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.


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