Sunday, July 27, 2014

Mt. Sherman: Elijah's First 14er

On Saturday, Daddy and Elijah drove up into the mountains to hike Mt. Sherman - Elijah's first 14er. They got up very early and were out the door by 5:30am. The hike was just over 5 miles round trip and 2100 vertical feet. I think they hiked up in about 3 hours and down in 2 hours, give or take.

There were a few abandoned mines along the way, where they stopped briefly to check things out.

The ridge was very windy and cold, and Chris said Elijah was a bit nervous up there. But they kept trucking along the loose rock to the top, with Chris taking video and photos on his phone.

At the coldest points, Elijah was wearing Chris' sweatshirt in addition to his own layers, with Chris' extra socks on his hands as gloves.

They reached the summit (14,036') around 10:30am, and it was warmer up there. They ate lunch, took pictures, called Mommy, and relaxed before heading back down. Elijah said he could "see a thousand miles from the top of the mountain."

They got home about 2:45pm - dusty and sweaty and tired, but very proud of their big hike!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Trip to MN - Part 4 - Tuesday and Wednesday

Tuesday morning, we drove a few minutes over to Great Grandma Violet's house to visit her for the morning. The kids enjoyed running around her beautiful yard, eating cookies and drinking lemonade and looking at the lake. Chris and I enjoyed hearing her stories and chatting together.

Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday, Chris and I left the kids with the grandparents and Uncle Daniel, and drove to Sioux Falls for a bit of a getaway. Although not many pictures were taken, I hear the kids had a great time, and kept the adults quite busy, especially with trips to the nearby park!

We got back Wednesday night in time to put Elijah and Kirsa to bed. Thursday morning, we got up very early, and were all on the road by 6:22am. The kids were entirely vacationed-out and ready to get home, but we still had a pretty pleasant trip back. Now we are back, and the mountain of laundry has been washed, dried, and put away. It's time to look forward to school starting for Elijah in less than 2 weeks, and preschool for the girls shortly after that! But it was a wonderful midsummer vacation to Minnesota and we are so glad we got to go!

Trip to MN - Part 3 - Great Grandma, and back to Fairmont

Monday morning, we left New Prague and headed to Mankato to visit Great Grandma Polly. We spent about an hour at her house, reading books and playing games and chatting.

Then we went out for a lovely lunch at Red Lobster. The kids were not-so-well-behaved this time, but we made it through anyway! Then back to Fairmont. Ingrid got a short nap in the car on the way back, and we arrived too late to put her down for a "real" nap.

So instead, we decided to walk, in about 900% humidity, to the local ice cream stand, about a mile away. Someone let the kids each get a chocolate ice cream cone, and they turned into chocolate monsters. Daddy had helped Kirsa lick hers down to a manageable size, but Elijah had melted ice cream dripping from his elbows as he ate!

Monday evening was just spent playing and relaxing at Grandpa and Grandma's!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Trip to MN - Part 2 - Megan's Baby Shower

Sunday morning, I helped get Chris and the kids off to church in Okabena with his parents. Then Michael and I drove to New Prague, where he dropped me off on his way back to St. Paul. My mom had already arrived the day before at Susi's house, and we spent a lovely, girly morning getting ready for a baby shower for Megan!

I had planned a "storybook" theme and I think it turned out really nicely! The shower was at 2pm, so we just had a lovely assortment of "ladies' tea" sorts of foods - tea sandwiches, fruit salad, apple slices, a veggie tray, cookies, cupcakes, and lemonade. I had lots of help from Susi, my mom, Elsa, and my Grandma Polly to get it all ready!

We had a great turnout and everyone showered Paul and Megan's baby-to-be with lots of gifts and many new books for baby's library. I think she enjoyed the shower a lot, and it was fun to get everyone together!

Meanwhile, Chris took the kids to church and then back to his parents' house, got them down for naps, then back up again and into the car, with all our luggage, and up to New Prague by the end of the shower!

The kids ate leftover shower food for dinner and went to bed. Elijah slept in a huge guest bed at Susi and Lael's in an enormous pile of crisp, clean sheets, down comforter and down pillows! The girls slept in their pack'n'plays.

We had a beautiful, delicious dinner with Elsa and Don, my mom, and Susi and Lael. Then my mom left with her parents for the evening, and Chris and I went to bed around midnight.

Trip to MN - Part 1 - Century Farm Picnic

Last week, our family traveled to Minnesota for a very busy week of vacation! We drove up on Friday. The drive was about 12 hours, and the kids were, as usual, rockstar travelers. We got in to Chris' parents' house and put everyone right to bed. Ingrid had a terrible night, but thankfully that was her only rough night for the whole vacation.

Saturday morning, we hung around the house and gave Ingrid a morning nap. Since she had missed her nap the day before, she went right to sleep and rested from 9am to 11am. Then we left for a fun afternoon at the family farm.

The farm has now been in the family for 100 years, so we had a big picnic and celebration with {almost} everyone! It was great to get all the cousins and second cousins together. The (many) little boys and some bigger boys stayed busy with Kubb (a "Viking lawn game") and baseball. Kirsa ran around picking dandelions and exploring.

Ingrid enjoyed being held all day - mostly by Mommy, but she did let Grandma and Daddy each take her for a short time as well.

We had a big picnic lunch and then a long afternoon of playing, socializing, and picture-taking. The sky was overcast and the weather was just about perfect, just slightly humid. We explored the farm machinery and sat on the tractors too.

Kirsa really loved the calves, and she and one calf spent quite a while eyeing each other nervously. (Calves are a lot bigger up close than they look in the field!)

We also got pictures of Kirsa and Great Grandpa Eigenberg, her birthday buddy, of course!

It was a wonderful afternoon and we're so glad we got to be a part of the celebration! We spent the evening back at Grandpa and Grandma's house, ate pizza, put the kids to bed, and later gratefully crawled into bed ourselves!