Saturday, July 30, 2011

Blog World

It seems like forever since I have blogged...which it has been...but I feel the need to still go back and update this thing before I forget. I still feel like I blog so I don't forget and this site sure does come in handy when I go scrapping and need to journal these stories onto paper. Which the countdown is on until the next scrap camp (AKA Nerd Camp or Drunk Scrappin'). CAN'T WAIT!
We just got back from 8 days of camping. Yesterday Bear turned 35. I have 87 loads of laundry to wash, dry, fold and put/pack away. Including giant bedding, pillows and beach towels. On top of that we had to unpack the coolers and mountains of food we came home with. I finally took a real shower today and used shampoo. Boy did that feel great! And I am in the process of organizing pictures from the last year in order to get them printed for Scrap Camp. So I figure I'll blog a little, go through pics a little in between the running of the washer/dryer and dishwasher. Enjoy the stories to come...they are good ones!

Parker Can Swim!

Parker learned how to swim on our week long vacation at Vagabond Village. He was brave enough, he trusted us and took off his life jacket. He was able to motor around the pool with the flippers, the mask and snorkel. But didn't have the ability or the courage to swim without all the gear. Towards the end of the week he could manage to swim unassisted with just the flippers on. His courage soared throughout the week and it was a fantastic sight to see.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fathers Day at the Shack

June 2011.
We spent Father's Day down at the Shack. It was Bear's brother Blakes very first Father's Day and it was just simply perfect. My Mom and Dave came down to join in the festivities. Milo and Peg chickened out thinking there were too many bugs in Loman (turned out to be ZERO). But it was a simple meal on the grill-brats, baked beans, chips, and rhubarb crisp. And family.

Bear, Parker and Don...just a couple of boys at heart hanging out at the shack.Grandpa Donnie took Parker out of the 4-wheeler and let him drive the thing. We basically no assistance. Parker was able to control the direction and the speed. Then he drove everybody crazy until the obliged and rode with him on his "wheelie rider".

We went on a lady slipper hunt and managed to find a few Showy Lady slippers and the yellow ones. This one was right outside the shack on the edge of the woods. It was so cool to teach the boys about this special flower.
Grandpa Don and his little shack buddy
Ruby Jay...Ruby Girl...Rhubarb...Rubes...
The cutest little girl who made her daddy extra proud on this special day.
Need I say more?
Emmitt was being camera shy this day but sat down to teach Daddy and Papa how to turn on his super cool shack light.
3 Generations. Including the First Olson Girl.
Emmitt was bumming when Uncle Blake, Auntie Casey and Ruby had to go home. He ran out to the road and waved his little heart out. They live just 25 miles out of town, but our lives get so busy that it's a shame we don't seem them more often. But it makes the times we get together that much more special. 3 Generations. Olson Boys-and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Father and Son
Momma and Daughter-I had the lucky draw of bouncing Ruby to sleep for a little nap and changing a nasty. Her first one at the shack, and I changed it right on the bed! Just like I used to do with my boys. Once she's big enough, we'll have to get her in that washtub for a bath at the shack.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

