We love picking apples. This year we invited our friends to join us and the kids had a blast together. It was too bad that we couldn't spend more time, but we needed to get to Owen travel soccer game that was an hour away....
I grew up camping. Loved it. Can't imagine my childhood without it. We drove and camped along the way from MN to MT. Not sure if this was the trip, but one time we had to leave our tent to go to the nearby hospital to wait out the tornado that came through town. We came back to the campground and our tent was still standing - not many were.
I've always known I wanted to bring my family camping when I had one, but now that I do and I'm the mom, it's a little daunting. The preparation of everything seems overwhelming and not very relaxing. But this year, we finally did it. We borrow a friend's tent and we were off. We went to a campground not too far away in case the weather was bad and we needed to come home in a hurry. We also invited along Mike's sister and her family for more fun. We planned out meals to make and hoped we didn't forget anything. We ended up having beautiful weather and tons of fun.
Having a lake at the campground was a big pull for us - everyone caught a fish (Em even MADE her own pole and caught some) And Reese can't get enough of the beach and sand.
Sitting around the fire is always fun:
Amanda and Owen took a hike in the woods to explore and we went Geo cashing for the first time too.
When Amanda was keeping Reese company at the beach, she did a little of this:
Kids loved the park because there was lot of this:
And there was lots of all around goofiness:
We had such a great time, we purchased our very own tent and are planning for next year.
Owen completed his second Miracle for Mitch Triathlon this weekend. This year he did it with 1140 other kids between the ages of 7-17. All of the kids get organized into their appropriate group and head down to the stage for some introductions and some celebrating of why these kids all gathered here.
As you look into the crowd of all the racers in the audience with their swim caps on imagine if your child was too sick to swim, or bike, or run. The children sitting on the stage are the reason all the racers are here. The kids on stage have all fought or are currently fighting childhood caner. Our friend, Body (5), is there on stage waiting to introduce himself to the crowd.
Like last year, Owen joined his 2 cousins for the race. Each racer was racing for a child who couldn't (on their left leg) and then in memory of their grandma (Niners, on their right). Many children raced for strangers, a brother or sister, cousin, and a few raced for themselves (they were healthy enough to race). As we look to the stage and listen to many stories of lives these kids have helped and of children who have passes, I don't think there was a dry eye there. These 1100 children together raised over $670,000 to help MN families who have a child fighting cancer. All of the money goes to the families. EVERY CENT.
Owen's least favorite part in all of this is the swimming portion. He is an excellent swimmer, but he doesn't like the fact that he can't see in the lake water (spoiled pool boy). Other kids are all around him, splashing water and kicking up sand. So, he does the breast stroke the whole 100 yards. Reese snuck in to give him one more last encouraging hug before his group headed down to the beach.
His favorite is the 3 mile bike ride.
Sadly, we did not get him on the run portion this year, he was just too dang fast, and with over 3,000 spectators watching, it's a little hard to run all over the park to get him. We did get him coming up the stage after the finish line to receive his metal.
Owen did reach his goal for his fundraising this year. If you were a part of that, a big thank you. Since he hit the $1000 level, he also got another special big metal. If you wanna see it, ask him about it.
10 years ago, a little boy died knowing that his parents promised to continue to help other kids that are sick like him. 10 years ago, cousin Emily (on the right), started racing for kids that can't. Owen hopes to do this for another 8 years, along with anyone who wants to join him.
Owen is excited again to complete a Triathlon. On August 17th, he is joining 100s of kids in the Miracles for Mitch Triathlon in Chanhassen. This will be his second time and can't wait. He is collecting donations for a boy who is fighting Hodgkin's Lymphoma. To help raise funds, he will be at the corner of our neighborhood with a Lemonade & Frozen Treat stand tomorrow afternoon 7/27. If you get a chance, stop by and bring your friends. You can help Owen meet his goal, help out this special boy's family, and see my fine Norwegian craftsmanship of the lemonade stand.
If you can't stop by, but would like to donate, please stop by Owen's fundraising page to donate online. If you have a child that would like to join Owen, he would love to see them there!!