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Sunshine 06-11-2002 03:38 PM

Where are the Minnesotan's?!!!
I'm really excited about this regional forum but no one from Minnesota has posted yet and so I thought I'd better start it out. I'm from Minneapolis but I live in England. I've been here now for 15 years but I still get very homesick.

I would love to read posts here and get views about news from Minnesota. I still have family there and obviously I'm in touch with them but I'm still eager to hear from others.

So where are you guys? Come on, let's get this forum going!!!


64squares 06-18-2002 06:27 PM

Well, Maureen--I am not a true Minnesotan, but I will at least give you your first reply! :p

I grew up in upstate NY, but my husband and I moved to MN for a year and a half back in July of 97. We moved for my husband to go to Pillsbury Baptist Bible College in Owatonna, MN in the southern part of the state.

Compared to upstate NY, MN was quite flat, but pretty in a different way. The winters in NY are cold, but MN was definitely COLDER and had more snow! Even though the 2 winters we were there were supposed to be 2 of the mildes on record in a number of years!

We enjoyed our time out in MN, but have since moved back to upstate NY to be closer to both of our families. It is nice to be back "home" since we have 3 little ones for grandparents to keep in touch with. Thomas will be 4 yr. next month, Cassandra is 2 1/2, and Candida is 6 1/2 mos.!

Well, I hope you get some TRUE BLUE Minnesotans to reply here! I will probably be checking back in! :-P::

Sunshine 06-19-2002 07:08 AM


Thanks for your kind reply. I appreciate it.

I'm glad you liked your time in Minnesota. It's a very beautiful state and a good place to live although, I will admit the winters are tough. I'm so used to the temperate climate in England now, that I can barely tolerate the cold when we visit Mn. at Christmas. My husband always teases me if I shiver and complain because he thinks I should be used to it as a native Minnesotan!

I can understand that you prefer being back in upstate NY since your families are back there. My oh my, you must have your hands full with three children so young. You sound like you have a lovely family.

My husband is British and we live in a small town in southeastern England. We have two wonderful sons. Stuart, age 13 and Gavin, age 10. I'm happy here but still get homesick, so thanks for writing.

Please do "check in" again.


64squares 06-19-2002 07:17 AM

Maureen--Just curious--did you and your husband meet in the States or in England? (())


Sunshine 06-19-2002 07:28 AM

Hi Rebecca,

We met in Mpls. (I would tell more but my youngest son is about to come in the door from school right now--you can read about how we met in my postings in the International, misc. forum if you are interested)

bye for now

64squares 06-19-2002 07:40 AM

OK--I'll check it out! :)

debfranson 06-29-2002 04:41 PM

A Minnesotan who misses England
Hi Sunshine,
I live in the Minneapolis area, in fact, my husband and 2 children live in the home I grew up in. I have never made it very far from home, except for the 16 month the family lived in Wolkingham, Berk. My husband was on an installation team for National grid back in '92. His company shipped us all over for the time he was there. He worked hard, and I had a ball! We became curry converts(what else do you replace tex-mex with) and really enjoyed our time and all the sites we had a chance to see. Our son attended british school, through primary 2, and my daughter who has Down's syndrome went to the local play group and through the Addington school. We can home when she was just 5 yrs old, basically so she could be in school here. I would love to trade MN for Brit stories...

Deb in MN

Sunshine 06-30-2002 02:53 AM

Hi Deb,

Welcome to this forum! Thank you for replying to this post. How wonderful that you and your family had that experience of living in England for a while. Did you get time to explore the country much? You sound as if you adjusted well to British life, even down to developing a taste for curry meals!!That made me smile. They are very tasty aren't they? Did your husband's company send other Americans to England with you guys or were you the only Americans sent here with the installation team? What did you think of British schools? You must have met a lot of British mums and hopefully they were friendly and helpful to you. That's how I made a lot of friends here.

I see you are from Minnetonka. Small world! My oldest brother lives in Minnetonka and my mother moved to Minnetonka last year. My sister lives in Eden Prairie and my other brother lives in Monticello.

I will gladly share stories about living here in England with your stories about MN. I'm so happy to "meet" you!!

I look forward to your next letter. Take care.

