July 28, 2013

A Trip to Grandma's Farm in Iowa

A Trip to Grandma's Farm in Iowa
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for July 28, 2013

On Sunday night, Miss Sheri and I went to see Sarah Silverman at Mystic Lake Casino.  Unfortunately, they don't allow us to take pictures of the performers and Miss Silverman went out of her way to tell us not to take pictures.  I can understand why comedians don't want videos taken of their performances for fear of their act getting online and possibly affecting ticket sales, but why do they care so much about pictures being taken?  Doesn't make much sense to me.

On Tuesday night, the boy's friend Rachel came over to go tubing.  I'm getting more comfortable pulling the new tube and the kids keep telling me to go crazy while driving them.  It's a dangerous combination.  I became a bit nervous when I figured out how to get the tube to whip around so fast it's almost in front of the boat while we're flying through the water.  When the rope gets slack in it the results aren't very pretty when it gets pulled tight again.  Luckily, the kids don't seem to mind getting concussions.

On Friday night, we headed to Grandma's Farm and were excited to see the corn is getting very tall.  Just like our boys.

The reason for our trip was the annual Timmerman Family Reunion.  We don't get as many people there as we used to, but it was great seeing the people that showed up.  

After we finish eating, I enjoy walking down to the Rock River to look at the rocks.  And the river.

I drag the boys down there with me even though they don't seem especially thrilled with either rocks or rivers.  If it doesn't have a digital screen on it, it just doesn't catch their interest.

So I went back to get Miss Sheri and asked her if she'd come to the river with me.  But then I got bored with the rocks and river and decided to figure out where the boys went instead.

The boys went to the public pool which was practically empty because it was only 65 degrees outside.  The water was warm, but once you got out of it the air was very nipply.

Look.  A Bird!

When we came back to Grandma's, Sunny asked us if we could throw his ball down the gravel road so he could run after it.  It just doesn't take much to make that dog happy.  I'm sure he would have loved the rocks and river.

July 22, 2013

Celebrating my 43rd birthday on the St. Croix River with the Zitzewitz Family

Celebrating my 43rd birthday on the St. Croix River with the Zitzewitz Family
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for July 21, 2013

July 20 was my 43rd birthday.  In celebration, we rode down this brand new lift to the St. Croix River for a day of fun with good friends.

The Zitzewitz Family was so nice to invite us over to spend Saturday with them.  At least, I think we were invited.  It's also possible we just showed up and they're just so nice they didn't want to say anything.  What good people.

The boys wanted to show Aaron their new tube, so Karl was nice enough to take them out for a spin.

Karl asked if I wanted to be the "Spotter" and watch to make sure thje kids don't fall off.  I think he just likes me on the SeaDoo with him because it makes him look so good.

After awhile, I switched spots with Anna to go on the tube with the boys.  I think they like that because it makes them look so good.

Miss Sheri told me she took this picture because she thought Tina looked so nice with the trees behind her.  I thought it was a very good picture as well!

Eventually, we put the tube away and went for a boat ride instead.   The boys don't like to sit by us any more, so they sit up front.

Karl showed us a neat trick where he hovers above the water and watches for fish.

He has a similar technique he uses for bird watching.

Pretty soon we all had to go to the bathroom.  Then we called it a day and drove back to shore.

We had to leave the river early to go back home and take Grandma Linda to the Outback for my birthday.  She really likes the Outback.  And she did give birth to me all those years ago, I figure I owe it to her.

July 21, 2013

Prior Lake Lakefront Music Fest 2013 with Warrant and Bret Michaels

Prior Lake Lakefront Music Fest 2013 Warrant & Bret Michaels
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for July 21, 2013

This weekend was the 4th Annual Prior Lake Lakefront Music Fest.  Every year this weekend long concert gets bigger and bigger.  This year they said more than 10,000 people were there.

We saw our good friend, Jen Walters, with her sister in law.  They sure looked like they were ready to rock.

Some more good friends, Heidi and Mark Wojahn, saved spots for us near the stage.  We're lucky we arrived when we did because the crowd was starting to close in on our space!

We had never seen this police tower before, but next year I'm gonna try to figure out how to become a cop because this looks like a pretty good place to watch the concert!

Warrant was jamming when we arrived.

They ended their set by singing about somebody they called their "Cherry Pie".  I didn't see what she looked like, but she sounds like a fun lady.

Bret Michaels was the headliner and the consummate showman.  He sold meet and greet opportunities before and after the show and auctioned off his guitar for more than $3,000 after he was done.  He didn't even say the money was going to charity or anything.  He just kept working the crowd for money!!  God Bless Him!  I wish I could do that...

I guess I need to figure out how to get some dreamy blue eyes first.

He sang a lot of classic songs from Poison and covered some popular songs from other bands as well.  I was really impressed with his show and have gained a new respect for the man outside of the Apprentice.

After the show, Miss Sheri and I wandered around backstage and got pictures with this guy.  I think he's the lead singer for Warrant, but may just be a roady.  I'm just not sure.  Whoever he is, I told him I was one of his biggest fans in the world and told him it would be a dream fulfilled to get my picture taken with him.  He was very nice and let us take 2!

Camp Odayin 2013 --- Luke and Avery Go To Camp

Camp Odayin's website proclaims they provide fun, safe and supportive camp experiences and community building opportunities for young people with heart disease and their families.

Luke and Avery have been going there every summer since they were little and spent the past week there.

The camp doesn't allow phones or calls to parents back home, so the only glimpse we get into their lives is via pictures that get posted to the website each night.  These were some of our favorites this year: