Wednesday, May 30, 2007

More photos from South Dakota

The Moldenhauers and Sprengelers. It was hard to get all the kids to look at the camera.
Rachel beside her baptism banner. The banner is only about eighteen inches long, so you can imagine how tiny she really is in real life.
Gabie Moldenhauer and her mom at the park in Gettysburg
Elllie Moldenhauer at the park in Gettysburg

Today, Julia and I went flower shopping! It is one of my favorite days of the year when I finally get all the flower beds weeded and fertilized and we can go pick out plants to buy! We bought a lot of stuff: some herbs (basil, oregano, lavender), a begonia, a clematis (our clematis of three years didn't make it through the winter), two bee balm, a vine geranium, a random dahlia, a delphinium, a blanket flower, and some tomatoes. whew! What a fun day!

We forgot the camera when we were flower instead just picture a very, very dirty little girl. I had Julia down to just a onesie and let her run free with the flowers. She had a blast. I think she had a thing for marigolds. They say Marigolds keep mosquitos away, but they sure don't work on one year olds. Julia didn't even seem to mind that her noontime nap was delayed until two because we were just having too much fun!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Rachel's Baptism

In the car on the way down to South Dakota. (This was before the 300 mile meltdown.) We drove to St. Cloud on Friday night, then got up at 3:15 AM and left for South Dakota. (baby slept!!!! yay.) After a stop in Aberdeen for Perkins breakfast, we arrived in Gettysburg at about 10:30 AM. What a trip!
Here she is! Happy Baptism, little one.


Gosh I wish we lived closer than 500 miles apart! We could do this every day. When are you guys moving back to Minnesota???

What vacation wouldn't be right without a trip to the park? There was a little park just two blocks behind the Moldenhauer palace. Daddy is pictured here pushing a very happy little girl.

After a nice long day playing, a bath was in order. Ellie and Gabie were kind enough to share their tub.

I know you probably shouldn't snap pictures during church, but she just looked so precious! What a beautiful goddaughter.

Rachel's baptism. Julia was very naughty during church. (Note the little yellow blob in the background climbing up on the altar....)

Julia went swimming on Monday. Spork filled the pool with hose water and Gabie went in...and jumped right out because it was too cold. Julia proved her status as a Minnesota Girl....she got into the freezing water, giggled, and stayed there for an hour until we made her come out. She even put up a fight when we tried to explain to her that her lips were blue...

I thought this was really interesting: you look down the street from Spork's house, and the town just...ends! It goes from houses on the street to a dead end...and then a field. Wow.

Mike takes a break from watching Julia swim....she was in the pool for over an hour!

Emanuel Lutheran Church, where Mark is Pastor.

Spork (OK...her name is actually Allison...but I still call her Spork) on the couch with Gabie and Rachel.

On our way home, we stopped at a park in Milbank, SD. Julia was being a terror in the car and received a much-needed break. She loved the "stand on" teeter totter.

One last picture of Rachel....upside down! This was by accident, of course, but it made me laugh so I left her "hanging." What a beautiful little creation she is.

We spent the weekend driving the 500 mile trek to Gettysburg, South Dakota for Rachel Moldenhauer's baptism. With the exception of Julia's INtolerance of the car ride there and back, we had a wonderful time. Our new goddaughter is so beautiful! I only wish I could have held onto her longer....but there were just too many relatives that wanted to hold her as much as I did. I can't wait to see her grow up with her two action-packed sisters.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Off to South Dakota

We're off to Gettysburg, South Dakota for the weekend! The Moldenhauer clan (Allison, Rachel, Eliya, Mark, and Gabie) will see our Chrysler pull into their driveway sometime before noon tomorrow. We are going to become Rachel's godparents on Sunday. To make the drive a little easier for The Julia, we are spending the night in St. Cloud tonight and leaving at 4AM tomorrow while she sleeps in her carseat (God Willing.)
We bought Julia a new toy to play with in the backseat for the trip. Hopefully, it will entertain her for at least five minutes. We are also armed with a bag of Cheesy Poofs and some nontoxic crayons. Ahhh toddlers. :)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Where did May go?

I looked at the calendar this's May 24th! It seems like yesterday when the little girl next door was dropping off a May basket for us. May is one of those "busy weekend months" for us. It feels like the weeks preceding Christmas where there are concerts and family gatherings and parties on every weekend. You know what I mean? This also means that I have less than a month left of my glorious time off before I start residency.

Today's project: find daycare. Last week I was dismayed to find out that the daycare which we signed up for last NOVEMBER won't be able to take Julia. Our neighbor lady whom Julia loves is the director there, so we figured she would be among friends. Now what? Well, I have been calling several places....some home daycares, some daycare centers, and there are several openings out there. We are touring a few places today and will be visiting some more next week. At least Julia doesn't have to go until August when Annie moves out. She will be fifteen months old...which is a pretty good age to start meeting other kids.

Annie had her interview for a nursing position in Brainerd today. Hope she gets the job as she wants to move up there.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Hi family and friends,

No pictures today, the digital camera needs its batteries charged, and they are still in the charger. I'll take some pictures for you tomorrow. We just had the floor in our dining room refinished, so maybe I"ll take a picture of that.

Yesterday was a long day. We had to vacate the house because the floor guys were here with their floor varnish and a huge sander, so first thing in the morning Annie and I headed out to the mall to return some stuff and kill an hour or two with Julia. Halfway to the mall, we noticed a funny smell coming from the car. When we were almost at the mall, the hood started smoking, so I pulled over and looked under it. The only thing I knew is that cars get hot and steamy when the radiator fluid is gone. However, even I could tell the steam wasn't coming from the radiator. Turns out the gaskets in the engine were old and oil was leaking all over onto everything, including the exhaust system (hence the smell.) Luckily (or not) there was a Firestone place right there, and they were able to fix it for us to the tune of just under $300 (that's after I got them down from almost $400!!!) The burning oil in the exhaust system is a fire hazard, and I'm not interested in being a moving car bomb.

Anyways, they car guys couldn't finish the car until 5 and we brought it in around 10am, so Annie and I were stuck in the mall for a number of hours. It was too cold and windy to go anywhere else with the baby. I never realized this, but the mall is basically just chain retailers selling either fast food or clothes. There isn't much else. Clothing is expensive when you buy it at the mall, and one can only stand so much fast food in one day. We started to go nuts after three hours, and by 2:30 we were debating asking random people for a ride home. Thank God Mike got home early from the pharmacy and was able to come and pick us up at 3:30. Ugh.

I am not a mall rat. Julia isn't either....however she really enjoyed the rides there. It cost 1.00 to turn them on, but she was just as happy to be placed into a big red car or on a merry go round horse that wasn't moving. We spent a good hour playing on the toys. Another big attraction: Old Navy flip flops. They had an entire wall devoted to looked like thirty yards of flip flops in a huge ROY G. BIV arrangement. Julia danced around them (they were pretty cool-looking, each color had about 50 pairs of shoes), and then took a few off the pegs and chucked them across the floor. At least we provided some decent entertainment for the poor employees that had nothing else to do.....

Monday, May 21, 2007

One year pictures!

Julia had her "one year" picture taken at JC Penney's last week. We have the proofs "online." Cute!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

More Vacation Pictures

Deer Lake

More Swimming!
Julia is trying to be like Psymuhn on all fours.
This time we actually put Julia into her swimsuit....

The lake at grandma and grandpa's place is really clean and shallow for about a hundred yards before the big deep drop-off. It's great for wading and swimming! No weeds....which is essential for a good swim. The sun came out on the last day of our vacation, so we took Julia down to the water and she wanted me to keep walking out deeper and deeper. She would point out toward the deeper water and exclaim, "dat dat dat dat dat!!!!!" She kept trying to jump out of my arms and dive in. I can't wait till the water is warm enough to go in all the way. And no, I didn't drop her in. :)After we were done swimming, we came in and ate some lunch. After she was done eating, Julia left us and walked over the the corner of the dining room to "do her business.
Daddy caught Julia standing in the corner of the dining room with a very serious and red face. This only means one thing: it will be time for a diaper change any minute now!
All done with my diaper! Mommy says I don't have to put my dress back on.
Julia enjoys a peanut butter sandwich. She is also reveling in the fact that mommy didn't make her put her dress back on after she was done swimming and getting a new diaper on.
Peanut butter face.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Alpaca Ranch!

