Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Knee High by the 4th of July!!

I remember when my Grandpa Farm would come visit us in Texas in the summers, he would always comment on the corn stalks growing around the prison farm. He would comment on how tall the corn was....and he would always say, "In MN, corn should be knee high by the 4th of July." We had the wonderful opportunity to go back to MN for the 4th and see almost ALL of our extended family. It was one of the best 4th's I have had in a long time. I am hoping we can go up to MN MUCH more often in the summers. It is BEAUTIFUL there this time of year. We literally spent probably 85% of our time outside.

We were only there for 4 full days, so we had to make the most of our time. The pics below show our weekend in complete backwards order because I didn't upload them backwards. Oh well -- here was our trip in reverse. :)

We spent the second half of our trip at my Grandma and Grandpa Olson's. This photo is actually on our last day when we were heading back to the city.

I feel so blessed by the extended family I have. We are all so different, but I still enjoy spending time with them. I wish we lived closer so I could just pop in and visit my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

The Leivas, The Grand Olsons and The Young Olsons

PS - My Grandpa is a total firecracker!! I know she looks tiny here, but she is the toughest member of our family. :) Example: she forced my brother to try Akvidt (a licorish tasting liquor that is probably 30 years old) at 8:30 AM on the 4th of July because it is what scandinavians do. And you know she is the boss because Scott did it and Grandma did it along with him!! It was hilarious!!

My mom had been talking about wanting to go in the lake every day while we were up at the lake....finally on Sunday she won. It was SO MUCH FUN!! The water was a little chilly, but seeing as it was 4th of July eve, the lake was filled with boats waiting for the fireworks to start.

Amanda and I swimming in the lake

Amanda and I were using each other for balance on the rocks, but I am pretty sure that Amanda was trying to pull me in!! Mom and Scott are in the back ground. Amanda and I moved a lot slower than they did, and Mom made sure we heard about it. We were called chickens a lot that day. :)

Earlier in the day on Sunday, Grandpa and Dad took us out fishing for Sunfish. We had a pretty successful fishing trip. We caught 38 keepers, 10 of which weren't really keepers but Alex and Grandpa kept throwing baby sunfish in there to up their totals. We used leeches for bait, so Amanda and I hired a "Fish Butler" (i.e. Daddio) to put the leeches on our hooks, remove the fish from the hooks and sometimes to remove the hooks from the fish. We kept him pretty busy!

I almost caught a bass too. It wrapped itself around the ancor though, and Grandpa couldnt get it in the boat in time. Bummer - would have been picture worthy. I was telling Grandpa's neighbor about the 'almost bass' and he said almost doesnt count. :( But it counts in my head!!

Grandpa and the gang on the boat

Alex was serious about catching the Sunnies, so here he was assuming the position.

Scott and Amanda on the boat

BAIT -- eeewww leeches.

(btw - I will bait my own hooks when the bait is minnows or worms, but not bloodsuckers!)

On Saturday we had a HUGE Olson family gathering for the 4th of July. I was able to see my entire extended family with the exception of 3 cousins. Two were working and the third lives in Ireland and was in LABOR!! Welcome to the world Gemma Louise Evers!!

The Whole Gang! Ready for this.....Front Row: Otis's butt (bulldog), Brandon, Benjamin, Mandy, Amanda, Taylor, Mackenzie, Skidder, Mom Second Row: Me, Janet, Jasmine, Dan, Sheryl, Grandpa, Scott, Amy & Brooklyn, Aunt Chris, Rodger, Mackayla, Grandma Back Row: Dad, Bob, Alex, Scott Jake (phew!)

We had a lot of fun times with babies over the weekend. This was my first weekend to meet a bunch of the newer arrivals. I hadn't seen my cousin Amy's kids in 7 years!!!

Alex chillin with Benjamin -- this was the BEST baby!!


Mom and Brooklyn -- this baby's eyes are GORGEOUS!!
Amanda and Benjamin -- Amanda is officially known as the Baby Whisperer

Friday we were in the Twin Cities spending time with my Mom's side of the family -- the Farms. We had a huge family picnic at a park called French Park. We used to go to this park all the time when we were little. It has a whole playground made out of nets!! We used to fish with our Grandpa Farm too!! I remember one time, we were fishing with those little kid Mickey Mouse poles. We were fishing for sun fish or something else small and I caught a Northern!! Actually I never caught it -- it took off with my fishing pole. So if you ever see a Northern swimming with a mickey mouse rod attached to its mouth -- IT IS MINE!! :)

The whole Farm Gang - here we go again: Back Row: Grandma and Wally, Alex and I, Dad, Jacquie, Uncle Tom and little Alice, Charles, Robyn, Amanda, Scott and Ben. Front Row: Unlce Karl, Aunt Kathy, Alicia, Fable and Mom.

Funny story about our family picnic. We were wrapping everything up for the night and Wally (my Grandma's friend) realized his battery had died, so he couldnt unlock his van. It became a family affair to get into his van. He had left his window open, so finally after 45 minutes of attempts, Unlce Tom used a golf club to pull the manual unlock (I was watching him from the drivers side telling him which direction to go and my cousin Charles was watching from the side to help with directions too). The picture below is blurry, but is in celebration that we made it into the van - hence the thumbs up, every door opened and every light on in the car!!

We are IN!!! YAY!!!
Grandma and Wally
Mother in law and Daughter in law

My cousin Charles and his wife Robyn have two daughters, Fable and little Alice below. Alice just learned to walk, so I was following behind her to make sure she didnt eat it, and she walked up to this tree and just hugged it. The lighting was really good at this point in the day. How precious is this pic?

What a little ham!! Sweet Alice

Grandma and Fable

Scott and Amanda

Alex and I gatherine some last minute supplies

We had to make a lunch stop at Old Country Buffet while in MN. Grandma and Grandpa used to go here every day before he died. It is really a great buffet!!!


Alex and I self-portrait (Erika - is my self portrait face getting better?!?!?)

Me and Grams!! I love her SO MUCH!!!!

If you made it to the end. Thanks for sticking with me. We had such a wonderful time. God has blessed me with an amazing extended family - times two now considering the extended family I gained on Alex's side. Thank you God for your many blessings!!

Side note -- keep praying for Houston Project. Tonight is our last night -- pray that God's love is shown in abundance!!

1 comment:

Violet said...

Thanks for the blog update- The pictures were great and Tom and I enjoyed very much- We were able to take the pictures off the blog and much appreciated--

Lotza Love,

Grams

"I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are your works, and my soul knows it very well."



~Psalm 139:14