Como Zoo, etc.

Well, Jace is gone. He has officially left the state of Minnesota and is back on Georgia soil. He was soooo excited to go back! Five weeks is a long time for a little boy.

We tried to make his last weekend as memorable as we could. He came down to the cities on Friday with mom and dad after making a stop in Bemidji to see dad's surgeon. Jace informed the doctor that he took care of his grandpa after his surgery and even gave him some of his own medicine. The doctor shook his hand saying that was a very noble thing to do. So Friday night we went out for pizza at Old Chicago then did some mall walking to wear it off. Jace had a blast running around with grandpa and swinging between mine and grandpa's hands through the mall. When we got home we had some birthday cake and cupcakes that mom had brought down for my birthday. (yum!)

Saturday morning, after climbing a few trees and playing catch in the back yard, we had a date with Naphtali and Aidan to meet at the Como Zoo. So did about 100,000 other people. The zoo was packed. But we made the haul anyways. This was my first time to Como, and I thought it was really cool, especially for being free. The only bummer about it was that it was a pretty cool day, so a lot of the animals were inside. So it was a little difficult at times to keep track of our whole party amongst 100,000 other people and their 50,000 strollers (I'm only exaggerating a little).

After strolling through the conservatory, we saw flamingos, spider monkeys, zebras, giraffes (my fav.), tigers, lions, reindeer, snow leopard, fish, penguins, sea lions -- we even got front row seats to the sea lion show, which was quite impressive -- and orangutans. I think we were all in agreement that the orangutans were the favorite animal of the day! We could have sat and watched them for hours! There was a mom, dad, baby, and a grandparent and they were so entertaining! Jace so badly wanted to go inside the fence and just talk to them, and didn't understand why that wasn't such a good idea. He is such an animal lover. At every exhibit he would ask mom or dad or I, "How do you speak orangutan?" or "How do you speak flamingo?"

After our time in the zoo, we let the kids go to the amusement park part of Como and Naphtali had four tickets for the boys each to use for one ride. So they both chose to "Driving School" where they got to drive the little cars around. Aidan was hilarious and only drove around the same loop over and over and over! So I had to zoom way in to get a shot of him! They had a blast though and were even issued "driver's licenses" on the way out.

What a day! We were pooped by the end of it. And starved! So we met James at Famous Dave's for a nice filling lunch! Thanks, Kahls, for hanging out with us again and coming along to the zoo! What a fun day!

Sunday was church, one final lunch with Jace, and then off to the airport.



My nephew, Jace, who is from Georgia, has been in Minnesota with my parents since June 11th. The five weeks have just flown by and he's already flying back to Georgia on Sunday, the 19th.

Mom and dad have been trying to keep him busy between swimming lessons, t-ball, hockey school, learning to ride a bike, fishing, swimming at the pool, swimming at the beach, going to the movie theater, picnics at the park, jumping on the trampoline, playing with all sorts of cousins, running over to visit Gma Marge and all of her guests, bonfires, fireworks. Whew! It's been a whirwind! I made it home for Father's Day weekend in June and then spent a week and a half from the 2nd of July to the 12th helping out mom while dad had his rotator cuff surgery! He's a busy, busy boy, but such a sweetheart (of course, not all the time - he's 5).

I'll just post a few of the many pictures I have from the time I was with him. Hopefully these will be great memories for him as he grows up in the south. He's a smart little boy too - he learned a verse for church every single Sunday. Plus he can read. It was fun to watch him write things trying to sound them out. And he loved when I would write him a note and try to sound out all the words. So fun to watch him learn!

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to.

No, there was no crying involved this time, but I can't guarantee that won't happen next year. But since that's a whole year away, let's just not talk about it. Let's just talk about turning 29!!!

Let me start by saying I have the best roommate ever! When I left for work on Tuesday morning there was a bouquet of flowers, a plate of freshly baked cookes, a card and a gift waiting on the table for me!! Yum! So I packed the cookies in a ziplock bag and headed off to work. Well, when I got in my car.......another gift! What a great start to the day.

At work, my boss had brought in bagels for all of us to celebrate my birthday. We had a pretty easy day at work, and I was even able to leave early!! I had made plans to have dinner with Naphtali and Aidan, so we decided to go to Flame. We had an amazing dinner, even though they had taken our favorite salad off the menu. But Naphtali says she tried to recreate it at home and I'm sure it's just as good as theirs!

For my birthday, I got a free chocolate sundae. And I'm glad Aidan was along, because he finished it right off for me.

After dinner James stopped by to pick up Aidan and Naphtali and I headed off to a movie. What a fabulous evening, and in the middle of the week too. Thanks, Napht, for a great birthday!! You're so much fun to hang out with and have been a great friend over the years!

Well, that's not all, folks. I got home from the movie about 10:00 and quietly went to my room only to find ANOTHER gift laying on my bed. A cute little nighty to sleep in!! Thanks, Anna, you're the BEST!!