Thursday, June 15, 2017

June 2017

Summer is here!  Not officially of course, but the summer weather has arrived anyway.  And what fun we have had. The family made the first of two trips to the cabin, and had a lot of fun.  We couldn't have asked for better weather.  5/7 days it was perfect: 75-85 and sunny.  We had one windy day, and one stormy day.  Here are the highlights.

Everything at the Cabin was in ship-shape.  Including our new ship (pontoon boat)!  Grandma Letty is getting a new double-decker this summer, and so her old double-decker has been re-purposed for us.  It started right up without a hitch, and ran great the whole time.

My preferred mode of transportation.

The Kid Wonder got behind the wheel for a while.  We did a few circles and got to know the north end of our lake pretty well.  Gotta start them early!

View from the captain's chair.  

The Kid drying off next to mommy after taking a jump off the side.  It was a bit chilly I think, for him.  He didn't repeat the jump.  Probably more swimming come July.

Letty Bean is never one to let her older brother have all of the fun.  She wanted to get behind the wheel as well and help Daddy steer the ship!

Managed to catch the full moon while we were up there - looked amazing over the lake!

Our lake house is fun and all, but Grandma Letty has more toys and a beach at her lake.  Not to mention chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast!  So we headed a few miles over to her spot for fun.  Letty Bean and Grandma Letty enjoyed spending some time together on the beach :D

The waters of Grandma's lake are just as clear as ours (same watershed).  Grandma's lake is a bit smaller, which meant warmer water.

Pretty amazing to think of the Kid being about the same age I was when I first started playing on that beach.  My mother has a few pictures of me like this.

Not our best picture, but hey, its tradition!

We made a trip to Duluth as well!  Always fun to see Lake Superior.  We also visited the Fresh-Water Aquarium which was neat.  They had an Otter exhibit that was fun to see.  We have otters in our lake occasionally (though haven't seen any yet) and it was cool to show the kids what the animals look like up close.

For our shopping walk Letty Bean got to ride on my back.  She seemed to enjoy it, pointing at various things she would like to have.  She was a pro!

Before we knew it, we were saying goodbye to the lake again.  No worries, we will be back up in July, and then the Kid and I will return with Grandma Polly in August.  Shaping up to be a great summer!

On the way home we hit downtown Eau Claire and the Children's Museum.  A fun stop for the kids and a great way to break up the trip a little bit.  That is all for now. Should have a chance for more pictures later in June.

"The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you.
The LORD lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace."

Numbers 6:24-26

Monday, May 22, 2017

What once was lost, now is found!

A long time ago - 2 phones ago - I lost around 800 pictures.  I was devastated.  These were pictures of my little boy - pictures I could never get back.  Fun times we had together, moments in time I had thought I would have forever.  And they were gone.  Poof.  What is worse, is that it happened when I was trying to back them up...

I moved on, moved forward.  Until last weekend. As I played around with the iPad I discovered a folder of pictures... and suddenly there they were.  All these memories returned to me.  And so now I am sharing some of them with you. These are in reverse chronological order :D

This is the first time I held Bean.

The kid wonder enjoying his favorite birthday present of that year - a second hand coffee maker which was perfect for pretending to be a mixer.

He still remembers that party well, and the chocolate tools that were on his cake.

These pictures mean a lot to me because they chronicle much of Forrest's time in Monticello.  The position I had there was never my favorite.  I struggled to be happy in my career in Monticello.  The sorrow of seeing a town you held on a pedestal brought low by the realities of rural medicine and controlled substance addiction was hard on me.  But for Forrest and Mandi Monticello was a wonderful place to live.  It is where they discovered Montessori education together.  It was safe, open, and a great place for Forrest to be a kid.

First trip to the Pumpkin Patch!

Time at the Spruce Hill Farm picking apples, a Gilbraith family tradition :D

Kids books?!  No, he'd rather have a Mixer recipe/instruction manual.

That Monticello DQ is the best!

Meeting Grandma Polly in Decatur at the Mall to ride the train was a fun time.

And riding the real train was fun too!

Many an evening spent like this, snuggled on the couch.

Oh the foxes.  And now Bean has picked up that habit too :P

More play time, and Forrest just being a kid.

Our best family vacation to date.  We packed it up and flew to Englewood FL to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa.  This is one of the last times that we got to spend meaningful time with Grandpa before he passed.  I love that Forrest got to absorb his presence.  He still remembers him.

Dinner on the water.

Forrest loved the beach, he can't wait to go back!

Grandma Polly was always a sucker for treats :P

This was one of the windiest days we ever went to the Park - but this kid's spirit couldn't be stopped.

The play-doh passion begins.

And the always fun diversionary trip to Wal-Mart... you know, to look at the mixers. And he always preferred to go with me, because I would let him touch/play with them.

Thats all for now,

Stay Healthy!