Posts tagged ‘Holidays’

New Years…

And here’s part two (if you missed part one, just scroll down to the post prior to this one, or click here)!!  Now I’ll tell you all about the New Year’s’ Eve bash we had at our house and the out of town visitors we had this past weekend.

We througha New Year’s Eve party every year.  This is our 3rd one.  Usually what happens is I invite everyone I know, get about 2-3 RSVP’s and then tons of people show up at our house for the party that night.  This year was no exception!  We also tend to meet a lot of new people at these parties, because we tell those we invite to invite their friends, and they do!  I think we had 3 newcomers this year!

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Here is Larry, Daniel, Clove, Tripp, Sherry and Carly.

Carly brought 2 of her friends, Michael and Adam, who were great fun and enjoyed the 2 pitchers of Long Island Ice Tea I mixed up (that’s roughly 11 tall glasses full of this delicious nectar).  They were a lot of fun and I hope they come to more of my parties!

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Rev. George V. Hudgins III (Tripp) and Rev. Larry Kamphausen

Of course, no party would be complete at my house without kilted pastors in attendance – and might I add, they are very well dressed kilted pastors!  Some people would just throw on a kilt and head out, these two take their time and do it right!

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Yup that’s right…a glass in each hand!  The larger glass is the aforementioned Long Island Ice Tea that is my specialty.  The smaller one is a Chocolate Stout that Larry brought – it tasted like Hershey’s syrup in milk, pretty tasty!  I was sampling a small glass of that, so I did not walk around the party all night with 2 drinks in my hand!

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Kate & Malcolm share a moment…

Poor Malcolm…there were so many people at the party, and no one to snuggle with!  You can see how happy and content he is that Kate decided to spend some quality time with the small brown one!

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Clove and Daniel

Aren’t they cute?  Clove and Daniel we married this past spring.  Yay newlyweds!  Clove of course is looking fabulous as ever in her red boa!

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Sarah & Michael

Here we have Sappers and her bf Michael.  They’re way cute.  We like Michael, we want to see more of him!

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Tripp got a hold of my camera and started taking shots of himself with everyone.

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Kate, Larry, Sherry, Michael, Carly

Some of the gang waiting for the count down.  We got all decked out in hats, tiaras, streamers and champagne (actually, it was probably sparkling wine, but whatever…)

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Trish was ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS decked out in a green dress with crystals on it and costume jewelery.  She had to leave for a bit to do some singing with one of her theatre groups, Hell in a Handbag Productions, singing some songs from “Poseidon, an Upside Down Musical”.  I think next years party I’m going to require fabulous costuming – Kate, Clove and Trish seem to be all set!

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And here we have Kate attacking Evy with her tongue 😀

The party was great, loud and lots of fun.  I think everyone was out by 2 am.  There was a bit of clean up the next day, but what is New Years day but the day to clean up and recover from New Year’s Eve!

On Saturday we were joined at the Llama Nee Inn (our apartment for those of you unfamiliar with the name) by the Brekke’s (Susie, Erik and Jannah) and later that evening by Kiersten, my college roommate who lives in Norway now.  She was home for Christmas and usually the old gang from school gets together for a night.  Unfortunately we weren’t able to all get together this year, so we had a long weekend with 3 out of the 5 of us.  Becky lives in Minnesota, and Mandy is in New Jersey.  Here’s a shot of us that Kiersten’s parent’s were nice enough to take before they headed back to Iowa after dropping her off in Chicago:

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Susie, Jannah, Erik, Kiersten, Justin, Me and Malcolm

We had a fun time this weekend, watching Jannah run around the house, pulling things off the tree, petting Malcolm, and saying words that we’re probably not her attempt at cursing, but sure sounded that way!  Justin and I got some gifts for everyone, but my favorite was what we got for Jannah:

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It’s a little wooden cutting set.  The veggies have velcro holding them together and you cut through with a wooden knife.  It really sounds like you’re cutting vegetables!  It’s really fun.  I got it from a local shop called Green Genes that sells recycled, organic and re-pourposed toys.  Jannah really liked it, and I’ve even heard that Susie’s day care kids are enjoying the toy as well!  Jannah was very grateful and gave her godfather Justin a big hug!

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And with very little prompting from Kiersten was soon putting all of the veggies in her mouth, but don’t worry, the toy is made with lead free paint!

