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Genevieve is Welcomed Into the Church

As we didn’t have any pictures on our camera for our niece Genevieve’s baptism a few weeks ago, this post is a little late in coming. (All photography courtesy of Rob, John’s dad; thank you!)

Genevieve was welcomed into the Catholic Church through the sacrament of baptism on July 3, which was exactly 9 months after Anna’s baptism, as Hallie pointed out. The day was gloriously sunny and Mike and Hallie’s parish church was gorgeous, making the ceremony that much more beautiful. Genna stayed awake for all of the rite, and even opened her eyes up wide in amazement when her dad held her up for all to see as the newest new member of the Church. After the Mass we were treated to a small celebration at her home, where we all enjoyed a really delicious lunch… and cake! (I never forget the cake. And this one was exceptionally yummy.)

We were honored to be asked to be her Godparents and loving praying for Goddaughter #3 every day! She’s a sweetheart, that’s for sure.

Genna wakes up at the baptism!
The parents and godparents.
A sweet smile from the newly-baptized.

Fourth Anniversary Trip, Part 2

For the second half of our fourth anniversary vacation, we drove to Alexandria, MN, home to goddaughter #2, Hailey Rose, and her awesome parents, Brian and Briana. We were welcome for dinner (delicious brats, awesome watermelon, etc.) and let the two kiddos play with each other for a while. Well, let me rephrase–they’re both about a year old–play next to each other. As Hailey was going to visit her grandparents the next day, Anna was kindly allowed to borrow a few of her toys for her camping trip. We camped at the Shady Rest Resort on Lake Amelia, about 10 miles south of town. Our friends Taryn and Paul let us borrow their huge six person tent, so we were able to set up Anna’s Pack ‘n Play and still have plenty of room left over for us!

The next day, July 6, was hot and sunny, and we spent it going for walks, lounging around, reading, drinking beer, and swimming in the lake. It was a gloriously lazy time, and all three of us enjoyed ourselves. In the evening, Brian & Briana came out to have dinner with us, and we made chicken-pineapple shish kebab and had s’mores for dessert. We got rained on a bit late at night, but our tent-fu learned years ago at Catholic Youth Camp was strong, and we had no problems.

On the day of our anniversary, July 7, the clouds rolled in quickly in the morning, so we packed up and headed home. All in all, it was a wonderful trip: a perfect mix of friends, tourist sites, and hangout time. When we left, I wasn’t sure how things would go at the campsite with Anna, but she loved pretty much every minute of it. The only hiccup was her peeing on top of our sleeping bags and…well, kids happen!

The Taj-ma-Tent.
“And lo, the Princess rose from her slumber in the Taj-ma-Tent…”
A kind lady was willing to take our picture in the lake. Float-a-phant brought to you by Hailey’s parents.
“Campfires are fun!”
“Morning walks are fun too! Old ladies say hi to me!”
An unfortunate side effect of the stupidstateshutdowndontchaknow.

Fourth Anniversary Trip, Part 1

After Goddaughter #3’s baptism on Sunday, July 3, we packed the Toyota absolutely full of camping and baby gear and headed to beautiful North Dakota to visit Ry Guy and Maggie, two friends of ours who also met at Catholic Youth Camp and later married. They live in the small town of LaMoure, pop. 900, on the banks of the James River. As we headed over the border into ND proper, we were amazed at the amount of standing water in the fields due to recent rains and flooding–we even saw two places where the highway had been raised to deal with the water!

After arriving in LaMoure, Ry guided us to a nearby man-made lake, where our families watched fireworks together (Anna was terrified). I had a literal run-in with a barbed wire fence, but did not get tetanus, so that wasn’t so bad in the end. Then we headed to Ry and Maggie’s house, where we sat around the dinner table and talked late into the night. I was excited to taste Ry’s excellent homebrew–a dark cream ale.

July 4 dawned hot and hazy, but that didn’t stop us from getting a walking tour of town. Being a curious geek, I asked every Ry every question I could think of regarding the town’s major industries (farming and farming). Ry was kind enough to give me a driving tour of the area too; there’s a scenic “backway” in the area that stops by 10 Friendly! Interpretive! Signs! and family and friends know how much I love them. In the afternoon we loaded the three kids into the minivan and drove west to the Whitestone Hill state historic site, where in 1863 a large battle took place between U.S. volunteer cavalry and Sioux Indians. Basically the army decided to get revenge for the 1862 Dakota War and the general in command decided that killing any Native Americans he came across would count.

