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Monday, May 18, 2009


I have read about geocaching for some time and thought it would be fun, but never got around to doing it. Today the kids and I went on a nature hike with our county conservationist and about 5 other families. We hiked in an area called Whiting Woods and learned to use the handheld GPS units to find the Geocaches. It was a LOT of FUN!!! I think we are hooked..

There were 3 different caches in Whiting Woods and then we hiked back to the trailhead and ate our brownbag lunches. When I finished my lunch, I realized that I had lost my hat (and it was sunny and 88 degrees today, so I didn't want to get my face burned to a crisp), so in order to not hold up the rest of the group from driving to our next destination, I hoofed it back up the trail to the last Geocache we found. Mostly it was UPHILL and I was in a hurry....And now I know, just how hopelessly out of shape I really am..... I got back to the cache and didn't see my cap ( a leather baseball cap) and so I turned around dejectedly, thinking I walked all that way for nothing and my calves we "mooing" and my lungs were "burning". I walked about 5 feet back and there it was on the opposite side.

So since it was nearly all downhill, I hoofed it back (without burning lungs), just as everyone was finishing their lunch (and their catching of dragonlflies). We drove a few more miles to the Sylvan Runkle Nature Preserve and hiked up 238 feet in elevation. I will post pictures a bit later, but the view was breathtaking. And I can guarantee you, that we will all. sleep. well. tonight!!!!!!!

Meanwhile, I guess I better look into some type of fitness program.......so this isn't repeated the next time I want to take a hike.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Weekend

Way back last August, my dad turned 70 years old. We had planned to celebrate it then, but with 4 adult daughters, all married and 7 grandkids, scheduling a time for all of us to get together gets a little hairy. Time passed and various parts of the family were busy, so finally in January, we tried again to schedule a time to get together. We determined that Easter weekend was the next time we could all get together.

Saturday morning we gathered at my sister's house in Yankton and her friend who lives nearby took family pictures. I can't wait to see them! She did the whole group, the grankids, the daughters, my parents, the couples, etc. She was done in 45 minutes! She is amazing!! Looking forward to seeing those as soon as possible.

We grabbed a bite to eat back at my sister's house. Another sister loves making and decorating cakes and really outdid herself.

It is a white chocolate cake, that she made into a torte with strawberry jam. Since we celebrated the birthday so late, so made a slight adjustment to the number on top. That is 70.5 if you can't make it out.

Then we loaded into vehicles with walkie talkies and drove to see where my dad and my grandparents lived growing up. We saw the country school my dad attending in the late 1940s and the house that my grandma grew up in. Amazingly, the house is still standing remarkably straight and incredibly intact for being at least 90 years old and probably older. My grandmother was born in 1919 and she is the third of four kids. The oldest would have been something like 97 years old this year if she were still living. The only remaining sibling turns 93 this summer.

When we were finished, we stopped at my folks for a quick snack and roadtripped to Red Lobster. This is where my dad wanted to go, so all 17 of us went and stuffed ourselves.

We went back to my folks and sisters' place to sleep and then attended church services and then dinner at my folks that afternoon. Unfortunately, my camera died and I didn't get any pictures of the rest of the day.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Iowa Mamapalooza 2009

This picture shows most of us, however, one mom had to leave early.
With concerns about impending snowstorms, nearly a dozen Lutheran homeschooling moms descended on rural Hinton, IA two weekends ago. We arrived from several Midwestern states: Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota. Two other moms planned to attend from Wyoming and Illinois but late winter snowstorms prevented them from coming.

We had a little wine (okay a lot), a little chocolate (same as before), great food, lots of time to visit. We did some sightseeing on Saturday, stopped by a candy store and then ate a delicious meal at Luciano's. My favorite restaurant, by the way!! Then back to rural Hinton for a rousing game of Apples to Apples and Catch Phrase, before we headed to bed.

Sunday morning we attended our hosts rural church for services, then returned for a quick lunch before everyone headed home. Old friendships were renewed, new friendships were made. We laughed a lot (so hard that we cried). We stayed up way too late and when I returned home I promptly took a 2 hour nap. Anyone that knows me well, knows that I never nap, so I must have been exhausted.

We had great fun and I look forward to doing it again soon.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday Fun

I received the link for this incredible video from a friend and had to share.

