The Big Project of 2014

August 12, 2014

I’ve been kind of absent from hovnet the last few weeks because we have been busy. Below are some photos from one of our projects keeping us busy. But first, here’s how we got into this mess…errrr…home improvement project.

1) The first project was to hire a company to put in a fence so we could get a dog.

2) That made us realize that we really should do something about the ugly retaining wall on the side of the house so we don’t have to redo the fence at a later date.

3) Which made us realize that we might as well pour the foundation for Erik’s new workshop/shed while we are doing the side driveway.

And so it began…

Good bye ugly old retaining wall!

Good bye ugly old retaining wall!

Ava insisted on driving the bobcat. Do you need a license to drive a bobcat?

Ava insisted on driving the bobcat. Do you need a license to drive a bobcat?

The next step required some help from Erik’s family — who happen to own a masonry company. What luck!

The team is formulating a plan.

The team is formulating a plan.

The women and children went shopping while the men were hard at work.

The women and children went shopping while the men were hard at work.

The concrete truck is here!

The concrete truck is here!

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After shopping, the kids had no problem entertaining themselves. They set up this waterslide all by themselves.

After shopping, the kids had no problem entertaining themselves. They set up this waterslide all by themselves.

The kids had to leave their mark.

The kids had to leave their mark.

The next day, the men could not rest. They decided to lay the block for Erik's shed. We are so lucky they did so much work while they were here!

The next day, the men could not rest. They decided to lay the block for Erik’s shed. We are so lucky they did so much work while they were here!

Finally on Sunday, everybody took a break at the beach. It was a wonderful day!

Finally on Sunday, everybody took a break at the beach. It was a wonderful day!

The concrete is done but Erik is still working on building a new retaining wall and finishing up the fence. I’ll post some “after” pictures when it’s all done.

Fishing Camp 2014

August 12, 2014

fishing crew

Erik went to fishing camp again last month. It’s not really called that. But I affectionately refer to it as fishing camp.  Here’s an earlier post that tells you why.

As always, Erik had a great time. He caught some monster walleyes.  Yes. The fish below are walleye.

fishing big fish 1

fishing big fish

Erik also had his 20 year reunion the weekend after so Ava and I had fun while he was away. Here are a few pictures from our adventures.

We made an appearance at Chuck-E-Cheese. There was nobody there so we actually had a relaxing afternoon there.

We made an appearance at Chuck-E-Cheese. There was nobody there so we actually had a relaxing afternoon there.

 

We got out the Easy Bake oven and made frosted cookies.

We got out the Easy Bake oven and made frosted cookies.

We met my friend Becky and her friends at the pool for an afternoon.

We met my friend Becky and her kids at the pool for an afternoon.

Grandma G came to visit!

Grandma G came to visit!

July Summer Update 2014

July 29, 2014

It’s almost August! Only about five weeks until my baby starts kindergarten. Sighhhhh….

Until that happens we are going to continue our summer fun. We have been having a great summer. Here are a few pictures of our fun.

Our garden has started producing. And we have started pickling.

Our garden has started producing. And we have started pickling.

Ava has been taking golf lessons again this summer. She really enjoys it.

Ava has been taking golf lessons again this summer. She really enjoys it.

We have been having lots of play dates with friends.

We have been having lots of play dates with friends.

We went to the St. Louis Park splash pad one afternoon with a friend.

We went to the St. Louis Park splash pad one afternoon with a friend. (Ava on the right in the greenish suit.)

We have met Aunt Kimmy and cousins Caleb and Peyton at the swimming pond.

We met Aunt Kimmy and cousins Caleb and Peyton at the swimming pond.

Cousin Peyton hanging with me at the pond.

Cousin Peyton hanging with me at the pond.

Shameless mom brag warning... But doesn't Ava's hair get gorgeous in the summer? This was just air drying after a bath.

Shameless mom brag warning… But doesn’t Ava’s hair get gorgeous in the summer? This was just air drying after a bath.

And finally, we have season passes to Valley Fair this summer. So we have been frequent visitors there — mainly at the Planet Snoopy section of the park.

