Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Parts Three through Six, oh who's counting?

I am bummed I have no pictures to post here. Something fried our memory card in the camera. Hopefully I can get some from Papa Paul of the festivities from the holidays.

Christmas Eve was the usual hustle and bustle. Every year we've always attended two sides of the family's get-togethers, but we're thinking this may have to become an every-other-year thing when there are toddlers involved.

We started the afternoon out by going to the Hill side (Lisa's step-dad's family) in Roseville, MN for food, photos, presents and family. Not letting the food digest, and before Lucy could fall asleep, we hopped in the car and headed to Lake Elmo to the Duffy side (Lisa's dad's family) for more food, photos and presents. Lots of good eating was had, that's for sure, as Grandma Duffy had prepared my favorite-since-birth recipe of salmon spread. We could only stay a short while as Lucy started to have a meltdown being way past bedtime and overstimulated with all the Christmas to-do. In our haste, I forgot my purse and didn't discover that til we were home. No worries, we would be heading back in the morning!

Christmas morning we got up and we opened gifts as a family (Troy, Lucy and I, that is), packed the truck to the gills, and headed on our journey to Lake Benton, MN. After a quick stop at my cousin's for my purse, we were off and by 2:00 had reached Duff and Pam's house (Troy's aunt and uncle, Vicky's brother). We visited before getting ready to head over to Grandma Glady's for Christmas dinner. As we had secretly suspected, Cousin Heather and Andrew got engaged the day before and came sharing the news. After a big dinner, Troy took Lucy up for a bath where the great poop escape of 2008 occurred. I was crying of laughter, what can you do? Shortly thereafter while helping with dishes, I was summoned to the entryway where Troy had fallen down the stairs on his ribs and was immobile. As is customary, everyone stood around looking at the fallen and offering medical advice. Vicodin and beer was the answer. Troy slept on the couch for our stay.

On Friday we headed over to Ivanhoe, about a 20 minute drive from Lake Benton, to Troy's aunt Donna (Paul's sister) for Christmas Brunch. After a huge meal, we visited and opened gifts. Troy and I headed back to Duff's, where everyone napped. In the evening, the entire Trautman clan, now including Cousin Josh, who surprised everyone by driving from Madison in to be with the family, came to Duff and Pam's for appetizers, games, and lots of laughing.

Saturday morning we packed up and said our farewells. After arriving home and unpacking we got ready to head back to Maplewood to my parents for Jamie's first birthday. The girls enjoyed the frosting on their cupcakes way too much!

Today, Sunday, Troy headed with Mark up to the cabin for ice fishing for a couple days. Meanwhile, Lucy and I stayed in our jammies today and Lucy played while I spring cleaned the kitchen. It looks and smells fabulous, but I'm beat! Tomorrow begins another full work week for me, being on call. Troy is off for the week and his projects include installing a new garage door opener and possibly putting in a closet system for Lucy's new bedroom. I hope we figure out the camera issue because a blog isn't a blog without some photos!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Parts One and Two

(This was meant to be sent on Sunday, December 21st after attempting to retrieve lost Christmas photos...)

After about a foot of snow had fallen, this weekend started our holiday gatherings with Saturday evening with Troy's parents and brother Eric at their home. We had a lovely halibut dinner and I made dessert as is tradition. Then the present opening began and Lucy (and everyone!) made off with quite a haul! Lots of gifts were had, her favorite three so far being her tricycle, V Tech laptop computer, and froggy tent. Our child is all of 20 months old and maturing way too fast! She knew what to do with the tricycle and the computer (she was actually clicking on the mouse!) Either that or mom and dad spend way too much time on the computer when she is around!
Lucy in the froggy tent from Uncle Eric:

