We had such a good time during the week+ that Brita and Ben were visiting, they are a great pair, and that's not just the mom in me talking! They are honest and fun-loving and thoughtful, and clearly loving each other.
I went along with them to spend a couple days with Brita's grandparents, which was heartwarming to see that they value that time during their precious days in Minnesota. We drove to Jackson, where Grandma Hansen lives, to catch up on things with her. She is such a bright spot in our lives, always so positive and upbeat. The kids got her to reflect back on some of the good ol' days, when livin' was not always so easy, what with raising 9 kids on the farm! But to hear her tell it, life was a joy and full of wonderful memories.
Continuing our journey, we crossed the border into God's country (Iowa) and found more family fun. We had a special event to celebrate, the 60th anniversary of my parents' marriage! That's a lot of years!
This big cookie came from one of their favorite coffee spots, Hey Good Cookies in Spirit Lake, IA. In fact, they have a regular coffee group that meets there every week. I have had the good fortune to join them more than once, and I can vouch for the delicious goodies they bake!
My hometown, Lake Park, is near a couple of large lakes in NW Iowa, which have always been a popular spot for vacations and entertainment. One thing I remember from my days as a kid was the allure of the Queen, an excursion boat that cruised the waters of Lake Okoboji during the summer. A newer version of the Queen still exists, so we hopped aboard. We listened to some great stories and narration about the lake and the area, from history to geology to eagle's nests to $5 million homes. Okoboji is big and deep (130'), so it took about 90 minutes to cover only part of the lake. Here's our motley crew with the boat visible in the background:
Not all of the family could be present, that's my brother, Jared, on the right with his wife, Mary. Their son, Spencer, is on the left. It was fun to have our little group together for the afternoon and dinner. Later, some of us got to listen to Damon Dotson playing at a local club. Please go to his website to hear some of his very likeable tunes. He is a "local boy" and talented musician. I was happy that he happened to be playing there on the night we could attend.
The next day we attended a wonderful wedding for Ashley and Jon in Jackson, MN. I didn't get much for pictures, this is kind of a poor shot of the happy couple, sorry! It was a beautiful celebration, lots of the Hansens from all over--Arizona, Ohio, Texas, California, Nebraska, etc.
The wedding colors were a turquoisy blue with black, very pretty. I liked these centerpieces--
and the cake made by Denise, it's wonderful to have a cake artist in the family!
So that's the wrap-up of recent adventures! Now counting the days till my wonderful son gets here so I can hug him more than necessary!