Tuesday, April 24, 2012

While this video was made in time for Cullen's birthday....over a month ago....I have procrastinated the posting of it ....for over a month.  My chances for father of the year award may have taken a hit.  Although, when you view the video I think you'll agree that I'm still the front runner.  :)

Cullen 4yr Bday Vid

Monday, April 23, 2012

Hangin' with Dane.

We had a fun visit from the Feste family.  Cullen and Simone are all about Dane.  In fact, almost suffocating.  He will never doubt for a second that his cousins are totally crazy for him!

Monday, April 9, 2012


Our weekend was quite the Easter Eggs-travaganza.  Grandma Liz and Grandpa Mark came down on Saturday afternoon.  The kids woke up from their naps and flew into Grandma and Grandpa's arms.  Cullen coaxed Grandpa into the yard for some batting practice and my mom and I took Simone to my favorite shoe boutique, "Kick".  When Simone saw Grandma take off her shoes to try on some new kicks, she thought she should follow suit.  Off came her pint size shoes and socks - too bad there were none in her size!  That night, we took Mark, Liz, Bob and MaryAnne out for a nice dinner (it was a treat our Mothers/Fathers Day treat for the best parents ever!)

In the morning, everyone got dressed in their Sunday best - Cullen, Dirk and Grandpa all sported starched Khaki's.  Cullen also wore his new sport coat "just like dad".   We attended mass at the Roncalli Newman Center.  The marble floors were a bit too polished and Grandma actually slipped and fell as she tried to corral Simone back into the pew (don't worry, she's okay!).  Simone proceeded  to escape, giving us the evil laugh as she ran through the back of church (the joys of toddlers at mass).  Next, we traveled to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe http://www.guadalupeshrine.org/.  Cullen loved walking on the trails - acting like the lead explorer leading the pack.  It's a beautiful atmosphere and the brunch was amazing.  In fact, Grandpa Mark went back for seconds and got the exact same plate of food - nothing different, nothing more, nothing less (he's kind of like a Seinfeld character).

That afternoon, Cullen participated in two Easter egg hunts.  The Erickson's included him in their hunt (Swansons and Ericksons - the next generation).  Finally, we headed to the Clark household for another awesome meal and another Easter egg hunt!  This time Simone joined in the fun. Mimi and Bobby hid 9 eggs for each little one.  Cullen and Jameson were the pros - helping out the two younger ones when needed.  We were also graced with a few special guests:  Janie, Matt, Grandma the Great and Debbie and Vernon (all the way from Louisiana!).  The celebration was capped with birthday treats in honor of Quinn's first birthday.

Whew - What a day.  We can't wait for next year!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Tugboat's Christening.

Our neighbors are part of a family business specializing in marine construction where tugboats and barges are key operating machinery.  As the J.F. Brennen Company purchases new vessels, it is a tradition to christen the boats to ward off bad luck.  It should be noted that the Titanic was never christened.  We were lucky enough to receive an invitation to the christening of the M/V Thomas Kennedy tugboat (named after the company's CFO).  Father Cook offered a blessing and Mrs. Kennedy had the honor of smashing the champagne bottle against the boat.  Cullen's favorite part of the day was the tugboat tour.  We saw the two, giant, 1,600 hp engines, the captains chair with the various levers, computers and spotlights and the many ropes and anchors on board.  Now when we see the barges and connected tugboats on the Mississppi River, we will have a better understanding of their inner-workings.  And I can only wish that someday someone will name a boat after me!
Here's a bit more info from the local paper:

Sporties for Shorties.

As you know, Cullen is quite the sports fanatic.  Simone is interested in whatever her older brother is doing - so we are not sure if she actually holds the same passion or is just playing copy-cat.

Cullen just finished the parent/child basketball at our local Y.  The program consisted of drills focusing on shooting, dribbling and passing.  His best buddy, Jack, also attended.  Luckily they lowered some of the hoops so that his shots would go in.  But in all seriousness, he is really good.  He shoots with the correct form (one hand, elbow bent, other hand bracing the ball) - which is pretty remarkable for his age.

Dirk likes to practice his golf swing in the backyard and the kids often join him with their pint-sized clubs.  It's adorable to see the three of them out there enjoying the same activity.  If Grandpa Mark has any say, Simone will be groomed to be the next LPGA great.  He says the sport is growing and there aren't many superstar American women on the tour.   We'll see if she really likes the sport in the years to come!

Cullen also participated in the Hippity Hoppity Easter race at the Y.  3 and 4-year-olds completed a 25 yard dash across the field.  It was a little disorganized (think herding cats), but Cullen still had fun running through the finish line with the rest of the shorties.