Today my parents, sister and neice came over for lunch and games and more gift opening. I got the girls matching pajamas and even though it was early in the day, gave them baths and got them all dressed for gift opening. Again, Lucy made off (as did we - a Nintendo Wii!) with a haul, including a travel DVD player (yes...for that long trip to Lake Benton this week) and about a thousand plastic/paper food items for her kitchen. Troy set up her new froggy tent from Uncle Eric and she had a field day in there just laughing it up.
Cowgirl Lucy, she loves this hat:
Jamie shows Lucy how to use the mouse on her new computer a la Uncle Eric:
Lucy made mom wear the cowboy hat while opening presents:

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Back from Chicago

We are back from a whirlwind (and expensive!) belated anniversary weekend in Chicago. While Cousin Heather and Nana and Papa took turns watching Lucy, we were walking and shopping our tushes off in downtown Chicago. We stayed at the historical Palmer House Hilton hotel. It is a beautiful hotel with excellent service.
We arrived Friday early evening and settled into our room. Not quite hungry yet we walked up State Street to peruse Macy's and a few other shops before dinner at a small joint next to our hotel. A coworker of mine who works in our Michigan office was in town that week for training and staying until Saturday. We agreed to meet up for breakfast in the morning.

Here I am at Macy's posing with the unicorns, a tribute to my friend Kellie:
Saturday morning we met Diane and her husband Joe at the hotel and went to the Corner Bakery for breakfast and chit chat. We all headed over to the Christkindlmarket but it was not open yet, so we parted ways. Troy and I headed back to the hotel where we spent a lot at a particular store I cannot mention until after the holidays (as we did some gift shopping here!). Then it was a cab ride over to Gino's East for lunch of their fabulous deep dish pizza - yum!

Troy at Gino's in their infamously graffitied booths:

After lunch we cabbed it back to the Christkindlmarket, now open and wall to wall with everyone in the city. We perused all the booths, drank some Kinder Gluwein and did more Christmas shopping.
Here I am looking at some beautiful nutcrackers:
Us in front of the big tree at the Christkindlmarket:
After a brief rest at our hotel, it was starting to rain, so we took a cab over to a mall on the Michigan Mile, where we walked down Michigan Avenue checking out many shops. Our first was, duh, the Hershey store:

A few hours, a few blocks, and more purchases later, we cabbed it back to the hotel where I could've collapsed except it was onlyh 5:30 and that would be lame! We asked our concierge for a recommendation on a CLOSE restaurant for good steak or seafood. He recommended the Rose Pointe and made us reservations.

We hoofed it in the rain to the restaurant and it was so worth not crawling into bed for! It was voted by both of us as the best meal we have eaten in our entire lives! The ambience was awesome, the waiters were decked out, just perfect. Being a steak house, the entrees were a la carte. We both decided to have our meals (Troy had a top sirloin, bone in, huge steak, and I had the Rose Pointe bone-in filet) served "Oscar style", which means, served on a bed of asparagus, topped in KING CRAB, with hollandaise sauce on the side. Say no more. We shared a side of wild rice, which was completely unnecessary. The photo below is of Troy's steak before he started. It really does it no justice. He DID finish the whole thing. I however sadly left half of mine.

The waiter overheard it was our anniversary and brought us out a complimentary key lime pie. I normally don't eat much in the pie department but this was homemade with real key limes and pure heaven. Not a bite was wasted. For me, it was like having a margarita in dessert form.

Stuffed and unable to move, we waddled back to our hotel where Troy immediately called his parents to give details on the meal we just ate (it was THAT GOOD). Then we collapsed into bed.

Up early this morning, we headed for home around 8:45 with word of storms heading our way. Needless to say we missed whatever they were predicting, minus some minor drizzle, we were home by 2:45 and very anxious to see Lucy! We had never left her minus a parent over night, either one of us have been away for a few nights, but not both. She survived, I missed her terribly!

Christmas is approaching soon and I'm glad I took tomorrow off as a vacation day. A lot of projects to get done as I do some handmade gifts myself. Nearly 26 weeks pregnant here with the baby boy we call "Max". (Cute story here - while we were away, Abby was diligently keeping guard over her "baby" Lucy, following her everywhere. When we got home, Troy asked Abby "did you take care of your baby while we were gone?" and Lucy says "Max?")

