Friday, July 30, 2010

On the road... Grizwold-style

We are headed to Mandan, ND this morning to pick up this big o' vehicle at RV Rentals. It will be our home away from home for the next 8 days while we trek out West on our family vacation. Of course, we hope we don't have any Grizwold-type experiences with it!
I am intimidated by the shear size of this motor home, but Steve says he feels ready to drive it {keeping fingers crossed that we stay safe}. I'll probably have to stay in the WAY back so I don't have to gasp and suck all the air out of the vehicle at every intersection. We wanted to rent a smaller class C size, but this class A size was all that was available after checking 5 different camper rental businesses. Bigger is better, right? RIGHT? Until we have to fill it with fuel...
Anyway, our travel schedule includes picking up the rig on Friday morning and driving it to Medora, ND. We are meeting my parents as well as my brother, Russ' family at Medora and camping together at the Red Trail campground. We will be going to the Musical and feasting on Pitchfork Fondue {I feel my inner redneck jumping for joy already}.

Saturday morning we begin our 500 mile trek out to Yellowstone National Park along with my folks in their rig. We have 5 days to explore and experience all we can while staying at Yellowstone Grizzly RV. We have even booked reservations for white water rafting at the Flying Pig Adventure company on Monday. It will be a first time experience for my parents as well as my family and a bucket-list item for me.

Hope to see Old Faithful, the Mammoth Hot Springs, Upper & Lower waterfalls and anything else we can do and experience at Yellowstone. Leave a comment if you have any other suggestions for activities or destinations as we should have WI-FI at the campground to keep in touch. Prayers welcome for overall safety and sanity of our driver!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Canadian Red Cherry Harvest

The tree planted at the farm when Angelique was born is a Canadian Red Cherry. We always refer to it as Kippy's tree and this past weekend it was harvest time.
Her tree was loaded with very sour cherries which are clustered together like little mini-grapes.
In the past, my mom has been the one to harvest and make either jelly or syrup, which has always been labeled officially as "Kippy Jelly" or "Kippy Syrup" on the jars. {I love that "Kippy" is a brand name for our family.}
Even though we know how sour the cherries are, we couldn't resist just trying one. They have major pucker factor and required LOTS.OF.SUGAR to make them taste good.
Abby, my mom, Steve & I were able to quickly pick nearly two gallons of cherries.

And we didn't even resort to using a ladder! {So no injuries to report} I was a bit reluctant to try my hand at creating something edible from the harvest. I did some searching on-line to find some recipes to follow. Everything I found said to use a 1:2 juice to sugar ratio. That is a lot of sugar when you've extracted 11 cups of juice from the cherries! I ended up going with a 1:1 juice to sugar ratio and was happy with the results.
Kippy took over stirring duties after I extracted the juice. So far, we have made 6 jars of jelly and 1 1/2 quarts of syrup. Have to run back to the store and get more sugar or else let the last 4 cups of juice slowly go down the drain. Next time, we should only pick one gallon of cherries.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

You can take this girl from the farm, but not the farm from this girl.

Photos taken on Saturday, July 24, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Rides & Ribbons

Fergus Falls held the annual East Ottertail County Fair last week and we did our best to contribute to the financial security of the event.
Wrist bands on Wednesday night, allowed the girls to ride as many rides as they wanted between 5:00 - 11:00 PM. Of course, we didn't stay until 11, but even by 10, they had gotten to ride all rides at least 4-5 times. I would definitely advise going on the first night to avoid the crowds.
I was tempted to buy a ticket for myself just so I could go on the Supershot. It looked like a blast to me, since I love the falling feeling.
Way up high and then a quick drop, what more could you ask for, except to go on it again, and again, and again!
I love the reflection of the "Spider" in Steve's sunglasses. Abby said her tummy felt yucky after this ride, but she was a great big sister and accompanied Kippy anyway.
Here they are getting ready for Moby Dick to start.
Even when Abby's BFF joined her at the fair, they both still chaperoned Kippy on all the rides.
The Scrambler was one of their favorites.
I think they secretly liked the Carnie worker who would stand just at the edge of the ride so that it looked like the car was going to hit him. Nothing like a little fear factor to up the excitement of the ride. Steve & I got to check out all of the exhibits and critters, while the kids filled themselves up with junk food and tried not to get sick on the rides.

This year, our whole family did entries in the Open Class exhibits and earned some ribbons.
Steve entered one of his knifes in the metal work category, complete with custom leather sheath.

Abby entered two drawings... one in pencil and one in colored pencil.

Kippy had three art entries... a poster, a water color and a drawing.
I mostly entered photos...
but had one sewing project, one crochet and one jewelry entry to mix it up again. All totaled, the Lindgren's earned $36 in premiums. Rest assured, we spent much more for admission, delicious junk food and rides, but still we all felt a certain sense of accomplishment.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Run, Lindgrens, Run!

