Friday, December 28, 2012

We're Still Here

Pictures will have to wait, but the Thomberg's remain blessed this holiday season. We have been hunkered down at home since Christmas. Here we are on Friday, and I am putting my fingers to the keyboard for a quicky update.

We will usher out the year with minor illness this past week, and an ENDLESS and BOUNDLESS list of BLESSINGS.
  • Friday before Christmas, Mark and I attended Handel's Messiah at Central Lutheran following a delicious dinner out at Cafe Maude on Loring Park.
  • Saturday we took the kids to Madeline's Christmas at Stage's Theater in Hopkins.
  • Sunday we went to church. That evening we spent time at Brett and Rachel's with Dad, Chris, and Chris's son Eric. We dined on porterhouse steaks and cheesy potatoes. We unwrapped boundless gifts, and had creme brulee for dessert.
  • The kids and I stayed overnight and spent time on the ice and sledded down the hill over and over and over on Christmas Eve Day.
  • Mark returned from work, we set out for Hector, and arrived at First Lutheran with about 15 seconds to spare before the start of the candlelight service. The sanctuary was filled to the brim with country friends and relatives.
  • We got to meet cousin Jared's lovely fiance Lori and her son Jason.
  • We ate delicious ham balls and so much more at Auntie Jan and Sheldon's. Santa came for a visit and "sugar plums" truly danced in the eyes of Marly, Dean and Cousin Wilson. We even played BINGO before chills shook through me, and we needed to drive back to suburbia.
  • Christmas morning the kids actually slept in before diving in to gifts from Santa, and mom and dad. We ate a sweet and fattening french toast bake and noshed through out the day. I took a nap (after sweating out a fever) before we set out to a matinee of "The Rise of the Guardians". We came home for a fire downstairs. Dean and Marly were delighted Santa brought them each a fishing pole. Marly got the coat she wanted for Emma the doll. Dean got his remote control car.
  • Since then, we have played board games, watched movies, and the kids have spent hours playing with each other, and new toys. Mark has been here and there and in and out for work. The kids and I have been content leaving the house as little as possible, wearing Hello Kitty or Angry Bird PJ's until mid afternoon.
  • I visited the clinic Wednesday afternoon and felt lucky to get what seemed like the only Allina appointment left in the North Metro. I got a shot in the butt for Strep Throat. I have taken many naps along with regular doses of Tylenol and Advil for the Strep Throat.
  • I bucked up and we made a trip to the neighborhood sledding hill at Jewel Park yesterday after lunch. The third run down, Dean insisting on aiming for the "bump/jump". His face bears the not so pretty results. Tears ensued. Someone really wanted their DADDY, and we headed home.
  • The kids visited the clinic Thursday at 6 pm, when Dr. W kindly squeezed the Twinner's  in at the end of the day. We got amoxicillian for their nagging cough, the long awaited flu shot, and left with instructions on how to prevent any scarring for Dean's model face (the Dr's words...not mine). 
This brings us up to date.

I am feeling mostly better.

I suspect there are a few games of bowling in The Thomberg Family future this afternoon.

Sunday we will have Mark's family for a beautiful holiday gathering.
instructions on how to prevent any scarring for Dean's model face.

Monday we will be geared up and ready for guests for a NEW YEAR'S EVE party, ready to ring in another wonderful new year.

May we all be blessed in 2013!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Peace Lutheran Sunday School Program 2012

Last Sunday was the kids's Sunday School Program
Before the program, the Twinners did the traditional Christmas tree poses in  front of our white pine, decorated in jeweltone brights this year.
 Dean found his polar bear sweater at Gap. The child's love for this not so gentle giant continues. Marly's dress is from Land's End. She hasn't had a "frilly froo froo" dress since she was a tiny baby. They just don't seem to suit here somehow (VERY unlike me as a child...always worried my bow was fluffed and STRAIGHT, neat and tight). She did let me put a pony tail and polka dotted ribbon in her hair.
 Dean remains two inches taller, like he has since BIRTH.
He is also the first to turn silly in photos. Eventually Malry got into the game. Dean's pose below is Grandma Marlys shining through. Peace everybody (except Dean doesn't know this means "Peace")!
Christoffer the Elf on the Shelf was perched in the tree Sunday keeping watch over the Twinners this time of year for Santa.
 Papa came over around 5 pm for a supper of Costco Chicken Pot Pie before we headed out.
The kids were towards the back row, but we could tell from the big screen they were doing all the actions with confidence and singing too. They practiced two Saturday mornings for two and a 1/2 hours in addition to during their usual SS time slot.
Of course, holiday treats followed the performance in the fellowship hall.

