Tuesday we stopped in Le Center, MN. for a very nice overnight visit with our old friends, Betty and P.J. Wednesday we stopped in Ruthven, Iowa to visit John's Aunt Helen and cousins Mary, Denny and Kathy.
Wednesday evening we arrived at our friends, Steve and Linda's place, just a few miles outside Greenfield, Iowa and stayed for the next week.
Our view while we were camped here. Friday we met up with John's cousin, Nancy and her son Chris and his wife Nancy, for lunch at the Mexican restaurant in Greenfield. Saturday night Gene and Julie joined us for supper at Steve and Linda's. Sunday we drove up to Lake Panorama with Steve and Linda and spent the afternoon with more friends, Earl and Cindy and Terri and Craig. We also stopped to visit Bob and Elva while we were in Greenfield and John visited his cousins, Ralph and Patti.
Monday evening we had dinner with Bruce and Gerry in Des Moines.
Tuesday we went kayaking with them in a pond near their cabin by Greenfield. Wednesday night we drove over to Winterset with Steve and Linda for supper at Pizza Ranch and to see a special showing of the old movie Yankee Doodle Dandy.
Thursday we stopped in Emmetsburg, Iowa on our way back north and had supper with John's cousins, Denny and Kathy, at the Mexican restaurant and spent the night at the casino campground there. This statue in the park there is Robert Emmet, Irish patriot and martyr (1778-1803) for whom the town is named, considered by many to be the most romantic patriot in Irish history. He was hung by the British for protesting British Rule in his Campaign for Freedom. There are three more of this same statue, one in Dublin, one in Golden Gate Park and one at the Smithsonian Museum. We were back at Dawn's in Sioux Falls on Friday and went to Hu Hot for supper, John's favorite place. I really like it, too. Monday night we spent in the campground at Hankinson, ND. and had supper with my baby brother, Claude and his lovely wife, Jodi.
Tuesday we went to Mom's in Milnor where we stayed for a week. Wednesday we went shopping in Fargo and stopped in the small town of McLeod for supper on our way home. Thursday we drove up to Fort Ransom in the Sheyenne State Forest on the River Valley National Scenic Byway. The North Country National Scenic Trail, a premier footpath that stretches 4,600 miles across seven northern states (ND, MN, WI, MI, OH and PA), runs through here.
We went on a four mile hike to check something off John's bucket list. He has seen Multnomah Falls in Oregon, Niagara Falls, Yosemite Falls and Sioux Falls, but he wanted to see the tallest falls in North Dakota.
Black-Eyed Susans. It was a beautiful day and a very pleasant hike with a few picnic tables and rustic campsites along the way.
This little guy, about 6" in diameter, was sunning himself right on the trail.
Lots of pretty wildflowers along the way.
At last we arrived at the tallest and only waterfall in North Dakota and were delighted to be able to check it off our bucket list. You might need a magnifying glass to see it. Friday I took my great-nephew, Braylon, to the pool.
Saturday evening Hilary and Jeff and the kids arrived at Mom's on their way to Wisconsin to visit Jeff's parents. Sunday morning we had some playtime at the park. Dallas the Digger.
Dallas, Tierney and Grandpa.
Sunday afternoon Hilary and I took the kids to the pool. Sunday evening my brother Dewey and Joni and Andy stopped for supper with us at Mom's and we had a very nice visit.
Tuesday we were back in Brookings at Sexauer Park for a few days. Wednesday I met Julie, Nettie, Dee and Shar for lunch at Perkins and went to the Children's Museum with Julie and her granddaughters. Another truly amazing facility that the city of Brookings can be very proud of, Thursday evening we went to the Wooden Legs Brewery for live music outdoors with Ron and Linda and Julie. Friday we went to the movie Dunkirk, very good.
Mama T-Rex above roars and moves it's head. Baby Rex is about my height.
Little splash park for the kids to play in.
This is a little grouping of huts made by a visiting artist-in-residence from local branches and vines.
Julie and Payton by the wading river.
Harp-like instrument that is played with golf balls that are hanging on it.
