Monday, January 23, 2006

Swim Meet

On Sunday, Will and Madison had their first-ever Swim Meet in Maple Grove at Foss Swim School. They both competed in the Freestyle and the Backstroke. All the kids were timed and got a ribbon for finishing. It was a lot of fun and the kids did great!

Finnegan turns 2!!!

On Saturday, we celebrated cousin Finn's second birthday by playing at a huge indoor playground in Edina and then having some pizza and cake. It was a blast!

Ovarian Cancer

Last week I was in Fargo at my friend Kelly Bates-Felany's mom's memorial service. Connie Bates courageously battled ovarian cancer for 6 1/2 years. She died at the age of 59. The service was a great tribute to a truly inspirational woman. I've only been around Connie a handful of times, but what I remember most about her was her beautiful smile, her warmth, and her amazing attitude.

Connie was an advocate for ovarian cancer education and research. At the service her family had printed placards with symptoms of the dreadful disease. I wanted to share this information with all of you:

Ovarian cancer is difficult to detect, especially in early stages. This is partly due to the fact that these two small, almond shaped organs are deep within the abdominal cavity, one on each side of the uterus.

These are some of the potential signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer:
*pelvic or abdominal pain or discomfort
*vague, but persistent gastrointestinal upsets such as gas, nausea, and indigestion
*frequency and/or urgency of urination in absence of an infection
*unexplained weight gain or loss
*pelvic and/or abdominal swelling, bloating and/or feeling of fullness
*ongoing unusual fatigue
*unexplained changes in bowel habits

A pap smear DOES NOT detect ovarian cancer!

Listen to your body. Be your own advocate. After all, no one cares for your body like you do.

And remember, a cancer free world will happen not because we wished for it, but because we worked for it!

Monday, January 16, 2006

It's coming along...

We're still working at it! We haven't set a date for the "Grand Opening" yet, but we'll let you know!

Will's turn...

So...after Madison got home from her fun day out, Will thought it would be really fun to build a bear of his own. He picked out a koala and dressed him as a fisherman. Madison had picked a "sassy" cat. The kids had a great time and love the new additions!

Girls Day

On Saturday, Madison and Lauren went to the mall to celebrate Lauren's 7th birthday. They got to Build-A Bear, get "manicures" at Libby Lu, and have lunch at Applebee's. It was a really fun "girls day out"!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy 2006!!!

10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1...Happy New Year!!

Candace and Brad re-enacting their pheasant hunting trip to S.D.??? Looks interesting.

The little girls...ready for New Years.

The big girls...ready for New Year's, too.

...and then Mark broke out the Tequila.

We partied the kids right under the table!

Christmas at home

When we returned from Seattle on Tuesday night...we found that Santa had made a stop at our house, too! Will got a laptop computer and Madison got a karaoke machine...just what was on the list.

Bill had to make sure everything was hooked up correctly...

The gifts were a hit...

Will and Madison love their new gameboys. They play them everywhere...

Chrismas Day

Christmas Eve

Santa Claus came to visit on Christmas Eve...Campbelle was a little less than thrilled with the whole experience!

EMP Museum

What are you guys singing? Maybe some Johnny Cash...

"I want to be a drummer in a rock 'n roll band..."

Rap-master Willy G

Boogie baby

This recording session ended in a 14-year-old-sounding voice saying, "mom, you're so weird..."

Outside the EMP...a little "Partridge Family-ish"...don't you think?

Merry Christmas and Happpy 2006!

Merry Chrismas and Happy New Year, everyone! Sorry I haven't updated for a while. We've been really busy and just trying to catch our breath after another "whirlwind" of a holiday season. I can't believe it's actually winding down and and 2006 has begun. We spent 6 days around Christmas in Seattle with my sisters Gina and Jill, and her family Leif, Campbelle and Christian. We had such a great time there...come the 27th, it was hard to leave. It rained pretty much every day, so it put a little bit of a damper on the "let's just bum around and walk the cool shopping areas" plan (but I'm sure Leif and Bill didn't mind at all). We all really enjoyed the EMP (Experience Music Project) Museum. It really brought out all of our inner (wanna-be) muscians! Bill still thinks he's destined for rock n' roll stardom, Will thought it was cool to be able to change his voice to sound like Darth Vadar, Madison loved showing off her break-dancing moves, and I was amazed at how bad I actually sing. We saw a couple of movies, went to the Brenne's church on Christmas Eve, got a visit from Santa, met a bunch of Jill and Leif's friends, experienced Raclette-style eating for the first time, loved the 50+ degree weather, and went on an intersting little ski trip. To get a feel for our skiing experience, just imagine: rain (not sleet or snow...just rain), a huge mountain (from my viewpoint anyway), two 7 year-olds (who have never skiied), me (who has skiied only once and is really uncoordinated), over an hour of: get dressed -- pick up your rental stuff -- it's the wrong size -- get back in line -- why can't I have poles? -- I don't want to ski anymore...I want to snowboard -- how could you lose my gloves and hat?! - -there's sweat running down my back! -- #$#@*#@&^, lots (and lots) of crying, my husband "gracefully" falling off the conveyer belt on the way up the bunny hill, my brother-in-law trying to assist 2 crying skiiers splayed on the side of a mountain (it actually might have just been a green-run, beginner hill), and finally, a trip down the mountain strapped to a tobagan and accompanied by Ski Patrol. I'll let you all know how it ends when I see the orthopedic surgeon on Wednesday! Minus that last part, we had such a great Christmas and feel very lucky to have spent it with great family!

Last night we hosted our third annual New Year's Eve Party. We had about 15 neighbors and all their kids over to celebrate and ring in 2006. In comparison to last year, it was pretty tame...everyone had left by about 2:30. Bill and I had the dishes done and the floors scrubbed by 4 am (not by his choosing)! Again, I am reminded of how fortunate we are to be surrounded by a great group of friends and neighbors!