Monday, July 29, 2013

Minneopa State Park

Last Tuesday, we took a day trip to Minneopa State Park--Dave and I haven't been there in a long time, and we were able to get another park stamped in Abby's passport club.  We had more great weather--cool and sunny.  We walked down to the falls, then enjoyed a picnic lunch.

After our picnic, we drove over to Seppmann's Mill.  Pretty sights, but there were tons of mosquitos.

We went for a hike down to the Minnesota River, then drove back to the falls area to hike a little more before heading home.  Abby was a trooper on all of the steps.  Norah hated the backpack carrier, but did better with her robot and pacifier.

We can't wait for our next state park adventure!

Watermelon Day

After the fun week with Connor, it was time for Watermelon Day in my grandma's small Iowa town.  This year, Abby was really hoping to be IN a parade instead of just watching, so my mom and grandma organized us to ride in my grandparents' old truck that my uncle restored.  We had four generations:  my grandma, mom, myself, and Abby and Norah.  Abby had so much fun throwing out much that we ran out of candy along the way...oh well!

The rest of the day, Abby and Norah both had fun going on rides (Abby's favorite this year was the swings; Norah--the airplanes), eating yummy food at Lori's, watching some softball, eating lots of free watermelon, and helping at the ring toss.  My cousins and I even squeezed onto the little train for old time's sake...

The weather was perfect, and we had a great time!

Connor's visit

After the cabin weekend in Iowa, we brought my 13-year-old cousin Connor home with us for a week-long visit.  He stayed with us during the same week of July last year, and we were excited to have him back!  I had been scoping out free/cheap/fun activities for the week, so here is how we kept busy:

Sunday night...Connor and Abby helped make supper:

Monday...we went to see a juggler at a nearby library, enjoyed cookies at the bakery, and went for an evening swim at the Northfield pool.

Tuesday...we met up with our friends the Clarks at Cedar Lake Farms beach for swimming and a picnic.  After Dave got home from work, we headed down to Faribault for the Rice County Fair.  It was HOT, but we still had fun seeing the baby animals in the petting barn area, checking out the other animals, enjoying a malt, and watching the fair queen contest.

Wednesday...I took Connor and Abby to see the free movie playing in Lakeville (one of the Ice Age movies).  In the evening, we went over to my friend Tiffany's family's pool for some swimming and supper.  This was Connor's favorite activity last year, so we were so fortunate to be able to do this again.

Thursday...our bank had a free night at the zoo again this year, so we went up to Apple Valley for supper and a hot, but fun night at the zoo.  Abby was excited to see the dinosaurs this year, and we were happy to have free entry with our free bank tickets.  Abby was mostly excited about the splash pad, though, and had a blast there.  I didn't think Norah would want to play in it, so I didn't pack a swimsuit for her...she proved me wrong!  She went in fully clothed, and had a great time!  Every time the spray would go down, she'd peek in the hole and be surprised when it splashed her in the face...but she kept going back for more!  I'm sure it felt good since it was so hot out.

Friday...we went for another swim at Tiffany's family's pool before eating lunch and heading back down to Iowa.

We love having Connor visit!  He is so great with the girls, and they love him!  Dave and I also enjoy having someone to play board games with in the evenings.  We hope he'll come back again next year!

Game weekend at the cabin

The second weekend of July, we headed down to Iowa for our third weekend in a row of cabins...this time down to my aunt and uncle's cabin for a family game weekend.  Mara had organized a fishing contest, so Abby was all of a sudden all about the fishing--she ended up winning the prize for the most fish and the first turtle.  Dave won the big box of goldfish for the biggest fish.  

We played lots of fun games, including a Family Feud game that Mara had put together.  One of the highlights was swimming in the lake...we were going to take a pontoon ride to a deeper part of the lake to swim, but it wasn't working.  So we improvised and hooked up four kayaks to the pontoon, and Keith, Dave, Ben, and my dad pulled the pontoon to the swimming area.  We anchored and had a great time floating/swimming on Saturday.  Abby also had fun kayaking with Dave or myself and swimming in the hot tub.  On Saturday night, we enjoyed a bonfire/s'mores and more games.  

We had the perfect weather, yummy food, and great company...can't wait to do it again next year!


This year was Abby's 3rd year of "toddler" t-ball in Montgomery.  It's nothing too serious, but a good way for Abby to learn the basics of throwing, fielding, hitting, and running the bases.  It runs for 4 weeks, and is set up in stations until the last week, where they play a "game".  Abby had a lot of fun this year, especially enjoying running the bases, hitting, and spending time with her good friend Olivia.  She always looks forward to the freezies from the coach on the last night!

College cabin weekend

I can't remember exactly how many years we've been going to my college friend, Kristina's, cabin in the summers...11 years?  Anyway, my roommates from my senior year of college have been doing our "roommate" weekend at the cabin since college, adding husbands, another couple/family, dogs, and kids along the way.  This year, we went up right after the 4th of July, and unfortunately Dave had to work, so it was a big road trip for me, the girls, and Sadie.  Kristina, Matt, and Rhua and Bill, Katherine, and Harold were the only other ones who were able to make it this year, and they went up a day or two earlier.  We left on Friday morning, only stopping once for lunch at a rest stop.  We got up to Grand Rapids in the afternoon, and enjoyed a beautiful evening at the cabin...a pontoon ride, bonfire, and s'mores!

Saturday's weather was a little cooler, and since it looked like rain, we drove to the nearby beach instead of taking the boat out.  We got to play in the sand and water and even saw a wedding happening on the beach.  It rained the rest of the day, so we weren't able to take the boat out with Bill and Katherine, who had to leave that evening.  We did have a quick baby shower for them before they left--Baby Kunze #2 is arriving sometime in August!

Sunday's weather was a little nicer, so later in the afternoon, Kristina and I took the boat out to the island with the girls and dogs (Matt had to leave after lunch).  The beach was pretty busy, but we still had lots of fun.

We were planning on going home on Monday, but decided to stay an extra day since we had no other plans and the weather was going to be so nice up in Grand Rapids (and HOT back home!).  Monday was the perfect cabin/beach day.  We were able to take another boat ride out to the island for swimming, playing in the sand, and a picnic.  We're so glad we stayed an extra day!