Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Home Sweet Home!

We just returned from the Ekblad family cabin...and what a wonderful time the 8 of us had!! This is a family we met through Christian all because he made a dear friend (Ethan) in kindergarten, and over the years his mother (April) and I have gotten to be friends as well. Their daughter (Ellie) was in Benjamin's class a couple times over the years so they are friends too.

That just leaves the Brians...Brian Ekblad and of course Brian Meurer. (no pictures of them together though!) Our move also brought us into their neighborhood so we have been able to see them often outside of school.
Their cabin is just outside Cambridge MN on Green Lake. The weather was absolutely stunning! It rained a little during the night one night, but by morning it was drying up and didn't even stunt our plans! We tubed, swam, the boys fished, April and I sunned, the boys spent ENDless hours frogging and turtling, we cooked, we shopped....ahhh it was terrific!

Their cabin is in the midst of a swamp...literally, but it is nestled in a way that is private and clean and spacious. The boys caught frogs and built frog cities. Frog-opolis housed Frog-elope, Buddy, The Boss, Tree, and dozens of other froggies. The boys were devestated at the end of each day when they had to set them free. But FIRST thing the next am they were back at it again, successfully finding handfuls of frogs to build a whole new city for.

The kids also had tube wars behind the boat...Brian and I even gave it a shot a couple times, he won! But, only because I let him!
There were a couple hiccups during the trip, on the way up we had a flat tire on the boat trailer, bees took over a birdhouse, the boys had a chigger scare, we lost a flip flop walking in the inlet to the swamp (very dramatic!), Lucy the dog got stung by a bee, and Brian (Meurer) wasn't feeling well the second night....but none of these things put a damper on the fun that was had! Not to mention gas was "only" $3.51 in Cambridge!!
Thank you Ekblad's for a great getaway....but it is always nice to be back in our home!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Say cheese!

The boys had Vacation Bible School this week. Christian is really a sponge when it comes to Sunday School and Bible camp. He is learning the Word through songs and is excited to go each day, and then he comes home and we listen to his VBS cd, which now plays over and over in my head 24/7! He has so much to report each day when its has been really good for him this week! Benjamin left for Webelos camp bright and early Wednesday morning and will be back Sat. I miss him when he is gone, but he is learning some great skills at camp too. Survival of a different sort I guess you could say!
With the boys being gone each morning it has given me an opportunity to do some wedding planning! The little details that are usually saved for the last minute are getting done, my checklist is getting...well...checked. I read a wild craft book about creating some fantastic fall decorations with real leaves, apples, acorns, etc. I am so looking forward to making these pieces, they will be perfect for our day.

Wednesday evening we got our engagement/wedding day idea pictures taken. Our super photographer Tiffany was such a dear! She has great ideas and was even able to take pictures with Brian's eyes open!! I am excited to have her be our photographer and even more excited to see what she will do with them to make them even better!

Today was also our cake testing at Daubes. What fun! Of course the cakes were delicious, but Christian came home with a tummy ache. Too many sweets. It was a great chance for us to try some different flavors. Now to narrow it down somehow?
We wrapped the day up with dinner at the church with all the VBS kids and their families and a special song/dance performance. Then a stop down at Thursdays on First where Christian got a balloon turtle! He thought it looked like a I colored his shell when we got home, and now he is perfect. Too cute!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Summer of firsts...

This summer I vowed that I would live in the moment, and I am proud to say we have been doing a pretty decent job! Last weekend we rented tandem bikes from Silver Lake Rental. Everyone loved it, except Benjamin! He hated having to be in the back and not have any control over the bike. The rest of us thought it was great fun. After a stop at Roscoes for some ice cream we took the bikes back and Benjamin was happy again.

This past Tuesday we had our first summer GIFT (Growing In Faith Together) get together. The Napton's were gracious enough to host it for us, and since they had a pool it was great fun for all the kids. For the second year our Zumbro Youth mission group is going to Jamaica to the Robin's Nest Children's home. Each family in our group donated items for our mission group to take with and share with the kids at Robin's Nest. We brought all the items and toys to the pool party and Lisa Kipp took a moment to explain to our children the importance of these donations. It was great to watch Christian when he learned what was being done with the toys that he helped pick out. We all said a prayer afterward and I thanked my God that I have made these new friends and have joined such a wonderful group!! They leave tomorrow and we pray that they have safe travels.

Daisy and Jake went home yesterday. It was bittersweet to see them go. It was fun to have them stay with us, but after 2 weeks it was nice to have the house back to normal. We get to see the cats a little more too.

Today Benjamin had one of his baseball tournament games in which he hit a grand slam!! Well, not quite a grand slam, as he slid into home plate he got tagged out by the catcher...but SO close!! It was so exciting! That ball looked like it could have gone over the fence, it was probably only 20 feet from the fence when it came down from the air! He was clearly on cloud nine, his whole team played an excellent game, it was definitely a fun one to watch!
After the game we went for a picnic at Essex, and then a walk in the rain! Another of our firsts...we have never taken a walk in the rain as a family, or as a couple. We jumped in the puddles, and played at the park, we were soaked through but it was a blast!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Slowing down...

Summer is rolling right along...and we are rolling along with it! The weather could not have been better for the 4th of July! We had the Vulcan's stay with us for the day/night. After spending the day together we walked down to Silver Lake to watch the fireworks.

Of course the boys spent much of their time at the skatepark. Some of their friends joined them which made the 2 hours that we were there before the fireworks started go pretty smoothly. Little Callie and Andrew sure were busy bees during the fireworks. About half way through the display I brought energetic Callie onto our blanket and she snuggled in between Benjamin and I. She fell promptly to sleep and slept all the way through the finale!
We picked up the Robelia's dogs on Sunday. We have them for 2 whole weeks! So far so good. Jake is a 13 year old Schnauzer who HATES cats! Daisy is a 1 year old Schnauzer who barely notices the cats! Poor Paddie and MoJo. They spend a lot of time in high places so Jake (who is nearly deaf) can't find them. It is pretty chaotic when Jake finally notices one of them and goes tearing through the house barking, barking, barking! Its been entertaining so far!
Wedding plans are falling perfectly into place! I am having so much fun and really loving all the ideas we are coming up with. I have even found my dress!!! I LOVE IT! It is stunning!! So far everything we have done matches Brian and I in a wonderful way. This really is going to be OUR wedding and I cannot wait! Tuesday night we sat down with a bottle of wine and some instrumental CDs to find music for the ceremony. We also read different verses in The Bible to come up with readings for the ceremony and decided on a few that we enjoy. It was a beautiful evening out on the patio planning our wedding...wish I had my camera!

This a picture of the boys on one of our many, many, yes many trips to the Plummer House. I keep going up there to look for picture locations, ceremony possibilities, decoration ideas...I can't stay away!