closet behind and needed to create this. He also suggested a high quality Moen bathtub fixture which would be scald resistant for Marly and Dean (he has 4 kids, including twins who are 4). Great! (a nice price tag was attached.)
  • Before the bathtub issue was completely resolved (we needed to wait for the Moen spout on back order and had a "temporary" fix in place)....another leak related to the tub presented itself. I again called the home warranty company. Hooray!!! The problem was covered, and a another plumber was dispatched. Much to my surprise, the representative alerted me my first issue was also covered, and I had been misinformed. When Paul the Plumber is finished, I hope to submit his bill for at least a partial refund. THANK GOODNESS! A dry wall contractor (also covered) will be in next week to fix the hole in the lower level ceiling where the tub leaked. Now we have tub access there too. I also have two plumbers I could recommend.

Potty Training - All systems go! Marly and Dean pretty much picked up on the deal pretty much straight out of the gate (not counting Dean's initial 3 day rebellion). Rachel had gotten the kids Pull Ups for their 2nd birthday. We brought those to Daycare Cindy, where they have not been needed. We bought a pink and a blue package for our home, and have not used them. Dean prefers his underwear with Elmo or Cookie Monster, over the solid colored dino underwear. Marly prefers pastel hearts or stripes, and will not wear her Elmo underwear. They do have accidents, but only at home when Mom and Dad get forgetful or are not paying attention, and not in public. They wear diapers at night. Mark and I are very proud of them.

Thanksgiving - We are having Mark's family over (Parents, Kelly and Pat, and his brother Jeff). Today I bought a 19 pound fresh turkey at Costco (yes I am planning for left-overs...yes that is way too big probably), along with fresh green beans, the cranberries, potatoes, wine, and so forth. I am excited to use our china. I must have the buffet done by then. I was also able to spend our diaper dollars on a huge poinsettia plant. That was cheaper then the box of diapers.

Next Week - I am already flushed with anxiety thinking of all the things I need to complete at work and home. I want to take Wednesday off, but I have an important work event next Sunday, and another one the Sunday after. I am trying not to think about it all at 3:40 am when the rest of the world is alseep, and I lay there knowing my house is dirty, the dishwasher needs unloading, and even though I do laundry EVERY SINGLE DAY, it is never all put away...

NO PHOTOS - Flushed with anxiety and not enough time would be the reason there are no photos here of the basement painting progress, or the bathroom stripes I mentioned previously, or an individual post about being a thrift store junkie with photos of my fabulous finds (like the navy blue Stride Rite mary jane's for Marly for a $1.29 which had never been worn). I work... and I don't have time right now. I hope some day I do....

The kids are taking a nap. I should go fold some laundry... (Can't vacuum right now!)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Emotional and Grateful

Anyone who knows me naturally knows I am quite emotional, I cry and smile easily. Cate at work says my personality is the color blue on some sort of chart... which means I am caring, giving, and emotional.

Today as I was entering our office building to begin the work day, I saw Medflight taking off from the hospital. Instantly I was struck with how fortunate I am, and how sad I am for whomever Medflight was heading too, and praying for their day ahead and their family.

By the time I reached the 3rd floor and my beloved co-worker Stacie, I was truly choked up and needed to express this, and how grateful I am... even when stressed and anxious with my own life.

I am blessed.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

FREE TICKETS - Tran-Siberian Orchestra

Last week I happened upon free tickets to the Tran-Siberian Orchestra concert, so Mark and I decided to take in the afternoon show. While sitting in the darkened auditorium, I was mentally penning my blog description of the event.

It goes something like this. Imagine an '80's hair rock ban tour bus happens upon several wayward orchestra members hitch hiking along with electric violins in hand. Together they drop acid and trip forward in time to to modern day. They land right on stage at the Target Center ready for a holiday performance outfitted with fiber optics, laser lights, a deep throated narrator, ample dry ice, AND snow falling from the rafters. Featured musicians of either sex sported long locks, which were used as a prominent prop while strumming or stringing. The music included original works, popular and traditional Christmas melodies, and even an unexpected riff from a Led Zeplin Tune.

In case you are worried you missed the show... near the end, a host/lead singer (who bore a physical resemblance to Neil Diamond in a tux with white shirt un-bottoned half way to his navel) announced they would be back in the spring. The group then launched into their GRAND FINALE as a preview. The host/singer mentioned above had a vocal style that could best be described as a mix of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and Nat King Cole. He was backed up four scantily clad singer/dancers in knee high boats AND pyrotechnics!

After 120 minutes Mark and I slipped out to avoid the crowds leaving once the show actually wrapped up. Mark was a bit miffed he spent $10 parking. I suspect the tickets were worth more then $40, but I honestly don't know. I do know we enjoyed a fantastic meal at NE Social over in Nord'east before heading home.

Thank you Kelly for babysitting for our interesting outing Saturday!

Monday, November 16, 2009

A trip to the farm!

Last Monday I took a trip home and the kids took a trip to the farm! It has been a long haul for the farmers this season with the challenging weather, but we managed to luck out and get a beautiful day. Everyone was in good spirits, and the crops are great.

