Road trip to the big city

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This past weekend we took a road trip up to Minneapolis to see Holly and Timothy.

I’m ashamed to say we have never been to church with them since they’ve been married! And with everything after losing mom and dad last summer, it’s been over a year (maybe two years?) since we’ve even been up there to see them.

Needless to say we were all very excited to get out-of-town. So much so that we ended up leaving Thursday afternoon, instead of Friday as we had planned.

Someone is excited!

Someone is tired!

And someone is mad that she has to ride in her kennel in the trunk!


Holly and Timothy had something already planned for Thursday night. I think. Honestly I can’t remember now. Well anyway, I do know that we met up for supper at Wendy’s half way between us and them.

Oh ya, they did have plans since we weren’t supposed to come to town until Friday.  So anyway, we met up for supper on their way to see their friends.

And let the temptation begin.


I wasn’t sure about starting the Better Body System the day we left for vacation. But I was so tired of feeling run down and gross and overweight and tired and… well you get the picture. I just couldn’t wait any longer. And it actually wasn’t too hard. The hardest part was since we were eating out for every meal finding a place that they all liked (junk food : )).

I didn’t eat with them at this meal. : )


After supper we stopped by the grocery store to get me some groceries. Thankfully our hotel room had a full kitchen with a fridge and so I could get some healthy snacks.

And then we went back to the hotel to let the kids swim a little. Unfortunately I had forgotten their floaties again.

{Yes sister, I did. I know you are going to KILL me when you read this.}

We have like 14 pairs of floaties because every time we go swimming I forget to bring them. Thankfully Target has them real cheap.


Friday morning we were up bright and early and in the car again. We took about a 30 minute drive to Hudson, WI, where Mom and Dad’s boat is.


Caleb on a mission to find Papa’s boat.




The kids were begging to go inside and we ended up letting them.

This picture brings me great joy and also great sadness.


I can’t find it now, but the last mini-vacation the kids had with my parents (end of May/beginning of June last year), my mom had sent me a picture just like this. It was in the morning and the kids were having breakfast on the boat.  So after a few minutes I told Pat it was time we left, even though the kids could have stayed there all day.

Back in the big city, Pat found a place he was so anticipating going – BJ’s Hot Dog Shoppe! My man loves his Chicago dogs!


And then we were back to the hotel again. Thankfully Pat went swimming with the kids so I could have some time to relax and write.


Friday night Holly and Timothy came over to hang out with us at the hotel.


Poor Timothy. This is what the kids do to him. He’s such a good sport!


Friday night we found a neat place close to our hotel. It was a BBQ place and it had some very interesting décor!


Caleb was not impressed. : )

But the food was great and then I think we all headed home for bed.

Saturday morning we went over to Holly and Timothy’s apartment. They had moved earlier this Spring and so it was our first time seeing their cute little place.

They wanted to take us to a beach near them and so that’s what we did! Unfortunately I didn’t think about bringing suits or towels or anything sensible like that.


But Angel and Caleb didn’t care.


Enjoying the nice company and weather!


There was a walk/run/benefit for lung cancer going on at the time and they had a dance and drum corps from a local college perform. Angel and I went over to watch and she was so captivated! She starts dance again in a few weeks and is so excited!


We stopped somewhere for lunch and then went back to the hotel so the kids could swim.

Thankfully Timothy is a very patient person and enjoys his little brother and sister. So he went swimming with the kids while Holly and I got to relax and visit!


Saturday night we had plans to go see my uncle and aunt, Pat and Vivian. (Pat is my mom’s brother.) And we were all so excited when my cousin Jenna, her husband Matthew and their 2-week old precious baby girl showed up too!


While my cousin Patrick entertained the kiddos, the grown ups got to ooh and aah over Margaret.


Mama Jenna and her baby.


Can anyone say baby fever?


Don’t say it to this guy! He certainly loves babies, but there’s no baby fever in this house!


The sweet family! It was fun to talk with them about becoming new parents. And we might have shared a birth story or two. Poor guys!


My cousin Ben cooked us up a fabulous meal!


The three Patricks.

My Patrick enjoyed teasing my aunt Viv. Anytime she would ask one of her Patricks to do something, he would say, “No!”


Not only is he good with babies, but he’s good with birds that don’t usually like people.

I think I’ve got myself a keeper!


The kiddos with their cousin Dominic (Ben’s son). They had so much fun playing together.


Sunday morning we drove into the big city to go to Holly and Timothy’s church.


Yes, Lord!


It was a God honoring worship service and we were blessed beyond measure.

(We heard the last of a sermon series on conflict resolution. Good stuff if you want to listen!)


After church I asked Pat if we could please stop by the Mall of America before leaving town.

He’d be amazing even if he had said no, but he surprised me and said yes!