Very happy co-pilot. Saturday the kids came back from Wisconsin and met up with us at Sexauer Park. From there Jeff and Carter headed straight home and back to work. Hilary and the little ones joined us and Dawn to go camping at Lake Thompson and go to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant in De Smet. The girls have been reading the Little House on the Prairie books for several years. They enjoyed the pageant and the wagon rides Saturday very much.
We also had lots of fun swimming and kayaking at the lake. On Sunday Hilary and Dawn took Tierney and Tally to tour the Ingalls house and farm where they learned how to make rope, candles, soap and such. The old school house museum in the background of the playground. Even the public restrooms here are labeled Ma and Pa.
We saw this cicada killer here in the park. It was over an inch long and on top of a upside down cicada that was almost two inches long, doing it in.
The day after we got back to Helena they moved to their new acreage. It's five acres with a three bedroom house, double garage with attached apartment where Carter now lives, playroom building, tack room, horse stable and coral, hay shed, goat hut and pen, chicken coop and chicken run, boat house/shop building and best of all full RV hookups under a beautiful weeping birch tree.
Back side of the house and corner of Carter's apartment.
View from out by the pasture of raised vegetable gardens, greenhouse next to boathouse, playroom and tack room on left and Carter's apartment in center. They have a raspberry patch, two strawberry patches, a plum tree, two apple trees and a half dozen or so lilac bushes.
Our camp spot about ten yards from the front door.
A little PBS time with Gramps.
I peed, Mom. Yeah, I get a video!
Happy 2nd Birthday, Keira!
Tierney, can you help me blow out my candles?
Look at me. I got a new pink bike for my birthday.
Now I can ride around the loop with the big kids.
Entrance to their property is the archway at the far left. It is at the deadend of a two block street.
Entrance archway covered with grapevines. Sunset during surrounding forest fires.
Dad bought a new wagon so we could get some work done around here, but the kids had other ideas.
Watching our favorite show of the week with Gramps, Lawrence Welk on Saturday nights.
View of the mountains in the distance, from the back deck.
Zooming in on that view.
Friends brought Dallas a bike. It took him a couple weeks to get the hang of it, but he goes like crazy now.
The kids call this area in the middle of the drive-way loop the park, where they stop for a break from their biking to have a little picnic. Stables, hay shed, chicken coop, etc. in background.
House and Carter's apartment in background.
Keira and Tally.
Hay field to the south.
Happy Birthday, Brooke! You'll have to share it now, because our newest grandson, Benjamin, was born today. We now have three boys and three girls!
Father and Grandma of the Bride.
Giving the bride away.
Exchanging their vows Saturday, September 2nd.
Sarah and Vinny.
The triplet flower girls.
Mr. and Mrs. Annerino.
Bride's proud parents.
The little brothers carried a sign down the aisle that said "Here Comes the Bride". They were so cute.
Father/Daughter Dance. It was one of the nicest weddings I've ever been to and everything came off without a hitch up to this point.
The father of the bride passed out and had to be hauled off in an ambulance to be checked out. But everything checked out okay and he was back in time to watch the rest of us clean up the dance hall. Pretty drastic theatrics just to get out of helping with clean up, if you ask me.
Monday Gary took us for a drive to a couple of Amish country stores where I got some smoked cheddar cheese that was delicious and a cute little straw hat for Dallas.
Back in Helena, we took the kids to the Harvest Festival on Saturday, September 9th.
Tally sitting in a police car. We played some games, got some prizes, had lunch and cotton candy, petted the goats and horses and got pumpkins from the pumpkin patch. Fun times! Sunday John and I went to the C.M Russell American West presentation at the Civic Center.
Look no one's playing with the wagon. I get a turn!
Keira, what are you up to?
Oh, look at our new baby, Benny! He's so cute!
Oh, can I hold him? Can I hold him? Pleeease!
We really love our new baby brother!
Grandma finally gets a turn.
Music crazy. Besides this violin he has two guitars, a drum, saxophone, recorder and piano and now he wants a trombone. That darn Lawrence Welk is giving him ideas.
It's okay, Mom. Digger was lonely and sad. He's better now.
Wow, Tricia brought us a jeep and we love it!
Look at our new bonnets for our Little House on the Prairie Birthday Party thatwe are planning for next week! More about that in the next blog.