On Sunday we had beautiful weather and decided to spend the day outside enjoying it together as a family. After going to church we took a walk at a local prairie. Kolsen enjoyed sharing his new plant knowledge with us and named most of the plants that we saw. My kids can all tell you what parsnip looks like and to stay away from it since it causes burns. We also took Abby and she enjoyed fetching her bumper along the trails and in the water.
Shawn has restored many prairies and wetlands as part of his job as a private lands biologist and I'm always amazed at what he can teach us while we are out on nature walks. In this picture you could tell where the land had been farmed before and where the virgin prairie was because the native prairie that had never been plowed had an amazing numbers of blooming prairie plants.
After we walked the prairie and wore Abby out a little, the kids road their bikes while Shawn and I ran down the bike path south of town. The kids did a great job riding and are hoping to go further down the path on our next trip.
I did it! I completed my second Hoot Lake Triathlon!
Getting ready to swim. Notice all the people shivering in sweatshirts and pants???
It was in the mid 50s when the race started.
They start the race in four different heats and mine was the last one to start. I liked being last because then you get to pass all the slow people in the other age groups.
The swim was 1/4 mile in choppy water. I drank quite a bit of water on the swim this year. They have two swim docks out in the lake and we swim around the far one and back. My swim time was only a little bit slower this year, but I still felt good about my swim.
This is me looking like I'm about to die in the transition zone. :)
My favorite cheering crowd! They drove the van around and cheered for me in quite a few places along the course.
My bike time was 3 minutes faster this year! I don't know if it was my new bike or my training partner Kelsey who pushed me hard in our workouts? Probably Kelsey! Thanks!
Kelsey and me! This is LT's mom who I babysit for and is often pictured on our blog.
I even got a medal this year!
I was the 3rd women's finisher and got 2nd in my age group.
I also finished 48 out of 132 people.
Total Time: 1:28:52
Swim 1/4 mile: 9:11
Bike 15.7 miles: 51:23 (an 18 mph average)
Run 3.3 miles: 26:31 (8 minute mile pace)
I had a blast and I'm trying to talk Shawn into doing it with me next year!
Last week Kolsen had to opportunity to go to Biology Camp at the Prairie Wetland Learning Center. It was three days long and he loved every minute! He came home each day full of stories of all the things they learned about during their explorations. After the parent program on the last day he took us on a short hike and he wanted to tell us the names of all the plants we saw. I'm always amazed at what kids are able to learn so quickly.
The nature poster of Kolsen's group "the Whistling Wings"
We all enjoyed a relaxing day at the fair! We sampled lots of fair food, looked at all the 4H displays and stopped in to see all the animals. Next year I'm hoping to follow through and actually have my kids enter items in the fair. This year we just looked over all the projects made by people we knew.
These girls have been busy little bees this week. Karolyn and Katie came up with the idea to put on a Bible school for the girls and they pulled out all the stops. They spent an afternoon writing ideas in notebooks and organizing all their activities that they wanted to do. Since then, they have been reciting verses, singing songs, doing crafts and playing games! I love their imaginations!
Warning: Extremely long post filled with TONS of pictures on vacation. I couldn't help it, we had too much fun to exclude anything.
We were so excited to have lots of family visiting this summer. A few weeks ago Shawn's parents and brother's family came up for a week. We spent most of the time at a cabin up on Boy Lake (which is right East of Leach Lake) and a few days exploring Fergus Falls. We all had a fabulous time and are looking forward to their next trip North!
Fishing off the dock.
The kids all loved swimming in the lake and jumping off the dock. I think they were down in the water swimming at least three times a day for hours each time!
Shawn and Uncle Eric snuck off to do some fishing and they caught some great fish for supper!
Some of my favorite Papons all piled up.
Nana and Karolyn fishing.
Kelton jumping out of the boat after taking his turn on the tube.
Papa and the kids posing for pictures after swimming.
Nana and Katie riding with Shawn.
Nana brought a pillowcase and taught the girls (and boys) how to do cross stitching.
Kassidy, Karolyn, Kelton, Kolsen, Katie and Kaylee (Konnor was napping)
What a whopper!
Aunt Theresa and the kids did quite a few puzzles.
Kaylee trying her hand a cross stitch embroidery.
All the K-kids
and again in age order.
Our "cabin" for the week.
Katie, Shawn and Kaylee
We also stopped by the Paul Bunyan Statue in Aikley on our way home. The kids were pretty excited to stand in his hand. I did the same thing almost 30 years ago or so in the exact same spot! I can remember visiting my cousins at their cabin in MN each summer and I never dreamed that I would be living here some day!
Kassidy climbing Paul's boot.
Thanks to Nana and Papa Papon for planning this trip!
And to Eric's family for loading up and making the long haul North!
We loved our week with family and the time flew by and we are definitely looking forward to another visit sometime soon!