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Jannah is a fan of singing, as is her daddio, Erik.  I was able to capture the “5 little Monkeys” song on video a bit, but be warned: the cuteness is almost too much to handle!

The Brekke’s joined us for church Sunday morning and then came back for a lovely brunch cooked by Justin.  We had biscuts, gravy, scrambled eggs and sausage (provided by our meat share).  It was all really good.  The Brekke’s headed out shortly after that to get back in time for the Vikings game (but I guess it didn’t matter, since the stupid Vikings lost the game anway…).

Kiersten stayed with us through today.  Actually, as I was working on this post, she and Justin stopped by the office to say goodbye on their way to O’hare airport, as she’s flying back to Norway tonight.  It was great to see her, and I’ll miss her for another year!

That’s it for now folks…hope you enjoyed all of my posts today!

January 6, 2009 at 5:17 pm 1 comment

July 4th in Madison

Well, as promised – here is my blog on our weekend in Madison with the Brekke’s! Or, I should say, the Brekke’s and Soiney’s. Justin and I headed up to Madison, WI on Friday morning to spend the weekend with Susie, Erik and Jannah. Susie’s parents, Dee and Steve were there as well for the weekend so there was much fun to be had! We did a LOT of stuff in three days, so here goes!

We arrived a few hours before the party, so there was time to chat, play games and play with Jannah! Susie had just gotten a new play car at a rummage sale for Jannah so we pushed her around that for a while.

This is Jannah doing her “all done” sign language. It was really neat to see a baby using ASL to communicate what she couldn’t say yet. She also uses the sign for “drink” when she is hungry or thirsty.

The Independence Day party was scheduled to begin at 7pm, but we fired up the grill and cracked open the keg a bit early! Justin and I had brought lamb burgers (they were VERY tasty). The keg got a bit shaken up during the transporting process, so we had to let it settle in our glasses first, of course! We decided a pitcher would be much better for the job, but all Susie and Erik had that wasn’t being used was the coffee pot! It was pretty funny to see people walking around the party with a coffee pot full of beer! I think ALL coffee pots should be full of beer! 😀

This is me, enjoying the “beer coffee”. In the back is Karen (a Brekke neighbor), Steve (Susie’s dad) and Dee (Susie’s mom).

Jannah, never one to turn down a party, joined the festivities by doing a “Keg Stand” (don’t worry, no babies were harmed in the taking of this picture – nor were they given any actual alcohol, it was purely for a laugh people, jeepers!).

There were many yard games to be played at the party. We played badminton, Kubb (which will be explained later) and “Frisbeer”. Basically, the point of Frisbeer is to knock a beer bottle off a PVC pipe with a frisbee. You can only use one hand (obviously, because the other one is holding your beer!) and you get points for knocking down the bottle by hitting the pole or by hitting the bottle itself. it was pretty fun. Miller and I lost the game, but I don’t think I did too badly considering I haven’t caught or thrown a frisbee since I was in LVC and my roommate, John, taught me how!

Here is me throwing a frisbee at the opposing teams pole. I had one awesome shot where I hit the bottle and the next shot I hit the pole!

The Madison fireworks can be see from the rooftop of the Brekke Manor. Actually, I think the fireworks were from a “suburb” of Madison, but same thing. We all climbed up the rickety ladder to the steep roof (after passing a sober test first of course: “Are you sober?” “Yup” “Okay, go ahead”) to enjoy the show. Of course, the pot of beer was passed around during the show, so several of us were probably a bit more tipsy than when we first went up! It was fun though. Miller, Erik and Susie attempted to sing a few patriotic songs, but it was a pretty lame attempt, as no one else was willing to join in.

Here are our hosts enjoying the show on the roof. In the background if you squint you can see Miller and another party goer.

After we all got down of the roof, we headed inside for some more games . We played a ping pong game called “Around the World”. Here is some video so you can figure out what that means…

It was a good night, and we all went to bed late. Of course, the next morning, Miss Jannah was up bright and early! Justin and I were in basement on the couch (we started the night on the air mattress, but half way through the thing had deflated, so we moved to the couch) so we heard her running around and decided it was time to get up. We then all loaded into a couple of vehicles (that is: Susie, Dee, Jannah and I in the Brekke-mobile and Erik, Steve and Justin in the Soiney car) and headed to the Madison Farmers Market. It was all around the capitol building – so it was huge! There was a lot of flowers and CHEESE for sale, as you can expect since it was in Wisconsin! Justin and I purchased some rabbit meat, real maple syrup and some rhubarb. I’m hoping to make some rhubarb crisp later this week! Mmm…

Poor Jannah was PASSED OUT (no, not from the Keg Stand!) after the walk around the market. She had her face planted into Susie’s back! It was pretty funny.