4th of July-the 8th Annual BBQ

Slideshows are just a bit too easy...sorry about that, but when you are this far behind on bloggling, it's easier overall to post a show than individual pictures that seem to go on forever!
We had a blast on the 4th of July...as usual. It was our 8th Annual BBQ. I cannot believe this little tradition has carried on for 8 summers. It doesn't seem like we have been in our house that long. I love, love, love this get together. We have such a hodge podge of people and I think that is exactly what I like about it so much. We have roughly 45 people that come to our house. We have "who brings what" down to a science. We waiver a bit from year to year, but it's pretty much the same. One year my mother-in-law breathed that she may not make her beans due to back surgery and most of the people threatened her and couldn't believe the blasphemy she spoke! My mom made them for her that year, just because I think she felt sorry for the poor woman! Back surgery, schmack smurgery...the beans must be made! Peter actually went up to her this year and thanked her for the beans. It made her day. The 4th is after all, all about the food!
The Karsnia families are a new addition to the party...but we do other things with them throughout the year. Easton was just a newbie last year and this year he was doing the bear crawl all over the place.
Ruby made her first 4th party and vegged out in her diaper or Onesie during one of the hottest 4th's I can remember. At least we didn't flood this year!
The Froemke's came down again for the 2nd year in a row. Minus their oldest boy Jake. Who was in Wheaton visiting his Grandma and Grandpa for a week. We missed having him with us for the party and the float! Garret wouldn't do it without his big brother! But he had a blast flirting his big brown eyes at Emma and playing trains in the basement with the boys.
The Bilbens attended...they are after all "family". Regan battled the heat 6 months pregnant and it wiped her out completely. They made for an early night, assuming that we would be down to their driveway for the fireworks. She makes the best popcorn on the 4th for us as we pile at the end of her driveway to get a great view of the big show in the sky.
Chris turned 40 this year. His birthday was in June and we all forgot. Or were late with his card. Or didn't call him or anything! I mentioned it to my mom and she felt awful. Not to mention that it was a big birthday. Birthdays are a big deal in our family. So we turned the end of our 4th party into a 40th party. Mom made Chris his favorite cake and she found sparkler candles and a cute 40 and sporty centerpiece candle. We surprised him with our family rendition of "Happy Birthday" and "Chris has a birthday". He really was surprised and then immediately asked "Whadidyagetme?"...ha ha! Just be lucky that we owned up to forgetting your birthday made good with it Leps!
It was a bit tricky juggling a float, the kids wanting to be downtown, the heat, the hosting, etc...but by the time 3 o'clock came around, the kids had had enough of being downtown and we were welcomed home to a garage full of family and friends who had already made themselves at home...just where we wanted them. It was nice not having the 5k fun run the same day of the 4th. That made the day a little less hectic, but the float sure did add on to the business of the day. It was an awesome day that turned into an great evening...the storm that came scared us away from the fireworks that still went off...we were all tucked in bed when we heard the booms from across town. We all stayed there with eyes closed dreaming about how pretty the fireworks must have looked and how many mosquitoes the rain storm brought out.



Friday, July 8, 2011

The Grand Tour


We ventured out on the "big cruise ship" on Tuesday. Parker saw the boat on the 1st of July when we were at the new Voyageurs National Parker Headquarters watching fireworks and has been talking about the huge ship ever since. My mom bought tickets for myself, Parker, her, Emma and Shelby. We were lucky enough to have gorgeous weather as we took an afternoon and spent it on Rainy Lake.
We stopped at Little America and walked around the island. The "tour guide" was very, very good. She kept the attention of the kids and the adults. I had grabbed beads and string from the Visitors Center and Parker was able to make a necklace/bracelet for himself. Then we grabbed more for Emmitt to make while at home.
We were able to see a bald eagle and learn about banding them when they are eaglets. I even learned some history about Rainy Lake City and Bushyhead. Things you forget because you live in the area. We are truly blessed to have such great scenery and history in our area and it pays to partake in the "touristy" events offered in your own back yard!
Thanks Mom for the idea! Thanks Debs for letting us kidnap your daughter for the week...it was GREAT!

Monday, July 4, 2011

5k of 2011

Family Race day...the whole family participated in the annual Bronco 5k Fun Run(walk). Parker has been there every year with me...the first year, I was pregnant with him, but it still counts. This year he was the youngest participant. We figured he did 2 miles out of the 5 we did that day. 3 miles was the actual race and the other 2 miles were getting to and from the race.

Cousin Pete and his buddy Parker. Pete finished the 5k (very unwillingly) but finished 16th in his age bracket.

A very cooling and windy breeze at the end of a hot, hot race to cool off these hot, hot sisters.
Bear participated this year for the first time. He realized very quickly that even though we don't "run" that it's definitely easier on your mind and your body to jog than it is to walk a very fast pace. He would make the call and decide who got to push the kids while we jogged a few legs of the race.Parker would hop in and out of the stroller when he felt like he could run. He was all over the water stations. Drinking and throwing his cup like the best of them.Once our family of four crossed the finish line with a time of about 39 minutes, we had a few minutes to recover, get a refreshing snack and it was off to the kids race. Parker has done this little lap around the track since he was 18 months old, but Emmitt finally participated this year and made it the whole way, actually running as fast as his little bull-legged legs would take him.

The kids race was one of my favorite parts of the weekend. Parker took off (with his tongue out of course) and pulled out way ahead. Then he kept looking back over his shoulder to see where Emmitt was.
Emmitt was just running with a huge grin on his face as we all cheered him on. Half way around the track Parker stopped to wait for his brother to catch up, then turned around and jogged back to him and grabbed his hand! It was totally priceless the way he helped his little brother finish the race strong. The boys were so excited to run and make it around the track. The were rewarded with a ribbon and a bottle of water. We really made a big deal out of Emmitt finishing. He (believe it or not) is not as outgoing as Parker is and actually takes some convincing to try new things. Parker was such a big boy running miles that day. It was a great way to start off a very busy, hot, fun weekend.

Sunday, July 3, 2011