Monday, June 8, 2015

Minnesota State Parks - Campin 2015 - Trip #2

For our second camping trip of the summer we headed south to Father Hennepin State Park. This weekend we brought two campers - because we had company this weekend - our daughter, son-in-law and grandson.

We had two campsites that backed up to each other in the Maple Grove campground. The sites were very private and very large. There was a pretty little path that went from one site to the other.

 The park is not big, but very pretty, with nice hiking trails, and a wonderful sandy beach. There were also two boat landings and several fishing piers, but we didn't bring a boat or fishing tackle this trip. we mostly enjoyed being together, and especially watching Micah explore the great outdoors.

Our grandson loved camping. He loves being outside all the time anyways, so campng was almost like heaven to him. He spent lots of time playing in the sand, throwing rocks in the water, playing in the water at the beach, and doing anything else he could find to do. 

This picture shows how he would splash the water, and when it would splash on his face he would say, "Ouch!" then laugh and do it again.

Father Hennepin State Park is a great park for family or group camping. The other campround in the park, called Lakeview Campground  had sites that were more open, perfect for groups. There is also a special group campground. The state park would also be great for people who want to camp and go fishing on Lake Mille Lacs.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Minnesota State Parks - Camping 2015 - First Weekendi

This year we are continuing to check out the wonderful state parks here in Minnesota.
In May we went to Itasca State Park. 

We spent the weekend hiking and biking, exploring the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Itasca is a beautiful park. 

The campsites were nice and the park was very clean. 

 The biking trails were especially nice - paved trails from one end of the park to the other.
We biked 10 miles on Saturday - pretty good for two people who hadn't been on a bike since last summer. 

We also enjoyed visiting the museums in the park, learning more about the history of Minnesota, especially about the Mississippi River.

We visited the headwaters of the Mississippi river twice. The water was too high to walk across, but it was fun to see it.

We enjoyed our stay at Itasca State Park.


We also came back with an idea to make a bench like this one...

 Check back soon and hear about camping trip #2 ....

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Sounds of Springtime Up North

  • The splash from the loons' feet as they dive under water 
  • The croaking of the frogs in the ponds along the road
  • The crunching of the leaves as the squirrels scamper through the woods
  • The quacking of the wood ducks as they swim by the dock
  • The drumming of the woodpecker on a hollow log
  • The gentle crashing of the waves on the rocky shoreline
  • The hoot of the owls calling back and forth in the woods
  • The purr of a 4 wheeler in the distance
  • The gentle whisper of the wind
  • The peaceful, warm silence of the sunset on my face

Monday, April 13, 2015

Family Weekend

At the end of my Spring Break week was the best weekend ever - time spent with our kids and grandkids! We spent Friday afternoon and evening with our daughter,Carrie, and our grandson, Micah. On Saturday we picked them up and went to a robotics competition where my son-in-law (Carrie's husband, Mardo) was a coach. 

The robotics competition was so interesting! Teams of high school students had designed, built and programmed robots to perform the tasks necessary for the competition. Then the teams made alliances with other teams so that both could score more points during competition. Finally, with 3 teams on each side of the "ring" the robots (with the students directing them by remote control) raced against time to score as many points as possible. When the teams weren't competing they were in the "Pit", working on their robot or talking with spectators.  It sure was fun to see it all!

When we left the competition, Carrie took us to the Midtown Global Market for lunch. 
There was quite a bit to see at the market, and it reminded me of Antigua, Guatemala. 

I fell in love with this giraffe...

.....while Craig really liked this gas pump.

But the we both loved the food. After looking at all the food booths, we decided to eat Mexican. Carrie said that Mardo gave this place his "stamp of approval" when they had eaten here a few weeks earlier. He said that the food tasted like authentic Mexican food.

I decided to order the enchilada platter. Craig ordered the torta, a Mexican style sandwich. Everything was delicious!


Later that afternoon we went to our meet our boys and their girlfriends for supper and a MN Wild hockey game on TV. We met them at our son's (Aaron) house and had a super evening.

Sunday was Easter. We started off the day by visiting our oldest son's church.  Brenton and Stephanie met us there. Brenton and his son, Andrew,  were volunteering in the nursery - so Micah stayed in there with them. Stephanie had gone to the earlier service, so after saying hello to us she, Jacob and Isabelle went home to start lunch. After church we all went back to their home - and Aaron, Jeff and their girlfriends met us there. We had a wonderful lunch - but the best part was having the whole family together. It was fun watching Isabelle give Micah an Easter egg hunt. It was great watching Jacob and Andrew play outside. It was so nice to see the "girls" - Stephanie, Carrie, Whitney, and Jamie- talk as they got the food ready, and to see Brenton, Aaron, Jeff and Mardo hanging out together. 

