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On the way home from the cabin we made at stop at St. Cloud State University to visit Brandon’s girlfriend, Kaley. It had been an entire week and a half since he had helped her move in and of course, he was missing her terribly. It gave us the opportunity to see her dorm room, meet the roommate and have a tour of the campus. The room was small and typical, the roommate nice and the campus beautiful (especially the open spaces and their library).
After the birthday celebration we invited the family to join us the next day at Papa’s cabin for an afternoon of tubing before going out to dinner together. I was still hurting from doing a face-plant on the sidewalk the night before. It was one of those stupid things where I was moving too fast, tripped going up the sidewalk stair and landed on my face. It took Jeff a few minutes to find me laying out there, but I didn’t want to move right away since I felt quite dizzy. He got me an ice pack and some advil and eventually we made it back into the cabin. Turns out I landed on my cheek and lip resulting in much swollen-ness (a fat lip!) and a large scab on my cheek. It could’ve been much worse had I hit the sidewalk a little lower (probably would’ve damaged some teeth) or higher (eyes and head). So I’m afraid I wasn’t such a good hostess when the family arrived, but they understood.
At least the kids got to enjoy the lake tubing. My little daredevil, Ellie, even got a ride out of the wake for the first time and came back all excited to tell me about it.
We were looking forward to eating at the Logging Camp. After being closed the past few years, it reopened this summer. Eating is done in a old-time mess hall, eating family-style at long tables. Dinner had all you can eat meat (chicken, pork, BBQ ribs, ham)–this was heaven to all those teen boys in our party. The grounds sit next to a small creek, also have old equipment sitting around to explore and chickens and turkeys that follow you around. All of that make the Logging Camp a fun dining experience.
Before we left on Monday, Austin helped Ellie fish off the dock while the van was being loaded and the cabin cleaned. I think she was the fisher-person of the weekend.
Hard to believe, but my baby girl turned seven just a week and a half ago. On her birthday we headed up to a timeshare in Detroit Lakes that Grandpa and Grandma had for the week. Aunt Gayna’s family was there also. I had made a cake and brought it along, so as soon as it was frosted and decorated with puppies (at Ellie’s request) we started celebrating. The table was loaded with gifts. She’s still at that age where it’s fairly easy to pick out gifts (and they don’t cost a fortune). She loved everything! After all the gifts were opened everyone sang “happy birthday” and the cake was served. The teens took off to the adjacent disc golf course while Ellie headed for the pool to swim and play with some of her new pool toys. Cousin Matt joined Ellie in the pool later. We had dinner and then Jeff, Ellie and I headed to Papa’s cabin for the night.
All in the same week, not only did Ellie get spoiled by some grandparents and camp out in the backyard with her Dad, but she and her Dad spent the afternoon at Valley Fair (amusement park). It was Ellie’s first time at the park and she was big enough for the rides at their Camp Snoopy area. Her favorite was the Mad Mouse Roller-coaster that she went on 5 times! But of course, she had her eyes on some of the big rides brave girl that she is. Those will have to wait a few years.
Before the summer got away, Jeff and Ellie pitched the tent in the backyard for an overnight camping adventure a few weeks ago. They got their sleeping bags and pillows in the tent and spent the evening eating popcorn, telling stories, playing games and looking at the stars.
They were still asleep in the tent when I left the next morning.
Dad found another bike ride for us, the Tour de Pines, that took riders in and around Itasca State Park during the middle of August. It was the perfect day for a ride–cool temperatures, lots of sun and no wind. It was going to be just me and Dad with Jolene and Ellie as our cheerleaders. Unloading the bikes, Dad noticed that he had a flat tire. But that wasn’t a problem since they had a mechanic that changed his tube and got him ready to go again. We opted to do the shorter, 25-mile ride and I’m glad we did. This was the hilliest ride I’ve ever done. Every hill I had to gear down to my lowest gear. Good thing the scenery made up for it. The ride through the trails and roads in the park have to be some of the most lovely I’ve seen.
Often on the ride we saw these signs…and they weren’t kidding!
While Dad and I were out riding, Jolene and Ellie had breakfast at McDonalds (where Ellie discovered she likes the potato cakes) and shopped at Walmart (where a grandma couldn’t resist spoiling a grandchild a bit).
After a great pizza buffet lunch at the local Pizza Hut we showered and headed out for some shopping in Walker. On the way Ellie was entertained by the backseat movies.
Ellie and her Papa:
And keeping with tradition we had our “heroes” dinner at La Pasta.
Papa and Jolene left the following morning and Ellie and I enjoyed some time by the lake.
Shortly after this last photo was taken, Ellie was reaching out for a lily pad and fell into the water. Amazingly we both were quick. She managed to turn around and catch herself on the dock only going into the water up to her waist and I managed to get from a sitting position to standing up holding onto her arms. It did scare her a little bit, but she said, “now I know why you don’t let me come down to the dock by myself.” It was a good lesson learned.
Turning 7 meant that Ellie could have a “friend’s” birthday party. She invited only her girlfriends because she didn’t think that the boys would be comfortable at a pink tea party. (She made the point to remind me that the boys we discussed were “friends” not “boyfriends”) We made a fancy table for her guests that included pink plates, doilly placemats, real glass mugs and a flower teapot. Jeff and I found the glass mugs at a garage sale and the teapot at the Goodwill store. The teapot held pink lemonade since Ellie said she didn’t like tea. She invited friends from school, church and the neighborhood. Grace, Taylin, Zoya, Delaney and Madison joined in the party fun. We played games, made treasure-box necklaces with ribbons and flowers, opened presents and ate cake and ice cream.
The “Go Fish” Vacation Bible School this summer was a hit! Ellie’s group was “The Roadies”. The songs were fantastic (we’re still singing them)!
One of Ellie’s favorites was Stories.
Another was The 10 Commandment Boogie.
Ellie thought her shirt was not very girly, so I added a bit of “sparkle”. She loved it (so did some of her leaders). Each night there was singing and dancing with the Go Fish guys (on video), stories, bible verses, puppet shows, drum lessons, snacks and games. It was an awesome week for the kids.
The parents got a taste of the week during the following Sunday’s morning worship service–it was lead by all the kids and the Go Fish songs.