A monument erected to the 17 U.S. soldiers who died.

One of the soldier’s gravestones. The 300 Sioux who died have a only tiny plaque commemorating their deaths. Pretty sad.
Ry and Maggie’s oldest.

Unfortunately, we had an unpleasant surprise on our way home from the battlefield. Anna was hot, tired, and cranky, and whenever Liam, the other baby in the car, would babble, shriek, or laugh, she would start SCREAM-ING. Maybe she hates boys, but she had a pretty extreme way of showing it! During the kids’ late afternoon nap, Ry and I headed to the Centerfield Bar and Grill, a nice place that was showing the Twins game. We had some brews, and I sampled a red ale from Tallgrass Brewing in Kansas. We read the grill menu to our wives over the phone and basically just ordered takeout. I had my first bleu cheese Juicy Lucy: uh-maz-ing! We again stayed up late into the night catching up with our friends.

July 5 was slightly cooler, and we said our goodbyes and headed out. Around noon we stopped at the Fort Abercrombie state historic site along the Red River. During the 1862 Sioux uprising it was the only fortification that was put under siege. Anna had a good time playing with a buffalo robe inside the museum, and we endured some good natured ribbing from the Friendly! Interpreters! about how ND’s state historic sites are open but our own state’s are closed because of the DangstoopidShutdowndontchaknow. We quickly toured the reconstructed sections of the fort, slapped mosquitos, and headed to Alexandria, MN to visit goddaughter #2. All in all it was a great two days with Ry Guy, Maggie, and their kids, and we thank them for their wonderful hospitality. We hope to repay them in kind soon!

“Little did Anna know at that tender age that her father would force her to pose in front of many more blockhouses and stockades across the country…”
There is nothing more attractive than a Wifey with a map at a historic site. “Hawt.”

A Few of Her Favorite Things

Anna has a new favorite toy.

Her Legos, you ask?

No, but she sure loves to knock the whole tub over and dig to the bottom.

Her ball?

No, but that’s pretty fun too.

Her camera?

Still not it, but it does come in a close second.

Her new favorite “toy” is… ta da!

Her toothbrush! (I’m sure you guessed it from the start. Our blog has very smart readers.) Yes, friends, this little bristly blue brush makes our daughter smile. It also makes her cry, but only when you take it away. This should make her Great Aunt Kel-lee, DDS, very proud. With only three teeth, Anna already enjoys the scrubbing she gets each night. Although part of that may be from the yummy fruity toothpaste, she does still love the brush itself, which she proved as we took some pictures of her with it.

And no, we do not let her brush her teeth herself. But we do let her swallow the toothpaste. Spitting is not a forte of the Princess Anna Kateri Sweet Pea I… at least not on command.

Now if only we could get her to love washing her face…

Copper and Anna, 2.0

Most of you have seen this video via Facebook already, but I thought I’d share it anyway. Copper and Anna are now the best of friends. Anna loves Copper’s “kisses”, and apparently Copper now loves licking baby faces. I’m sure there will be many more videos in the years to come of these two little ones.

“Et tu, Brewte?”

My brother Mike and I received a very generous gift from our parents for our June birthdays: a homebrewing kit from Northern Brewer in St. Paul. Last week we picked up all our gear and chose what beer we would try our hand at first (nut brown ale), and Thursday was brew day at Mike and Hallie’s house. Although it took us several hours to get the job done, it was a lot of fun (lots of faux shouting, “You’re doing it wrong!”). But we did not ignore our responsibility to the brew. We steeped grains, added malt extract, boiled wort, added hops, did some “product research” (see below), achieved a cold break, filled the primary fermenter, aerated, added yeast, and corked it. All those terms are just a technical way of saying, “Had a blast. Thanks Mom and Dad!” Now we wait two weeks before moving to secondary fermentation, bottling, etc. And then…we’ll see if the beer is any good!

Steeping barley in hot water.
Mike snorting hops–Fuggle, to be exact.
While the wort boiled, we did some “product research”.
More product research and wort stirring.
Five gallons of cooled wort in a glass carboy. Luckily, this brew slave avoided a hernia.
“Store in a cool, dry place for two weeks.”

