Tuesday, July 28, 2009

We would like you to meet....Calliope

No, we didn't rename Elsi, Calliope

Do you remember the dilapitated pontoon boat we bought last August? If not, let me refresh your memory, by directing you to this post.

Well, this past weekend, we ventured out on a beautiful, but windy afternoon, with a completely refurbished Calliope (that's what I named her). I know, it sounds an awful lot like Penelope, but I don't care, I still like the name:).

Steve and his dad did a beautiful job, restoring the boat. It is brand new! Now, all we need, is some nice warm weather in Wisconsin to enjoy it on!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What Do You See?

Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?

I see a serious Benny-J looking at me.

Red bird, red bird what do you see?

I see a smiling Benny-J looking at me.

Yellow duck, yellow duck, what do you see?

I see a silly Benny-J looking at me.

Taken, of course, from this children's book.

La la la...I'm singing with no shame...

Ahhhh, potty training, definintely not one of my favorite parts of parenting, but a part, nonetheless:).

Life at our house has been very freeing as of late, to say the least.

Elsi has been enjoying life without clothes (except for socks to soak up any driddle, when she doesn't make it to the potty in time) and spinning in circles with a colorful umbrella Isaiah retrieved from the closet one rainy day this week.

She has been doing remarkably well, considering, it is only day 6. We're still working on #2, but that's a whole 'nother post.

Meanwhile, our family will enjoy "I'm singing with no shame...singing with no shame" by our free toddler in the living room while we can. The day will come, when Mom and Dad won't think it's very cute for their daughter to be parading around in the buff:). But...that's a long way off (I hope!).

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Potty training is...


...but tiring...

...and exhausting...


One more thing...

I almost forgot! We missed this family terribly...

Can you see why:)? It's good to be home so that we can spend time with our wonderful friends, the Tiedtke's:). We love you!

Family, Fun and God's Creation

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind. We left our home in Ixonia on Friday, July 3rd, to go to our cabin in Friendship, WI to get a jumpstart on our long drive to Minot, ND to visit family. We spent the night at the cabin on Friday and rose bright and early on Saturday and hit the road by 6:15 am. Our original plans were to stop and spend the night in Fargo, ND, before continuing on to Minot. However, when we reached Fargo at 12:45 pm, we decided it would be well worth our while to continue on and make the trip in one day instead. All three of the kids traveled extremely well and we arrived in at my Uncle Darold and Aunt Judy's house at 5:30 that evening. Uncle Darold wasn't expecting us, so he was a bit surprised and Aunt Judy was still in town picking up my mom and Aunt Betty from the airport. We spent 3 days with Darold and Judy and then we drove to Williston, ND to visit with my Aunt Avis and Uncle Neil. After enjoying time there and a tearful good-bye, we headed off to Keystone, SD for some sightseeing and fun attractions for the second week of our vacation. The vacation was a beautiful and fun-filled time. I was so blessed to have the opportunity to visit with family that I hadn't seen in 9 years and to see the incredible sights of South Dakota. We praise and thank our Lord that He kept us safe and sound during our travels and granted us this time to spend rejuvenating our bodies and souls.
Cheap entertainment:)

Sweet dreams, Princess

Daddy's turn for a nap...
wait a minute, something doesn't seem right!
(Click on the picture to enlarge
and check out the speedometer!)

Uncle Darold & Aunt Judy's

We had such a wonderful time at Uncle Darold and Aunt Judy's. They were incredibly gracious hosts and made us feel so at home. We are so thankful that we had the chance to spend time with them and we are going to make certain that another 9 years don't go by before we see them again:).

Ben talking Uncle Darold's ear off:)

Benny driving the lawn tractor at my grandparent's old house.
That was his favorite part of the visit with Judy and Darold.

Isaiah enjoyed driving a tractor as well:)

Uncle Darold showing us his gun collection

Annie Oakley, is that you?

Silly campfire songs

Uncle Darold played and sang beautifully

2nd Cousin Shelby showing Elsi a princess dress-up set.
She loved it!

Aunt Betty, Uncle Darold, Aunt Judy and Mom

Uncle Neil & Aunt Avis's

Our time at Uncle Neil and Aunt Avis's was wonderful as well. It was sort of a sad time for them as their entire crop for this season had been hailed out just a week before we arrived. They were still in very good spirits and we had a wonderful time there. They have a beautiful home and some very big tractors! I look forward to seeing them again in a couple of years.
Dancing with Aunt Avis

That's one big tractor wheel!

It's even as tall as Isaiah!

The three sisters: Avis, Betty and Mom

Playing Barrel of Monkeys with Uncle Neil

Snuggling with Aunt Betty

Rough housing with Daddy

Yay! More music with Uncle Darold

The four siblings: Uncle Darold, Mom, Aunt Betty and Aunt Avis

Benny dancing with Aunt Avis

Tearful good-byes

1880's Train

On Sunday, we started our time in the Black Hills with a ride on an 1880's train. It was a one hour trip, each way, on an old-fashioned train. It was an enjoyable ride, but a bit cramped on the way there. On the way back, we were able to sit facing one another and we also took an extra seat, which made for more room.

Isaiah enjoying the scenery

Look at that, Daddy!


Elsi and Daddy waiting at the layover

Rushmore Cave

On Monday, we also went to a tour through Rushmore Cave. It was about a 60 minute tour that went 1/2 mile. The boys really enjoyed it, but Elsi wasn't too fond of it. She just wanted to get out and hold her state of Montana magnet that Steve had bought her earlier that morning:)


Wedding chapel in the cave.
Some people have actually gotten married there!

14 inch hole that people go through for the spelunking tour.
Needless to say, we did not go on that tour:).

Old MacDonald's Farm

On Sunday, we also spent some time at Old MacDonald's Farm. It is a petting zoo for kids about Elsi's age, but Isaiah, being the animal lover, had the most fun there:). He has such a way with animals, I don't doubt he may someday become a veternarian.

Benny gently handling the chick

Hey, there, little chickies!

Elsi's checking out the baby chicks Isaiah is holding

Isaiah's right at home with the goats:)

Bear Country USA

On, Monday, we spent some time and Bear Country USA. It is a drive-thru wildlife park with bears, wolves, donkeys, buffalo and a little zoo at the end for the kids. It was very intersting and fun to see. Elsi was beat this day, so she really struggled towards the end, but overall, she was a trooper:).

White wolf

Look at those claws!

Is it just me, or does the donkey on the left look like the one from Shrek?

Porcupine in the children's zoo

Bucky, is that you?

Smile kids!
Okay...nevermind...smile boys!