We arrived at my Aunt Jan's a little after 11 AM and met my Aunt Carol and Cousin Michelle at the Straw Hat in Buffalo Lake for lunch. In high school, I worked at the Straw Hat.

Afterwords we stopped at Carol's. I took some chairs she had been storing for me. Thank you kindly for keeping so many things for me after our house in the country was gone.

Jan was our GRAND tour guide for the day. She took us all over!

We checked out the yard where I grew up. Dad sold our house many years back to a family friend. Since Kevin bought our home site, he has added more than 5 acres of grapes!

Next we headed to Orlo's (the name of the field), where Sheldon and Mike were harvesting sugar beets.

When Marly and Dean get older, I would gladly send them to the farm to pick rocks or hoe weeds like I did, if any of my cousins will have them. I want them to truly know, respect and appreciate the farm if possible, and not just be the "City Cousins".

Of course Oscar came to the farm too. Dean liked watching all the trucks come and go.

Marly on her special lunch box perch in the tractor. I am sitting in the buddy seat. True confession... I suspect I loved my tractor ride perhaps even more then the kids did!

Dean driving. Behind him is Rich Kalenberg in a beet truck. Rich has worked for the family since WAY, WAY before I was born...

With Sheldon and Jan!

Next it was on to see the combine. Matt was harvesting up 8 acres of soybeans that were too wet to get the first go around. Uncle Loren was managing the grain cart.

Dean loaded up on some left behind corn to bring back to our subarban squirrels.

We had SUCH a great day. We headed back to the metro a bit before 5 pm and kids fell asleep some time after Hutch. Thank you ALL for having us, and most especially Jan for spending her day with us and her kindness and love with me and the Twinners. I hope to do it again next year. I relished every single minute of our time. I miss the farm dearly, so at least I get this little taste from time to time. I love my dear Mark... but I suspect I could have made a very good farm wife too.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Holiday Wreaths for Gillette!

This is a really pretty wreath isn't it! Here is my fundraiser pitch!

Here at Gillette, we have teamed up with Mickman Brother's (garden/landscaping) and they have created a wonderful website for us to sell beautiful wreaths and holiday decor (tabletop items). The wreaths are $36, which includes shipping anywhere in the US. From each item sold, Gillette will receive $10 (tax deductible to you)...oh and they also plant a tree for each purchase to help the environment.

So... if you need a wreath and want it delivered to your door or delivered to some one else's for a gift - CLICK HERE to check out the web site, or place an order.

Items ship around Thanksgiving, or two to three day after you place your order after that.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy Halloween

The Thomberg's had a great Halloween. As already mentioned, we had my Dad, Gary and Pauline over for lasagna, then headed out to trick or treat. Dad made the first three stops with us, then headed home. We had a great time chatting with all the neighbors. We truly live in a wonderful neighborhood and feel a great sense of community along the river. We didn't go too far, but did get a chance to say hello to many. Once home we were excited to see the neighborhood kids (and parents who stopped by).

I also got to dress up on Friday, much to the delight of Marly who kept pointing at me and saying, "Mommy Kitty! Mommy Kitty!". I am in costume because my co-worker Becky and I got to man a stop on the Gillette patient trick or treat route at the hospital. I am pictured in my kitty get up with the real Miss Minnesota - Brooke Kilgarriff. Miss Minnesota (Miss America) is a wonderful sponsor to Gillette (Children's Miracle Network). Brooke volunteers at our hospital weekly and has produced a CD which benefits Gillette! She is a delight. In fact, I am working on some details involving our hospital for a CD release event at the Mall of America (rotunda) at 1 pm on Sunday, November 29th!

Pumpkin Carving

Saturday we had an activity ready when Grandpa and Grandma Thompson arrived for a Halloween supper - Pumpkin Carving!

Given my past history with knives and my tendency towards causing injury to myself... I quickly passed off the sharp object to others, and picked up the camera instead.

You can see Grandpa Gary did the hard work!

Jack the Jack-o-latern was returned to our front door to join the other pumpkins on our sidewalk for the evening. The kids were delighted with the entire activity and loved the candles inside.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tuesday's Truths

I know, I know... where are the Halloween photos of pumpkin carving with Grandma Pauline and Gary, costumes with the grandparents, and candy??? Tomorrow or the next day...

The quick update - Saturday we had my Dad, Gary and Pauline over for lasagna, then when went about the nieghborhood collecting treats.

In the mean time, I had yesterday off because Daycare Cindy was having dental work done. We had such a relaxed day. We got up, ran errands, played outside for a bit, the kids took naps, I did laundry and made supper with out feeling tired, rushed, too late, and behind. When Mark got home I was relaxed and comfortable. What a tease to get to spend this one day... then know I must go back to work as usual for the rest of the week. It is such a struggle. I understand and acknowledge being a stay at home mom is a full time job. I often wish it was my career right now, and mourned this when Marly padded into our room this morning at 6 am and crawled into bed with me. I remember doing that to my mom for YEARS!

But - Today is Tuesday, and it is back to business as usual!


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