I just love being with my grown up children (and their spouses/girlfriends.) I am so thankful for the adults they've become. I appreciate their advice, enjoy their humor, love the fact that they care about each other, and most of all, I am so happy that they all are believers. They trust God, they pray and they believe in the power of prayer, and they are working at being the men and women that God wants them to be.

I  also love my grandchildren. They are beautiful kids, they are talented, they are loving, and they have great relationships with their parents.  

We ended the afternoon with a walk around Brenton and Stephanie's neighborhood. It was nice to be able to be outside together without needing boots, gloves, snow pants, etc. 

The perfect weekend after a perfect week. I am sorry it's over - but I have great memories because I have a great family! I am already looking forward to our next family gathering.... maybe on the 4th of July?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Spring Vacation

A lot of people travel somewhere for spring break, but they usually go by car or by plane. Last week I took some time off for a spring break too.... but I went by semi. Actually, my choice of vacation for spring break was to be with my husband as he worked, driving a semi to Alabama to deliver a load and then bring another load back.

We hit a little rain. The mist off the road after the rain was amazing.

 We went through quite a few cities. The view sure is different when you're riding in a semi. (And it's hard to take pictures when you're going down the road at 65 mph!)

We stopped at a cool rest area in Mississippi.

The weather was beautiful when we got to Alabama to unload. I walked our dog, Percy, while Craig checked in at the receiving dock.

We spent a lot of time just talking as we went down the road - sharing favorite memories, hopes for the future, talking about our kids and grandkids, talking about God and His Word and how good He has been to us. It was a great week!

We got back to the cities in time to spend the weekend with our family. Stay tuned for more on that...........

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

"The earth laughs in flowers" or - flower crazy cards

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "The earth laughs in flowers."  Spring comes slowly here, so I had to find my own flowers to make me smile.

I got a new stamp set from Stampin' Up called Flower Shop and the punch that goes with it and started making cards. The cards made me so happy, that I want to share them with you. Of course I got my inspiration from Pinterest. Click on a picture to see my inspiration.

These last few cards are my own designs, so no links.

I hope these flower cards inspire you and make you happy.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Stamping Time

During the last couple of weeks I've really gotten back into making cards. I brought a lot of my supplies upstairs, where it's warmer and where I can watch HGTV while I work. My daughter and her family came up one weekend and asked if we could make cards. She suggested that we use some of our washi tape for decorations. My final bit of inspiration is Pinterest. I am hooked on it. I can search for cards by using the name of the stamp set I want to use and get all kinds of inspiration.
So here are some of the cards I've made recently. You can click on the card to see my inspiration from Pinterest, if there is a specific one.

"Sheltering Tree" stamp set from Stampin' Up. The blue with white polka dots is paper.

Same stamp set but the black and white polka dots is a piece of  washi tape.

The bird is from the "A Happy Thing" stamp set by Stampin' Up. 
The words are a stamp by The Last Word.

"Big Day" stamp set by Stampin' Up.

The cake and "Happy Birthday" stamps are also from "Big Day" set by Stampin' Up. The diagonal striped prints are from 3 different rolls of washi tape.

"So Many Scallops" stamp set by Stampin' Up.

"Celebrate Today" stamp set by Stampin' Up plus washi tape.

 "Best Day Ever" stamp set by Stampin' Up.

"Morning Cup" stamp set - Stampin' Up.

"Thoughts and Prayers" stamp set by Stampin' Up.

"Lotus Blossom" stamp set - Stampin' Up.

"A Happy Thing" stamp set - Stampin' Up.

The tree is a stamp from Northwoods Rubber. The words are a stamp by Hero Arts.

The rest of these cards feature washi tape.

("Just a Note" is a Stampin' Up stamp.)

("You make me smile" is stamp by J Denami Design.)

("Happy Birthday" is a stamp by imaginations.)

(This cute little bird is from a Stampin' Up set called "Happy Together")

(This phrase is a stamp from the set called "Heard From the Heart" by Stampin' Up.)

 I am having so much fun creating cards again. I hope I inspired you to get crafty too!