Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Surprise Birthday!

Last Sunday my amazing husband surprised me with a party to celebrate my upcoming golden birthday! I really can't say that it was just a party that he planned. He actually planned the entire day. What a man!
The day began with a spa pedicure with Jess. Apparently, she had been in on the planning. When she dropped me off at home, I walked into an apartment filled with friends. We ate Famous Dave's and had two beautiful cakes. Following the gathering at our apartment, Pete, Ella & I went with Beth & Brian on a riverboat cruise down the Mississippi in St. Paul. It was a gorgeous afternoon. The surprises continued when Beth & Brian stayed at our place to watch Ella while Pete took me to one of our favorite little towns, Stillwater. I soon discovered that there is a gentleman in Stillwater who owns an old, Italian gondola and takes people down the river. We enjoyed a picnic of cheese, crackers, and fruit during our hour-long boat ride. It was such a treat to have a date alone with my handsome husband.
I was completely surprised and had an amazing golden birthday party!

Famous Dave's (my favorite!)

3 candles. 25 short but so pretty

Ella had a good time on the riverboat
the gondola in Stillwater

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Water for My Birthday

I would not usually ask this of anyone, but will you buy me a birthday present this year? It's my golden birthday, and I'd really love to get one specific gift.


Yeah, you're probably wondering why on earth I would want water for my birthday. Turn on the faucet, Ang. It's right there. I could have all the water I want. I could fill up buckets of it to water the grass or wash a bowl, brush my teeth, cook pasta, bathe, clean Ella's clothes. Heck, I could leave the faucet running all day just to hear the sound of it if I wanted. Whatever I want, really. It's there. Clean. Refreshing. Water.

But that's not the case for millions and millions of people on this earth. I've lived in places where water didn't come out of faucets like it does in my cozy Minneapolis apartment. It came from a single faucet down the road. My friends and neighbors would carry the water in jugs to their homes to use for all the simple things I mentioned above. It wasn't easy work for them, but that was life. Clean. Refreshing. Water.

Imagine, though, if the water coming out of that faucet was filled with parasites, feces, and dirt. Would you still bathe in it? Wash clothes in it? Cook? Give a glass to a thirsty child? You would if that's all you had, if there was no choice other than to drink out of a stream that your animals and neighbors all shared, and not just for drinking.

Pete, my amazing husband, surprised me with an awesome gift this year. He knows how I feel about helping people get clean water. He feels the same way. So he set up a website with charity:water so that together we can work toward raising $500 to get water to people who need it so desperately. Five hundred dollars will buy clean water systems for 25 people. Imagine the lives that will change. The lives it will save.

Simply visit this site to make a donation. 100% of your donation goes straight to building wells. So far people have been giving $28 since it's my golden birthday on September 28, but you can choose to give any amount, big or little. One $20 gift will provide one person in Africa with clean drinking water for 20 years. Take a look at the video on my page and then explore the rest of the site. There are tons of statics, stories, and pictures. It'll break your heart.

Helping is so easy.

So...will you buy me a birthday present?


Feel free to pass the website on to anyone else you know who might be interested in learning more about the water situation around the world.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Visiting Daddy

A few days ago, Ella and I had a chance to visit Pete at the VA Hospital for lunch. Ella was happy to see Daddy and got a little play check up with his stethoscope. I love the second and third pictures. It looks like she's a little patient explaining what's up.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

J&G's Wedding

Last Sunday we drove to Duluth for Ella's first wedding. John & Gillian were married on a beautiful evening not far from the North Shore of Lake Superior. Ang worked with Gillian at the Duluth Vineyard Church for a couple years. They also went through VLI together, a two-year church leadership training program. A real treat of the evening for us was during dinner. One, Famous Dave's catered, and two, there were plenty of willing people to hold Ella. It was a little bit like we were on a date!

Congratulations, John & Gillian!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

State Fair: Take 2

Wednesday night Pete, Ella, and I went to the fair, and Thursday morning Ella and I got to go again! This time we went with my parents and grandma (or, as they are now known, Grandma & Grandpa Scott and Great-Grandma Scott). The weather was gorgeous. Since Pete wasn't with us, we were able to venture into the animal buildings. It was a day of more fried food and all-you-can-drink milk!

Ella met a pig!
and a cow
Great-Grandma & Ang with a giant pronto pup
hanging out with Grandma

Great-Grandma bought a shirt for Ella & had it signed by Tony Oliva!

State Fair: Take 1

Ella is one lucky girl! She got to go to the Minnesota State Fair twice this summer! Pete, Ella, and I ventured out to the fair one day after Pete finished at work (he's currently at the VA hospital). We jumped on a shuttle bus just a few blocks from our apartment and spent a cool, relaxing evening strolling the streets of the Great Minnesota Get-Together. Although we offered her plenty of options, Ella didn't share any of the amazing fair food this year. Better luck next year, I think. My new favorite deep-fried fair delecacy was a basket of corn fritters and fried green tomatoes. (I love the movie and had to try to actual food.) Pete, as always, went straight for the cheese curds...after a visit to the Cheese-on-a-Stick stand. Oh, cheese. He's a true Wisconsin boy.
While at the fair, Ella attended her very first concert. We wandered up to the Heritage Stage to hear Storyhill. The group consists of two guys, Chris & Johnny, who play guitar and sing. Pete's proud to say that they are St. Olaf grads. They also worked at camps out in Montana, something we both appreciate. In fact, I was working at Flathead Camp the first time I heard them. Ella seemed to enjoy the show. If I can figure out how to post just a clip of the video we took at the show, I'll definitely do it. It seems as though she's singing along. Adorable.
All around, it was a great night at the fair. The weather couldn't have been better and the food never disappoints. We're already planning ahead to next summer's trip!

Ella along for the ride
fried green tomatoes
Ella's first concert: Storyhill

A Girl in Jeans

I just think this little girl looks so grown up in jeans! Nevermind the fact that she was only 9 1/2 weeks old when the pictures were taken. Such a big girl!
You'll also notice that she's found her hands. She plays with them constantly and usually also has them in her mouth. I love it.


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