Bye for now,

debfranson 06-30-2002 05:03 AM

Hi Sunshine!
My husband was the Installation lead. We were the only Americans to go over, but there was a group of Brits who had been in Minnetonka for 2-3 years who went back to England when we did. We had a ready made social club there. The British mums were quite nice. There were some cultural differences to figure out. Lots of checking calenders on the playground to schedule playdates, instead of the midwest "come on over", spur of the moment. My son did very well in Primary school. I think we would have stayed on, or gone back, had it not been for my daughter. The special education system I found very 1970's. It was segregated in our area down to physical and mental handicaps. Not what we are used to in MN. We did quite alot of sightseeing. And I did get the hang of the roundabouts :)

We also did some European traveling. We took a 3 week driving tour of Germany. Loved that too! I am excited to continue corresponding w/you!

Sunshine 06-30-2002 06:36 AM

Hi Deb,

It sounds like you had an ideal situation for your experience living in another country. I should think the group of Brits travelling back here with you must have made things a lot easier for you. I'm sorry to hear that the special education system wasn't very good. I can understand that you would want better opportunities for your daughter.

Have you been watching the tennis at Wimbledon? I love to watch it. It's such a shame and a surprise that both Sampras and Agassi are out. Of course now I'm free to cheer for Tim Henman. I always feel torn between cheering for the Americans or the Brits. LOL. Everyone here is hoping that this will be the year that Tim Henman will win at Wimbledon. It would sure help the Brits feel better after losing in the World Cup.

Did you find it difficult to adjust back to your life in Mn. after living in England? Are there some things that you still miss? It would be interesting to get your views about the pros/cons of both countries.

When I visit my "home" in Mn., I find that I feel a bit like a fish out of water. I suppose that's because I've been living here for so long now.

Talk to you again, soon!

brayg 06-30-2002 01:08 PM

Hello all! I'm from MN also--born and raised. I live just south of Shakopee. I have a SIL who moved to England from MN. She is in the Air Force--stationed at Lakenheath AFB. We were there visiting a few years ago. I loved it! Would love to go back but we are expecting baby #2, so it'll be a long while before we take any trips. I look forward to meeting other fellow Minnesotans around here. :)


Sunshine 06-30-2002 02:18 PM

Hello Rachel!

It's wonderful to get another Minnesotan on this forum! I'm pleased to "meet" you!

Congratulations on your pregnancy! When is the baby due if you don't mind my asking?

How long was your visit to England? Did you have time to see much of the country? How long will your sister in law be stationed at Lakenheath? Perhaps you will be able to visit again sometime in the near future.

Thanks for replying to this forum. I look forward to hearing from you again.

Take care.

brayg 07-01-2002 06:40 AM

Hi Maureen!

Thanks! I am 16 weeks along--due in December. My other "baby" will be 7 when this one is born. My dh and I had some infertility struggles but amazingly enough managed to conceive on our own again! :)

My sil won't be in England too much longer. They (her husband is also in the air force) are talking about going somewhere, although they aren't sure yet. Our trip there was only a week. It went so fast! We were actually there for their wedding, so a lot of it was preparation and actually having the wedding, but we got to do London 2 of the days. We also stayed on the base, which was so much cheaper for us. I really enjoyed myself.

Anyway, I look forward to getting to know my fellow Minnesotans more (even if some of you are no longer here!). :)

Sunshine 07-01-2002 07:01 AM

Hi Rachel,

I am so happy for you about your pregnancy. After hearing about your struggle, I feel I should congratulate you again! !Congratulations! Is your son?/daughter? excited about the prospect of a baby brother or sister? It's just such wonderful news. I'm really thrilled for you!

I should think that week here went by very quickly indeed! It's incredible that you got to spend two days in London. I bet it was a lot of fun staying on the base. It's a shame your SIL won't be in England for too much longer but at least you did get that week here.

Please keep writing. It's great to hear from fellow Minnesotans.

