Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

Psalm 127:3-5

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

25 Years Ago Today!

On Sunday, we celebrated Mama and Daddy's 25th wedding anniversary at a lovely restaurant in St Paul called Forepaugh's.  The food was excellent and we had such pleansant ladies serving us. 
The restaurant is in a beautiful old mansion in St Paul, and the food was delightful, but it also has family history.  Grandma and Grandpa Rees (Mama's parents) celebrated their 25th anniversary at Forepaughs as well...even in the same room!

After eating, we revisited the place where God started our family!

In this small chapel Craig and Karen Lenz, our dear mother and father, covenanted together in marriage.

As their children, it was amazing to be in this historical place.  Mama and Daddy verbally remembered not only that day but all the following days. They said again and again that they marvel at what God has done in their lives.  We marveled together at the beauty and blessing God has showered on our family.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Don't forget to turn off the music at the bottom of the page!

Friday, September 18, 2009


Benjamin - Son of My Right Hand

Our big brother Ben turned 16 this week!  Not only are us girls grateful to have a "big" brother (big as in taller!), but all of us are grateful for Ben's diligence, resourcefulness, creativity, sense of humor, and of course his services to us as the family fix-it-man!  Happy Birthday Ben!

Monday, September 14, 2009


Charles - Free man

Charlie turned 18 this week!  Charlie is great to have around with his generosity, sensitivity, thoughtfulness, the gusto he puts into everything he does, and the strength of his arm in everything from opening that tough pickle jar to moving the pigs.  Happy Birthday Charlie!


We took another drive Frontenac State Park. It was lovely! Lake Pepin shimmered like a glass, since there was very little wind. The frowning bluffs rose up, rugged and beautiful, from the shore like grim and ancient sentries.
We hiked from the heights of one of these great edifices down to the lake shore. Unfortunately, it was getting too dark to take many good pictures, but I did manage a few.

Family hikes are always fun. This one did not look at all difficult or strenuous at first.And of course the views were breathtaking. When we took this picture, there was a train snaking across the valley and sending out its whistle to echo in the hills. The sound of a train whistle always fills me with a strange and wonderful excitement. :) Up there, combined with the landscape spread out like a map, it sent shivers down my spine. Unfortunately, it was only a whisper when Aubrey tried to record it on camera and you couldn't hear it. We were continually amazed at the steep and precipitous nature of the path. At this point, we had no idea we were heading for the lake, or we probably wouldn't have kept walking. :)Along the trail on the face of the bluff were remains of an old stone quarry. Reportedly, the iron ring Aubrey is pulling at was used to hoist and anchor heavy equipment, but I liked to imagine the rock in which it was embedded was the colossal stone door to a forgotten treasure chamber. :)We were amazed when we realized that we had marched all the way down that hill and were on a level with the lake.The water was so inviting that Aubrey and I had to put our feet in.The boys preferred throwing things in the water to going in themselves. They are very good at skipping stones! I took pictures of the skips, and I think this was one of the better shots I got, but you can't see that this stone skipped nearly seven times!The climb back up the bluff was of course daunting, and by the time we reached the top, the sun had nearly set. The last few steps to the top looked like the gateway to heaven in more ways than one. :)Sam spotted this empty June bug skin on our way back to the car. :)

All that walking gave us quite an appetite, so this time Daddy finished off the night by taking us to Lake City for Pizza!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A day of rest...

Sunday afternoon we took a drive to Red Wing, MN to rest together.We watched the sun set and the lights of the city come on from a high bluff. It was gorgeous!
The variation in color was magnificent. From that height, church bells and train whistles become ethereal and dreamlike, echoing up from the valley.
Another remarkable testimony in Creation to the handiwork of God!

To finish the "party", Daddy bought us Dilly Bars from DQ for the ride home!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Day of School!

Charlie is a senior this year!
While we did not venture as far as last year, we did some history digging close to home in Wasioja. Believed to be one of the first settlements in the state, the small hamlet does not boast of much; but it harbors buried treasure...

In 1862, Wasioja was bustling with business... Now it hardly appears on the map with a population of only 84 people. We were drawn there because of the little stone building below, originally built in 1855. It was converted into a military recruiting station in April of 1861 to aid in organizing Company C of the Second Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment for service in the War Between the States.
Of the eighty young men who left Wasioja in 1861 only twenty-five returned alive and unhurt. Not half a mile away are the ruins of a Seminary built in 1860. First called Minnesota Seminary and later Northwestern College, the school was instrumental in the growth of Wasioja. Many of the young men enrolled in this seminary enlisted at the recruiting station as soon as organizing Captain James George asked for volunteers. After the war, the seminary continued to operate although its enrollment was cut in half.

Like the town of Wasioja, however, the school never recovered from the loss due to the war. It eventually closed permanently in 1894 and a fire destroyed the building in 1905.

The cemetery there also stands testimony to the heritage of the town. I found one stone in particular which read David ______ (I could not make out the name) Born 1789, Died 1855. It is amazing to think of the time and events that have passed over that grave, and intriguing to see the remnants of the labor of men who lived more than a century ago.