Happy holidays everyone, and if I don't post again, I'm sure it will be after Christmas with LOTS of pictures!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanksgiving Vacation

On Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, we went to a local hotel to use their swimming pool with friends. Lucy has never really been swimming before and I think we're ready for lessons! She wasn't shy at all, loved being tossed in the air, and especially loved going from pool to hot tub, back and forth.
Lucy and Abigail Rumpel enjoying the hot tub:
Thanksgiving. I guess we didn't take any pictures of the meal preparations, but I did receive some hard copies from my aunt proving we did cook a lot! Lucy was very social that day and I love this picture of her, always with a smile:
Lucy and Great-Grandma Duffy:
Black Friday. Mom and I went shopping while daddy and Lucy hammed it up at home. Here she is with her singing snowmen from Auntie Shannon:
OK. This is something she does and I don't know what it means but it's comical. She puts both her pointer fingers really close up to her face and acts silly. Any time you wrap her in her bath towel she does it:
Happy to go to church:
Time is flying and Christmas will be here before we know it! I have been busy getting some scrapbooking projects and gift-wrapping accomplished. Still lots more to do in less than three weeks! I am loving that there is snow on the ground and the lights are on the tree. I think it gets darker in the winter earlier so we have more time to enjoy the Christmas lights!
The rest of the month will be busy and filled with travels. Tomorrow my high school girlfriends are getting together for our annual Christmas dinner at Emma's house in St. Paul. Each year is usually some theme, this year is italian food. We eat and drink and gab all night. I often get comments from my family on how great it is that I've had these girlfriends for (egads) 20 years!
Saturday we are being treated by Troy's parents for a belated anniversary dinner (lunch) while my mom babysits Lucy.
The following weekend is our trip to Chicago. The weekend after that we celebrate Christmas with the Lovestrands and then Christmas with the Hills at our home. Then the big day is here and we will travel to Lake Benton, MN to celebrate with Troy's extended family. uff da!
And oh, I'm still pregnant with baby boy here. Tomorrow I go in for my 24-week appointment and glucose test (yummy!). There is small movement going on and I am reminded of when I was far along with Lucy and her butt was right up under my chest. I was huge! Time is flying and I need to remind myself to get moving on my Transcriptionist work and not slack. Since it is self-paced it is up to me to get the work done and the homework submitted for grading!
Take care everyone!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Lucy's First Santa Visit

It's been a long time since I've updated the blog but I feel bad if I have no pictures to post, so we finally took some pictures and here we are.
This month has flown by since Halloween. Work is super crazy right now and going to be like that until the baby comes. I try to be thankful I have a job as many are getting laid off these days.

What is new? Let's see...Lucy had a 36-hour flu bug, vomiting many times on mommy, early this month. She is becoming more and more independent (read: she does not want to do what you ask her to do) and is a smarty pants. We are contemplating getting the "My Baby Can Read" software just to see what happens.
Troy has been hunting a lot (one 10-point buck at the MN opener, nothing in WI, yet.) and I've been getting Christmas shopping done. As well, winter-time brings a new craft season for me, scrapbooking. I have been working on a project for the in-law's and pictured below is what I discovered when Lucy was quiet one day...
Yesterday Lucy and I spent the afternoon/evening with Kellie and Matt Jones. Our first stop was to the Stillwater Court House for their Victorian Christmas, including a Santa visit. Santa was off in a side room and Lucy and I were walking through a crowd when she spotted him and immediately turned around trying to shove through my legs. Neither kid wanted anything to do with Santa! He tried bribing them with hi-fives (where are the suckers Santa? duh.) but nothing was working. So finally I just plopped her on his knee and took some pictures. Santa looks great, Lucy looks ticked.

