Friday, June 29, 2012

Land of 10,000...

Steps????  Ok, I know that Minnesota is actually known for being the land of 10,000 lakes, but I think I took about that many steps hiking last weekend in MN.  Wow, did my legs hurt.

I have been missing in action due to vacation, busy work schedule and a surprise I will share at the end of my post.  :)  No peeking!

First off let's start off with some vacation highlights.  We (and Grandma Karen) went to Duluth, MN to attend a family wedding.  Of course, we went just days after they had received a record 8+ inches of rain in one days, which caused a lot of flooding.  Luckily, where we stayed was not heavily impacted, but there were definitely areas that had a lot of damage.  We could still see lots of debris in the streets where the water rushed down the hills, etc.  Anyway...

First stop Gooseberry Falls.  Because of all the rain, the falls were really rushing, but were also very muddy.  This was my kind of hiking, with blacktop walkways, etc. to take you to each fall area.  :)


Hope had her own camera with her to take photos, but I am pretty sure she only took pictures of flowers and butterflies.  :)


Then we drove a little further up the coast of Lake Superior to the Split Rock Lighthouse.  We toured the grounds and then took the path down to the waterfront viewing area.  Here is where about a quarter of the 10,000 steps comes in.  :)  These were the steps we had to go down to the waterfront viewing area (and even tougher climb back up).  Hope was a trouper and took each of them with us.  :)  You can't even see the bottom in this picture.


This was the first landing where you got a really great view of the lighthouse.  Of course, this is where Hope chose to inform us that she had to use the bathroom.  Good Grief!  We just told her to hold it because we were NOT going to come this far and not go all the way to the bottom. 


This was the view from the very bottom.  We climbed out on the rocks in the water and did a little exploring before heading back up.  Beautiful!


After this, we decided to go just a little further and go to the High Falls trail.  After going on the previous trails, we figured it would be just as nice a hike.  WRONG!  Again, keep in mind all the rain they had a few nights before.  Well, this is what we were hiking through...MUD!


It was a 2 mile hike to the high falls and I was hiking in FLIP FLOPS (this was early into the hike, it got much worse)!  I would NOT recommend it.  Hahaha!  We covered with mud and mosquito bites by the time we got back to the car, but we had a fun adventure we are still laughing about.


On the way to the falls, we met a group of hikers and asked if it was worth continuing on.  They said "Oh yeah, but only go to the high falls"  Of course that was another half mile further than the two-step falls.  So that is what we did.

When we got to the falls, the stairs all the way down to the viewing area had been washed away, so Joe climbed down and got some clear photos.  Well, it was amazing, but totally NOT worth the 3 hour MUDDY hike it took to get there.  Maybe I am just not that big of an outdoorsy person after all.  Hahaha!


The next day we just relaxed at the hotel since it was raining and it was the day of the wedding.  Joe's cousin Cassie and her husband Tom were married in a beautiful ballroom, which is also where they held the reception.  It was a great place to have a wedding.  Here is the happy couple.


Look at the details of the ballroom!  Oh my!  I loved it!


Here is Hope and Cassie chatting before dancing the dollar dance.  They talked about their American Girl dolls.  Cassie is a teacher and you could tell how much she loves kids.  They had a special kids meal, each kid table setting had a goodie bag just for them and...


..for kids of all ages...A PHOTO BOOTH!  It was SO much fun and I would recommend every wedding reception have one!  Everytime you did a photo session the machine would print two copies.  One for the bride and groom and one for the guests to keep.  This also served as the guest book.  The photo attendant would glue the picture into an album and had a silver sharpie pen you could sign well wishes to the bride and groom.  Such a cute idea!  Here are our photos below.  They had all kinds of fun props too.


The next morning Joe and Hope got up early to walk down to Canal Park and got to see the bridge go up to let some boats through.  She thought that was pretty cool.



Later we all drove down there and had lunch and walked though the museum and just as we were leaving we saw this...a horse drawn carriage ride.  So we decided to take a quick ride through Canal park.  It was fun and something none of us had done before.


Then we drove up to Enger Tower.  Again MORE steps.  Hahaha!


Hope and I declared were were officially done hiking for this vacation, but the view was worth it up all the steps to the top!  :)  Then we headed home on Monday morning.  Whew!  I don't know about you, but I am tired just reliving it.