This team of jump ropers is comprised of 4th, 5th and 6th grade girls and they are amazing! I can't imagine the amount of practice and choreography that goes into these routines.

The next video after this one, says that they performed at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and the 2005 Inaugural Parade.


Enjoy their amazing feats!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Well It Wasn't That!!

I talked to my friend who lives near the ethanol plant and she said that it wasn't an explosion. Her brother is a first responder and they were out for a couple hours trying to figure it out.

Most likely it was a sonic boom. There are National Guard maneuvers in the area periodically and that is likely what it was but it was LOUD!!

What Was That??

So last night we are at home relaxing, watching a basketball game, while the kids are doing things around the house. Not quiet by any standard, especially with the game on. We heard a large boom and immediately jump up to check it out!! We go outside and there is nothing more, no visible signs, just the sound of the neighbor's horses running full bore in the dark. As I continue to listen, I hear them hit/bump a steel gate. Worried that one of them may have been hurt, I picked up the phone to call my neighbor.

Just then it rang. My MIL lives 1/2 mile down the road and she had heard it as well. DH took our vehicle and drove around the section to see if was something at any our neighbors. Thankfully we didn't see anything. I then called my next door neighbor to tell her about the horses, so she could check on them. She had heard it also but hadn't went outside.

We followed the news and checked the internet last night but saw nothing. This morning a friend called me and she told me what she had heard. Evidently there was an explosion at a nearby ethanol plant (approximately 20 miles from us). There is still nothing on the news, so no more details than hearsay. This happened one other time when there was an explosion about 45-50 miles away at a fertilizer plant. It made our doors and windows rattle! That is one loud explosion.

When something like that happens, it makes you really wander what is going on. No smoke, no fire, no additional noises (so it is not close by). It is amazing to me that it could be heard 20 -50 miles away (depending on the explosion). Praying that no one was seriously injured in the explosion. I still can't find anything else about it anywhere.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Productive Day- sort of.....

After church today, we ate lunch with MIL and then set about projects for the afternoon. Mainly I wanted to get photos sorted from 2008. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy has been running all weekend, and did again today, so we have been watching that off and on amongst our tasks. I have managed to sort 6 months of photos between my album and the albums for my kids, which will make scrapbooking go a lot easier. Hopefully I will use some of the pages that I premade last night.

We will be singing at the funeral of a friend tomorrow morning, before we leave for the kids' voice lessons. Hoping to get some school in before the funeral. Hubby has an elder's meeting tomorrow evening, so he might be on his own for supper if we don't return in time.

It has been fun going through all the photos from 2008 and remembering all the great memories we made: the kids' first college football game, their first recital, a 3 day art workshop, our trip with friends to an outdoor waterpark, our horses, etc.

Gotta run so I can try and get this project finished before bed, so I can get it put back away (that way there is less chance that it get messed up or knocked on the floor)

Weekend Happenings

Hubby returned from an out of state business trip Friday about 2:30 in the afternoon. We were at our coop classes - Science/Art/PE and got home around 4:30. Hubby did remaining chores (like haying the cattle). We dropped the kids at Grandma's around 5:30 and attended a meal/speaker. The main speaker was a friend of ours who was recently elected the Iowa House of Representatives. After enjoying our meal and entertainment by a Abe Lincoln lookalike, my hubby headed home to get some rest and I scrapbooked with a few friends in town for the evening.

I managed to get 5 pages completed last night and since I was the only one that was going to be scrapbooking today, I stayed home today. I did laundry, picked up the kitchen and the rest of the house and put my scrapbook supplies away. After supper, while watching Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, I did some scrapbooking. While I didn't put down any pictures, I used many of the kits of coordinating papers that I have and made pages that only need the photos and journalling added. I hope to work on those pages tomorrow as well as sort 2008 photos amongst the various albums I am working on (each of the kids and one for our family album). Mainly that will require labeling some index card with dates and events and making the various piles of photos before putting them into the kids album photo boxes.

If I am lucky maybe I will even get some photos posted (it's been a while!).

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Weekend at Home

Hard to believe but we have a quiet weekend at home. We'll be cleaning, doing laundry and attending church and Sunday School tomorrow. We will be reorganizing our school stuff in the basement and putting things back in their respective places, while weeding out things that are no longer needed or need to go elsewhere.