We might have had a little fun on the escalators. I’m pretty sure that’s why my kids like the Mall of America.


It could also be because we see things like this guy…


And ride a few rides…


And see cool things like this…


Don’t they look good with kids? Hee hee.


As you might have already read about, Angel got her ears pierced.


And then it was time to go home. : (

But not before a few last pictures!



We had such a wonderful time!

Join us in praying for Holly and Timothy as they serve the Lord through CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ).

They are both on staff as full-time interns this year and would covet your prayers.

If you want more information about how to help support them prayerfully and/or financially, you can go here!


Saving the world is one thing. My daughter is another.

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The best movie line I’ve heard in a long time was just recently from the movie Battleship. (Spoiler alert.)

(Is there anyone in the world who sees “spoiler alert” and doesn’t continue reading? I mean, come on.)


The main guy asked his girlfriend’s dad if he could marry her. The dad said no (sound familiar Prankster?).

“But sir, I saved the world.”

“Saving the world is one thing. My daughter is another.”

That’s right! Preach it brother!

What does that have to do with anything? Well absolutely nothing of course. I just thought it was a really good line.

So how ’bout those summer bed times!? I always used to say that my kids will go to bed at the same time even during summer. Ya, ok. It’s been 10-11 pm before they conk out but at least they’ve been sleeping in a little more than usual.

And in other news our house is officially on the market! Which means we have strangers coming in to our house at all hours of the day. It also means that I have to actually do my dishes, make the beds and sweep every single day. I’m trying to chill out about it a little because I don’t want the kids to remember this summer as the summer of the even more crabbier than normal mama.

Today and tomorrow we had/have a garage sale. Yes. Yes I did say last year that I would never have another garage sale. This doesn’t really count though since we’re, ya know, moving into a small apartment. We actually did really good today and sold alot of the big stuff.

Since getting the house ready for showing, we’ve tried to do stuff away from home as much as possible. The library always has good stuff going on – story time, puppet show and other cool things.

Like… a special appearance by The Cat in the Hat!

Angel and Caleb were pretty excited!

And then Caleb freaked out when I asked him to go stand by the big guy to take a picture. So here is Angel and the Cat.

We’ve been swimming at home alot and also going to the pool a few times but the water at the pool is still pretty cold. This mama is a wimp. Thankfully it’s a toddler pool and so I can just sit on the edge. We also have a spray park that we’ll try to go to each week.

And the kids started gymnastics! Our first day was this week and, well, it was very interesting. I’ll share more about that next week.

This weekend my amazing hubby is running a 5K and then we are going to visit a dairy farm and have a free lunch! Saturday night is movie in the park and then on Sunday our Ed dog goes to his new home. Which of course I’ll share more about in a separate post.

Ooo ooo I just found this picture!

We miss Princess and Prankster! Keep them in your prayers as they are busy this summer raising support – Prankster will be working full-time with Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) beginning in the Fall!

That’s life lately. Hope you are enjoying your summer!

Partay for Prankster

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I mentioned yesterday that Princess and Prankster were in town visiting. Life is always better when P & P are in town!

Prankster is officially a college graduate! Woo hoo! They came to town to do some work for Princess’s mom and step-dad but since they were here Princess thought it would be fun to throw a little party for her man.

It was a small, casual gathering. Just parents and grandparents. And one stray friend we found walking the streets. (Not really.)

Like I said we kept it casual and each family brought something so it was easy peasy. We had burgers, hot dogs, chips, snicker salad, veggie tray and Princess made cupcakes. 

Mmmm cupcakes!

Prankster, two of his sisters and Angel. 

Prankster, two of his brothers, one sister and Angel. I think they just got done doing a happy graduation pig pile on him!

Princess and weird faced Prankster with his sister and her husband, and his brother.

P & P with his parents.

Not sure what this is. I guess it’s Prankster, me and Pat just standing around. Fun times.

Here is Prankster with his in-laws. What a blessed guy to have two sets of in-laws!

Of course Caleb fell asleep at about 6:00 pm, right before the party started. I took this picture right as Grama Barb was saying, “I am smiling.” She’s so funny!

Princess and her mommy.

Prankster and that stray friend (Nick).

Prankster with Bubba after he finally woke up. He loves his big brother!

Princess and daddy. Love love love this picture!

Me and hubs.

Me and Princess.

Princess with her Grama Marlene and her mommy. Such pretty ladies!

Princess’s step-dad Dan. Like I said, fun times!

Bubba spent about 30 minutes punching these balloons. Look at that stance. This boy has got some skills. Or major agression.

Angel cakes with one of Princess’s yummy cupcakes!

We had such a great time celebrating Prankster’s graduation with all the family! We are so thankful that God brought him into Princess’s life (and ours!).

One year

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Happy anniversary Princess and Prankster. We love ya more than cheese.