Monday, June 21

Butt first!

Twenty years ago, on our first-year anniversary and Father's Day,
Landon insisted on coming into this world butt first.
He's been doing everything since then the hard way too,
just kidding, sort of. 
Here's the doctor pulling him butt first out of my belly since he wouldn't fit the other way!
He was precious and adorable of course!
The cutest and smartest baby ever born!

He has demonstrated a need for speed from a young age.........

We thought for a while that he might be a quarterback in the NFL
and watch him on TV someday.....

Or a famous rock star in a band...........

A handsome rock star!

Or maybe a professional lifeguard and WSI.......

Thought at one point he might not make it at all
after a burst appendix, but he survived!

For a while we thought he might take off around the world on his bike......

But here's where you will find him most of the time now,
reading, studying, learning, growing in wisdom and knowledge.

I took the photo above from outside his window,
he didn't know I was there. 
If you want to see what is on his mind these days check out his blog at
but be ready to exercise your brain. :)

Raising this young man has been a ride for Bill and I,
thrilling, humbling, scary, joyful, exasperating,
interesting (meaning never a dull moment),
a wonderful, stressful, prayerful adventure! 
We are oh so proud of the person he is becoming
and blessed to call him son.

Love you, Landon!

Sunday, June 20

Norway Beach

Every summer for many years we have been going camping at Norway Beach with several other families.  It's a nice campground just 15 miles down the road from our house on Cass Lake.  The last few years it has been harder to get all our families there as our kids get to be teenagers and have jobs and sports and stuff.  The last two years us Oakeses have not set up tents and just slept at home since it is so close.   Our friends have given us much grief over this, they call us wimps and all sorts of names, but hey, a comfy bed and pillow beats a hard, lumpy, cold, sometimes wet sleep in a tent with mosquitos and skunks and all the other unpleasantries of tenting.  Not that we mind camping really but when it is so close to home its just too tempting.  So here's some shots of the weekend.

We did lots of just sitting around relaxing, visiting and laughing.

Lots of singing around the campfire....

Making popcorn for everyone on the camp stove....

Samuel got a BIG sliver in his finger, the doctor pulled it out!

An impromptu concert-
not sure why they had their instruments camping,
but we sure enjoyed the entertainment!

Landon had a break from Camp Oak Hills and came out for awhile.

Getting ready for our annual 12-mile bike ride...... DQ-- always the highlight of the weekend!

They love it when we all come!

And of course time at the beach- it's a very nice, sandy beach
and the water is shallow for a long ways out, perfect for little kids.
The first two days were very windy and chilly but the last day was perfect!

Except the water was very cold,
and only the bravest of souls went in.

The kids made a couple amazing sand castles.

Before we leave each year we take a photo of the kids. 
Some had already left before this shot.

Here's the group at one of our first campouts-
I think about 9 or 10 years ago!

And this was about 2005 or so....

Ten years,
that's a lot of camp fires and bike miles and s'mores and sand in the swimsuits!  
A lot of great memories for our kids to look back on
and that's what makes all the work of camping worthwhile.

Thursday, June 17

..rain, rain, go away..

Boy did we ever have rain today, several cloud bursts,
but this was the big one this afternoon complete with hail, some quarter sized.

Brian and Leanne couldn't resist..............

They had fun, but the weather was a little spooky at times today with tornado warnings and down pours. 
I am SO ready for some sunshine!

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey. 
You'll never know, dear, how much I love you.....please don't take my sunshine away!

That's for my hubby cuz as of today we have been married for 21 years!
Woot, woot!

Monday, June 14

mmmm and yikes


Mmmmmm.  Have I mentioned I like the purples, pinks and blues together? 
Sigh..... I wish the peonies would last all summer.

Yikes!  I just noticed this bad boy today-
he has got to go!

R.J. and Isabelle having it out.  They love eachother.
Really, they do.

Wednesday, June 9

Stuff happened.

It's been a busy last few weeks, lots of good stuff. 

We attended a dozen or more graduation open houses-
loved the not having to cook for a few weekends!

Leanne just finished up track, she ran hurdles and the 400 x 800 relay.
This was taken during warm-ups.  You go girl!

We spent a fun day at Itasca State Park going for a bike ride with a bunch of people.

The trail was beautiful!

Some ladyslippers along the trail- the MN state flower.

Itasca is famous for being the headwaters of the Mississippi,
where you can walk accross on the rocks.

Takin' a break and coolin' our feet. 
Then we biked s'more.  Ended with milkshakes at Douglas Lodge, yum!

Organized a gargantuan rummage sale at our church
 to raise funds for our team
going to the EFC National Youth Conference
 in Columbus, OH the end of June.
It was a huge amount of work setting up, selling and cleaning up
but we made $1,600 on a ton of 25-50 cent items! 
Brian and I are part of the team
of 12 students and four adults.

 I think most of the funds came from the sale of baked goods,
 who can resist the baked goods?  We cut the bars really big and charged $1 each.  

After the rummage sale we attended Brian's piano recital,
he did awesome. 
I will add the song or a link to the video of it as soon as I figure out how!

 Had a few friends over to celebrate my birthday with some grilling
and yummo cheesecake that Stacy made!

Brought Landon to Camp Oak Hills
 where he is a counselor/lifeguard for the summer.  
This family of geese hang out on Oak Hills Road.
  And I mean ON the road. 
The dad (or maybe it's the mom?) will stand in the middle of the road and hiss at your vehicle.  The nerve.

The monarch butterflies loved the lilacs as much as I do,
they were going crazy over them.
Sigh, I wish lilacs lasted all summer long.......

And this lovely humongous spider in the sink one day. 
Brian took video of himself killing it.  I am glad I was not around.
Very glad.  I hope this little guy doesn't have lots of relatives lurking.