Archive | April, 2012

Badly Planned Picnic

30 Apr

Yesterday afternoon when the kids woke up from naps we headed down to our favorite camping/picnic spot called Pfeiffer Lake.  Our friends came up from Worthington MN (how can this state on MN be so darn big?).  It took them about seven hours to get to our house.  Our families survived seminary school, life and craziness and are forever tied together because of this experience.  Aleah has known their son since she was only two months old.

We threw some food in a couple bags and headed out with the canoe strapped to the roof.

Once we got to the lake we realized we forgot silverware, plates and we could have used a few more coats.  Ah well, necessity is the mother of invention right?

We used animal crackers to spread the peanut butter and ate the coleslaw mix with pretzels.  The guys ended up wearing the extra coats that the ladies brought.  Although they looked a bit goofy it all worked out and we had a beautiful night canoeing, warming up by the fire and creatively eating our dinner.

We felt like we were the only ones in the world, except for a couple curious loons.

Ice Sand Castles

27 Apr

This was happened about 6 weeks ago but I just have to share some of the pictures. We built sand castles with ice chunks that were seperating off Lake Vermilion.

It was around Saint Patty’s Day when the weather was alarmingly beautiful and warm.  Aleah was walking around in her swimsuit and we were building sand and ice castles.

I don’t know if I will ever have the chance to use ice in my sand castle building endeavors but it was great.

Secret Garden

25 Apr

I am in the process of reading “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

It is one of those books where you know how it goes so I have never read it before.  I saw the movie when I was a little girl and left it at that.

 I was browsing kindle books and found that this little gem was free.  What the heck, right?  Might as well give it a whirl.  I never would have gone out to buy this book or probably checked it out at the library.  But I am SO glad that I am reading it right now.

It would be hard to read in the middle of winter but it extremely fun to read in the spring.  Mary is so passionate about gardening and is beside herself when the seemingly dead earth begins to come to life.  I am about half way through the book and can feel myself getting the itch to garden and make things beautiful.  Here are some of my favorite passages thus far,

I love this first one because she feels herself being awakened-

“Living as it were, all by herself in a house with a hundred mysteriously closed rooms and having nothing whatever to do to amuse herself, had set her inactive brain to working and was actually awakening her imagination. There is no doubt that the fresh, strong, pure air from the moor had a great deal to do with it.  Just as it had given her an appetite, and fighting with the wind had stirred her mind.  In India she had always been too hot and languid and weak to care much about anything, but in this place she was beginning to care and to want to do new things.  Already she felt less ‘contrary,’ though she did not know why.”

This next one makes smile and want to garden:

“I’m getting stronger.  I used to always be tired.  When I dig I’m not tired at all.  I like to smell the earth when it’s turned up.”

And lastly,

“Might I, quavered Mary, might I have a bit of earth?  In her eagerness she did not realize how queer the words would sound and that they were not the ones she had meant to say.  mr Craven looked quite startled.  ‘Earth!’ he repeated, ‘What do you mean?’  To plant seeds in–to make things grow–to see them come alive,’ Mary faltered.”

How rewarding it is so make things grow.  To make tiny little seeds blossom into giant sunflowers or into delicious vegetables.  Out of the earth.  What a wonderful and miraculous event that happens every spring.  It will never cease to amaze me.

Moving Time

22 Apr

Moving again?  Well, yes.  But his move will the our last for a loooooooong time.  I hate moving.  I really do not like it one bit.  We moved to Cook almost a year ago and stuff we packed away when we moved out of Bethel Seminary housing is still in those same boxes.  It is going to be like Christmas morning when we get to open up those boxes again and see what we have been missing.

We were in this house, July-September:

Then we moved to this house, September-May:

And finally we will be in this house, May-…:

(sorry no picture at the moment)

This is the house that belongs to the church(a parsonage).  It’s a cute and spacious home nestled in the corner of town, and it backs up to the Little Fork River.  We tried the housing market but nothing was quite right for us.  The houses were either a million dollars because they were on Lake Vermillion or they were major fixer uppers.  We aren’t afraid to do some work and fix up a house, but I don’t think Aleah and Sophi would be much help with that whole process.  And we have to be out of our current house before all the rich people come up to vacation at this house for the summer.

I am dreading the move but…

I AM SOOOOOOO EXCITED TO BE ABLE TO DECORATE A HOUSE!   I think I have been dying to set up a house since we got married.  Since our marriage we have moved six times.  Gag me.  Each of our residences have been temporary.  “Just set up what you need to live and that will be fine” kind of apartments and living situations.

Do you know how excited I am so be able to make curtains for my kitchen and the girls rooms.  I get to decorate a living room and a bathroom and a downstairs!  Jared and I will be able to garden!  Our very own garden!  We will be able to paint the rooms whatever color we want.  Oh man, I am excited.

So in less than a month I will be taking you all on a journey of house decoration.  Excited?  Well, I guess I sort of am too =)

Iowa Baby Sleeper

20 Apr

One of my best friends is pregnant and due in the middle of August. A while ago she gave me some of her older clothes since she was going to donate them anyways.  In the pile of clothes I found a shirt that I knew meant a whole lot to her, and then got to thinking.

I decided to make a baby sleeper and surprise her.

Cut off the most of the sleeves of the shirt and pinned the sides and remaining sleeves a couple inches inward:

After sewing along the pins I added some elastic to the bottom of the shirt.  I used the seam that was already there and threaded the elastic through.

I cut the extra sleeves apart then sewed them to each other to make a cut hat.  I can’t remember how big a baby’s head is so I make the top adjustable.  It is simply tied together with some yellow fabric.  If it is too big or small the tie can come out and easily sized to fit perfectly.

And here is the finished product, can’t wait to see her little babe wearing this!

Yes, my friend is from Iowa, and very proud of it.  Go Hawkeyes! right?

This is my favorite sign from Iowa, heck yeah Fields of Opportunity!

Snow Day

18 Apr

Not having power is a pain in the butt and highly inconvenient.

I walked around the house all day turning on light switches that no longer worked.  I looked at laundry baskets full of dirty clothes that would have to remain that way for another day.  We nervously gazed at the outside of the fridge and freezer, wondering if all our food would spoil.  We looked like we hadn’t showered because, well, we had not showered.

As annoying as losing power is, there are blessings that come along with it.

Since it was getting a bit chilly inside our house we decided to head out to the sauna in our swimsuits and hang out for a while.  We each grabbed a cup and filled it with snow to eat.  We got thoroughly warmed.  Warm inside to our core.  It felt wonderful.  Then after we started to get a bit too warm we propped open the door to the sitting room to let that get warmed up too.  Jared and I sat in the wicker chairs in the extra room while the girls did “shows” for us.  They showed us their new gymnastics moves and danced and sang.  It was pretty darn adorable.

We cooked dinner on the grill, eggs and potato burritos.  Yum. It is like camping in the comfort of your home.

Instead of turning on the television when the girls went to bed we could play a card game by candlelight.

I cut out some sewing patterns that I have been delaying to do since I normally just want to get to the fun sewing part.

Thankfully we now have the power back on and the whole ordeal is over, but I am strangely thankful that this happens once or twice a year.  It makes us grateful for the everyday niceties that we ignore everyday.  And brings the family closer together.  And you might just find something you might not have otherwise:

Old Man Winter

April showers bring…

16 Apr

Hello there, Jared again.  Remember a few posts ago when I mentioned that I was looking forward to re-invigorating the gardening portion of this blog, but we have to be patient here in the Northland because March and April are far too unstable for any significant outdoor gardening?   Remember that?

Well, the past 24 hours are a perfect example of why northerners must twiddle their green-thumbs even while the April sun blazes bright and the frogs harmonize and the loons wail across the waves.  We mustn’t be fooled.

Yesterday afternoon featured heavy rain showers mixing with high winds to create a stormy spring evening, perfect for a bowl of chili shared in a warm kitchen with friends.  The forecasters were mentioning that overnight enough cold air might filter in to bring us 2-4 inches of the white stuff.  Nothing out of the ordinary for this time of year.

But this is what we woke up to:



And to top it all off, the power has been out since sometime before 2 am, so with the house getting cold and no cookstove to make a hot meal, we barreled down the drive and made it out to the highway so we could head into town.  Oh, the adventures of the Northland.



Magic Wand

12 Apr

Sophi got a wand for her Birthday along with some fairy wings.

Ever since, the girls have been fighting over the wand.

Instead of teaching them to share I decided to make another wand.

It is now part wand/part cat toy.

The wand was made with a stick from the great outdoors, some scrap fabric and some ribbon from a thrift store.

Now they are going around the house turning things into bugs.  Not sure why this is the go-to thing to be changed into.  Maybe they could magically clean the house.

Sick Easter

10 Apr

Aleah and I missed all the Easter festivities because she had the flu.

We were bustling all around Sunday morning, making breakfast and getting ready for church and noticed Aleah was just kind of laying around.

As I was getting the cinnamon rolls out of the oven I heard the words no mother wants to hear, “MOM, I barfded!”  Oh shoot.

We got her cleaned up, a bath and started a load of laundry- then the rest of the crew headed out to church.

I am sure glad we did our big meal and egg hunt on Saturday because she was definitely not up for it on Sunday.

It is funny some of the mom tactics you try to check on your kid.  Can I make you an ice cream cone?  No?  okay you are still sick.  Do you want to go to the park?  No? okay you are still sick.  And the biggest clue that she is still sick- she had not  bugged Sophi in the last two days, definitely sick.

After laying around for two days she is feeling much better now. Thank goodness.


8 Apr

Our wonderful friends and roommates from college were able to visit for Easter.

We did an Easter egg hunt on Saturday when the weather was nice.

The girls tried the hard boiled eggs.

Did you know that if you put eggs in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes you will hard boil them? Soooo much easier than the normal boil and turn off and put in cold water method.

My great friend Molly and I decorated Ukranian Easter Eggs.

You keep adding wax and dying the eggs.  It takes a bit of patience but is a fun craft and the end result is very fun to unveil.

Hope you all have a wonderful Easter.

Here are some eggs my little sister made: