Monday, November 30, 2009

Thankful Days...

It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving has not only come but gone... and we are now officially in the holiday season that is sure to zip by.  We were lucky to have Uncles Evan & Mic visiting from Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving weekend.

We had a great lunch at CRAVE at the Galleria the day they got in... YUM!

We spent another wonderful Thanksgiving at our home joined by the Uncles visiting from Pittsburgh, Mike's folks from the farm & Mike's sister & her family.  Evan, Mic & Vanessa got out for an early morning walk before the meal preparations began.  We dined on wild turkey with all the trimmings, including an "elk kicker" (marinated grilled elk done flank steak style).  We managed to squeeze in our Thanksgiving walk after our meal, helping to make a little room for dessert!   It was a great day with certainly so much to be thankful for. 

The Thanksgiving Crew

A walk through the neighborhood

A little late night card action

One of our Thanksgiving traditions is to go hiking the day after, weather permitting.  We were fortunate to have a gorgeous November day & so we headed to an area that had some nice trails for hiking but also a "cache rich environment" for some geocaching too!  We took along the uncles as well at Grandpa & spent about 3.5 hours hiking & geocaching through the woods.  We always enjoy having others come along on our adventures!  

Geocaching at Cleary Lake

With another unseasonably warm November day on Saturday, we headed out again hiking/geocaching with the uncles before having to get them to the airport for their evening flight home.

Hiking down by the confluence of the Minnesota & Mississippi Rivers

It truly was a wonderful Thanksgiving & now we look forward to a wonderful holiday season... let the festivities begin!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Caching Days are Here Again!

Geocaching has been a favorite hobby of ours for some time now, but what was once a boderline obsession has nearly fallen to the wayside lately!  Let's just say that 2009 hasn't been a banner geocaching year for us!  Guess it all started with a very cold winter combined with our winter & spring being consumed with house projects getting ready to put it on the market.  Summer usually finds us doing a lot of biking & caching, but for some reason much of our summer seemed to find us in cache-free zones.  We did manage to get a fair amount in on our annual July camping trip in the Black Hills of South Dakota, but even that did little to change our fairly pathetic cache count for the year.  Fall is often a great time for it as the weather is perfect for hiking but after a hotter than normal September followed by a record cold & wet October, much of our fall activities were thwarted.  Finally this past weekend we found ourselves with nothing to do & a fairly nice weekend to figure it out... so a little hiking & caching seemed to be just the thing!   So we headed out Saturday for a few hours of hiking in a nearby park that has numerous x-country ski / hiking trails with caches strewn all about.  The kids are generally eager to go as they love "treasure hunting" & we are on strict orders to let them look first. 

This park had a lot of "clever" caches including the one that the kids are standing by in plain sight... they needed a few hints from us to find this one, however.  We had such a great day, even though we only hit about 5 of the 12 caches in the area during our 3 hour hike, that we made tentative plans to return the next day to finish off the caches in the park.

So Sunday we spent another 3.5 hours or so hiking the park & managed to find the remaining caches.  Our numbers for the year may be down, but in just 2 nice days of fall hiking, we not only upped our yearly total by about 1/3 but we also found some of the most clever caches we've seen in a long time. 

One was a treasure within a treasure where we had to find which mini-container had the little log book out of several hundred film containers... we found it on try 178!
If you are interested in more information about geocaching, check out  It is basically hiking (or biking or even driving) with a purpose & is a great family activity.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Welcome to our blog...

In the beginning, I was pretty good at keeping our website up to date.  As time went on, it seemed to become more challenging keeping it up to date & it turned into quite a daunting task.  Eventually, the updates wents from every couple months to every few months to a few times a year... and finally I find it is now about 11 months out of date!  As I was trying to figure out where to start after being so far behind & I finally concluded that maybe it was time to try something new, hence the birth of our blog.  The idea of smaller, more frequent posts had some logic & appeal to it, so we'll see how it goes.  For those of you who enjoy following blogs, check in periodically... I don't expect to follow any particular schedule...  might be weekly or more frequently if there are lots of things going on or longer when things are a little slower... so just stay tuned!  For those of you who don't follow blogs, well... the fun thing is you can check in whenever you feel like it & just check out the old posts if you have missed anything & are curious!

In the meantime.... here are a few pictures from the past couple weeks:

Our superheroes!

Jack-o-lanterns, with help from Grandpa

Snow White & Darth Vader