Over the River

...and through the woods. OK Chris, there were no woods. But we did cross a couple rivers on the way to Grandmas yesterday. The Crow and Sauk River to be specific. That's not the point anyway.

Sarah's Dad

Sarah took this picture of her Dad yesterday. She wanted me to put it on the internet.


American Goldfinch

I finally got around to putting the heated birdbath out. Didn't take long and all our fine feathered friends from miles around stopped by for a visit. The Juncos and Sparrows were first on the scene. But a bunch of Chickadees, a pair of Cardinals and a Blue Jay weren't far behind. Our little buddy in the picture even made an appearance.



Anoka at Night

We put up some shelves in the laundry room and cleaned out closets today. Guess what? My tripod turned up. So I decided to take advantage of the full moon and experiment with my new toy. I didn't feel like traveling very far, so the river city of Anoka was my subject for the evening.

Below is my favorite. Still in Anoka, just a couple blocks off main on the bank of the Rum River. It's at the Anoka Independent Grain & Feed Dealers.


Eagles and Otters

Ranger Paul's well documented birding adventures got me to thinking it might be something I could try this winter. I certainly don't plan on twitching any time soon. Though I did subscribe to a local bird list (mnbird) and reports of a Long-eared Owl in Crystal sparked my interest. I know, way too geeky already.

This morning Deanna and I discovered we had one of those rare days with no commitments ahead of us. The sun was shining so I suggested we give the new field guide it's first workout. To my surprise, she agreed (as long as we could stay warm in the process). So we loaded the kids in the car and off to the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge we went.

The teenagers were less than enthusiastic. A few minutes into the journey they cracked open the field guide and I think they forgot how nerdy an errand this was. We got there a little late to catch much activity. I think the very recently frozen wetlands had most all the wildlife hunkered down. But near the end of our tour we happened across this scene. There were 2 adult bald eagles, the pictured juvenile, and several otters playing in what little open water was left in front of their den. Well worth the 15 mile drive. Alondra thought it was fun anyway.

Thankfull for the Wii


A Big Boat

photo by Operations Specialist 2nd Class Eric Weber (RELEASED)

Deanna spoke with Eddie this afternoon. Sounds like he'll be assigned to a destroyer in Carrier Strike Group 9 (The Abraham Lincoln Strike Group). The ship in the picture is the USS Crommelin, which according to the mighty Wikipedia is one of the destroyers in CSG 9. Heck, if the Navy is going to trust Eddie to drive that boat, maybe I should have trusted him to drive the pontoon. It seems the Navy is taking it's time figuring out when Eddie needs to report for duty in Everett, WA. If he doesn't have to be there, he's graciously agreed to join us for Thanksgiving Dinner.

One more thing to all Veterans on this day after Veteran's Day, Thanks. Especially you Del.


The Pumpkin Deal

First ya gotta go to the pumpkin patch to find some.

Then ya gotta cut 'em up and pull the guts out.

Then you're ready for Halloween.


Pictures of Trees and Weeds

The fall color has been spectacular this year. But the sun has been a rare sight. Not so today. I woke up early and decided to take a walk before the rest of the family was up. Thought the reds and golds in the early morning light would be a good test for the Nikon D-40. Here are the results.

So the camera did well. The photographer needs some work though. I saw a red headed woodpecker, a couple trumpeter swans, several cardinals and assorted sparrows, ducks, and geese. I tried to photograph them all, but i need to work on my timing.

I can photograph things that stay put though. And I think I do OK on the soccer field.

We'll see if practice helps with the bird thing. In the mean time, this'll have to do.

Now everyone's up and Alondra is eager to check out the pumpkin patch...


Another Season Ends

Hopefully it's not autumn that's ending. I'm not ready for snow yet. It's playoff week, but for us soccer is officially done. The girls worked hard but were overpowered by St. Vincent this afternoon.
Yesterday the boys just couldn't figure out how to beat their nemesis Meadow Creek.
So now I can take the camera off of sports mode and get some bird pictures like Ranger Paul. Or maybe I could try to do something more artsy.
Janine, I did get the tire fixed. The guy at the shop got the wheel off by hitting it a few times with a rubber mallet. He said there's no way you can yank it off when the metal sticks like that. You need to pound it loose. Who knew?


A Goal and a Flat

Sorry - no pictures, but I just had to brag on my eldest daughter a bit. Lauren scored her first ever soccer goal in yesterday's game against Calvin Christian. They won 4-3, the first victory of the season.

The goal was all practice and skill, but my witness to it was a little on the lucky side. See, it's been raining lately. A lot. And yesterday Deanna noticed a flat on the Mazda. Put some air in it and was getting where I needed to, but I wanted to get that taken care of. So we got to the field 30 minutes before game time (coach's rule) and there's a break in the rain. I decide this is a good time to put the spare on so I can drop the tire off for repair between Lauren's game and Matt's practice. I have the lugs off, car jacked up, and spare ready to go. Odd thing is, the wheel won't budge. There are no lugs holding it on, but I pull and pull (to the point that the car moves). The wheel will not come off. Jeremy (teammate's older brother) walked over to see if I need any help. He's got nothing.

It's been raining remember. Well, Ridge Crest field is too wet so the game is moving to Alpine Park. While Lauren catches a ride with the Herzogs, I pull out the manual to see what the heck is up with the wheels on this car. You know it's trouble when I resort to checking the manual. Kurt, the athletic director, and I are the only ones left at Ridge Crest. He stuck around to make sure any stragglers make it over to Alpine for the game. Kurt gives the tire a few yanks and scratches his head. No idea. The manual said nothing about the magic that holds the rear passenger wheel to the axle with no lugs. So I do the only logical thing, put the lug nuts back on and head over to Alpine.

By the time I arrive it's raining hard again and the game is in progress. No score according to Kathy. You already know how the game came out. I'm headed to the tire repair place this morning. Let's see if they can get the stupid tire off.


Buddy Walk 2007

It's Buddy Walk day. The weather reports threatened rain all week. We were fearful of a soggy one, like the school marathon last weekend. But we lucked out and stayed dry. Well, sweaty from the humidity, but not dripping wet anyway.
Before the walk there were fun activities. A bouncy castle, dancing, and the big slide. It was a little too big for Alondra, so we just watched the big kids on it.

Team Alondra included Matt, Lauren, Becca, Grandma, Mom, and Dad.
Once the walk got started, this is what it looked like. There were a lot of people. We went around Como Lake. Alondra decided to pace herself for a strong finish.
And finish strong she did.
Thanks everyone who donated. We really appreciate the support.


Games at St. Al's

We played at St. Al's this morning. Both the boys and the girls. The boys were still undefeated, and sporting some brand new uniforms. That's St. Stephen in the blue and the Crusaders in black.

A defensive header from Nick.

Matt involved in some posturing as the teams felt each other out at the start of the game. Kinda looks like they had just seen The Karate Kid or something.

We took our shots.

But in the end, we were scoreless and our win streak was over. St. Al's goalie had a great game.

There were penalty kicks from both sides in the girls game. The Angel's wall in the shot above held. We even saw a rare yellow card. But I thought the play was fair. Our girls played well, but still no mark in the victory column. We'll get one next week.


Learning is Fun

Today I learned that my new camera can take pictures of red dragonflies just like Ranger Paul's.

It takes pictures of red pails too.

The thing I want to know is, can Ranger Paul's new camera take fun pictures?


Fall Colors

Not the leaves, though they are starting to change too. The title is referring to the change in uniform colors. I can tell it's fall soccer season because summer soccer season just wrapped up and winter soccer season hasn't started yet. Anyway, the girls uniforms are brand new this season. The blue ones. That's Calvin Christian in red.

Though they look good, they have some work to do on the field. They are off to an 0-2 start. But they played much better in the second half of todays game at the National Sports Center. We're expecting the aggressive play exhibited below to continue.

(yes, that's our Lauren being aggressive)

Meanwhile, the boys are 2-0. Matt scored his first goal of the season yesterday in their win over St. Raphael's. I'm still learning to use my new camera, so I don't have anything worth posting from Matt's games. The shots I got this afternoon are a significant improvement. So check back over the next couple weeks to see what the boys action looks like.


My Favorite Time of Year

I've always liked Fall. We saw the first frost of the season this morning. So it may not be official, but it counts in our book. Alondra and I decided to take advantage of an afternoon home alone with a walk at Elm Creek Park. We saw a lot of interesting things.

There were some horses out for a walk too. That got us to thinking about when we take Lacey for a walk. We always have to carry a plastic bag along just in case. We thought the bigger the animal you're out on a walk with...

The bigger the plastic bag you would need!