Monday, August 15, 2011

Fishing on Pepin

Yesterday was one of the best days I have had in a long time. Our friend, Steve, offered to take us out on his boat on Lake Pepin. I photographed a wedding on Saturday. Although I love photographing weddings, and I had a great time with the couple, I always forget how much work is involved and the long hours of wedding days. And it was nice to just have a day of relaxing after all the running with the kids this summer, baseball coaching, photography sessions, and home improvement projects. It was just phenomenal just to spend the day with my guys.

Johan really seemed to enjoy himself. John promised him we would catch big fish, but we really didn't. We only caught a few small crappie. Bodie mostly ate Cheetos the whole day, while the rest of us snacked on sandwiches, grapes and chips. The weather was perfect.
Bodie eating Cheetos
Our pitifully small fish
The boys had a lot of fun, especially with Johan and Ryan. Bodie is being very well behaved because he is always shy around new people. With Johan being so new, he is just still unsure. Its actually kind of nice for us, because things are calm and peaceful.
Tye thought it would b a great idea t go swimming of the dock, but didn't realize the cement leading into the water was so slippery with algae. He slipped, fell, and cried, bleeding from the elbow. But he didn't want to look like a baby in front of Johan. So, he wiped his eyes and elbow and went on playing.
The boys skipping stones.
 I have to remember to schedule more days off to spend with my guys before school starts because I could use more days like this one!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Our exchange begins

Johan arrived tonight from Odense, Denmark. I have wanted to host an exchange student since I was one in high school. We finally have a home large enough to accommodate, and when Jen called from Rotary in May to see if we would be interested, I was so excited. It was no problem convincing Tye, but John and Bodie were a different story. John was worried about problems that might come up, like behavior issues and getting along with our kids. Bodie just doesn't like strangers so he was pretty opposed to having someone stay with up for 4 whole months. I reassured him that after a few days, Johan will feel like a part of the family and that after 4 months, Bodie will be begging him not to go.
Finally, with everyone on board we were about to be first time host parents.
We went to the airport with Johan's club officer, Jen, as well as his second host mom, Ann and her sons, Zach and Nick. Johan walked right through the doors and up to Tye and Bodie before I even saw he was with us. Ann leaned in and said, " He is gonna have girl problems." He is adorable and much taller in person than we thought he would be. I knew he was cute from his Facebook page, but now I can see he is very handsome and much older looking than his photos. He is very polite and speaks English well. The boys warmed up to him right away.
We drove down I-35 and Johan couldn't believe the size of the semi trucks o the road. We also passed some large farm equipment and he had to do a double take. I forgot thing in Denmark are so much smaller, and they do not have the large vehicles we do.
We ate at Harry's in Lakeville and Johan's counselor David joined us. Johan ate well but I can tell he is very tired. He has such an exciting year ahead of him! I hope he likes staying with us.
Johan with Johanne, another student from Denmark

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Paul Family

Taken at the Plummer House in Rochester, MN.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Danielle's Daughter

Taken at my home in Owatonna...

Life Lately

This summer has sure flown by. I cannot believe August is here already. It seems liek school just got out and the whole season lay before us. And now it's nearly gone.
We spent Father's Day weekend in Omaha. My brother, Gene, was coaching a 12 year old AAA team and Lara came with him. Eric was visiting Amanda at the same time. So my dad came to Minnesota to pick us up and we drove down for a long weekend and had a blast.

Dad and I took the boys to the zoo one day, and the next, while Tye spent an afternoon with Amanda & Eric seeing the Green Lantern movie, Dad, Bodie, & I headed back to the zoo and saw the Imax movies.

I think the part the kids loved the most was going to the Amazing Pizza Machine.
To say my family is slightly competetive is an understatement. We had a fierce race with the go-karts that started to turn into bumper cars.

Then it was off the Amanda's for wiffle ball and a bbq lunch. The wiffle ball game was just as competetive as the go-karts.

July was a little more relaxed as we stayed home and suffered through the heat. July was a teeribly hot month for Minnesota. The boys spent most of the month indoors and drove me crazy with cries of boredom. I gave in and let them have friends stay over a lot.
I caught a baby raccoon that fell into the house from the attic. And John finally sealed up the attic entrance, mostly out of fear from retaliation from me.

The chickens kept growing but didn't start laying until the last week of July. We have really enjoyed raising them. The Australorps are my favorite. We lost one Red to a raccoon, that John caught promptly the next night. We think it was the momma raccoon to the baby we caught.

My favorite part of the summer has been baseball. I was the assistant coach for Tye's team. I loved getting to spend the summer with him and teaching him about his favorite sport. He did pretty well, especially with pitching and was definitely a stand-out on the team.

Bodie played the same nights as Tye, so I have only had the chance to see 3 of his games. He is so impressive. He even helped sub for one of Tye's games and played better than some of the 12 year olds. He is amazing!

We spent the 4th with the Davidsons and friends. I was able to get some awesome shots of the fireworks.

The Rotary club put on the fireworks display and passes out 3D glasses to watch the show with. The boys looked pretty cute with them on.

This is what they made the fireworks look like. It was pretty cool!

The last part of July was busy, but sad as we had a family friend pass away. He was the husband of my dear friend, Kerri, and father to Bodie's best friend, Miles. We spent a few days with the family, trying to be with and comfort them. It was very close to my heart, as he had suffered from depression, and I am still working through a tough time of my own. At the funeral, the pastor said some words about suicide, faith, and forgiveness that I really needed to hear and I knew there was meaning and comfort for me in his words. We keep the family close in our prayers and hope for peace in their future.
And now it is August already. We still have a lot of work to do on the house and yard. Our exchange student, Johan is coming in a week and we are so excited to meet him. Tye has been counting down the days. The fair will be on us before we know it, and we are planning to go to Duluth over Labor Day with the Davidsons. I hope these last weeks of summer bring us lots of fun and good times!