Happy Old Year

Posted by danaandtammy on Thursday Dec 31, 2009 Under Uncategorized

Well, we are signing off for 2009. Thanks for everyone who has joined us for a fairly eventful year.

With love,

The Swanstroms

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One More Visit to Great Grandma Howards

Posted by danaandtammy on Thursday Dec 31, 2009 Under Kid Pictures, Photographs

We’ll probably say some good-byes tomorrow, but we had one more play date with Great Grandma tonight. Emma played some more dominoes with her and Kenny explored her apartment. It was a good time.

One of Kenny’s favorite pastimes besides pressing buttons on electronic devices, is to remove twist off lids and then put them back on.

Here we have 4 generations on Tammy’s side of the family. Great Grandma Howard, Grandma Fishback, Tammy, Emma, and Kenny Swanstrom

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Cave of the Winds

Posted by danaandtammy on Thursday Dec 31, 2009 Under Kid Pictures, Photographs

As our last little excursion in Colorado we all went up to the Cave of the Winds near Colorado Springs. Emma was so excited to go to a cave. Both Emma and Kenny enjoyed themselves. Emma’s favorite part was seeing the “pointy things hanging from the ceiling,” but she also mentioned the time when the tour guide turned off the lights and it was pitch black. She said that “it was too dark for her.”

The cave was in really nice shape. We obviously carried Kenny the whole time, but that wasn’t much of a problem.

Some of the passages where a little small.

Emma really enjoyed the cave.

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Children’s Museum of Pueblo

Posted by danaandtammy on Thursday Dec 31, 2009 Under Kid Pictures, Photographs

Grandpa Fish, Emma, Kenny, and mom and dad spent an afternoon at the Pueblo Children’s Museum. It was a fun time.

Papa and Kenny enjoyed watching the pool balls roll down the kinetic sculpture. It was pretty neat.

Papa and some little girls built a house.

Geek Baby at work. He’s got perfect mouse hand position. He did state afterwards that “I’m a PC. That Mac didn’t make any noises when I pressed random buttons.”

Emma can really focus on artwork.

Kenny got to use the markers because he had some dark clothes on. He enjoyed himself.

He even did a little drawing on his own.

He also did a little tasting.

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Dominoes with Great Grandma

Posted by danaandtammy on Thursday Dec 31, 2009 Under Kid Pictures, Photographs

Emma was able to spend some time with Great Grandma. Great Grandma is good at games and Emma just got some new games for Christmas, so they enjoyed playing together.

The ladies are having a friendly game of princess dominoes.

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Geek Baby

Posted by danaandtammy on Tuesday Dec 29, 2009 Under Kid Pictures, Kid Stories, Photographs, Stories

Kenny likes technology, just like his Daddy. He loves to use remote controls, cell phones, computers and their mice. Grandpa Fish has even nicknamed him “Geek Baby.” In just the last 5 days we have these photos as proof.

It is a new way of typing, but it works.

Technology is most useful to keep Kenny happy during picture taking.

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7th Wedding Anniversary

Posted by danaandtammy on Tuesday Dec 29, 2009 Under Photographs, Special Events

Tammy and I celebrated 7 years yesterday on the 28th. We spent some time shopping and going to the movie “The Blind Side.” We then checked into our hotel and spent the evening walking the streets of downtown Denver. All of this was possible because Grandma and Grandpa Fish watched the kids and let us borrow their customized yellow 1983 Cadillac Coupe Deville. It was really a fun day.

Here we are in front of the fireplace at the Hotel Monaco in downtown Denver.

Here is the lobby in the background.

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Christmas in Colorado

Posted by danaandtammy on Tuesday Dec 29, 2009 Under Holidays, Holidays, Kid Pictures, Photographs, Special Events

We celebrate Christmas in Colorado on December 27th. Great Grandma Howard came over for the presents and for Christmas dinner. It was nice to have arrived safely and celebrate Christmas together, even if it was a day later than planned.

Tammy was able to buy a used toy dishwasher via Craigslist. It was being sold in Colorado, so Tammy’s mom picked it up and then we gave it to Emma in Pueblo. The only challenge left is how to get it back to Eau Claire. All this work to complete Emma’s pink kitchen set.

Grandma Fishback made Emma some nightgowns. Here is her “Little Miss” nightgown.

Grandma Fishback opened an ornament picture frame with a picture of her and Kenny in it.

Grandpa Fishback and Kenny doing a gentle head butt while eating some kiwi. Male bonding.

Kenny and Great Grandma Howard.

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Christmas Day at Fanny Hill

Posted by danaandtammy on Tuesday Dec 29, 2009 Under Holidays, Holidays, Kid Pictures, Photographs, Special Events

Christmas Day was going to be spent getting up really early and driving on slippery roads to get to the Minneapolis airport and then flying to Colorado. But, it what seemed to be a “too good to be true” situation we were able to switch our flight to December 26th and it didn’t cost us a dime. I don’t know if Northwest always allows this when there is a big winter storm, but that was their reason for allowing us to change without any change fees. As a result we stayed in Eau Claire and had lunch at Fanny Hill with the Wisconsin family, and then we were able to travel when the snow had stopped. It all worked out very well.

Landry and Emma didn’t sit by each other, but they still had lots of fun.

Kenny is enjoying all that is left from the cherry that his mom ate.

