Friday, April 30, 2010

Coming Soon...

For Christmas my Dad gave the Twinner's funding for a backyard play set. Weeks later, Auntie Rachel walked into her area Home Depot and found a STEAL of a deal on this... She called me from the store last January and I purchased it over the phone. We picked it up the next day and it has been sitting in the corner of our garage (to begin it's depute this weekend).

Last week, we got the slide, also discounted, because it has a scratch on the side. Tonight or tomorrow we will go get the 5 beams needed. Construction is expected to begin tomorrow morning, with the help of Mark's family!

In a week of two, we will hopefully have a finished product that looks something like the photo above! I foresee it will NOT be completed in 6 hours as indicated on the box. I foresee some complications, and perhaps some swear words to get to the finished product - BUT... I am sure it will be worth it!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Too Slow, No Go!

Recently I signed up on-line for Groupon. Every day I get an e mail alerting me to a DEAL for that day. If enough people in my area purchase the Groupon that given day, the "GROup" who enters gets the "coUPON" deal/gift card. If there is not enough response, the deal/offer is null and void.

Yesterday the Groupon was for "Let's Dish". For $75, you received a $125 gift card for this service/retailer where you walk in and make up multiple meals to take home, freeze, heat and serve.

I have wanted to go make meals for our family for ages... and I thought this was the perfect chance... but I stalled.... and I hymned, and I hawed.

Today I clicked back into my e-mail. I wanted that deal! But, alas.. that is NOT how "Groupon" works. A day late IS too late!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Andrea's Weekend Quiche High bred

Mark and I have our weekend rituals and routines... mostly centered on food. It is widely known we observe "Thomberg Family Pizza Night" each Friday. More often then not, one of use makes a Papa Murphy's run (with a coupon), but sometimes we make our own (usually with Boboli crust). Other times we may get delivery. If we are feeling celebratory and it is an extra special occasion, we may even venture OUT!

Then there are Saturday mornings. Mark makes pancakes, like EVERY Saturday. Dean starts asking for pancakes on Friday AFTER eating pizza. Mark goes the whole grain route for the mix, and we prefer real maple syrup.

Finally, there is my contribution to the rotation.... eggs baked in some variation, and probably on Sunday. Mostly, I whip up a quiche (or my take on Betty Crocker's Quiche Lorraine recipe circa 1973). I will call it my own personal high bred, based on whatever is in my refrigerator.

I use to buy the pre-made crust... but I no longer bother. Why waste the carbs? Now I just give my Pyrex glass pie dish a good coat of Pam and go naked.

Often, I have a giant container of heavy whipping cream from Costco in my fridge. I LOVE real cream in my coffee. Sometimes I go crazy on the fat, and put in the two cups the recipe calls for. Other days I skip the cream all together, add two eggs, and use less milk. Usually, I go half and half on that one. It all works folks. I did just Google, and Betty still calls for 2 cups heavy whipping cream or half and half today.

Some days I use 12 pre-cooked heat and serve bacon strips (which is what I thought the recipe called for), other days I use broccoli... or whatever other ingredient is about to go bad in my fridge. In my Google search, I see Betty now calls for 8 slices, so in the future I will reduce the number!

I like onions (which I prefer to brown) every time, but this week I only had those little white ones. Cayenne pepper is a MUST. So is the cheese, but what kind is again dictated by what's in the fridge. I like Swiss (as the recipe indicates) or cheddar. I put in a couple hand fulls. Is that two cups? I don't measure. Turns out Betty only calls for one cup. I think I will stick with two though. I am like that about cheese. If I don't have anything shredded, I chop something up.

I do use the 1/2 teaspoon of sugar the recipe calls for, but cut the salt if I am using bacon. For all my hard working, sugar beet growing, farmer friends and relatives, I APOLOGIZE for the cane product pictured above! Good gracious, I might be a little bit embarrassed to be housing this product in my cupboard.

So there you have it - The Thomberg's weekend menu at a glance. I usually eat the left over quiche slices on Monday mornings!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Our 3 Year Old Twins

Marly and Dean are three years old (and then some).

They both weigh 32 pounds. Dean weighs a half pound more. He appears very skinny next to his sister.

Dean REMAINS two inches taller, as he has ALWAYS been.

Both are healthy and get the pediatrician's stamp of approval at their 3 yr check up.

Marly likes dresses and accessories. Dean would wear "comfy pants" every day if you let him. "Comfy Pants" is how he lovelingly refers to his favorite blue fleece Gymboree pants.

Dean can throw a good tantrum, but Marly says "NO!" more. Dean whines A LOT, and we are really trying to change this bad habit.

Marly sleeps well most all of the time. Dean does NOT go to sleep well. They share a room, but should probably be seperated. The truth is, moving them downstairs simply seems like too much work right now! It is a struggle to get Dean down for his nap at home on the weekends. Both kids still take an afternoon nap. Marly likes naps.

Dean still loves Oscar. Marly still loves her TWO blankets. Sometime a long while back, Marly decided she always needed BOTH blankets and not just one or the other. We let them have their favorite things whenever they want them.

Dean likes to cuddle and is quick to respond to requests for hugs and kisses. Marly often denies requests! In public, she will often scowl and frown at people who try to talk to her.

Dean takes the social lead when in public, and Marly follows. Neither seems dominant of the other.

Dean is a very typical boy. He likes sticks. Marly is a very typical girl. She likes her dollies. Marly appears to have more sports ability. She likes soccor. Dean prefers t-ball. Dean talks about monsters now. He likes dinosaurs and polar bears. Marly likes pink.

Both chat and talk more every day. At this time of year, both love to be outside. They love their trikes and running around the yard.

Somedays they are good eaters, other days they are not. Marly likes meat more then Dean. Dean loves yogurt and cottage cheese. In the morning, Dean starts the day by requesting juice. Marly requests milk. Mark makes pancakes every Saturday morning. Dean loves it and eats plenty.

Dean is a bit more attentive and is a better prayer in church on Sunday's. Both Marly and Dean play in the children's area in the back of the santuary during the sermon. Marly hides her head when the pastor tries to cross her and bless her at communion.

Just recently they pretend play and roll play. Both like to pretend they are at Caribou or making coffee. They have only been inside a few times, but they know Daddy works there and mommy LOVES coffee. They definately know the logo! They have been through the drive thru too many times. The funny thing is, they think a "special treat" for them is a plastic clear glass of 'Bou ice water with a red straw! Not sure how long we can keep that FREE myth up.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Springtime on Riverview Lane

We have now lived at our home 11 months, and I think spring came early this year. Our daffodils near the street are finally blooming.

Click HERE to see our yard last year. Live and learn. Mark and I weren't gardening savvy enough to realize it takes a LOT of bulbs packed into a small area to make an impact. These will probably be dug up, added to and replanted elsewhere (maybe with our spotty back yard tulips)...
My kids favorite mode of neighborhood transport this season is the three-wheel style.

or sometimes four....

Last years mama duck has returned to nest again, even after the harassment it received last spring from the new resident toddler two-some.
Click HERE to see the duck, the kid's preferred mode of transport via wagon, and etc LAST year.

We have tulips this spring...

and my children have become The Neighborhood Greeters/Welcome Party for the walkers, runners and bikers who travel Riverview Lane!

Happy Spring to All!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Donate Life Day at the State Capital

As I have mentioned already, April is National Donate Life Month. Yesterday was Donate Life Day at the State Capitol. LifeSource (the non-profit organ and tissue agency serving the Upper Midwest) hosted the event. It started out with a presentation in the rotunda at 9 am. Volunteers and LifeSource staff gathered in our matching t-shirts. Secretary of State Ritchie talked about his personal connection with donation. His daughter was killed by a drunk driver 10 years ago. Her heart saved a girl who recently graduated from high school.

After the short program, volunteers went to personally visit their state representative and senator. As individual, we set up appoints in advance of the event. After, we were invited to the Senate Gallery to be honored as volunteers.

The most inspiring part of the day for me occurred while sitting in the gallery. Although I know some of the LifeSource staff due to my former job at the Red Cross and then volunteering, I do not know their volunteers. While we were waiting I was chatting with the volunteers on either side of me. To my left was a woman who had received a heart. To my right was a woman with a 12 year old donor heart. She appeared quite ill. She explained she had been on the donor list for 2 and a 1/2 years for a second transplant. She was in the hospital for her first transplant when she turned 22 years old.

I advocate donation because my life was impacted on the opposite end. These woman had received, and one of them was in NEED. We are lucky to live in a state that is progressive in promoting donation, and I hope our activities yesterday help to keep us in the forefront.

How can one say 'No' to donation? 18 people in the U.S. today will die waiting for a transplant.

Group photo

My self photo as leaving to return to work.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Thomberg's Weekend - CHANGE of Plans

This past weekend, I thought Mark and I would enjoy happy hour, a movie, sleeping in, hanging out with OUT the Twinners, go to dinner in NE Mpls, and etc. You see Kelly came to get M&D around 3:30 Friday for a weekend at Auntie's. At 4:45 I had just changed my clothes and fixed my make up to go for drinks, when Kelly called. Pat wasn't well and we needed to get the kids. We will pray for Pat's speedy recovery!

So in the mean time, we moved on to Plan B. Saturday we took the kids to Como Zoo (for a trip back in time to Como, click HERE)

Can't be without my Caribou. I swear, I am a coffee addict, not a caffeine addict. It's a half caf latte!

Click HERE to see the kids at the Conservatory in 2008 or HERE at holiday time.

The fish were a huge hit.

I was so busy with the kids, I didn't get a chance to digest the true beauty of the Conservatory.

Heading home for a nap. Later in the evening, we had the Lyon's over and grilled burgers.

Sunday we made a second trip to urgent care in a week and a 1/2 for PINK EYE!

But everyone was still able to enjoy the beautiful weather, including a picnic lunch on the lawn.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

7 & 37

Monday was Mark and my 7th Anniversary.
Tuesday was Mark's 37th Birthday.

Both came and went with little fanfare. Like any other Monday, Mark was long gone to work before I ever woke up. Like most any weekday, I got home around 5:30. Minutes after I arrived, Mark needed to go back to work. We quickly exchanged cards. We both admitted we didn't even really like the card we had bought for the other, but both felt we needed to provide some acknowledge. Mark then departed with nary a kiss...

Alas, neither of us even feel bad about the lack of anniversary hoopla. Heck, we are still married while managing careers, parenthood, home, bla, bla, bla... Getting by from day to day seems like enough to us. So - bring on the 8th year.

Mark's birthday did include a cake I picked up from Byerly's while also running a work errand, and we did go out to eat Tuesday evening. Big celebrators that we are, we both ordered $1 tacos on special at a nearby bar and grill we like. The kids each got a mini slider meal.

Anyway - Cheers to us, and Cheers to Mark!! The good news is Kelly requested to take the kids for the weekend. The two of use will have plenty of time to relax and celebrate this weekend... although neither of us have taken a minute to plan anything yet!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Easter Sunday we went to church, took photos of the kids in the yard, then headed to Rachel and Brett's for Sunday Dinner.

Notice the daffodil peeking up from behind the Twinner's. The deer haven't eaten them, but they show no sign of blooming yet. We asked our neighbor who works at a nursery about planting them under the big pine, and she thought they wouldn't get enough sun...

Rachel set up an Easter egg hunt for the next generation of Melberg cousins, including Sutton, Saxton, Sawyer, Mikayla, Mariah, Wilson and Marly & Dean.

Marly, Nana Chris and me.

Dean and Papa.

The Thomberg's!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Saturday with the Thomberg's

Saturday night the Thomberg's dyed Easter Eggs!

For some reason, Marly insisted on wearing a pj top....

A kiss for Daddy!

I am sure you would never guess, after we put the Twinner's to bed we sipped wine, put together Easter baskets and eggs, and hid both eggs and baskets.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Whose Driving???

Like most Mommy's, I try and make the drive to daycare smooth and contented. I do my best to avoid tears and tantrums. I do my best to encourage some giggles, smiles and chatter.

Dean does NOT like music on the car radio in the morning. Both Twinners object to my singing. No "Wheels on the bus" or "Jesus Loves Me". Any off key cords that pass my lips are met with a chorus of "NO Mommy! NO!"

Here is what they do like - When their bear or animal helps mommy drive! Here is Oscar and Marly's teddy-of-the-moment taking the wheel.

Oscar at the helm. Poor Oscar, he's flat as a pancake from over-lovin' BUT, he can still steer!

Next teddy and Oscar drink mommy's coffee....

There are no photos of me holding Oscar and putting the Amy's Blend 'Bou stainless travel coffee mug to Oscar's yarn mouth because it takes one hand to hold the bear and the other on the mug, and I am not sure how I drive too, so clearly a photo was NOT obtainable.

Yes you can question the safety involved with me driving with bears, and most certainly while clicking the Nikon! (It's all in the name of fun!)

Four Girls Gather

This past weekend my friend Dawn flew into town from Massachussets for a girls gathering. Dawn lived her oh-so-long ago and her presence is missed! It was a much needed time for four dear friends to catch up IN PERSON, instead of ON LINE for a fly by weekend. Dawn's plane landed at 8pm Friday. Our friend Heidi was on hand to picked her up and whisk her straight to our gal pal Jesse's house where we reunited for delicious appetizers and drinks.

The next morning I hosted a brunch for friends. The invite was for 10 am. Turns out that is early for individuals who don't have small kids....

Below are Dawn and Dean.

Below - Dawn's friend Anne with her daughter Libby.

Friends...near and far.

Saturday afternoon Dawn, Jesse and Heidi went shopping. I caught up with them at Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove just in time for a happy hour cocktail, then we cruised downtown. We had a room at the Marriott City Center and reservation at Bar La Grassa at 9 pm. Jesse called for about 3 weeks straight, hoping for a cancelation, to get us in at the metro's hot new dining destination.

Here we are all dolled up & out for drinks after dinner.

The weekend was a fast and furious, too short, and each of us were tired in our own cities, at our own jobs on Monday morning, but of course it is worth it to spend time together.


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