• Category Archives Away Mission
  • Zombies on a Boat!

    If you’re reading this, you were probably part of a zombie infection on the recent JoCo cruise.  We’d love to hear what you thought of our little game!  Also, anyone posting here will be entered into a raffle for a zombie themed game! Details forthcoming.  Only people with a valid email will be eligible.  Drawing to be held in June, 2018.


  • Bottled Energy

    I cannot believe with all our technology we haven’t found a way to SAFELY harness the energy of your average 4 year old. Obviously Mall of America was a necessity and that was one of the first places we visited after parking here in Faribault, MN. The place is massive and I never did walk the whole thing, though I’m pretty sure Art did. We have a watch for Hannah that tracks her steps and I’m sure she could’ve walked through the wholestructure before noon on the first day! Seriously- that child consistently hits 10,000 steps before 11am even if we haven’t left Serenity. How does she do that? She has 25 feet from front to back to walk! The mall is pretty cool just for the fact that it is sooo humongous. But it really is just a mall. The lego store was actually worth it though- Hannah spent more time standing at the minifig counter than I’ve seen her do anything else ever – except maybe sleep. She walked away (after two years of my life) with 3 minifigs that she says are her, me, and Gramma Kandi. There were also a number of Discovery and game stores that I found


  • OH the humidity!!

    Week 7 in Minnesota. The temperature is all over the place from 65 to 100, but what remains consistent is the humidity! My goodness – I never realized how dry Northern Idaho was. I noticed after we were here a couple weeks that nobody has sprinklers in their lawn and it is now mid July and everything is still so green! No question though, it is beautiful. Driving around here – Art and I catch ourselves singing America the beautiful song. Another thing I found interesting is the lack of landmarks once you are out of town. I’ve always had mountains to reference, to give me some sense of direction. Here the terrain is corn field, trees, cornfield, trees, corn field trees, then silos. You can’t even use the silos as a reference point because they are all built almost exactly the same. I HAVE to use GPS just to avoid not getting lost if I’m outside of town even a little bit. I’ve found its best just to let Art drive me wherever I wanna go. I keep an eye on our location on my phone and tell him when he was suppose to turn. That’s what I’m best


  • Como Park and Zoo

    (click anywhere in the above video to start it) Minneapolis has a great park called Como park.  It’s a huge park with swimming pools, walking paths, an amusement park, zoo, and conservatory.  Hannah and I only spent a day there, visiting only the zoo and conservatory.  The park is completely free, running only on donations.  In the header image above, you can see that the zoo and conservatory are actually attached.  It’s a beautiful place, and we fully intend to go back some time. Hannah says her favorite part was the monkeys and the tent full of butterflies.  I’ll admit, the butterfly tent/garden was a lot of fun.  It was full butterflies and you could watch them chase each other and eat fruit and nector. If you were lucky, one might even land on you.  They had a very strict entrance and exit policy, not want any of the butterflies to escape.  They had ‘airlocks’ on both ends, and you had to inspect everyone before the outside door was opened.  If you were lucky enough for one to land on you, you had to wait until it decided to take flight again before you could exit.  They didn’t want to

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  • Hannah’s Favorite Place

    We went to the Mall of America a few weekends ago, and discovered Hannah’s favoritist place in the world!  Can you guess what it is?  Can you guess what she wants for her birthday?  Here’s a couple more images.  One of the statues above the store, and another of the view from the front door.  For those that don’t know, the mall has an amusement park in the middle of it.  Hannah wanted to ride all the rides, but unfortunately only a couple were age appropriate.  We’ve been back to the play area a few times and she loves going there every single time.

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  • CHEESE

    We knew we had to go to Wisconsin for some cheese-because of course you do. On our way we stopped at a place we found called the Crystal Cave. Very interesting. I was concerned that claustrophobia was going to cause us to cut the tour short but both Hannah and I were fine to the very bottom at 70 feet below the surface. Even when our guide had us turn all our lights out and it was so dark that we could not even see our own hands in front of our faces. To be honest I don’t think I would have done it if we didn’t have a tour guide.  I figure there is a reason we humans have usually built our dwellings above ground. I’m not a bat with an innate sense of direction, in fact – as most of you know I could get lost in my backyard. Caves are right out! It was still fun though and I might even do it again! On to the cheese – so we walk into a little store whose sole purpose was to supply its customers, namely me, with the best culinary invention ever – cheese. We were so excited! The

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  • Mount Rushmore

    Lots of fun today at Mount Rushmore and a drive on Wildlife Loop Road in SD. Its really amazing how in one day you can drive from the Needles Hwy, to Crazy Horse, to Mount Rushmore and still see Bears and Buffalo on ‘the loop’- you can look across the huge valley and see the other landmarks. The roads they have built allow you to see so much beauty in such a short time. Glad I’m here more than just one day to go and do it all again! Here’s a few pics of just a little bit of what we saw today.


  • Drive through the woods today in South Dakota

    Found a really cute little rv park here in Custer, South Dakota. Hannah met a new friend almost the minute we arrived. A young boy of 6 who is parked right next to us! The whole family seems very nice. I can’t believe how amazing most of the people are that we have met so far. We had a beautiful drive through the SD state parks. Just so happens we are here at the best time possible because all the parks are free this weekend! YAY! Going to try to get in some free fishing tomorrow. Will be Ensign Hannah’s FIRST time fishing. Can’t believe her Uncle Chris isn’t here to ‘show her the ropes’ – or in my case, hours of knotted fishing line. Sadly, it is super foggy, but it only added to the ambiance while we drove through crazy amazing tunnels and Needles Highway. No Mount Rushmore or Chief Crazy Horse today. Just too foggy. Hopefully tomorrow will give us better results.  


  • Devils Tower

    May 17th – Devils Tower. I know it looks like I forgot the apostrophe, but apparently there was a clerical error when establishing it as the first national monument and it was never corrected. So it is .. Devils Tower. Vickie and Guy with their three AMAZING grandkiddos in tow took us out there late in the afternoon to hike around the trail. There is not much that needs to be said about this place, it’s simply beautiful and the pictures will do the talking.