Merry Christmas to all. Last week after their Christmas program practice Saturday, we also visited Santa at a local jewelry store in a Anoka. I know the lovely owner through work and they put on fine holiday open house with Santa and Mrs. Claus every we could check another box off the holiday list.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Holidazzle 2012

Just hours before the snowfall that resulted in more than a foot of snow began to fall (last week), the Thomberg's took in Holidazzle downtown. Pretty damn good timing don't you think?

This is the third time we have taken the kid's to Holidazzle. It turns out we are every-other-year kind of folks. I must say, this year we had a grand time.

Day of, I tried to make dinner reservations at a few of the prime spots. Duh! - this was a no go. Since I don't plan in well in advance, we opted to be downtown by 4:30, had our name on our list at popular restaurant at 4:45, and were seated before 5:30. It timed out beautifully indeed.

As parent's of five year olds, we can now have fun as adults, as they take it all in as a child. Our pre-parade meal was at the The Local Irish Pub on Nicollett. Our dining experience included pub fare, hot chocolate for the kids, and 'Big Gingers' wiskey cocktails for mom and dad. The Twinners enjoyed our high top table near the door, and all the activity that go along with the downtown bar scene (which happens to include TONS of kids during Holidazzle). Mom and Dad enjoyed all the activities that go along with the bar scene too.

At 6 pm, Marly and I placed our wool blanket on a prime piece of curb-side real estate.

Before dinner, I 'Facebooked' our whereabouts and plans. Soon I learned my cousin Taylor was headed in our direction for the parade too.

By Facebook, text and phone, we were able to hook up. What  great addition to the evening. The Thomberg's were cool enough to hang downtown with cute college girls. How lucky are we!

Sunday, December 9, 2012


It's finally official. Winter is here!

Before we could go to church this morning, Mark had to blow out the drive way. It was a small crowd at Peace, due to the snow, ice, and slick roads.

After, we headed to our favorite post-worship bi-weekly hang out.

The 'Cost-CA-nites' (as Mark likes to refer to them/us) were not deterred by the weather though. Despite the many cars in the ditch along Highway 10, COSTCO was only a little less busy than usual this Sunday!

Back at home the kids did the classic winter bundle (dressed mostly in Land's End armor), before heading out into the thick blanket of still falling white-ness.
Damn good thing we has also stopped at the Land's End inside Sear's this morning (right next to Costco) to picked Dean up a pair of waterproof gloves like his sister's, which were sold out on line when I purchased her snow pants and coat.
 Everyone in the family made a snow angel except mom. I don't have snow pants actually.
 The Twinners and I headed down to the river for a glorious look at the radical turn of season.
Eventually the  kids came in for hot cocoa and watched Rudolf and Frosty. We made a batch of "snow ice cream" in a one gallon zip lock bag. Then we made a second batch, since the first batch was too salty to eat (even though I followed the directions).

Our outdoor decor being Christened for Christmas!
AT LEAST a foot of snow has fallen across Minnesota. Later this afternoon, Mark blew the snow out for a second time.... until he ran out of gas, and had to run to the station for more! He is now properly positioned for round three, if there is one.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pizza Party 2012

My Dad's House.
Thanksgiving Weekend.
Holiday Kick-off.
Pizza Luce'
 Champagne with "fluff"
 Basement full of kids.
Charlie with Nana and Papa
 Charlie with his proud Grandpa's
 Charlie with his Cousin's
ALL the cousins - firsts, seconds, thirds????
  There were adults at the party too.
Someone had to drink the champagne.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A little of this, A little of that

I am busy, like EVERYONE this holiday season.... so this is just a DUMP of info, from me to you. From me to the history book blog for my children in 20 years.

