Thursday, August 28, 2008


You can do anything you want to do. What is rare is this actual wanting to do a specific thing: wanting it so much you are practically blind to all other things, that nothing else will satisfy you.
-- Robert Henri in The Art Spirit

This quote cuts to the innermost struggle and fear of my heart and goes out to my brother Jon, my cousin Todd, and all of us who are perpetually fighting to find a direction in this life.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Momu Visits the MoMa

We have a young man from Japan , Momu (pronounced mom-moo), staying with us this week. He's the friend of a friend of a friend. He's a college student on his first visit to the U.S. Monday night we took him to the sculpture gardens outside the Museum of Modern Art in downtown Minneapolis.

The mini-golf installation set up every summer with a different theme. This year it's recycled, renewable resources. This is carved driftwood.

I liked this hole best.


Dietrich eating raspberries...

I am Atticus Johannsen, and I approve this entry.

Fell in Love with the Drummer....

Dietrich loves playing drums...anything percussive


This weekend we were taking an early evening walk together as a family. Victor our dog was doing his usual darting about at the end of his leash, trying to pee on bushes and find squirrels and poop. In a blitz-second, he spotted a squirrel and darted after it across the path of the stroller whipping the leash into Atticus' face. It happened too fast for anyone to do anything to stop it. Thankfully it missed Atticus' eye. This is a picture of it on the third day out from the incident.

Zoo Trip

Atticus running excitedly to the front doors

Inside the Tropics area

Outside the Butterfly House

Atticus' favorite section -- the wolves

Monday, August 25, 2008

Atticus' "New" Bed!

Last Friday friends of ours, Drew & Jammie Shafer from church, lent us a toddler bed for Atticus. This is Atticus' first night in his new bed. He loves it. He hasn't fallen out yet, though we've gone in to check on him finding him halfway off the side sound asleep.

Dietrich now sleeps in Atticus' "old" crib but with his own pictures and bumper.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Iowa State Fair Weekend

Two weekends ago we traveled down to Altoona, IA to visit Brad's family. As an added bonus, my parents and my Aunt and Uncle came from Wisconsin and Illinois (respectively) on Sunday for the Iowa State Fair Prairie Home Companion show. The first day, Brad and his dad took the boys for the entire morning: They went to the fair and brought the kids home, fed them and put them down for their naps. I spent my morning taking a very long and beautiful walk along the Altoona trail and later doing some errands. Then Nancy (Brad's mom) took me on a surprise shopping trip for some new maternity clothes!!! I found some great things I can wear now all the way to the end. I am so grateful to have some useful and pretty things to wear over this fall and winter. Thank you so so much, Nancy!

Trying to pedal the tricycle with Grandma

Here a few pictures Brad took at the the fair. Unfortunately, the camera inexplicably stopped working for over 24 hours. So I have very few photos from the first couple days. Atticus enjoyed the livestock and the giant slide and tried his first corn dog.

Sunday the camera miraculously (and really none of us know why it wouldn't re-charge nor why it was suddenly okay) began working again. My Uncle Danny and Aunt Donna drove their motorcycle out from Illinois and my folks drove over from Dubuque. We all met at the state fair for a few hours on Sunday afternoon. Then all the grown-ups (without Brad and I) went to the Prairie Home Companion show. Brad and I went back to Brad's folks' house to put the kids to bed and have a "night in" together. We watched a lot of Olympics -- Shawn Johnson is from Des Moines after all (-: Monday morning Nancy had to return to work (school started), but we met everyone else at Kara's coffee house.

My dad, mom, Aunt Donna, Brad, and Uncle Danny

It's always good to see my aunt and uncle, and I must say I always enjoy my uncle's colorful anecdotes. I must share my favorite one of our short visit. So he lives out in the country...and recently he was at a gun fair when he decided to buy a special gun (which I totally forget it's name) that cocks back like the Red Rider BB gun on The Christmas Story. Apparently this thing has a lot of power. My Uncle Danny has wanted one for a long time so at my aunt's urging he went ahead and got it. Well that same week, one of his daughters, Jesse, calls and says "The turkey's got to go. Please come take care of it." This big turkey tom had been harassing their kids, and it finally got to be too much. So Uncle Danny thinks to himself: Well, yesterday Jamie (Jesse's husband) and I were practicing with this gun, and even though we couldn't hit tin cans from 20 feet away, I think this is definitely the tool for the job. So he grabs his fancy gun and drives over to the Levis'. He pulls in, and one of his grandsons comes up following him. There's the turkey in a pen with a bunch of goats milling around it. And even though he has never been able to hit anything with this gun, he cocks it back, aims, and shoots at the turkey from like 10 feet away. Right smack into the turkey's little head. Once again, Uncle Danny awes and amazes one of his grandsons. And me.

Brad's Grandma Trellis came out from Des Moines

Aunt Kara & Atticus working the counter

At the playground before everybody leaves