Sunday, October 31, 2010

happy halloween


This is the first Halloween that I have had none of my kids trick-or-treating. The first time since Tyler started trick-or-treating 16 years ago, when he was almost 3 years old. Yikes. This is another reminder to me how fast time is going and how big my kids are getting.

None of my kids needed costumes this year but Pete and I got dressed up for a Halloween party last evening. We totally kept it simple and easy. This year I did not feel like putting a lot of time or money into costumes but I thought our costumes were right in line with our hockey loving family.


This weekend was Drew’s hockey tryouts. He had one session Friday, two on Saturday, and two today. He is done and I am so glad. Now the waiting begins to see which team he makes. I hate this part of hockey season!!!!


Tonight we did our usual Halloween dinner of Papa Murphy pizza (love their Vegie Delite pizza) and answered the door to our trick-or-treaters. Unfortunately, it was a very quiet night for trick-or-treating. In some past years we have had over 150 kids, this year we only had 40, which unfortunately means a ton of leftover candy. I was so good this year and didn’t buy our candy until today- which means many less days of temptation. :) And I told myself that I would enjoy just one serving of my favorite candy for dessert tonight and that would be it- no more Halloween candy for me. (I have lost 30 pounds over the past few months and want to keep it that way!! :)

This evening I also made some pumpkin bread and muffins for the family. This bread smells amazing while it is baking and the kids absolutely love this recipe.


Pumpkin Bread

3 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 eggs
15 oz. canned pure pumpkin
2/3 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda

Mix all ingredients together and pour into greased pans. Bake at 350 degrees.
2 loafs (1 1/2 hours)
8 small loaves (45 minutes)
3 small loaves (20 minutes)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

apple orchard

On a day off from school last week, Drew and I decided to head out to the apple orchard.


We have been going to the Pine Tree Apple Orchard for the past 18 years, and as far as I can remember we have not missed a year (although our group seems to be getting smaller and smaller each year.) So I was so happy when we found some time to enjoy a favorite seasonal tradition.


It was a perfect fall day (sunny but cool)to spend outdoors taking in all the sights of the beautiful orchard.

We went on a tractor ride and later wound our way through a corn maze.



Looked for the perfect pumpkin.


Sampled some apples.


And came home with some delicious Haralson apples (my favorite!!) and some other apple goodies.


We have had so many fun family days at this orchard and each year when we visit it brings back so many great memories. Tomorrow I am going to do a post on some of those memories.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

family weekend

We have had this weekend written on our calendar since back in August. It is a weekend that I have been so looking forward to— and it sure didn’t disappoint!

This weekend was ‘Family Weekend’ at Tyler’s college. Friday night we loaded the family up and headed out for the weekend of events and most importantly to spend time as a family, including Tyler!

Saturday morning, Tyler and I did a ‘5K Family Fun Run/Walk’ through a beautiful wooded arboretum on campus. It was absolutely gorgeous and it gave us a great opportunity to chat and catch-up. (I so miss talking to my boy everyday!)

These are some pictures from the morning.






For lunch we picked up the rest of the family and we all headed over to a gym on campus for a ‘Chili Feed’. It was a cold, blustery day so the chili tasted so good.


Then we headed to the football game and the boys had fun tossing a football along the way. I loved seeing the three of them together laughing and having fun. Melts my heart!


At the football game.





After the game we warmed up with some coffee and hot chocolate, spent some time in Ty’s dorm and visited the campus book store (spending a lot of money on school sweatshirts, hats etc. for the family so we can support Ty's school. :)

For dinner we went to Buffalo Wild Wings- which for the record is not my favorite restaurant, but the boys LOVE it. I think it has something to do with the millions of TV’s all playing sports! :) (Pete told me that I took one for the team! :)

After dinner we headed back to campus to play some BINGO. I can’t remember the last time I played bingo- it was actually pretty fun.


Drew got a ‘bingo’ and won a prize.


We dropped Ty off at his dorm and then headed back to the hotel for the rest of the evening. This morning we met Tyler for brunch at a beautiful building on campus.



It was a fun family weekend and it was so much fun to spend time with Tyler at his school and to have him share with us his new home away from home. I love my boys!


We came home this afternoon—and,,, I miss my boy already!

Friday, October 22, 2010

ding dong ditch

We have been enjoying a nice long weekend. The two younger boys have been out of school since noon on Wednesday for the much anticipated “MEA weekend” (MN teachers convention which has been this same weekend forever- even since I was a kid :)

The kids, parents and I am sure the teachers all look forward to this break to relax, recharge and have some fun in this beautiful fall weather.
But it seems as though last night some kids maybe had a little too much fun! :)

At 1am our doorbell rings. Pete and I both sit straight up in bed. Was that really the doorbell? Everyone that was supposed to be home was home. We were definitely not expecting anyone at that hour. While we were still processing getting woken up and what we should do, the doorbell rings again, followed by a very loud knock, knock, knock.

