Our weekends aren’t meant for homebodies

We love our home and weekly family time together. But we are on-the-go type people. Not homebodies. Once we have been released of our winter purgatory on the prairie, our weekends are planned for five straight months.  
Our weekdays are meticulously planned around daycare schedules, community commitments, Nathan’s rigorous business, my travel and business schedules combined with Hunter’s numerous activities.

 Despite the schedules, many weeknights you will find us at home, grilling, going to the park and on walks or bike rides. But our weekends are for family fun, often with friends and family that live (hundreds of) miles from our prairie home.

This past weekend was no different. 
Saturday morning, I picked up cousin Logan and son Hunter from Cooperstown Bible Camp. Surprisingly, they were clean but a little tired and out of clean clothes. They had a terrific week and both talked about going back together next year. This is the camp I grew up attending for many, many years. Some of you attended with me and we have a lifetime of memories together. Now to have our son along with his cousin having similarly fun experiences, building upon their faith while creating lasting memories is even more rewarding to see than just remembering my days at camp.
By early Saturday afternoon, we were in the Aneta city park helping Grandpa Sonny tend to the 300 turkeys roasting at the 50th annual Aneta Turkey BBQ. Hunter had to continue on with me to meet our family for a wedding on my dad’s side of the family in Grand Forks. To say Grandpa missed Robbie not helping him tend to the turkeys was the understatement of the day but thankfully he had Logan to help stir the coals.
Robbie missed the turkey barbecue to sing, one his amazing gifts, at second cousin Jessica’s wedding. He sang four songs and had beautiful harmony on the last song by sister Kirsti. Anika and I made it through Jess walking down the aisle. By the end of the wedding both girls were outside playing with Daddy and I was able to hear Kirsti and Robbie sing together. It was lovely. I introduced myself to the groom’s family as the sister to the singers. Because I certainly have never been the wedding singer. That gift passed me over and went straight to the middle siblings.
The wedding was held in my (and my parent’s) old stomping grounds of The University of North Dakota. Also where my youngest brother Joe attends and tells us he plans on never graduating because he loves it so much.
I asked Nathan to document the girls and me in front of the library so we can show them the picture someday when they are students at UND . He snickered but took the picture. 
Our kids can go to any college or university they want to attend if they have a full scholarship. But if we are paying tuition…an in-state public university with a medical school, law school and engineering school within in driving distance of their mom and dad…is going to be where our kids are attending, in my fervent opinion. We have few years left to debate but I can tell you this is one of the few areas in life Nathan and I do not see eye to eye. 
Sunday morning had us up early on Father’s Day for the opening of the doors at our hotel’s water park. A month ago we visited the largest water park in the region but after our visit to this water park in Grand Forks, I am now a mommy reviewing authority on water parks…in a two state area. I much-preferred the quiet, more contained and affordable option in Grand Forks. And to two year old E’s point you still need to “watch out for the big bucket” dumping water on you at either park. The water park in Grand Forks is more young children friendly and we were literally one of three families in the entire place early Sunday. Others were outside enjoying the beautiful weather, attending Sunday worship…and yes we were water parking. 

By mid-morning Sunday we were having our family brunch with *SPARKLES* as Elizabeth said. She created her own dessert in the buffet line complete with colorful sprinkles (or sparkles.)
Then it was off to Cabela’s for necessary fishing supplies for Nathan, a visit to Iris where we all saw Anika take her first steps, a drive to 75 mile Fargo to take Hunter to basketball camp (a short one this time) and then a long 180 mile drive home to the prairie. But we would not have it any other way.
We chose to live in our home state to be near our family and friends and raise our children in the best environment possible for them. So yes living deep in the prairie leads us to getting frequent oil changes but the family visiting and fun we have along the way is worth every penny spent, mile driven and extra load(s) of laundry I have to do on a weeknight.
Life is just not meant to be a homebody…at least not our house. 

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