Monday, September 20, 2010

Thank God I'm a Country Girl !!

Life on the farm is kinda laid back, ain't nothing that a county girl like me can't hack!

I just couldn't resist channeling John Denver. We had SUCH a great time on the farm up in Minnesota. I'll have more later on my niece, Misty's, marriage that took place on this living farm, but here's a couple of shots taken of those from the Omaha family group that arrived early on Friday. My husband, Sterling, and I didn't arrive until noon on Saturday so we missed some of the pre-wedding festivities, but from the sounds of things, a good time was had by all. The weather was cool and overcast, but beautiful nonetheless as the trees in the background were starting to turn - another couple of weeks and their colors will be spectacular! The 59 acre farm is what they referred to as a "living farm", meaning the owners of the farm live off of what it produces from the gardens. They also have a community "pizza" feed every weekend and make these AMAZING fresh pizzas (with homemade goat cheese) which help to supplement the farm's income. There is no electricity, but rather solar panels which heat water for an outdoor shower, lights are from lamps and candles, and wood burning stove heat the house during the winter. It was really an eye opener to see so many on this farm embracing this lifestyle and we were lucky to have them receive us into their home so graciously. They made the wedding events seem effortless and no one went without a chair to sit on or food to to snack on. And the entertainment was provided by mother nature and the animals that also inhabit this farm. It was so much fun to watch my 2 year old grandson and 1 year old grandniece race around the goats, chickens, horses, oxen and kittens and run up and down from the house to the barn and back again. There was also a child's cottage right on the edge of where the woods began - with a creek that ran right behind it. What child wouldn't thrive with this as his daily adventureland.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Juggle THIS !!

Another attraction at the Aquarium in Denver, was this gal who put on a juggling act. She came out into the audience and picked my son-in-law, Jeremy, to come up and help her. It was the MOST hilarious thing and had us all in giggles before she was done. She was juggling a flaming torch, a large knife, and a stuffed teddy bear. Unbelievable!


Okay ... I'll be the FIRST to admit that I have very limited knowledge of the fish world - which is why I don't eat sushi! I would have called these large goldfish. They were part of the Aquarium exhibit that we went to in Denver a few weeks back. When anyone went to take a photo, their eyes would ILLUMINATE and give off this eery result.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Beginnings of Fall

I love the fall. Crisp mornings. Trees turning all sorts of colors in one last burst of beauty before they fall. And when they do fall, giggles and fun from the kids jumping into stacks of raked leaves. And the final harvests, apple orchards, football games (I had to add this for my husband's sake) hayrack rides, and the pumpkin patch. This beautiful wreath was made by my daughter-in-law, Chrysty, who has a talent for taking almost anything and making it beautiful. It's also my favorite time to bake. I love making jars of apple butter, apple pan pies, apple crisp (I'm sensing a theme there - grin). And here in the midwest another tradition is going to the apple orchards during Applejack Days and picking up bags of kettlecorn - there's nothing like it. Just enough sweet and salt to make it very hard to put down before the entire bag is consumed in one sitting. It's my husband's favorite time of year because the he knows grass cutting season is coming to an end, and just possibly that he'll be diving into his favorite baked goodie, apple pie. ENJOY the days of fall, everyone!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Remembering my brother, John.

Today would also have been my older brother John's birthday. We lost him to cancer when he was only 21 years old. Over the years I've often wondered how all of our lives would have been changed had he been around to share them with us. What it would have been like to lean on an older brother, someone to call on when times were good and when times were rough. I miss you, Johnny!

Happy Birthday Sis!!!

Today is also my sister Shari's birthday. Shari - hope your day is filled with all those things you love the most. Happy Birthday!

Happy Anniversary Trisha & Craig

Today is my niece Trisha's wedding anniversary and I just wanted to wish her and Craig a very happy anniversary!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Hailey Rae!!!

Today is my grandniece's FIRST birthday. We had a family celebration on Sunday and boy did she have a GRAND time eating her THREE TIER cake that her Aunt Gloria made for her. And her dad, Matt, is SUCH a great dad! He is just in awe of each new step this little cutie takes. She won't be spoiled - yeah - not much (grin). So happy birthday, my little grandniece, and may ALL your cakes in life be three layers!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Finding NEMO

We had SUCH a great time in Colorado last week visiting with my son and daughter-in-law. They have a BEAUTFUL home in Parker, Colorado and they were such gracious hosts to mom and stepdad! Where do I start? Do I tell you about the beautiful weather (only 6% humidity - I'm just sayin!!!) Being born and raised in Nebraska, going somewhere with such low humidity just makes my skirt fly up! And MOUNTAINS - did I mention yet that there are MOUNTAINS in Colorado? Not just the bluffs we have here in Nebraska - no - honest to goodness big and beautiful, snow covered, aspen covered MOUNTAINS! I rode to Denver with my daughter, son-in-law and grandson - Jonas and I had the BEST time in the back seat and he was SSSOOOO good sitting for such a long ride - for a 2 year old! We arrived in Denver on Thursday just in time for Mark to whip us up a fabulous luncheon. We had a great afternoon relaxing and chatting and then Sterling arrived about 5:30 from Salt Lake City and we all went to dinner at Maggiano's (another story for another time - but one word - YUM!). Friday morning we ventured to the Aquarium in downtown Denver. The picture shows Jonas and his dad looking for Nemo! Jonas got such a kick out of all the different sizes and colors of fish, but when he finally found a Nemo and Dora fish - oh my - he was in awe!! Friday night Mark bbq some fabulous chicken brats to go with our MEGA leftovers from Maggiano's and we all had fun watching Jonas' having fun (Uncle Mark Did It!!)! Later that evening we went for ice cream in downtown Parker. Saturday morning Laura, Jeremy and Jonas traveled up to Estes Park to meet up with Jeremy's folks and spend a few more days. We stayed in Denver with Mark and Chrysty. They took us to the Coors Brewery in Golden. Very interesting and free tour, but of course the BEST part was the sampling lounge after the tour was over. Mark and I don't really enjoy beer, so we shared our "free" glasses of ale with Chrysty and Sterling. Mark then drove us up to Black Hawk in the mountains, which was a 40 minute ride covering 20 miles of BEAUTIFUL canyon. We stopped at Ameristar for a couple of hours (what a gorgeous casino!!). Later than night we had a wonderful dinner at On the Border (Sterling's favorite mexican restaurant) and waddled home full to the brim! Sunday morning we got up and went to a farmer's market in downtown Parker and oh did we have fun there. We bought sauces, and baked goods, and produce - OH MY!! The beefsteak tomato we brought home was to die for! Big as your head and as red as Rudolph's nose! We wish we had brought home more than we did, but next time we go we will know what to load up on! I also made a FABULOUS fresh peach cobbler when we got home that was heaven on a dessert plate!

So bottom line, this was one FABULOUS vacation. And for me, just having all of my kids together at one place and time made me the happiest MOM this side of the Missouri River! And a big HUG to Mark and Chrysty for being such gracious hosts and surviving the family invasion! And brace yourselves, as next year we're gonna stay TWICE as long!