Friday, July 27, 2007

Silly Songs with Nessa

We're big VeggieTales fans at our house ... well, Nessa and I are, anyway--Tami and Megan put up with them. :-) (Thanks, guys.) Nessa particularly likes the Silly Song collections. If you aren't familiar with VeggieTales, this won't mean much to you, but anyway...

This morning, after she was done with her yogurt, Nessa was just sitting there singing nonsense syllables ... like she often does in her crib before going to bed. I looked over at her and said "And now it's time for Silly Songs with Nessa, the part of the day where Nessa comes out and sings a silly song." She looked at me, made a "What are you talking about?" face, and said:

"No, Daddy! Larry Cucumber!"

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

ECI² Acquires La Crosse Management Systems

For those of you that don't know (probably many of you), La Crosse Management Systems (or LMS or simply "La Crosse") is the company I work for. LMS is a small software company in downtown La Crosse and if you want to know more about us, you can visist the website. If you know how to navigate a website well, you can even find a picture of me (before the haircut).

The important news though is that LMS is now a subsidiary of ECI2. You can read all about it:

This should be a good thing for enabling growth at the company but there is of course some pain that accompanies growth. The acquisition was actually announced while I was on vacation during the first week in July, but the companies wanted to contact all LMS customers prior to posting a press release, so it is just being posted today.

So far the only real change for me is that there is even more work to do. This isn't really a big change but just more of the same.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Groth cousin pictures

Here is the website for the photos we had taken of the Groth cousins (and a few with/of Grandpa and Grandma Groth too).

I'll have to get one of the first photos of the shoot just to have to tell the story of how Nessa didn't want to stand there and we finally resorted to bribery (ice cream) to get her to stand there.

In general the photos went smoother than expected, but the troublesome girl was definitely our Nessa. After our experience this Monday trying to take photos just of her and Megan, we've decided she's the ultimate photographer challenge and we should offer her services to newbies.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Off to Northfield tonight

I want at least one "on time" update post this summer. :-)

"So where are you going THIS weekend?" A perfectly reasonable question we decided when it was asked, so here's an answer.

So, after a busy week of work, summer school, ICAN meeting, and trying to figure out what's for supper each night, we're off to Northfield tonight. Tomorrow we are having pictures taken of all of the Groth cousins (should be interesting!) and then we're not really sure what we'll do as it will depend on the timing, kids' moods, and my exhaustion level.

Likely the weekend will include some working for me as well (thank goodness that only means having my laptop with me now) as I have lots to do for work ... that was true anyway but our small company was recently acquired by another company -- but don't panic as I think it will be a good think long term but as always change is hard ... I'll give a real update once a press release is posted online but our company name and identity is NOT going away and we were understaffed to begin with so everyone's job is safe and hoping to hire soon. Oh, technically, I'm still part time but I'm not sure that will be the case much longer and that would have been true regardless of who owned the company. :-)

We will be home Saturday night some time and hope to just spend some family relaxing time between chores on Sunday as well.

The big news up for next week is that Megan will be getting ready for her big vacation she is taking with Grandma and Grandpa Groth. :-)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Marcus Donald

Originally uploaded by nuknuk5590

Had to share a photo of the newest "Groth" cousin. Heidi had another beautiful little boy. Marcus has lots of dark hair.

We weren't able to get great photos so this one shows him the best ... in that almost asleep state ... adorable.

We got to meet Marcu on our way back from our Up North trip. We'll get to see him again a little bit this weekend during the family photo shoot.

Up North trip -- photos and more

Remember that wonderful trip "Up North" that we took at the beginning of July? Well, I finally got the pictures off of the camera (you have to love digital ... snap, snap, snap).

Below: Nessa and Megan swimming in Leech Lake's Walker bay

A hundred pictures later I decided that I had to give in and use flickr to share them with you ... they are all typical "family vacation" photos so there are a ton of blurry, out of focus, heads about cut off, etc. ... but they also tell the story ... fun times on the lake in Walker, MN and a bit of adventuring in the area including a great visit to a Bison ranch.

The girls also got some much needed Grandpa and Grandma time while Shawn and I relaxed with a movie and dinner (and a bit of unsuccessful gambling but we won't talk about that ... should have spent the money on fine dining instead). And we all did a bit (and then some) of shopping around downtown Walker.

The comments/descriptions on the photos in Flickr tell more of the stories so it really is worth a look (link below) ... the photos I uploaded there are a bit smaller in file size so they will only print well if you print them small (just in case any family tries), but they should display on the monitor well. :-) If I continue using Flickr, you'll probably see more posts like the one that I did with the picture of Marcus (directly from Flickr) too, and with those posts you can click on the photo and go right to the photo stream and view more recent photos. :-)

It was lovely and I wish we had another long Up North trip planned ... until I think about the driving.

Want to see more pictures (like Nessa below)?
View my favorites UP North pictures on Flikr!

Or, view all of the photos form the trip here.

Important -- when you look at all of them tagged with Up North, they are NOT in any chronological order, so you may want to look at and read the descriptions with the UP North Favorites specific set first.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Nessa's rainbow chair

During summer school in Cumberland Megan painted Nessa a chair ... and here are a couple of not very good pictures of Nessa with her chair.

Nessa really does love her chair -- she loves all of the colors, the "one fish, two fish", the ABCs, the pretty gemstones, and her name on the back of it! She doesn't love getting her picture taken with it though. So

We think Nessa will cherish this chair that her big sister made for her even more when she's too big to sit in it. :-)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

She'll make a good boss someday ... toddler logic

Yes, observing toddler's assert their independance is so amusing sometimes.

If we ask Nessa a question that can have a positive or negative response (I would say yes or no but she rarely simply says "no"), 99% of the time she will respond in the negative, even if it's something we really expect her to want to do (go outside, take a bath, even watching a DVD sometimes gets a negative) ... then I wait and try not to smile when I hear it start. Within seconds she's often telling us that she wants to do exactly what she just declined to do ... only this time it's her idea and on HER timing!

And sometimes this scenario plays out even when we simply invite her to do something with us.

For example:

Mom: "Nessa, let's have a snack together."

Nessa: "No thank you." (yes, she really does say this a lot now!!! :-)

Mom: "OK." And turns as if to go do something else.

Nessa: "Mommy." Pause. "I want a snack now." "Yes that's a good idea" (very much implying that it is HER idea)

I keep in mind that as long as I can creatively make her think it was her idea and it will be fun that she'll be excited and willing to do just about anything. Don't worry, it doesn't always work ... toddlers aren't THAT easy to figure out. Especially our independent, spirited, creative Nessa. :-)

Few pics from Megan's week in Cumberland

In June Megan spent a week at Grandma and Grandpa Groth's going to summer school (Aunt Ellen was the teacher -- how much better can it get?) and just generally having fun. Thanks to Ellen we have a few photos.

The trip to the circus included an elephant ride so here is Megan (and a few other people she knows) riding an elephant.

Megan keeps telling me she could live on the lake in the summer. The lake here is Sand Lake in Cumberland (just down the back yard hill at Grandma and Granpa's ... how convenient). Megan is learning to really love to ride on the inner tube (can you call it that when there are seat backs?) and I'm hoping soon she'll decide to try to water ski. Below are a few pics of Megan (and other) "on the tube."


Happy 10th Birthday Megan!!!!

Yes, 10 years already!!!!!! (I'm pretty much in denial that it has already been an entire decade.)

Megan's birthday is July 16th (Monday) but we've been celebrating already. :-)

This year Megan only looked slightly embarrassed when we sang to her before church (as in the entire congregation singing). Today after church Megan requested that we go to Hackberry's for brunch. Megan has obviously inherited my good taste. ;-)

As I briefly mentioned her fun celebration and gift was getting to go to the Mall of America last Saturday with a friend and also with Aunt Ellen as fashion consultant (see photos). I did manage a few small surprises for her to unwrap this morning at brunch that received a few wows and that's cool. :-) We decided to let her unwrap them at brunch today because tomorrow she'll have summer school during the day and then has a 4H meeting at night so it will be a bit rushed. Also, she's celebrating with other friends at with her Dad this afternoon and evening.

I'm so proud of my "big girl" that I could almost stop giving her a hard time for growing up so fast. Almost.

I like Megan to think that I still know a few things and that she should listen to her mother. But already she's taught me way more than I think I'll ever teach her. She taught me to listen to myself as a mother from day one when she didn't follow the eat, sleep, poop newborn pattern (well she had the eating and pooping down pretty well, but that sleep part ... sometimes I think I'm still working on that one with her!) ... she was a smart baby and she new what she needed ... she's still pretty brilliant but even for smart kids there are all kinds of challenges and tough times. Megan has continued to teach me so much through all of her, and my, hard times and challenges. I have a feeling that Megan has gone through more emotional and spiritual growth in her first decade than many humans do in many more decades. The next decade will hopefully bring the maturity to integrate those emotions, the knowledge to put it all to use not only in her life but also the wider world, and so much more ...

{{{{ I love you Megan }}}}

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

We're Still Here!

June was crazy busy. We're still recovering from being gone every weekend from the beginning of June through the 4th of July. But we accumulated some great stories and pictures on our adventures, which we'll try to get posted soon. In the meantime, rest assured that we haven't disappeared. Although after all that traveling, some days we'd like to...

Addendum: This was written at the same time Tami was creating the previous post, which I found quite amusing when I realized it. We decided to leave it "as is", with just this note, to show how sometimes the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing at our house. :-)

Home sweet home ... sort of

I thought it was about time I at least let you all know we're still breathing around here (although doing so around the diaper pail and litter boxes is always "at your own risk" these days).

No overnight trips last weekend and we still didn't manage to get the numerous blog updates done! Maybe this weekend we'll have better luck. Yes, TWO entire weekends without packing or unpacking! WooHoo! However we've still been busy ... and then there's the not feeling well part ... the drive to the Mall of America last Saturday (still recovering from that too!), and then there are little things like house and yard work, and job deadlines. ;-)

So here are a few briefs ... until we can get details and photos out ...

  • Those of you that have asked me lately "what's wrong with your eye?" -- it was/is a bacterial infection. If you ever see me or anyone else with an eye that looks like that again, warn me/them not to put off going to the eye doctor. Because it kept seeming to get be getting better I blamed it on other things ... by Monday night it was keeping me awake, the pain was back, watering nearly non stop for a few hours and I had a fever w/ symptoms ... a quick trip to our eye doctor thankfully provided a quick resolution on Tuesday with some good, though expensive, eye drops ... no contacts for me for awhile though :-(
  • Last Saturday I drove Megan and her friend Kendra up to the Mall of America. Or, rather, I drove to Northfield and then Ellen (word on the street is that she is the best aunt to shop with) joined us and drove to the mall from her house. According to the girls it was something like "super duper super fun (as they repeated much of the way home). According to me, it was "not as bad as I thought it would be." In addition to shopping we went to the Aquarium there and I would definitely go back there again!
  • The week before we left for Up North Megan went to Camp Invention ( here at one of the local schools in La Crosse. We think Megan liked it and the activities sure sounded cool.
  • Next week Megan goes to a week of summer school here in La Crosse, and one of the two classes is on the American Girl, Kaya, so Megan is excited about that. This may be part of what is contributing to Megan's love of all things Native American.
  • Our Up North trip was fantastic. Photos of the girls enjoying the beach and spending time in the lake (Megan continually informs us she could live "in the lake" in the summer) will hopefully follow soon. We also enjoyed the downtown area of Walker as always.
  • On the way home from Walker, we went home via Elysian, MN (near Mankato) to stop and see Heidi and Ben and Jake AND Marcus. Marcus is the newest of the "Groth cousins." Congratulations! :-) There seems to be a growing consensus (well in the Brooks Groth household anyway) that Marcus looks a lot like his mom -- and Heidi, that's a good thing. ;-)
  • With all of the pre-birthday celebrations going on, we've already been saying that Megan is 10 but really it's not official until July 16th, so those of you that have her email address, please send her birthday wishes. :-) Wow, a whole decade!!!!
  • Nessa is continuing to grow into her toddler voice and um, independent, personality. :-) (when "stubborn" traits are inherited it can be interesting to see who truly can be the most stubborn ... I like to see it as my patience of course when I wait her out).

OK, back to work for me ....