Bye for now.

brayg 07-01-2002 12:33 PM

Thanks again Maureen! Our other child is a boy. He is very excited, although at times a little apprehensive, but that's to be expected. We have a split entry home and we have 2 bedrooms upstairs and 2 down. We figured we'd move downstairs, give Jacob our room and the baby his room. He's not quite ready, so has decided to share a room with the baby. That's fine by me. :) We have a playroom in the basement so his room will be pretty much for sleeping. It'll be a big, but nice change to have a baby again. Now if I could just find some energy! LOL! ^^

Sunshine 07-01-2002 01:58 PM


I'm sure your son will be delighted once the baby is born. The age difference means he will be old enough to help you a bit too. He might feel a bit jealous at first which is only normal but he is old enough to understand the needs of a baby. It's certainly a very encouraging sign that he wants to share a room with the baby! I'm just so excited for you guys!!

It will definitely be a big change for all of you but such a wonderful and happy change to your lives!

:daisy: Take care!

brayg 07-01-2002 06:26 PM

Jacob has been so excited until the other day. I've been sick and have been not playing with him as much as I should. He was afraid that when the baby comes, I won't play with him anymore. I was so sad! :( Anyway, we had a long talk and he feels a lot better about it all. He wants a baby sister. :) He's sweet! :)

Sunshine 07-02-2002 06:36 AM

Hi Rachel,

Jacob sounds like a very sweet, sensitve little boy. He's obviously thinkiing about how things will change when the baby comes. It's good that you were able to reassure him. He's probably worried about you as well since you're not feeling well during the pregnancy. Are you feeling better today? I hope so. How are you coping with the hot weather there? I got an email from my mother and the temperatures there sound unbearably hot. Are you staying indoors? Do you have air-conditioning? I know how hot you feel during pregnancy anyway. Are you able to get time to rest? That can be difficult when you already have a child. It is very sweet that Jacob wants a baby sister but hopefully he will be okay about a baby brother! LOL. Have you thought about names yet? Perhaps you can let Jacob throw out some ideas for a boy or a girl's name to prepare him for the possibility of either. It's just a friendly suggestion.

Anyway, take care. Try and keep cool and I hope you are feeling better now.


brayg 07-04-2002 06:22 AM

LOL! Yes! I have air conditioning and have been enjoying it plenty. It's pretty bad when we are watching the 10pm news and it's still 91 degrees. The humidity has been crazy--like in the 70's for a dewpoint. That's what's been hard. I've been feeling a lot better and then it's too darned hot to go anywhere. Usually Jacob and I do Como Zoo a lot in the summer but I can't even fathom spending a few hours in that kind of heat right now. We'll get there, though. Just a minor speed bump, right? ;)

My dh is awesome. He has been helping out so much. He normally helps out a lot and is a wonderful daddy, but I've noticed him really pitching in with things like loading/unloading the dishwasher and just little things like that. I had to take my aunt to a dr. appt. at the U of M on Tuesday and didn't get home till almost 6. He had supper made for us when we got home. Awwww.... :heart: :heart: :heart:

Hope you have a happy 4th! Dh has 4 days off and we still haven't any concrete plans. Jordan doesn't have fireworks so we have to go somewhere to watch them. We've decided to try something different this year, but don't know what yet. Yikes! LOL! :stripes: :stripes: :stripes:

Sunshine 07-04-2002 08:48 AM

Hi Rachel,

I'm so pleased to hear you are feeling better. It's a shame the weather is so hot and humid though. What a blessing it is that you have air conditioning!! I can sure understand that you would be reluctant to go anywhere in that kind of heat. i like your sense of humor: "just a minor speed bump"ROFLMAO Very funny!!

Ahhh, Your dh sounds wonderful. I'm sure you appreciate all his help. It must mean even more to you when he helps out without being asked. What a sweetheart!

I hope you are having a great day today. :stripes: I'm sure you will find some place to go to for the fireworks. How nice that you will have a four day weekend. I hope you have a nice, relaxing break. Keep cool whatever you do!!

Bye for now. Take care. Stay out of the hot sun!

HAPPY 4 th of JULY!!! :stripes: :stripes: :stripes: :stripes:

^^ ^^ ^^ ^^

P.S. Thanks for wishing me a happy 4th. I spent my morning at the dentist! That was one appt. that was easy to remember, unfortunately. Oh well. Have fun for me! LOL

brayg 07-04-2002 09:44 AM

I will sure try to have fun. We still haven't figured out what we are doing! LOL! :eek:

Sunshine 07-04-2002 10:20 AM

Hi Rachel,

I didn't expect to hear from you again today! LOL. Is it very hot there today? At least Americans can enjoy fireworks in the summer when it's almost guaranteed to be warm. Here, the fireworks are to celebrate Guy Fawkes Day in November and it's always cold and usually raining. The only plus side is that it gets dark early then so you don't have to keep children up late for the fireworks.

