Thursday, June 30, 2011

"H" for Happy

When I was little I asked my mom what the H was for in my dad's name. William H Bierbaum. She told me it was "H" for Happy.

William "H" for Happy Bierbaum.

I fully believed this for years. And how fitting because my dad indeed is a happy guy. I thought I'd share a few more photos of his "happy" personality. We all know this side of him very well and it's one of the parts I love about him the most.

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He is such a goofball! :)

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Thank you Dad for all the laughs.


Boppa

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I am so thankful for the opportunity this morning, to take photos of my dad. His stamina has gone way down in the last week or so. We felt like we better do that as soon as possible. He naps quite a bit and doesn't make it out of the house much so to have him over here was a special treat. Thank you Lord for blessing us with this extra time with Boppa and that our family now has some wonderful photos to look back on.

Lord willing, my parents will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary on August 14th.
Please pray that they get that chance.

I love you Daddy!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Camping {Split Rock Lighthouse & Gooseberry Falls}

We had THE best time camping with our kids. David and I used to go all the time, but it's been 7 years. This was our kids' first time at a real campground and we look forward to making this an annual trip. Split Rock is only a 4 hour drive north. We stayed at their campgrounds, but I think next time we'll try the grounds at Gooseberry Falls. Carting all our stuff in the 2.5 blocks was no pic nic. Tear-down took us 2 hours and we were hurrying. I can see the benefit of owning a little camper trailer now.

We had a fun site that was very private and the kids loved climbing up the rocky hill behind us to go on their adventures.

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I panicked a little as we were leaving because we didn't pack games or activities to keep them occupied. Silly me! Who needs toys when you have rocks to throw, trails to hike, ropes to swing on and chipmonks, squirrels and butterflies to chase. They played better with each other this week-end, than they do at home. Proving that you don't need "stuff."

Is another garage sale in my future? ;) I just made $500 at one last week-end. I'm still giddy about that.

"Look at Mom and smile everyone..."

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...works a little better after you have them give their brother a smooch. Though still not perfect, it did get their little bodies and heads closer. I'll have to try this one again soon.

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Well...at least it made Brother smile.

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In an effort to not come home with pockets full of rocks, I announced that they could only bring home a rock if it was heart-shaped (thinking that would never happen). Not two minutes later and Allison had found this one. Which of course lead to everyone needing to find one so it was fair. We ended up with 5 of them, though none as perfect as that first one.

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The reason we came...

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The view up here is pretty amazing.

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It's no wonder Split Rock is the most visited lighthouse in the world.

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Once the lighthouse was built, in 1910, not a single ship has been lost since. Just 5 years before, 29 ships had been wrecked in one giant storm. Lake Superior, the largest lake in the world (in surface area), actually gets hurricanes with 30' high waves. The first 2 assistant lighthouse keepers died just taking their boats up the coast to get the mail. There were no roads up here at all, everything came by ship.

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Silly photo with closed eyes, wind and barbed wire. But at least I was there, right? ;)

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We are going back this fall and I'll have my new camera by then. Can't wait!

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My favorite people all in a row.

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I think he got a little tired of me telling them all how to line up. I thought it would never happen.

"Just let me enjoy the view Mom!"

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Happier just throwing rocks.

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"Are you still taking pictures?"

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The girls are really into "Bible Study" lately. They always want to stay up late and say "Hi" to our friends that come for Bible study on Thursdays. We now officially need a babysitter to get them to bed so I can stop missing the group. So, Allison made sure Daddy packed their Bible so they could have their own Bible study while camping. Oh how I love these girls!

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The next day we visited Gooseberry Falls. I'm going to figure out which of these photos to duplicate every year so we can see an age progression.

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Love this gnarled tree.

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What is this??? At least I was there though, right? ;)

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That's better!

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Can't wait until they get older and we can all take our shoes off and walk across the rocks below. I'm thinking when they're 20 sounds good. ;)

I was amazed at how many little kids were running around so freely. I of course kept my eye on them like a Mother Hen. Playing different scenarios in my mind of how I would save them from going over a cliff or floating down the river. The water was so loud there, would anyone hear my screaming for more help? Am I weird, or do you do the same thing?

