2018 Graduate!

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Yesterday was a huge day at our house.  Kelly graduated from Burnsville High School with high Distinction & Honors.  (Cumulative GPA of 3.9-4.0 through all 6 semesters).

Before the ceremony, we took a few family photos with Kelly out in the front yard in case of rain.  Thankfully our neighbor was around to take a group shot for us.  Thank you Gary!

IMG_0677The weather was iffy most of the day, so the principal decided to play it safe and hold the ceremony indoors.  We were a little bummed about that because that meant it would be held in the gymnasium and we’ve heard from past graduates, that its super hot & sweaty in there.  We’ll, we were pleasantly surprised as we entered.  There was pretty piano music playing while everyone was finding their seats, it was bright inside, and the air conditioning was on and it felt very comfortable.  We found our seats and waited for the graduates to walk in to the music of Pomp and Circumstance.  That song always makes me teary.

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After the grand march in, the concert choir sang The National Anthem.  Some of the graduates, including Kelly, got up and walked to the upstair area to sing.  They did a beautiful job and it sounded amazing.

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There were 577 graduates this year and Kelly was ranked 23rd in her class.  Pretty awesome job Kel!  Being a Solberg meant that she had to sit near the back as well.  Poor girl was in the 3rd row from the back and couldn’t really see anything due to her shortness as well.  hehe…sorry Kel, think we had better seats.

We did try to take some pictures of her walking across the stage and receiving that diploma.  Sorry for the blurriness, but I had to zoom in.  I can tell you that she had a big smile while shaking hands and we hooted and hollered when they announced her name and she later told us that she heard us!

When all the names were announced, the superintendent and principal congratulated them all and up went the hats!  One of my favorite parts of graduation ceremonies.  Its so pretty to see them fly into the air and hear the cheering from all the students below.

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Loved it!

It was time to follow Kelly around to take photos with some of good friends.   She & Allie are best buds and we love when she comes over they hang out together.  Allie is going to be a pilot, so maybe we’ll get some perks someday.  ha~

Greg has been Kelly’s best ‘guy friend’ since 10th grade.  They help each other out with homework nightly.  They have formed a wonderful friendship that every girl needs.  Ryan is Kelly’s boyfriend and they spend a lot of time together in the theater and onstage.  They have lots of fun together and I’m sure we’ll hang out most of the summer.

We took some indoors and outdoors.  It never did rain, so out we went to the football field on a gorgeous evening and had some fun.

I never did cry last night, but sitting down and writing this blog is really making me teary.  I guess sometimes its the day after when it all hits you.  Nate and I are so proud of Kelly and how hard she worked throughout these high school years.  She’s met some wonderful friends, hung on to some of the old ones, and we’re hoping she makes some new friends at UMD as well.

Here’s to new beginnings and new chapters!  Congratulations Kelly!  We love you!!

 

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Planting & Baking With Love

Last month, as we waited patiently for spring to arrive and couldn’t get outside as much as we’d have liked…we did have some special indoor times with our Grandparents.  We had a theme one week about Nursery Rhymes and tied that in with our visit with our Grandma’s & Grandpa’s by making Muffins.  We started out by singing…”Do you know the muffin man” and then had the kids sit next to a ‘grand-friend’ as they worked together making a variety of packaged muffins.  First step was getting all the ingredients ready and keeping the kids from grabbing the supplies.  ha~

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Once every table had a bowl and their supplies, we went step-by-step so that we could all stay together.  Some of the Grandma’s who like to bake, wanted to take over at times and we had to tell them to share… rather than the kids!  That was funny.

The Grandpa’s did a better job and told the kids to go ahead and stir away!

We continued on with our ingredients and some of us stepped in to help with the breaking of the eggs.  Other than that, they did this all by themselves and everyone had a good time and lots of conversations along the way.  It was very cute to watch.

When we finished getting them into the pans, it was time for us to head back to our room for lunch.   The gal in charge at the Adult Daycare facility took the pans and baked them for us.  Later that day, they brought some over for the kids to eat at afternoon snack time.  Some were misshapen a little, but tasted delicious and the kids were thrilled to eat them.

Our Earth Day projects is my favorite Intergenerational activity of the year that we do.  We gather at tables in the chapel and together the kids & Grandparents make Fairy Garden planters.  This activity seems to really get both parties involved.  Maybe its the simplicity of it or the therapeutic aspect of playing in the dirt…or maybe it’s both.  All I know is that it’s a delight to watch.

The tables are filled with donated items for everyone’s pots.  Once the dirt is in, they can add plants, jewels, fairies, pebbles, and many other accessories of their choice.  Some really get stuffed full!  haha~

The projects are complete and the smiles are on everyone’s faces.  Each planter is unique and beautiful in its own way.  They all worked hard and worked together to create these wonderful Fairy Gardens.

Our next project that we did, was to make dog biscuits.  It’s kind of like playing with play dough.  The kids and grandparents roll out the dough, then cut out shapes using cookie cutters.

They then place them on a cookie sheet to be baked into biscuits.

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I love this project as well because all of the biscuits are donated to dog shelters.  It’s truly a feel-good activity for all.

It’s finally turned nice outside and everything is in bloom!  I took the kids up to my favorite spot where there are gorgeous crabapple trees.  The wind was gently blowing and the blooms were falling all around.  It looks like snow on the ground, but such fun for them to gather a handful of blossoms and toss them into the air!

We also walked around looking at the Grandma & Grandpa’s gardens that they have planted.  What a pretty little courtyard for them to sit out at and enjoy all summer long.

Of course, the kids couldn’t resist picking the prettiest ‘yellow flowers’ that were everywhere.  haha

So when we came back to our classroom, we made a beautiful dandelion display for the parents to see at pick up time.

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It looks like summer is off to a great start and its nice to finally see some color outside once again.  We here in Minnesota were getting bored with white.

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Mother’s Day Out

 

IMG_0358This past Sunday was Mother’s Day and I had such a great day…so great, that I didn’t want it to end.  The weather was absolutely perfect and the company was even better.  We started our Sunday out by getting up and heading over to the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market.  We have been wanting to do this for a few years now, but always seem to be a bit lazy on our Sunday mornings.  haha    Once we got there, we all agreed, that it was worth it.  We had no idea that this market not only had flowers and vegetables, but clothes and and other odds and ends as well.  Kelly and I made a quick stop to look at these cute headbands for our hair and these quirky air plants.

We moved on down the street and came to this area that was called Urban Garden Arts.  This area was filled with “all things outdoors”.  We found lots of neat things in here as well as some crazy stuff.   We’ll start with some of the creative ideas we found.  This guy makes wine holders and vases out of stone.  He had wonderful landscape pictures for backyards and incorporating these into people’s decks and patios.

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Next, we entered the “lawn art” area.  Now this stuff was a bit “sketchy” and most things were made out of metal and some just looked plain old junky and rusty to me.  But we managed to find a couple of things we thought were kind of neat.  Nate’s always wanted to throw a “Blues & BBQ” dinner with our friends, so he spotted this gem and thought he could hang it up someplace.

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He didn’t end up purchasing it.

We always think of Megan when we see turtles, because they are her favorite .  Of course, when Nate took this photo of the two “playful” turtles, I believe he was thinking other things and not Megs.IMG_0354

Speaking of our favorite animals…there happened to be giraffes out here as well…my favorites!  They were made of metal, so I didn’t want to touch them and take the chance of needing a tetanus shot, but I did pose with them carefully.

Okay, we had our fill of metal lawn ornaments and moved on to see what else we could find at this market.  We walked past musicians, T-shirts, and even coffee shops.

Then we found the puzzle shop.  They were selling unique puzzles that peaked our interest.  All of the puzzles had a Minnesota theme to them with hidden surprises in the end.  We asked what this meant and the man told us…”The pictures on the box aren’t exactly what the puzzle will end up looking like.  There are fun images to be found within each puzzle.”  Sort of like a “where’s waldo” of Minnesota.  You have to find the items listed once you have completed the puzzle.  We thought this would be lots of fun and a great family night activity with the girls and their boyfriends this summer.  We opted for the 500 piece puzzle, rather than 1,000.  We’re rookies!

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Yep, we bought one!