Another stop on our little weekend vacation involved a trip to a nearby Alpaca ranch! Yup, there was one just a few miles away from my parents' cabin in Deer River. We gave them a call and they were happy to give us our own private tour! We spent an hour there. We met all of their animals (they are named after the characters in Prince Caspian, from CS Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia) and had the chance to pet one. It was inspiring. Alpacas are neat in both senses of the word: they are fun to watch (when they run, the spring up in the air....kind of like Peppe Le Pieu), and they are very neat and clean animals. Mike and I agreed: we want to have a little hobby farm somewhere and raise a few of these. The only downside is the cost. For a breeding female, the cost runs anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000!!!! Good God! We wouldn't even buy a car that cost that much! A gelded male is only around $3,000, so I guess that will have to do. Perhaps they will come down in price when we finally want to buy them. They are still a relatively new commodity.

Julia just loved meeting the Alpacas. Mike and I loved everything about them. Their fur is a much softer and heavier fiber than wool. It isn't itchy. I bought a few skeins of yarn from them to knit myself an alpaca scarf. I made the title of this blog into a link to the website of the alpaca farm we visited. (Wow..that was techno speak. !!! Cousin Dan, the computer wizard, should be proud of me for that.) (By the way, Dan, thanks for the awesome ride on your jet ski.........)

Thanks for checking the blog! We'll post the rest of the vacation pictures tomorrow (there are quite a few more.)


A nudie lake picture.
Swimming! in May! Yes, this is indeed Julia and I, and we are in the lake, and it's only the 11th of May. I had no intention of taking her in there..... but after I got off the jet ski, she was crying to come to me, so naturally, I picked her up. Instantly, she pointed at the lake and shouted, "dat, dat, dat, dat, dat" which means "I want that now now now..." Mike informed me that she wanted to go in the lake. Silly me, the lake was very cold (we were in northern MN in May!), so I thought Julia would be terrified of the cold water and want out right away. I lowered her toes in. Instead of being afraid, she giggled and splashed! She wanted more, so I gave up being a model parent (since when was I one of those anyways?) and I took her clothes off and let her splash around in the cold, waist-deep-on-her water. She had an absolute blast and cried when I took her out, ten minutes later. (Her lips were not blue yet. I think mine were.) Now, when she sees a lake, she yells and wants IN. Do all babies beg to be lowered into vats of cold water?
I must say that I'm excited. I LOVE to swim in lakes....and I always seem to have trouble finding somebody to go swimming with me. Finally! I have somebody who will always want to swim with me! No more begging husband to come in the water. Yay yay yay!

I'm sitting with Grandma! I hope she doesn't mind that I've already smeared watermelon on her nice white shirt....

Eating lunch with great Grandpa Roger. Notice Julia is eating right off his plate. We need to teach that little lady some manners!

Julia is eating dinner on Great Grandpa's lap. Mmmm.....

We're home! We spent the mother's day weekend in Grand Rapids/Deer Lake with mom's side of the family. We had a great time. We stayed at Grandma and Grandpa's lake cabin on Deer Lake and had a chance to see aunt Trice and family. More pictures to come tomorrow. I want to go to bed!

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Sitting in the carseat before we drove away. Julia is surprisingly content, considering that she loathes anything that attempts to strap her down. She loves to go shopping. The sights and sounds of a good trip to the grocery store are so much more exciting than our living room. If only she was willing to stay in the shopping cart! Let's just say that Julia also loves to get in her exercise when we are out. She would be worthy poster child for the "Do." campaign.

In line at the grocery store. She is objecting to being in the cart. "MOM. I want to play in the candy!!! I can see it!!! I won't eat it, I promise......" Sometimes, Julia, you just have to take the hard road and leave the candy where it is.

Julia used to love to go to Michael's to look at the pretty colors. Now, she has become more demanding and wants to handle all of those pretty colors. I have to be selective about which aisles we drive the cart down...crochet needles, containers of millions of seed beads, carefully stacked paint cans towering up and up....oh get the picture. In this photo, Julia is showing you how quickly she examines and then tastes the delicious merchandise. Wanna bite?

Perusing the clearance racks at Target. Julia selected a pair of shorts for Jessi to buy. Only five bucks, mom, down fifty percent! That's a deal!

Mom, I want OUT of this CARSEAT! Notice the cheesy residue on her face. ( I have learned to appease Her Highness with cheesy poofs while we are driving.)

The ladies (Julia, Jessi, and myself) spent a glorious day together yesterday. The morning was spent working on the flower beds that desperately needed cleaning after being ignored all of last summer. Then, it was off to the grocery store, Michael's craft store, and Target, of course. Julia was good for us. We took a little photo journal of our experiences.