A little over a month ago, I was talking to Steve and mentioned that I thought it would great if we did a race event together as a family. I really needed to get him on board because I figured the girls would say "yes" if both of their parents were going to do it. Plus, I thought we, as parents, should try to model healthy habits for our kids. When we brought the idea up to the girls, they were excited. I found an event about 35 miles away, in Henning, MN which had a 1 Mile run for the girls as well as a 5K for my hubby & I to run in on July 17th.

Steve & the girls began running a couple times a week for about 4 weeks to get ready. The girls did between 1 and 1 1/2 miles each time, while Steve worked his way up to a 5K. Initially, the girls didn't want to run with me, but I promised that I would just go whatever pace they set, so when they finally let me go with them a couple of times, it made me so darn emotional I almost cried! I just love running so much, my secret wish is for them to join me, but don't tell them that.

There were some bumps along the way when the excitement wore off and the girls didn't want to practice some mornings, but all in all, we were able to pull together and got ready for the event. Saturday morning, it was difficult to get everyone up and going by 7:15 AM so we could get to the event on time. Summer hours have definitely settled in, and it certainly doesn't involve early mornings AT.ALL.

Nerves were in high gear for me, but the rest of the family was pretty relaxed. I think I should point out this is only the 2nd 5K I have participated in, so not like I am a pro & nerves are par for the course for me. It was Steve's 1st 5K, although we did do a Sprint Triathlon together 2 years ago, which ended with a 5K. Abby & Kippy were doing their first 1 mile event.

The weather was warm by 8:30 AM when the events started. Unfortunately, both events were starting at different locations and at the same time, so I didn't get to watch either of my daughters cross the finish-line, which was disappointing. I hadn't really thought out the logistics of the event until that morning. So, the girls were done first and stayed together to cheer for me and give me water when I crossed and all three of us did the same for Steve when he finished.

Kippy ended up 1st in the under 10 year old female category with a 11:01 time.

Abby got 4th overall for the girls and also 4th in her 11-15 year category with a 8:38 time.

Steve was happy to finish because he said he started out his first mile too fast and struggled the rest of the way. He had a very respectable 31:49 time. Especially since it was over 80 degrees during the race and he was more of a reluctant participant.
The event t-shirts we received were nice, I just wish I would have taken a picture of all of us wearing them. We also each got a lunch bag, water bottle and travel-type medical kit, so I have to give a huge shout out to the people who put the race bags together... SWEET!
I love the saying on the back of the shirt the most... "The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."

I didn't set out to have this happen, but I did get a PR (Personal Record) with a time of 22:56 and took 2nd in the women's 40-49 category. I got a nice metal to commemorate the event.
The real focus for me was participating in the event as a family. Although it wasn't like we held hands and sang Kumbaya while crossing the line together. It was about the shared race experience, even though we each experienced the event as individuals. The AMAZING part is both of the girls were talking about "next time" on the way back to Fergus Falls, so I hope we can make an annual event of participating as a family in a race event.

Link to race results. A family that runs together, has fun together!?!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tea & Tee Time

What do you get when you combine some fabulous heels...

with dress-up clothes
and some fine china?

It is tea time for three!

Friday morning, Angelique said, "I want to have a tea party." I told her it sounded like a great idea and added, "Let's do it up fancy!" Both girls were excited by the prospect which quickly morphed into a lunchtime ice-tea party complete with flowers, cloth napkins, china and formal gowns.
Abby made some cute little sandwiches cut out with heart cookie-cutters and accessorized with an olive, cherry tomato and basil leaf.
We had some watermelon already cut up in the fridge, so that was an easy add to our party feast.
Angelique and I whipped up some tasty little bars for dessert from fresh limes.

What a feast!
The girls raided the dress-up box and came up with some fashionable ensembles. It was so much fun sipping ice tea from the beautiful tea cups I had gotten from Grandma Ruth and eating lunch with my beautiful ladies.
Abby especially liked wearing my high-heels, which she insisted fit perfectly!
It is one tea party I won't soon forget!

Steve was not to be left out of the fun. He booked a tee time in the afternoon for us in Alexandria for 18 holes of miniature golf. No dress up clothes or high-heels for this event... it was flip-flops and shorts.
Steve didn't have any problem with the waterfall hazard.
Kippy scored her first hole-in-one on #16.
Abby sunk a hole-in-one on both #16 & on #18. She is ready to go Pro.

Not to be completely out done, Steve & I also finished off the last hole with a hole-in-one.

I have to say the front nine were a little rocky with some frustration from the youngest golfer especially on the first 3 holes, but by the back-nine, everyone was doing great. Steve, of course, was the Put-Put champion as he only bogey-ed 3 holes.

We spent the rest of the afternoon poking around a few shops in downtown Alex and enjoying a wonderful supper at Bella's on Broadway. Truly a fabulous Friday. The only drawback was that we left our pooch home alone for too long. Bella decided she had to comfort herself by chewing holes in one of the couch pillows.
Bad dog, Bella!