Hopefully we can put insulation in the walls and then we can begin putting up drywall. Need to see what DH needs to do this weekend to see what we might be able to get done on this project.

Time to get to work!

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Rainy Monday

Whenever we have a rainy day, it is so hard to get out of bed. Seems like a much better day to just crawl back under the covers, don't you think?

Well today was one of those days. And a Monday to top it all off. Thankfully we got up and worked on school, then make lunch for DH and FIL (and us). Rib steaks, baked potatoes, peas and ciabatta rolls.....Mmmm

We dropped of MIL's box of items at Goodwill and then went to voice lessons. While the kids were at lessons, I made copies of the letter that will accompany our (long overdue) holiday photo. Notice, I didn't say which holiday??? Anyway the photo is a collage print of the highlights of 2008 for us, so this is a bit of an index to help people sort out the tiny photos.

DH is planning to go listen to Elwynn Taylor (Climatologist) tomorrow in a nearby town and will take a kid or two with him. I am taking my son for an eye appointment to get some new glasses. He has grown so much, that they don't fit the bridge of his nose, his temples or the length from the lenses to the back of his ears. So it is definitely time for some new ones. Grandma is going with us. We are also picking up groceries and the wheat that we ordered. It will be a long day.

Our vehicle is in the shop to get the fuel pump replaced, as it keeps dying if you have to give it more gas. Not good when DH, MIL and kids took it to Chicago this weekend. Thankfully they made it safely home and it is going to be fixed soon.

Busy, busy week ahead.................

Sunday, February 8, 2009


My sisters have been wondering if I was ever going to join Facebook, being the internet junkie that I am, they were surprised. Thursday night I came home to a message from my sister, saying that a classmate was trying to find me. She sent me her email and I contacted her.

We haven't seen each other in at least 13+ years, more likely 15 years. She had moved and I couldn't locate her when we planned our 20th high school reunion. Long story short, she is now living within 2 hours of me!!! We have maybe even more in common now than we did back in high school. How cool is that?

We look forward to getting together soon!!

So I am now on Facebook, are you?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Spoof of the High Fructose Corn Syrup ads

I couldn't believe the audacity of the Corn Refiner's Association ad, trying to convince people that it is good for you, after being implicated in the obesity epidemic and Type II diabetes. I have read other blogs where the author was as shocked as I was: http://muddyboots.wordpress.com/2008/09/17/who-are-they-kidding-hfcs-is-not-good-for-you/

I am pleased to hear that the filmakers who made the documentary movie King Corn, have produced a spoof on their ad. There is an article at this link and it includes a short video.


It should at least make people think and question the lines that we are all took often fed

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cold is a Relative Thing

You may have seen this floating around the internet. There is no name to give credit to, but if you find who wrote it let me know.

Hope it makes you chuckle:


65 above zero:
Floridians turn on the heat.
People in Iowa plant gardens.

60 above zero:
Californians shiver uncontrollably.
People in Iowa sunbathe.

50 above zero:
Italian & English cars won't start.
People in Iowa drive with the windows

40 above zero:
Georgians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves,
wool hats.

People in Iowa throw on a flannel shirt.
35 above zero:
New York landlords finally turn up the heat.
People in Iowa have the last cookout
before it gets cold.

20 above Zero:
People in Miami all die.
Iowans close the windows.

Californians fly away to Mexico .
People in Iowa get out their winter coats.

10 below zero:
Hollywood disintegrates.
The Girl Scouts in Iowa are selling
cookies door to door.

20 below zero:
Washington DC runs out of hot air.
People in Iowa let the dogs sleep indoors.

30 below zero:
Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
Iowans get upset because they can't start the Snow-mobile.

40 below zero:
ALL atomic motion stops.
People in Iowa start saying...'Cold enough fer ya?'

50 below zero:
Hell freezes over.
Iowa public schools will open 2 hours late

I realize that there are various other versions (insert your own state - MN, WI, ND ,etc.)


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Regular Recipe Posts

Hoping to post a weekly recipe from our tried and true recipes and perhaps a few new ones that we plan to try and think are worthing of posting. If you try the recipes that I post, please post a comment back to let us know how you like it, and if you made any changes, adjustments, or substitutions so we can try them as well.

