water skier

Thanks to a cool skiing attachment on Jeremy's new boat, Isabel is now a water skier!

10 mile

Thanks to Jeremy and Sibby, we spent a fantastic weekend at the 10 Mile cabin.  It's a post-card like place near Leech Lake with big pines. clear waters, a sandy beach and a spacious, yet classic looking Northwoods cabin.  The weather was near perfect, the kids mostly sunny, and as forecasted, a 100% fun.

camp cake

Isabel went to Camp Cake today, a day long live video stream with Yolanda of "How to Cake it".  It's a YouTube channel of baking videos and fancy decorations.  She loves this stuff and has watch more episodes than there are sprinkles on her cupcakes.  Anyway, today she and a few hundred others spent from 10'til nearly 5 with Yolanda via live video stream making taco cakes and sundae cupcakes.

Believe it or not, they tasted even better than they look.


horse camp

"bout time for Isabel to saddle up for a week of Yee-Haws, Yippees and Giddy ups.

Have a boot stompin' time Isabel!

roooad trip

The video moves along pretty fast - here's a slowed down slide show of just the photos.

road trip

The summer road trip was epic. We kick it off with Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals at the Minnesota Zoo, and shared a late breakfast with Grandma/pa the next morning. Arriving just before the sun we met George, Thomas, Theodore & Abraham at Mount Rushmore and later explored Custer State Park and the Needles Highway.  The next day armed with what amounted to a candle in a bucket,  we descended 200' below the South Dakota prairie and hiked a couple miles of the seemingly endless Wind Cave. It was amazing down there but despite my pleading, they didn't allow cameras :-(

After climbing our way out the of cave we made the drive to Estes Park, the doorstep to Rocky Mountain National Park. There we met Emily, Doug, Gabe and Eli for the highlight of our trip, a 4 day backpack through the majestic high country of the Rockies.

All in all 11 adventurous days that will long be remembered.


best room in the house...

art camp

It was a busy week at the Duluth Art Institutes teen art camp.  There was pottery, a self-portrait, a painting that included foreshortening and some fabric art.

gym camp

It's Hamline University gym camp week, and for these girls, two a day practices, 5 days a week covered in chalk, with hands ripped and taped is possibly the best thing ever.  Living in a college dorm with your two best friends is just icing on the cake.

Have a great week girls!



While Grace rides the roller coasters of Valley fair, Isabel looks delighted with her math homework.

there she goes...

off to her last day of middle school.  Graduation tonight, class trip to Valley Fair tomorrow, she's excited, I'm smiling on the outside.

Where does it go...

more fireflies

One of Isabel's Spring Recital pieces ~  More Fireflies by Carolyn Miller.


At the Honors Banquet tonight, just 5 kids held a perfect 4.0 for all three middle school years... Proud to call one of them my daughter.


hard work

This one's from 2011... Grace laying the ground work that would earn her a top spot at tonight's Honor's Banquet. She's among a handful of kids to graduate from middle school settling for nothing less than straight A's.

Smart she is, but it's her hard work that makes me smile the brightest.





Isabel wore the white jersey of the libero, which is a back row specialist for this year's last tournament.  Her team played really well with some great serving and big digs.



Had near perfect weather for the Yellowstone trip...  it was cold, the sun scarce, and it snowed often.  No joke.  Bright sun buries wildlife textures and leaves the landscape looking hot and harsh.  Yuk!

So for five days I had it all... perfect weather, abundant wildlife, stunning scenery and a good friend to share it all with.


may the 4th be with you

Happy Star Wars day Angela!


and works hard in school. :-)


Made the drive to Kenosha, Wisconsin for the last gymnastics meet of the season.  The drive was smooth, Grace's bar routine bumpy, but a 9.3/10 on floor made it well worth the trip.

The 450 mile drive was easy, but getting to regionals a ton of work...  Proud of that girl.


Our week in Little Cayman was absolutely fantastic.  Sharing it with some of our favorite people elevated it to possibly the #1 vacation of all time.  Thanks for diving in John, Carrie, Caroline and John Henry.

Given the epic nature of last week, packing all the memories into a little video was a bit difficult.  Thanks to an awesome soundtrack from the Cayman Tourism Office and some ruthless editing, I managed.  The track is called "Caymankind", and was a community project to highlight their welcoming culture and  friendly nature.  It's perfect.



this one sums up our week in Cayman ~ about perfect

point of sand

From left to right ~ Grace, Caroline and John Henry on the dock at Point of Sand Beach.

island time

Life on Little Cayman moves slowly... there's no traffic,  no stop lights, or stop signs for that matter.  No malls, water parks or mini golf.  With just 150 residents, three resorts and one gas station, Little Cayman isn't little, it's tiny.  The reef that surrounds it however is bustling with life and arguably the finest in all the Caribbean.  Coral canyons and sand chutes lead you through pristine blue water before plunging 6000'  into the Cayman Trench.

We shared the sea with our friends, John, Carrie, John Henry and Caroline, and after leading the "life aquatic" for a full week, we were all a bit sad to leave.

lots more to come...




Competing in the big auditorium at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Grace earned an invite to the Regional Meet in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Congratulations Grace!

hurry up

and wait for your sister...

state bound

There was lots of hard work and dedication on display today. While not her best meet, Grace's  season was successful enough to be invited to the state gymnastics meet in a couple of weeks.

50 back

In the last meet of the season, Isabel sets up for what turned out to be a PR in the 50 back.


Swimming the 50 free, 50 back, 50 fly and in a 400m relay, Isabel is one tired, and hungry girl tonight.