Archive for the ‘ Family ’ Category

Jesse’s Solstice Present

Our little pagan/wiccan-in-training received her winter solstice present today, a new drum set. Laurie set it up and Jesse immediately began to scare the nearby guinea pigs with her mad beats.

Here are some pix of our own Karen Carpenter in action:

Our rhythm section

She's only just begun....

Birthday Presents

We let Jesse open her birthday presents a day early — not because we’re nice parents, but because we didn’t want to get up before she leaves for school at 6:45 in the morning. Happy birthday, Jesse.

Eight teenage girls. Movies. Laughter. Lots of junk food. And, did I forget to mention?: A chocolate fountain.


Trying out Posterous for some quick-hit posts. The photo above is Jesse, Laurie and Katie Skyping on MY computer while I was at work.

Rest In Peace, Uncle Jon

We lost our Uncle Jonny this morning in Alabama after a brave fight against lung cancer. He was a veteran, a kid brother to my dad,  a beloved husband and a father. Uncle Jon was funny, one of the smartest men I’ve ever known, and a great storyteller (like all the Coulsons). Besides my Grandpa Rackliff and my own father, Uncle Jonny was the man who had the most influence on the man that I have become. I’m going to miss him terribly. Safe journey, Uncle. I’ll see you again one day. And I’ll have some funny stories to tell you.

Ghost Wings

Ghost wings ready for the grill

Bill liked the ghost pepper salsa

Jesse and Joey, who tried the ghost salsa and lived to tell the tale

Our Toughie

You should see the other girl...

Jesse got a black eye this weekend playing soccer for the Eastview Lightning. It’s puffy and purple and making her quite anxious — the homecoming dance is in six days. I told her not to worry, her boyfriend won’t even notice, but she doesn’t believe her ol’ dad.

Honor Society Concert

Honor Society

Here we are with Honor Society before their concert. Nephew Andrew is on the right.

We got a chance to visit with our nephew, Andrew Lee, and his band, Honor Society, before their concert Tuesday night at the Varsity theater in Dinkytown. We had not met Andrew before, so it was good to finally put a face to all the stories we’ve been hearing from his Uncle Dave. Andrew and his bandmates couldn’t have been nicer and politely posed for pictures with us. The band put on a great show — Uncle Dave was right, these guys are very talented. I didn’t realize what a big deal they had become until I checked out their Facebook page and found the video of them singing the national anthem at the NFL Pro Bowl game. The band also sang the anthem at the Twins game on Wednesday. These guys are really on their way up. Check them out on Facebook, Twitter or, better yet, buy their music on iTunes. Tell them Uncle Art sent you….

Andrew singing

Our nephew Andrew singing with Honor Society on Tuesday

Michael Bruno of Honor Society

Singer Michael Bruno performs with Honor Society

Outside the Varsity

Outside the Varsity theater in Minneapolis before the show

College Daze

Katie just finished selecting her dorm and her meal plan options for Bemidji State University, where she starts her freshman year on Aug. 20. Katie plans to live in Oak Hall, where the First Year Residential Experience is housed. FYRE is a program that helps freshmen adjust to college and dorm life through social activities. Katie is really jazzed about participating in FYRE. She has selected an all-women’s floor in the coed dorm (she said she figures the bathrooms will stay cleaner). Oak Hall was recently renovated, with a big screen TV and fireplace in the commons room. I want to move there myself. Want a peek at Katie’s dorm? Click on the photo tour link at the top right of this page.

It’s all starting to become all too real to us that our little Katie is about to leave the nest. Makes me sad and proud at the same time. I’ll certainly miss Katie’s ready smile and her bubbly personality around the house. But I also can’t wait to see what kind of teacher she becomes and to watch Katie grow into a full-fledged adult. We certainly have been fortunate with both of our girls.

Minnesota Swarm Drop a Close One in OT

We had a great time at the Minnesota Swarm game last night (the photos above were taken from our primo seats on the glass at midfield). It was American Indian Heritage Night, so we got a chance to visit with friends from the local Indian community, watch an exhibition of the traditional game by the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin at halftime, and enjoy traditional songs and dances. Thanks to the Swarm for recognizing the roots of the game in American Indian tradition and celebrating the origins of the Creator’s Game with respect.

The Swarm played a tough game against the Mammoth, but lost in sudden death overtime. It was a tough loss, but I thought the team played well most of the night. I expect great things from the Swarm this season, especially with the addition of former Dukie Zack “Section 88” Greer to the roster. You can’t go wrong with a Blue Devil on the team!