Well, now for that surprise SNEAK PEEK of the July featured project for The Scrappy Gourmet.


Check back after July first for the full reveal.  Well, I am off to enjoy the rest of my day off!  Have a good one and stay cool!  We actually hit 100 degrees this week for the first time since 2006.  WOW!

Darla

Friday, June 15, 2012

Feel Like a Rock Star...

Ok, I have been in recovery mode since last weekend.  A friend of mine at work had an extra ticket to the Kenny Chesney/Tim McGraw concert in Kansas City and I was the lucky one that got to go with her.  We had a great time.  Here is a picture from my seat...which is zoomed in all the way.  This was Jake Owen opening the show.  There were a LOT more people later on in the show.  Jake had his bulldog running around the stage with him.  It was so cute!


Now here are some GREAT photos I found on-line of the concert...



I didn't get any pictures of Grace Potter, but she was pretty good too.

Then out came Tim McGraw!  Usually he seems to be in all black, but he obviously can rock the all white outfit too.  :)


Couldn't leave out a Butt shot of Tim.  :)  The camera guys sure did focus on it a LOT!  Hahaha!


It was SO hot out that day, but luckily there was a good breeze.  It could have been so much worse.  There were a lot of people that partied too hard before they even got inside and they were carried out on stretchers, etc.  Not fun!

We had heard that Kenny entered the stadium on a zip line, so we were trying to figure how they were going to do it.  Well, he actually came up from the ground on a small stage away from the main stage and sang one song, then...


...hopped on this contraption and rode it to the stage.  Looks like he was having a good time riding up over the crowd.  


Then things got rolling and he had a great concert.


 During his encore, he came out and started singing his part of the duet with Tim-Feel like a Rock Star. Then when it was time for Tim to sing, he came up out of the ground on the little stage Kenny started in (in a different outfit) and then walked to the stage through the crowd.



After they said goodnight they stayed out on stage and greeted the fans around the stage.  Kenny signed his guitar (he is holding it in the picture below) and was in the process of giving it to the lady in pink (getting up on stage).  That was pretty cool.  After he presented it to her a guy came out on stage and gave her the case to put it in, etc.  Real cool Kenny!  He also signed a KC chiefs helmet and gave that away too.


Now, hopefully you feel like a rock star too!  Thanks Katie for the ticket!

Now changing gears back to real life, we have just been cruising through the week.  I did manage to capture this funny picture the other night.


Yep, that is a bag of cheetos buckled into a seatbelt in the van.  :)  I had to fill up with gas and Hope talked me into getting her something, but I told her it couldn't be sugar, so this is what she ended up with.  She was the one that put it in the seatbelt.  I just had to laugh.  Silly girl!

Well, as I type this, it is FINALLY raining.  We need it SO bad, so it was a welcome site and sound.

I can't leave you without some kind of crafty inspiration for your weekend!  Here are some cards with stars on then, to go with the Feel like a rock star theme of my post.  :)



Alright, that is it for me.  Have a good one!

Darla

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Shoping it old school style tonight.

I grew up in southern Iowa, and our local grocery store, Hy-Vee's corporate office was in the same town. So this is pretty much the only store I have ever shopped in.  Especially since I married a man that is a Hy-Vee career man.  :)  I even worked there myself in high school and college, and yes, that is where we met (for those of you reading this that didn't know).

Well, my local Hy-Vee store is bringing back a service that brought back a LOT of childhood memories of grocery shopping with my mom when I was a kid.  I had noticed the signs, but had not had the service offered to me until tonight.  Back before the days of drive up lanes and cart corrals, there was a time when the "bag boys" would load up your cart with your grocery bags and politely carry on a conversation while they wheeled your groceries out to your car, loaded them into your car and gently closed your trunk (or car door) and thanking you for shopping with Hy-Vee.  Fast forward a LOT of years, and I had that same experience tonight.  They are now providing this same "old school" service and it was GREAT!  I hope enough people take advantage of it so they stick with it.  Way to go Hy-Vee.  Thanks for expanding those helpful smiles beyond those aisles.

Well, we are at the eve of Hope's dance recital.  Keep your fingers crossed that everything goes good.  The rehearsal last night was LONG and HOT!  Oh my!  I thought I was going to melt it was so hot and I can't even imagine how hot the dancers were up on stage.

Here are a few shots of her on stage...

