Thursday, February 25, 2010

It's nice on the ice

When I don't have to drive in it, I don't mind winter as much as I used to...I am getting better each year with just bundling up and taking it as it comes. Collin loves to play outdoors in all seasons, and I think that his enthusiasm is motivating for is way more fun to be outside playing with your son than scraping the windshield of your car or digging yourself out of the driveway with a shovel, which is really all that winter meant to me for most of my adult years....

My new tolerance for the season of snow is probably a very good thing given the fact that I am likely to be spending a large portion of my life in upcoming years near ice, even in the summer, given Collin's apparent love for all things hockey....So, to prepare both Collin and myself, this month he started ice skating lessons at a nearby ice arena.
After 2 lessons with teachers, supplemented by a few trips to both indoor and outdoor public skating with Doug and I, he is well on his way.
Believe me, this is not something we are pushing him into...if anything, Doug and I are the downtrodden ones in this scenario (but he's so cute, we just don't care!).
At this point, he does not need to use a "walker" and can get up from the ice on his own if he does take a tumble. He does all of this with amazingly good spirits and determination.
The classes are offered through Community Education and are simply a way to get interested kids out onto the ice and give them some pointers. They play games and learn basic skills...As you can see below, the class size is very small. Collin is in the first class, Snowplow Sam I, that is for the youngest of beginners.
Our skater is the handsome guy in the black helmet and blue jacket....

Doug and I watch closely at the skating lessons from our seats in the stands...and then we practice when we take Collin to open skating sessions as neither Doug or I can ice skate either! My experience on the ice was limited to a few times at the Hutchinson rink with my High School best friend, Cindy, who was much more graceful and prepared than I ever was! Since then, the only ice time I have had has been in poorly maintained parking lots as I walk to and from my car. Doug's experience is limited too, so I am sure we are all quite the sight out there...especially since it won't be too long before our 3 year old is skating circles around us!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Another year...wiser...

Doug's birthday was at the end of January and we'd all like to say 'thank you' to everyone who called or sent cards to say hello! He's been working hard...on top of working full-time and being a dad and husband, Doug is still enrolled in his MBA program at Concordia, St. Paul, so he's not only getting older, he's getting wiser with every year! (He's not sensitive about feel free to joke, folks!). We wanted to make his birthday special.
Collin and I started the day early, making a birthday cake for dad while he slept in. Now, "sleeping in" at our house these days, even on your birthday, means that you are up by about 8:oo am. This will give you some perspective on how early Collin and I were up to make the cake before Dad was awakened by this eager little baker....On the plus side, you can't beat freshly baked warm carrot cake and a nice cup of coffee for breakfast!

We love you, Daddy, and hope your birthday was a great one!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Winter Wonderland?

As you may have noticed, we have been absent from the Blog-world for a while...So, what have we been doing? Enjoying all the wonders that winter has to offer....some of them have truly been enjoyable memories...others simply a means to an our drive on Christmas morning....

After a laid back and enjoyable Christmas Eve at our home with just the three of us, after Merry Christmas phone calls to family who live too far away for travel, our winter wonderland adventures began with a Christmas morning drive through a storm to spend the holidays with family. Snow, ice, slush and wind greeted those of us who chose to travel on the road--reminding us that we were indeed celebrating Christmas in Minnesota. After taking our time, we happily arrived at our destination and were able to spend the next few days with family.

Christmas day started in Hector, MN with Grandpa Don, Grandma Lynn and Emily. Collin is now ready to fix anything with his new Black and Decker tool bench and kit!

After enjoying a good meal and gifts in Hector, we were off to Grandma Nola's house in Fernando where the traditional annual game of dice, Bunko, kept everyone busy into the night. Check out Collin hanging with the guys...learning all sorts of things....

The following morning, the fun continued in
Fernando with breakfast and then gift opening with all the cousins...An assortment of
pajamas to party dresses fit the occasion just fine!

And, although Collin started out the day in the new hockey theme "Grandma pants" so popular with hockey players that we gave him as a gift, we soon found out that the day was to be filled with many wardrobe changes...

You guessed it, these three photos are all taken within the same hour....For Christmas he was given a variety of sports theme shirts/jerseys...A Gophers hockey jersey, a Pittsburgh Penguins shirt and a Bronco's jersey....and with each new gift opened he just had to wear it right least until the next one came along!

We spent the next day visiting with my relatives on the farm. The chickens and other animals on the farm were a hit as usual. The many decorations, especially a small mountain
scene with moving skiers
was a really something special!

In addition to family, we have also been blessed to be spending time with friends. On New Year's Eve, we stayed at the Neumann's home, where Collin got to play with his friend Bryce and Doug and I enjoyed the company of Jay and Renee, our gracious hosts!

JJ Hammill stayed overnight for a playdate, and got to practice his basketball skills....proud as can be after making a shot!

The Zeleke family made the long drive from Iowa and took some time in their busy schedule to stop by. Jan and Abel have three beautiful daughters...but like their mommy they are tough girls...Collin had his work cut out for him in a wrestling match with Jasmine!

We also celebrated Christmas with the Bartsch family, Collin's Godparents. (As you can see, Collin is wearing yet another jersey....How did a nice little bookworm like me end up with an aspiring jock for a son?!? Oh yeah, that's right...that must come from Daddy...)

So, like many of you, we started out busy finishing up the Holiday season and it has continued...We hope that all of your families had a great Christmas season and that 2010 is treating you well!