Monday, April 30, 2012

Getting out of the comfort-zone

Angelique did a remarkable job for someone who is nervous about public speaking.  She was selected as one of two representatives from her OLV 5th grade class to complete at the Speech contest in Alexandria on April 14th. She recited from memory the book Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin complete with gestures and enthusiasm.  She received an overall Good rating and is pumped to try to do even better next year.

So proud of her for stepping out of her comfort-zone.  I could not have been paid enough money to even try anything like that at age 11 (or at age 43).  She has come so far from the ultra shy girl who in First Grade went on stage at the OLV talent show to tell a joke, but got too nervous and couldn't talk and was helped off the stage in embarrassment. 

And two weeks later, at the Techno Girls event on April 29th, Angelique was part of putting together a news broadcast about Fergus Falls.

We may have a potential news anchor on our hands... definitely gets her mad skills from her dad.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

An amazing evening

to remember!  And it all was for a good cause... raising money for Our Lady of Victory school. This is the third year for the steak and wine dinner, but what made it really special for us was being part of the VIP table for the first time.  We shared the VIP evening with 4 other couples (David & Kelly, Mikey & Susan, my mom & dad, and Derek & Heather).

Who doesn't love a chance to dress up and get out of the normal routine.  Plus, it was my very first limo ride!  We enjoyed hors d'oeuvres at Stella's in Battle Lake and had a quick beverage at the Ol' School House before arriving in style at the transformed gymnasium for "Bahama Nights."  Good food, great friends, laughter & games.  Perfect evening!

 But guess who was the luckiest gal of them all??

My beautiful momma won this sparkling pair of diamond earnings in a raffle drawing due to my dad picking the lucky number "58"!!!  Now that is going to be hard to top next year!

P.S.  I received lots of compliments on my sparkly bronze dress... which was a rental compliments of Rent The Runway.  I highly recommend this website for a one-time special event.  You will feel like a million bucks!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

An Egg-citing Easter

 It had been a L O N G five months since we had been back to the farm.  Mostly because we celebrated the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays at alternate locations AND since my folks had been frolicking down south for the past 3 months. It was so nice to get back to my familiar childhood home, but mostly to see mom & dad again!

I brought along a few projects for the cousins to work on together.  One project was "Fun-in-the-middle" cupcakes.  It was a multi-step process to mix up the batter, partially fill the cupcakes, squeeze in some fun chocolate into the center, cover with more batter, bake, frost & decorate, but the kids did a great job.  Nixin was the most excited because he was in charge of adding the sprinkles to the cupcakes.  He was so careful about it.  Of course, everyone LOVED eating them the most.  Nixin was adamant that if you didn't eat a "Fun-in-the-middle" cupcake, then you would NEVER have any fun AGAIN! I didn't want to miss out on fun so I ate TWO!  hahaha 

  It wouldn't be Easter without dyeing the eggs.  Some of the eggs used were brown eggs from Kaleb's faithful hens, which made for some interesting color combinations.  The kids were pretty creative and the  fairy dust glitter not only made the eggs sparkly, but pretty much everyone's faces too. Nothing like a little glitter to make your nose itch, right?

 One of my favorite reoccurring conversations of the weekend was with my seven year old nephew, Nixin.  He was constantly surprising me with his unique talents.  When I complimented him on how great he was with puzzles, he told me he was a "Puzzle Master".  Then when he mixed up the cupcake batter, he became a cupcake Master.  Soon, I realized there was nothing this kid couldn't do.  He really is a MASTER & I love him to pieces!

Lest you think the weekend was all baking & crafting... I want to assure you that there was some good old fashioned redneck recreation.  This included speed target shooting with Steve, Russ, Kaleb & me giving it a go.  Nothing beats the smell of gun powder! Russ was the champion, hitting 5 targets in 3.3 seconds.

When Sunday morning rolled around, I sadly discovered that we had forgotten the garment bag with our Easter Finery hanging back in Fergus Falls.  This left three of us with nothing fabulous to wear... Abby smartly packed her clothes in her suitcase, so she was the only one with her intended outfit. A quick SOS call to my niece, who happens to live across the street, and I had a dress.  I borrowed heels from my mom and I was good to go.  Kippy had to be a little more strategic, but the pj's she just gotten from Grandma Rose doubled as a dress.  Abby lent her a cardigan and presto - a cute Easter outfit. Steve recycled the button down shirt he wore on Friday and went with jeans.  Not a very coordinated family, but we made due and that is all that matters!

 While we were at church, Russ & Kristy the Easter Bunny was busy hiding 165 eggs filled with candy throughout the farm.  I know there has never been such creative hiding in the history of Triple R Farms.  The crazy bunny even hid 3 real eggs that were stolen from under the hens!  There was a least an hour of running around hunting up eggs with Nixin being the clear winner.  Remember, he is a MASTER at finding eggs.
Mom prepared a wonderful feast and Uncle Bob & Aunt Judy were able to join in.  Lots of laughter and many wonderful memories = an Egg-citing Easter.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Steve's new ride

Good-bye Soccer-Mom-Mini-Van of the past 8 years, you have served this family well.  Numerous family vacations, camping trips, soccer games, family events, birthday parties, hailstorms and general running around. Over 150,000 miles, almost all driven by Steve.  He didn't complain {too much}.

 Some concerns over the continued long-term viability of our 2001 mini-van, including the heat going out over Christmas and the starter-thingy beginning to be temperamental, caused Steve to begin the hunt for a replacement.  This has been going on for the past 4 months.  But finally, this week, he found a vehicle with the features he wanted (V8 with towing capacity), 4 wheel drive,  room for extra passengers (seats 7), low mileage and the right price.

 Meet Steve's new Armageddon vehicle...  2008 Jeep Commando Commander in all black.  It looks like all that is missing is some type of mounted machine gun on top.  I think he was looking to "man-up" his vehicle after the mini-van.  I think he made a great choice.  Although the boxy shape makes me want to call it the "Sponge-bob Square Pants" vehicle.  Although I think Armegeddon is going to stick.