17 June 2015

Trip Report: Wisconsin Dells

We have lived in Minnesota a long time for never having been to one of the most popular vacation spots around: Our Dream Vacation in the Dells!

We decided to do it up right this summer. We'd go on the train. Stay at a fancy waterpark resort. Livin' the dream!

We left from the Union Depot in downtown St. Paul. It was recently restored and we enjoyed seeing it.

Train Depot

If it weren't for this public art ping pong table, I think we might have been in danger of getting a little bored waiting for our train!

Ping pong at Union Depot

Here we are watching for it to arrive! We are able to do this because Daddy is in line for us. I think it is silly they line you up way in advance of the train pulling in, on the opposite site of the station.

Watching for the train

Empire Builder!

Empire Builder

Boarding the train.


On our way!

On the Empire Builder

We really enjoyed the Sightseer Lounge car. Getting a seat/table was pretty difficult, but we finally managed to find 3 seats together. And it was far enough away from the crazy preachers in there that I was satisfied.

Sightseer Lounge

The girls completed their "Junior Ranger" activity book, and turned it in for a badge. They even got their names announced over the speaker!

Earning their Junior Ranger badges

We were lucky to have our timing just right to eat in the Dining Car! I was super excited! Our lunch was delicious and you can't beat the atmosphere. We even went through a tunnel while we were eating!

Lunch in the dining car

Before long our train pulls into Wisconsin Dells station. Our Kalahari van is waiting for us and whisks us right to the resort, which is swankier than I was even expecting!!

Kalahari Resort

We relax in our room for a half hour or so, then head to the water park outside. It is a gorgeous day. How lucky are we?

In the lobby there are complementary frost-your-own sugar cookies. The girls are ready to stay here for the rest of their lives.

Sugar Cookie frosting time

The girls played for ages in this huge splash area.


We loved the lazy river.

Lazy River

We were so tuckered out by dinner that nothing sounded better than a wine to-go from the bar and ordering a pizza and eating it while laying in bed and watching Nickelodeon. Pretty great vacation so far, am I right???

Pizza room service

But wait, there's more! In the morning we eat breakfast at the big buffet in the resort, where there is so much the girls are excited about. Bacon, smoothies, whipped cream, pancakes, cinnamon buns!!!


We loved the Kids Zone in the Kalahari. The kids stopped in and made several of the crafts.

Craft time

We get a little unlucky on the weather today, it is cold and rainy outside, so we stick to the indoor water park. The girls mostly love the lazy river and splash pad areas. But we talk them into a couple water slides and we all liked swimming out through the wall to the outdoor jacuzzi!

For dinner we head to the brew pub in the resort. We join the bar trivia as "The Bakery" family and win first place! Which didn't get us anything except bragging rights. So: First place!

Here's Mimi and me the next day, swimming outside for a bit before we frost-our-own cookies.


It is already Saturday and time to head to the train station!

Wisconsin Dells Train Depot

The Empire Builder is right on time. We manage to get a wonderful table in the Sightseer Lounge and play Life on the iPad. The views of the Mississippi are amazing!

Mississippi River

We love you Wisconsin Dells!

02 June 2015

Frozen Family Costumes!

Way back in October, if you'll recall, we had about the AWESOMEST family Halloween costumes ever. But I never got a good picture of the four of us, or of the details of our costumes. And then it was winter. D'oh!

So I am very excited to have these pictures we took last weekend!!

Frozen Family

It wasn't actually snowing. But it looks cool added in there!

Frozen Family

Here's Elsa and Olaf. I describe both of their costumes in these posts: Elsa, Olaf.

Olaf and Elsa

Olaf and Elsa

For my Anna costume, I bought the skirt and shirt and boots at Goodwill, all of which I altered. I sewed the cape and knitted the mittens. The corset is from my Renaissance festival costume, I just replaced the ribbon.



Anna and Olaf

I knitted the mittens. They are from the End of May pattern and I thought they looked very Arendelle-ish. [ravelry link]


End of May Mittens

End of May Mittens


The most fun I had was painting the boots!

Anna's Boots

Here's Brent as Kristoff. The girls were the most concerned that he be sure to have a pompom on his hat!


I was glad I had bought him felted mittens and wool Sorel Caribou boots earlier this year. They really made this costume!


27 May 2015

Birthday Party: Woodland camping and s'mores

Mimi told me she wanted a "cute baby animals and s'mores" themed birthday party.

You got it girl!!

CampingWoodlandCrittersInvite Emily

I wasn't exactly on top of things, so her birthday party ended up to be a month and half after her actual birthday. But that meant we got to have our first ever OUTSIDE birthday party!!

Here's the outfits I made the girls, turned out super cute if I do say so myself.

Ready for the party

Birthday girl.

Birthday Girl!

I LOVED this theme SO MUCH and I had so much fun setting everything up! I ordered the birthday pack from Dimple Prints, which was a great find!

Camping Birthday Party!

Even the fairy garden joined in the celebration.

Birthday flags in the fairy garden

Here's the make-your-own trail mix bar.

Trail Mix Bar

Here's the trail mix frenzy.

Trail mix frenzy

Bella and her friend did the face painting station. Very popular!

Face Painters!

My parents even came for the party!

Nana on the Deck

The kids painted birdhouses.

Arts & Crafts

We served hot dogs for lunch and the kids ate on big picnic blankets.

We made homemade camp ice cream in ziplock bags to go with our s'mores cupcakes. I read the kids "Going on a Bear Hunt" while they smooshed their bag around and waited for their cream to ice.

Birthday Party

Birthday cupcake

The kids loved running all over the front and back yard for the scavenger hunt. I drew the hunt list and ordered little clipboards and twig pencils. I had the kids partner up for this so they could make a friend.

Birthday Scavenger Hunt

Each kid got an activity book with coloring pages that I made.

Woodland Birthday Party

Woodland Birthday Party

On the back was an area where they could stick badges they earned as they finished birthday party activities! This part was very popular. [I stole this idea from this pin]

Badges given at the birthday party!

The kids got to take home the bug net and all the treasures they found on the scavenger hunt, their birdhouse, and a bag of s'mores snack mix.

Happy Birthday Party my little s'mores girl!