Maybe there is a website for local events that you could look up. Or maybe there are suggestions in the newspaper.

Anyway, I hope you go out and celebrate.

Happy Independence Day!! :-:

Sunshine 07-04-2002 10:27 AM


I haven't seen any postings here from you lately. I hope you and your family are well. Will you be going out for the fireworks? My boys miss all that. They are still in school until July 19th. This is when I get homesick. I know all my family back home in Mn are going out to barbeques and parades and fireworks and enjoying the holiday and it's just a normal day here.

I hope you and your family have a very nice holiday weekend.

HAPPY FOURTH of JULY!! :stripes: :stripes: :stripes: :stripes:

^^ ^^ ^^ ^^

debfranson 07-05-2002 05:29 AM

hi Sunshine!

Have just been lurking I guess. :o Seemed like stuff not ment for me. My first time on a forum like this.

Things are fine here. I am officially on vacation now too, just like my kids. I work at the local high school, where my son attends. I don't teach, but work in the guidance office, doing grades, transcripts and enrollment recordkeeping. We were busy checking to see how graduated, and sending final transcripts off to their college choices.

Last night we did see fireworks. Went out to Chanhassen, and watched there, plus all of the neighborhood ones too. Lots of fun.

My kids miss England. They enjoyed Guy Falks Day. They both have birthday's in November, and we got extra ones, and had fireworks on their birthdays.

The other holiday we found missing in England was Halloween. We were the only house in the entire estate, who had carved pumkins on the from steps :::

I am hear, and reading. I will jump in more often.

^^ ^^ ^^


brayg 07-05-2002 05:58 AM

It wasn't too bad here yesterday--in the 80's but not as humid as it's been lately. I was outside a lot and didn't mind it. We ended up having a barbecue at my uncle's house and then went to fireworks. The mosquitoes are HORRIBLE here right now, though. :ugh: :ugh: :ugh: We brought plenty of bug spray and it barely kept them away!

Deb--I think I missed where you are from. If you were in Chanhassen, we were very close to eachother! I live in Jordan. My dh used to work for ABC Millwork in Chanhassen.

debfranson 07-05-2002 06:45 AM

We are in Minnetonka. Moved into the house I grew up in when dm moved to AZ back in 19984.
The bugs have been just horrible. I which that helicopter that is spraying the TC would fly over my house. Kind of feel a prisoner in the house with them so bad :rolleyes:

Keep swatting em:)

Sunshine 07-05-2002 07:07 AM

Hi Deb,

Welcome back to the forum! I missed you. We Minnesotans need to stick together. LOL.

Your job sounds interesting and a perfect job with children since you get the same vacation time. I think that's one reason why there are more stay at home moms here than in America. The school schedule here is very difficult to work around what with a week off (half term) between every school term and two weeks off at Christmas and two weeks off for Easter/Spring break plus six weeks off for the summer. I think the benefit for the children though is that they don't get bored or forget what they've learned. My friends here just can't believe how much time American kids get off for the summer.

It sounds like you had a nice Fourth of July! I wish I could have been back home. I miss that holiday a lot. It's just so American!!!! Yes, we do have Guy Fawkes Day but it's a lot colder to watch fireworks in November than July! I can see though why your children enjoyed it with their birthdays in November. Not too many children get fireworks on their birthday!!

I know just what you mean about Halloween in England. It's very strange here. Most British don't celebrate it at all and indeed they don't even seem to understand the way it should be celebrated. They take it all too seriously and say it's encouraging paganism and witchcraft. The children here don't even know the way to do trick or treating. Some children ring my doorbell about a week before Halloween and say "trick or treat" , demanding sweets(candy) and they aren't even wearing costumes. Plus they look too old to be trick or treating. The elderly refuse to open their doors on Halloween because they are terrified of the "tricks". The local paper always warns the elderly to keep their door locked. Some of my friends are very vocal about the "wickedness" of celebrating Halloween and blame the Americans for passing it over to this country. The trouble is that the "bad" kids use that time as an excuse for mischief and/or terrible vandalism, etc. It seems to be more popular here for a festive time for grown ups to have fancy dress (costume) parties. Most English children don't get to have the fun time like American kids do. Mostof my neighbors don't approve of the day so it's hard to find enough people to participate with handing out sweets. Good for you, for putting carved pumpkins out. Well done!

