Friday, August 28, 2009

Riverview Theater

A classic movie theater in Retro 1950's style. It's great because it runs not-so-newly released movies for only $2 or $3 a show. The stadium seating and lobby are comfortable too. Also, they show specials like Alfred Hitchcock films, sports events (like stages of the Tour de France!), and cult-following shows. Sign up here for weekly emails with the theater's schedule. Watch closely because the times and movies change frequently. Visit the wine bar or coffee shop across the street and talk about the movie you just watched!

Produce Harvested Thus Far

1. Two Large Tomatoes (which I found in my kitchen picked by ??)
2. Much zucchini of record breaking lengths and widths - have made yummy Carrot-Zucchini Muffins and Bread
3. Green beans - a perfect snack. Just ask Izzy, who eats off the vine.
4. Chili peppers

Still to come...tomatoes, Kate's pumpkin, and more kinds of peppers

I love being able to pick, eat, share and enjoy in one day.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Date Night Under $10

Pick your favorite bottle of wine under $10, grab a picnic blanket, two wine glasses, and head to a quiet place. Bring along a book to take turns reading or a couple's devotional of some kind to give jump starts to conversations about your relationship. We have done this twice this summer and I think it rates as one of Ben's favorites for the summer. We have read from Dobson's Night Light (See Side bar) and gone to Minnehaha Falls and the monument at the Summit/River Road intersection.

Monday, August 17, 2009

White Bear Lake Outing

I took the girls to the quaint downtown area of White Bear Lake today. "What's a downtown?", they asked. We walked along the wide smooth path along the lake and noticed a lot of evidence of receeding water. The walk is lined with beautiful flowers, lake side homes and a canopy of twisty oak trees. We spent some time up in the gazebo at a public park and ate our picnic lunch. Then we fed the ducks, visited a few little shops, downed some cool lemonade and finished it off with a trip to "Cup and Cone." Here we got soft serve ice cream...they sell small cones for 94 cents! Got me to thinking about keeping track of outings around town that fall under the category "Under $5". Thought I could also start a list of good date night ideas for under $10.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Does Meryl Streep Get Any Better?

She seems to be able to inhabit just about any character she wants to. Just returned from the movie Julie and Julia and was entertained yet again by Streep's amazing talent to capture the voice and physicality of a totally different human being, in this case Julia Child. I enjoyed the acting performances, the weaving of the two plots and the main characters' relationships with their spouses. Just seeing two married couples on the big screen was refreshing. Made me want to come home and cook something really really good for Ben! Maybe I'll go shopping tomorrow and try to tackle a new recipe. Other notables include the fabulous red-head Amy Adams, the Parisian setting, and many humorous moments, one of which involves poaching eggs. Have you ever tried that?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Happenings of the Last Week

Well, we have made great progress on the basement! Ben worked days and evenings with John and Steve to wire, insulate, sheet rock and mud/tape the basement. We were tested with moisture...something I heard the Lord say we might deal with and to be ready to fight against. Shellee lent us her de-humidifier, so hopefully we'll see less dampness on the floors and the mud will dry so we can start sanding and smoothing the walls. Already the space feels lighter, more like a room you would want to hang out in and the new storage space is going to be very useful. We have nicknamed the kids' hideout under the stairs the "hobbit hole." I think Izzy is looking forward to playing in a cozy little spot. The girls and I bounced around a bit to avoid the noise and the mess. Thanks to Shellee, mom and dad, and Nana and Pops for their hospitality!

Maddie is off to Servant Camp this week and we hope Kate can join her friends there this weeek as a Pony. She woke up with a cold and fever this morning. Pray she is healed and can enjoy camp. She continues to care for her pumpkin plant in our garden we share with the Lee's and Shellee. So far her plant has produced one nice looking pumpkin! We are getting some good tips from Shellee about caring for pumpkins so they grow BIG!

Ben is back to work and will have a busy week getting back into the routine at the office. I hope to enjoy the outdoors for this sunny week ahead and maybe get some reading done! I'm reading a great book called "In Defense of Food", a book I started on our vacation with the Cunningham's...will blog more about the book's topic later. Let's just say for now that it is fascinating and life changing (or eat-changing) stuff!

We booked one more short camping trip for later August...probably the final hurrah of the summer. Hope grandma and grandpa can join us and maybe Barbara too!

All three girls really enjoyed the Great Adventure Camp at Messiah Episcopal Church two weeks ago. Izzy is "playing/pretending" GAC today! They learned some new praise songs and learned a lot about the apostle Paul and the life of the early church. They have talked about and played "the Romans", and I am reminded of the times my siblings and I pretended to run and hide from the evil Romans. We used to dive under blankets on the couch and scream, "The Romans are coming!!" Fun to see it come around 25 years later!

Also had an opportunity to toss around water balloons, and watch Ben take on the younger alumni at Alumni Field Day at River Ridge. Ben never felt so old!