Monday, July 28, 2014

Explorers Exchange

Our county has a 4-H project where kids from another state come to visit us one year and we got there the next year to learn about what their area of the United States is like. The 4-Hers stay with a host family and we cram about as many things into a week as humanly possible.  This year our county hosted a group from Wisconsin.

We started the week with a potluck, softball, volley ball and swimming.  

The next day we visited a sculpture park.  This elephant is made out of over 900 lawn mower blades.  The artist is the man in the light blue shirt.

His sculptures are all over town.  We were able to go back to his shop and see how he makes his sculptures.

Another interesting thing about the artist is that his daughter is an astronaut.  I am nervous when the kids go off in the car, I can't imagine watching them blast off into space.

Our exchange 4-Her.

This was my favorite one.

We brown bagged it in a park.

We climbed up to the top of a peak that was the highest elevation in the area.  It was a cool day, the girls were huddling for warmth.

Visited the rune stone museum and Big Ole.

Next day was stop at the stick houses that are at a local arboretum.

Canoeing and swimming.

A tour of an Abbey.  There was much more to the church than meets the eye.

Had some down time playing cards and

enjoying a bonfire.

A historic theater that my dad went to when he was a kid to watch 10 cent movies.  Now it hosts plays, dance recitals and musical groups.  This day we also went to a huge flower garden, thrift shopping and a concert in the park.

A tour of a pioneer park.

Coyote hat, that would keep Spark warm in the winter doing chores. 

Haunted Hill.  This is a place where you park on the hill, put your car in neutral and your car goes backwards up the hill.  You keep going faster and faster, we had Spark going along side the car and he was running at a pretty good clip before we put the brakes on and let him back in the car. 

The worlds largest twine ball.  This use to just sit in someones front yard but now it is encased in glass and has a museum devoted to twine ball souvenirs.

Some volleyball before lunch.

A candy shop.  This is a taffy caramel wrapper from the 1940's.  The guy said that if they had to keep wrapping all the candy by hand that they would have closed up their shop years ago because it is a time consuming job when they sell a couple thousand pounds a month.

We also visited a dairy farm where they milk with a milker and one where they use robots to milk.  To bring milk from beginning to the end we also toured a milk processing plant.  The plant we went to makes all the cheese that goes on top of Doritos among other things.

The last night the kids watched a movie outside.

And before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Taylors Falls and Somewhere In Wisconsin

Helmets Required went to Taylors Falls last year with the purpose to ride the boat on the river.  However, our dreams were dashed when we realized that the government shut down included the water that boats float on.  So back we went to ride the Taylors Falls Queen.

Didn't take a picture of the boat, only the scenes we enjoyed.

Next we were off to find this waterfall that was somewhere in Wisconsin that I can not remember the name of.

Spark standing behind the waterfalls.

Picnic tables?  The mosquitoes were so bad we danced the whole time we were there.

From the bottom of the waterfall to the top of the entry.  

This is just half way back up the stairs, but thankfully there were stairs and not an 85 degree dirt path.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Waffle Iron Hash Browns

Not sure where I saw this but it is pure brilliant.  Put Crispy Crowns, Tater Tots or hash brown patties on the waffle iron, close the cover and a few minutes later you have perfectly done potatoes.  We did find that thawing them first works best and covering the entire surface of the waffle iron so they mesh into one patty.   

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Celebrating National Hotdog Day

Life of Chicken

Moved to the chicken tractor. 

Meat birds destined for the dinner table.

Monday, July 7, 2014

4-H Camp

We dropped Dancer off on Sunday for her week as a camp counselor. 

We took Spark to catch the camp bus on Wednesday.  Hanging out waiting for the bus.

The kids humor me with all the pictures I take.

And he's off.  I am never quite sure what to do when the are gone, thankfully this year Dad had the days they were both gone off from work.

Happy to see the bus return on Friday!  Dancer was home but a couple hours and she was out with friends- I would have done the same thing at her age. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Two Birthday Celebrations

We celebrated Grandma Pat's birthday at a Mexican restaurant. 

Nikki, who shares the same birthday with Grandma, celebrated her 7th birthday with a can of wet dog food. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fourth of July

We went to Grandma and Grandpa's for a burger supper.  I like the way Dancer's shirt makes a rainbow behind her from their camper.

A pileated woodpecker has a nest way up in a tree.  People said you can see them feeding their babies, but we only saw one stick its head out to look around. 

They also have a par 3 golf course so the kids went out and hit a few balls.  Spark keeping his eye on the ball.

Dancer working on her putting, she didn't have a putter with so she is using the back of a iron.