Thursday, July 15, 2010

thankful thursday

I am thankful, today, for family! We spent most of last week in {extreme} northern Minnesota visiting Kirbs' family. They live more than 350 miles north of us. Which, when coupled with 5 kids {or even when it was just the 2 of us}, makes for a REALLY long drive. We try to get up there about 3 times a year. We were there for Easter {you may remember that wasn't our most pleasant family trip ever. You can read most of the nasty details here if you missed it.} and the kids were itchin' to get back and see their grandparents and spend some time with their cousins. {there are 13 -- almost 14 -- Stoll grandkids ages 13 & under}.

We had a nice time "up nort". The weather was beautiful, we had some great times with family, we ate some yummy food, most of us woke up really early one morning to watch the sunrise on the lake and I even got included in my nieces family birthday party {as did my sister-in-law. We are exactly 7 days apart.}

We wish somehow that Warroad could move a little further south, so that seeing Kirbs' side of the family wouldn't involve quite so much time and driving and planning and so that we would be able to see them more often. But, such is life. We live here {and aren't planning to go anywhere} and they live there {and aren't planning to go anywhere either!}, so we have to make due.

Here are a few pictures from our time. Enjoy:

walking out to the end of the world for a great view of the rising sun::
it was well worth the early morning wake-up, the chilly air, chattery teeth and all the waiting::
we visited Kirbs' aunt and her family and their beautiful farm::
Kirbs and me on the beach in Canada
{where the 2 of us went to dinner one night with Kirby's parents. It was so nice to have some kid-free adult time with them on our little double date. Plus, the food was fabulous and we had an amazing view of the water from our table!}::
we wanted all the grandkids laying on the grass with their heads together for a picture {we did it a couple years ago and it was really cute}, but we wanted to get #14 in there too, and a couple of the younger ones weren't super cooperative, so that was what we ended up with::
and here are the 13 of them cooperating a little bit better for a picture inside::
{Evan (10), Andrea (13), Katie (13), Jacob (11), Tommy (10), Rebekah (9), Jillian (9), Anna (2), Lydia (8), Bethany (7), Katrina (4), Joe (5) and Caleb (3)}
Kirbs' siblings, spouses and parents::
our kids with Grandpa & Grandma right before we headed home::

And when we unlocked the house and stepped inside I was even MORE thankful for family. As an early birthday present my mom had cleaned {really cleaned} my house {stove, oven, sinks, tub, floors . . . were all sparkly clean!!}, stocked our bathrooms with some new towels {ours were in some really sorry shape!! -- who has time or money to buy new towels with 5+ kids to worry about?}, fresh, new rugs on the kitchen floor and entryway, vases of fresh flowers on the counter and dining room table, milk and fruit in the fridge and a big, cute "birthday house cleaning" sign hanging from my cupboard. There's not much I need in this world, as far as material things, so that was the best birthday present ever! Thanks Mom, you are the best!


  1. You're mom is a pretty amazing women! What a fantastic birthday present.

  2. So glad you guys had a great time! Your Mom is wonderful. I hope that I will be able to surprise my kiddos with super cool stuff like that when they are all grown up.

  3. Shana, I just love how Lydia is not even looking at the camera but is just lovin' up her Grandma with her endearing look. Thanks for sharing your life in this way!

    PS - Your mom really is amazing!


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