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David was surprised that I didn't have any photos of him with the kids when he walked right up to the base of the Falls with them one at a time. I had to explain that I was busy saving everyone else in my head and didn't have time to take pics, so this is the best I got. ;)

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Sam could barely keep his eyes off the swirling water below him. Wonder what was going through his mind? I'm sure he felt very safe in his daddy's arms.

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My brave girls! What fun memories we are making with them.

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This little man is all boy!

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Such good friends.

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She would have slept with binoculars around her neck if we let her.

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Ooooo...this could be a fun one to duplicate! By the time they are teenagers (or sooner) I'm sure I'll be sitting on the ground. ;)

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Tonight David and I are taking in a Twins game (this is actually what our view will be, we are in that section). Tomorrow the kids and I are going to make snow cones while playing in the backyard. Then Wednesday we are heading out early to pick strawberries with friends, we'll make jam in the evening and and then see Cars 2 on thursday. Also taking photos with my dad sometime this week too. Busy...busy...busy!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Show and Tell

Right about now, we are on our way back home from a week-end of camping. We likely have tons of mosquito bites, tired kids and smell like a campfire. And we've gotten to show our kids some of our favorite places in northern MN.

Split Rock Lighthouse

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and Gooseberry Falls

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In the meantime, I have a few things to share with you.

Did I ever tell you that I painted our front door black last summer? I don't think I did and it looks pretty cute so I wanted to show you. I used spray paint and so far it's holding up very nicely.

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Last week I did something I've never done before. On my way to Amy's I passed a treasure on the side of the road. I was going over to give her a quick tute on hand embroidery for a dress she's making her daughter and along the way I saw that her neighbors were getting rid of an old patio set (4 chairs and a round table). It just needs some sprucing up. So when I walked in, she greeting me with pizza and I greeted her with a "would you be terribly embarrassed if I went out and loaded up your neighbors trash into my truck?" Classy, huh? I think they will be perfect in our new backyard but I can't decide if they want to be white or black. What do you think?

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Eeek! I'm so excited to share this next treasure with you. But actually, I'll save it until the end, because anything after that will seem like such a let down. Instead, here is my $25 craigslist table I picked up last year. It will be getting a fresh coat of white paint, some distressing and lots of poly so it can be used outside year round. I envision it serving as a buffet table for outdoor birthday parties this fall and at our front door the rest of the year, with a table cloth and a vignette that changes with the seasons on it and a chalk board made from an old window (that I hope to find at the Junk Bonanza this year) hanging above it to welcome people. I think she's got a serious case of the cuties. What do you think?

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I don't think I ever showed you the flower bed I made at the front corner of our property, last year. Before this, all that was here was that giant rock and the world's ugliest tree (the leaves are practically black). Now that I've tied them together it looks more like it was meant to be and the tree doesn't bother me quite as much.

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Oh! Who's cute shoes are those?

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This next little table has been in my parents home for years. I've always loved it. So when I asked my mom if they were using it, she was happy to let me have it. Thanks Mom! I'm still looking for the perfectly shaped wingback chair to slipcover that will make up a new reading nook in our bedroom. The nook will include this table, this lamp (I've already bought one for the living room) and a black bookshelf on the wall filled with little gold and silver framed silhouettes . I was thinking of painting the table black, but will wait until the rest is done and see if I like it just the way it is more. It's even got a leather top which is embossed with a little edge design. Can't wait to get going on that corner. I can see it in my mind plain as day.

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Now for the last piece. Are you ready?

TaDa!!!

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Ok, so David and I are having a little disagreement about this one. He actually wants to keep the painting. But I only like it for the frame. My mom bought it for a few bucks at an auction and is tired of it so she was happy to give it to me. The painting itself is pretty until you look at the spokes of the windmill, those are pretty off. I love it for the HUGE chunky, deep frame and that it's a stretched canvas. My plan is to paint the frame a fun color like turquoise and distress it. Then paint over the painting itself with black chalkboard paint. I want to use it for things like this and I have the perfect spot to hang it. Am I crazy or a genius? My husband thinks about the painter and how sad they would feel if they knew their painting had been painted over. What a sweet guy! But I say my idea is better. I need a chalkboard, not a windmill painting.

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I love thrifting, and next to Pinterest and gardening, it's my new favorite thing to do. How about you? Have you found anything fun lately? I'd love to hear about it.