We have been having a great time in Minnesota so far. We drove in on Tuesday from Eau Claire, WI. Since it was a short drive, and we didn’t have any plans until the Tuesday evening service, we stopped for a few hours at the Mall of America. I’m not so much of a retail shopper anymore, so I wasn’t that greatly impressed. It was four stories tall, and HUGE. But many of the stores had multiple locations, so it wasn’t like there were that many unique stores. I also didn’t have any money to spend, so that probably cut down on my first impression. J
My kids, however, had a blast. Not at first…when we were just walking around. They kept eyeing the amusement park. The seven acre amusement park inside the mall. The Log Chute water ride was right next to the food court. They were green eyed with envy. Little did they know what was in store...
My grandparents had given us a little bit of “fun money” to use on the kids. We discovered that in March the mall has “Toddler Tuesdays” and kids eat free in the food court with an adult meal, and they get half price entry to the amusement park. So the kids got a five hour wrist band and could ride as many rides as they wanted to, with the exception of a couple.
They had a GREAT time after that! The twins stayed in the strollers, ate some enormous lollipops, and fell asleep from all the excitement. The “bigs” enjoyed the Ferris Wheel, the Log Chute (three times), and bumper cars and the giant swing. The Log Chute was a water ride. I didn’t do many amusement parks as a kid (I get motion sickness), but I remember that my dad never let us do the water rides. This wasn’t a get-completely-soaked ride, and the kids absolutely loved it. I got tricked into doing it twice back to back (because no one was in line, they let us ride a second time) but I survived!
Tuesday night’s service was at Legacy Baptist Church. The pastor is actually a childhood friend. More of my brother Kenny’s friend, but I knew the family well. Jamen and Sarah Wikler are pastoring a new church plant in Buffalo, MN. We had a blast staying with their family. They have identical twin girls who are nearly 3.5 years old, as well as a 10 month old son. Our kids got along pretty well…most of the time! After the kids were tucked in, we enjoyed much adult conversation, encouragement, theological discussions, and edification. It was truly a great visit that made a lasting impression. Everything came back around to the Lord – Who He is, what He has done, how He is leading us, and what we are trusting Him to do. It’s been a while since we had that kind of spiritual encouragement for an extended time!
Charis, Benjamen, Alethea, Elaine, Liberty, Nolan, and Nehemiah