Monday, August 31, 2009

21 Already?!

Twenty one years ago, this beautiful little person came into our lives.

Nurse: "Oh, whose little blonde baby girl is this?"
Randy: "MINE!"

First birthday at Chuck E. Cheese in Corpus Christi. She was the only little girl not screaming whenever Chuck E. or one of his friends came near.

This is on her second birthday. I didn't scan the photo of her in her pointy birthday hat stuffing cake into her mouth with her fist because it was Corpus Christi in August and the only thing she was wearing - besides the hat - was a diaper.

Her fifth birthday party at Ruttger's Resort in Bemidji, Minnesota, with her grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins.

Tenth birthday at her grandparents' new house in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. She and I spent the day at the Mall of America.

Fifteenth birthday at the bowling alley. A month later, she and her friend did their annual combined birthday party (Kate's birthday is in November). Kate's mom and I drove twelve kids to Greenleaf State Park where we rafted down a river. Then we checked into this cabin. Jan and I took the bed, the kids sacked out literally wall to wall in their bedrolls on the floor.

Last Saturday her friends threw her a party at the home of one friend's parents (who happen to have a backyard pool). They also rented a moonwalk.

Today we went to Stillwater to take her out to lunch at Chili's. She ordered a Jamaican Paradise, and boy, did her eyes light up when she got carded!

Happy Birthday Jess, we love you!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back to the Wild

Last month we went back to the Boundary Waters. There were seven of us, six from last year plus a newbie. Our son and his bride weren't able to accompany us. It was the general consensus that we would not portage this year, no canoe carrying or schlepping of large, heavy packs. On that note, we set out from a different outfitter onto a very large lake.

We paddled out in search of a campsite. We came around a bend to see our first choice, which had a large, flat rock sloping down to a nice sandy beach. Unfortunately, there were several tents up and a naked guy standing on the rock, so we kept paddling. We didn't see any more naked guys, but every campsite we came to was already occupied, so we kept paddling. We'd been on the lake quite awhile by then and were getting a bit concerned about the availability of campsites. We were in an area where there had been some fires a few years back, and also a massive blowdown of trees during one storm that produced very strong straight line winds, so some of the campsites were uninhabitable. The thing was, the sky was starting to look ominous and the lake was getting choppy, and we had several confabs as to who was reading the map correctly.

We finally found a nice site just as the sky opened up and dumped its entire contents on our heads. Thank God for rain suits. We managed to get camp set up and the rain stopped long enough for us to get supper. Here are our resident engineers contemplating the design for putting up the food packs.

It rained a good portion of the night and then off and on all the next day, making it a day suitable for sitting in the tents and visiting and reading, or under the tarp, not so much for exploring or fishing. The following day, however, was beautiful.

Trevin cleaned his first fish, and he even had some fun with the fish head. Just kind of stuck his fingers into it and turned it into a little Billy Bass. This was Jessica's reaction.

The mosquitoes were out in full force this year, so I resorted to walking about with this on my head. I think I should send it to the What Not To Wear people and see if I can make them stroke out.

The next morning we paddled back out, took showers, stopped in Grand Marais for lunch, and headed back to The Cities. I collected scrapbooks from last year so I can add our new adventure and our new memories. All in all a fun trip. I think these two pictures sum it up nicely.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Going to the Chapel and We're Gonna Get Married . . .

Everyone has been asking for more wedding photos, so here they are!

With best man, cousin Bob.

Being escorted to my seat by my ever so handsome son.

How did I get such gorgeous children? And would you check out those hot pink shoes!

Is this a wedding party or the Minnesota mafia?

Pastor Paul loves weddings!

That is a Hudson like the one in the movie "Cars." Very cool.

The fab four.

Weddings do make for some of the best pictures ever.