Month: July 2012

Summer fun continues!

 - by Gretel

We are in week four of Grandma Ann’s visit, and we continue to have a lot of fun outside.  The girls have had a great time playing in the yard, and since it’s still pretty hot, the sprinkler has nearly been a daily feature.  Since it’s also been dry, the backyard grass has definitely appreciated the moisture!

We also had the chance to go on a little road trip this weekend.  One of the Sisters at the convent recommended Lark Toy Store in Kellogg, MN.  It’s a quick hour and twenty up highway 61 on the Minnesota side.  There is a merry-go-round, a historic toy museum, and a toy store.  We had a great time.  One of the most interesting things about the visit is that a children’s choir stopped by on their lunch break, and gave a little impromptu concert.  40 or 50 kids from around the world sang three fun songs near the merry-go-round, and while Ilyana didn’t like the noise, Evelyn really enjoyed the experience.  Evelyn also LOVED the merry-go-round ride, with big smiles and giggles throughout.   Ilyana likes them as well, but manages to look terrified while having fun.

One of the greatest gifts Grandma has given us on this trip is her work in our gardens.  While Ilyana is at school, Grandma has been weeding out everything in the front garden, and almost everything from the back.  We are planning on seeding the front lawn this fall, and will be redoing the back as well.  She’s made an amazing difference in the beds during her visit, and it is much appreciated.

We’ll be able to enjoy Grandma Ann’s visit for another six days, and then she is off to the next leg of her trip.  It’s been great to have her here for a longer time; much more relaxed visiting and more time to just sit and hang out.


Backyard before.


And after.


Front before.


And after!  Thanks Grandma!

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Ilyana and Grandma, hamming it up outside Lark Toys.

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The merry-go-round!

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Lunchtime with Grandma.

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All the food belongs to me, momma.

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Except for my chicken nuggets!

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Evelyn loved the play area in the toy store – she held on to those three little tea cups under her chin for 45 minutes while playing…


The sprinkler, is of coures, awesome.


We’re finding new ways to play in the water.


Including splashing on the sidewalk.


Evelyn has also discovered the hostas…


…up close…


…and personal.  She’s definitely curious about the out doors.

Enjoy the rest of July!




Summer fun in hot weather

 - by Gretel

July is here and packing a sweltering punch in Wisconsin.  We’ve had a week of 95-105 degree weather, and it’s been very tough to be outside at all.  We attempted Riverfest, and poor Ilyana only lasted about an hour.   We’re managing to keep our spirits up.

One of the fun things is Grandma Ann’s visit.  She is staying in town for the whole month of July, which affords her lots of time with Ilyana and Evelyn.  There is a small but neat cottage on the edge of the marsh that she’s renting for the duration, and we are happy to have her here daily to play with the kids.  Evelyn has even decided that she’s okay (after a few days).

Grandma Ann brought a few fun things, including photo albums with her family and the young Stock family.  It’s spooky to see how much the children resemble different family members.  I’ll be photographing several pictures, and will share some here.

We also have a new addition to the back yard: a playhouse!  It’s been cool enough in the morning to get out and play. While it is technically for both girls, Evelyn has decided that since it is her size, obviously it belongs to her.  Teaching her to share has been an…interesting…experience.  Luckily for Ilyana, Evelyn wants nothing to do with the sprinkler!

Enjoy some photos below:


Sprinklers are great, even if it’s only cool enough to be outside at 8:30 am.


Running in and out!


Evelyn is trying to figure out why this screaming thing is fun.


A very wet (and happy) Ilyana.


Gimmie ten Grandma!


Evelyn has seen the new playhouse.


It’s just my size!


I’m going in now…


The stepping in part is still a work in progress.


But this part she figured out.


Gravity test in 3…2…




I’m gonna hang out here now.  Bai!