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Swedin (Tim's mom's side) Annual Family Vacation

Cody, cleaning up his mes around the campsite

checking out his new lawn chair
 We camped Thursday until Sunday at Itasca State Park, about 45 mins SW of our house. It is a pretty state park, with two different campgrounds within it. We camped in the Pine Ridge Campground. It was nice, although a little busy... but that's what made it fun, and brought back so many memories for Tim's family. Tim, Jon, Kevin, and Becky were all remembering different (funny now) stories from their years ago summer weeks spent there.

the AWESOME men in my life
eagerly awaiting what happens now that he's in the trailer
trial trailer run around the campground
our campsite

clearly, our intimidating campsite guard.

We all had bikes, and we had borrowed a bike trailer for Cody (THANKS John & Melissa!). It made our trek to the Mississippi River Headwaters a nice jaunt {except for Will, he had a rough time with the ride, but he's nine}.
Mike, Suzy,  me, Linds, Kevin, Tim, Becky, Jon, Will (and Cody's in the trailer)

Cute little Kastenfamily

We reminisced as the whole gang took the Wilderness Drive bike challenge. WHAT FUN! I think it was like 16 something miles, and just a beautiful bike ride. It was all paved, so that made it really doable for those of us {ME} who haven't ridden a bike in too long... It's been since my Junior year at Colorado Christian University when my friend Jess and I used to bike to lunch once a week, but it was only a mile ride if we did!  Anyway, the Wilderness Drive, and the rest of the trails and roads to and from it were fun. I wasn't sure I'd ever feel my butt again... You can rest assured, I now can! Cody loved the trek, and so did we all. Luckily, Will, and all his five foot something 60 pounds skinny frame fit into the kid carrier, too, and Jon pulled him. Tim pulled Cody, and when the arduous task wore on him Kev took a turn.

My husband is a total stud, by the way. He is super strong.

Then, we hung around the campsite a bunch, ate a breakfast at the Douglas Lodge, went to the Itasca Family Music Festival... SO FUN! On Sunday, Tim, Cody, and I went to hear Rev. Craig Smith preach. What a great way to hear a sermon--He's an Ojibwe Indian, from the Cass Lake area (Where we live) who has written about his time in MN and life with Native Americans from a Christian Perspective. He is a storyteller man, classic to his culture, who has a heart for lifting up the name of Christ in all that he does. He told of his Wife LaDonna, who is our Director Zane's sister... What a connection!
Mom and Son



Boys on the River

Cody's first time! Our Family in the Middle of the Mississippi River!

Aunt Linds and Code

Uncle Kev and Code

Cody and his dad in front of the largest pine in Itasca

Cute Cousins


pretty break spot

break time.


Kev, sneaking a rest

Dad and Son feet.


Tim and Cody holding hands

Kevin's hat will prob fit Cody someday... but there leaves a lot of room to grow

Will and Jon

Funny Tim at breakfast, making Cody laugh

we got a dud of a whole-group picture from our waitress... Oh Well.

Family Music Festival, listening to Craig Smith

dogs, being dogs.





Craig also told a story about a pastor named Floyd Pollock, who brought (Craig's) grandfather to know the Lord. Floyd Pollock is Paul Pollock's grandpa. Paul was JUST at our house, and serving at Mokahum for a week. WILD.

The Lord works in mysterious and wondrous ways... we are seeing the beauty of his works through the connections He is giving us every chance we come across.



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