  • Kindergarten is going well for the kids. The like Mrs. Loveridge and Ms. Stienberg. We like the school and are happy with our choice now and we believe for the 4 years ahead. The kids love the bus and the bus stop.
  • We are in full holiday tilt. I have half my shopping done on line. The house is decorated, the outdoor lights have been up for ages, and the pots and front door are decked,  and we love it. We always do.
  • We were the first host house for our Neighborhood Progressive Happy Hour last Friday. It was a blast. It always is. We served 'Poinsetta' champagne/vodka/cranberry cocktails in champagne flutes, lovely appetizers like prosciutto wrapped pears , crackers with brie and fig spread, olives, cheeses, nuts, something sweet, etc.
  • Marly is taking dance and Dean is enrolled in Karate.
  • I am serving on church council, and was elected last February.
  • Mark earned/won a trip to the 'Bou Costa Rica coffee bean fields and will travel in January.
  • We hope to get to Hollidazzle Parade and maybe a holiday theater production.
  • I plan to take the kids to visit Santa at a local store next Saturday, whose owner I know for work.
  • Dean will be wearing a polar bear sweater for the holiday's he found at GAP. Marly has a blue dress with a few sparkles from Land's End.
  • The kids have Sunday School Program practice the next two Saturday mornings.
  • I am hoping for some snow.
  • Christopher the Elf arrived Monday morning. So far he has moved to a new hiding place before the kdis get up each day. Yesterday the kids discovered he had eaten a marshmallow and had some hot cocoa the night before and DIDN'T place his tiny porcelain tea cup and plate in the sink!
  • I pulled the plug on the Christmas Card edits and placed the order at 11:11 pm last night. Just this momement I have discovered I spelled 'Kindergarten' wrong on the card.
  • I need to put up a post on the Pizza Party.
  • I need to put up a post of photos of our holiday decor.
  • I need to write and add photos to an "Chistopher the Elf on Shelf" post, because the whole thing is fun for the kids and fun for mom and dad too.
  • I would like to get back to the Guthrie for the Christmas Carol this year.
That's all for now.

Friday, November 30, 2012


The Thomberg's had a FABULOUS Thanksgiving weekend.

Thursday we headed to Kelly's in the early afternoon for the traditional Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. After we gorged ourselves, we  played the Wii with Kenix. (or whatever you call that thing that makes you an Avatar on the screen). We all had a blast.

Friday Mark headed to work to Ra Ra his 'Bou locations for Black Friday.

I did not shop, which is typical. (It is now a week AFTER Thanksgiving, and I suppose I should fire it up next week.) I did go on line to get Marly and pair of snow pants from Land's End.

I intended to spent the entire day in my grey Target PJ pants with little neon safari animals on them. My plan was to bake oatmeal cookies with the kids in the afternoon. Believe it or not, I have NEVER made homemade cookies. (Okay... once I tried to make oatmeal cookies with steel cut oats, to be more healthy. This was an EPIC fail).

When Mark returned home at lunch, we decided to head north to get the Christmas tree. I was forced out of my PJ pants and into corduroys, a cozy scarf, and shearling Costco boots (with NO SOCKS).
 We went to Pinestead in Isanti for the third year in a row.

Don't let the smiling faces in the photos fool you. The Twinners could NOT agree to a tree. There were frozen tears and hissy fits. We opted NOT to cut our own this year, because Dean found a beautiful tree in the lot. I got to pick the type, and choose a white pine with long needles.
Back at home, both kids declared it the BEST TREE EVER.
We actually had to cut it down just a little because it was too big.

While Mark and the kids commandeered our mighty pine, I whipped up the oatmeal cookies. We completed the evening with  turkey (from the crock pot), mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and a mediocre stuffing. That's right, I prepared a mini Thanksgiving dinner since we didn't host and had no left overs.

Saturday was a PJ pants repeat of Friday, with more decorating. I should note in the last two weeks Mark completely repainted all of the upper level common areas of our home a fresh and perfect grey (perfect 6 test pots later). We LOVE it. We have been talking about the update since spring. Mark was under the gun, since we are a host site for our annual Neighborhood Progressive Happy Hour - TONIGHT!

At 3:15 pm on Saturday, I promptly gussied myself up after calling my Dad and discovering the Annual Post Thanksgiving Pizza Party kicked off at 4:30 and not 5 or 6 like I slated in my head.

**The Annual Pizza Party will have to be reviewed in another post at a later date, when I upload the photos off of the camera card**

We finished off the long weekend with an outing to the Shrine Circus at the Target Center on Sunday afternoon.

Mark and I both remember going to the circus when we were kids. We both think we were about 5 years old at the time. I think when I went, it was somewhere in St. Paul (Roy Wilkens perhaps), and we were with my cousin Brad, Barb and Charlie.
Neither Mark and I remember attending again when are siblings would have been old enough. We now totally understand why this is! We suspect the circus is a ONE TIME ONLY gig for the parental unit! (Notice Dean's crab apple face. He is P-Oed we will NOT buy him a lighted wand, or saber, or fiber optic toy!)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Eve

It is 10:38 p.m. on Thanksgiving Eve.