Oh dear, I've gone on and on. Sorry! LOL. I'm just so happy to be "chatting" with you again! Take care.

I look forward to hearing from you again soon!
Bye for now

Sunshine 07-05-2002 07:15 AM

Hi Rachel,

I'm glad you had a nice Fourth of July. Was it a big family gathering at your uncle's house? I'm sorry to hear that the mosquitoes are so bad this year. They can make it prettty miserable to be outside even if you can tolerate the heat! LOL. i have to say that I don't miss the mosquitoes!!

Take care. Bye for now.

brayg 07-07-2002 07:15 AM

Our gathering was only 7 people. I have a small family and 1/2 of them were gone! LOL! It's ok...a nice small gathering is right up my alley. :)

Sunshine 07-07-2002 02:39 PM

I'm sure you had a nice time. Yes, it's less hectic with a smaller family gathering.

We went to the British Grand Prix today. My hubby has been before but this was a first for myself and our boys. It was fun but we froze! There was a very cold wind plus it rained off and on. Never mind, it was a fun day out for us and an interesting experience. Michael Schumacher won.

brayg 08-04-2002 05:03 PM

Hello! Sorry it's taken me so long to get back here and post. Been busy with Jacob taking Tball, spanish lessons, and swimming lessons. We are all done with lessons for the summer and my dh is taking vacation the last week in August. I'm looking forward to that! We are just going to bum around here--go to Valleyfair and Camp Snoopy and stuff.

We found out a couple of weeks ago that we are having another boy! I'm so happy--the ultrasound showed he is developing perfectly. Big relief!!! Things are going so well.

How is everyone else doing??

Sunshine 08-05-2002 01:05 AM

Hi Rachel,

It's good to hear from you again. You sure have been busy but it sounds like you've been having a fun summer.

So you will be having another boy! Wonderful! That's great news. I'm very happy for you!

We are going to visit my family in MN soon! We leave here on August 15th and return August 29th. I'm very excited! :-D

Bye for now
Take care


brayg 08-05-2002 05:04 AM

Wow! You are making the trip home, huh? My sil and her husband are coming home in December. We asked them to be godparents of the baby and so they arranged a time to come home. It coincides with his sister's wedding in Louisiana, so it makes sense to come to MN after that. I know it's a long trip and none too cheap either. I'm very happy they are coming home. :)

Hope you have a fabulous trip!

Sunshine 08-06-2002 03:20 AM

I'm sure your sil and her husband were honored to be asked to be godparents to your baby. :heart: It's great that they will be able to go to MN after attending his sister's wedding in Louisiana. I'm really pleased for you. :)

I hope you are feeling great and keeping cool.

Take care.

LJsmom 08-25-2004 09:09 PM

ques. about MN sales
Hello everyone,
No, I don't live in MN, just a little south of you in the Chicago area.
The reason for me posting is a strange one, but hoping someone knows what I'm talking about.

Got the word that Wilson Leather has an ENORMOUS warehouse sale every fall at the state fairgrounds. This year is Oct. 13-24, I checked.

Has anyone ever been? I really want to know if its worth my time to make the 9+ hour drive for a weekend of fun with a girlfriend and some great deals.

The only reason I know about this is from an accquaintance who has been up the past few years. She works for an airline so its easy ( and cheap) for her to make a day trip. She claims that you can get coats for under $40, glove for $5, belts for $2 etc.
A lot of what she says on a daily basis I can take with a grain of salt.

Is this sale all that she claims it is?

gemamm 07-23-2005 12:06 PM

am moving to St. Paul soon...
would like to know if anyone knows good family areas,things to do for us,stuff like that. we will be moving to st. paul next month and just have no idea. anything for the area that is special,should be done or seen,etc.?? thanks all!!

victorian 01-26-2006 06:05 AM

I'm from Minnesota

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