Saturday, April 30, 2011

Countdown to Kauai - 2 weeks

We were so lucky to spend time with travel experts and fabulous friends, Lance & Denise, who have traveled to Kauai and gave us insider information on where to eat, what beaches they loved & great activities like a helicopter ride over the island. We are definitely getting excited about this once in a lifetime anniversary trip!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easter Activities

Easter morning, we were ready to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ, but first we needed to get to the church. And that meant being able to drive through water, too bad we couldn't have Moses' staff to just part it.
Steve took over driving the Ridgeliner because my mom was almost hyperventilating just watching Randy's Ford drive through the water.
So once Randy's family safely made it across, Steve carefully drove us through and got us to church on time.
After church, we made a brief stop to get a few pictures of our family. Carefully changing out of our knee-high- waterproof-mud-boots to put our fancy shoes back on.

But the kids put their mud boots back on for Egg Hunt 2011. The Easter bunny got pretty creative with hiding those candy-filled plastic eggs. Some were spotted even up in the tree. The kids were happily swapping candy with each other and getting glossy-eyed from their sugar coma shortly after the 108 eggs were found.

My mom put on a bountiful spread of food for Easter dinner including ham, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, numerous salads and pie, pie, pie (thanks to my SIL, Anna). Lots of laughter and stories were exchanged by the attendees which included: Uncle Jim, Aunt Judy, Uncle Bob, Randy, Anna, Kaleb, Logan, Russ, Kristy, Nixin, Noah, Grandma/mom Rose, Grandpa/dad Rod, Steve, Abby, Kippy & me. All those mouths to feed and there were still oodles and oodles of leftovers.
I think my boots look rather snazzy with my Easter dress, don't you?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Making Easter Eggs

I love picking up different egg dye kits to try out. Sometimes the kits are a fizzle (like the tie-dye eggs), but this year the cousins (Noah, Kippy & Abby) had a blast. Noah taught the girls to hold the eggs halfway in the dye to make beautiful variegated colors. Even grandma Rose got in the act!

The best part was making the eggs into little characters by adding sticker faces, hats and even hair.
We could have had a little egg-puppet show when we were done!

When I was taking a picture of the final creations, I began talking to the eggs. I said, "Stay still! Stop moving around. Ok, now say CHEESE!" Nixin thought it was great to treat the eggs like little people and he kept on telling them what to do and to behave as well. So fun!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Adventures at da Farm

We knew it was going to be a challenge to get to the farm for Easter this year due to excess water, but I just had no idea the true extent of the damage until we got to see it up close. Our minivan was completely unable to traverse the difficult terrain, so on Friday afternoon we had to rendezvous with my dad 3 miles from the farm on Hwy 11. We transferred our stuff into the back of his Honda Ridgeliner. Unfortunately, it was raining like crazy making an already mucky, muddy gravel road even more treacherous. Three different times the Ridgeliner went sideways and I grabbed the "oh sh!t" bar for dear life while praying like crazy. Thankfully, we arrived at da farm, safe and sound {thanks dad!}.
It wasn't until Saturday when Steve and I went out together on the quad-runner to survey the roads that we really appreciated the destruction. Normally we have 2 western routes, 1 south-east route and 1 northern route to get to the farm. Unfortunately, only one of those routes was an option on Friday and only if you had a four-wheel drive vehicle. Water, water everywhere with large washouts, collapsed culverts, and areas where muskrat tunneling had destroyed the road. To say it looks bad, is an understatement.
So we did the only thing useful we could do and worked on thinning the excessive muskrat population. Believe it or not, even tho' I grew up on the farm with two brothers who are hunting enthusiasts and married another gun-toting addict, I have never in my life shot an animal. Steve helped me learn how to handle his 22 pistol and the next thing I knew, I was huntin' 'skrats. I ended my first real hunting adventure feeling like a true redneck with a score of Renae 2: Muskrats 1. Not bad for my first try and I felt like I was contributing in a very small way to the reduction of one of the causes of the road destruction. Ultimately, Steve is hoping that I will be more supportive of his gun collecting addiction {jury is still out on that}.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Countdown to Kauai = 3 weeks

Over 50 miles of white sand beaches... so many choices!
Haena beach...
Tunnels beach...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bringing "Spring" indoors

I have Spring Fever and I have been absolutely CRAVING some lush green grass, but since Mother Nature still keeps bringing snow, I had to take matters into my own hands.

Saturday, April 16: Purchased water gems from The Market and some wheat seed.

These are the water gems before being hydrated. I used only a half of tablespoon of gems and soaked for 8 hours and WOW!
I ended up with a giant kettle of water gems,

which resemble ice cubes and are very squishy (like Jello). Luckily I was able to share some of the excess with my bestie, but next time, I'm only using a teaspoon of those guys!

I also soaked the wheat seeds about 4 hours to help them germinate faster.

Next I piled the water gems on a glass plate and covered them with wheat seed and then began the waiting process. Every time I walked by, I was checking for signs of growth.

Day 1: Sunday, April 17.... I could see tiny little white sprouts poking out of the seeds within 24 hours. Can you see them?
Day 2: Monday, April 18... some teeny-tiny green is showing now. By now, I am cheering and pointing out to my family members in excitement that my seeds are sprouted {about 15 times a day}!! I know they are thinking (and you are too) that I am completely deranged. Did I mention that I have spring fever?
Day 3: Tuesday, April 19... within 72 hours, I am definitely seeing more snippets of green.

Day 4: Wednesday, April 20... so impressed... looks like Spring growing out of ice. Take that Mother Nature! Booyah!

Day 5: Thursday, April 21st - We have GRASS! It is looking good and I am feeling Springy. Is it time to get the lawn mower out? I am just loving my little mini-lawn. I bet the Easter bunny will try to hid an egg or two because I expect it to be TALL by Sunday.
Or maybe a little peep will make it a nest.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Nature's Icing

Back on Wednesday, March 23rd we had a snow storm. The winds were particularly fierce. School was canceled, even classes at M-State were canceled, so I took a vacation day so we could all be cozy and lazy together.
The high winds formed the snow into beautiful icing-like borders on the eaves of our house.
Or maybe they are more like ocean waves frozen in time?
Either way, I thought they looked amazing. And I thoroughly enjoyed our snow-day-wear-PJ's-all-day-watch-movies-together-family-day.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fergus Falls AAUW Branch will Celebrate 50th Anniversary

On May 16th and these are the two 8x10 prints I will have available for the silent auction to support Liazah from Zimbabwe in her pursuit of higher education. Please consider attending and offering your financial backing.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Countdown to Kauai

4 weeks to go, so I am beginning my official count down to paradise! Gonna work on some research today on must do activities while there for 7 days with my sweetie. If you have any suggestions, let me know. We want to make sure our 20th anniversary is memorable!
Wailua Falls, Kauai

Snorkel, scuba, sand, sunset... lots of fabulous "S" words for a sweet vacation!