Kenny and Great-Uncle Dayle have lots of fun chuckling at each other.

Kenny and Grandma Swany.

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Christmas Eve in Eau Claire

Posted by danaandtammy on Tuesday Dec 29, 2009 Under Holidays, Holidays, Kid Pictures, Photographs, Special Events

It rained on Christmas Eve in Eau Claire. That doesn’t happen often. Everyone was able to make it though. Christmas Eve traditionally has been celebrated in Mondovi at my parent’s house. This year it was at their new house just blocks away from where we live. The traditional Swanstrom dinner of Swedish Meatballs and ham was served and enjoyed by all (even Tammy because of some gluten free substitutions).

Here is the family in their shades of gray.

Emma and Landry got to sit next to each other at dinner. They are really started to act like good friends. Not as much fighting as when they were younger.

Here are all the cousins on the Swanstrom side of the family.

Kenny was in good spirits the whole evening.

We all had plenty of presents. Kenny is ready to hit his pile.

Kenny need to cool off a little so he lost his sweater. Here he is playing with a new toy airplane.

You’ve got to love the princess stuff.

Emma gave out canvas bags with her artwork on it. Here Grandma Swany is opening her red one.

Kenny and his Daddy.

Kenny doing a little walking for the camera.

Kenny and his Mommy.

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Winter Gymnastics

Posted by danaandtammy on Thursday Dec 24, 2009 Under Kid Pictures, Photographs

Emma finished another session of gymnastics last weekend. She continues to get stronger and more skilled. It is fun to watch.

She can push herself up like this all by herself.

Don’t know what this is called, but she can do it all by herself.

She didn’t want the instructor to help. She wanted to do it all by herself.

Swinging all by herself.

Letting go all by herself.

Getting her certificate of completion all by herself.  (If you haven’t noticed, she likes to do gymnastics all by herself)

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Sledding Adventure

Posted by danaandtammy on Thursday Dec 24, 2009 Under Holidays, Holidays, Kid Pictures, Photographs, Special Events

We received about 4 inches of snow last night, with another possible 10 inches to come tonight and tomorrow. The weather was nice enough though after present opening to head out on a walk and to do a little sledding.

So here is the setup, two kids, two sleds, one rope, and one dad.

Mom was mainly the photographer on the trip, but here she is and we did get her on a sled, so there will be pictures of that later on.

Just getting out of the driveway.

The street’s been plowed, but the snow never comes all the way off on the first pass.

Just a nice morning to walk in the snow. Temperature around 32 F (0 C).

Kenny was a little concerned as I pulled him us the snow back on the side of the road. He was buckled in though.

Here we are getting ready for the first run. Kenny is going to sit this one out.

Emma’s getting a little bit more pumped. She likes sledding, though she still remembers last year when I sent her down the hill herself. She crashed and actually bled. It was almost a year ago, but she still remembers.

First run through the fresh powder.

The sledding area is actually a drainage area that never has had water in it. The hill is just right for little kids.

Kenny joined us for a few runs.

Here is another run. After a good path was laid, we got some pretty good speed.

Just the girls did one run. Kenny again watched.

Tammy has done some sledding, but she still is a southerner (Oklahoma) at heart.

The two of them did go off the path and into some fresh powder and actually over a small jump.

This shows the effect of fresh powder a little bit better.

No injuries and smiles as we head for home.

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Christmas Eve Morning

Posted by danaandtammy on Thursday Dec 24, 2009 Under Holidays, Holidays, Kid Pictures, Photographs, Special Events, Stories

Tomorrow (Christmas Day) the Swanstroms hope to fly to Colorado to be with Tammy’s parents and grandmother. The weather might get in the way, but since we will be leaving early we decided to celebrate Christmas today. Besides present opening, the other excitement was that I tried to adjust a ceiling light during present opening, fell off the chair I was on, and literally landed on my head. Everyone was crying in fear except for me. I’ve got a little sore neck, but ibuprofen has helped a lot.

First things out of the stockings. Kenny got a blue rubber ducky, Emma got some hand sanitizer. Both seem pleased :).

Kenny’s duck and truck (just behind Kenny) were no match for the allure of his big sister’s stuff.

If you look real close you can see that she has a princess math book. It doesn’t get much better.

Last gift was a cash register. Emma loves to play restaurant with play food and play money.

Kenny got a little puzzle.

Trying to get a good pose with their stockings. Grandma Swany keeps them up to date for each Christmas.

Take Two or Twenty-Two…can’t remember.

An individual shot of Emma…

And one of just Kenny.

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Emma’s Winter Setup

Posted by danaandtammy on Thursday Dec 24, 2009 Under Kid Pictures, Photographs

Emma’s winter setup for this year. Two braids are optional.

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Visit from Friends

Posted by danaandtammy on Thursday Dec 24, 2009 Under Photographs, Special Events

Tammy and I met in Viet Nam. It is a long story for another time. In Viet Nam we also met a family from Singapore. They visited us while here in the States for Graduated school. We had a fun few days with them just hanging out and enjoying the snow.

Emma is playing here with Grace Ong. Grace was about Emma’s age when Tammy and I met in Viet Nam, which was over 7 years ago already.

Emma and Grace had fun riding the sled together and then walking back up the hill.

Since Signapore and Viet Nam are in the tropics, this was Michael’s first attempt at sledding ever.

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