Saturday, July 25, 2015

Connor's visit

My cousin Connor came to visit us again this summer, the week after Watermelon Day.  Even though he will be 16 in September, he still is willing to come up and be an honorary big brother to the girls, and they love it!  We didn't do as much as we usually do when he's here, but we:

*went to Norah's swimming lessons each night
*went swimming at my friend Tiffany's family pool
*went to the arboretum with Tiffany, Henry, and Olivia and checked out the Lego sculptures and the hedge maze
*went to the giant candy store
*visited lots of parks
*went to the library
*checked out the Rice County fair

Connor of course got to play lots of "house, "wedding", "baby Gavin" and other made-up things like that, since that has been the play of summer at our house, all day, every day.  He was a trooper!  He and Abby enjoyed going fishing with Dave on the last night he was at our house--they even caught some walleye!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Watermelon Day

This year, we traveled down to Iowa for Watermelon Day on Friday afternoon, so my cousin Rebecca could take our family pictures Friday night.  It was HOT and humid, but the pictures turned out great!  On Saturday morning, we headed into town for the parade and spent the day at the park and my aunt Lori's house.  The girls had so much fun going on rides, playing games, and eating watermelon.  This year, all but one of my cousin's on my mom's side of the family were at Watermelon Day.  Greg even flew in for the weekend!  Several of us ended up going on all three of the rides at some point in the late afternoon, which we hadn't done in years, but was fun memory-making time.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Good Earth

Ever since Dave and I worked at Good Earth Village together, I've looked forward to the day when we could send our kids to camp.  It's such a special place for us--where we met and got to know each other, got married, went to family camp as newlyweds...  It was so much fun to bring Abby there for her first overnight camp experience this summer.  She was so excited to go, and to bring her friend Olivia with her.  They had a blast creek splashing, playing games, hiking, singing, and making new friends.  They eased into the camp experience by staying in the air-conditioned log lodge, and only had one other girl in their cabin besides the two of them.  We picked them up the next afternoon and they shared a short worship with us where we were able to hear some of the songs they learned in their short time at camp.  I was excited that a former day-camp camper of mind (ironically also named Bethany) was the leader of their program.  Abby tells us she is ready to stay two nights next summer!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Game weekend

We had our annual (semi-annual?) game weekend with my family at my aunt and uncle's house in Des Moines this summer.  It was a HOT weekend, so Mara was prepared with a fun project for the girls when we arrived.  They made water bombs with sponges and had fun throwing them around.  They were also excited when Bryan set up the inflatable water slide.  

On Saturday after breakfast, we walked to a nearby park to play, then around lunchtime, all but my grandma headed over to their lake house/cabin to spend the day on the water.  We did a little bit of (slow) tubing--the boat wouldn't go too fast with so many people on board--and anchored in the middle of their bay for some swimming.  It was perfect for such a hot day.  The girls of course had to have some hot tub time.  It felt surprisingly good despite the hot weather!  

We ordered pizzas for supper and enjoyed some more games that night.  A new hit was the big bubble wrap/plastic bag/packing tape ball that had random things (Starbucks gift card, beef jerky, sunscreen, etc.) in different layers.  You tried to free items while the person next to you tried to roll doubles with dice.  If they got doubles, you had to pass the ball to them.  Whatever you unwrapped was yours to keep!  It was hilarious and so much fun.

We enjoyed lots more game/family time on Sunday before heading back up in the afternoon.  We are looking forward to our next big game WEEK next summer in Door County!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Little House on the River camp

Abby and her friend Olivia had fun traveling back in time at Little House on the River camp at The Landing in Shakopee.  It was a 3-day, all-day camp, and they did many fun activities to pretend they were back in the time of Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Abby loved doing some cooking, making a clothespin doll, going to school in the one-room schoolhouse, and showing us the little village when we came to pick her up on the last day.  Norah and I managed to find some fun in the days that Abby was at camp--she and her friend Henry went to a movie and had a picnic at a nearby park one day, and another day we went up to visit my friend Kristina and her two kids.  We finished up most of the Little House series last summer, but still have The First Four Years and These Happy Golden Years to read.  We just haven't gotten back into the series since last summer, but have really been enjoying reading the Ramona books this summer.  Here are some pictures from the last afternoon at camp:

Thursday, July 2, 2015


This year was Norah's first year that she was old enough for toddler t-ball through community education.  She was not so excited...very clingy, didn't want to really do anything...  She would only run during the warm-ups if I ran with her, and was not into practicing any of the things the coach was having them do.  During the first night, she did manage to go up and hit the ball when they ended with a little hitting/running bases.  She ran to first, but wouldn't run to second when she was supposed to, because the coach had set down a baseball glove instead of a base since he forgot the bases.  Later she told us, "it's not a base", so she wasn't going to run to it.  The coach picked her up and ran with her to second base.

The last night of t-ball, they spent the whole time taking turns hitting and running bases, and Norah did a great job hitting for not really doing much for the previous few weeks.  She was excited for her freezie at the end of the night, too.

Not sure if t-ball is in Norah's future...we'll see if her feelings have changed at all next summer!