Thursday, July 19, 2012

Twins Game - Thomberg Summer of Fun

We are on vacation for the next week. Tomorrow we leave for 7 days at a resort near Nisswa. We will be with our usual summer vaca crew (Dad, Chris, Brett and Rachel) including our one new addition - Baby Charlie.

Today we kicked off the party with a trip to a Twins game!

This was Marly and my first trip ever to Target Field.
We took the Northstar Commuter rail from the Fridley stop a few miles from our house.
Mark got us awesome seats close to field, so the kids got to see the players warm up.
Our Family

Here is a true confession - I didn't understand how to read the score.
I have ZERO interest in baseball, but makes for great family time.
And, I can't think of a better reason to start drinking beer at noon!
Dean enjoyed every minute of the game.
 Marly was bored by the fifth inning, so the two of us took a walk or two exploring the stadium.
As a diversion, the kids each took a turn as photographer.
Pictures of mom and dad.

It was a little hot by the end, but not too bad compared to most afternoons this summer.
The Twins lost, but we had fun.
The perfect start to what we know is going to be a FUN vacation.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Corn Chaff Days 2012

The kids and I missed last year's Corn Chaff Days, but we were back in Hector for the action this Saturday. The Thomberg Summer of Fun continues. We headed out in time for the parade at noon. (Mark hung back in suburbia to get some work done.)
Chad and Michelle reserved plenty of spots in their front yard. There's Shylah's mom Maggie next to the kids. We were surrounded by country neighbors, friends, and (aunt) Carol and (uncle) Loren too.

This is my HOME town of Hector. You see those bins/elevator on either side of Main
Street toward the back of the photo? In the fall when the farmers bring their grain in, the pink hull called "corn chaff" floats up and down the street, causing small drifts of the airy, annoying by-product/waste. When I googled 'corn chaff' to link to a good definition, I didn't come up with much. My own blog post and photos popped up several times.  Evidently, I am the ONLY one who writes about 'corn chaff' or our town days! The best definition I could find was "husks separated from grains"

The high school band came by. No Mikayla (cousin's kid) on the drums. She is performing in Europe with MN Music Ambassadors right now. No Mariah (cousin's kid) either. She was at JV volleyball camp.
The Twinners collected an adequate amount of candy to rot their teeth. Little friend Abby Gierke joined them. Abby is high school friend Sarah's daughter. Sarah had also returned to town for the day.
Then came Big Charlie Melberg (my Dad's cousin) and all of the tractors he has restored. His grandson Ethan is riding with him.

This is my cousin Michelle. She is driving Great Grandfather Charles's Model A, pulling a trailer with a bunch of Melberg's throwing candy. Believe it or not, Michelle and I grew up on a 4000 acre family farm, and Michelle had NEVER driven a tractor until Saturday. Michelle jokes when we picked rocks, her younger brothers (Matt and Mike) NEVER let her drive, and would point to the rocks from the air conditioned cab. (Second) Cousins Brad and Mark were also driving tractors following Michelle.
Of course we hopped on and joined the family. Here is Marly with Wil (cousin's kid), who is poised with a handful of candy!
Next we headed to the park, and I visited with old classmates, friends and neighbors.
The kids rode the pony's.

 Dean threw balls at the dunk tank to raise money for the Lutheran kids heading to the National ELCA Youth Gathering in New Orleans.
We all ate pie purchased from the ladies of First Lutheran Church, including my Aunt Jan.

Dean got to ride back to the farm with Big Charlie on the Model A when the park festivities wrapped. Dean is Big Charlies BIGGEST fan! Simultaneous to the tractor ride, my (second) cousin Brad's son Eric was being air lifted to HCMC. He severed part of his thumb sitting in the dunk tank right before it closed down for the day. The ambulance took him to the hospital in Olivia, where he was transported on for care. I haven't spoken to LeAnn myself since the park, but her FaceBook update indicated Eric is on the mend and will be making a return visit to the orthopedic specialist. Thank goodness, and praying for the best.

But - the day was not done. Of course not! The kids got some quality lake time with Sutton, Saxton and Sawyer (cousin's kids) at Jan and Sheldon's. The moms and dad headed into town to The Other Place for the band. Everyone had fun... possibly TOO MUCH fun. (enough said.....)

Did you follow all those cousins, second cousins, cousin's kids??? 

THANK YOU MICHELLE AND CHAD for a fun day in town.
THANK YOU JAN AND SHELDON for watching the kids and and always giving us a place to stay.
THANK YOU MATT AND SHYLAH for a night on the town.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cabin Weekend

It is bloody hot here in Minnesota this summer. I can tell you the Thomberg's feel damn lucky we have so many lake and water opportunities with family and friends to keep us cool. The weekend after the 4th we were invited to Twin Mills. Twin Mills is Rachel's-parent's-cabin on Diamond Lake (back in the area of my nick of the woods, and generally unknown to anyone from the Metro, except for Rachel's parents... but then again, they are originally from my nick of the woods anyway).

We hit the road and headed toward Spicer on Friday afternoon. We kicked off the weekend with supper at Zorba's on Green Lake in Spicer with a bevy of Melberg relies (relatives), then headed over to see the Little Crow Ski Team perform their show in New London. My cousin Brad's kids (Ethan and Eric) skied before the main event, and my cousin Brad performed in a barefoot act .
The skiers had a tough time as the weather was turning and the channel was rough. (Sorry, no photo of Brad.) I suspect in the year's ahead we will be back to see Ethan (10) and Eric (8)  performing and part of the pyramid!
That night we got to sleep in the loft at the cabin. The kids loved climbing the ladder to their beds. The next day was filled with fun, family, friends, food, and WATER!

We paddled around in the canoe and on the paddle boat. Lester (Rachel's Dad) took us on a pontoon ride or two.

Auntie (me) and Tanti (German for Aunt/Sarah) got to play with Little Man Charlie.
Edith (Rachel's mom) showed the kids how to fish.
And the Twinners
jumped off the dock
about a MILLION times!
*not pictured - burgers, brats, salads, candy, treats, the dog, Sarah, my dad and Chris, lawn games, canoeing, paddle boating, Mark, and so much more.

Saturday night we headed home, and Sunday we TOOK A NAP!

It was another FABULOUS weekend during our "Thomberg Summer of Fun". How many people get to say the spent the weekend at their Sister-in-Law's Parent's Cabin??? Thank you so very much to the Ulrich's for having us. We can't wait to come back next year and stay.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

4th of July

We had a fabulous 4th of July in the record breaking, more-than-100 degree-high humidity- heat..

We spent it at Lake Allie (in the heart of prairie/farm country) at Jan and Sheldon's. The holiday gathering was also a chance to bid adieu to my cousin Mikayla, who left last Friday on a MN musical ambassadors trip to Europe.

The steamy weather was actualy tolerable when sitting in the shade, by the water, with a breeze. To the kids, it was yet another perfect day with sun, sand, and lake.

We enjoyed time with friends and family. We ate delicious pulled turkey sandwiches, salads, and tons of sweets and bars. We road in the boat and cruised on the pontoon. The kids got the sunscreen spray down multiple times, and swam and swam with my cousins' kids and friends' kids. They jumped off the water trampoline OVER and OVER and went tubing. The jet skis whizzed by and got refueled. The golf carts darted around the yard and up and down the lake road.

It was an awesome, traditional MN lake 4th of July.
God I love my family - truly!