We jumped out of bed- and I have to admit that my heart was racing at this point- and went downstairs to look out the window by the front door. No one wasthere. Hmmm. Then we looked out the living room window to the front yard—and realize that not only have we been ding-dong-ditched, but also TP’d. Lovely!


Moral of the story: Long weekends sometimes give kids too much time for “fun”. :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

sleeping garden

A few days ago I cleaned out my garden, pulling all the dying plants out and raking through the soil. I loaded up the wheel barrel with the plants, weeds and a few 'not-so-good-looking' tomatoes and dumped it all into the compost area we have back in our woods.

The next day I was looking out a window into the woods and something caught my eye. I went outside to get a better look. Can you see it?


Up in the tree?


Something red?


A tomato.


On a branch high up in a tree. But how?


I am thinking a resourceful squirrel. :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

snapshots from the weekend

This weekend was one of those weekends that was mixed with the perfect amount of fun and relaxation with some beautiful fall weather thrown in.

Friday night Pete and I had date night and went out to one of my new favorite restaurants; Porter Creek Woodfire Grill. I have been here twice now and absolutely love it. I love the dark, cozy atmosphere and the food is amazing!! I got the 'Southwest Chopped Salad' with rotisserie chicken, jicama, red bell pepper, roasted corn, avocado, black beans, tortillas, arugula,chipotle-lime vinaigrette. My mouth is watering just typing those words. Pete got the 'Braised Lamb Shank with Israeli Couscous' which was prepared perfectly. I can't wait to go back soon!

Saturday I took the dog for a four mile walk in the beautiful fall weather and Pete took Drew to get new hockey skates, In the past two weeks we have bought 3 new pairs of soccer cleats and one new pair of skates. Yikes!



Saturday night Pete and I went to  a MN Wild hockey game and Sunday we went to see Tyler play at his soccer game. We were lucky because his game was an 'away game' for his team that was played here in the cities- so it was nice and close for his fans this time! :) This was a fun game too because one of his old teammates from high school soccer was playing on the opposing team!

I love this picture of the two of them laughing about something out on the field.



Ty talking to some of his fans. :)



Fun weekend and now we are heading into a short week. Yeah!! The kids have only 2 1/2 days of school this week and we have some fun things planned for the long weekend.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

trader joe's

Recently some friends were talking about Trader Joe's and all the great food that you can get there. I have never been to one before; probably the biggest reason is because the closest TJ is 20 miles from my house.

For the past 4 months, I have been trying to eat healthier (and exercise more)- so TJ's seemed like a good place to go explore and find some new foods.

So the other day I decided to make the trip and see what kind of goodies I could find. And oh my gosh I am so glad I did- it was totally worth the 40 miles I put on my car!

There were so many good (and inexpensive) items- I had trouble choosing just a few things to start with.

I finally settled on a bag of Baked Blue Corn Tortilla chips, Sunflower Seed Butter, frozen Naan, Fresh Bruschetta sauce, Black Bean and Roasted Corn Salsa, frozen Roasted Corn,Soft and Juicy Mango dried fruit and some frozen Black Bean and Corn Enchiladas. I also picked up two different bottles of red wine. I have heard mixed reviews on their wine- but for the price I thought it would be worth a try. I got all of this for under $30.


I have not tried the wine yet, but the Sunflower Seed Butter is amazing and the enchiladas I will definitely be getting again.

I think I am going to have to make another trip to TJ's in the very near future!!


Friday, October 15, 2010



My blog has been quiet.
It seems almost as though I have lost my voice to blog.
As the seasons have changed
Life has quieted down
a little bit.
With my oldest boy off to college
Our house is quieter.
Maybe just a little too quiet.
The younger two boys have settled nicely into the new schedules
that a school year brings.
And we are all adjusting to our somewhat quieter house.


Snapshots from the past few weeks:

Drew has had fun playing for the Middle School soccer team.




We have gone to all of Tyler's soccer games and got to see him score his 'first college goal'!!! I even got a picture of it! These are not the best pictures- but at least I caught it. :) (He is wearing #22 at this game- not exactly sure why?)



There was the homecoming football game at Tyler's school.




Jake getting his first set of contacts. (He did not want to go the glasses route.)

I have been working on this bible study with some friends. It is probably one of my all time favorite studies. It is so good.


And we have been just enjoying the beautiful fall weather!


I am feeling less quiet now.  :)