We finally got to the “farmers” portion of this market and bought a few items that we would later use for dinner.  There was lots of herbs, fruits & vegetables, and even meats on hand.  Some people were also selling fresh chips and salsas, honey, and of course…lots and lots of flowers on this Mother’s Day.

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We ended our day at the Farmer’s Market by stopping at this cute little organic coffee stand.  Kelly got a Piña Colada smoothie, Nate got a Latte, and I bought a Chai Tea Latte.  We found a table to sit and relax at, while sipping our beverages and taking in the whole market environment around us.

Sadly, the farmer’s market was about to close so we needed to head back home so that we could enjoy the rest of our day.  Nate had surprised me with a large, heavy gift that he snuck onto our living room table.  It was wrapped in pretty pink paper and Kelly had made a beautiful card to go along side Nate’s card.  I had no idea what could possibly be in this, but was very surprised when I opened it up and found 12 bottles of Rosé wine.  Nate says it’s our “summer of Rosé’s” supply.  What a neat idea and now we can get creative with our summer cooking and have some friends over to share in our bottles.

My mother’s day wasn’t over yet.  Kelly and I drove out to the greenhouse to get a couple of plants for the front of the house.  We are having her graduation party in June and I realized that I hadn’t gotten them yet.  This is a pretty busy day for Mark & Peggy, but we managed to get a little chat time in with them in between customers.  Kelly and I told Peggy we were  going to get pedicures later on, and she asked Mark if she could go too.  He wasn’t all that thrilled about that idea on such a busy day.  Sorry Peg, we’ll do it again in your off season.

We brought our plants home and placed them in the planters.  I think they will look beautiful by the time the grad party happens.

Kelly and I got relaxing pedicures while Nate was preparing dinner.  He made pork kebobs with peppers from the farmer’s market and red onion, and accompanied that with some yellow rice.   It looked pretty and tasted fantastic as we dined out on our deck.  Of course…we had to opened one of those bottles of Rosé wine as well.

I loved my special day and have Nate & Kelly to thank for that.   I was so lucky to have Kelly spend the entire day with me because she is so busy this senior year and I appreciate her taking  a day off to hang out with Mom.

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Love you both very much & miss my Megan!

 

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Elegant Senior Prom

Last night was Kelly’s Senior Prom…the last hurrah of high school dances.  It was a beautiful afternoon for pictures, then a little rain came while they ate dinner, then the sun came back our for a gorgeous evening and a perfect ending for the day.

It all started with this poster from her boyfriend Ryan, asking her to Prom.  Both she and he were very busy performing in the Mary Poppins musical, so Ryan waited until it was over and then asked her after school this week, which was five days before Prom.  ha~  They both knew they’d be going together, but it was nice that he made it official, so Kelly could say yes.

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On Saturday afternoon, I took her to the salon to have her hair done.  She wanted it up and off her shoulders for an elegant evening look that would show off her dress and and long earrings.  We loved how well it turned out.

She then went to her friends house and her makeup done, when she returned, it was time for press-on nails, shoes, accessorizing, and then getting in to the dress before Ryan showed up with flowers.  We took a few solo pictures of her out on the deck beforehand as well.

Ryan showed up right on time and they did the exchanging of flowers.  He had a pretty wrist corsage for Kelly and she gave him the boutonnière to wear on his lapel.  As always…Nate ends up helping with the pinning.  Both girls never seemed to quite get the hang of that.  The flowers were white with a tint of pink on the ends.  Perfect with their attire.  Ryan looked very handsome in his blue suit, white shirt and a pale pink tie that Kelly bought for him when she was in Italy.   They both looked spectacular.  Cute couple award!  And Jazzy had to photobomb the nice moment.  haha~

We took a few pictures at the house before leaving and meeting up with the group.  It’s always nice to have some “home” pictures in your yard too.  Good memories.

My favorite picture of the day…

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That’s my guy!  What a dad~

Next, we headed off to meet up with Kelly & Ryan’s friends for more pictures.  They were meeting at Lakefront Park in Prior Lake.  We are familiar with this park, because it is where Megan had her senior pictures taken.  We parked our cars near a cute gazebo and everyone followed.  Kelly’s group consisted of 8 couples, which was a nice size and they fit well into the gazebo for some of the photo shoot.

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As always….I love looking at all these beautiful, colorful dresses.  Kelly’s group wore very sophisticated and elegant gowns and the guys matched their girls perfectly.   Such fun to see their smiles and looking all grown up.

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I took a few random shots in the gazebo as well.  When I turned around, Ryan was on his phone.  That made me laugh and I knew I needed to get that picture.  Everyone just having a good time and relaxed.

We moved from the gazebo over to the walking path near the water.  It was a nice little lake and we were lucky that it didn’t have all that yucky green scum all over it.

 

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When pictures were done, we parents said goodbye and they all headed over to Apple Valley to enjoy dinner at a restaurant called Vivo.   After that, they drove to the Chanhassen Arboretum for a night of dancing!

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She returned home today after a sleep-over and said it was such an amazing day all around.   Another Prom in the books and another “last” for Nate and I.  Oh, this is getting harder as the year goes on.   My baby is all grown up!  We love you Kel.

 

Mary Poppins

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The Burnsville Theater has once again put on a spectacular performance.  Mary Poppins is the latest show and Nate and I went last night to see Kelly as Mrs. Winifred Banks.   This is a little tough for me to be writing today, because I keep getting teary as I write.  The reason…this is Kelly’s last show as a high school theater kid.   We all know this is truly Kelly’s passion to act and sing and this chapter is coming to a close here in Burnsville.

This show was filled with wonderful musical dance numbers, solos, and funny dialogue all rolled into one.  Kelly plays Mrs. Banks, the wife of a banker with two children…Michael and Jane.  The kids are naughty and need a nanny and Mr. Banks says “All the important people have nannies”.  That’s when Mary Poppins enters the picture and adds a “spoon full of sugar.”   Spit Spot!

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Michael and Jane were played by two ninth graders, Sophie & Sophia.  They were fantastic and have a long, bright future ahead in the High School musicals…they also happen to be best friends in real life.

Kelly had many costume changes in this production and some needed to be done within 40 seconds.  Lots of people backstage helping her accomplish this task.  I saw the show twice and the first time, I didn’t even see Kelly in the “Step-in-Time” number, which are the chimney sweeps.  Last night, I looked hard and found her.   Not sure I would’ve recognized her, if she hadn’t told me where to look.  Amazing how these actors can switch around so quickly.  Here are her costumes.

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We love her goofy glasses 

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She’s the cutest chimney sweep, in my opinion!  ha~

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Getting “swept away” by the chimney sweeps.

When George Banks tells Winifred that he may lose his job, she is the glue that holds the family together and supports George no matter what.  She turns up at the office and is ready to give the chairman a punch in the nose and tell him what she thinks of him.  This was a very funny part for Kelly and luckily she was wearing heels…these guys are all so tall.  In the end, George is a hero and is given a raise.  Winifred makes sure he gets the amount he deserves and the Chairman agrees with Mrs. Banks.

This show even had some “magic” moments, as you would expect out of Mary Poppins.  She made the children’s toys come to life, the statue in the park danced with the children,   Burt walked across the stage upside down, and of course, Mary Poppins and the children could fly!  This was so neat to see and Kelly said they had so much fun practicing.  Kelly didn’t get to fly and was bummed about that.  Sorry Kel, can’t do it all.

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Upside down AND singing!

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We’re flying!

Many of Kelly’s friends, neighbors and family always come out to support her and the Burnsville Theater.  I love that and happy that they are so entertained each time.  You all are the best!

With these people coming to see her, comes many flowers.  Our house looks so pretty & summery with all these vases full of color!  Thank you everyone!

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At the final show, the seniors are recognized each year and receive a little token.  This year they were each given a wooden spoon with “A Spoonful of Sugar” written on it as their souvenir of the show with the date on the back.  Very nice keepsake for them.

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So the final curtain has come down at Burnsville High School for Kelly.  We have been enjoying Kelly’s performances since 2nd grade when she played “Toad” in music class, from Frog & Toad stories, Betsy Ross in 5th grade, and of my favorite…Jasmine in 9th grade from Aladdin, and now ending with Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins.  She has come along way with her voice and confidence and it definitely shows onstage.  We say good-bye to this stage and hello to another this fall at UMD in Duluth when yet another curtain will go up and Kelly will be standing there ready to perform for us once again.

We love you!!!

Spring Greens

Here in Minnesota, we are having the winter that won’t end this year.  As one weather man said…”By my calculations, this is February 67th.”  Yes, sadly that is what it feels like.

Yesterday, I got together with my girlfriends and we enjoyed a “summer” day out at Sailer’s Greenhouse. Each spring I organize a “Ladies Night Out” so we can feel the warmth of summer while inside the greenhouse, even if it’s 20 degrees outside.  We need that to keep our sanity some times, and especially this year when it’s April and we still have snow on the ground and haven’t felt the springtime temperatures.

We started our evening out with wine, cheese and crackers.  This is how ladies night works.  We start out slow with our glasses in hand just wandering around the plants.  We don’t like to be rushed into any dirt or planting just yet.  The wine helps our creative juices get going…or so we tell ourselves.

Eventually Nikki finds me and says that she’s ready to give her “pep talk” to us and tell us what sort of ideas we can do tonight.  She is super helpful and gives us great tips on what to plant, which flowers go well together, and shows us some cute pots/planters that we are able to buy and design in.  Always good information to get us started.

It’s time to put our wine down for the time being and get started.  The smell of the fresh soil is amazing and everyone wanted to get their hands dirty.  It’s really therapeutic and relaxing.  Makes everyone smile~

After I finished designing my own planter, I walked around and took some pictures of their finished products.  I love how unique they all are.  So colorful and pretty!  Jean chose these super colorful cactus plants and put them in a neat purple planter.  I can’t wait to see them later this summer.  Jane made identical planters to put out at her lake home.  Beautiful~

Karen did this pig planter and it is so adorable and Rachel’s made me think of Arizona.

Sheri went out shopping for her planter before our night out and she found this great white pot with an ’S’ on it for Smith.  She plans to have it out on her deck this summer.  I chose to do a succulent pot this year and put it out on our deck as well.  Dawn did a fun mix of herb garden and fairy garden.  I like that idea.

Elizabeth always does something cool and this year she did a succulent garden inside a cube terrarium.  I love that you can see all the layers she made.  Laura chose a succulent planter in a springy color and Catherine put together a wonderful herb garden to enjoy all summer long.

While we were planting, Mark & Peggy of course were working.  Mark always has time to stop and chat with me and my friends tho.  I know he enjoys our company every year and would hate to miss out on this night.  hehe

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We were all so happy with our creative “masterpieces”.  This is the easy part…now we have to take them home and keep them growing all summer long without the help from Sailer’s Greenhouse.  Good luck ladies!  I’ll be checking in on those mid-summer.

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Easter Fools?

This year Easter and April Fools Day land on the same day.   Not sure if anything strange will happen or not.  On Friday night, Kelly, Allie, Nate and I colored Easter eggs…a tradition that we always enjoy.  Each year, we always try to find a new way to be creative with our decorating.  This year Nate found a technique that we haven’t tried, so of course, we were up for the challenge.  It involved rubber bands and looked simple enough…until we got started.

We were suppose to wrap rubber bands around the eggs, then dip into the dye and once dry, remove the rubber bands to reveal the white lines.  This all seemed simple enough until we started the process.  It was easy to get the bands around the width of the eggs, but getting them around the length was a little tougher.  They wanted to pop off and wiggle their way back around the width.  This took fine motor skills, patience, and a few choice words to accomplish the task.  In the end, we prevailed over the eggs and had some good laughs at each other.

The next step was to add the eggs to the PAAS dye and wait for the coloring to happen.

Nate added salt to his eggs once they were out of the dye to add texture.  He says that’s what painters do to their watercolors.  It’s the artist coming out of him.

We needed to wait for the eggs to be pretty dry before removing the bands so that we’d get nice, clean lines.  We were happy with our results and found that the darker colors worked best, but loved our pretty yellow eggs too.

We wanted to send a picture to Megan but Jazzy wouldn’t leave us alone.  She wanted to eat Kelly’s egg!  We were laughing so much and Nate had a hard time keeping the camera still.  This was the best shot we could get.  I love it!

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Happy Easter everyone!