Andrew rides a roller coaster

20 Aug

Andrew’s been all about rides lately and has been on some bigger ones that I was surprised about.  Unfortunately he wasn’t quite ready for this mini roller coaster.  He grabbed on and made all kinds of strange noises.  I felt terrible for him!  Made up for it with a giant ball of sugar though . . .roller coaster 70stoo fast 70sme and andrew 70scotton candy 70s


It’s County Fair Week!

18 Aug


For me, the start of the county fair kicks off my favorite season.  It’s that time between the fair and Halloween, when all my favorite things happen- the county and state fairs, going back to school (yes, I enjoyed it when I was in it and I still enjoy teaching it), Andrew’s birthday, my birthday and then my favorite holiday which is of course Halloween!  Two months of fun and perfect weather.

I’m starting a tradition with my children by entering items into the fair- craft, baking, horticulture, etc.  Last year we did pretty good for my first time entering as a non 4-H person.  We entered a little over 20 items and got mostly blue ribbons and even one champion reserve for some wheat brownies.  This year we entered everything from pumpkins to fortune cookies but not a lot of produce since the weather has been strange.  I was so busy getting it all together and then transporting it down to the fairgrounds I forgot to snap pics and will have to do it there tomorrow, through the glass- blah.  We won’t find out how we placed until tomorrow after 3:00.  I hate waiting.  It’s like waiting for Santa to bring toys.

When I was young I was in 4-H but because I didn’t live on a farm I never got to SPEND THE NIGHT at the fair in a camper while showing my animals.  I was so jealous of my cousins and friends that got to do this. I was Amazed that my 13 year-old friend was staying in a camper by himself so he could keep an eye on his pigs or whatever.  Even more amazed that the thing had a fridge stocked with beer but that’s another story and I’m sure times have changed and things are different now.  At least I hope times have changed.

Even though I didn’t get to stay in a camper by myself the fair still meant freedom.  I usually got 20 bucks and that lasted me the whole week.  Rides, junkfood, coke mirror prizes so I could proudly display all my favorite hairband crushes all over my bedroom walls. . . doing whatever I wanted in public because my parents weren’t there.

Unfortunately I am so old and bitchy now that when I see a 14 year-old at the fair smoking or using profanity loud enough for my kids to hear I scowl and wonder why “those kids” need to act that way!  They are ruining my family outing dammit!  Then I look a little closer and I see it’s me.  Metallica mirror in tow, thick black mascara, Marlboro fumes exhausting, jeans too tight, shirt too cropped, all  while I try to act as cool as I can by using the F-word as many times as possible in one sentence.   So I try to press on without getting too upset. . . We were all 14 and stupid once. . .

It’s a whole other ordeal taking your kids there.  20 bucks sure as hell doesn’t last the whole week.  More like 2 hours.  A ride back then was about 50 cents and now it’s 3.00.  All the junk seems to be between $3-5.00 (maybe that’s a good thing).  Back then it was cotton candy and snow cones for me.  Now it’s cheese curds and diet coke.  Okay and maybe still cotton candy but it’s hard forking over 4 bucks for sugar and air.  My brother “won” or “got swindled” for a Bart plush last year to give to Andrew.  I think it was $20.00 maybe $40.00 . . . jeeze I hope it wasn’t $40.00.  I remember it was a lot.

more ice cream Andrew got this treat for $1.50 today at the 4-H restaurant.  I would say that’s an okay price, but the fancier cone he’ll get tomorrow from the local dairy dude (booth wasn’t up yet today) will be $3.00.  So after Andrew gets his cone tomorrow we will probably head on over to the show barn and watch the kids wrangle their cattle so I can reminisce.  Who knows what Andrew will be thinking but I will be thinking about being thirteen again.  show arena

Weiner Dogs Can Be Cute

16 Aug

I went to the Twin Cities yesterday to meet up with some fellow St. Cloud State allum.  I brought my new baby and there was another there Chloe’s age as well as some other small children but for me the cutest non-adult creature was this dog, Daisy.  I never used to like weiner dogs but this one won me over.  She wasn’t barky either.  Just cute!

Daisy the Cutiedoggie daisyPuppyLovedaisy profileNick and Doggie

My New Favorite Artist!

14 Aug

My New Favorite Artist!, originally uploaded by Kristine Leuze.

This guy is truly amazing. His name is Gustavo Aimar and I think he is from Brazil. If I had an ounce of his creativity I would be happy. What inspiration to look at his work!

Art Time

13 Aug

Let me introduce you to my kid.  He loves art time and he is inspired by Jackson Pollock of course as most kids are.  I wonder what that says about Pollock.

jackson pollock

However, he can concentrate on line every once in a while.


Looks like the deck needs a little touching up too.

paint a little deck too


He’s trying so hard to make it perfect . .

so careful

Yes it was starting to look like he was really improving on this old abstract of mine I gave him to touch up.  But then it started to get a little crazy.  I put the camera away too early to show you that he ended up regressing back into primitive art- i.e. hand expressionism.  I was too tired to stop him- had to take a benedryl thanks to the ragweed count today . . . Besides, I don’t want to stifle his creativity.  I’ll post a shot of the finished product soon!

The Fungus Among Us

11 Aug

the fungus among us, originally uploaded by Kristine Leuze.

I took Andrew and Chloe camping by myself this past 24 hours (with a little help from my dad in the evening). It was a great campground, just 10 miles or so outside of Hutchinson. It is a county park called Piepenburg. The folks that run the place were great and they had neat little hidden surprises like a big tire sandbox full of kids sandbox toys and a kiddie-only fishing pond. They even delivered our firewood.

We went on a nature walk last night and I found this crazy bright orange and green fungus growing on an old stump. I wish I could have gotten some better pictures of it but I was worried about the mosquitoes getting on the kids if we didn’t keep moving. I got bit twice, the kids none.

Check out my flickr page for the rest of the photos from our trip!

My Little Cowboy

9 Aug

cowboy, originally uploaded by Kristine Leuze.

I’ve been having a lot of fun taking pictures of Andrew this weekend and giving them a vintage look. I am working on a collection of these photos that I will be able to treasure later since I know he will grow up way too fast.