From the Farmer’s Market, we headed to the Henry Vilas Zoo. They had some great animal exhibits. The first we saw were the lions, and I was amazed at how close we were able to get to them! We couldn’t have been more than 10 feet away from them at one point, and the only thing between them and us was a chain link fence and the wooden observation fence. I’m assuming that the chain link was electrified, but I don’t know that for sure. It was neat to see them that close, but also a bit freaky!

Jannah loved the otters! She stood against the glass for a long time and watched them swim right by her! It was pretty cute to see, and the otters are always fun to watch!

Here’s Justin as a baby polar bear! Isn’t he cute?? The zoo had a ton of these type of cut out for pictures…

Here’s me as a penguin!

And Jannah as a penguin!

And Susie, Erik and I just Monkeying around, as Orangatans!

We headed back to the house after the zoo. Had some lunch and I played with Jannah some more. She has these really fun Sesame Street potato sack racing toys. Cookie Monster says “Get out of way!”

This is my favorite picture of Jannah from the weekend, taken by Justin. She’s so cute!

Well, as usually happens when someone has their dad in town, work projects were done around the house! The big one was moving the kitchen cupboards up 2 inches to make room for the microwave that Susie and Erik just got. Justin loves doing that kind of stuff so he happily pitched in! I helped by staying out of the way and documenting the process with photos!

Here’s the crew moving the cupboards off the wall.

Jannah at this point was taking a nap and slept through almost all of the noise! Including the drill and the saw cutting a new hole out of the back for the outlet to go through. After that, Justin, Erik and Steve went over to the neighbors house to help hang a new storm door. We had decided to go swimming later in the neighbors pool (and hot tubbing that night over at another neighbors) so Susie and I went out in search of new suits! It was good to get out and have some “girl time” with my best friend. I don’t get to see her nearly as much as I’d like to! We hit a few places and both had success at Kohl’s – all the suits were 50% off, but mine was still stupid expensive, but I really like it. When we got back, we ate some delicious pizza hot dish that Dee had brought from home and then went to jump in the pool. It was ICE COLD but we stayed in for a bit and then ran over to the hot tub! Of course, with 5 of us in there (Steve, Erik, Justin, Susie and Me) it was quite crowded and we ended up splashing a ton of water out! When we got out, the top jets were no longer covered and started attacking poor Steve who was still in the tub! Oops…we called the neighbor and let her know and then went back and changed into dry clothes. We played a few rounds of Aggravation and then called it a night.

The next morning we woke up to head to church. Before we left there was time to play a round of Kubb. We’d been playing it quite a lot over the weekend so decided to squeeze in a few more. The basic goal of Kubb is to throw some sticks at some bigger sticks and then knock down the biggest stick last. You can read the Wikipedia explanation if you’d like to.

Here’s Erik, Susie, Justin and Steve demonstrating this Swedish game.

While the grown ups were throwing sticks around, Little Miss Jannah was creating masterful works of art with sidewalk chalk. She really loves that stuff!

After church we went to Applebee’s for lunch, dropped off the keg and headed back. Justin took a short nap while Susie and I defeated each other in another round of badminton, and then it was time to head back to Chicago. We had a fabulous weekend! Malcolm spent the time with Randy and “Uncle” Albert. I think he’s still sleeping off the fun he had 😀

That’s it for now. Next weekend will be our annual anniversary trip to MacGregor, IA for camping, boating and bed ‘n breakfast-ing. It will be our 3rd Anniversary on the 16th of July. Can’t believe it! The traditional gift for a 3rd anniversary is leather…Hmmm…I’m sure I’ll think of SOMETHING to get for Justin! I’ll have more pictures and stories to share when we get back on Wednesday. Cheers!

July 8, 2008 at 11:57 am 1 comment


Song lyric of the week…

"I bring you pain, the kind you can’t suffer quietly/Fire up your brain remind you inside you’re rioting/Society is slipping, everythings slipping away"
- Slipping from Doctor Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog

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