We then took the kids to a craft bazaar and out to lunch at Lily's in Stillwater. I had been craving a real cherry Coke and finally got my wish. The kids were semi- well-behaved through lunch. We made a trip to Woodbury to get some Christmas shopping done and the kids zonked out in the truck, so Kellie and I took turns shopping while the other was in the truck with the kids. Went back to the Jones house were I had an urge to "nest" and clean out Kellie's craft room. The kids had a popcorn party and played together nicely before we headed home.

I am still in the midst of my Medical Transcriptionist program, trying to remember to work on a case every night so I can complete this before March. Trying to figure out what we're going to do when I go on maternity leave as far as daycare, when to go back to work, if I want to reduce my hours and all sorts of adult decisions.

This week is Thanksgiving and it's a busy week at that. Monday night I'm going with a girlfriend to the MN Wild game. Tuesday it's into the office. Wednesday friends and kids are going to the local hotel to go swimming. During all of this we need to get some grocery shopping done and house cleaning before Thursday hits. I am on call for work and hoping for no problems to arise that send me to the computer for hours. This weekend I'll get my holiday, I mean, CHRISTMAS, cookie baking done (my circle at church does an exchange). Then in a couple weeks Troy and I are off to Chicago for a weekend at the Christkindlmarket and hoping we can sleep in past 6 am for a few days.

I will try to post after Thanksgiving with photos from the big day!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween - Part Two

The day is done, 93 trick-or-treaters in all and we still have a ton of candy left!

On Wednesday Lucy and Daddy carved thier first pumpkin together. She really got into it, scooping out the guts and even taste-testing!

The rest of the week was a constant attempt at getting into the bucket of candy. Namely, suckers. It's the first word she says when she wakes up and the last word she says before bedtime.

Her cousin Jamie came out to go trick-or-treating. I had made the girls sheep costumes a la Martha Stewart (now you know Martha's sheep really looked like real sheep, mine are only imitation!). Troy and Sam took the girls out and apparently at each house Lucy asked for "sucker?"

In the wagon and ready to go:Stopping at Nana and Papa's house:
Back at home, they compare their stashes:
Told ya!

Happy Halloween!

Hands were always in front of the face. If you look closely you can see an eye, some nose and the mouth and a finger pointing "hey you!"

And the gender is...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Rehearsal - part two

Uff da! Rehearsal went off without a hitch. The day was intended as it was to be - a thanksgiving dinner rehearsal, assumingly our first and last, but everyone agreed they think it needs to be an annual tradition, so...we shall see. (I personally think it could be a rotated duty...)

The thing I was most intimidated about, the turkey, was probably the easiest thing to make. I have horrific visions as a child of my father pulling the dang neck out of the turkey's rear-end and had no desires to be elbow-deep in the innards. Thankfully they now package up all that nastiness into a package that you can easily pull out. For me it was definitely a 2-person job though, one to hold the beast down while the other stuffed it, and Troy was the carver. So we are ready for the real deal!

Lucy LOVED having company. She is in a phase where she wants constant one on one attention, so if you're trying to do chores or taking so much as more than 10 seconds to open up a juice box, it's down to the floor in a fit. ugh! But when there's someone other than mom and dad around, she goes into social mode. There were other kids to play with and she just loved other little people and they certainly wore her out - even though company was still gathered, we got her in her pj's around 8 and she went in her room and grabbed her woobie and nukie out of her crib and came out to the living room. I asked "do you want to go to bed?", she turned and went into her room and went to bed! Slept through our loud laughter and conversation, she was wiped! Or was it that stuff in the turkey? hmmm...
The tables are set...

Our first turkey is done...

Our actual first turkey...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Rehearsal - part 1

We are in the midst of Thanksgiving Rehearsal dinner here. Guests (18 of us!) are coming at 4:30 for our first attempt at a big turkey dinner.

On the menu - roasted turkey with stuffing, deep-fried turkey, chorizo and pecan stuffing, sweet potatoes, martha stewart mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, jello salad, crescent rolls, 7 layer salad, corn, pumpkin pie, chocolate pie and bars. Am I missing anything?

