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Not that all the moments I spend with each of my children isn’t precious (in their own way), but there were two that stood out yesterday with Ellie:

First, I caught Ellie snuggling up with her brother, Austin as he tried to catch just a little more rest before leaving in the morning. I couldn’t resist capturing this one on my camera (whereas I’m sure her brother thought she was just a little annoying–that’s a little sister for you):

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And the second happened later in the morning. Ellie asked to play outside on the deck. I was still in the house for a few minutes before joining her. As I approached the patio door I noticed something that touched my heart (and that I wish I had a photo of but I don’t). My little girl was kneeling, hands folded in her lap and her head bowed. Not wanting to intrude on this moment I waited until she was done. When I went outside she told me that she was talking with God. I already knew that but I was happy that she wanted to share with me.

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Ever since we moved here seven years ago, Jeff has had the dream to canoe down the river near our home. He took a big step this spring and finally bought a canoe and promptly stored it under the deck. It has stayed there until last weekend. With a day off and the two boys in tow, I dropped the men off at the landing about 4-5 miles upstream from town. One of our neighbors had done this stretch in his kayak so we knew they were in for a SLOW ride downstream. Parked the van at what was suppose to be the end, but due to a logjam just upstream of this location they ended up downtown at the Chuch by the River so they had to do a little hiking. Dream accomplished (but I don’t think they’ll be doing this stretch of river again). My photo of the week highlights my men in a canoe and Jeff’s dream fulfilled:

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The second week of Jessica’s class was just as great as the first and I’m proud to say that I completed the class (only one week late–but that’s ok since her classes stay open and available to students FOREVER). Here is my work for the last week:

Day 8: Adding Text–A calm moment of my boys on the tube as they get ready for their ride (and they like it pretty wild).

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Day 9: Edge Burn–A shot from last December’s photo a day project, a northern flicker outside my deck. 

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Day 10: Putting lots together (textures, blending, text, overlays, clipping masks)–One of the beautiful wildflowers from my back woods.

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Day 11: Selective Coloring–Memories of Chicago trip last summer–where I met some of the most awesome ladies and fellow digiscrappers/photographers that were part of the first Spragfest.

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Day 12: Storyboard–these were part of my mother/daughter photo walk last week as I highlighted in a previous post.

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Day 13: Collage and brushes–since I just returned from my annual mother/daughter vacation I knew I had to document our trip. Besides the water fun, there was good eats, a musuem visit, playing in the arcade, watching movies, shopping, and getting our nails done at the spa.

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Day 14: More stuff on the collage (coloring, adding text)

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So there you have it. The men are off on their annual weekend and I’m enjoying time with Ellie.

The photo of the week is from my annual Mother/Daughter vacation with my oldest, Anna. We spent a few days at a resort up north (yes, that is a Minnesota phrase that refers to anything north of the Twin Cities). It was super fun. Lots of water: an indoor waterpark, an indoor pool, an outdoor pool and a lake. This was taken on our first morning by the outdoor pool as we had breakfast.

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I made a collage of the vacation highlights as part of the Photo editing class I’m trying to finish up. Hope to post the last week of class projects soon.

Ellie, Anna and I took our cameras on a photo-walk downtown today. Here are the perspectives of an almost 5 year old, an 11.5 year old and a 45 year old. Both girls got some great shots as you can see. Ellie took the most photographs, 99 total.

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Last Sunday we (Dad, Dan, Justin and me) successfully completed the 35 mile Tour of Saints bicycle ride. The weather was perfect for a ride–overcast and not too warm.

Here we are before we started the ride, Justin still a bit tired from having to get up at 4:30 in the morning, but excited for his first ride:

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Our first rest stop was in Cold Spring with treats provided by the local bakery. Justin was on his second donut by the time the rest of us made it off our bikes.

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The last leg of the ride was tiring for both Justin and me, but we made it. Jolene was there to cheer us in at the end of the ride and she took the required “hero” pictures with our t-shirts.

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The next ride is in September near the cabin.

Jessica Sprague has provided daily lessons in her current “free” class that once again have proved to be just awesome! Here is my first week of assignments:

Day 1:

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Day 2:

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Day 3:

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Day 4:

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Day 5:

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Day 6:

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And on the seventh day they reviewed all that they had learned and rested… more next week.

Touted as “not a race, but a heavenly little ride”, my Dad, brother Dan and his boy Justin and I will ride the 35 miles on our bicycles starting and ending at the College of St. Benedicts in St. Joseph, Minnesota. This will be Justin’s first year on the ride with his Dad (they will be on a tandem). Justin just turned 10 earlier this week, so Happy Birthday! It will be the third time Dad, Dan and I have done it together.

Here we are last year (2008) at the second and last rest stop:

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and here we are with our “hero” t-shirts having successfully completed the ride in 2007:

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Dad always likes to get an early start so we will be riding by 6:30 am. Yes I did say AM! With the rest stops we are typically done by sometime between 9:30 and 10.

at least the “sparkler” variety! Here is Ellie’s sparkler-fun and some fireworks from in town on the 4th:

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Ellie and her Daddy:

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