This first photo cracks me up!   She had this small piece of hair hanging down in front of her face and she kept putting it in her mouth.  So I caught her with her tongue sticking out trying to "catch" it.


She also has a loose tooth.  The way she was wiggling it last night (while on stage) I was worried it was going to come out right on stage.  Not a big deal unless it was bloody.  Blood + Expensive Dance Costume=Bad!  :)


Here is the group at the end in their end pose.  :)



And then onto to their tap routine...are these not the cutest costumes.  :)


They practiced their routine out in the hallway before coming into the auditorium.  At one point, she had her skirt up under her arm pits.  I just cracked up and asked her to do it again so I could get a picture, but of course she refused.  It was too funny!


Then when I got too close to the stage to take photos, she shooed me away!  Also, very funny!


This routine is very cute and I am sure they will do a good job, but last night it was getting late by the time they got on stage and it didn't go so well the first time around.  It did get better the second time around.  So keep your fingers crossed that they will all do a good job for their teacher.


Alright, on to my other exciting news!  I get to go to the Kenny Chesney/Tim McGraw concert in KC this weekend too.  I am so pumped about going, since I just got a ticket this week from a friend at work.  Her mom wasn't able to go.  We are going to have a LOT of fun!  Yeehaw!

Well, I won't leave you without something crafty too.  Here is a card in honor of my little "super" star!


This is the inside of the card.


Well, that is it for tonight!  Have a good one and see you back next week after I have survived the recital and recovered from the concert.  :)

Darla

Monday, June 4, 2012

Spooky June???

Ok, I know it is June, but I have a spooky halloween layout to share with you.  This is a layout kit I created for The Scrappy Gourmet.  You can get yours here.  I loved this Halloween line by My Minds Eye because it wasn't your traditional halloween paper line.  I loved the touch of blue.






Ok, now back to June...

The other night Hope and I took Reilly for a walk around the neighborhood.  She took her camera, which she just found the other day (it had been missing for several months).  She had put it in a camera case, but it was for her kid camera and not this "real" camera.  Anyway, she REALLY wanted to get a close up picture of a bird, but every time she got close enough they would fly away.

So, the next night when we walked to the mailbox I noticed an almost full grown baby bird fluttering around the ground and it was letting us get close.  So she ran to get her camera to finally get a picture of a bird.  She finally got a really close up picture.

Here are a few pictures I got of her while feeding the bird a worm.



Well, she will be home soon from rehearsal #1 this week.  Dance recital is this weekend.  She is pretty excited.  Will post when I can this week!

Darla

Friday, June 1, 2012

Last Day of School!

Today was the last day of first grade for Hope.  I can't believe how fast the school year went.  Each (nice) morning we have been taking Reilly for a walk down to the bus stop.  He has really enjoyed going and loved getting lots of attention from the other kids at the bus stop while we wait for the bus.




She got the teacher she was hoping for, although none of her neighborhood friends are in her class.  She was ok with that since her teacher has a pet bunny in the classroom.  :)  She loves animals.

Here is tonights funny Hope story...

After we got home from dance (recital) pictures, I handed her over to Joe and decided it was time for a beer.  :)  So while I was sitting here checking FB and getting ready to make this post she came over and asked what I was drinking.  I told her it was beer.  She smiled and excitedly told me her cousin Annie had given her beer one time (just a week or so ago).  I asked if Aunt Dawnie knew she had beer and she vigorously shook her head.  So I dug further and asked if she liked it.  Of course she said yes.  Then I became skeptical and told her to smell my drink.  She wrinkled her nose and said her drink was sweet and then remembered it was ROOT BEER!  Yeah, big difference there!  :)I just had to laugh.  I know growing up I am sure at some point I asked my dad for a drink of his beer and I am sure he agreed knowing I wouldn't like it.  :)  I just figured it was one of those moments (just at aunt Dawn's house).  :)

We survived dance pictures, now we just have to get through rehearsal week and the recital itself.  :)

Well, I am off to do some scrapbooking...so here is some inspiration.  Since it is the end of school, I have a few more school related cards to share.  The first one we gave to Hope's teacher.


I totally copied the pencil card idea from a card I saw on a website (sorry I have no clue where, but thank you to whoever you were for the great idea).  I added some leftover embellishments from the school layouts I made earlier.

Here is another card I will probably use eventually for one of Hope's many teachers to come.


Alright, that is it for tonight!  Have a good one!

Darla