I am also a big fan of using up leftovers in another meal so they don't go to waste. We have come up with lots of great combinations, but if I don't write them down, we tend not to make them again.

For example this week, I had one pound of ground grassfed lamb, which I had planned to add curry powder and pork and beans to. We had chinese the night before and we had nearly 2 pints of fried rice left, so I added that along with some additional curry powder. I thought it was great! Now that I have written it down on my blog perhaps I will remember to make it again. Better give it a name: Curried Lamb, Rice and Beans

My New Blog Background

Let me know what you think of my new blog background!

I found the background on www.thecutestblogontheblock.com

The 3 column backgrounds are free and then you can pay to have them create a header and personalize it for you. They have lots so if you would like to change yours check them out. They have step by step directions and say that your posts and links will not be lost. That held true in my case. They have 350 blog backgrounds and I found at least 4 that I thought would work for me.

If you have any experience with scheduling posts in Blogger, please let me know. I can't seem to figure that out. I tend to write a number of posts when I sit down and would to be a more regular blogger. I have been doing lots of scrapbooking and would like to photograph my layouts and then share those through the week instead of all at once, and then nothing......

I am also looking at starting a blog related to our business and hope to get on a schedule of blogging there 3 times per week. So the scheduling thing would be really great for me.

Monday, February 2, 2009

So Much to Do, So Little Time....

Seems there isn't enough time to do all the things that you would like to do, let alone those things that you need to do and you should do!

We've been busy for the last month or so, celebrating a couple birthdays, attending a couple days of training, attending a conference and so forth in addition to our regular commitments. Those include running a household, homeschooling, managing the farm and keeping animals fed, watered and protected. We have been dealing with extremely bitterly cold weather and winds over the last month or so.

Thankfully we have had some time to work on a few projects around here. We've been trying new recipes to add to our repertoire (sp?) and are currently working on getting ready to finish the rest of our basement. We've lived here 15 years and did not finish the basement when we moved in. We finished the front half when we put 2 bedrooms in 2001 (the kids moved in just one week before 9/11/01.

I am anxious to get this project into full forward mode, since this is where we do our school. It will be great to have the walls drywalled, the bulletin board and chalkboard mounted on the wall and the cabinets mounted. We purchased a friends cabinets for very little when they remodeled their kitchen shortly after we built our house. There are both up and lower cabinets and are well made. Can't wait to put away all those things that homeschoolers have: manipulatives, maps, flashcards, CDs, multitudes of art supplies, charts etc.

Trying to decide which pieces of "collected furniture" are staying and which are going, or being repurposed elsewhere. One is a large wood piece with deep,wide shelves that I think will be good for use in our tack shed. We have a bunkhouse on our place and plan to convert part of it to store tack for the horses and the kids will use the rest as a getaway (can't call it a playhouse, they are too old for that). Maybe we'll call it a summer house.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Bathroom Redo

I did this at the very beginning of December and am finally get pictures posted.

I just love it and it makes it seem much warmer than the stark white that is was (for the last 14 years!!)

These photos don't do it justice. I used a quart of Valspar Caramel Honey for the basecoat and then a sample size can of an Antique Gold (can't remember the name) and mixed it half and half with water. Then I did dry-brush strokes (in a continuous X pattern throughout the room.
I have a green vanity countertop with oak woodwork and have always had this shower curtain. Once I finished painting, I knew that I had to pull this piece of artwork from our entryway and put it in here. The photo in the other picture has dark greens in it so it picks up the colors in the curtain as well. I am very happy with it. This only cost me about $15 to do!
Now I am ready to paint the livingroom, the office/scraproom area and DS's bedroom. Need to make a plan for that!

Spent New Years Scrapping!!!

This is a layout of my favorite photo taken in 2008. Unfortunately, they is a big round glare on the photo on the left side of it. Edited to add: The glare is not on the photo itself, but rather on the photo of this layout and just showed up on the glossy photo.

These were taken at the Lookout at our friend's ranch in Wyoming (the Duncan Ranch). We went there at dusk and it was beautiful. I loved the darker blue colors and the moon behind the rocks.

These three layouts are from DH's cousin's wedding in October of 2007:

These are for our Godson's graduation pics:

These are 6 month pictures of my adorable little neice: