2014 – Day 199 thru Day 209 – July 18 thru July 28

The most exciting news for me with this update is that I can chew again… well, most foods anyway.  Eating is still a chore as I am adjusting to the bar in my mouth and occasional pain on specific teeth, but I am confident that this too shall pass.

On Friday, after getting the braces on, the French Teacher and I had grilled cheese sandwiches and soup for dinner which I learned are a lot like croque-monsieur (sans jambon – without ham) in France.  I also learned that there is a croque-madamoiselle which is essentially the same but with a sunny-side up egg on top… very anxious to try that some time – sounds delicious.  Although, I think I am the only one in my family who will agree.  After dinner, as Hubby and the girls were all still in Florida, the French Teacher and I spent the rest of the evening working.

At Rainforest Cafe' for lunch
At Rainforest Cafe’ for lunch

Saturday, we headed out to Mall of America for a sneak peek for the French Teacher.  We wandered around all four floors before stopping for lunch at Rainforest Café – a very nice treat.  I had their basil tomato soup and a half turkey sandwich.  I was very impressed with the soup!  We came home and spent the afternoon and evening watching movies from Redbox – About Time and Philomenia.  I think this was my third time watching About Time, but I still love it!  For dinner that night, we had French chicken (not really French, but marinated in French dressing so I don’t have a better name for it) which had cooked all day in the slow cooker.  We also had wild rice cranberry stuffing which I had found that afternoon at Mall of America.  It was good; an interesting texture when you are used to stuffing with bread only, but the wild rice and cranberry flavor was awesome.

Sunday, I was up early to go to church; it was my weekend to teach Sunday School.  I picked the French Teacher up after church, and we headed off to Excelsior to walk around the lake and see some of the small shops.  I had never noticed how many of them have French names!  From there, we headed off on a small road trip east to just past the Wisconsin border and then north to Pine City to see the sites and landscape around the area.  On the way back into town, we passed a farm with a small herd of buffalo!  I didn’t even know we had those here!  It was nowhere near the size of the herd in Colorado, but still fun to see.

That night, it was Kraft mac & cheese for dinner and then we spent the evening sharing pictures from past trips we have taken.  It was so much fun that I didn’t even realize it was past midnight until we finished!

Monday, I headed back to work, and the French Teacher headed off into The Cities again to explore.  Dinner that night was tacos and taco salad; the heat index was nearly 105 degrees so we spent the evening sitting in the dining room working – it was WAY too hot to be upstairs!

Luckily for Hubby, temps had dropped by Tuesday morning.  He, Doodle, and K-Cat got home late that afternoon after a short flight delay in Orlando.  The French Teacher spent the day with her students bowling and playing at the beach.  We picked up fried chicken for dinner from Cub Foods and gathered around the TV to watch Disney’s Frozen before heading off to bed.

Wednesday, Doodle spent the day at Grace volunteering with Big Serve Revive Edition – a week long service event hosted by multiple churches around the Twin Cities.  Hubby fired up the grill for burgers and hot dogs for dinner and we spent the rest of the night watching Footloose (the original version from 1984) and The Food Network.  I had forgotten how much I enjoyed Restaurant Impossible.

Thursday, the French Teacher was off to Mall of America again; this time with her students, and I spent the day in the office.  We joined the students at the mall for dinner and a little shopping before everyone headed home.  I’ve officially decided that my favorite new store at The Mall is the Lindt chocolate store!  How could it not be when they have truffles, truffles, and more truffles – in all imaginable flavors!

A pretzel braid - one of our new hair skills!
A pretzel braid – one of our new hair skills!

We came home to a bonfire and swimming – well K-Cat swam; the rest of us watched – the water was still too cold for my comfort!  When the bugs got to be too much, we headed in to watch a little TV before calling it a night and heading off to bed.

Friday night, Nana and Grandpa arrived around 5:30 for family reunion on Saturday.  Hubby made Tator Tot Hot Dish – a true Minnesota dish for the French Teacher!  Nana and I headed out to run some errands, and everyone else stayed home to play video games.  It was a nice relaxing Friday night – much needed before a very full Saturday!

Saturday morning, we headed south to Henderson area for Hubby’s family reunion.  His family gets together every couple of years for a day of food, fun, more food, and catching up with cousins.  The weather was great and the food and entertainment were awesome.  It was a long, full day with lots of family and lots of memories.  I’m already looking forward to doing it again in two years!

What some cousins do at family reunion...
What some cousins do at family reunion…

Sunday started out with clouds and rain and lots of wind.  We all headed off to church and then went to Arby’s for lunch.  When we got home, the sky cleared and the wind settled down some just in time for K-Cat’s pool party to begin!  She had invited a couple of friends over to swim for a few hours…  amazingly, when her friends left about three hours later, the clouds came back and so did the wind!

Take me out to the ball game...
Take me out to the ball game…

It did turn out to be a nice evening, however, and Hubby, the French Teacher, and I were able to catch a Chanhassen Red Birds’ baseball game in town!  I didn’t even know that we had “amateur” baseball in Chanhassen!  I think going to these games may be one of my new favorite summer activities!

Today, it was back to work for me and Hubby.  I stopped on the way home for pizza at Tino’s Pizza in Shorewood – I definitely recommend this pizza!  It’s a little higher priced than other pizza in the area but very worth it… so good!  After dinner, K-Cat headed off to small group which started up again tonight, and Doodle settled into the living room to watch Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back – you couldn’t ask for a better Monday night!


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