Mid-afternoon on Wednesday, the Melberg Men gathered to pose for a historical picture on the Charlie Melberg Farm's home place on my Great-Great Grandfather Charles Melberg's Tractor. The John Deere model A has been loving-ly restored by Charlie #2, to all of it's glory. Charlie #3 was the highlight of the photo.
The Melberg Men
Melberg Family Members
Big Charles Melberg with Little Charles Melberg on the original Charlie Melberg's Tractor

*In case you are curious, the kids were NOT thrilled to be yanked from their water activities on Lake Kandi (Charlie Melberg crew including Ethan & Eric and Maddon) and Lake Allie (Sheldon Melberg crew including Sutton, Saxton & Sawyer and Marly & Dean and Wilson) for this 3 pm photo shoot many miles away from the water. Little Charlie didn't mind the diversion at all and was a good sport!

The Thomberg's capped off the holiday back in the metro with the annual Schmitz Family Riverview Lane fireworks display. You can't beat top notch fire works when the only travel is a walk 5 houses down the street.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ya Ya Camping - Thomberg Summer of Fun

This past winter Gretch and I had a serious discussion about taking the kids camping, just the two of us, in a sort of "Ya Ya" fashion. ( in the books 'The Devine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood' and 'Little Alters Everywhere' and the Ya Ya movie).

This spring our grand idea took fruition one Sunday morning at the H--'s. We got out our calendars, logged onto the DNR web site, and searched, called, and then booked a campsite at William O'Brien State Park on the St. Croix River.

Our Camp Site needs
  • State Park most user friendly and affordable
  • A bit removed from the bathrooms.
  • Tree cover.
  • Some seclusion from other campers.
  • Near town, activities, and supplies.
  • Not too far away in general.
  • MUST have a swimming beach  for the kids.
  • Electricity a plus.
  • Available Tuesday through the weekend.

In the weeks prior to the camping trip, co workers and friends who know only "one" of our "unit" questioned us. "REALLY... Moms taking their kids camping, in tents, for FIVE nights???? Are you crazy!"

Those who know both halves of the best friendship didn't question us. I'm sure the husbands surely thought this was par for the course with the two of us.

The kids were excited. The moms were excited. Gretchen got nervous the week before. I did NOT. You see, I knew Gretchen would do what Gretchen does best. I knew I would do the things I do best. We all know those are NOT the same things. Indeed, it we fit together perfectly like a puzzle.

We had a grand time. It was hot ALL DAY, EVERY DAY, but cooled down to sleep. No rain. We lucked out.

Here are a few photos.

Our campsite had two tents, a pop up by the picnic table,
coolers, a mini fridge, and a fan in each tent.
We always ate breakfast and lunch from our supplies, and mixed it up for the dinner meal.
We grilled, picked up pizza one night after a long, very fun day at Wild Mountain, and had a great meal out at the Brookside Bar and Grill at Marine on St Croix on Saturday.
90 degrees plus = water, water and more water.
(or even a late afternoon showing of Brave at the air conditioned movie theater.)
Molly deVries and her boys joined us at the beach Friday afternoon.
The men were "invited" to join us for the weekend.
Saturday we headed to Interstate Park in Taylors Falls.
The trip was a success!
We are already talking about next years destination.
As our kids grow, we want them to cherish when "the moms took us camping".

Monday, July 2, 2012

Father's Day 2012

For the past few years, Mark has been in Duluth for Grandma's Marathon part of Father's Day weekend working as part of a "Bou sponsorship of the event..

This year, before he returned home on Saturday, the kids and I made stepping stones for him. I bought one kit several years ago. Of course the idea was to put the Twinners' hand prints in it for prosterity.
Yup... so leap ahead a year or two.

I dusted off the box in the garage, then we headed to Micheal's Craft and bought two more. We ALL had fun creating something special for a special dad. Mark put them in place Father's Day morning.

After we went to Brett and Rachel's for lunch, joined by Dad and Chris and Rachel's family. We ended up inside playing a game of Family Fued, since the weather kept us off the lake.

The most memorable moment was the family fued question, "What do you pull over on the side of the road for?"

Dean's hand shot into the air. His response, "Flashing lights and a Speeding Ticket!"

Oh my.


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