The Year in Review – 2006

Dahl Christmas card picture

Hello, and welcome to the year in review for the Dahl Family Blog. The beginning of the year is at the bottom of this page. Scroll down to start there. Otherwise, just take a look any which way you prefer. There are lots of pictures, a few videos, and a couple of highlights mixed in here and there. We hope you enjoy.


November – December 2006

The PTA Fall Fest at the elementary school was fun for all. Barry went to Portland for a conference and was able to make a side trip to Corvallis to see if his beloved ASU Sun Devils play football against Oregon State. Unfortunately, only one team showed up that day, and it wasn’t the team from the desert. Rita made her annual early holiday shopping trip to the Cities with her girlfriends. Most of the stories involve eating, drinking, and hot tubs; but we’re sure there was also some serious shopping mixed in there.

Cottage in winter

Our annual jaunt to the cottage hunting for Christmas trees was a fun adventure. We found our normal Charlie Brownish tree that we brought home to a warm house and lots of decorations on the lower branches.

Quinn with tree

Rita hosted her annual holiday candy-making party at the house. Each year the group grows larger, the fun gets louder, and the candy gets sweeter.

Emma and Alan performed in the Northern Lights Holiday Concert. Quinny will have a special holiday party with songs and dancing in his classroom on Dec. 22nd. Click here to open the video in a separate window.

Click To Play

Rita made a quick trip to New Mexico to visit her friend Becki. She mostly spent time in Santa Fe on her extended weekend.

Emma performed beautifully at her holiday performance for the Sterling Silver Dance Studio. She was in a baton group, as shown below. She is the farthest left in the beginning lineup. Open separately here.

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October 2006

In October, Barry was returning to China for another work-related trip and Rita took the opportunity to go along for a personal adventure. They spent five days in Guangzhou, China; then made stops in Hong Kong, Macau, and Saigon, Vietnam.

Tea in Guangzhou

In Guangzhou, we had a very full schedule of business events for Barry and our other travel partners from Lake Superior College. We stayed on the campus of the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. Rita tagged along for most of Barry’s business meetings and was treated royally by our hosts. Our last full day was actually spent in Foshan touring many ceramics factories, shops, kilns, and a ceramics museum. See other posts about our time in China: post one, post two, post three, post four, and post five.

Rita shopping in Kowloon

In Hong Kong, we stayed at the posh Conrad Hotel. Rita mostly enjoyed the shopping markets across the bay in Kowloon. She was very disappointed that the shops closed down at 11 PM on a Sunday. What were they thinking? Posts from Barry’s blog: first post and second post.

Rita in Macau

In Macau, Barry was able to knock off work a little early so that they could spend some time at the local casinos. Here’s another post about our day there.

Rita shopping in Saigon

In Saigon, Rita enjoyed more shopping experiences. Here are some earlier posts about our time in Saigon: post one, post two, post three, and post four.

Shortly after returning from Asia, Barry headed out again, this time to North Carolina for another conference. The personal highlight of the trip was when he and some buddies took a side trip to Mayberry (Mt. Airy) to soak in the sights and smells of the Andy Griffith Show. Goober says hey!

Mayberry Court House

Click here to see many more photos from Mayberry and Mt. Pilot.

Halloween boys

Halloween was a fun time although it was pretty cold for the trick-or-treaters. The kids handled the weather by making about four different excursions around the neighborhoods with a warm up period in between each one.

August – Sept 2006

The annual Dahl Family reunion was well attended and provided the opportunity for good eating, good chatting, and some bocce ball. Barry went to Ottawa, Canada for a conference. It was his first time in Canada’s capitol city and he enjoyed it very much.  Rita and Barry celebrated their 11th anniversary by returning to the scene of the crime.

MN State Fair Chair Swing 

We all enjoyed a day at the Minnesota State Fair. However, we felt that we missed something by not trying the spaghetti on-a-stick, deep fried pickle on-a-stick, deep fried Twinkies (apparently not on-a-stick), or Nothin’ on a Stick.

