A Birthday to Remember

How David spent his 30th birthday...

the start line at the Chisago MN half ironman.

(800 racers for the half ironman but many more for the sprint distance.)

David's wave of 50 swimming. Fog made it very difficult for
the racers to see where they were at.
on to the bike... 56 miles
starting the run... 13.1 miles... still smiling :)
To keep K entertained for the several hours daddy was racing
she played with her boats in the sand, played on the playground,
ate goodies, rang her bell and cheered on the racers,
played with a 7 week old lab puppy and asked its
owner 1001 questions! Not joking! This girl loves to talk! :)

First half ironman completed in 5 hours. 13th place in his age group!
Just a few of the bikes.
David and Jason (a co-worker he trains with)
David's words after the race... "It was the best part of the trip!"
So yes, he enjoyed his birthday and I'm sure he'll be doing more.

Congratulations Birthday Boy!
You did awesome!

Oh, and last weekend didn't entirely wear him out. He participated in a

bike race yesterday in Crooks SD and came in third!


Visiting Lanesboro

We're back! Before heading to hubby's half ironman this last weekend we decided to take a mini family vacation in Lanesboro, MN. Why there? Well we happened to come across a website where you could stay in an art loft that was above an art gallery... that sounded perfect to me. On our way there we started to get a little worried about if there was much else in the town... we didn't know anything about it! But everything worked out and it was a very fun and unique town. Here is a glimpse of our visit...
The door to our loft was PINK! ♥
The 3 large windows on the top, middle building look into our living area.
We loved the spaciousness and it was a great place for kids to run around.
Such a beautiful place to explore.
There were great paths to walk, run, or bike on.
So of course we had to rent a bike and let me tell you, they
had lots of options of different bikes to rent, although your
a little limited when you have little ones along.
Here's what we went with...
This bike was hilarious! Well, I thought so anyway.
David called it a death trap. Ha! It only had one gear. He thought
the lever next to the steering wheel was to change gears but it
was only the break. Ha! Although there are 4 sets of pedals on
the bike whoever sat on the front left ended up doing the most work.
And if you know my hubby you know he is obsessed with
biking and averages 20 miles in hour+ on rides so this was
about killing him. This is what he ended up doing
on the way back...
He ran and pushed us! No, I didn't feel bad at all for him.
Lets just call it training for his ironman! :)
I admit it was quite a nerdy beast but it sure made me laugh
and Kaelyn loved it too! She could steer all she wanted cuz the wheel
on the right didn't do anything! (perfect for entertaining a youngster!)
The paths went along a river that is popular for tubing... if K was
older we would have done it. Other things we rode past were bluffs, fields, lots
of trees where we even saw deer. It was pretty and peaceful! Well, other
then having to work hard to get anywhere! We did go down hills quite well!
After all the hard work, ice cream was a must. The bike rental and ice
cream shop were right across the street from our loft which was
so handy! (Actually everything was in walking distance so we never had to
start our vehicle!) We took the treats back to our place and relaxed.
K and me on one of the many bridges.
One of the cute shops had pottery painting. K was able
to pick out whatever she wanted including her colors.
Her turtle will be shipped to us after it is fired.
Looking forward to seeing it!
We decided to take an Amish tour and what an
eye opening experience it was! It was seriously like
going back in time 200 years.
When first looking at an Amish house from afar you probably
wouldn't think their lifestyle is much different than our own.
These places have no electricity, no running water, they plant all
their food that is supposed to last them year round, their mower
is powered by a horse, they do not have bikes,
there only means of transportation is by buggy pulled by a horse.
Their income comes from all their handmade goods... furniture,
rugs, jams, soaps, bakery items, soy candles, quilts, etc.
It is common to have 3 families living on a farm. The great-grandparents
have the smallest home, the grandparents get the middle sized and
the youngest couple gets the biggest home (to fill with little ones).
These people work harder then anyone I've seen... they don't
go out and have fun like we do. (can't imagine!) They aren't
wasteful, if something isn't an absolute need they don't have it...
they weren't even wearing shoes outside! Baling is done by hand!
Their hay stacks were so neat and uniform I wouldn't have guessed it!
Ok, I could go on and on but I've already written a book! :)
So if you're looking for a fun little getaway I highly recommend
Lanesboro. It is also the bed & breakfast capital so you have lots of
unique options to stay... just make sure to check if certain ages
are ok if you have kids. Some of the fancier Victorian homes are a
bit stricter about who can stay.


Ponder This...

{country view across from my parents home}

We are blessed to be a blessing to others.
These words came from the visiting pastor I listened to last Sunday... what a statement to live by! He preached about us being blessed not so we can go buy bigger and better things but to help others... help children/families who don't have food, homes, medicine. Just think about that. We do live in such a materialistic world. People are always trying to out do one another. It seems like few people are satisfied with what they currently have. It's really sad. It is even more sad that others are suffering from our selfishness. His sermon really struck me. I grew up in a family where you always help out, and I know we have a "purpose" here on Earth. The words from Sunday just got me thinking that I can live with less and I can give more than I already do. It made me think about a lot of things really... I don't really need an addition on my house... I need to be extremely grateful for what I have today... stop thinking so much about me and think about serving others. I am rich, maybe not so much with money but with many other things.
The pastor talked quite a bit about Food For The Poor. Just a few dollars can help a lot of other people who are in desperate need. I strongly urge you to check out this site and give. If you are reading this, chances are you can spare a few bucks... just saying... think about it.
Thank you!


