Sunday, March 19, 2017

Catching Up with Our Life in Pictures

 I like to kind off keep a record of what is going on in our life on here and I missed quite a few weeks of our life in pictures so here is something of a catch-up post. :-) Here are some goings on around here since the last part of February.
One Sunday afternoon I woke from my nap to find the younger 3 kids busily working on creating a zip-line in our back yard. Jonathan is great at figuring out how to make things and he had this handle thing all made from wood and able to slide across the thick rope that they had tied between to trees.

 You had to climb a ladder to get on and then away you went. It wasn't very long but it is rather fun. It worked best for Aaron and Megan as the rope tended to sag when Jonathan, Mara and I went on it as we were heavier - plus we are taller so our feet would then drag. Ken hasn't tried it. Jonathan did raise the rope later and I guess it works better for tall people now but I haven't tried it.

Mara tries it out.
 The view of the river from by the zip line. I didn't actually take any pictures while on it. :-)

 Ken and I had a free advertising opportunity for our businesses. It was a Chamber of Commerce event that was held at a new hotel in town. They invited Ken (who is a member of the chamber) to have a display there to go along with the theme of love/marriage. He told them he wasn't sure if insurance was the best fit for that theme but his wife (me) did wedding flowers would they like me to come. They said sure - why didn't we both come and have a display together.
 So combining our two businesses with the theme of love/marriage was interesting but we did our best. :-) It was fun to visit with the people that came. Another interesting thing that came about was that the hotel was giving away a free night stay to one person who came to this event and went to the rooms where all the different businesses were located. Megan had come with us and so she participated and she ended up winning. She is excited because she will be able to go use their swimming pool. We haven't used it yet.
 The last weekend in February we had our Winter Retreat. I had shared quite a few pictures from that earlier. It was a fun blessing to us. We had 2 families and 1 other teen staying with us. Both families that came had 4 boys (plus one girl) and the first evening 2 of my nephews were also here for supper along with our 2 boys that made a houseful of boys!! What a blessing to see all these young men who are growing up loving Jesus and wanting to follow Him.
 Big news in our family at the end of February was Jonathan getting his drivers permit. Mara got hers too at the beginning of March. Jonathan is very eager to drive where ever we go. He is getting to be a good driver. Mara quite a bit more laid back about driving and hasn't done much yet.
 In early March all of us except Megan went over to Duluth to go skiing for the day. It was a beautiful day to go skiing. We had a lot of fun. I think we all stretched ourselves in our skiing abilities - which since I always like a challenge - was really neat. Aaron tried Mogul skiing quite a bit and Jonathan and I did a little too. That was a pretty big challenge and did cause us to take some falls but that is part of learning something new sometimes.
 Jonathan carrying Mara's poles after she had crashed one time. Mara is our most novice skier (besides Megan) and so some of the hills were pretty challenging to her.
 Ken and Mara as the sun was setting.

 On the 10th of March after going to an early dentist appointment where Mara ended up getting a tooth pulled (and that all worked out it a neat way - an answer to prayer), and then going and singing at the nursing home (without Mara helping us sing) and then going home for a wedding flower consultation we headed out to go to the cities so that Mara could fly to Texas the next day. Another exciting thing that happened that day was that Mara found out she had won a local essay contest which lets her go (for free) on a youth tour to Washington DC in June.
After taking Mara to the airport on Saturday we went shopping with my sister and family (who we were staying with) at an Asian food store and then a place called the Hmong Village. It was a building a little smaller than a Walmart with probably hundreds of vendors inside. There was a food court, places to by clothes (a lot of Asian clothes), laundry soap, cosmetics, jewelry, shoes, toys, herbs, a whole produce market and so much more. It was super busy and super crowded and really neat! It was like going to another country. The majority there were not speaking English I don't think.

 This is the market. I bought some lemon grass, ginger and watermelon there.

We ate lunch at the food court and I had fun trying a Hmong spicy soup. I don't remember the name of it. Others enjoyed a sweet chicken, sticky rice, pho and bubble tea.
 We headed home that afternoon. When we got home everyone was pretty tired. Megan is trying to read through all our books in the house and she started "Johnson's Notes on the New Testament" - a commentary- that evening. I went up to find her sound asleep with it in her hand. It is a very thick book with I think nearly a thousand pages. After a week of reading it (with the addition of some other new books that we got too) she is about halfway through. She cracks me up sometimes.
 I made Hamenstachen that evening. A special filled cookie that is made for the Jewish Holiday - Purim. We also had fun reading through Esther last week and making a lot of noise each time Hamen's name was mentioned - that is another Purim holiday tradition. We had never done those things before but it was fun. I find Jewish Holidays very interesting and enjoy celebrating them from time to time.
 I made some magnetic fishing poles for my Wednesday evening class as we have been talking about Jesus and his disciples and how they were fishermen. They fishing has been quite a hit! The littler kids seem to prefer putting little foam fish in nets that we made and the older ones love the magnetic poles. I was happy to be able use various odds and ends that I had around to make the fishing stuff.

Mara was in Texas most of last week going to Camp Adventure. It is an introduction for highschool Juniors and Seniors to Adventures in Missions - a program that Mara is considering going to when she graduates. She was really blessed by her time there and really enjoyed many of the other kids that she met there. She flew back in on Thursday. My sister Anna picked her up at the airport (or one of her kids did - I am not sure) and then we arrived down there a little later in the afternoon.
 That evening we went to an event at University of Northwestern where Mara is doing online college classes while still in highschool (it is something MN offers that Juniors and Seniors in highschool can go to college for free). The event consisted of a tour of the University (it is really nice!), free supper at their cafeteria and getting to go to the Musical Mary Poppins for free as well. 11 of us went (our family - except Ken who stayed home to work-, part of Anna's family and another of Mara's friends from the cities) and it was a very fun outing.
 The boys enjoyed their supper which they got to choose what they wanted.
 Megan and Beatrice with "Mary Poppins".
 The musical put on by the university was very, very well done!! I loved it. There were so many special effects, good music and just a lot of fun!
 Yesterday Megan worked on making herself a dress with some help from me. She didn't quite get it finished last night but was determined to wear it today so she got up early and worked on it this morning. It wasn't truly all done - we need to add a ruffle to the sleeves - but she wore it anyway.
 My little nephew Buirlen made his appearance at church for the first time today. He is pretty sweet!
Aaron got in the sewing mood this afternoon and has almost finished a cloak to wear.

 How have you all been doing? What is going on in your lives?


Carmen N said...

I love reading your updates. You and your family have been quite busy lately :)

JoannaTopaz said...

Sounds like you have been busy and having fun! I enjoy reading your updates even if I don't always comment. We also have been busy -- and I am wishing the weather would make up its mind on winter or spring. We also won something recently at an event: a large basket full of Italian meal "fixings" (pasta, sauces, olive oils, kitchen towels, etc.)

Abbi said...

Thanks, Carmen!

Joanna, Thanks for commenting. I love to hear from you. That sounds like a fun prize to win!

SpicingUpIdaho said...

My goodness, what a busy lady you are! How awesome that Megan won the free night at the hotel! That will be a fun outing for you all! So exciting for Mara to be a part of the mission group! And eating at a foreign market, how fun to experience different food, it looked very good! Always enjoy your posts, and you amaze me at how much you get done!

Abbi said...

We do like to stay busy but those things were spread out over a month so it really wasn't too crazy. :-)

I love getting to experience food from other cultures so going to the Mung Village was very fun for me. We are so blessed to be able to learn about other cultures without even leaving our state.


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