This afternoon we took family photos for our Christmas cards by the Mill City Ruins in Minneapolis. We picked up our photographer not even a block from our house, because our photographer is also our darling neighbor girl, who is also our kids babysitter when we need a night on the town.

After that we headed home, I went on line and got tickets to see the Shrine Circus on Sunday, then I ran to the grocery store for the ingredients for the broccoli salad and appetizer I am bringing to Kelly's house tomorrow.

We had frozen pizza for supper, and I went to the Thank offering service at church. The rest of the family stayed  back and watched a movie.

As I returned from church alone, I thought back to my younger years (like high school and college). Back in the day, I always attended some sort of dance at an area ballroom on Thanksgiving Eve. You know, like the Shaw Band at the Bird Island Ball Room, or Johnny Holmes in Gibbon, or one or the other at Cedar's Edge Ballroom in Cedar Mills. I wonder if that place has been condemned yet???

Anyway, you came out, and so did everyone else from the small towns, amongst all the college crew home for the long weekend. You know... home from Southwest State, Mankato State, Moorhead State, and St Cloud State! I would find all of my cousins - Michael, Christopher, Dawn, Brad, Matt.

I think it cost about $8 to get in. Often, we waited in line outside (without coats). Once inside, it was sweaty hot on the packed dance floor swaying to "Fishing in the Dark" or "My Brown Eyed Girl". To quentch your thirst, you had an older cousin get you a tap beer, or a Mac and Coke (yup... those nasty brown liquors) in a plastic cup, and then another, and then another.

And we all somehow found our way home by way of  a VERY dark, desserted gravel road at the end of the night.

At noon on Thursday, one side of the cousins would re-unite with aunts and uncles and cousins. We always spent Thanksgiving with the Toren side. My mom would observe who was the most alert, the least alert, had the worst head ache, and was the least likely to enjoy their mashed potatoes and gravey. Maybe a glass of Boone's Farm would remedy the situation?

Tonight I came home and sipped on a glass of Cab while prepping the salad and dip. Mark and I put up some Christmas decorations.

It is now 10:59 p.m. and the year begins with "20" instead of "19". I am blogging. I will not have a hang over tomorrow. I will drink wine I can buy myself. It won't be 'Strawberry Hill'.

But twenty years ago...
Oh what fun we had
...back in the day!

Happy Thanksgiving Ya'All!

((ps - I have nothing against Boone's Farm, and will now probably crave it tomorrow!))

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I'm Sorry

To the individuals I caused distress while honking in my car today... I am SORRY.

You see, as I was leaving a lunch meeting this afternoon, I came upon a left hand turn, with an arrow light. As I approached, the arrow was green. As I moved forward, the car in front of me stood still. I thought the driver was distracted (perhaps like me sometimes on my cell phone when I shouldn't be, or digging for lipstick), so I lightly honked. For the record, I made four short honks. One would have sufficed.

Sill, the car did not move.

That is when I noticed a woman in a motorized wheelchair crossing the street with a companion.

The lady and her companion were significantly older than me. Finally they made it all the way across the walk, and the car in front of me turned safely. I could not turn because the light turned to full green. I waited until the oncoming cars passed and made my left hand turn. I felt aweful for my rude behavior.

The lady and her companion were working their way along the sidewalk, adjacent to the parking lot I was entering. I felt TERRIBLE. I slowed down, pulled over, and shouted out my passenger window. I told the man I was SORRY. I explained I did not see the lady or him. Again, I said, "I am soooo sorry!"

The man did not accept my apology. He response was unkind....

I apologized once again, and moved on.

I was not forgiven - and you know what, that is okay with me.

You see, I didn't apologize simply to make myself feel better. I wanted to make the people I wronged feel better. My apology did not do this.  Their hurt could not be so easily undone.That couple's life is more difficult than mine - tenfold.

 My life is one with a healthy body and and healthy mind. My life is full of blessings, in too many forms to list. My life is filled with joy. I do not walk in their shoes, or ride in their wheelchair.

But, I will say it again, "I am sorry for my impatience. I am sorry I honked at the car waiting to let you pass. I am sorry I hurt you when you already have so much pain in your life. I am sorry."

