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Land of 10,000 Lakes

Well, we successfully arrived home after two long days of (safe) traveling through Iowa & Nebraska!

Our trip to Minnesota was a week and a half of exhilirating boat rides, exciting discoveries, fun conversations, baby bellies, great friends, vision for missions, and laughs. We thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. Most vacations make you feel like you need a vacation when you get back... but this one, we really weren't ready to head out on Saturday when we did.

First, we went to Mokahum. This included time at Grandpa & Mary Ann's house on Loon Lake with Krej & Maggie. Grandpa adores Maggie, so it was great for him to get in his dog-fix with her during the days that we left their place to head to Bemidji. (we gave Odile back, to go with a family with a bigger yard because she couldn't stay in her kennel all day)

We visited Oak Hills Christian College (a fellowship with a Camp Ministry and the Center for Indian Ministries--CIM) and met the the President. Paul showed us the campus, with the special part of the library dedicated to Native American studies. It was interesting to see the CIM offices, and receive some great books that Tim, Jordan and I look forward to reading (White Man's Gospel, Road to Reality...) Thanks to Paul! After leaving Oak Hills and grabbing a drink at Dunn Bros. Coffee on Lake Bemidji, the four of us headed over toward Cass Lake on the Leech Lake Reservation (mostly Ojibwe) to Mokahum's campus.

It is a beautiful and wooded 30 acres (all available for hunting: that's exciting for Tim) with 4 houses that are women's dorms, men's dorms, Main bldg for Classes, meals, library... and the man who mows the lawn has a home there. There is a lot of room for growth and change there. It was exciting to see the cement pad that is available as a foundation for a shop/garage that Tim and Jord could use for Carpentry and Mechanics :) A new idea that Tim might explore more than building furniture as a livlihood and sustenance for the school is wooden canoe making.

He seems pretty intrigued with that thought, and started envisioning all the stuff that goes along with that thought right there on that pad. Pretty sweet! Another piece of the property is a brand new basketball court which was just built this spring or summer. Many teams have come in the last two years to help get this school up and running. After having one student (the first since the school re-opened) graduate last year, the staff and supporters of Mokahum are praying for 5 students this year.

Then we went to Red Lake. For an eventful night with Paul, Michelle & their three little kids, at Keith's Pizza, 
Paul hauled us to the Beltrami County Fair to meet some folks at the Oak Hills Booth, visit a friend at a church's booth, and (most importantly?), we bought Mini Donuts! 

Yumm! Well, after such a fun day, we went back to Grandpa's house to sleep, woke up to a wonderful breakfast of blueberry pancakes and coffee, 

and headed out again to pick up Paul. We met him at his house so that he could haul us around and give the tour of Red Lake. He took us past the Red Lake School (of the terrible school shootings) to the Boys and Girls club, where he spends a lot of time meeting younger folks. We got to get out and take a peek over the cliff at the enormous lake

before we drove to Paul's childhood home and church. Their family still attends this little native church weekly, so we felt welcomed and glad to see it for a better picture. That ended our drive through the little town of Redby and we headed back toward Bemidji.

Then we saw our family & friends. I met my dear friend Emily Jane at a Caribou Coffee, (Checked that off for my Minnesota necessities) and we had a great time just catching up and chatting about life. 

That was great, and MUCH needed girl time. The boys just went around shopping--Acme Tools was across the parking lot, so Tim is convinced we can move to Bemidji any day we can now.

"They have like all these great tool stores. It seems like they are growing because they have Target, Walmart, Restaurants and a bunch of great tool stores. I could live there because of their great tool stores..."

When we were done toolin' around Bemidji, we stopped for a classic photo op with Paul Bunyan in Akeley, much to the boys' dismay (I forced this wonderful opportunity upon them ).

The day was a relaxing one up at Grandpa's where he showed Tim his awesome woodworking tools, we recorded Maggie's newfound skill for leaping off the dock in huge jumps, the boys swam,

and I paddle boated.

I love my grandpa and Mary Ann! We are so blessed to have such a wonderful family who cares about us, takes us in, and loves on us ;)

Saturday night we were able to have a get-together at the Swedin's Frosty Hollow with a big campfire.

It was great to see the baby belly filled with Bennah (Mike and Sarah are going to be wonderful parents), and make sure that for real, my best friend is going to have a baby. I also got to chat up a storm with the moms about all that has been happening in life and that weekend up north.

Sunday morning at church was a rich blessing, and time filled with fellowship. We were welcomed with open arms, warm hearts, eager ears, and sweet hugs! This is where Grandma Shirley greeted me, showed me her bruises, how she could walk well, and explored the idea that how do I dare go see anyone else in church before talking with her... she reeled me in ;) 

--While we were there, our church in Colorado: Southern Gables Free Church was getting a pastor! Jeff & Christie Daley with their two little boys, will begin on the 1st of November... PRAISE GOD.--

We spent a day at the Kastenbauer's where we met baby Jaden--Corban's little sister--for the first time! She is already 5 1/2 months old, so it was about time we saw her.

It was a blast playing polish golf with Katie, Chris, Phil & Tim while Marie and Em tended the food and the kids, and Bob was just a part of it all... it was such a nice time to be together, laughing and four-wheeling.

From here on out, we spent our time with Family and Friends mostly at the Cabin on Miller Lake except a day with Kenny & Bebe, Cayla & Jessica at the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Science Museum...

We got to chat it up with Grandma Marie and Anna Margaret at the Lake, and enjoy a funny photo shoot with all the ladies and their dogs, too!

When we were in the Cities, we got to visit with the Valo side of the family... We went to Grandpa and Grandma George & Vi's house to meet up with Anna & Trenton, Keith, and Marta Jane.

A Couple of Fun Highlights:
We drove through Waterloo and talked to Kelsie on the phone (who was there for the Irish Fest, participating in the Highland Games... because she is awesome like that) but couldn't find her/didn't know our way around.

We stayed with one of the Fab Five: Kelsey (Wrinky Rat Paws) Anderson in Alburnett, IA!  We got to meet her parents JP and Mayor Dave! Mayor Dave and Tim totally hit it off from the get go. JP had to work an overnight, and is majorly allergic to dogs. When she left, Maggie was outside on a tie-out stake, and soon after, Mayor Dave snuck her into the basement with poor little kitty Chloe. Kels cooked us up some delicious Tacos and Guac, and served us my fav: Ice Cream. Special, Just for me ;)

We caught some baby sized fish. Tim and others caught better ones than my little wimps.

Tim and I are on the same phone plan! We are now both with AT&T and Tim can text! This was exciting for us, although not really the way we wanted to spend our last evening in Minnesota.


mom-suzy said…
What a blessing to have had this time together with everyone! We've got some great memories :)!

With love from Frosty Hollow.
GREAT post, Amy! Looks like you had an awesome time and accomplished a lot. I'm excited for your ministry opportunities and the chance to be close to family and friends again (although you will be sorely missed at 3 Strands). Keep us posted!

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