Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fun with Friends.... Part 2

Next up to visit the farm was the Ver Meer Family!
Our snow was gone, the sun was shining & we had just gotten our screen porch furniture, so Brad & Mike got to work putting it together so we could hopefully break it in a little later!

Brenda & Vanessa were more that happy to give it the first try!  Cheers!

 The kids were very excited to see each other... Melanie took Lexie out exploring & they seemed to have lots to talk about as well as went on a rock hunt.  They came back with pockets full of prized rocks (from our gravel road nonetheless) & wanted to wash them up.

Brandon & Lauren had fun playing & exploring too

Once the guys were done with the furniture, the neighbors (Mike's folks) came over for a little happy hour action on the porch...
...appetizers & drinks for all! It was a gorgeous afternoon for it... our first like it this spring!

The kids had a fun dinner later followed up by movie night (allowing the adults to do our own kid-free dinner)!

Melanie was super excited to have Lexie sleep in her room! 

 It wasn't sunny the next day, but the kids still had fun playing outside.  Brenda & Vanessa took a walk back in the valley.  Brandon & Lauren came along with us... reminds us of when they were little & used to pretend to be Diego & Dora & go exploring!

The little girls didn't come along as they had more rocks to hunt down... both their jacket pockets were stuffed as full as could be with rocks!

The Butenhoff firing range was again opened up...
... & Brenda even tried out the little .22 pistol!

A quick grill pizza lunch was good after all that fresh air... and then it was time for them to head back to the cities.  It was another fun-filled friend weekend!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fun with Friends... Part 1

In March, the Gadients came for a weekend visit... & as soon as they 'FINALLY' got here (the kids could barely stand the wait), they were wanting to hit the slopes with what was left of our snow!
 Ross is ready for a run!

Then the boys decided to try a little snow boarding with a different twist... guess it goes faster than a sled!

The kids had a ball racing each other down the hill...with screams of thrill from Melanie the whole way!

After a little dinner...

... the big boys had fun playing XBox, while Jack & Melanie "hooked" up the DSes & played their own games!

 We had fun adult time too & Vino Mommy was in her zone!

Ross was pretty excited to try out Brandon's BB gun with a little target practice... 
& then the big boys got out the big toys did a little trap shooting back in the valley.  Brian is a really good shot... despite the wild throws of Mike!
Jen & her Ross-man!
Jen even gave the old shotgun a try... first time ever!  It was fun to see how excited she got!

Ross, Brandon, Jack & Melanie... the fun was over too soon & the kids were bummed to see them head back to the cities!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Granddad's Visit!

In early March, Granddad hopped a plane from Abq & came out for a visit.  The kids were super excited to see him!
Bright & early, the first thing on the agenda was a little Jedi Fighting... they are lucky he's a good sport!  Brandon also enjoyed showing Granddad how well he can read.

We still had some snow left, so Brandon was quite eager to get out with the snowboards... & even got Granddad to try it out! 
Brandon (left) & Granddad (right)--- on your mark, get set, GO! 
My dad used to teach cross-country skiing but had never been on a snowboard before... not bad for a 72 year old! 
Gram & Melanie's cat, Pearly May, even came out to check on the snowboarding action!

The National Eagle Center is in Wabasha, MN (about 30 min. from us) & we've never been... so I was pretty sure both the kids & my dad would enjoy checking it out, so we ventured up one day for an excursion.
It looks fake, but that is a live bird behind them!
They have 5 resident Eagles, 4 Bald & 1 Golden.  All were injured & cannot be released back into the wild, so now they live at the Eagle Center. 
Granddad got to help demonstrate what it would be like to have eagle eyes...  

Again, real bird... but looks like it is part of the background.
We got to watch this eagle eat its lunch... it was quite fascinating!

 Brandon & Melanie tried out being future eagle center workers!

We walked next door afterwards to grab lunch at the Flour Mill Cafe... we had some amazing pizzas!
They had some fun bottled pops, so Melanie thought she was pretty cool with her cream soda...
 We took the alternate route back (i.e. followed the Mississippi back on the Wisconsin side) & went through Nelson, WI.  When in Nelson, you have to stop at the Nelson Creamery for ice cream... YUM!

Brandon had Cub Scouts while Granddad was here, so he got to go with Mike & Brandon & help make some bird treats to hang outside.

Grouse was on the menu one night as we had some in the freezer courtesy of Mike... tried a new recipe that was a hit with all! 
 The Grandpas with the kids!

We had a really nice visit with Granddad... as always, it was sad to see him go!