Last Chapter…

…in the Minnesota Memoirs!

This will be mostly a picture post because there are so many and I really don’t have time to write a book.  Which is what I tend to do when I get on here!

Emily really did her best to make the most of my 6 days with them last month.  We wanted a perfect blend of sight-seeing & activity with plenty of talking & visiting time, too.  I think she accomplished her desire, even though, after a month of being back home, I wish I were sitting in her pretty living room visiting with Emily and her Mom right now!

One of the activities we both wanted to do was to go to the Minneapolis Zoo.  The original plan was that Bo would have the entire weekend plus Monday off, so we could all go together.  That didn’t work out – he had to work on Monday – so we took Kellianna, Emily’s 5 year old sister with us instead.  What a wonderfully fun day!!

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Traveling to the zoo, we saw these beautifully frosted trees.  This photo does absolutely no justice to the beauty of this sight!

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Yours truly and the two girls at our first exhibit at the zoo.

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It was this huge turtle eating lettuce.  Arulai was totally intrigued by him, and I’ll admit I was, too.  I’d never seen a turtle eating, and it was kinda cool.  The turtles I’ve seen are usually so intimidated by their onlookers that they stay tucked inside their shells until you go away!

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Riding the bronze turtle – a must-have shot!

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My precious grandbaby!

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We next came to the aquarium, which was really great!

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Isn’t that the greatest photo ever!?!

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Fishy Face!

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One of my favorites – pink flamingoes!

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Cutie girl!

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These are some of my favorite photos because they depict the true Emily.  My daughter-in-law is an information SPONGE!  I know she will be the greatest teacher to her children because she absolutely loves to learn!

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Coyotes – much larger and healthier than those in our woods.  These are fed everyday!

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The most enormous wolf I’ve ever seen!!!!!  He was a beauty!

 A.J. and Kelli on wolf  Kelli on wolf  A.J. on wolf
Another must have photo-op!

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Magnificent creature!

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Okay, this was soooooo cooooool!!!!  We were so close to these Cougars, had there not been glass between us, we could have stood right where we were and petted them!

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This picture makes him look further away he actually was.

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We were walking away when I saw him get up.  I wanted so badly to get a pic of him jumping!  So I waited just a minute – snapping away so as not to miss it!  Then, sure enough, he leaped up onto the “cliff”!  I wish I were a true photographer, because it was really beautiful to see his graceful movements.

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Another of my favs – a special sister moment!

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One of Dannye Reigh’s favorite quotes – From Finding Nemo, Chum (a shark) says, “Dolphins?  I hate dolphins! They think they’re so cute. Oh, look at me, I’m a flippy little dolphin, let me flip for ya”  But, of course, we love dolphins.

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It’s hard to see them – they blend with the water so well!

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I think Emily and Arulai could have watched them for hours!

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We were so eager to get to this exhibit – hands on stuff!

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I think Arulai would have touched the starfish had she been able to reach it without Mama holding her upside down to reach it!

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Really pretty tank of starfish and anemones, etc.

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I’d never seen a live starfish before, so this was a cool experience for me.

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Here’s another amazement from the hands of our Creator!  It looks like a cartoon character, but it was alive, and moving around in the tank!!

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Another WOW – a Sea Dragon.  Those sage-y colored leaves are actually part of him!

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Arulai is definitely Emily’s daughter!  “What’s this, Mama?”  And she wasn’t talking about pictures – she was pointing to the letters!

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True Buddies!

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I’ll never remember the name of this creature, but he was a Tibetan something, and the ancients believed the Golden Fleece came from his fur.

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Antelopes – isn’t the snow great???

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A true wild horse

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Another really neat experience – the Bird Show.  The trainer had these birds flying right over our heads!  We saw hawks, owls, and this Cockatoo fly right over us.  I mean right over us!  Emily and I were each grazed by one of them as it flew over our heads!


That evening, we dropped A.J. off at the Stranz’s home and went out to dinner with Emily’s parents.  We went to P.F. Chang’s, and it was a wonderful, wonderful evening!  We relaxed and enjoyed each other so much!  I had hardly had an opportunity to see Barry, much less visit with him.  Pam and I were eager for some more visiting, as well.  Of course, it is always a pleasure to have time with my son and daughter-in-law!  The food was superb, the service above and beyond, and the company excellent!

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Pam and Barry, Emily’s precious parents 
Even though we live 1200 miles apart, and rarely have the opportunity for visits, I count them as great friends.  Our hearts are knit together not only by the marriage of our children, but also through our relationship with Christ.  And they are so much fun!  God is gracious to give us these rare gifts!

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You know, for some reason, Pam is the one who comforts me when I am overwhelmed by sadness over the separation from the kids.  I guess it is because she truly knows how I feel.  To me, that is the true meaning of friendship!

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My “kids”, Nathanael (Bo) and Emily – aren’t they beautiful?


Okay, the last day of my trip is here at last!

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Bo cooked breakfast nearly every morning!

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Arulai is such a good eater!

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“I make faces!”

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Eyebrows up!                                    Eyebrows down!

Minnesota 596a (867 x 1300)
I know this was on the last post, but it is definitely worth seeing again!  My little dolly!