My husband is a complex kind of guy. He's a talented woodworker (see his work HERE), a fantastic father, a smarty pants engineer by day, and a very determined athlete. This year he has been training hard for triathlons. Last month he was in an Olympic triathlon...
He did amazing and placed 3rd in his age group. This was his farthest swim in a race. He began swimming only 2 years ago! He is the most dedicated, determined person I know. If he goes for something he goes all out.
Coming up this next Sunday is his first half ironman which also happens to be his 30th birthday. Yeah, signing up for the event was his birthday present to himself. You could say we're not too much alike in that department. I would much rather be eating cake and watching movies on my birthday (or any day for that matter). Ha, ha. Each to their own.
Miss K and I will soon be taking a little trip with him and we'll of course be encouraging him through the race on Sunday. I just pray its not in the 90's like it has been. I can't imagine doing a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run in that kind of heat! More adventures (and photos) coming soon! :)


the newest 3 year old artist?

To be honest, I have been on quite the emotional roller coaster lately and the ride just keeps getting steeper. What's been pulling me back up? Well God and my daughter are a couple of the big things and I am so thankful for them!
Miss K has me about pulling out my hair quite often but she also brings so much joy every single day. I don't know what I'd do without her. She is one very smart and talented 3 year old... she amazes me!
I honestly think she could give any abstract artist a run for their money. I might be a little biased but check it out...
She had been bugging me to let her paint again so I set her up with her own canvas and paint and this is what she created. None of these colors are right out of the tube except for a tad bit of white. She loves mixing colors! She came back to the painting 4 times before it was done. I LOVE it! She even added neat touches to the sides of the canvas. :) The colors aren't near as vibrant when I uploaded it though... but you get the idea.

I'm also really enjoying her love for music. She sings a lot and she drums! She's had her own little drum set since her second birthday and now she plays on her daddy's big drum set...

The other day she was trying on headbands and wanted her picture taken... that rarely happens. She usually does not like my camera any where near her, so I gladly obliged when she asked. This spunky girl has my heart! :)

Something else I'm really enjoying lately is listening to songs by JJ Heller. Have you heard them yet? If not go HERE to listen for free. She is amazing and I love the meaning in the songs! "Your Hands" is one of my favorites. Enjoy!


Gray & Yellow Nursery {via e, myself & i}

I always thought it would be so fun to see one of my prints hanging in a nursery other than my daughters. And well when I decided to check my google analytics for my Enduring Arts shop today I saw that several people were coming from e, myself & i. So I HAD to check it out, and I was thrilled to see this...
My "I Prayed for this Child" print in this stunning nursery! WOW, I'm blown away!
You can see more pictures of this adorable nursery HERE. This mama is sure talented in the decorating department! :)


New Prints in the Shop!

Just finished up a few more custom requests. Isn't it amazing how powerful words can be?

Anyway the Eric Abbott quote above has a few different options, two with a little illustration of daisies and lilies. You can see more of the details HERE if you are interested.

I had to share what came about from a custom color request. The customer told me her little one's nursery was light pink and black so this is what I came up with...
Not your ordinary color combo for a nursery but I love it!

Then another cheerful color request...

{Bedtime Prayer in Sunflower Yellow}

yellows and white. Great pop of color for a girl or boy's bedroom!

In other news I'm having several problems with blogger, one of the most annoying is trying to leave comments on some people's blogs... some work fine, others don't. Sometimes when it doesn't work I can choose anonymous and then my comment will go through, but with a few blogs I don't even have the anonymous option and can't leave a comment at all. Anyone else have this problem or know how to fix it? If you haven't heard from me for a while and usually do this is the reason. So any help would be very much appreciated!


Please Help! {Facebook Fundraiser Auction}

FUNDRAISER AUCTION going on NOW for Keegan!
Auction runs from July 4th - July 11th.

{this is sweet little Keegan}

Here's a little of his story...

A year ago, baby Keegan Chupp had medulloblastoma removed from his brain. Recently, during his 1 year check up, it was discovered that his cancer had returned in his spinal fluid. With this heart wrenching discovery, his parents are now seeking treatment options. You can read their story here: www.karingforkeegan.blogspot.com/
Please help by bidding on the wonderful items HERE (Karing for Keegan Fundraiser on Facebook). And if you could help spread the word by blogging, tweeting, facebooking... that would be awesome!

Thanks so much for your help!


Happy Weekend!

A fitting quote for the holiday weekend don't you think?

One of my newest designs in the shop due to a custom request. :)

Thought I'd also share a few photos of what Miss K has been enjoying so far this summer...

Strawberries of course. She helps me pick them from our garden and when we're done she says lets have a picnic and eat them. So I wash them first and put them in a bowl for her and she plops down in the grass... then she always takes off her sandals. I asked her why she takes off her shoes and she told me "I like to have the grass tickle my feet!" LOVE that! I love how children think. They are so innocent and appreciate the little things. The joys they find are precious to witness.

And the next thing she's been loving the last couple days since its been hot out (in the 90's!)...

Her zebra pool. Thanks to her cousin Shania! We had gotten her a pool but it wasn't near as cute as this one and the sprinkler entertains her for a long time. It can go as high and far as you want it too. Yeah, I found that out when I thought I was turning the water off but was actually turning it the other way. Oops! Gave my garden a bit of a drink. Ha, ha! :)

I wish you all a Happy 4th of July weekend. Have fun and stay safe!