A Birthday, Father's Day and all the Camps

Promptly after our very last airport drop off for all the celebrations and house guests at the Hanson B&B, let me know if you're interested in reservations, Husband Jared and I began his birthday-Father's day festivities.  Mind you, we had indulged the extended family while they were here with birthday cake and the like but we do enjoy maximizing the opportunity to celebrate just as long as we can.  And since we had not had more than a few minutes alone for the past month we went out, just the two of us, for the kick off!  Pig Ate My Pizza is another restaurant owned and operated by some of our very favorite Minneapolis chefs.  Their specialty, you guessed it, pizza!  The atmosphere is casual, unpretentious and the entire staff seems as though they are in their realm.  I love it!  As if you couldn't tell.  We sampled a few different pizzas, maybe a craft brew and dessert.  Oh man the dessert.  A mini chess pie in it's very own baby cast iron skillet.  I might have exclaimed out loud that this was the very best chess pie I had ever eaten.  Yes indeed!  I think the smile on the birthday boy's face says it all.  

The Birthday Boy!

Piggy Pie, my favorite.  Brioche crust with sausage and homemade sauce.

The very next day was Husband Jared's actual 40th birthday and since we were celebrating him once again we let him choose everything we did that day.  Pool time, relaxing and watching footie and a family outing to Tin Fish, complete with a walk around the lake.  Home for a one of a kind cake creation by our resident baker, Thing 3, and more of us.  Does it get any better than that?  Our Things know how to make someone feel special and they did a fine job that day of showing Husband Jared their love.  They're the best to celebrate with!  

Pool time per Dad's request.

Free birthday coffee at the Bou!  (not pictured: Thing 4, he had training)

 Linner at Tin Fish!  

The master baker at work for her Daddy.

The finished product, hill with a falling down man and a tombstone- it doesn't get much more morbid than that.  Happy 40th!

Make a wish!

The next week was filled with camp preparations and Royal Servant check lists.  Thing 1 was scheduled to go to day camp for work, Things 2 and 4 would be at Jam Camp for a week and Thing 3 would be at training camp for a week and then off to Costa Rica for four weeks, not returning until late July.  I have mentioned her missions trip on the blog before but the reality truly set in as I sat in the room with her and rolled t-shirts, checked medicine bottles, stuffed lavender scented dryer sheets into all the zippies, labeled everything and watched her face light up as she was doing it all.  It was quite the week of packing, shopping for last minute supplies and making every attempt to savor these summer days together.  

Preparing for Royal Servants.  All the zippies and dryer sheets.

Husband Jared, Thing 3 and myself all made the trip to training camp for the drop off.  Not until we had her favorite meal and family time around the table of course; A tradition of sorts for the night before any trip.  Pardeeville, WI was the destination for this version of tent city and the place where Thing 3 would meet her traveling family.  We unpacked her box into a large bag that she would be living out of for the next 5 weeks, rolled out her sleeping mat and sleeping bag in her tent and watched her step into the unknown with a confidence that could have only been given to her by the Holy Spirit.  This Mama was so proud.  As she walked away from us, knowing I would maybe receive only a few emails and not hear her voice for the next month I promptly ran to the car and held in my tears just as long as I could.  Such a strange feeling to be witnessing the beginning of your child's independence into adulthood and yet still feel like they are just babies.  Enough on that.  I will have a separate blog post dedicated to Thing 3's trip soon.  So much to say, so many stories and so many photos.  The next morning the three that were left woke to make Father's day breakfast for the very best Dad.  We sat around the table and shared the love and celebrated Husband Jared once again, this time for the father that he is.  Then it was time to send two more off to camp.  And off they went, laughing, waving goodbye, not having a care in the world.  JAM camp is one of the best weeks of the year according to my four.  I have one photo of the two that were there, courtesy of Thing 2's photo folder.  Thing 2 was their as a camp counselor for the first time and Thing 4 a camper.  So much fun!  Thing 1 was an only child for the week and it began with a trip to German Fest and dinner at Surly, per her Dad's request for his Father's day.  Our week with just the three of us was not much different, late night walks, dinners out and too much quiet in the house.  Thing 1 even had a sushi date with Husband Jared and I.  We might have made up grand stories about all the people around us too.  It was most certainly a fun night!  Then before we knew it, our next house guest, Madison had arrived and we were picking the JAM campers up from church.  Another week or so full and complete.  
Thankfully much more summer fun was on it's way!  

Training Camp drop off.  

Two JAM Camp buddies!

Father's day in front of the Schmidt Brewery in St. Paul

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