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Emily’s sister took a few pics with my camera for me as we were “goodbye-ing” at the Stranz’s.  In Abbie’s defense, she didn’t want to change any settings, because Bill had it set on “automatic” everything for me.  The flash was really too bright, even pointed straight up!  But this pic is just too cute, even if she is blown out by the flash!

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“Kisses for Nonnie!”

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Fishy Face!

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Sweetie girls!!!!

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I told Emily that I didn’t have any photos of just her and Arulai, although I have several of Bo with A.J.  So we had a little photo shoot!

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I seriously don’t think this was planned!  Arulai is much like Emily in many ways, but boy, does she have some of her Daddy in her, too!  Aren’t we cute, though???

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Here is our new grandbaby – all wrapped up in his (or her) Mommy’s love!

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My very precious Daughter-in-love.  The longer I know her, the more I love her.  We are different in many ways, but I believe we are truly Kindred Spirits!

Well, this has been long enough!  I had such a wonderful time on my trip, and other than missing Bill and Dannye Reigh greatly, I wouldn’t change a thing!  Now if only June will get here quickly!!!!!

God bless your day!



About Petty Bunch

The Petty Bunch is what we have called our family since Bill and I (Janina) began our family back in the early 1980s. We have gone down many roads together - homeschooling our kiddoes, enjoying the freedom of entrepreneurship many years, working at "real jobs" other years. Through it all, we have been loved with God's everlasting love, and have found that underneath are His everlasting arms! We are blessed to have been married for over 36 years, and have 3 incredible adult children, a wonderful daughter-in-law, an amazing son-in-law, and SEVEN grandchildren: four precious granddaughters, three handsome grandsons - so far. We are empty nesters, still enjoy the life of an entrepreneur and the freedom it gives us to continue enjoying our kids and now, their kids!
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12 Responses to Last Chapter…

  1. ABAHM says:

    Aww, such a sweet time together.  I loved these pictures.  You and your family are oh so cute!  I’ve been missing my boys lately!  So glad you had a wonderful visit. 

  2. i LOVED these! sure wish we’d have had a video camera just now to record Arulai’s responses to the pictures: “Dat’s my Nonnie! An’ dat’s me! Dat’s a duck…an’ a fissh…and a fisshy fayce, and kisses, an’….was’ dat, Mama?” So, so cute.we miss you!!!

  3. pettybunch says:

    @sunshinejoy717 – After Dan does a real “fix” on the portrait ones, I will email you large files so you can have them if you want them.  I REALLY love those, and the one of you and A.J. that isn’t “silly” was too hard for me to do a decent job with.  Dan will do much better on it, then I’m going to put it (will ALL the others) in my brag book!I really miss y’all, too!  Your description of Arulai’s responses makes y’all seem closer, though, and it helps me so much!Love y’all!!

  4. Abbiegirl says:

     I LOVED the beautiful pictures Mrs. Petty. Roo says ” flowers, love you nonnie, umm, i help you, see you alligator”  with love from Arulai

  5. momstranz says:

    Absolutely lovely!  I so enjoyed the zoo tour.  To think we simply did a day of school while you were having such adventures!  Thanks for taking the time to record it all.  We really enjoyed your visit, too.  It won’t be long, we’ll all be together again.

  6. You could have kept going and I would have loved it! I miss them SO much!!! AJ is cuter then ever and Emily looks wonderful! Thank you so much for posting all of them!

  7. Bettyeboop says:

    These are great. I love a good zoo. There’s always some new wonder to find. You should take Roo to Natural Bridge Wildlife Park whenever you get the opportunity. I have photos of zebras and ostrichs’ heads inside our car windows. lol. We have enjoyed it both times we’ve gone. I hope Chloe’s back eases some. What do you give her for the pain?

  8. pettybunch says:

    @Bettyeboop – I think you may have missed my last post when your computer was down.  We went to the wildlife preserve near Glen Rose several years back, and Dannye Reigh broke the console in our van (the big green one) trying to get away from a giraffe who stuck his head inside the window!!  We have laughed and laughed over that!Mama takes Darvoset for her pain, and the physical therapist gave us some bio-freeze ointment to put on her aches and pains when she needs it.  She is not having a good night tonight – very, very tired, and a little mixed up.  Not as mixed up as I’ve seen her, but so very tired!  She is also having some fluid swelling in her feet lately.  We will probably have to take her in, because nothing we’ve tried to remedy it has worked.I’ve missed you!  Hope you can come out soon.  We will be celebrating Jeanne’s birthday this Tuesday, but I don’t think we are expecting good weather.Love you!!!!!

  9. pettybunch says:

    @momstranz – I didn’t nearly express how wonderful it was to have Kellianna with us at the zoo.  She was so precious, great with Arulai, and fun for Emily and I as well.  We really had such a great time!

  10. AuntGen says:

    No time, but I LOVED this post!  I so enjoyed the pictures and like Amy would have enoyed more!  Love you!  Gen

  11. MissyAllen says:

    Nonnie I think those things are Tibetan Takins! The wolf is SOOOO BEAUTIFUL! So are the cougars!

  12. pettybunch says:

    @MissyAllen – Thanks, Missy – I knew they were Tibetan something, but sure couldn’t remember!  You would have LOVED the wolf – he was ginormous, and so pretty, too!  The cougars were unbelievable!  So close!

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