Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas time?

It's supposed to be Christmas but we have absolutely NO snow so it's a little hard to get into the season.  We're just not feeling it.  In an attempt to get it to snow, we went about our regular year-end rituals.

We went to chop down the tree and had to walk in this year as there was too much mud to drive.  We found the perfect tree and, as usual, mutilated the poor trunk in the process.  You know me.  I like to tell the story through pictures.

Then we brought in the powerhouse and let the chips fly!

The tree is huge and sits about half an inch from the living room ceiling.  It's beautiful!
Still, no snow.

We're waiting...

Sioux City Road Trip

After Holden's birthday we told him he was taking a short road trip with Mom.  He got to pick the destination.  It needed to be about 4-5 hours away and be somewhere he's never been to before.  He chose Sioux City, Iowa.

It was a rainy and cold the day we got there so we had to make our own fun.  On the way into town we found a guy that restored old cars and chatted with him for a while.

Then we headed to the local public library to have a little fun and stay dry.


The next day the sun (and wind) came out and we were able to do a little more.

We found a few places to dance and recorded his fourth dancing video inside the Sioux City Art Center.  The staff was very sweet and were happy to let him record his video in the rotunda.

By the way, if you haven't subscribed to his YouTube Channel, you can do it now.
Seriously.  Just do it.
He goes by "Offbeat".
Here's your link:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk_9JUIHFi6aAcUE-XNgeTQ

Then it was off to the Mid America Museum of Aviation and Transportation.

And a selfie of the two of us (my favorite) taken by Holden, and we headed home...

Monday, December 14, 2015

Holden's Vocal Workshop

Holden also had his vocal workshop performance right around his birthday.  He did a great job and had a blast on stage.  Here's a link to the youtube video to watch his Bon Jovi song.


Holden's 13th Birthday!

Yep, Holden turned 13!

OK, I know I'm really late on this one.  But here you go...

Holden's favorite selfie...

The day started out with a few presents and a trip to the Mall of America.  I tried to catch a picture as we entered the Mall.  Here's the final one...

And now I'm going to publish what I usually don't.  This is what we went through to get that picture.  This is actually an anomaly as we usually snap 10 or more pictures until Holden can get his goofies out.  Notice how Andy is just walking around in the background, waiting until we get the picture we're looking for.

 And then the boys headed to Flying Aces to fly some World War II planes in a simulated dog fight.

And then to the amusement park for some rides...

And, again, trying to get a picture of Holden and Sydney together.  Here's the final pic...

And here's just a sampling of what we took to get there...
Sydney looked EXACTLY the same in every single picture.  Just waiting patiently...

After a wonderful birthday lunch we headed home to finish off any presents that were left and to have his birthday pie.  Chocolate.

And, to end the day, I let the camera turn on me so I could get a picture with the birthday boy.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Halloween 2015

It's Halloween and the kids headed to a party this year.  Sydney got the opportunity to dress up twice as she also had a Halloween horse show.  She tied for FIRST prize in the costume contest this year!!

Here is Zorro and her horse -

And Holden, well, we may need to explain...
There's a dubstep recording artist named Deadmau5 (Deadmouse).  He wears a mouse head when he performs and Holden wanted to make a head just like his.  It took a bit of work, but it looked GREAT!

And then there were the Jack-O-Lanterns.
From right to left we have:
Andy:  a Zorro sign in honor of Sydney winning the costume contest
Julia: normal evil pumpkin
Holden:  sad pumpkin because someone pounded nails into his face - see closeup below
Sydney:  Barad-dûr.  In the Lord of the Rings this was the Dark Lord Sauron's primary fortress in Mordor, serving as his base of operations and the primary nexus of evil in Middle-earth.  If you want to know more, you'll have to ask the expert.

Last Ren Fest picture update

Sydney and I had SO MUCH more to say about the Renaissance Festival, but this story must come to a close.  So, here's a little picture update of the 8 weeks...

Opening gates

Fighting with a Quarterstaff

The Petting zoo

The singing troupe that Sydney listened to each and every day of the festival

BIG Chess

Vegetable Justice - you get to throw mushy tomatoes at the guy.  Warning to those that are easily offended, he can sling insults faster than anyone can throw tomatoes.

Our favorite violinist

Our favorite pickle guy

And, of course, the jousting team...

 Colin (jousting injury took him out)


The previous post talked about Indigo, the horse that fears elephants, so we thought we'd tell you about a few of the other horses with the War Horse troupe.

Abraham is the biggest.  He was a bit unpredictable and showed his fear of all things at the far end of the jousting track.  He dumped Sydney the first week and nearly dumped Shelby, the lady rider that travels with them, several times during the festival.  He's a nice horse, just quirky.

Tara was one of Sydney's favorites and the one Sydney rode the most.  Tara loves blueberry scones and she's married to Abraham.  Here's one of Sydney working on Tara at a joust, and another with Tara, Sydney, and Kelly Bailey - the owner of the jousting troupe.

Millie was also a bit unpredictable and Shelby was the only one that rode her.  Millie dislikes the jingling bellydance skirts and would not let anyone come near her if they were wearing one.

Christine is the only clyesdale in the group and Sydney got to ride her a lot during the weekday practice sessions.  She's an older horse that can't keep her feet still and wants to jump the gun when jousting.  Mark, her main rider, said she knows what to do but sometimes decides to give him the finger and go do whatever the heck she wants to.  Christine gently chews her water before swallowing it.  Here's Christine,

Manny is ridden by Kelly, the game announcer and the owner of the War Horse Productions.  Manny has a unique talent.  He claps with his lips.

Daisy is the oldest jousting horse and she's trained nearly every one of the jousters they've had for the last 15 years.  She's a sweetheart.  I actually have a picture of Sydney and Daisy from years ago when Sydney would take rides on the War Horses.
Here they are in 2009 -

And Sydney braiding Daisy's hair this year -

And then there is Marcus.  Aka Dr. Buttons.  He is going for his degree in marine biology.  His tiny tail is named Jeffrey because it has a mind of it's own.

'Nough said.