Mobile Pea

Well, cousin Sherri’s prediction was correct; Anna did start crawling on Wednesday night. She only covered about 12 inches on the living room floor, but she did it. As our friend Jess put it, the “Golden Age” of a baby who can sit but can’t crawl is over. Yesterday Anna was already improving, chasing after the laptop when Grandmas Kay and Sherry and Grandpa Jim were waving and cooing at her on Skype. Today she went after a few different toys she likes:

But that’s not the only surprise she had in store for us this week. This afternoon I went to get her up from her nap, and she was sitting in her crib like she was an inmate in Folsom Prison:

"I ain't seen the sunshine since I don't know when..."

The times are a changin’ at the Rogers household!

The Old Ball Game

My wonderful father had two tickets to a MN Twins’ game last Thursday and couldn’t go. Poor Dad… lucky us! He offered the tickets to me, and since I had the afternoon free and Anna had yet to be to Target Field, we jumped at the chance. John had to work, so I asked my friend Karen to go with us because she’s one of the biggest Twins’ fans I know.

After Karen found us a great parking spot, we walked to the stadium (signal chorus of angels to start singing) and got to our padded Legends’ Club seats just in time to see my favorite player, Michael Cuddyer, up at bat. Anna sure is a good luck charm for her parents’ favorite team, because the first pitch she saw just happened to be a home run!

Karen and Anna enjoying the game
“I’m so happy to be at a game with Mommy and Miss Karen!”

The day was gorgeous, the seats were amazing, and the game was perfect (not literally, but it was an entertaining and short 2 hours and 8 minutes). Anna did really well and happily waved at anyone around us who would pay attention and cheered the team on to a 1-0 win against the White Sox. Apparently going to a Twins’ game suits her fancy, which is just fine with me. She even had her first taste of Cherry Coke, which was probably a bad idea on my part; she only wanted more!

“Yummy!”

The great afternoon was made complete by picking up a “first game” certificate for Anna’s baby book, taking a walk around the beautiful stadium, and of course enjoying some tasty stadium food.

Thank you, Dad/Grandpa Jim, for the tickets – we had a blast and I have no doubts Anna will grow up a Twins’ fan.

Karen: Thank you for going with us to the game and helping me with a 9 month old. We are SO glad you were able to join us!!!

GO TWINS!

A Fun and Busy Weekend

We’ve been very busy so far this June, and this weekend was busier than most. This past Friday Beth and Traci, Sara’s sisters, came up for a girls’ night. They watched movies, ate nachos, and hung out at the park with Anna. I spent the evening with my dad; we attended the American Beauty Project concert at Orchestra Hall. It was excellent, and as an added bonus, we were treated to some natural fireworks after the concert in the form of a lightning storm that rolled into downtown Minneapolis around 10 PM.

Methinks the swing is still a bit big…

On Saturday, I headed to the State Fair grounds in St. Paul with my father-in-law and one of his friends for the Minnesota Street Rod Association’s “Back to the 50s” car show. This is a yearly event where over 11,500 classic cars are shown, though not a single one built after 1964 is allowed. I’m not a big gearhead, but this is the third year in a row that I’ve gone to the show, which should tell you something about how spectacular it is!

A chopped-down street rod
The interior of a Messerschmitt KR200, a very tiny car
“Oh, they don’t make ’em like they used to…”
You’ve got to love State Fair signs!

On Saturday afternoon, we packed up the car and headed to my parents’ condo. My cousin Sherri was visiting from Omaha, and we had a good time drinking beer, talking, and celebrating Father’s Day together. Sherri had not seen Anna since Thanksgiving and commenting that she is getting So! Big! Sherri also got to meet Genevieve, now jokingly called Dino Baby because she makes screeching noises like a tiny T-Rex. Father’s Day proper we had an especially fun time; the whole family headed to Canterbury Park for an afternoon of horse racing and people watching. Many of us had exceptionally good luck. My dad and I picked winners in three out of four races, and my winnings managed to cover Sara’s losses (sorry dear!). Looking back, it was a weekend packed with fun.

“All hail Her Royal Cuteness, Princes Anna Kateri Sweet Pea I, and her rockin’ headdress!”

This week we have very few items on our schedule and are just enjoying being home together with Anna. Since it’s been raining on and off all day, she used part of her afternoon indoors to peruse the bookshelf.

“Oh, what learning is!” (Romeo and Juliet, III.iii.160)
“Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.” –Henry Ward Beecher