Quinn's 5th birthday 

Quinny celebrated his fifth birthday on September 4 at an indoor carnival and game room.

boys first day at school Emma first day at school

The first day of school was very exciting. This is the only year that all three kids will officially go to the same school. Quinny started community pre-school (new this year as a pre-kindergarten school initiative), Alan is in the 3rd grade, and Emma is in 5th. All three do wonderfully at school.

September saw the return of the weekly activities such as swimming lessons for all three, gymnastics lessons for all three, and baton for Emma.

June – July 2006

Rita had another birthday. She and the kids flew to Pennsylvania to visit the Strangs. Rita worked at the White Birch one night per week during the summer for some extra spending money. Barry attended a conference in San Diego, one of his favorite cities. Unfortunately, the Padres were not in town during his visit, but he did get to watch all the games on local TV and have some great fish tacos.

After the half marathon

Barry ran the half marathon at Grandma’s in Duluth. Even though he ran many 10 K races (in a previous life), he had never ran more than seven miles at a time in his life before that day (13.1 miles!). Ouch!

Gram Neldie withy dad's monument

Barry flew to Cheyenne to be with his mom during the Bob Nab Memorial Baseball Tournament. The flagpoles and a monument were dedicated to Grandpa Bob during the tournament and Barry got to throw out the first pitch. See a video here.

Reunion 2006

The Newsome Family Reunion lived up to the hype for the 52nd annual event. Click here for larger photo.

May 2006

Emma the baton twirler

Emma turned 10 on the 24th. Double digits!! OMG!! When did that happen? She had her favorite kind of party … a massive sleepover.

Barry is 50 

Barry turned 50 with little fanfair, exactly as he requested.

At the Anchor for a burger 

Gram Neldie came to visit for 11 days to see the kids’ spring concerts at school and she also got to spend some time with the ladies at the casino in Hinckley for Matma’s birthday celebration.

R.J. and kids on trampoline

While Gram Neldie was here, R.J. Nab also drove up for a day while he was in St. Cloud for job training. 

Emma's baton group photo

Emma and Rita both danced in the Sterling Silver spring recital.

Rita's dance recital group photo

Barry went to China for 12 days and spent time in Shanghai, Xi’an, and Beijing.

Barry on the Great Wall

Really an amazing trip for someone who had never left the Western Hemisphere before. See many more photos here.

Meeting students in China

April 2006

Alan's birthday gift cards 

Alan turned 8 on the 24th. Had his party at the bowling alley with lots of friends and family.

The spring carnival at Northern Lights was a fun time as it is every year.

Easter baskets

Easter at the condo was also a repeat of all the other fun Easters that we have spent there with family.

Quinn finds an egg

Barry attended conferences in Chicago and Brainerd, MN while Rita went to the PTA conventionin Wausau, WI.

February-March 2006

Flat Stanley in Duluth

Alan sent Flat Stanley to various locales for a school project.
Barry went to Savannah, GA in February for an e-Learning conference. Loved the city and hopes to go back some day. He also went to Atlanta in March for another conference. Didn’t love that city so much.

Rita went to Oconomowoc, WI for a Parent Involvement Coordinator conference. Rita and kids also went to Pennsylvania for a short vacation when they had a couple of days off from school.

We made our annual pilgrimage to the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells in March. Had a great time as usual.

Rita curling

Barry and Rita tried curling for the first time. Had a great time and actually did pretty well, almost like we knew what we were doing.

Walkin on the ice

The whole family went ice fishing out at the cottage. It was the first time for everyone except Barry. Not a single bite, but we had fun anyway.

ice fishin

Rita and the kids spent a day walking at the mall for the American Diabetes Association fundraiser.

January 2006

Remember the Alamo

Rita's on the River

We brought in the new year in San Antonio for B.J. and Linda’s wedding. It was great fun. We also made a quick trip down to Corpus Christi to splash around in the cold Gulf of Mexico.

Girl vacation

Rita went on her annual girl vacation to Islamorada in the Florida Keys with Matma, Gram Neldie, Auntie Nenny, Grandma Ginny, Aunt Tulie, and Yori. They had their usual great time.

Dahl Family Blog

Welcome to the Dahl Family Blog. We’ll try to update this every month or two, but its main purpose will be to replace the annual Christmas letter with a recap of the events of the year for our family.