I am thankful I am Christian, and for a religion that teaches me to repent my sins, and then accept Grace.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

California Girls Weekend

WAYYY back over MEA weekend, I headed off to sunny California with friends. The plan - for Jess, me and Heidi to gather with our friend Dawn in honor of  her 40th birthday. Yup folks - bring on the 40's.

Dawn choose for us to come visit her. WAY BACK WHEN, she use to live in Minnesota. Since then, she married Derek (who is now a Lutheran pastor), lived in California (seminary), then Germany (intern pastor), then Massachusetts (pastor). She had a baby a little over a year ago, and the family moved to a new parish in California 6 months ago. I have not seen Dawn since before childbirth (or conception I guess)!

We spent time  in Redwood City, San Francisco, and Sonoma County.

We talked, had Starbucks, then wine, played with 16 month old "B" man Beckett, and ordered pizza at the "parsonage" in Redwood City.
We shopped in Union Square, rode the trolley to Fisherman's Wharf, ate lunch in China Town and dinner in Little Italy, and spent the night in a plush bed at the Mark Hopkins in San Fransisco.

We drove down beautiful country rodes through Sonoma County with the sun shining on vineyards dripping with ripe grapes. We sipped reds and whites, and more white... and red. ((Then I purchased a darling, short, one-shoulder,  bright orange dress at a cute little boutique before dinner in Healdsburg. I have NO IDEA where I will wear this dress. In the light of day, I think it needs some sort of slip. Do slips even exist in 2012?)).  We noshed on Sunday Brunch that was too-die-for at 'The Fig Cafe' in teeny-tiny Glen Ellen.

On our return to Redwood City, we hung out with Pastor D, and ate at a Mexican restaurant. On Monday before heading back, Dawn, B and I saw the ocean and strolled the beach near Half Moon Bay.

Our two hotel stays were booked short notice on Hotwire. We joke we will stay anywhere, as long as it has a chandelier (like the 5 star lobby of the Mark Hopkins) **photo stolen from the internet**
 or hard boiled eggs (like the continetal breakfast at the Comfort Inn in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County). **photo also stolen from the internet**

Time spent with dear girl friends is always time well spent.
 (me at the Mortorana Family Winery)
(The four of us in Chinatown)
(The MN travelers sipping at Chalk Hill Winery)

As you will note, we spent little time taking pictures.
It really is too bad there are no cute photos of the "B" man!
or like... the ocean,
or a picture perfect winery,
or the four of us when we aren't holding our own I -phone,
or any of the sights...

Oh well! We will always have the memories!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween from the Thomberg's

Although you can't tell by these three "kitchen" kids photos... we had a GREAT Halloween.

The festivities began at 2:30 pm when I volunteered at the kids Fall Party at school (just like my mom use to be a 'room mother' for our 'Halloween Party'). After, we headed home to add layers under the Twinner's  pirate attire.

Before we set off to the next destination, Mark snapped a few photos. I wanted photos by our front entry with the pumpkins and festive outdoor decor. Our little bush out front even has skeleton and ghosts lights on it, but all we have are BORING kitchen photos almost exactly like the ones from two weeks before. Unfortunately, family photographer Mark wasn't feeling well at all, so this is all we have. Epic Fail here on my part folks!
Anyway, we headed to the Peace Lutheran "Trunk or Treat" where the pirates hopped from car to car collecting candy, stopping to eat a hotdog and bag of potato chips mid-way through.

At about 6 pm, the pirates and witch mommy Andrea cruised home. (Mark stayed back to rest.) We met up with a few neighbors, and the kids ran from house to house on Riverview Lane, powered by SUGAR! Mark came out for a bit, but slipped back home before we finished on the street. It is a busy and stressful time at work for him, and it is taking its toll.

We were wrapped up around 7:30 pm. True to form, Marly sought out her jammies as soon as she walked in the front door. Sometimes she is in her PJ's before supper time. The girl likes her sleepwear!

Honestly, I think I should FIRE myself from my blog. The photography on this site SUCKS! I don't have any photos of my outdoor entry. We carved our pumpkins on Tuesday. I have no photos of that either. All I have is this Blackberry phone photo of the 'scary cat pumpkin' on Halloween afternoon, AFTER a critter ATE the 'scary cat' right out of the center, turning it into a 'fence with a big hole in it' pumpkin. Marly requested the 'scary cat' pumpkin. Mark carved Dean a 'skull and crossbones' pumpkin. No photo (of course).

While we were out tick or treating, we left a bowl of candy on our bench with signs directing kids to take a treat. I didn't take any cute photos of that. It was a little less then have full when we returned. No greedy HobGobblin's on Riverview Lane!

What the Twinner's wore:
Dean and Marly's pirate sash, Dean's hat, Dean's vest - KiddieWink Designs on Etsy
Marly's Peasant Shirt - Stage and Thyme Design on Etsy
Marly's gold coin necklace - Party City
Dean's swishy pants, Dean's white shirt, Marly's polka dotted skirt and Marly's black velvet leggings - GoodWill
Marly's headscarf - crafted from supplies from JoAnne Fabrics

What I wore (No pictured!!!) -
kid size witch hat and funky black cat-eye rhinestone glasses - Party City
cute tan ruffle collar wool coat - Old Navy
orange jersey knit scarf - Gap Outlet two years ago.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fall Fun at the Westwood Nature Center

While I was in beautiful, sunny California with three gal pals over MEA weekend, the kids attended their first Halloween Party of the season. 

As the gals and I sipped wine at vineyards along winding country roads in Sonoma County dressed in a summer maxi dress and Target sandals, the Twinners were home in suburban Minnesota adding layers beneath their pirate costumes to attend the Westwood Hill Nature Center Fall Festival with Nana and Papa.
Contrary to some opinions, Marly is NOT a wench... She is a female pirate.
 I REALLY enjoy creating the kids Halloween costumes, rather then shopping off the rack. I know I have mentioned before my mom spent weeks sewing us elaborate costumes, and made whatever we choose. I do not sew full costumes, but create something unique and nice every year. This year the kids both choose to be pirates. Their ensembles are courtesy of two Etsy sellers, Goodwill, Party City, and some sewing supplies from JoAnne.

Charlie is wearing the monkey costume my mom made for Brett and I when we were little. I think it made all of us VERY HAPPY to see little man Chartlie in Grandma Marly's creation that is 35 or more years old. What wonderful memories...
 Off they went by school bus to the nature center Halloween Walk. Of course they got their faces painted. This is Marly and Dean's third year attending the event and Charlie's first.
I will be making some minor revisions (such as a red pirate head scarf) to Marly's costume before Wednesday. We don't want anyone mistaking our 5 year old for a slut while trick or treating or at the school party!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Our Less Commercial Fall

This year we missed the Renaissance Festival. Things just didn't line up for our day out with Papa and Nana. We also haven't made it to the Apple Orchard.

Actually, I was desperate to go to the Orchard last Sunday. The sun was shining and it was warm enough... but Mark appealed to our budget, and our earnest need for some true "down time" at home (something I am NOT so good at. I am GOOD at the run around). I am headed to California this week to visit a dear girl friend and Mark reflected on my upcoming personal use of our entertainment dollars. Instead, we did a little work in the yard and headed across the street to the river.

Did the kids want to go the apple orchard? Sure, but they wanted to go to the river just as much! It is me who LOVES the orchards suburbanites flock to in October. I love the wagon ride through the trees. I love the baked apple treats in the barn. I love Honeycrisp apples! I love watching the kids.  I know the years the kids will enjoy the orchard are limited. I must confess, I LOVE those photo oops in fall fleeces or sweaters with the bright, shiny apples on trees in the background. They are all over Facebook during Fall. Cute kids in cute outfits by pumpkins, or in a pile of straw with the orchard beyond.

So Sunday Mark grabbed his camera and we headed across the street and for a less commercia,l alternative fall photo opportunity.

 Back at the house, I FORCED the kids to put on their matching Land's End vests!

 The Coon Rapids dam is set so the water is low. We walked across to the island.
Marly enjoys collecting more shells on every visit.
Dean always finds some treasure or another to bring back with him. Antlers, fox skulls or something of the sort, sticks, old fishing poles. He checks every bottle he finds for a message.
There are roots and trees to climb.
No shiny apples, but happy kids on a happy, sunny fall Sunday.

We returned home to a crock pot of pork chops in apple sauce.

**Don't worry about the kids missing out, Kelly took the kids to a pumpkin patch the weekend before, and they are going to a Fall Halloween Walk this Saturday with Papa and Nana. I have their costumes already layed out since I won't be home to advise!**


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