Photos to be posted later...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Women of Faith

We're back from another fabulous year at the Women of Faith "Infinite Grace" conference. The music was the best this year with new discoveries for me - Mandisa (from American Idol) and Nicole C. Mullen. Wow! about sums it up. I bought a couple of Nicole's CD and looking for Mandisa's version of "Shackles" (the latest song on my playlist). I brought two newbies along from my church girlfriends and they had a blast as well.

When I left bright and early this morning Troy said "have a nice time" and then "Go Jesus!" which was funny. When we weren't rocking out to the music I think I spent the rest of my time choked up listening to these speakers and their testaments of faith. Very inspiring!

Friday, October 10, 2008

18 months

Just a quick update. Lucy and I just got back from both our doctor's appointments. We both got the flu shot and she watched mine get done all wide eyed and then it was her turn and nothing! The nurse put a pink bandaid on and all she could say was "pink!" Chris, RN, is a good shot-giver! Lucy is still tall and skinny:

23.8 lbs and 33" tall

I'll go in on Halloween for my ultrasound. Definitely won't forget that date!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Just a quick upload of some pictures from this week. We walked up to the corner pumpkin patch and bought a wagon-full. And today I put Lucy in TWO piggies, very cute!

Sunday, September 28, 2008


As I write this the Twins are ahead. They MUST win this game (or the Sox must lose). Here's hoping for the best!

On Friday we had a double date and went to the new Hudson movie theaters to see Lakeview Terrace. The movie was alright and the theater was awesome!

Yesterday I had my high school girlfriends over for a craft day. 10 hours of projects and laughs. Here is a shot of some of the tree skirts I made for Nicole's shop.

Today we'll make another run to Joann's for fabric before heading to Donatelli's (mmmm) for dinner and my sister Sam's 22nd birthday. Troy LOVES shopping at Joann's with me so I'll send him over to Dick's Sporting Goods for a bit...

My next project is Lucy's Halloween costume:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bath time

Update: I posted this in a hurry last night without explanation. You can either think a) someone had a "blowout" and needed to go immediately in the tub, b) Lucy is so smart that she bathes and washes her clothes at the same time, or c) I was running the bathwater and went to go get her pj's and 10 seconds later came back to this...

Friday, September 19, 2008


Kris Tierney passed away this morning. Read my previous posts on how you can help this family. Just so sad. I can't imagine losing a child and a spouse within 6 months of each other. There is some comfort in knowing mother and son have been reunited. ugh...

What is new? Let's see here...I am going back to school to get certified as a medical transcriptionist. It kind of combines my love of the medical field and my technical background. It is an opportunity to work from home as well and I'm thinking more and more about baby #2 these days. It wouldn't be a hard transition after all the crap that has been going on at work either. Anyway, it is an online program through a local community college, completely self-paced. You have up to 6 months to complete it (just in time for baby) but I think I'll have a leg up with my surgical tech classes. Stay tuned!

Lucy has her first ponytail in her hair today. I think this will be her new look as she tends to remove barrettes right away. We took a nice long walk around the neighborhood and spent some time at the park. Abby found a big stick and Lucy kept running away with it. Simple pleasures.

What else? Hmmm...we had another Open House last Saturday and nobody came! I mean it's great reason to have a clean house but ugh, St. Joseph is not working! It is getting harder with Troy being on the road so much commuting, I can't imagine what winter driving is going to be like on top of that.

This is Lucy's favorite thing to do, sit in the fridge. And her favorite thing to gnaw on while sitting? The top of the tabasco sauce bottle! Out of everything, that's what she goes for. It would figure as I loved all spicy things when I was pregnant with her.

Take care everyone! This weekend I'm off to a Caribou Coffee date with girlfriends tonight and to the Marine on the St Croix Art Fair with the family tomorrow.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Let's Do This!

In regards to my previous post, the Tierney family needs lots of prayers and our financial help. Please go to to see how you can help. From their caringbridge site today:

Dear Friends,

As many of you are painfully aware, the Tierney's are being faced with yet another tragedy.

