Sunday, March 29, 2015

Tipis and Tacos

Parker and I made another trip to the Minnesota History Center with my parents on Saturday.  Parker has been several more times with my mom and his cousins, but I was excited to go again.  Parker headed right for his favorite spot, the tipi and pioneer exhibits.
 He really enjoyed the Iron Range mining exhibit.  I thought the noise and lights would scare him, but he loved it!
 Using the drill was his favorite part!
 I broke out my kitchen torch for the afternoon to try my hand at creme brûlée!  It is one of my favorite desserts so I was excited to try making it myself.
After church, we picked up tacos at Rusty Taco and went to Jimmy's parents to watch the Wild game.  We do not go there nearly enough!
I used this recipe for the dessert and it turned out great!  I finished them off with the torch just before we ate them.  It was a perfect sugary "crack" and delicate creamy texture.  I will definitely be making this more!
It was a delicious end to a great day and a fun way to spend our anniversary.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

6 Years!

Almost exactly 6 years ago (3:52) Jimmy and I said "I do."  Here is a recap how we have spent the last six March 28ths (or as close as I could get in pictures!)
2009 - Arriving home after the big bash!
March 27, 2010 - Brooklyn Bridge
March 26, 2011 - Woo Hoo!
2012 - He's Here! 
2013 - Parker's first dentist appointment
2014 - Washington Monument
 We celebrated a bit early this year.  We planned to go to Fogo de Chao and they participated in restaurant week at the end of February.  I love a good deal so we pretended it was March!
 Jimmy took me here for our first Valentine's Day and we have only been back two other times.  It was such a treat! 
The day isn't over yet, so we will see what kind of fun we can drum up for today!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Pizza Party and Game Night

Our friends, Ben and Jenna, host a pizza party and game night every year.  This was the first year we could go and it was so much fun!  Everyone brought different toppings and we made a whole bunch of pies!
My BBQ Chicken Pizza
 We played a crazy competitive game of Pictionary after dinner.  After a slow start the ladies almost made a comeback, but ended up barely losing to the guys.
 Next up was dessert!  Boboli has a bunch of great pizza recipes on their website.  Both of our dessert pies came from there and we will be making them again!  I am also excited to try some other recipes.
Apple Pie
 We ended the night with several rounds of Catch Phrase, an old classic!
 Hopefully we can make it again next year!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hope for the Park

We made big, big progress at the park today and it's still March!  The park has been a big struggle for us the last couple years.  I know that seems crazy because Parker is only 3, but today was a big deal. Two years ago, Parker was terrified to climb on playground equipment.  He would literally shake if we tried to put him on a platform.  He was fine with being on platforms last year... if we could get his focus away from the swings.  No matter what park we were at he would always find the swings and then it was over.  

Today was our second trip to the park this year.  I was able to direct him towards the structure first and (after a brief rendezvous with the stroller) he didn't look back!
He did get to swing before we left, but I am so proud that he is branching out to new activities!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Mill City Museum

I have been itching to go to the Mill City Museum for a while.  It is built in the ruins of what was the largest flour mill in the world.  It showcases the long (and explosive) history of the flour industry in Minneapolis.  My parents have a Historical Society membership so we got to go for free!
We stopped at the baking lab briefly before our trip up the Flour Tower.  They had playdoh, rolling pins, and cookie cutters for the kids to play with.  They were also baking brownies and bread as samples!
The Flower Tower is a pretty awesome exhibit!  You get on a big freight elevator and it takes you on an 8 story ride to learn about the history of the mill.  It started out well, will lots of smiles but none of us knew what to expect...  Unfortunately, it was very traumatic for Parker.  There was a lot of lights and noise and it was just too much more him.  Every time the doors opened he just wanted to run out.  It was a really tough 8 minutes...
It took him a bit to calm down once we were off the elevator.  We stopped on the eight floor and our guide gave us some fun facts about the mill.  We learned that flour dust in it's purest form is many times more combustible than gun powder.  It was the ignition of this dust that caused the mill to explode in 1878.  It was so strong that the roof was shot 400 feet into the air!  We also learned that all the waste was originally dumped into the river.  This caused giant dough balls to form, eventually blocking the river entirely.  It was events like these that led to workplace safety and environmental protection legislation.
We walked up one final story to the observation deck.  It was a gorgeous day in Minnesota!
Parker was pretty excited to be out of that elevator too!
Once we were closer to the ground we got to learn more about the hydropower that the mill ran on.  Parker loved turning the turbine and watching the gears move.
 We also got to build dams and set up the riverfront like it was a hundred years ago.
Feeling the power of water!
We had lunch at the Nicollet Diner.  It was a bit of a clumsy meal.  First, I put a hole in Parker's milk cup.  While trying to clean that up Parker knocked over and broke a malt glass.  Finally as we were leaving my dad tipped his water glass over... I am sure they were glad to be rid of us!  It was a great day with Grandpa and Nana, we can't wait to do it again soon!