A Day at the Beach

Winter in Minnesota can be feel long.   It actually is the same time as anywhere else. It certainly is not as boring as those warm places.  But we needed to do something different, so we went to the beach.


It looked a little different than it does in the summer.  We managed to only fall a few times on the ice. There were no injuries.  We then went for a hike.  I noticed that my son was still in his pajamas. Well, at least he had a jacket on.  For whatever reason they do not want to wear jackets anymore.  Perhaps a resolution for the new year.


The trail is just as icy as the lake.  But it was a brisk walk (literally)


We did see some deer.  Actually there were like 10 of them here.  They didn’t seem at all threatened by us.  We had lulled them to sleep with our calm.  (we were in the pick up)


So for those that wonder how we manage to survive here.  I would say, we do more than survive.  We even go to the beach in February!



The Lego Jar (5/18/13) – Short sleeves & a cool breeze

All the kids want to do is play in the dirt and run around with shorts on.  The weather has been better these days, so it hasn’t been too hard to let them.  They amaze me with the amount of things they can cram into a week.

Beach Training

We live in an area where the beach is what the summer is all about.  It has been a long off-season, so we are in training mode now.  My two youngest children were fine-tuning their sand castle building in the sandbox the other day.

Sand castle prep work

Sand castle prep work


This time of year is filled with outdoor projects.  My kids have created their own little projects.  The only problem is that it destroys portions of our yard.  I guess we can’t have it both ways.  Either we have kids or we have a yard.  The both demand a lot of attention and water.  But only one can mow the lawn and it isn’t he lawn. So, it is settled.  Now, where was I? Oh, yes, the projects.



Cords hanging in the tree


At dinner the other night my 6-year-old son prayed: “Dear God, please bless the spider we saw today.  May his web never break.”  Amen, I guess.

Who taught her this?  Oh, it was me. 

Head first!

Head first!



So, there’s this girl…

My  year old has taken an interest in learning to ride his tricycle now that a girl down the road does.  I guess this shouldn’t surprise me.   He just can’t seem to figure out the pedaling.  He does look cute on it, though.  That counts for something.



I have no idea if anyone even knows who Larry Boy is.  He is a Veggie Tales character who has super suction ears.  My 6-year-old found a little suction cup and put it on his ear.  He said he was Larry Boy.  Then he gave me ‘the look’ so I could take his picture.

Larry Boy

Larry Boy

I guess that does it for this week.  I hope you have a great weekend!





A Day Away From School

What do you do when you a day off school in October?  You go to the beach, but you don’t swim.   Let my kids be your guide for that.

Sand is fun

A beautiful day

The kids managed to enjoy their time and talk a lot about sharks.  That is funny because there were a lot of tourists out there again and there have been many shark sightings this year.  We had a great time and even managed to stay dry.

The Lego Jar (7/7/12) – Turn up dad’s voice

He found some live crabs for a change

It is Saturday morning.  That means it is time to open up the Lego jar.  This week we celebrated a holiday, got really dirty,  tortured some daddy-long-legs and went to the beach at low tide.  All in all I would say it was a successful week.

What did you say? — I spent the majority of the week without a voice.  The worst day was Monday, but I still don’t  have  my voice fully back yet.  Some would say this was a rare opportunity for my wife to have a voice.  I would say that she always has a voice.  In either case, my 5-year-old didn’t really know what to make of my non-voice.  He would ask me to repeat myself and then laugh at me.  Then I would whisper and he would whisper too.  I think whispering is contagious.  At one point he told asked my wife to turn my voice up.   She was enjoying the silence and declined the offer.

Fencing–  It wasn’t until I was out of college that I ever heard the term ‘fencing’ used to describe sword fighting.  I was visiting a church while searching for a job as youth pastor.  The pastor told me that I could even learn to fence as a part of this position because he was into fencing.  I thought that to be a strange hobby, but not completely out-of-bounds for someone in pastoral ministry.  But, I digress.  Last week we did a legitimate fencing project.  You can watch a video of it here if you want.  We needed to call dig safe before we dug because I knew there was a gas line that ran underneath the fence.  This provided many flags in our yard that my kids could not wait to get their hands on. They did and now have marked off all kinds of things.

Nothing says summer like burning wood– The wood from the old fence was not treated so we cut it up into pieces to burn.  I don’t have a fire pit, but I do have an old grill.  I was very proud of how it turned out.  We made marshmallows  in our own back yard.

The next day my kids made their own and I thought their pit looked better.

They put me to shame

Cute News – One morning my 5-year-old said, “hey dad, cute news, there is a bird’s nest in the tree outside the door.”  Of course this terrifies me because my kids have a hard time leaving things alone.  In fact, they kept asking if the eggs hatched yet.  Then on Friday morning they hatched! Now if only they leave it alone.

Daddy Long Legs-  I must say that their history with living things is rough.  It is not that they try to kill things, they just love them so very much.  For examples of this, take a look at other Lego Jar posts.  The birds will probably be alright.  Conversely, if you are a spider in our house you will likely meet your maker.  Sorry about that.  My 5 year old son told me that he is the best at torturing daddy long legs.  I, foolishly, asked him what he meant by that and he said that he takes off their legs and then they “stop moving.”

Pig-Pen –  Remember the Peanuts cartoon character Pig-Pen?  I believe he lives in my house.  No matter what my 2 year old son does in a day involves him getting incredibly dirty.  The picture above shows it and here is another one.


That will wrap up the Lego Jar this week.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend and maybe even see some sand somewhere.  I leave you with a picture from the flats the other night.

Amazing what the waves do to the sand