My best friend from high school, Rick Tierney and his family need your help and prayers.7 and a half years ago they had a baby boy and named him Kyle. When Kyle was just two years old he was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer. After a 5 year battle, Kyle passed away on March 27, 2008 and the age of 7. Kyle has a little brother Ryan who just started kindergarten last week. Kris was expecting another baby in October. Due to a catastrophic stroke last Saturday September 6th they took the baby by emergency c-section. Baby Luke Kristopher(named after his mom) was born about 8 weeks early with a hole in his lung. As of today baby Luke is tube free, and is doing well. The outlook is looking good for Luke!As for mom the stroke has left her with no brain activity, and very little hope for survival.(pray for a miracle)

Many of you have asked: What can I do?

There are 3 things we can do!

keep the Tierney and Katzmark families in your prayers.

2. give them TIME
Goal- $36,000 (this will help to cover medical expenses not covered, and house payments for one year)
Rick will need to be away from work for some time. Rick has exhausted all of his time off from work during Kyle's final days.
Let's band together to give them the TIME they so desperately need right now, without the fear of where the next house payment
will come from.(if we can find just 360 people to donate $100. we will achieve our goal)

3. FORWARD this to everyone you know

May God Bless you for your thoughts and prayers
May God Bless you for your generosity
May God Bless the Tierney and Katzmark families at this most difficult time.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Prayers please!

A fellow HM classmate of mine and his family have gone through such heartbreaking tragedies these past few years. To read the story of his son - When Kyle passed away earlier this year, his wife Kris was pregnant with another son, due this October. The old saying goes something like "in death there is new life". Well, Kris ended up going early and delivering last weekend at 32 weeks and through a series of unfortunate events, it doesn't look like she is going to make it ( It just breaks my heart!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


We're getting a bit of fall weather lately which I LOVE. It could be autumn all year for me. It's my favorite clothing season (sweaters, comfies), I love the changing colors, baking with apples, decorating the house, the holidays, scented candles, hot cider, hitting the craft shows, making soups and baking....
The flu has hit the Lovestrand households big time the past two weeks. Paul ended his vacation by coming home with the flu, then Lucy had it for a quick spell, then Troy had it over the weekend, and now I'm afraid it's hitting me. Thankfully Lucy has been accomodating to her mom laying around today!
Last weekend was the long holiday weekend. We had a couple bonfires out back while enjoying Troy's favorite pumpkin bars. On Saturday Troy and Vicky painted our old office (used to be a dark red) to a neutral beige. If the house doesn't sell soon that will become Lucy's little girl room. We spent the rest of the day trimming up all the bushes around the house, maintaining our reputation as the only house for sale in Baldwin that actually keeps itself maintained! I think it's time to bury St. Joseph in the yard.
Saturday night Troy woke up with the flu, enough said. We were supposed to be worship assistants at church so Lucy and I headed out without him. Good thing we showed up as the other assistants didn't! We gathered volunteers and everything went well and Lucy had lots of babysitters in the back row! Sunday afternoon we headed to West St. Paul to my uncle Wes and aunt Darla's home for a Labor Day Weekend picnic. It was a great afternoon gathering in their shaded backyard with tons of good food and the entertainment of the two little girls (Lucy and her 11-mo-old cousin Kieryn).
On Monday Troy was feeling well enough to head to Chippewa Falls for Fantasy Football League sign up. Lucy and I and Vicky headed to Stillwater for a little shopping. We got some cute fall decorations and had ice cream before heading home. And Tuesday it was back to the 'ol grindstone!
This upcoming weekend we are headed down to Cedar Valley Resort in Lanesboro, MN to a very large cabin with all of the Hill families. The weather sounds like it will be perfect and I'm anxious to check out this little town!
Last but not least, the picture above will most likely be recognized in March 2009!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Last Ten Days

Lots of pictures to post, let's start with Friday, August 15th - Mike and Erin Hill's wedding day. The wedding was up in Princeton, with a reception following in Pease, MN. We all headed up to the cabin for the rest of the weekend.

