Monday, July 28, 2008

remainder of vacation and prayer request

Hello all -man am I terrible at updating this thing, I promise I'll try to get better - k?

I'll start with the story to the end of our vacation which was in our last post and have a favor to ask at the end.

On July 5th and 6th, we spent time with my Anderson side of the family, to catch up but also for a specific reason. I have 2 cousins (brother & sister) that are living in Colorado, they are both expecting their first baby this fall. My cousin Heather and her husband Dustin are due in early November and cousin Jeff and his wife Kelly are due in early October. They were home to MN to visit family, so a double baby shower was planned while they were here - so that event is what rounded out our week vacation.

22 of us, I believe, took in a Twins game on Saturday night, the 5th and then met again for the baby shower on Sunday before heading back home. We had a great time just visiting with family, but specifically with the cousins since we don't see them as often as we'd like and talking to them about their impending parenthood.

This is a picture of as many cousins that were able to make it to the shower. We're missing 3 of our cousins that live in California, but the other 6 of us were there with our families.

From left to right (back couple rows of adults): Jeff Haanen (cousin), Dustin Camping, Heather Camping (cousin), James holding Brady, Kelly Haanen, me, Susan Miller (cousin), Scott Wittnebel (cousin), Nikki Wittnebel, Brad Anderson (my brother) holding a sleeping son Dylan, Sara Anderson

From left to right (kids in front): Ben & Nicholas (sons of Susan), Hannah (daughter of Nikki) and Grant (son of Brad & Sara)

The kids are a little less clothed because it was very hot and humid in Plymouth that day and the sprinkler was going full blast :) It was a great day and so excited for them!

Now, on a heavier note - I want to ask for any extra prayers. My aunt (mom to these 2 that are expecting) informed me today that Heather was hit by a car yesterday. She and Dustin were walking through Estes Park, CO and were crossing the street when the car that was waiting for them to cross was rear-ended and hit Heather. She was tossed about 5 feet, fortunately never lost consciousness but was taken to the ER to get checked out. Her right wrist is broken and left knee in a great deal of pain. She was having an MRI on her knee today to see what the damage is, but I haven't yet heard. The best news: baby is fine. Obviously, we pray that it remains that way. Heather may have a tough road ahead in the immediate future, but can recover from physical injury - it will just take time. Thank you for including my family in your prayers!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

well - this post could be long! We were on vacation this past week 6/30-7/4 and of course packed a decent amount of events into our days. We started on Tuesday 7/1/08 at a Twins/Tigers game, which of course the Twins were victorious. :) James' aunt & uncle, Jim & Joan drove up from Zumbrota, MN to join us for the game. Always a good time. Joan was surprised at how well Brady sat for 3 hours - James and I were equally impressed!

We stayed Tuesday night at James' cousins place in Eagan, MN. We love staying there, they truly seem to uphold the name "hotel Wood" - and it's fun for Brady to have kids to play with. Jeremy & Kelly have 3 children, Tyler (13), Alexis (4) and Addison (1). Lexi sure loves when Brady comes and she treats him so well, even helped me give him a bath.

Wednesday we headed for the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, MN - we were a little concerned with how Brady might do since he doesn't seem to like even cats & dogs. The fish seemed to be a favorite for him, he pressed his nose to the plexi glass watching the dolphins swim around for awhile, but couldn't seem to get closer than 5 feet to any animal that wasn't in water. We don't understand it . . . but why should we, right? :) My parents took me nearly every summer and it has changed, but not enough where it didn't bring back very fond memories - and I still LOVE the zoo!

After Brady taking pretty well to the dolphins as you see at left, we decided to watch the actual dolphin show before leaving. I cracked up hard when I captured Brady's face as he watched the dolphins jump out of the water during the show. I just can't believe that I timed it right. Check this out!

After the zoo, we headed to Zumbrota, MN, to James' uncle Gary & aunt Alyce's farm to stay Wednesday and Thursday nights. We were again back to our trouble with how Brady was going to take to the animals. He could pick from dogs, cats, cows and birds. We tried to teach him to say "hi" and "bye" to each animal, hoping to curb some of his fear. I don't know that we really succeeded with that approach because he would still scream when at the level of the animal. Sometimes to the point that he didn't like James or I even petting any particular animal. He really didn't seem to like when I sat in the driveway with the 13 cats and kittens as they crawled all over me. So protective at such a young age! Gary & Alyce's grandson Garrett did his best in being very patient with Brady to encourage him to pet a rooster . . . pointing at it was the closest Brady got . . . bless Garrett, he tried!

Thursday we visited with another cousin of James' in Zumbrota before picking up his grandparents for lunch at the Coffee Mill in downtown Zumbrota. Grandma Violet's health has been failing in the past year, so we really wanted to make a point of spending time with her - quite honestly was a large piece of where we chose to spend our vacation. We returned to their home after a yummy lunch to just sit and visit for awhile. It was a beautiful afternoon to sit on their deck, plus Brady had a fabulous time watching the traffic go by since grandma & grandpa live on highway 52 to Rochester, MN.

Early Friday morning we returned to Eagan for a 4th of July parade. It was quite toasty sitting out there - I believe it was near 90 degrees by the conclusion of the parade about noon. It dawned on us that Brady doesn't get to watch many parades, so excited to see his reactions. The only parade he annually attends is Loco Daze in Dilworth, but with Grandpa Jerry in charge, we don't get "down time" to actually watch the parade. I lost count after about 30 minutes of how many cars and trucks Brady pointed out, but overall seemed to really like the parade. He leaned forward out of my lap many times to see what was coming next. He liked the "wow-wow" trucks (fire engines to the rest of us), but wasn't a fan of the load horn when they were sitting right in front of us.

Friday afternoon, Kelly (cousin Jeremy's wife) and I took Brady and her 2 girls to McDonald's for lunch and then put them all down for naps while the guys went golfing. I think this was only the 2nd time out this summer for James, but I think he enjoyed himself - don't know that he thinks he did all too well, but that's another story. The evening brought us to the Mendakota Country Club (where Jeremy & Kelly are members) for a buffet dinner, games for the kids, horse rides, bouncy house, petting zoo and fireworks at dusk. It was a beautiful evening to be outside, not even much bother from the mosquitos - I'm guessing the club had recently sprayed in preparation for the night. We lined up along the first tee awaiting the fireworks - Brady loving the sparklers and little fireworks that were going off around us. He even got in to the "oohs" and "aahs" that are appropriate for fireworks. So 10:15pm comes and the "real" fireworks start . . . we think he liked them, but had to laugh at the manner in which he enjoyed them . . . check out the picture at left to see how Brady watched the fireworks that night - we can't figure out if they were a little too bright or it was the noise or a combination of both - too funny!

not too shabby if I do say so myself :) Didn't know I had a "fireworks" setting on our camera until I needed to have one!
Our vacation wrapped with some time with my family on the 5th & 6th, but I don't have any of those pictures so that will have to be a different post when I get those pictures on the computer.