Month: June 2011

Family, food and fun

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We had our much anticipated family reunion last weekend in Okoboji, IA.  As you saw here, it was my mom’s side of the family.

Most everyone arrived on Saturday but we kind of just did our own thing. We got to the hotel around 2:30 pm and after getting settled walked over to a nearby antique sale.  After that we went to Arnold’s Park Amusement Park and walked around, played a few games and looked around at the shops.

For supper everyone that was in town met up at a restaurant. There were probably 25 of us eating – one long table! Following that we went out to my cousin’s campsite to sit around the fire and enjoy s’mores!

Sunday morning we stopped at the store to pick up cooking supplies and got to the lodge around 10:00 am as my sister and I were helping to make food and needed to get cooking!  I made potato salad and salsa and she made her famous baked beans. Although every one pitched in to help so it was a family effort! My Aunt Beth found the lodge for us and it was so awesome. It had a huge kitchen, huge sitting/eating area and was close to the water.

My sister Danelle working on her beans…

My cousin Erica and her husband Jim helping me with salsa, cutting onions and peppers!

My Uncle Pat arranged for a professional photography to come and so we did that before we ate. These obviously aren’t the professional photos and even though you already saw them on the previous post I’ll show them again.

I love this picture of my mom and her siblings!

With their spouses…

The kids (who are all adults now). I’m afraid I’ll miss someone if I mention who’s missing but I would say there’s at least 8 cousins who weren’t able to make it.

Best line of the day:
Professional photographer: Patrick you are smiling so nice! How come you’re the only one who’s smiling so nice?
Me: Because he doesn’t have kids. (Kidding of course.)

Best moment of the day:
After taking 495 professional pictures we asked my dad to come take this picture of us.  He said, “Ok ready,” took one picture and then said, “all done!”  Then we all cheered!

With our spouses or soon-to-be spouses… Sorry Pat, ya kinda got cut off there.

The kids with their kids… We were so exhausted taking the professional pictures (thus the comment about smiling) trying to get all these toddlers to sit nice, look at the camera and smile. He was a very good photographer which meant he kept taking picture after picture trying to get a perfect shot. The poor little kiddos were ready to go berserk!  But I know when we see the pictures we’ll be thankful he was so particular, we should have some pretty good pictures to remember our weekend by!

And all of us. Can you believe that everyone is looking at the camera?!

I can’t believe it, but I forgot to take a picture of all the food! We had an amazing spread! Burgers, hot dogs, brats, chicken, potato salad, baked beans, Grandpa Hank’s famous yellow rice (thanks to Uncle Jack!), regular beans, bbq weiners, chips and salsa, regular chips, veggie tray and then dessert was cookies and strawberry shortcake. I think that was it!

Here’s the salsa recipe family! Sorry, but I don’t really measure just kinda go by taste. I’ll list how much of the ingredients I used for our dinner but as you know it made a really big batch.

Tomatoes (I think I used 7 regular that were on the small size and 5 roma)
5 Jalapenos (with just a tiny bit of seeds. If you want it hotter add more seeds.)
1 very large red onion
1 Yellow pepper and 1 red pepper (I think we used about 1/2 of each but they were really bit. I’ve also made it in the past with a little green pepper.)
6 Radishes (Picked from my garden the day before so decided to throw those in too.)
Cilantro, we used probably a big handful, chopped up
Garlic salt, regular salt, pepper (alot, to taste)
Lime juice (maybe a couple tablespoons? again didn’t measure just poured a little, stirred, poured a little more)

While we were eating our dessert we noticed my dad had disappeared. We looked out the window and saw this…

I love it!

After dessert my cousin’s honey Steve and my honey took some of the little kids on a walk.

Down to the boat docks…

Caleb slipped and went down!

They came back, we took his clothes off and wrapped him up in a blanket in front of the fireplace to warm up.

And dry out his clothes…

After lunch we all just enjoyed each other’s company.

The adults mainly hung out in the main room by the fire.

The kids (who I guess are adults too) hung out outside and attempted to keep an eye on the little kids.  Some of the guys…

Me and my Angel cakes…

Me and Bubba (I look kinda creepy in this picture)…

Eventually the sun came out and we all walked down to the beach so the little kiddos could swim.

Angel playing in the sand…

Angel, Janai and Caleb…

Dominic and Noah…

All the 2nd cousins with the adults who ventured to the beach…

The 3 sisters! My Aunt Beth, Aunt Joanne and my mom…

Caleb and Jude having an after dinner snack with my cousin Sarah…

Angel and Caleb getting a ride from Daddy…

Aunt Nellie and Caleb…

Angel and Janai…

Caleb and Dominic giving high-fives goodbye…

We left the lodge around 6:30 pm on Sunday night and headed back to our hotel. Angel and Caleb were sound asleep before we even got back to the hotel. We attempted to wake them up a couple times because I didn’t want them waking up at 4 in the morning. But they were out and didn’t make a peep the entire night.

Later on Sunday night some of the family came to our room to eat again and visit for awhile.  We all called it a night around 11:00 pm.

Monday morning we had breakfast, did a little swimming, packed up and were on our way by 10:00 am. We went back to Arnold’s Park so the kids could ride some rides.

Makani, Caleb and Angel playing at the hotel Monday morning.

Here they are … 5 monkeys with Aunt Nellie…

Riding the fish…

Riding the dragons…

After a few rides we met Aunt Beth & Uncle Jack, Aunt Joanne and my cousins Jessi and Sarah for lunch.  We ate great mexican food and my mom and Aunt Joanne bought 5 orders of fried ice cream. Yum!

Everyone left for home then, but we made one last stop to visit some friends of my sister’s. The kids played on the beach while we visited for awhile and then we were on our way home by about 2:30 pm.

The first thing Angel did when we got home? Kiss her baby Peanut of course…

As much fun as our weekend was, it’s always good to be home.

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Family reunion post is delayed to announce that I ran real fast

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I had a good week last week of training.  Although each morning when my alarm went off at 6:15 am it didn’t feel so good. Especially when I worked the night before.  Pat and I are also having to juggle schedules because he bikes in the evenings and so if I don’t get my rear out of bed in the morning I have to run in the evening too.

So this is what my week looked like:

Monday, June 20: 2 miles
Tuesday, June 21: 3 miles
Wednesday, June 22: rest
Thursday, June 23: 3 miles
Friday, June 24: biked 30 minutes
Saturday, June 24: 4 miles
Sunday, June 25: rest

On Saturday we participated in a fun run/walk that is put on by a local running store, Runner’s Block. There were a few others running 4 miles but I wasn’t expecting to keep up with them because I’m usually always the slowest person.  I felt like I kinda started out fast but was feeling good and so kept at it. At about mile 1, three ladies passed me but I was able to keep them in sight and stay pretty close behind them. At the 2 mile turn around they waited for me, which honestly scared me to death because I knew I was running faster than I’d ever run before. 

Not only was I scared of getting hurt, I was scared of having a heart attack. But I felt pretty good, so I kept up with them.

At mile 3 though I could start to feel the pain and so I backed off just a bit and ran behind them.  The last 2 blocks or so we finished together and I ended up running around a 10 minute pace.  In case you forgot, a 10 minute pace is 1.5 minutes faster than my usual pace.  So that was exciting.

We then ate bagels and then I won a $10 gift card to Bagel Boy!  If you’re in the Sioux Falls area, come out for the next fun run/walk on Saturday, July 23rd (details on facebook or store website). There are always lots of great prizes given away and even better than that is the fun of running with others.

I did pretty good on the food side of things this week. That is until we departed for our family reunion on Saturday. It was at the point that you would often hear Pat or me saying, “we’re on vacation” as an excuse for consuming an obsene amount of calories.

Even though I’m only on week 2 it feels like I’ve been training forever. So hopefully I don’t get too lazy burned out before September comes. 

A lesson in multiplication

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It started with these six…

Uncle Pat, Uncle Terry, Uncle Tom, Aunt Joanne, my mom and Aunt Beth.

They all fell in love…

Pat & Vivian, my mom & dad, Joanne & Casey (not pictured), Beth & Jack, Tom & Nance and Terry & Lynette

They were blessed with these amazing children…

Cousins… Patrick, my sister Danelle, Ben, Amber, Billy, me, Jessi, Sarah, Becca, Erica and Jenna

(Lots of cousins not pictured.)

The amazing cousins married these amazing people…

And the craziness amazingness continued…

The whole group of us…

Tomorrow, details on what happens when all these amazing people get together!

Squirmy and Mr Wiggles

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Angel loves worms. She likes to name them and take them on walks in her little shopping cart.  Caleb will tolerate worms. They kind of creep him out but he’s getting a little more comfortable playing with them like Angel does.

One day last week after a big rain we went outside to go worm hunting. We waited a little too long and so weren’t very successful. The kids did find a few though. They carried their little watering buckets to collect their treasures.

Angel names all her worms. They are all named Squirmy.

Over Father’s Day weekend we went to a lake nearby our house so Pat could do a little fishing. The kids and I sat on the beach and played in the sand. After awhile they got bored and so we went and stole two of Daddy’s worms.  For some reason she decided that these worms were not worthy of the name Squirmy. They were Mr Wiggles.

(Pictures taken with phone.)

It actually crossed my mind that we should get Angel a worm farm. But then I wasn’t sure if worm farms existed and I’m not sure how long worms live and what in the world am I smoking anyway?   Considering they already have 3 dogs and 2 horses and a crazy mom and my dad has threatened to buy Caleb a rabbit I think we’ll leave Squirmy and Mr Wiggles outside in their natural element.