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We are lucky to have such fun summers with family and friends and make these wonderful memories.

Park Program

July 29, 2014

Last day of Park Program.

Last day of Park Program.

This is the third year Ava has participated in Minnetonka’s “Park Program”. I put it in quotes because that is not the official name of it. I think it’s Summer Adventure Club or something like that. We prefer Park Program.

They do crafts, games, read books, and play on the park equipment at Park Program. The leaders are college students that really enjoy kids. They are assisted by high school kids who also enjoy kids. This year was super fun because Ava’s cousin Caleb was also in her program.

Minnetonka Park and Rec runs programs for different age groups all over Minnetonka and Hopkins. At the end of the program in late July, they hold a carnival for the kids. This was the first year we went. I suspect we will back again next year because Ava had such a blast.

Eating dinner at the carnival.

Eating dinner at the carnival.

Playing basketball with her Park Program friend, Xavier.

Playing basketball with her Park Program friend, Xavier.

Ava was surprisingly talented at disc golf.  She wants to find a disc golf course and play some more.

Ava was surprisingly talented at disc golf. She wants to find a disc golf course and play some more.

Erik swinging Ava far too high on the swings.

Erik swinging Ava far too high on the swings.

Going home after the magic show at the carnival.

Going home after the magic show at the carnival.

Oh, it is good to be a kid during summertime!

Surprise!

July 13, 2014

We drove to Duluth yesterday to attend a surprise birthday party for Erik’s brother’s wife, Jenna. There was a live band, great food, and lots of fun.

Not surprisingly, Ava was the first person to hit the dance floor. She really got the party started.

Ava says, "Happy birthday, Aunt Jenna!"

Ava (and Hans) says, “Happy birthday, Aunt Jenna!”

Lon (the party planner), Erik's dad, Erik's mom, and Erik.

Lon (aka: the party planner), Erik’s dad, Erik’s mom, and Erik.

"I'm with the band!"

“I’m with the band!”

 

If you know me well, you know that I’m a little absent minded. So it won’t surprise you that I’ve been hitting the “publish” button too soon. Like on my garden update I just posted. I was trying to write it too quickly while listening to one of Ava’s stories and instead of hitting “add picture” I hit “publish.”  Maybe the “p” in both words confused me?

Normally this wouldn’t be a problem. But many of you get blog updates via email. And so you will only receive the first two pictures. (Admit it. You thought it was slightly strange to get a garden update with just two pictures of cucumbers.)

So I’m writing another post so you get another email to tell you to please click through to my blog and to see the rest of the photos if you are interested in seeing my garden. Wow. This is getting complicated. So sorry.

If you don’t get my blog updates by email, this post will make absolutely no sense to you. Please just keep reading like this never happened.

 

July 2014 Garden Update

July 13, 2014

It seems  like we watch and watch our garden the first two months. And then all of sudden it explodes! Here are some pictures of our exploded garden.

Our first pickling cucumber to make it to picking size! Now we just need a few more to catch up to make a full jar.

Our first pickling cucumber made it to picking size! Now we just need a few more to catch up to make a full jar.

Most look like this...

Most look like this…

 

If you look close you can see lots of little yellow flowers. Each one will turn into a pickle eventually!

If you look close you can see lots of little yellow flowers. Each one will turn into a pickle eventually!

 

Tomatoes are coming along nicely. They are noticeably bigger since snapping this photo of Friday night.

Tomatoes are coming along nicely. They are noticeably bigger since snapping this photo of Friday night.

We had no luck with our carrots last year. But this year our carrots are looking to over take the garden. They have already overtaken some peppers.

We had no luck with our carrots last year. But this year our carrots are looking to take over the garden. They have already overtaken some peppers.

Ava just had to pull a carrot to see what was happening beneath the soil. I have to admit I was curious, too. I was impressed for the size in July!

Ava just had to pull a carrot to see what was happening beneath the soil. I have to admit I was curious, too. I was impressed for the size in July!

Our jalapenos are doing great!

Our jalapenos are doing great!

 

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