Thursday, August 23, 2012

10 Years in Fergus Falls

Our family moved to Fergus Fall from Marshall, MN on August 23, 2002 - 10 years ago today.  It was a huge change for us as we had lived in Marshall for 11 years.  Marshall was where Steve & I began our married life together in 1991.  First in a two bedroom apartment on Saratoga Street where we lived for 6 years.  Next, we bought a tiny, sweet little 3 bedroom house on Hill Street, where over the next 5 years our  family expanded to 4. Marshall was the town Steve & I got our first jobs after graduating from Northern State University (Steve at Tholen Auto Sales as a salesman and me at The Manifest Group as an Account Executive).  There were a lot of growing pains, milestones and changes during those years in Marshall.  We developed a wonderful network of friends, who still mean the world to us.  However, after the girls were born in 1997 and 2000, the dynamics shifted and we began to crave living closer to our extended family, who lived 4+ hours away.

When the opportunity came up for Steve to become a counselor at the Fergus Falls High School, we took the leap of faith and moved our family.  We were lucky to have been able to sell our home in Marshall and buy a new for our family in Fergus Falls within 4 very short and hectic weeks.  Abby was 5 years old and we had 1 week to get her enrolled in Kindergarten and we chose Our Lady of Victory School, which was one of the best choices we made for our family.  Angelique was 1 month from 2 years old when we moved, and she doesn't even remember her home town of Marshall!

Now Abby is starting her Sophomore year at Kennedy Secondary School; Angelique is in her last year at OLV as a 6th grader; Steve is teaching Psychology at M-State; I am still employed at USBank where I continue to telecommute from home. There have been so many blessings, changes, ups and downs, twists and turns in our lives since moving to Fergus Falls 10 years ago, but one thing I know for certain - we are exactly where we are supposed to be!

*Interesting fact:  Since we have been married, we have lived in three different locations, but our home on Park Street is the place we have lived the longest of all.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A tale of two camps

Angelique had a fabulous experience back in February when her 5th grade class got to go to Long Lake  Conservation camp in Palisade, MN for 3 days.  Ever since, she begged to be able to go back to Long Lake for their summer camp session.  She selected the Outdoor Explorers camp which ran from July 15-20.  As it turned out, 2 of her fellow classmates (Lexie & Brooke) along with one of her former classmates who had moved away the year before (Tina) had also signed up.
Since this was Angelique's first camp experience, I thought she would want me to help her pack and prepare.  I was wrong.  She was so independent about preparing for camp.  All I did was print the suggested supply list and she went in her room and got prepped.  She had a few items that we needed to go out and specifically purchase (hand sanitizer, bug repellent & sun screen), but everything else she was able to gather herself. (It was very difficult for me to not double check by going through her bags.)
Since the 4 girls had registered together, they were able to stay in the same dorm room.  Steve & I drove 3 of the girls up to camp, while Tina met us there.
Look at how excited these 4 shiny, happy faces are to begin their adventure together!!
We were able to stay for a little while, checking out the facilities, which were very nice.
But all too quickly, Angelique wanted to get rid of us and get to spending time with her peeps.
The girls said good-bye and never once looked back.  Angelique absolutely loved camp!  In fact, she ended up being awarded "Camper of the Week", which was a honor given to 4 of the campers chosen by the staff (2 girls and 2 boys the 2 age groups). In addition to being with her classmates, she also met other kids she became friends with and had some awesome adventures. The description on the camp website turned out to be very accurate:
You'll find life-long friends and life-long memories at Long Lake. Each six-day Explorer session is filled with outdoor activities, games, and enjoying the camp community. Canoeing, archery, bog trekking, Challenge Cooperation Course, and much more are led by enthusiastic counselors and naturalists.
One week later, Angelique attended a 2nd camp (Legionville) which ran from July 29-August 3.  The camp was sponsored by the local American Legion and 3 students from OLV's 5th grade class were selected to attend.  This camp was located north of Brainard on North Long Lake.  The camp was focused on School Safety Patrol Training and was much larger than the first camp Angelique attended.
The girls (Angelique, Brooke & Maia) stayed in a large bunk house and quickly selected upper bunks to stay in.
And just like the last camp drop off, the girls were anxious to get rid of Steve and me. Although, this time I was more anxious because we had to leave Angelique with 3 different prescriptions due to a virus she had contracted which caused her to have severe bronchial spasms.
As it turned out, Angelique loved the second camp even more than the first camp.  Hard to believe!  The activities kept the girls very busy and they bonded well with the staff and other campers.

  I'll have to say, I really missed my Kippy-girl.  I swear she grew inches in the time that she was gone and I couldn't get enough squeezes in when she was finally back home.