Sunday, July 29, 2018

A Week with Aunt Bonnie...

The planets aligned last weekend and I was able to attend a wedding between two of my past students and watch my nieces rodeo.  The wedding was wonderful.  Several students  I had taught also attended the celebration and my heart was filled with joy to see them successful and with families.  One of the students I had taught 18 years ago.   She was adamant that our program changed her life.   I am forever thankful to be a part of so many amazing people's lives.   The girls did great at the rodeo and both qualified for the state high school rodeo.  I am very proud of them both.  I had not been to a 4-H rodeo for a long time.  It brought back many memories. 

On the long 5 hour drive home, Aunt Bonnie is notorious for stopping to take photos with the beautiful South Dakota landscape in the background.  It was the golden hour for photo taking and there is a reason they call it that.  

The next morning started with lots of coffee, as we got back pretty late.  We were in no hurry.  The day was spent hiking in Spearfish Canyon, a picnic in Spearfish Park, feeding the fish and ducks.  Then a fun afternoon playing in the creek.  Next year, when the littlest is a bit older, we will get tubes and float the creek.
The next day we did our annual hike.  This year I was anxious to try the new hiking trail between Lead and Deadwood.  It proved difficult to find the trailhead in Lead, but then the trail was very well marked.  We had a picnic at the Powerhouse Park in Deadwood and then went up and down Deadwood Main Street.  There are several nice shops and of course ice cream.  We waived to everyone on the KELOland Sky Camera.  I guess we had quite an audience.  After a little relaxing back at the cabin, we went to the neighbors to pick raspberries.  The girls were lucky enough to pet a baby bird that was flying around the berry patch.  
We always spend one day making projects.  Uncle Kelly made frames for the older girls and they glued corks on one side and the other was sprayed with chalkboard paint.  the littlest ones painted their names and added some bling to their little chalkboards.  They all painted rocks.  Rock painting is a tradition and then they leave rocks in my flower beds for me to find.  It always brings a smile to my face.  
The girls went to my school with me on Thursday, so they could meet my students and see where I worked.  (The last time the two oldest went to my job, they met the young lady that was married in Huron.  When the young lady found out my nieces were in Huron we were all invited to her house before we left for home.  They were happy to see each other again.   She showed them a video of the elephant she used to ride in Thailand.) When we returned home it was kitchen time.  The oldest made chocolate raspberry jam. The middle one made grandma's banana cream pie.  The third child made a strawberry pie with a chocolate crust.  The littlest made a blueberry pie.  We all reminisced about reading Blueberries for Sal at Grandma's.  

The last day was spent fishing.  We haven't had much luck at the fishing hole this year, so I anticipated some bored kids in about 1/2 hour.  That did not happen.  I put the littlest's line in the water and before I could take 3 steps she caught a catfish.  It was non-stop excitement.  We caught 11 fish.  They were pulling them out left and right.  Time flew.  Before we knew it we were late to meet their Mom and Dad at the Day's of 76 Parade.  Luckily we made it in time and they watched the parade with their little brother.  

That was this year's adventures.  I count my blessings.  It was a fabulous week.   Not only did I get to spend some quality time with the nieces, but I realized what an impact my job has on the lives of so many young people.  It made me understand how important the time spent with family and friends really is.  Laughing with the girls and reminiscing on our adventures, while making new ones is very fulfilling.   I am a lucky woman and thankful for everything.  


  1. What a fun time! Those girls are really growing up. How does this happen? You are blessed.....but so are the nieces. What great memories.

  2. A fun filled week but CHOCOLATE strawberry jam?

  3. You do such a great job making memories for your nieces!

  4. If I were your niece, I think I would love coming to spend a week at your house! The things you planned sound like absolute fun!! It's also great for you to be able to see your former students as adults, living life to the fullest. What a sense of satisfaction it must be!

  5. I really enjoyed seeing these photos of your nieces' adventures with you this year. What fun they had! The best is the one of them all sitting in the field of prairie grasses.

  6. What a great week! I love seeing all of the fun things you did. I can't believe how much they have grown up. My goodness it feels like they were just babies not that long ago.
    Have a wonderful week Bonnie.

  7. Wow, Aunt Bonnie! You're amazing! What fun! What a kind and true teacher you are.


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