On Wednesday as I was cleaning out the car Lucy climbed in, so I buckled her in while I finished.

Thursday morning we picked up my parents and headed to the Great Minnesota Get-Together (the Fair)! As usual, we had every intention of going up and down every street so as not to miss anything, but our stomachs got the best of us so we backtracked everywhere and missed half of it! All that was consumed (not just by me) in no particular order - mini donuts, french fries (my favorite), pronto pups, frozen grapes on a stick (Lucy's favorite), pork chop on a stick (well maybe that's my favorite), veggie pie (ish, don't get again), nachos, deep fried pickles, frozen apple cider, taco (a new try of ours we shared from the food bldg that we'd definitely get again), gelato, popcorn, beer, watermelon, lemonade, butterscottish "thing" (basically a frozen twinkie dunked in butterscotch on a stick), root beer...

After we arrived, Troy, Mark and Val (mom) hit the mini donut booth while Lucy and I went to go get french fries (so what if it's 9am). We had our breakfast and headed into the Grandstand. We purchased a puzzle stool for Lucy as she loves her friends' puzzle stools:

What? It's like 10:30 and we haven't eaten in over an hour?? I'm assuming it's at this time we made our first stop into the Food Building (frozen grapes for Lucy, Pronto Pups for the boys, taco for the rest). I believe after this we headed up to the Technology/Eco Building on the old machinery hill for a little rest and a quiz show. It was quite humid that day which probably explains our easy exhaustion (not from the greasy food of course) and why we backtracked and missed half the sights. We did head over to the horticulture building to get the frozen apple cider sticks (75 cents a pop, the best deal at the Fair), and then a phone call from Sam and Krista who had brought the kids to the Fair and we were going to meet up.

On our way to find them, we pass the pork chop booth and I got in line. Dang they are good, and they sure make a killing at 6.50 a pop! We found the girls, said hello, I tried that wierd frozen twinkie. Then we made a loop in the Coliseum, the boys got some beers and we went and sat down in the stadium and rested/watched a horse show for a while. Then it was over to Heritage Square for a loop, knowing full well that we always go here and leave within 5 minutes because it's the same crap every year, yet my mother insists we didn't go the year before :) After our loop in there we headed back toward the Grandstand for a root beer and the nachos (just "ok"). And then....

Lucy and daddy went on the Big Slide! She loved it and I videotaped it (not very well). Grandpa had another Pronto Pup (note, if you have your gallbladder out, do not eat pronto pups!) and we headed over to the DNR building. What's next? Mom's turn for pork chop on a stick, then another run thru the Food Building and Horticulture building. Left for home at 4, a good full day at the Fair. Home where everyone hopped in the shower to clean up.

We had gotten a phone call from our realtor that someone wanted to see our house on Saturday. D'oh! Time for major house cleaning! So Friday morning while Nana watched Lucy we scoured the house before we packed it up and headed down to Lake Benton for the weekend.

It was a 4 1/2 hour trip down there, with a stop for lunch in Hudson and a swap of drivers half way. We stayed at Uncle Duff and Pam's, our usual B&B. That evening we had dinner over at Grandma Glady's and visited. Saturday before lunch was a big group photo session in grandma's backyard. The pictures turned out great, but their not on our camera, so can't upload them here. We got some shots of us as well for possible Christmas photos. After lunch half the gang headed to the lake on Uncle Jody's boat for an afternoon of water sports. I stayed back with the ladies while Lucy napped. In the evening it was more food and visiting. Lucy and I headed back to go to bed while everyone stayed at Grandma's to play Catch Phrase. This morning was a huge brunch back at grandma's before we departed at noon. In the midst of this busy weekend, Troy and Josh took Zach and Alex golfing, Pam and I found great bargains at the Emporium, and Lucy learned how to say "Alex" over and over and over again...

Abby and Stella:

Lucy's first trampoline experience with the girls, Olivia and Kate: