Archive for the ‘ Family ’ Category

2013 Mil Ball

Tonight is Prom #2 for the weekend, this time St. Thomas Academy’s Mil Ball. Below are some photos of Jesse and Christian and their friends.


Jesse’s Sweet 16 Extravaganza

They turn the world on with their smiles...

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We took the light rail to downtown Minneapolis with 10 teen girls and shopped and took photos, ending up at the Melting Pot for chocolate fondue (three types of chocolate FTW). Now they are all in the living room, eating junk and playing Just Dance 2 with Katie.

Jesse’s Sweet 16 Birthday

Katie, Jesse and Allie celebrate at The Roasted Pear

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2011 Jesse Birthday, a set on Flickr.

We continue to celebrate Jesse’s Sweet 16 birthday. Opened presents on Tuesday, followed by dinner at Taco Bell (Jesse’s favorite). Then we had a family dinner on Friday at the Roasted Pear in Burnsville. Jesse wanted to wait for Katie to get home from college for her big celebration and also invited our “third daughter,” Allie to dinner. Saturday, we’re taking 10 teens by train to downtown Minneapolis for shopping and chocolate fondue at the Melting Pot, followed by a sleepover.

Movember Fund-Raiser

As you might have already read, I am participating in the Movember fund-raiser for men’s health research and support. For the month of Movember, I am growing a moustache and collecting donations to support prostate cancer research and such organizations as the LiveStrong Foundation.  My goal is to raise $500 — you can donate online here, if you are so inclined.

I am participating in this fund-raiser in honor of some very special men in my life.

My in-laws, Mick and Marge Wyant, with Jesse, Laurie and me in Florida earlier this year

My father-in-law, Mick Wyant, is at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston awaiting treatment for liver cancer. He has been bravely battling the disease for about a year now. He means an awful lot to me and has taught me more about being a standup husband and father than he will probably ever know. He is one of the kindest and most hard-working men I know.

My Uncle Jon and me at my dad's 70th birthday party in 2009

My dad’s kid brother, Jon, passed away earlier this year after a battle with lung cancer. Jon was always my cool uncle: undercover cop; motocross racer; Vietnam vet; owner of a successful gun shop. He was funny, cynical, smart and had a well-honed ability to cut through bullsh1t. I learned a lot from him about the ways of the world, about our family and the strong men who came before me. I also learned that his mother always loved him more than she loved my dad — that’s why she always made him chocolate chip cookies. At least that was Jon’s story. I miss Jon a lot.

Anyway, I wanted to share a little bit about the men in whose honor I am participating in this fund drive. Thanks to everyone who has donated so far. Be sure to check back often on my Movember site to track the progress of my moustache (such as it is).

More shots from Green Mill

Katie and her mom


I really like this photo

My girls


Jesse and Katie at Bemidji Lake

My Dream

Mom and grandma

I dreamed that my mom walked into my bedroom last night and shouted my name. She yelled, “Rodney!” (my middle name, which members of my family still call me). It startled me and I sat up in bed, staring at the door where she stood, even though I knew she had passed 18 years ago last month. I could see her plain as day, wearing a white blouse and dark slacks. She stood just inside our door, looking at me intently, and shouted my full name, as if she were trying to get my attention. Then I couldn’t see her anymore. My heart was beating too fast from being startled from a sound sleep. Then I lay back down, wiped my eyes and tried to fall back to sleep. I wonder what she wanted to tell me. It seemed important. I’m sure I will find out one day, when I can ask her in person.

RenFest 2011

Columbus? New World? I got your new world right here...

We went to the Renaissance Festival this afternoon in Shakopee. Jesse really wanted to visit the annual festival — it’s the one thing she wants to be sure to do each summer. We chose today because we got deep discounts on the tickets for Freemasons day at the festival (appropriate, given the history of freemasonry in the Renaissance, but I digress). We ate our way around the festival grounds, though several booths were sold out of our favorites (what? no Scotch eggs?) Jesse plowed through roasted corn, Italian ice and about a half-pound of fudge. Laurie and I mostly shared some sweets, though Laurie broke down and got some wild rice soup in a bread bowl. Jesse also looked for ideas for Renaissance clothing that she plans to make for herself to wear next year. Should be a hoot. Think I’ll dress up with her. All I need is a pair of tights and a long t-shirt and I’m golden. Below are some of the pix we took today:

Below is the post that I lost when I restored the blog from an old database backup over the weekend. The post was autoposted to Facebook, where I grabbed it:

We went to the Minnesota Zoo this morning to check out the new penguin exhibit. We also had to stop by the grizzlies and pay our respects to the 8th clan… Two of the grizzlies — I take it from their relative sizes that they are the two males — got into a tussle right by the glass where we were standing. They looked like they were seriously pissed at one another. Lots of roaring, baring of teeth and swiping with paws the size of my car. Here are some more pictures of the bears: